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Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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My 88 year old sister, with a 89 year old husband, has asked

Customer Question

My 88 year old sister, with a 89 year old husband, has asked me to look after her estate, as she has no will.
They are childless, I am her only relative, and their residence, plus cash, is in my sisters sole name.
I have no idea of her intentions, indeed I have not asked. But I am pretty sure she won't leave it to her husband if she pre-deceases him.
If she does then I have advised her that provision be made for him to remain in the residence, rent free until he dies or resides in a care home.
If he pre-deceases her then she will need some managerial assistance which I can either provide or arrange.
There is of course the matter of realising assets beyond her cash and savings resources, should she be committed to a care facility. This, I can probably manage, however I do live 100 miles from her.
I do not expect to be a beneficiary of her estate, nor does that bother me.
I have a rough idea of my course of action, but as a subscriber thought I would tap your service before proceeding further.
The amount involved is not a life changing sum, but should a care home requirement rear it's head a clear operating plan needs to be in place.
Could you please let me have your advise, plan of action, including a draft will, with me as sole executor, and perhaps Lasting Power of Attorney.
Many thanks XXXXX
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ash replied 4 years ago.


Hello my name is XXXXX XXXXX I will help you with this. Please note that I am a working solicitor and may be on and offline as I have to attend Court and meet with clients. As such you may not get an instant response when you reply, but rest assured I will be giving your question my immediate attention upon return.


You have mentioned that your sister has not made a will, and also that you do not know what her wishes are with regard to her estate. At present with no will her estate would pass under the intestacy rules. This would mean that if she were to predecease her husband, then her husband would inherit. Should her husband pre decease her then you and any other siblings would inherit.


I draft will can't really be drawn up without knowing what your sister would like to do with her estate. A local solicitor could do this for her or a ready made will form can be purchased from most newsagents. It could be important to get advice regarding inheritance tax. The threshold for this is currently £325,000 however it is surprising how quickly the threshold can be reached where a mortgage free property is involved.

Expert:  Ash replied 4 years ago.

I think you need to have a frank and open discussion with your sister as to exactly what she would like to be done with her estate in the event of her death or if she needs to go into residential care. Clearly if she wants to make a will or to grant a power of attorney she would have to have the capacity to do so.


I understand that I will be a very difficult discussion to have but I think you are going to find it very difficult to make any arrangements unless you are sure of what your sister's wishes are.


If this answers your question then please take a few moments to rate my service as it is an important part of the process. If you need more information then please click reply. Alex



Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Alex, Thank you for your quick response.

Can my sister provide in her will (when she makes it) for her husband to continue residence, rent free, in 'her house'if:-

a) She herself requires external welfare care, but her husband does not. Under such circumstances how does the house value figure in the any associated means test for such care?

b) e.g.Would her husband have to pay a market rent to stay in my sisters house, the proceeds of which going towards state welfare costs?

c) Or, she predeceases him?

In any event is not lasting power of attorney required to wind up the estate in the end or is this the executors job?.

Expert:  Ash replied 4 years ago.
Let me consider your questions and I will draft my response for later today as I am about to go into Court. Alex
Expert:  Ash replied 4 years ago.

Hello, than you for your patience.


In response to (a) your sister can provide that her husband can remain in the house if she goes into residential care. This would not be in her will as that would not take effect until after she passed away, but she could make it clear that they were her intentions. Her husband is very likely to have matrimonial home rights which would allow him to stay in the property, as it is the marital home. The value of the home is likely to be taken into consideration when deciding if there is a charge to pay for any care. Such charge could possibly be deferred, i.e. not paid until the house came to be sold.


(b) I think it would be unreasonable and inappropriate for any council to expect your brother in law to pay rent to stay in the house.


(c) if your sister pre-deceases you brother in law, she could grant a life interest t him in the house, this would mean that he could stay in the house for as long as he wished. when he passed away or left then the house could be sold.


Generally it is the executors divide the estate between the beneficiaries. An attorney may have he power to sell goods for example to pay for care, but generally dealing with the estate falls to the executors.


If this answers your question please could you take a few moments to rate this answer. if you would like more information please click reply. Alex.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.


I am on holiday right now but if the chance arises I will answer from my Iphone. Meanwhile thanks for info. so far


Expert:  Ash replied 4 years ago.