Advice Regarding Will/Inheritance

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bongoboy | 21:26 Sun 31st May 2020 | Law
19 Answers
My self and my sister are getting half my mothers house each and my sister is also getting all the money in my mothers savings account (about £22,000).

We are are sorting out what needs paying out from the house inheritance like funeral costs and utility bills etc. then whats left we will split the money between us.
My sister has now said she lent my mother £600 about 12 years ago and wants it paid back to her out of house money, surely this means she is getting it twice, because if my mum settled up with her within the last 12 years it would have come out of her savings account meaning there would be £600 less in the account for my sister to inherit.

This does not seem right to me and how is this relevant to the will but on the other hand i don't want to cause any arguments.

Any thoughts would be appreciated.


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Strictly speaking, debts should be settled from the estate before distribution of the residue according to the terms of the will. But is it worth it for the ill feeling it would cause ?
Hi don't fall out with your sister over £600. She loaned your mother £600 which means your sister was £600 less well off and did not get any interest on that money so really I would just give her the money to keep the peace.
Question Author
Thank you for your replies
I just find it strange why its hasn't been paid back in the last 12 years when there was £22,000 in the savings account.
I'm surprised she mentioned it though in the circumstances. You could just tell her to take it from the savings account proceeds assuming the amount wasn't specifically mentioned in the will, otherwise you are having to pay it out of your funds/ share of the house.
Did the will specify sharing the house and all savings to her?.
Any debts due from an estate have to be paid out from that estate prior to the remainder being distributed in accordance with the term of the will.

So, if your mother had owed £600 to the tax man at the time of her death, that sum would have had to come from her current or savings accounts (or similar) BEFORE the estate could be distributed to you and your sister. That would, in effect, reduce the amount that was payable to your sister.

Similarly, if your mother had left the money in her savings account to Battersea Dogs' Home, your sister would have had to be paid the £600 BEFORE the distribution to the dogs' home could take place.

So the legal position now is that your sister must be paid £600 from your mother's account BEFORE the estate is distributed. That, obviously, will mean that there will be £600 less in the account for her to then inherit under the provisions of the will.

So I agree with you. If she takes the money from the proceeds of the house sale, she'll be getting it twice.
Question Author
thank you for all your replies, the £600 was not mentioned in the will fiction factory, my sister has only just mentioned it even though it was 12 years ago.
Thats what i thought Buenchico, thanks for answering, my sister is inheriting all of my mums savings and half the house. i really appreciate your answers.
I'd definitely say that if she is having all the savings then she is getting her £600 back. I wouldn't get involved. If she insists on it then draw it from the savings and she can then get the remaining £21400 when the estate is distributed.
You should check though that there aren't any other creditors. If it turned out for example that a huge amount-say £30000 was owed to HMRC/Barclaycard etc then there would be an issue of whether you'd need to fund some of that from the house proceeds
Some good answers and advice given ... so in the end, it's up to you whether you decide to mention it.

Also, if you decide you don't want to cause any friction and let your sister take the £600 from the sale of the house, you'll only be losing out on £300, as the other £300 will come out of her loss in the share as well.
Look at it like this - say the proceeds of the house comes to £100k - so you should be due £50k. If, however, your sister takes the £600 out of this before splitting it, this reduces the amount to £99 400 .... leaving you both £49 700.

So the question is not is it worth arguing over £600 .... but is it worth arguing over £300 ??
£600 is really not worth arguing about. I have been alive long enough to see families break up over tiny things in Wills. My Mum never saw her 4 brothers again after her mother died and Mum insisted on taking a pair of brass candlesticks that Grandma had promised to her (but which a sister-in-law coveted).
Your mum must have had her reasons for leaving things as she has. My husband has disinherited his daughter because she doesn't need any money (detached house in N. London, huge pension, shares in all sorts of profitable stuff) whereas his son and family live more precariously to say the least.
So between you are you going to postpone paying the utility bills and funeral costs until after the house is sold (could be 2021) rather than use the bank account?
Yeah I am coming out on the side of giving her the £600 and thank God it isnt more.

and since it is obvious that you are clearing up an estate - sorry for the loss and the stress all this is causing

[and do you mind... // be £600 less in the account for my sister to inherit.// no £200 - it is divided three ways.
and you are getting a good deal - £600 now isnt £600 then - shhh!]

this is going to be a stressful time for you- it is always is, and for everyone

Question Author
thanks very much everyone
Don't get where your £200 figure is from Peter there are just 2 beneficiaries as far as I can see - one gets half the house, the other gets half a house plus whatever is in the bank account
// I just find it strange why its hasn't been paid back//

probably your mum thought she had OR forgot about it.
OR the magic words " oh dont worry about that now!"were taken to mean dont worry about it at all OR.....
bongo....did you tell your sister about the 5k you loaned to your mum 10 years ago :-)
It's your Mum's will. I would imagine she thought the £22000 would cover the £600 she owed your sister, but you might know better.

Anyway, if you're going to pay her the £600 ensure it's done out of the house proceeds before they're split. So if the house sells for £100,600 give your sister £600 and split the remaining £100,000 between you, £50,000 each. If you give her the £600 out of your share then the loan won't have been paid off, simply transferred from your sister to you.

Sorry being late for the party but... Isn't it law that any such loan needs to be written down and signed as legal proof? If the paperwork doesn't exist then it is a void arrangement in this situation. Say no, I'm sorry but it's unfair to accept this loan existed and by law there's no proof. Of course it all depends on your relationship with your sister, do you believe the loan existed?
>>> Isn't it law that any such loan needs to be written down and signed as legal proof?

No, it isn't!

Only yesterday I was watching an episode of "Can't Pay . . ." where a guy had loaned his (now ex-)partner over £6k. There was no written agreement but both the County Court and then the High Court backed his claim for a court order to get his money back, eventually resulting in enforcement officers being sent to recover the debt or seize goods.

While a formal written agreement in respect of a debt can make things a lot easier later on if things go wrong, the absence of one won't invalidate the debt itself.
Perhaps then if there's some kind of proof then? Transfer of funds or something to show it happened. I thought you needed a written agreement but I must be mistaken.

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