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"death in testate"..a possible dilema 8 years later

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spammylou | 20:32 Tue 22nd Apr 2008 | Law
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This is difficult for me because if it is true then I am left with a horrible dilema.

That I was aware of, my Father died 8 years ago and didn't leave a will. Everything went to my Mum, including the house. I am the only living child.

Today I heard (and not the first time I have) that if someone dies in testate, and doesn't leave a will, everything under �150k goes to their wife/husband and the rest is given to the children.

Unless things have changed since then, or maybe my father did leave a will and I was lied to, could someone please clarify the situation on this for me please.
Am I able to go back to the solicitors to find out?

I would rather not have to confront my Mum with this either. But I would like to know the rules. Just so I know whether someone has pulled the wool over my eyes. Thank you!

Sam

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These are the rules.

The first �125,000 goes to your Mum, the rest of the estate is divided into two equal funds. One fund is held on trust for your Mum with the remainder going to you, also to be held on trust.

In other words, the personal representative will invest 50% of the rest of the estate in a fund somewhere and pay the interest to your Mum for life and thereafter it will be paid in accordance with the trust. The other 50% will be invested for your benefit, and you will ultimately receive that portion of your dad's estate.

This clearly isn't what happened.
Sorry, should have said, this is England & Wales - may be different elsewhere.
Question Author
Thank you. I forgot to mention I am 36 and at the time I was 29 so putting it into trust shouldn't have been an issue. What happens with property etc? My mum took the house etc, sold it a few years later and bought a smaller house. Should I go back to the solicitors and find out exactly what has happened here?

I do not want to go to my Mum and ask her why she has lied if this is not the case.

If my Dad had made a will and left everything to my Mum, I couldn't care a less. Neither would I want to see my Mum without somewhere to live or anything like that, but I feel very upset and confused.

Sam.
And don't forget - your parents may have owned their home together on a 'joint tenancy' basis - that means that each one owns the whole,so when one dies the other retains ownership.

It is complicated but means that the house is excluded from the �150k threshold that you refer to - your mother owned it all the time, Most married couples own their home in that way. It is explained better here:
http://tinyurl.com/6jm66l

So unless your father had independent assets - cash, stocks and shares, expensive cars, a yacht, perhaps that he owned solely then it is very likely that his assets did not exceed the threshold and your mother rightly inherited everything.
Question Author
thank you too. I suspect this is the case. I have no idea about any of his other assets, if indeed he had any. I feel a bit better now. Do I have a right to speak to the solicitors anyway? I would like to put this to rest.
It is far too late. The law gives time limits for contesting a will and you are far too late.

In any case your father may have left debts.
The fact she moved in to a smaller house suggests she wasn't left a fortune, don't you think?

Time to put it all behind you and get on with life.

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