UK Family Law
Ask an UK Family Law Question, Get an Answer ASAP!
Thanks for your question.
As you mother died intestate, her estate will pass under the intestacy rules. This means that your step-father will received her personal possessions and the first £250, 000.00 Anything over that will be split in two with one half passing to you and your siblings and the other half being held in trust with your step-father receiving the income until he dies at which point it will pass to you and your siblings.
Are you asking if you have a right to make a claim against your mother's estate?
Right. Your step-father will automatically receive those assets which were held jointly (as joint tenants) because of the rule of survivorship. However you do not know which assets are genuinely jointly held and which are not so it is certainly worth investigating.
You may very well be able to make a claim under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act. It must be made within 6 months of the grant of probate or letters of administration. You will be applying the court for reasonable financial provision out of your mother's estate, there are a number of factors that the court takes in to account in deciding what is reasonable and you will need a solicitor to make the application for you.
Legal Aid is available for contentious probate matters such as yours would appear to be and you should call the Law Society on(NNN) NNN-NNNN1222 to ask for a contentious probate lawyer in your area with legal aid certificate. Get them to see you either for an initial free meeting or for a fixed fee.
Just because your step-father is saying he does not need a grant of probate does not necessarily mean this is the case and I would advise you to make a "standing search" of the probate calender, which will notify you and send you a copy of the grant if one is take out within 6 months of the date of the search:-https://www.hmcourts-service.gov.uk/cms/1211.htm
If this has been useful please kindly click accept so that I may be rewarded for my time. It will be gratefully received and you will be free to ask follow up questions.Kind regards,Tom
DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.
The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).