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Hi all,

A sticky/tricky situation I have which requires your clever minds for advice.

My father recently passed away (1/5/14), and I believe he has made a will, according to my younger sister. My sister has told me that herself and my fathers' wife are named in the will although I do not have any proof of this and also have no reason to believe otherwise.

The thing is, prior to his death, my father had expressed his wishes that he would like to leave money to his five children (including myself). This money is what is left after he received compensation for contracting mesothelioma (asbestos cancer).

My fathers' wife had encouraged him to withdraw money over a period of time and he kept £30,000 at home in a shoe box so his wife would not have to pay rent on their flat when he passed away.

She also persuaded him to transfer money to her account from his and also to open a joint account.

He has left jewellery including a £10,000 Rolex watch and also a £5,000 ring, amongst other things.

My question is this; do I and my siblings have any right to his belongings. My younger sister has said that his belongings automatically pass to his wife and when she dies, what is left, passes to my younger sister and my fathers' wife's daughter?

I do not think it is right for her daughter to gain financially from my father's death as this is not money or possessions they had acrrued together, it is from an unfortunate situation.

Any advice would be truly appreciated. Thank you for your time

Mark

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It would depend entirely on what is written in the will.

 

If there is no will then on a very basic level all personal belongings and the first £250k of the estate would pass to the wife; the remainder would pass to the children in equal shares but the wife would get a 'life interest' in that.

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Thank you for your reply steampowered.

 

Because there is £30,000 cash sat in his flat, is this to be declared to HMRC or any other related body because as i see it, this is kind of illegal money.

 

How would i find out what is in the will and if there is one at all?

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Why do you think its illegal, if the whole estate is under £250,000 and there is not a Will, it would pass to the Wife anyway. If there is a Will naming the wife, again it would pass to the wife. Nothing illegal there.

 

If you ignore the £250,000 limit for now, this is how it goes. If there is no Will, everything passes to the wife (if under £250,0000). This includes all personal possessions. If you are not named on the Will, you are not legally entitled to personal possessions.This may seem unfair on the children of the deceased's former marriage, but thats what the law states. On her death, her estate would pass to who ever she named in her Will. If no Will, it would pass to her children and you would be entitled to nothing..

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Illegal in that my father's wife persuaded him to withdraw the cash over a period of time so she wouldn't have to pay rent on their flat after he passed away. Before his illness, as pensioners, they were entitled to a reduction in rent but because my father had the compensation and illness related benefits, they had to pay full rent. My father's benefit now obviously stops and if the £30,000 was in an account, this would put her over the savings threshold thus making her liable for full rent.

How do I find out if there is actually a will and what is in it, if anything.

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You could report her to housing benefit, but what would that achieve if there's a Will naming her. She will still be entitled to everything.

 

Back to the Wills existence.

 

- ask your sister for a copy. If she is unwilling, ask for executor details and contact them.

- check with his bank as they sometimes store copies (although if your not an executor they may not be helpful)

- check with his solicitor. If they have the Will they have a duty to tell the executor that they should distribute according to the Will. If you are a named in the Will, you are entitled to a copy.

- contact York probate sub registry office. For a £5 fee, if there is a copy registered they will provide one. You can also do a standing search so that when private is granted, you receive a copy

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Your father got married and as his wife is entitled to ALL that has been left and if they have been frugal to keep cash, then good luck.

That's just the way it works. In the absence of any will to the contrary then it will be up to the wife if she wants to give anything to his children. ( you can always ask for something, cash or goods as a gift. )

I would presume she is the one who has lodged the death certificate and claim form with the probate office for letters of administration, to get access to any bank accounts, insurances etc.

Edited by ims21
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Also if any accounts are in joint names, they will automatically pass to his widow anyway (subject to IHT if applicable).

 

By all means check if there's a will and go from there, but as I've said if it only names his widow then she gets everything and its up to her who she leaves it to when she dies. If she doesn't leave a will her estate goes to her children.

 

Also if your fathers widow dies before your fathers probate is carried out, everything would form part of her estate and go to her children (assuming dad and widow didn't leave a will).

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Thank you for your reply steampowered.

 

Because there is £30,000 cash sat in his flat, is this to be declared to HMRC or any other related body because as i see it, this is kind of illegal money.

 

How would i find out what is in the will and if there is one at all?

 

I know nothing about probate law, sorry, but just to be clear - it is not legal to claim Housing Benefit while having £30 grand stashed under the mattress. This money must be declared to the local authority when the claim is made.

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The poster doesnt know that the widow will try to claim housing benefit. I think it may appear that its a case of her being annoyed shes got her dads money so is trying to make life difficult for her. Like I've said, she should check for a Will. If it turns out that everything goes to the widow then that's the end of it. Stirring trouble will just split the family in two so what's the point.

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The poster doesnt know that the widow will try to claim housing benefit. I think it may appear that its a case of her being annoyed shes got her dads money so is trying to make life difficult for her. Like I've said, she should check for a Will. If it turns out that everything goes to the widow then that's the end of it. Stirring trouble will just split the family in two so what's the point.

 

Sure, yes. Just pointing out the legalities of the situation.

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The idea that all politicians lie is music to the ears of the most egregious liars.

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