Trouble with step mother

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  • Jul
    replied
    Oh no I’ll try and sort it

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  • Lawcruncher
    replied
    Originally posted by Jul View Post
    Hi lawcruncher hope this helps
    Unfortunately I cannot open it so that I can read it.

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  • Jul
    replied
    Hi lawcruncher hope this helps

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  • Lawcruncher
    replied
    Jul seems either unwilling or unable to let us have precise details of the document which gave his father a right to live in the property. Until he does all observations must be speculative. However, pending further information there are the following possibilities:

    1. Jul executed a deed in which he declared that he held the property on trust for his father during his life and then for himself absolutely. In that case the widow has no rights in the property. She cannot have derived any rights from the father which survive his death because his interest terminated on his death.

    2. Jul granted his father a lease expressed to end on his father's death. Such a lease takes effect as a lease for 90 years which can be brought to an end after death by not less than one month's notice expiring on a quarter day. Serving such a notice will end the tenancy.

    3. Jul granted his father a lease for a fixed term which contained a provision allowing it to be ended by notice given at any time after his father's death. Serving a notice given in accordance with the lease will end the tenancy.

    4. Something else. Without details it is not possible to say whether there is any right for the widow to occupy the property.

    Assuming there is no devil in the detail which would allow a court to hold it would be equitable for the widow to continue in occupation either for life or a fixed period, if 1, 2 or 3 applies I cannot see any legal basis for the widow to continue in occupation.

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  • flyingfreehold
    replied
    I think the widow would be held to have the right to remain but have to pay assured rent which is around 55-65% of an unfurnished AST. Better than a poke in the eye. It would be unjust to cast out an old lady who in good faith had made her home there. The Court would take sympathy for her circumstance.

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  • Hudson01
    replied
    Originally posted by jpkeates View Post
    If you remarry, it invalidates any previous will you may have created.
    Agreed totally...... but this was not a will he signed, it was a deed which effectively gifted the house to his son on that day with the caveat that he could live there rent free until his death...... so when he married the house was not his, the question being, does the caveat of living there rent free extend to his now' new ' wife ? If the original solicitor knew his salt then the answer would be no, but only a court will be able to rule on its validity.

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  • jpkeates
    replied
    Originally posted by Hudson01 View Post
    He went into this marriage with the understanding that his property would be inherited by his son, this seems perfectly right to me and if this case went against the OPs husband it would put me off marrying for a 2nd time in later life for good, given any estate and financial wishes i make before would be ignored and my children would be dis-inherited.
    If you remarry, it invalidates any previous will you may have created.

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  • Hudson01
    replied
    Originally posted by flyingfreehold View Post
    The deed presuming to chuck out his widow after his death may be held to run contrary to matrimonial law and public policy.
    There are cases which can go against the contract written but as with everything its on a case by case basis, i am clearly unaware of how long the now widowed mother in law married the OP's father in law, but lets say for argument it was 20 years before his death and both had been living in the said property for that period of time, and in that time it can be proven that she had contributed to the material value of the home..... new extension, kitchen etc, then there could be an issue. An alternative example could be that if she had only married him 2 years before and contributed zero to the house and was financially supported by her husband totally....... then we may have a different outcome. If the home was purchased by the OP's father in law with his previous wife and was totally mortgage free when it was '' gifted '' to his son i see no reason why his recent and widowed wife would be entitled to either a share in it or (in this case) to live in it rent free for life (possibly decades hence). If you couple the circumstances noted above with the deed which was written after the value of the home was already established, and before he married ....... it is simply not equitable that she should gain by what he and his previous wife built up...... his son should, and that was his clear wish knowing he was entering marriage with the OP's mother in law.

    It it clear that on this forum we do not understand the dynamics of this family, but if the deed has been drafted correctly, and if were over turned, it would make a mockery of a persons wishes before his death, lets take this to the ridiculous..... what if she had married him a day before his death and he has already made the deed, would she still be entitled to stay rent free for life.

    He went into this marriage with the understanding that his property would be inherited by his son, this seems perfectly right to me and if this case went against the OPs husband it would put me off marrying for a 2nd time in later life for good, given any estate and financial wishes i make before would be ignored and my children would be dis-inherited.

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  • flyingfreehold
    replied
    I would be inclined to say that the County Court Judge - if the case came to court - might consider himself to have a degree of latitude. I can recall an occasion at Willesden County Court where we had a very good case for Possession and a top counsel retained and the Judge said to our Legal 500 list Counsel, "Miss So and so (name of barrister) ,You are not at the Bailey today, this is number 1 Court at Willesden, we are more interested in Justice than the Law". Counsel was outraged and said Oh we can definitely appeal and so forth; the Judge should rule in accordance with precedent, they don't really grasp the significance of costs to clients in making pragmatic decisions.

    Some County Court Judges do seem to see themselves as modern versions of Robin Hood and will bend over backwards to prevent people being chucked out. So don't be so sure of yourself. Possession is nine tenths of the law. The deed presuming to chuck out his widow after his death may be held to run contrary to matrimonial law and public policy.

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  • Hudson01
    replied
    I can see how the above would have occurred but in the OP's case the father in law knew exactly what he wanted to avoid and i can only assume he instructed his solicitor at the time of his wishes, whom then should have drafted the deed with that in mind, it should be air tight on that point.

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  • flyingfreehold
    replied
    I've had a very similar situation, having purchased quite cheaply a flat in a Marylebone mansion block for which the occupier had been granted a life tenancy at a nominal rent (far lower than the service charges) and a lump sum in consideration of him giving up the tenancy of a top floor flat which the freeholders wanted as part of a multi million pound rooftop development.

    He passed away having apparently re-married in old age. We were initially advised that the life tenancy did not allow a successor. A good few thousand pounds later my solicitor, having initially advised that possession could be obtained, changed his advice as the old dear had trotted off to the CAB Law Centre who took up her case with great enthusiasm. Our lawyer recommended that we accepted her as successor to the life tenancy at an assured tenant, ie about 2/3rds of of an AST rent which we did. Eventually she too died. Patience!

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  • Jul
    replied
    Thanks Hudson x

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  • Hudson01
    replied
    Jul - I wish you all the best with this, i do not know how long they were married but your father in law clearly knew there could be problems in the future with his soon to be marriage and what could happen if he passed away first...... he was correct. I trust the original solicitor knew all the details of his impending marriage/concerns and should have ensured that the deed was sufficiently robust to mitigate any challenge from the new spouse.

    Keep us informed how you go with this, but seek good professional assistance sooner rather than later. This is an all too familiar story to me.

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  • Lawcruncher
    replied
    Originally posted by Hudson01 View Post
    Totally agree, but the father in law made the agreement via a solicitor with this exact situation in mind, by what i can understand he wanted the house to go to his son and not his soon to be wife and her extended family
    Agreed, but until we know exactly what the wording is of the relevant document is it is not possible to say what the position is.

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  • Jul
    replied
    Thank you you have got it spot on my husband didn’t ask for anything his father came to him and said exactly what you have wrote. The new wife knew the situation from day one and so did her family. Yet we are the bad ones for wanting something that was left by my husband late mam that he lost when he was only 28 and now his dad has passed. We are doing what we have to for his parents wishes

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