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Stuart J
Stuart J, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 22946
Experience:  Senior Partner at Berkson Wallace
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Please ask the barrister: regarding unfair distribution of

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Hi Pearl: please ask the barrister: regarding unfair distribution of the family estate from parents to children, is there a law/clause that can help? Everything was to be shared equally, but one brother took his share, and then requested more money from the other brothers share, misinforming his parents. The recipient brother had falsified information to his parents. The parents now want this share returned to them so it can be given to the rightful recipient.
Assistant: Since estate law varies from place to place, can you tell me where this is?
Customer: United Kingdom
Assistant: What documents or supporting evidence do you have?
Customer: Unfortunately the will was only made in draft and not official. The evidence is mother’s verbal conversations with that particular son. He also refused to sign any documents when she asked him to sign a letter of guarantee. He told her he is in need of an emergency operation which he didn’t have (2 years now). The estate shares list that exists, shows that this brother has taken his share already and his brother share. Mother gave him the share allocated to his brother on a refund basis.
Assistant: Anything else you want the Lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: He told mother his share was locked in a trust fund until January 2019, and that’s why he needed extra funds. Since he received the extra funds he has gone underground, with no response to his mother or update about any so called operation.
Hello,

I've been working hard to find a Professional to assist you with your question, but sometimes finding the right Professional can take a little longer than expected.

I wonder whether you're ok with continuing to wait for an answer. If you are, please let me know and I will continue my search. If not, feel free to let me know and I will cancel this question for you.

Thank you!

I have been asked to look at this for you. I apologise if I am delayed getting back to you over the weekend because I am only online and off-line sporadically at weekends. Nonetheless, I am online at some time every day.

 

If the will is only a draft wasn’t executed, and that was the only will, and there was no previous will, then the deceased died intestate and regardless of what is said in the draft will, the spouse gets the first GBP250,000 of the estate +50% of the remainder in the balance of the remainder goes to the children in equal shares.

Therefore, depending on the value of the estate there may or may not be anything for the children.

 

You can give me all the financial details, I may be able to expand my reply further. Thank you.

Customer: replied 7 days ago.
Dear Mr Stuart, many thanks for your reply. My mother had given my allocated share to my brother after being put under pressure from him. He already received his share from the family estate and he then asked her for more money. He said he needed an urgent operation 2 years ago. He still hasn’t had any operation and has refused to pay her back, as he agreed. It was stated by him at the time he needed the money that his share that he already received, was put in a trust fund and unable to access it until January 2019. He refused to sign any paperwork to say he would pay it back everything was done verbally with mother. Mother now wants to press him using her solicitor to ask him to pay the money back. He requested that she only contacts him via his solicitor. What are the chances that he is made to pay it back if she gives evidence of what actually happened and what he told her?

I think I may be missing something here.

Your question was about the distribution of an estate but it appears that your mother is still alive.

From what you say, your brother was given money by your mother which was intended to be paid back and, for whatever reason, he has not done that. If your mother wants that money back, and he will not pay it, then she has to take him to court. That is nothing to do with an estate.

 

I think there may be a large chunk of the facts missing here.

Customer: replied 6 days ago.
Hi Mr Stuart, yes we are going to proceed with the court should he not respond back to mother’s solicitor requesting payment for the money she loaned to him. He is persistent that it was gifted to him by mother, but she’ll have to point out what he initially told her. I guess it will come down to the judge and their take on each person’s story? Obviously, and we hope that mother’s story will be viewed appropriately and that she was duped by her son to release such a large sum of money (£560k) for an operation that costs at most, £120k.. she must give evidence against him.
Customer: replied 6 days ago.
Thanks very much sir!

Thank you. This is nothing to do with an estate it seems this is simply an allegation that the son persuaded the mother to lend him a large amount of money for an operation which didn’t go ahead or wasn’t needed (we don’t know) and even exaggerated the cost (did he?) And now the mother wants the money back.

If this goes to court, the court would have to decide whether he misrepresented in order to get the money which could actually be a criminal matter but that’s a separate issue would also whether it was “an informal family arrangement not intended to create legal relations”.

 

Yes, that really can be a defence, but it was a family arrangement and it was never meant to be in front of the court, even if things went wrong. Because of the very large amount of money I think it unlikely but possible and do expect him to try.

 

Ultimately, the mother wants her money back and he doesn’t pay it, then she has no alternative but to take him to court but I will so this stage that because the facts here appear to be relatively straightforward, I wouldn’t be spending a whole load of time and time is money, on exchanging correspondence. Solicitors can be expensive and they can spin it out. I would give him a fortnight to come up with a reasonable proposal failing which I would be off to court.

 

If I have answered your question for you, at the top of the page, you should see a rating facility. Can you please rate my reply 3 stars or more because that really helps me? Please note you are not rating whether it’s favourable, because sometimes you may not get the answer you want, but basically my knowledge and way of dealing.

The thread does not close and I am happy to answer any questions you may have arising from this.

Kind regards

Stuart J, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 22946
Experience: Senior Partner at Berkson Wallace
Stuart J and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 6 days ago.
Thanks again Mr Stuart. I have given you my rating because of your quick and diligent response to our complicated and personal family situation. May I contact you again if need your advice in future?
Customer: replied 6 days ago.
Are you still practicing? You have understood our issue very clearly. Our solicitor has done exactly what you said dragging it out with us and have spent a lot of money for correspondence which were necessary. As mother is the asset holder who gave him my share I was refused any representation by her solicitor. Mother is in her mid 70s and has a lot of difficulty comprehending the law and legal matters they put to her. In support of mother and returning my rightful share back, I was told to stand aside and not get involved by her solicitor, making matters more stressful for us, delaying and taking more than a year to get letters out to his solicitor. Mother already stated and confirmed to her solicitor at a meeting with myself present that it was my share given to her other son, according to his demands and misrepresentations he made to her at the time he was pushing for the money. He produced zero evidence of his medical condition but as a mother she stated she wanted to do the right thing for her son who was telling her how sick he was and could even die. Please let me know if I can get in touch with you directly by phone in the new year. Of course I will pay you, in advance by bank transfer, should we agree to initial contact, etc. Thank you kindly. Petros

Thank you for the kind comments. Because you can contact me again. This thread stays open if you want any clarification on what I have said so far and if you want to put my name on the top of any new questions “For Stuart J only” it will come to me.

I certainly do still have a practising certificate. All lawyers on here have practising certificates.

Unfortunately, I cannot take instructions from you to deal with this because that would be a conflict-of-interest between turning you into a client and suggesting you litigate as opposed to any other alternative. With no prospect that you would become a client, we can give completely objective advice.

 

If ever they write to her and she doesn’t understand the letter, then ask them to explain it and tell them not to charge her for the explanation because they should have put it in plain English in the first place!

 

I see what you are saying about the inheritance, basically he has had all your mother’s money which would be, when she eventually passes away, both his and yours. I think that’s what you are saying.

 

Kind regards

I apologise for my typographical error:

of course you can contact me again.

Customer: replied 6 days ago.
Of course I understand about the conflict of interests. I will certainly be keeping you in mind for any of my personal legal matters that may arise. Mr Stuart you have been very supportive of the case with the information I have given you and completely grasped the case. Best wishes for the festive season.

it is my pleasure to help. Kind regards.