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Inheritance fraud?

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Let me first apologise this is a extremely long message and it is quite complicated, before I spend any money with solicitors I wanted to know if anyone can help. Basically my mum and dad was marri… Read More
just1990 Avatar
2y, 8m agoPosted 2 years, 8 months ago
Let me first apologise this is a extremely long message and it is quite complicated, before I spend any money with solicitors I wanted to know if anyone can help.

Basically my mum and dad was married for 14 years, during this time they had 3 children. My grandma was also living with us. In 1995 my mum and my siblings left home after years of an extremely abusive relationship towards my mum. Me and my brother and sister was still very young, I was 5 and my sister who was the oldest was 13 when we left home. During the years they lived together they had a newsagent shop which they rented in London and lived in a flat.
When we left my mum claimed for CSA child support, but my dad never helped with anything, not a penny. Not long after we left home, my dad had sold the business, cars everything he could have done and moved to America, he ended up getting married to someone in India first and then moved to America. Let me just say the marriage was NOT legitimate as he hadn't divorced from my mum, nor was there any legal document stating separation. So he was a bigamist.
When he moved to America to live there, he moved to Texas and had a hotel, during this time there was not a single contact from him. In the first month of January 1999 my dad had died from a heart attack, he was aged 37, he had left no will. He had a lot of life insurance and pensions. During this time my mum managed to fight for some of his life insurance, but anything else we didn't get, we had no paperwork and she couldn't remember all the companies they had insurance with. This is because my dad's brother-in-law was a dodgy man, he worked in insurance and managed to claim for the rest of his insurances, my grandma who was the major person who caused all the problems in our family was also living with him in America and had taken the rest of the assets that was available which included the hotel and whatever else was available.
Now this past year we have been notified that there is also some land in India that was left in my dad's name, this land had been split into 2 sections. This is because my grandad and his brother originally purchased the land and halved it. My grandad only had 1 son, my dad, where as my grandads brother had 5 sons. So my dad had half the land still under his name, whereas the other 5 sons had to share the half of land between them. Since my dad died the other 5 sons and my grandma have done some sort of scam where they have taken the whole land and divided it into 6 pieces, 5 for the sons and 1 for my grandma. My grandma claimed that my dad wasn't married nor did he have any children so she was rightfully the next of kin. This is obviously not the case as my mum is alive and well which my grandma is fully aware of ( they have seen each other since my dad died as my grandma came to the UK. Also my grandma had live with my mum and dad for 14years as well as me and my siblings as mentioned in the beginning, so she's fully aware my dad was married and had kids!)
We are going to try and fight this but it's such a complicated twisted thing that my family have done. My mum and my siblings have never been to India, we don't know anyone there.

But the main thing that we wanted to know was is there anyway of claiming anything for the assets he had in America after all these years? Is there also a way to speak our case to someone as it seems a lot of fraudulent has happened, obviously this is going to be extremely costly in money, which in reality we don't have so if anyone can recommend any company that help or can at least advice us, that would be extremely helpful.
Obviously we are fully aware that the people who have benefited from my dad's death was my grandma, she was the main culprit. We as a family have no contact with my grandma, or anyone from my dad's side of the family.

Thank you to all of those who have made the effort to help me by reading this, like I said it's extremely complicated and a long message,
just1990 Avatar
2y, 8m agoPosted 2 years, 8 months ago
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(1)
Thank you everyone for the messages. It is really useful to hear of people's suggestions and past experiences.
I cannot answer every single question, as I don't know the full extent of it.
However to keep you updated, me and my mum looked at all the paperwork that she has from my dad's death and she had a letter from a solicitor in the uk who provided contact details of solicitors in the Texas state who may be able to help. We phoned America yesterday and spoke to a solicitor over the phone, she asked us to phone her back in an hours time so she can get advice from others. We rephoned her and she said, she doesn't want to discourage us but as it's been 15years since he died it is more difficult to do anything. She said we do have a case as there has definitely been fraudalance that has taken place, but she advised us to find a solicitor in the uk as my grandma has move back to the UK, obviously there is nothing left to fight for in the USA. She said if we have no luck, to get back in touch, but her charges to open the case was 25,000 dollars... We definitely can't afford that in one go.

Regarding the land in India. My grandad owned the land, it was in his name. The only person out of my dad's side of the family who was trustworthy and a good person, was my grandad. He loved my mum so much as his own flesh and blood, and would have helped her so much, but he was in such a bad shape, he was very ill. The only person my mum could trust was him. I have no doubt that the land was in his name. Also if it was in my grandmas name, then her side of the family would have there names in the other part of the land, and not my grandads brothers sons.

Just to also clarify we have not given a single penny to anyone. I should have explained that from my mums side of the family, my uncles brother in law lives in India, he is quite a high profile down there, he recently visited the uk and came to us after my uncle mentioned the dilemma we are facing. He explained he can help us and he has helped other family's that have faced wrong doings to them. He fights for justice, that is what he says. Since we have spoken to him he has told his son to get on the case. Within a matter of few days he has forwarded a copy of the latest information regarding the land, that my grandma has signed a declaration form stating that she is the only blood relative of my dad and no one else exists. I have seen the paper and it has been stamped signed and also a picture of her ugly mug on it. This was just done in January 2014.
My grandma would never spend any money to do this, if she wasn't expecting anything back. So we know for definite that there is something to fight for. Knowing that this is the latest information, and she has clearly lied my uncles brother in law has taken steps to ask an attorney to look up 60 years backdated in the past to see exactly what has happened. My uncles brother in law has stated he doesn't want a single penny from us, and he will fight for us so that we wouldn't have to go to India to do anything. We understand it will take years, but at the end of the day my grandma and my dad's cousins are all older than my mum, they will more likely die before she does if it went of for so many more years. So surely they would want to get this settled before it's too late. When my uncles brother in law returns back to India after his holiday from America we will be able to ask him any more questions before we take it any further.
I know some of you may be wondering why would he do it for free, because i asked my mum the same question and it's because he doesn't need any money he is retired and has properties all over the place which provide him his money. I've seen him and his wife, and they definitely spoke that they knew what they were talking about as they have had previous people turn to them for help.

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[mod][Mod Team]#1
UK inheritance laws may be different from international inheritance laws. Where were your parents married? Is a UK marriage recognised in India? Who knows. You'd be best speaking to a specialist lawyer about this.
#2
Defo see a specialist lawyer. Good luck, I hope it gets sorted out asap. What an awful person she must be. Something very similar happened in my family a few years back but I do not know much about it. I don't know how some people sleep at night.
#3
I Agree you need a specialist, if you know were abouts in india it may be worth emailing some of these http://www.hg.org/law-firms/inheritance-law/india.html and finding out if they can help,i do hope you get some justice.goodluck
#4
What a terrible story, it's amazing the greed that drives some people. Like the others have said, a specialist solicitor is the way to go as there are some really complex, cross-jurisdictional issues involved. Depending on where you're based, you can find a solicitor local to you in England and Wales or Scotland - each link will let you search by specialism.

Also, have you spoken to the police about this? Fraud is a criminal offence, and they might be able to help.

Best of luck, really hope this can be worked out in your favour.
#5
Firstly do you have any idea on the value that you think you may be entitled to? I understand what you say and it seems far from fair however sometimes you just have to walk away, even if any rulling was in your favour. They have gone this far to wriggle out of paying you they just don't seem like the sort who will suddenly give over the cash because a pice of legal paper says they have to.
#6
I really appreciate everyone's comments. My mum and dad was both born in the UK, I've tried getting in contact with lawyers but most of them are saying they don't offer free consultation. We understand that this will involve us paying out a lot of money to sort, but first we need to know whether we have a case to fight as it's been years since it all happened.
I will definitely check the links provided and show them to my mum as well. No we haven't spoken to the police, wouldn't know how to go about it to be honest with you. The only time the police was involved was when my mum called 999 when we needed to leave home in 1995, that's because she was trapped between my dad and grandma.

My mum has had an extremely terrible life of what she has had been put through, she has mentioned numerous times to me that she wishes she could write a story about her life, as it's so dramatic you would think you were watching a film. I'm not sure whether anyone knows how to go about this? As I would definitely like to fulfil her wishes, but don't have a clue where to even start.
#7
You will have to weigh up the costs of a solicitor against the value of the assets he was left. Plus, you don't know if the people who inherited anything have any money left to pay your share. There is possibly a time limit on claiming any funds you think you are entitled to?

It is most definitely going to cost you to get answers so it's worth ringing around to see if a) anyone local deals with this and b) if you can find someone who does a free hour consultation.
#8
hubcms
Firstly do you have any idea on the value that you think you may be entitled to? I understand what you say and it seems far from fair however sometimes you just have to walk away, even if any rulling was in your favour. They have gone this far to wriggle out of paying you they just don't seem like the sort who will suddenly give over the cash because a pice of legal paper says they have to.

The land in India is worth a lot of money, my mum wants to fight it and not regret not having tried. We've been told that a lawyer in India will try to help us, it's still very early days with this but the cost so far is already 5K for them to fight our case.I will be putting my savings in to help deal with this, I have about 3.5K and my mum has the rest so we will do our utmost to save as much as we can as we know it's worth the risk. Even if we loose at least we tried.
#9
Rhianne
You will have to weigh up the costs of a solicitor against the value of the assets he was left. Plus, you don't know if the people who inherited anything have any money left to pay your share. There is possibly a time limit on claiming any funds you think you are entitled to?

It is most definitely going to cost you to get answers so it's worth ringing around to see if a) anyone local deals with this and b) if you can find someone who does a free hour consultation.

That's what I'm wondering whether there is a time limit to make a claim. Also if we could put a claim in would they even pay, these are the questions I'm also curious about.
I'm expecting a phone call from a solicitor who says they will see if they know anyone who could deal with this matter. Most companies I have phoned don't offer a free service, and most say they don't specialise in these matters.
#10
From what I have read, contesting a will in the USA has the statute of limitations set around 2 to 3 years so the USA assets are long gone

http://blogs.lawyers.com/2011/09/demystifying-the-law-contesting-a-will/
#12
You need to do a little bit of research yourself. You need to google up the intestacy laws in the Country and State were he was a resident. You also need to discover if he became an American citizen as this might have a bearing.

You then need to discover if the laws of intestacy have been broken. If they have it becomes a criminal issue - which will lighten the load and expense if criminal charges are brought.

I would hesitate about going down the private litigation route - you never see a poor lawyer!!!!!
#14
chocci
From what I have read, contesting a will in the USA has the statute of limitations set around 2 to 3 years so the USA assets are long gone

http://blogs.lawyers.com/2011/09/demystifying-the-law-contesting-a-will/

Not sure about this but the OP mentioned he died without a will so how would contesting it apply? Surely the insurance payouts mentioned by the OP if wrongfully claimed by the brother-in law would come under fraud? The statute of limitations for fraud (taken from the blog you linked) is 3-6 years from the date of discovery. The OP would obviously need to find out what if any insurance policies the father had and who benefited from them.
#15
AndrewRoss
chocci
From what I have read, contesting a will in the USA has the statute of limitations set around 2 to 3 years so the USA assets are long gone

http://blogs.lawyers.com/2011/09/demystifying-the-law-contesting-a-will/

Not sure about this but the OP mentioned he died without a will so how would contesting it apply? Surely the insurance payouts mentioned by the OP if wrongfully claimed by the brother-in law would come under fraud? The statute of limitations for fraud (taken from the blog you linked) is 3-6 years from the date of discovery. The OP would obviously need to find out what if any insurance policies the father had and who benefited from them.
well I would expect discovery to have been shortly after the father died (i.e 1999).
#16
chocci
AndrewRoss
chocci
From what I have read, contesting a will in the USA has the statute of limitations set around 2 to 3 years so the USA assets are long gone

http://blogs.lawyers.com/2011/09/demystifying-the-law-contesting-a-will/

Not sure about this but the OP mentioned he died without a will so how would contesting it apply? Surely the insurance payouts mentioned by the OP if wrongfully claimed by the brother-in law would come under fraud? The statute of limitations for fraud (taken from the blog you linked) is 3-6 years from the date of discovery. The OP would obviously need to find out what if any insurance policies the father had and who benefited from them.
well I would expect discovery to have been shortly after the father died (i.e 1999).

Possibly, though the OP has said they don't have any information regarding the insurance policies so how could discovery have taken place. A separate thing is I'm sure the statute of limitations doesn't apply to the criminal side of the fraud, otherwise you'd be able to do something not get caught for 6 years and then get away with it.
#17
just1990
I really appreciate everyone's comments. My mum and dad was both born in the UK, I've tried getting in contact with lawyers but most of them are saying they don't offer free consultation. We understand that this will involve us paying out a lot of money to sort, but first we need to know whether we have a case to fight as it's been years since it all happened.
I will definitely check the links provided and show them to my mum as well. No we haven't spoken to the police, wouldn't know how to go about it to be honest with you. The only time the police was involved was when my mum called 999 when we needed to leave home in 1995, that's because she was trapped between my dad and grandma.

My mum has had an extremely terrible life of what she has had been put through, she has mentioned numerous times to me that she wishes she could write a story about her life, as it's so dramatic you would think you were watching a film. I'm not sure whether anyone knows how to go about this? As I would definitely like to fulfil her wishes, but don't have a clue where to even start.


Don't mean to put downer on things have you been to India to see the land or face to face with someone in India
#18
well if your mother and father were still legally married when he died and he never made a will, EVERYTHING should have gone to your mother in the first place. I have been through this with my parents who were parted for over 20yrs and never divorced each other. Your Gran and her family was never entitled to anything in the first place and if they claimed it all they done it fraudulently and should be brought to account for doing so. If i was you i would go for it all the way, Because it will eat inside you for the rest of your life if you dont. Get advice off a barrister first rather than a solicitor has it will save you time and money. try this site http://www.barcouncil.org.uk/instructing-a-barrister/
#19
There are India specific and state Specific land laws in India. Plus if or was joint property then depending on the toe of joint ownership other laws might apply. depending on the type of land Eg if agricultural then other laws will apply in India. Each state in India has different land related and property related laws.

Plus there are laws governing duration of possession. Eg some state that if in their Possession For more than 11 or 12y then it would be extremely difficult to vacate them.

Some places the lands would have been let out long term Eg the pagadi system prevalent in bombay. Where the long term tenant won't vacate abs will be paying 1947 level rent even now! And they will if they want to vacate they will themselves find another tenant and ask almost 50% cost of the property to vacate and they will split it between Themselves and owner. owner won't have choice as they won't vacate other wise and be tenant well all pay pittance in rent. The dice is loaded against you if long term tenant.

Even illegally encroached land is difficult to vacate as courts take decades and expensive and might not be in your favour. Police is corrupt and will side with who ever pays them! If politicians involved then dice is loaded against you.

If goes to Court it will take decades probably especially if appeals. Many times will need to appear in court or will need representative. Sometimes you will not get notice of appearance required for to money being involved at stage where notices are sent from Court and there might be exparte decisions which you might need to revoke!

Do don't get into this if you don't have the stomach for the long haul and money and connections to get work done!

Just advice from some one who knows how things work there!

You will probably need some legal advice with people familiar with laws of India UK and USA.

But Indian laws will hold sway for any Indian property.

You will need to prove the marriage and in which case spouse would get it provided there was no will.

Please note there might have been a well which you were not aware of.

Also if it was a Hindu joint family property etc then other rules might apply!
#20
AndrewRoss
chocci
AndrewRoss
chocci
From what I have read, contesting a will in the USA has the statute of limitations set around 2 to 3 years so the USA assets are long gone

http://blogs.lawyers.com/2011/09/demystifying-the-law-contesting-a-will/

Not sure about this but the OP mentioned he died without a will so how would contesting it apply? Surely the insurance payouts mentioned by the OP if wrongfully claimed by the brother-in law would come under fraud? The statute of limitations for fraud (taken from the blog you linked) is 3-6 years from the date of discovery. The OP would obviously need to find out what if any insurance policies the father had and who benefited from them.
well I would expect discovery to have been shortly after the father died (i.e 1999).

Possibly, though the OP has said they don't have any information regarding the insurance policies so how could discovery have taken place. A separate thing is I'm sure the statute of limitations doesn't apply to the criminal side of the fraud, otherwise you'd be able to do something not get caught for 6 years and then get away with it.
you would be surprised. Some states have incredibly low statute of limitations

e.g. fraud is 1 year in Louisiana

some states have 15 years for murder, 4 years for rape, 1 year for child abuse (once victim turns 18) etc etc
#21
forgot to mention that of the land was agricultural and being used by others as such and they have tilling certificates (Eg pani certificate like in done South Indian States):then if or is in other people's namess for me than 12y then depending on state laws involved it might be next to impossible to get vacated!
#22
Tl;dr.
#23
well if your mother and father were still legally married when he died and he never made a will, EVERYTHING should have gone to your mother in the first place.

Apart from the above being incorrect ( in respect of England, Scotland and Wales) the problem is muddied by the deceased having died in another country and it is unknown as to what nationality he was. Each state as differing intestacy laws. It is likely that if the deceased was a resident of that State, the estate would fall under their jurisdiction.
#24
chocci
AndrewRoss
chocci
AndrewRoss
chocci
From what I have read, contesting a will in the USA has the statute of limitations set around 2 to 3 years so the USA assets are long gone

http://blogs.lawyers.com/2011/09/demystifying-the-law-contesting-a-will/

Not sure about this but the OP mentioned he died without a will so how would contesting it apply? Surely the insurance payouts mentioned by the OP if wrongfully claimed by the brother-in law would come under fraud? The statute of limitations for fraud (taken from the blog you linked) is 3-6 years from the date of discovery. The OP would obviously need to find out what if any insurance policies the father had and who benefited from them.
well I would expect discovery to have been shortly after the father died (i.e 1999).

Possibly, though the OP has said they don't have any information regarding the insurance policies so how could discovery have taken place. A separate thing is I'm sure the statute of limitations doesn't apply to the criminal side of the fraud, otherwise you'd be able to do something not get caught for 6 years and then get away with it.
you would be surprised. Some states have incredibly low statute of limitations

e.g. fraud is 1 year in Louisiana

some states have 15 years for murder, 4 years for rape, 1 year for child abuse (once victim turns 18) etc etc
.

Which state has 15 years for murder? I've looked on google but keep getting linked to outrage stories about Japan's 15 year limit that was recently increased.
#25
AndrewRoss
chocci
AndrewRoss
chocci
AndrewRoss
chocci
From what I have read, contesting a will in the USA has the statute of limitations set around 2 to 3 years so the USA assets are long gone

http://blogs.lawyers.com/2011/09/demystifying-the-law-contesting-a-will/

Not sure about this but the OP mentioned he died without a will so how would contesting it apply? Surely the insurance payouts mentioned by the OP if wrongfully claimed by the brother-in law would come under fraud? The statute of limitations for fraud (taken from the blog you linked) is 3-6 years from the date of discovery. The OP would obviously need to find out what if any insurance policies the father had and who benefited from them.
well I would expect discovery to have been shortly after the father died (i.e 1999).

Possibly, though the OP has said they don't have any information regarding the insurance policies so how could discovery have taken place. A separate thing is I'm sure the statute of limitations doesn't apply to the criminal side of the fraud, otherwise you'd be able to do something not get caught for 6 years and then get away with it.
you would be surprised. Some states have incredibly low statute of limitations

e.g. fraud is 1 year in Louisiana

some states have 15 years for murder, 4 years for rape, 1 year for child abuse (once victim turns 18) etc etc
.

Which state has 15 years for murder? I've looked on google but keep getting linked to outrage stories about Japan's 15 year limit that was recently increased.
My mistake - its manslaughter (e.g tennesee, louisiana)
#26
The land in India is worth a lot of money, my mum wants to fight it and not regret not having tried. We've been told that a lawyer in India will try to help us, it's still very early days with this but the cost so far is already 5K for them to fight our case.I will be putting my savings in to help deal with this, I have about 3.5K and my mum has the rest so we will do our utmost to save as much as we can as we know it's worth the risk. Even if we loose at least we tried.[/quote]
Sorry but i wouldnt trust any Lawyer/advocate in India. The case will go on for years and cost you way more than the land is worth.
Plus i think who ever thinks they have rights to the land has to live in India one full year either before or after the death.It will be hard to get a Visa for a year from UK. And if you have a British Passport you cant own land in India.
What i am saying is dont bother with the land as you will get no where at all with it but your bank balance will get fleeced and not by a small amount.You will be charged foreigners rates even though they will know the land will never belong to you.
#27
apologies for the typos in my earlier posts as was typing from phone while travelling, as i didnt want the OP to get royally screwed by some o called lawyers in india over some so called ancestral property that may or might not be theirs after nearly 15y after the death and the property which no one has actually seen or has documentary proof of if such land actually exists!

I repeat think over this very carefully!

If you have thought it over very carefully..... then ask your close people to give you a very solid WHACK on your head to wake you up to reality of the place called India and then think again very carefully!

You will be dead and gone and your progeny will be probably dead and gone.... thats how long some land disputes in india take in court!

I should know of land disputes... as my dad fought a few oevr decades wasting time and money! and also about other court cases involving the govt bodies for a few decades! I also know about the **** are rent control bodies that can forcibly take your property if you are not resident in that property and let it out at a pittance to others and sometimes the rent generated wont cover the maintenence bills and getting it back from rent control authorities is very hard. I have also had some land that I owned legally, but the seller somehow later included his brothers name in the tilling certificate in the revenue offices as he was a local big politician and after more than a decade of resisting selling, i had to sell it back to seller at probably less than 5% of market value. There are somethings that you win an some that you lose regardless of whether you are in the right or wrong.

I also know about how your property can be occupied and you can take more than half a century and still never get the tennants out and they will pay 1947 like rents! My grand dad owned a 6 story building opposite victoria terminus in bombay right opposite the terminus. That was and is goldmine property not much further of the values around buckingham palace or the like figuratively speaking but I havent seen a penny. The tenant have been in since more than 5 decades in various flats or in the pagadi system which i briefly described earlier. I probably wont ever see a penny out of it as i know where to cut my losses even though not many people will actually own entire commercial buildings in bang in the middle on central bombay which if one of the most expensive areas in the world for commercial property.

I also know about others whose property was encroached and they were resident there and very senior bureaucrats like commissioners in central govt bodies and even they couldnt do much about their property being encroached and they sold it as they weren't the sort to flex muscle and money. I also know of others whose property was totally encroached and sold to third party by encroacher as owner was abroad.

Non existant land is sold in collusion with revenue authorities or the same land is sold multiple times to several people. Its a huge racket in collusion with big politicians and criminals and revenue officials etc in many places.

one ticket would cost you about 500£ minimum to go and come once excluding visa and other travel expenses. Now multiply that by 20 times minimum (probably 100 times over decades) that you will need to go for court cases and the like and chase paperwork in registration office, tax office, water board, electricity board, magistrate office for notarisations etc. Plus ensuing legal costs. Can you prove the marriage, can you prove he wasnt married before he married your mother (after all you say he was a bigamist!). was it a legal wedding or just some religious ceremony that may be hard to prove existed.

Also did your dad die before your grand dad died? This is relavant.

Was there a will made by your grand dad or dad? As that will have a bearing.

What was they type of holding of the land? was it hindu joint family or any other special type of joint family or held as either or survivor basis?

when the grand dad died what was the land succession act in the area where the land is located? ther are different types of land regulations for succession purposes depending upon when the death happened and how the land deal was set up and run.

how long has the land been in someone elses pocession. has it been sold on.

do you have any paperwork?

do you have any kind of support locally there to get work done in your absence?

do you have the kind of money available to see this long case through decades of disputes?

do you have the money and muscle power if things get nasty when you land in an area you have never been and probably things might get nasty when you get there? have you or your family thought about that? I am not just talking about getting slapped or shoved around, i am talking about life and limb? Its a nasty world out there, dont under estimate trouble ahead.

do you have any surety on the kind of lawyer employed by you, more so because they have already 5k of your money even before things get started!

there are restrictions on non resident individuals (even if indian citizens) on owning agricultural land and even if resident ther are other restrictions. there are also restrictions on foreigners owning land and they might vary depending on the state where it is located. There are also restrictions on repatriating the money abroad even if you win and land is sold. Foreigners do own land but that comes with restrictions for which you will need specialist legal advice from india and not the UK.

For USA properties again you will need usa counsel and same for uk. all this doesnt come cheaply.

biggest negative is that you havent been there and just have things through word of mouth. is there any damn good proof of the land actually owned by your dad. was his name spelt differently in the uk and usa and india. if so then can you actually prove it was one and the same person!

£5000 is about INR 5,00,000 which is nothing in terms of costs for legal expenses etc especially if it is going to last decades and you will be lucky if you see the benefit in your life time! Check the number of pending court cases in courts of that area and the decades it takes with appeals etc. what about your costs going there many times for decades to sort this mess out! Thats if you survive this in one piece when you get there! (especially if the land is that valuable)

sorry to be a dampener but I want you to know what you are getting into before you waste what you have!

If you do go ahead after considering all the risks, then best of luck because YOU WILL SURELY NEED BUCKET LOADS OF LUCK FOR THIS TO GO ANYWHERE.

Apologies if this isnt what you were hoping to hear but after 15y since your dads death things will be uphill without any documentation or local supporters to fight the cause.

things to look up...
proof of marriage
proof of lineage
proof of death
proof of property and estate
legal time limits in all 3 countries for this type of issues
laws governing property and succession for all 3 countries
how to get things done in the area the property is in.
#28
Dumbstruck
well if your mother and father were still legally married when he died and he never made a will, EVERYTHING should have gone to your mother in the first place.

Apart from the above being incorrect ( in respect of England, Scotland and Wales) the problem is muddied by the deceased having died in another country and it is unknown as to what nationality he was. Each state as differing intestacy laws. It is likely that if the deceased was a resident of that State, the estate would fall under their jurisdiction.

sorry but the laws of the land where the parts of the estate are located will govern the succession and not where the person was resident with respect to immovable property. there are other laws for movable property.

even a will made in one country might not be legal in another country and might be nullified legally after marriage.

the property in question might have been bought with conditions and might have been joint family property in which case it will be a minefield for even lawyers. I am not a lawyer but my family has experience of decades in court against govt bodies and individuals and i personally have some experience f the waiting times in courts and the games lawyers play and how summons etc never get to you. BTW i won the case without being present based on my written submission but it was a hollow victory after wasting more than 5y of my life and money and more was wasted than the amount in question. I have several books on indian succession laws. Different religions have different succession laws and different marriage laws exist based on how the marriage was solemnised as well in india.

english laws will only govern the estate in england and wont be applicable in india.
#29
last but not the least, when your grand dad died why didnt the property go to your grand ma instead of your dad. after all she was first in line in terms of succession and not your dad.

what laws governed the marriage of your grand parents and also the land in question and what is the proof for both. what about the proof of your grand dads death and can you actually prove lineage.

what laws governed the marriage between your parents and what is the proof.

are you sure the property was his and not your grandmas! have a careful read of the relavant succession laws and laws of limitation.

something to ponder over before wasting any more money.


Edited By: bubblesmoney on Jul 31, 2014 23:36: edit
#30
Fascinating reading, even if the advice is not really what the OP wanted or hoped to hear. Best of luck with whatever you decide Just1990. Perhaps you could use some of your savings to go on a great holiday with your Mum instead. Sounds like she would appreciate some really happy memories....
#31
Thank you everyone for the messages. It is really useful to hear of people's suggestions and past experiences.
I cannot answer every single question, as I don't know the full extent of it.
However to keep you updated, me and my mum looked at all the paperwork that she has from my dad's death and she had a letter from a solicitor in the uk who provided contact details of solicitors in the Texas state who may be able to help. We phoned America yesterday and spoke to a solicitor over the phone, she asked us to phone her back in an hours time so she can get advice from others. We rephoned her and she said, she doesn't want to discourage us but as it's been 15years since he died it is more difficult to do anything. She said we do have a case as there has definitely been fraudalance that has taken place, but she advised us to find a solicitor in the uk as my grandma has move back to the UK, obviously there is nothing left to fight for in the USA. She said if we have no luck, to get back in touch, but her charges to open the case was 25,000 dollars... We definitely can't afford that in one go.

Regarding the land in India. My grandad owned the land, it was in his name. The only person out of my dad's side of the family who was trustworthy and a good person, was my grandad. He loved my mum so much as his own flesh and blood, and would have helped her so much, but he was in such a bad shape, he was very ill. The only person my mum could trust was him. I have no doubt that the land was in his name. Also if it was in my grandmas name, then her side of the family would have there names in the other part of the land, and not my grandads brothers sons.

Just to also clarify we have not given a single penny to anyone. I should have explained that from my mums side of the family, my uncles brother in law lives in India, he is quite a high profile down there, he recently visited the uk and came to us after my uncle mentioned the dilemma we are facing. He explained he can help us and he has helped other family's that have faced wrong doings to them. He fights for justice, that is what he says. Since we have spoken to him he has told his son to get on the case. Within a matter of few days he has forwarded a copy of the latest information regarding the land, that my grandma has signed a declaration form stating that she is the only blood relative of my dad and no one else exists. I have seen the paper and it has been stamped signed and also a picture of her ugly mug on it. This was just done in January 2014.
My grandma would never spend any money to do this, if she wasn't expecting anything back. So we know for definite that there is something to fight for. Knowing that this is the latest information, and she has clearly lied my uncles brother in law has taken steps to ask an attorney to look up 60 years backdated in the past to see exactly what has happened. My uncles brother in law has stated he doesn't want a single penny from us, and he will fight for us so that we wouldn't have to go to India to do anything. We understand it will take years, but at the end of the day my grandma and my dad's cousins are all older than my mum, they will more likely die before she does if it went of for so many more years. So surely they would want to get this settled before it's too late. When my uncles brother in law returns back to India after his holiday from America we will be able to ask him any more questions before we take it any further.
I know some of you may be wondering why would he do it for free, because i asked my mum the same question and it's because he doesn't need any money he is retired and has properties all over the place which provide him his money. I've seen him and his wife, and they definitely spoke that they knew what they were talking about as they have had previous people turn to them for help.
#32
the key to succession is a valid will or lineage in the absence of a will.

you say..... "Now this past year we have been notified that there is also some land in India that was left in my dad's name, this land had been split into 2 sections. This is because my grandad and his brother originally purchased the land and halved it. My grandad only had 1 son, my dad, where as my grandads brother had 5 sons. So my dad had half the land still under his name, whereas the other 5 sons had to share the half of land between them. Since my dad died the other 5 sons and my grandma have done some sort of scam where they have taken the whole land and divided it into 6 pieces, 5 for the sons and 1 for my grandma. My grandma claimed that my dad wasn't married nor did he have any children so she was rightfully the next of kin."

As I see it what you have written in the original post certainly doesnt add up. There are several inconsistencies. Please note I am trying to help you understand succession. I am not trying to undermine you. The law is an ass. No point speaking emotions. Just stick to facts if you want to win in a legal battle. This is a succession issue, no one in court will give a **** the personal issues and unfairness etc.

So be clear about the succession issues. Your facts are muddled by emotions. This will cause problems in legal cases. Just stick to facts.

First you say... land was in dads name. Then in end you say grandma stated no heirs to her husband and took property??? These two statements dont add up at all. If the land was in your dads name then how could she claim he didnt exist!

Was your grand dad and grand ma married legally (in a legally recognised manner for succession). Then if they were married and he died without a will and the land registration document didnt have any survivor clause on death the land should have gone to your grand ma and NOT TO YOUR DAD IF IT WAS SELF EARNED PROPERTY. IF IT WAS ANCESTRAL PROPERTY THEN OTHER RULES MIGHT APPLY IN INDIA.

When did your grand dad die.
Did your grand dad write a will in your dads favour or did he die without a will? If without a will then it will go to your grand ma? If he wrote a will in your dads favour then I cant understand how your grandma could claim your dad didnt exist!
Even if your grand dad wrote a will, it would have to be valid will and witnessed as per requirements and you obviously would need to prove the existance of the will if not a registered will and would need to produce a copy of the valid will.
Was it agricultural land.
Was it tenanted land.
Was it agricultural land that was being tilled by others.

If the land was joint between your grand dad and his brother then he (your grand dad) died without a will then obviously the land will go to your grand ma and the survivors of your uncle and NOT TO YOUR DAD.

Please check your facts before wasting any time or money on this. Remember if you lose you will have to bear the opposite party expenses too and not just your own expenses!



Edited By: bubblesmoney on Aug 01, 2014 22:18
#33
Me and my mum appreciate everyone's comments, even if it isn't what we expected. We appreciate that people have given some of their time to read a part of the difficulties we have faced in our lives and grateful for receiving any response.
In regards to what you have written bubblesmoney, about the land should have gone to my grandmas name if it was my grandads and not my dad, it makes sense as she would have been the next of kin, and not my dad. Why that hadn't happened I am not sure, my mum isn't aware why that didn't happen, all we know is it went to my dad. My grandad was still alive when the land was apparantly in my dad's name, so maybe my grandad had changed it when he was still alive. I'm not certain, I at the time was a toddler if that.

You seem to have either misread or misunderstood what I mentioned previously, ' regarding the land, that my grandma has signed a declaration form stating that she is the only blood relative of my dad and no one else exists.'
She is not stating my dad never existed! She is stating that he never had a next of kin, that he was never married nor did he have any children! So that the share of his land will have to go to her, as she is the only blood relative alive.
Let me say once more that this isn't the case, my mum is alive and well- she is sitting next to me right now and me and my siblings are also alive!
The form that we have received from India is written in Gujarati, it has stamped marks on and also the date of when this was processed, which was in January 2014 and it also has her present photo attached. My grandma is fully aware that the land is worth something, which is why even to this day she has stated that she is only next of kin from my dad. She does not want the land to keep, As she would only want her name on it to sell it on and have the money. She doesn't live in India, she lives in the UK and has done so for about 15 years, she is in her mid 70s so there's no way she would want the land to do it up, she musts wants the money. If we can stop her from gaining another penny which isn't rightfully hers we will do our best to do so.
This question was originally sparking about the assets in America but it seems to have been focused on the land in India. As much as we appreciate the answers we have been given, this is something which is very much at the early stages and something that we will more likely try to fight for, no matter how much of a chance there is in our favour or not. We understand that it will be extremely risky for us to start legal proceedings regarding the land, but we as a family will have to weigh up the risk factors whether it will be beneficial or not.
#34
Ser if you can get consular support from the British embassies in the usa and India in view of the fraud involved. At least that might put the police hot on the heels of the people perpetrating the fraud.
#35
Have you contacted the police in the UK regarding the fraud.
banned#36
The problem here as I see it is the amount of time that has passed. Whilst legally your Mum was still married to Dad at the time of his death what assets still exist that are retrievable?

The land for sure, but the legal system in India is notoriously slow and corruption is rife and would likely be expensive. I'm sorry to say but I would think the cost to litigate this matter would outweigh the potential returns.
#37
This inheritance case will never in your life time be sorted out.Its way to corrupt in India,too long has passed,and people are living on the land.If the land is not in Mumbai or Delhi or by the coast it is not worth the years of fighting a case that will just cost your family so much cash.None of the British Embassies are going to help.The court system in India is so corrupt and with the person who you say is entitled to the land in Uk you have no chance at all.
I would just let it go as your not going to win this as India courts are nothing like UK courts.I bet the case will go on for over 10 years probably more and all that time you are paying out cash to a Advocate that is ripping you off.
I bet your family was all happy before you found out about this.Now all your family is doing is trying to get the land to get cash!
A British friend of mine had a court case in India it cost just under £75.000 for 4 years of delaying and that was foreigners rates.The Advocate was building his own house with her cash.
#38
At the very least it will take decades considering appeals. My consumer Court simple case took 6y. My dad's property case took decades. Being in the country but another city we had to employ some one to keep tabs on the Court dates etc other than the lawyer.
#39
Please note the 6y in consumer Court was without any appeals because opposite party would get adjournment repeatedly with lawyers sitting next to judge in court. I was mostly self representing as my joker lawyer often wouldn't be present after taking my money. The damn judge would adjourn before I even opened my mouth. Would waste hours in court waiting for case and judge would listen to the opposite lawyer. I usually couldn't hear anything as you sit away and no microphone so you can't heart anything even if you are in court waiting all day for your car. Bloody jokers won't even look at you before adjourning case without even once speaking to you.
#40
Best part was I won case without speaking once in court as usually never got letter to attend. Only once attended over 6y as that was the only time I got the summons! And the bloody judge adjourned before I opened my mouth without any reasons given. I won based solely on my arguments in my complaint after 6y without once getting to speak in court! **** idiots the whole judicial system and the crooks running it there. You should see how the judges live and the houses they live in. Sine used to live near my house. No easy they could afford that house on their salary alone forget the frequent parties at their houses!

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