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Joshua, Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 26070
Experience:  LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice
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My mother has just died. She promised some shares to my son

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My mother has just died. She promised some shares to my son but hadn't got round to putting the request in her will. Her intentions were known to family embers including my sister who is executor of the will. Can anything be done?
Hello and thank you for your question. I will be very pleased to assist you. I'm a practising lawyer in England with over 10 years experience.Please accept my condolences for your loss.May I ask did your son act in any particular way to his detriment in reliance on the promise of the shares please?Finally who would inherit or share inheritance of the shares as things stand under the will?Owing to the time of day I am shortly going to be logging off. I will be available on and off later and over the weekend but I may not respond immediately but will revert to you as soon as possible
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Thank you for your response.
My son saw his grandmother shortly before her death and there was absolutely no change in their relationship.
She had spoken often about her wish for him to have the shares but couldn't find the paperwork. She asked his father (my ex-husband) to assist and he contacted the company who sent further paperwork. This went missing and she accused my sister of taking it. According to my sister the subject came up at different times and she advised our mother that she should either add a codicil to the will or tell my son he would not inherit the shares.
Under the terms of the will I will inherit a named sum and the remainder of the estate will be divided between her five great grandchildren, three of whom are my sister's who acts as executor.
Thank you. THis is difficult. Your son would need to provide for one of three situations if he is to be able to claim the gift promised if it was not included in the will:1) the simplest would be for the other residuary beneficiaries to agree that he may receive the shares. However this is likely to be difficult if those beneficiaires are under age as an application to the court would be required for permission which is unlikely to be granted without further evidence as below so this is unlikely to be an attractice option;2) show that your mother made the gift during her life - i.e. not that she wanted to make the gift only after her death but rather that she has already made the gift. Again however if nothing was ever written down confirming that the gift was made or transfer forms signed this would be difficult or impossible to show - from what I understand from what you say it was your mothers intention to gift in her will and not during her life in any event;3) Rely on promissory estoppel. This is a legal doctrine which is applied by the courts in a specific situation as follows. To benefit fom it your son would need to show on the balance of probability that he was promised the shares, that he relied on that promise to his detriment and that it would be unconscionable as a result to allow the promise not to be honoured.To break that down in this situation. Your son would need to show the shares were promised to him: there is no written documentation in this respect from what you say but there may be family statements that would be sufficient to show that the promise was made. Your son would need to show that he relied on that promise to his detriment: he would need to show that he suffered detriment in reliance on the promise for example in respect of financial or life decisions he made which he would not have made but for the promise or that he spent time looking after your mother which he would not have done otherwise. That it would be unconscionable to allow the promise not to be honoured: if he is able to establish the above two components, it is necessary to show that given the above te result is so unfair so that it would not be equitable to not allow the gift.You will need to judge whether the above facts could be established in your view. It is not enough as you will see if he was promised the shares but he has not suffered detriment relying on that promise. The fact that he may not receive the shares is not sufficient - he must show that he has suffered detriment apart from the lack of shares themselves in the above manner. If he cannot show one of the three apply then if the gift was not included in your mothers will, regretably it will not take effect. If he can show any of the three above situations he may be able to claim the shares despite it not being included in your mothers will. I hope the above is of assistance? If you have no further questions for now I should be very grateful if you would kindly take a moment to click to rate my service to you today or just reply back to let me know if the above is helpful. Your feedback is important to me. If there is anything else I can help with please reply back to me.
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