Thank you. You can attach the documents using the paperclip.
However me while:
if the house was owned by Nigel and Melanie as joint tenants and Melanie died, it goes automatically to Nigel under the right of survivorship.
That happens regardless of what it says in the will.
A deed of variation is the wrong document based upon a joint tenancy.
If the property had been tenants in common owned by Nigel and Melanie and Melanie died, then Melanie is part of the house would pass under the terms of her will and if she left it to Nigel, Nigel could then effect a deed of variation to give his newly acquired half of the house which previously belonged to Melanie, to his children.
He would then in effect own half of the house and two children would own one quarter reach.
The only reason why there would need to be a trustee would be to hold the children share of the property on trust for them until they reach 18 (ignore the 25 years for now) and that trustee could actually have been Nigel.
If the children are over 18, then under the rule in Saunders v Vautier if they both agree, they can have their share of the property now.
The 50% share of the property belonging to the children should have been registered in the name of the trustee on behalf of the children. It seems that didn’t happen as you have said.
Your husband was not aware that he was a trustee and therefore he is off the hook.
If the property has been sold by Nigel and Nigel has pocketed the money, then 50% of the money belongs to the children.
It seems that what has happened is that Nigel decided to give half of the house to the children but then changed his mind. He can’t do that although it would appear that the deed of variation leaving half of the property in trust for the children was never registered. It really depends whether the children want to take issue with this now because it could be potentially expensive argument