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Joshua
Joshua, Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 26586
Experience:  LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice
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My husband passed away on the 28th October, 6 days later his

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My husband passed away on the 28th October, 6 days later his father died too. My husband and his brother were in the will to have the sale of the house divided between them 50/50. My question is does that automatically come to me as his wife or is that not how it works? Sorry, this is all very new to me!
Assistant: What documents or supporting evidence do you have?
Customer: Hi, just my father in laws will, it is written on that the house it to be divided between them both.
Assistant: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: no, that's it for now thank you.
Assistant: Since estate law varies from place to place, can you tell me where this is?
Customer: i'm in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire.

Hello and thank you for your question. I will be very pleased to assist you. I'm a practising lawyer in England with over 15 years experience.

Please accept my sincere condolences for your double loss.

  1. May I ask if you have had sight of your father in law's will or if not do you anticipate having access to it at some stage?
  2. May I ask if you have any children with your husband or if your husband has any children from any previous relationship?
Customer: replied 6 days ago.
I have seen the will and it clearly stated how the house was to be divided up. We didn’t have any children but my husband has an estranged son from his previous manage and they haven’t had anything to do with each other in many years. My husbands son is schizophrenic.
Customer: replied 6 days ago.
Sorry, previous marriage!
  1. Thank you. Do you recall (I would not expect you to) whether there was either a) any mention that "Section 33 of the Wills Act is excluded from the Will" or words to the effect or b) whether there was a substitutional provision for your husband's gift e.g. "in the event either of my sons shall pre-decease me their respective share shall pass to ..." or words to that effect?
  2. If you do not recall which would be natural, will you have the opportunity to have sight of the will again?
  3. Do you think your brother in law would be willing to agree any variation of the will if necessary to ensure you inherit your husband's share?
Customer: replied 6 days ago.
I don’t think there was any wording in the will to state that should my husband die before then the money was to come to me. My bother in law told me just after his dad died that whatever was my husbands half would automatically come to me as far as he was concerned.. he has now gone back on that by saying he will give me £25k only as my husband had life insurance which he said he knew nothing about even though he called me to say he found an old email letting him know that there was a life insurance policy and I’ve told him many times exactly how much the policy was for! plus there is a further £25k that I am already in the will to receive. People change very quickly when money is involved..

Unfortunately they do and it can be an ugly side of humanity to witness. the position in law is that if there is no substitution or provision in the will nominating somebody else to inherit in place of a person who pre-deceases the testator, the s33 of the Wills Act intervenes. s33(1) provides:

Where—

(a) a will contains a devise or bequest to a child or remoter descendant of the testator; and

(b) the intended beneficiary dies before the testator, leaving issue; and

(c) issue of the intended beneficiary are living at the testator’s death,

then, unless a contrary intention appears by the will, the devise or bequest shall take effect as a devise or bequest to the issue living at the testator’s death.

what that means is that unless your father-in-law has failed to provide a substitution or provision and where he has not excluded s33 in a specific clause in the Will, your husband's share would pass to any of your husband's natural or adopted children who survive him.

This does not assist you unfortunately but it means that your husband's share in the above circumstances would pass to his son. however, this is based on the above assumptions and ideally you would have access to your father-in-law's will again to check it carefully now you know what to look for to check that there is no substitution provision nor a clause excluding section 33 of the Wills act. If neither are present, it may be prudent to accept your brother-in-law's be reduced offer being at least something. However it is possible that your BIL may retract that offer if and when he learns that your husband's share of the property does not pass to him (assuming that may be the case). Therefore if you can act quickly in this regard it may be to your advantage.

Does the above answer all your questions? If it does, I should be very grateful if you would kindly take a moment to click a rating for my service to you today. Your feedback is important to me. If there is anything else I can help with please reply back to me though

Joshua and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 6 days ago.
That’s answered my question, thank you very much for your help Joshua. ☺️

A pleasure. I am sorry it was less than positive but I hope you are able to agree some form of compromise with your BIL. Best wishes