How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Harris Your Own Question
Harris, Law Specialist
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 2851
Experience:  Family Law - Specialist in Divorce, Financial Relief and Children Matters
Type Your Law Question Here...
Harris is online now

My brother died recently leaving no will, my mother has been

This answer was rated:

My brother died recently leaving no will, my mother has been deemed next of kin. His girlfriend of 2 yrs 1 month is living in his property with her learning disabled 21 yr old son and daughter aged 23 who is a teaching assistant. His girlfriend works as a carer.
We have received a solicitors letter from the girlfriend with a request she be allowed to stop in the property, with a view to the rent being comparable to her earnings, the property still has a 90,000 mortgage and a loan of 16,000 as it appears the property was not covered in the event of death.
If she is allowed to live there and pay just the 200 she apparently gave my brother (she paid no bills, all were in his name including the mortgage), how does the outstanding mortgage get paid.
My mother is a widow aged 77 with a severely disabled daughter aged 56, she worked till she was 71 owns her own home and any money has been invested in a trust for my sister in the event that my mother dies.
Can his girlfriend do this, we were expecting her to ask for maybe a claim of between 5000 - 10,000 but why should she get his home, my mother always helped my brother and this help is now seen as a gift. She also wants his in work death benefit of 80,000 although as NOK my mothers solicitor has applied for this. Before his death it was understood my brother would be caring for my sister in the event of my mums death, however his girlfriend did not like him going to my mothers all the time so he used to visit early in the day while his girlfriend was at work. My mother had reviewed the situation even then and my sisters care was to be shared by the remaining siblings.
Where do we stand my mother is distraught and says no way can she afford another mortgage.
Hi, thank you for your question. There is no obligation on you/your mother to accept what she has proposed and you will need to consider your/your mother's interest as a first point of call. His girlfriend has no legal right to the property and she can be requested to leave upon reasonable notice - they will then have to seek alternative accommodation.Has your mother inherited the whole of your brother's estate?
Harris and 2 other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Yes my mother has inherited the whole estate, we have been advised by the solicitor that what the girlfriend has requested is only a little to what she could claim for is this right, we just want her out, we are awaiting the letter of administration. It seems she has a solicitor from a group practice and we are using the services of our solicitor who is also our financial advisor and actually non practising. He says once we know what else she wants he will engage a barrister, but I'm not sure what for as we have said we don't want her in the house.
I do not see why you would need a barrister to deal with this - unless the matter is likely to go to court. Under what grounds is she claiming she has a right to stay in the property? Unless her name is ***** ***** title of the property, or if they have a deed of trust or some sort of formal agreement, or they have minor children together then she will have no claim to the property.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I'm not sure, I thought it was because our solicitor is now non practising and can't go to court but can do all the legal bits. Should my mother be looking for another solicitor, i feel ours is being a little laid back and says the girlfriend is entitled to what she has become used to, at our expense
I think you need to look for an alternative solicitor who is practising. It is not correct that she is entitled to what she has been accustomed to - this does not arise from cohabitation. Have they outlined under what law or grounds they are arguing that she should remain in the property so that I can suggest what specialism of solicitor you should instruct.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I will contact my solicitor and ask what the letter said.
Thanks, ***** ***** way she can claim against the estate is if:-she was maintained by your brother immediately before his deathOR-for two years prior to his death they lived in the same household as if they were husband and wife. Do you know if he provided for her financially? You state that they have been together for two years and one month, but how long did they live together and are you aware if they lived together as husband and wife?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
They had been together 3/4 years although she says 5/6 years. And lived together for 2 years and one month. My brother paid all the bills and mortgage and she gave him about 200/250 a month for her keep and her adult children's. My brother only had a salary of 27000 a year so had to work long hrs.
Thanks - I would therefore imagine that they would be making a claim under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 and attempt to claim that she was dependant on your brother, either partly or wholly. Or, she can rely on them living together for over 2 years. If she pursues an application to court then it will be for the court to decide whether there is evidence that they lived together for over 2 years, or if she was dependant in anyway on your brother (from what you have said this may actually be the case). Given the potential contentious nature of this matter I would suggest that you check here for local inheritance or private client solicitors and call around to see who has speciality of a cohabitee contesting intestacy -
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
My solicitor has actually just contacted me, he has reiterated everything you have said, a that she asked the question about staying but realises this might not be practicable. Obviously if she cannot pay a rent to cover the mortgage on the property it could be reclaimed by the mortgage company and she would therefore have nowhere to live. He is asking the barrister for the parameters of the claim she can make once her finances have been investigated and hopes that it doesn't go to court.
Well of course if you are unable to maintain the mortgage the mortgage company will seek repossession, but his girlfriend may then seek a share of the property due to the previous issues I highlighted.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
We don't appear to have got any further, the girlfriend is still in the property and when we recently went in to get my brothers personal effects, she has allowed her numerous pets to defaecate on the floors, and the smell is horrendous. I also have the added problem in that i don't know what type of insurance the hosue should be under and none of the insurance companies are very helpful. How can we get her out, now she know the house will have a debt on it she is after my brothers death in benefits which is apparently up to the local council whom it vgoes too