Incomplete Probate.

Discussion in 'Legal and financial issues' started by CLAIREDAY, Apr 22, 2015.

  1. CLAIREDAY

    CLAIREDAY Account on hold

    Apr 22, 2015
    48
    My mother died 7 months ago and I have always lived at my parents address.
    My father was the first named executor on my mother's will and I was the executor if my father was no longer alive.
    Sadly my father had been diagnosed with dementia just before my mother died and I had to apply for permission through the probate office to take over the executorship and permission was granted. It was clear my father was not capable of being an executor.
    This took some time.
    The house is in tenants in common ownership and my mother's half was left to me.
    Unfortunately I had to call the ambulance just before probate was granted as my father was getting violent all of the time.
    My father was taken in to hospital and it was concluded he would have to go in to care after 40 days.
    Probate came through a week after my father was in hospital and I registered myself as the joint owner in accordance with the terms of my father's will.
    The Local Authority is now arguing I have no title to the house as I was not on the land certificate at the time my father was admitted to hospital and it will have to be sold.
    Has anybody else experienced this type of situation?.
     
  2. nitram

    nitram Registered User

    Apr 6, 2011
    19,277
    Male
    North Manchester
    You need legal advice.

    For what its worth my lay person's view would be that you father has only ever owned half a house and that the open market value of this half house is zero.

    Whether the other half was owned by your mother, part of her estate, or inherited by you I would regard as irrelevant.

    I repeat, get legal advice.
     
  3. Soobee

    Soobee Registered User

    Aug 22, 2009
    2,734
    South
    I think you'll need to seek legal advice on this.

    I'm sure you can prove that half the house was left to you from your mum - often the land register hasn't been updated to reflect the ownership but this can be transferred to you and your dad with a solicitor's help.

    You may encounter a problem that we had further down the line - we were all executors for dad, including mum who had dementia. We were not allowed to transfer half the house into our names due to the Land Registry people thinking it was a conflict of interest - with mum owning the other half and she didn't have capacity to agree it, even though it was in dad's will to do so. I don't know how that would have been resolved but she died so we didn't need to do anything further.
     
  4. Saffie

    Saffie Registered User

    Mar 26, 2011
    22,499
    Female
    Near Southampton
    Surely, as your father was never in possession of the full ownership of the house, the other half cannot possibly be considered as his asset. I too think you need to consult a solicitor but it can't be right as no matter who owns this other half, it certainly can't be your father. Best of luck, the LAs can be difficult opponents.
     
  5. CLAIREDAY

    CLAIREDAY Account on hold

    Apr 22, 2015
    48
    Hi Soobee

    I have got my mother's will which is dated 1994 which leaves her share of the house to me.
    What motivated her to set up the ownership / wills in this way was somebody she worked with was widowed and she got re married and sadly died a few years later so the new husband got all of the estate leaving her family without any inheritance.
    Obviously care home fees could not be foreseen over 20 years ago.
    Dad did a mirror will leaving his half to me.
     
  6. Soobee

    Soobee Registered User

    Aug 22, 2009
    2,734
    South
    That's exactly why my mum wanted the wills drawn up the way they were - so that dad didn't in her words "go off with some floozy who would take all my money" as she'd seen it happen before in the family.
     
  7. Jessbow

    Jessbow Registered User

    #7 Jessbow, Apr 22, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2015
  8. CLAIREDAY

    CLAIREDAY Account on hold

    Apr 22, 2015
    48
    Father has passed away.

    Hello Everyone

    Thank you for your contributions.
    I had a call just before midnight to say my father was passing away and sadly he had passed away when I arrived at the hospital.
    It was unfortunate that there were some people were working in the middle of the road and I had to turn back and use an alternative route which delayed me by about 10 minutes. As there were gas vans at the scene I presume it was a gas emergency.
    The ward sister said it was a surprise to her as she expected him to live for a few months but she said he would have had no quality of life.
    Oddly a male nurse had been in and he was calling him David. I can only presume he thought he was my brother who died in 1985.
    I have now got to get on with the funeral arrangements and the probate.
    I am obviously upset my father has passed away but I suppose it has removed the worry in relation to the house as it has been my home for 57 years ( 6 months after I was born ).
    It is 4 bedroom dethatched so I will probably downsize at some point in the future but I will not rush in to anything.

    Claire
     
  9. Soobee

    Soobee Registered User

    Aug 22, 2009
    2,734
    South
    Sorry to read that your father has passed away. My condolences to you. I know when mum died I felt a bit guilty that I was relieved it sorted out the deeds problem so I hope you don't end up feeling the same.
     
  10. CLAIREDAY

    CLAIREDAY Account on hold

    Apr 22, 2015
    48
    Hi Soobee

    I have just noticed your statement ''go off with some floozy who would take all my money''.

    My name was added to the land certificate without my father's consent possibly because I was the sole beneficiary of both my parents wills and I has power of attorney. He did not have capacity to change his will.
    I knew somebody who had been left half of the house by her mother and her name was on the land certificate.
    The father willed all of the house to a lady friend but obviously he could not will the daughter's half to her as he did not own it.
    When the father passed away the daughter refused to agree to the lady friend becoming the joint owner.
    Unfortunately I lost contact but the property was empty for about 2 years and suddenly it was sold.
    I don't know if the proceeds had to be shared or if the daughter got the lot.

    Claire
     
  11. CLAIREDAY

    CLAIREDAY Account on hold

    Apr 22, 2015
    48
    I have just had an e mail from the Local Authority after making a complaint admitting I was given incorrect advice by the social worker when she said that I had no title to the house and it would have to be sold to pay Dad's care fees.
    The LA agreed the house was a shared asset and Dads share was of nil value if I did not sell the property while my father was in care which never happened as he died in hospital.
    The LA said I had a beneficial interest and there was a valid reason for the registration of my title being delayed due to my fathers dementia.
    It also agreed as it had been my home since birth this strengthened my case as well.

    The LA also said that all cases relating to care contributions are referred to a care fees contributions teem and a copy of the land certificate would have been obtained at that stage and possibly a copy of my mother's will and the sale would have been stopped.
    The LA has also pointed out that Social Workers / managers in Social Services are not legal experts and my case was unusual.

    Claire
     
  12. lin1

    lin1 Registered User

    Jan 14, 2010
    9,320
    Female
    East Kent
    I am glad that this has at last been sorted out. What a lot of hassle and worry you've had.
     
  13. Soobee

    Soobee Registered User

    Aug 22, 2009
    2,734
    South
    I'm glad your complaint was acknowledged and upheld, but that doesn't make up for the worry caused to you whilst your parents were ill. I do wish that local authorities would train the relevant staff better - your case was not that unusual and you should not have been put to that stress.
     
  14. Kevinl

    Kevinl Registered User

    Aug 24, 2013
    4,776
    Salford
    Sorry to hear your bad news Claire, losing a parent is never easy.
    Yet again another story of the SS telling people a house has to be sold when that patiently isn't the case. You were told "Social Workers / managers in Social Services are not legal experts" so why then are they handing out advise if they're not qualified to do so? Half the house was left to you rendering your Dad's half valueless unless you agreed to sell how complicated is that for them to get their heads round, you legally inherited it and whether that had or hadn't been changed at the land registry is irrelevant. If I had a suspicious nature I'd wonder if it was a "mistake".
    K
     
  15. CLAIREDAY

    CLAIREDAY Account on hold

    Apr 22, 2015
    48
    Hi Kevani

    I am beginning to wonder if it was a mistake as well.
    The Social Worker said at least 3 times I need to get the house on the market quickly as the LA would only advance money for my father's care if the house was in the process of being sold.
    A care home had not been found when my father died.
    If it had taken a lot longer to find a care home there is always the possibility the house could have been sold and half the proceeds taken for Dad's care. A similar house opposite only went on the market last Thursday and there is a sold sign outside.

    Also who wants to get involved in a house sale at the same time as you are dealing with a parents care?.
    I am now dealing with Dad's estate and have not even thought about my future yet.
    After the probate is done I want to have a holiday and a catch up with friends.
    I may downsize but that is not top priority and I can not see me doing anything in this respect before 2016.

    Claire
     

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