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Stuart J
Stuart J, Solicitor
Category: UK Law
Satisfied Customers: 22624
Experience:  PGD Law. 20 years legal profession, 6 as partner in High Street practice
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My dad passed away 2 years ago without a will but on his

Customer Question

My dad passed away 2 years ago without a will but on his deathbed his last wish was for me and my sister to get a share of his house if it was sold or his new wife remarried which was agreed with the new wife but no contract made as he insisted she would honour this and she agreed to 33%going to m and my sister they bought the house for 170000 and we just found out she sold for 270000 and will keep all the cash as most of the money for the purchase was hers but all the renovation and purchase of extra land was my dad's and the prefab house he made for the garden although there is no contract i was wondering were me and my sister stand
JA: Because real estate law varies from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?
Customer: Salisbury uk
JA: Has anything been filed or reported?
Customer: No we found out 3 hours ago and as she was still living there it had no baring as was the agreement
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: Should we hire a solicitor or because of verbal agreement leave it alone it's not really the money but was dad's last wish and we have fallen out a little as she never honour ed some of his other wishes
Submitted: 1 month ago.
Category: UK Law
Expert:  Expert_James replied 1 month ago.

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Customer: replied 1 month ago.
I would just like to know if we should hire a lawyer as the reason the house sold for a lot more was of the work dad did in the house and the extra land he purchased
Thank you
Expert:  Stuart J replied 1 month ago.

Good morning. Thank you for the question. It is my pleasure to assist you with this today.

If your father died without leaving a will, then his estate passes under the rules of intestacy which states that a spouse gets the first £250,000 of money and assets and 50% of the remainder and children share the other 50% of the remainder equally.

Whilst I know what your father said on his deathbed and I know what his wife agreed but she will simply deny that in all probability and even if she didn’t, it is highly unlikely to be enforceable without a lot of legal wrangling which is probably going to be more than the amount of money that you are arguing over.

Under the rules of intestacy and taking the house in isolation, there is £20,000 after the spouse allowance of £250,000 of which she would get £10,000 and you and your sister would get £5000 each.

If you could prove that your father promised a large chunk of money to you both and you acted on that promise expecting the money to arrive and you acted to your detriment, you may be able to bring a claim against the estate. It is a legal doctrine called Promissory Estoppel. Because of the circumstances here I think it unlikely you would get a solicitor to deal with this no win no fee although it would be worthwhile making a few telephone calls.

The fact that the house sold for bought than they paid for it is not relevant in all honesty.

Can I answer any points arising from this?