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Clare, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 35044
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practice since 1985 with a wide general experience.
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I have a question about intestacy. Our father left our mother

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I have a question about intestacy. Our father left our mother when we were 10, 8 & 7 respectively. He remarried soon after and lived happily with his second wife Janet for another 23 years until he died of a heart attack aged 57. We were informed then that we could divide his estate equally between the four of us - his second wife Sally and us three children from his first marriage. Over the years we had come to love our "second Mum" and, united in grief, we siblings agreed not to divide the estate but to keep it together so Sally could continue to live in their home. We signed papers to this effect. We were told that, as part of such an arrangement, the laws of intestacy mandated that Sally had to write a will which would name us three siblings as benefactors to the estate upon her death, which we understand she did.
Sally moved her new partner Pete into her home within the year. Pete was a painter and decorator who had worked on our father and Sally's house previously. This was a shock but she assured us that this would change nothing - Pete had his own property and her will did not include him.
All was fine until Sally died suddenly last May. After we had buried her, we discovered that she had re-written the will. The new will includes her partner Pete as an equal beneficiary with us three siblings to the primary asset which is the house in which they both lived. Further, the will allows for Pete to live in the property for as long as he wishes to do so which may be for another 40 years.
My question is can a will written after someone has died intestate be changed in this way ? Any advice and guidance you can provide would be greatly appreciated.
HiThank you for your questionMy name is ***** ***** do my best to help you but I need some further information firstWhich year did your father die and what was his Estate worth?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
He died in 1993. Not sure if the actual worth of the estate because we never really considered realising it. The primary asset is the bungalow which is worth approx £200k today plus his pension and savings which I estimate at no more than £100k. The will (not sure if it was the most recent one - we are trying to find out - we don't fully believe Pete) has already been executed. Cash and jewellery has been divided (how will this be addressed if we find out there is another will ?). It is the primary asset of the property we are interested in.
My concern is that there were no intestacy rules in place at that time than mandated that your step mother write a Will in your favour.Indeed if the Total value of the estate in 1993 was less than £125,000 then you as children would not have received anything at all.Even if they were worth over that amount she would have received the first £125,000 and you as children would have shared half the remainder.It is of course possible that some form of separate agreement was entered into between you all - but I would need to see it to be certain.It is likely that any monies received form your father's pensions were his widow's by right, never to be shared in any event, and his savings have long since been subsumed into her assetsIn any event since it appears that the relationship with her partner lasted for 23 years he clearly does have a claim upon her estate and it is unlikely that challenging her will would be successful.Please ask if you need further detailsClare
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