RE: Inheritance Left in a Will, & Associated ‘Joint Account’ Holders - HotUKDeals
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RE: Inheritance Left in a Will, & Associated ‘Joint Account’ Holders

scream85 Avatar
6y, 1m agoPosted 6 years, 1 month ago
RE: Inheritance Left in a Will, & Associated ‘Joint Account’ Holders

Hi all,

Please accept my apologies if this is the wrong place to post this kind of question.

Basically, my step granddad sadly passed away last month. He married my Nan 18 years ago, and when they married they BOTH wrote new wills stating that whoever died first, their assets (property and cash) would be split 50%/50% between each of their two children, i.e. his money would go to his two children, and her money would go to her two children. The only clause being that the house that they jointly owned would remain as it is and could not be sold until both of them passed away, and then it would be sold and split four ways. They decided to do this because they were both in their 70’s when they married, thus they didn’t want their money being split unfairly to either side of the new family just because they were married. Neither of them left any money to the other one in the event of a death.

When they wrote their wills neither of them expected to live for as long as they have. They both had in their minds that they would have 5 – 7 years together, but they went on to be married for 18 years before my step granddad sadly passed away. They were brilliant together and thought the world of each other. Hopefully that’s given an overview of the situation.

A year ago, my step granddad was worried that my Nan wouldn’t have enough money to pay the bills should anything happen to him (as he’d been ill), so he set up a joint account (with both his and my Nan’s name on the ‘joint account’) so that if anything happened to him Nan would have some money to help her out. He also gave her ‘Power of Attorney’ on the account, so that if he was incapacitated or lost his mind, the account couldn’t be frozen and she would still have access to the money.

When he sadly passed away, the money in this account instantly became Nan’s under the law in England named ‘The Last Survivor’, which clearly states that on the death of a joint account holder, the account is transferred to the sole name of the remaining account holder, and that money no longer forms part of the deceased’s estate. The above is exactly what happened – all of my step granddads accounts were frozen pending probate, and the joint account became Nan’s to which she can gain instance access to. This has been confirmed by the bank and ties up with the ‘Last Survivor’ law described above.

Now the problem.... my step granddads children are fuming about it and said that it is their money, and they are trying to force my Nan to sign it over. They have said that under probate the money is theirs because there is a form called ‘Notes to help you fill in form IHT205(2006)’, which within a section called ‘Valuing Joint Bank Accounts’ states:

“Valuing the deceased's share of a bank account is quite easy, as the example before shows. But sometimes an account may be held in joint names just for convenience. For example, if an elderly person can no longer get out, they may add a son or daughter’s name to their bank account so the son or daughter can operate the account for them.

If an account is in joint names for convenience and the deceased provided all the money in the account, you should treat the account as if it was in the deceased’s sole name. Include the full balance of the account in box 14.3 (for joint assets) or 13.1 (if the account was held as tenants-in-common). But the opposite also applies, and if the deceased did not provide any of the money in the account then, so long as the provider did not intend to make a gift, there is no need to include anything about the joint account on form IHT205(2006).”

As my step granddad provided ALL of the money in the account, his children are saying that it has to go on the probate form (which is correct, as stated above), but because it is stated on the probate form, they are claiming that it must therefore be part of his estate, and that his estate was left 50/50 to his children, thus the money is no longer Nan’s.

Is this correct? I can’t see how it can be? Also, what determines whether a joint account is one of ‘convenience’, because the example given above is of a son or daughter being a ‘joint account holder’ for their elderly mum or dad, who is unable to get to a bank easily, but they were both married and could both get to the bank?

My point being is that my step granddad specifically set the account up for the very reason that he wanted my Nan to have the money. The money in question isn’t a massive amount, and equates to a very small % of the overall estate (less than 10% of the estate overall), and his two children are getting the other 90% of it split between them, no questions.

I don’t think they have a right to the money in the joint account. My step granddad would have wanted my Nan to have it, and they are saying because of this probate form, it is legally theirs. They are being awkward and causing unnecessary aggravation, and are saying that if the money isn’t given back to them straight away they are going to contest it all, which is stress and hassle Nan doesn’t need. She would rather give the money to them than them cause trouble through the courts.

My question is ultimately, do they have a case or is it Nan’s money?

Please accept my apologies for such a long post, but it was very important to make ALL the facts known up front to receive an accurate response. I know we need to make an appointment with a Solicitor to get a definitive answer, but unfortunately I am over 250 miles away and can’t get there until the end of the week and was hoping for an ‘indicative’ response only, to help obtain a clearer understanding.

Thanks in advance to anyone who can help!
scream85 Avatar
6y, 1m agoPosted 6 years, 1 month ago
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banned#1
Good luck with whatever you are trying to achieve.
1 Like #2
There's a guy who posts on here who maybe able to help you,hopefully he will see this thread,hope you get things sorted,sorry for your loss OP.
#3
DLM
Good luck with whatever you are trying to achieve.

Thanks :)
deb8z
There's a guy who posts on here who maybe able to help you,hopefully he will see this thread,hope you get things sorted,sorry for your loss OP.
#4
deb8z
There's a guy who posts on here who maybe able to help you,hopefully he will see this thread,hope you get things sorted,sorry for your loss OP.

Don't suppose you can remember their username deb8z? no worries if not, thanks for ur kind wishes
1 Like #5
Yes, you should see a solicitor. You can generally get a free half hour consultation and it doesn't matter where you are, so see one locally.

From what I can tell from your OP, the joint account was set up legally, your step-dad was of sound mind; the money is your Nan's . That is the end of the story. Until I saw that the amount under dispute was only 10% of your step-dad's estate, I was going to say to suggest that all, for the sake of good relations, estates could be shared equally on your nan's death but as it is, there isn't any need for negotiation. There would only be a good will aspect anyway, as the legal situation is clear IMO.

BTW, the probate people are very helpful, especially on the phone but you need to know exactly what you are asking !!
the probate service

BTW - magicjay might well help you out with advice - he is an excellent HUKD guy!


Edited By: chesso on Oct 31, 2010 23:38: typo
#6
omg! you guys read all that?!
#7
I couldn't think of his name ^^^^ thanks chesso
#8
Slow typing on my part!! It's magicjay!!
banned#9
Hopefully somebody will help you on MSE soon.
1 Like #10
I would talk to the citizens advice bureau as they may be able to put you in touch with someone with experience of your situation.

The person who debz was one about is called MagicJay and he is a practicing solicitor from what i remember.
1 Like #11
What did I say about my slow typing?

Yes, read it all Marina. ;)

These probate battles can be a total nightmare.

I was only looking for a Lands End code!! Off I go.....
1 Like #12
chesso
Yes, read it all Marina. ;)

Well, here is your Marina's Award for Excellence in Reading chesso. Well done! :)
#13
Marina
chesso
Yes, read it all Marina. ;)
Well, here is your Marina's Award for Excellence in Reading chesso. Well done! :)
MAER for short!;)

I'm gone .... :D
#14
chesso
Yes, you should see a solicitor. You can generally get a free half hour consultation and it doesn't matter where you are, so see one locally. From what I can tell from your OP, the joint account was set up legally, your step-dad was of sound mind; the money is your Nan's . That is the end of the story. Until I saw that the amount under dispute was only 10% of your step-dad's estate, I was going to say to suggest that all, for the sake of good relations, estates could be shared equally on your nan's death but as it is, there isn't any need for negotiation. There would only be a good will aspect anyway, as the legal situation is clear IMO.BTW, the probate people are very helpful, especially on the phone but you need to know exactly what you are asking !!the probate serviceBTW - magicjay might well help you out with advice - he is an excellent HUKD guy!

Thank you Chesso, that is an incredibly helpful response. Really appreciated your time reading my post and responding :)
#15
Marina
omg! you guys read all that?!

lol sorry, i know it was a long post, but i wanted to get all the details in there so an accurate response could be generated
1 Like #16
scream85
Marina
omg! you guys read all that?!
lol sorry, i know it was a long post, but i wanted to get all the details in there so an accurate response could be generated

hi, no.... oops i was genuinely surprised people read it (was a bit long). Its best to explain everything as much as possible and then ask for advice. Well done you too! :)

Hope you get advice you're looking for. Good suggestions given above as well. Good luck.
[helper] 1 Like #17
I think Chesso sums it up nicely. The only other thing I would add (which is just an opinion) is the bit about "valuing joint bank" accounts. I think they have quoted this to you as a bit of red-herring. I suspect that refers to where you may have a housekeeper or relative who has access to your account NOT where you are married and your spouse is joint account holder.

As they are already getting 90% of the estate it sounds like the step "children" are money grabbing gits with absolutely no regard for your nan (or their late fathers wishes)....

See a solicitor and hope you get it resolved okay.
#18
The money in "joint accounts" is often put there so there is easily accessible money to pay for funeral expenses and day to day bills while probate is being sorted out, even when the spouse is going to get most of it. Sad that they are after the last 10% of his money, or 5% each on top of the wad they are getting anyway. Depending on the value of the estate, will it go over the limit and have tax due on the probate? If not the amount is piddly and they are pathetic, if it is going to get taxed, the joint account money will be at least 50% tax free I assume and would lessen the total due on the estate as a whole. Definitely consider the funeral expenses as an issue unless he had a policy specially for them.
I am still in the last throes of a probate started in 2005.

Edited By: chalkysoil on Nov 01, 2010 00:02: sums
#19
gari189
I think Chesso sums it up nicely. The only other thing I would add (which is just an opinion) is the bit about "valuing joint bank" accounts. I think they have quoted this to you as a bit of red-herring. I suspect that refers to where you may have a housekeeper or relative who has access to your account NOT where you are married and your spouse is joint account holder. As they are already getting 90% of the estate it sounds like the step "children" are money grabbing gits with absolutely no regard for your nan (or their late fathers wishes)....See a solicitor and hope you get it resolved okay.

couldn't agree with you more about them being 'money grabbing'. they have been trying to get their dad to sign over money to them for years, but he refused to while he was of able body and mind. fortunately he passed away peacefully of both able body (yet frail) and sound mind, so they never did get him to sign it over before his death. They have his remaining estate anyway so no idea why they were keen for him to sign it over so quickly. His estate is well below that of inheritance tax and neither of them are short of a bob or two.

The money left to Nan will be used to get her a little more cleaning help and anything else she needs to prevent her going into a home in the future. His children have been trying to put both of them in a home for years, but fortunately Nan has us to stand up for her, so no chance of that happening until comes such a point where she needs 24hr care, or care that we cannot provide her.

Thanks for your comments gari189, much appreciated
#20
chalkysoil
The money in "joint accounts" is often put there so there is easily accessible money to pay for funeral expenses and day to day bills while probate is being sorted out, even when the spouse is going to get most of it. Sad that they are after the last 10% of his money, or 5% each on top of the wad they are getting anyway. Depending on the value of the estate, will it go over the limit and have tax due on the probate? If not the amount is piddly and they are pathetic, if it is going to get taxed, the joint account money will be at least 50% tax free I assume and would lessen the total due on the estate as a whole. Definitely consider the funeral expenses as an issue unless he had a policy specially for them. I am still in the last throes of a probate started in 2005.

thanks for your comments. No the estate is not subject to inheritance tax, its way, way below the threshold. With regards to the funeral, his will specifically stated that the funeral costs should come out of his estate before being split between his two children. Llyods (which is where his money is), have said that they will release the money to pay for the funeral if they fill out a form, but they will only release it direct to the funeral director's not his son. The rest of the money in the account will remain 'frozen' and untouchable pending probate. His son signed the funeral documents thus is legally liable to pay for it, he is refusing to fill out the forms which would settle the funeral bill (both his children are executors of the will). this is the one thing that is upsetting nan the most as she hates the thought of the person she loved so much, not having his funeral paid for. she is very, very, close to paying it herself out of what little money she has, despite his wishes stating it would come out of his estate.
banned#21
DLM
Hopefully somebody will help you on MSE soon.


why? Is the help on here not good enough or something?

OP you do need to get to a solicitor about this, the advice above is very good though and should keep you going till you see one.
Good luck with it.
banned#22
colinsunderland
DLM
Hopefully somebody will help you on MSE soon.
why? Is the help on here not good enough or something?OP you do need to get to a solicitor about this, the advice above is very good though and should keep you going till you see one.Good luck with it.

He has posted this over there also.
1 Like #23
scream85
chalkysoil
The money in "joint accounts" is often put there so there is easily accessible money to pay for funeral expenses and day to day bills while probate is being sorted out, even when the spouse is going to get most of it. Sad that they are after the last 10% of his money, or 5% each on top of the wad they are getting anyway. Depending on the value of the estate, will it go over the limit and have tax due on the probate? If not the amount is piddly and they are pathetic, if it is going to get taxed, the joint account money will be at least 50% tax free I assume and would lessen the total due on the estate as a whole. Definitely consider the funeral expenses as an issue unless he had a policy specially for them. I am still in the last throes of a probate started in 2005.
thanks for your comments. No the estate is not subject to inheritance tax, its way, way below the threshold. With regards to the funeral, his will specifically stated that the funeral costs should come out of his estate before being split between his two children. Llyods (which is where his money is), have said that they will release the money to pay for the funeral if they fill out a form, but they will only release it direct to the funeral director's not his son. The rest of the money in the account will remain 'frozen' and untouchable pending probate. His son signed the funeral documents thus is legally liable to pay for it, he is refusing to fill out the forms which would settle the funeral bill (both his children are executors of the will). this is the one thing that is upsetting nan the most as she hates the thought of the person she loved so much, not having his funeral paid for. she is very, very, close to paying it herself out of what little money she has, despite his wishes stating it would come out of his estate.

Ok, post his name address and phone number on the web and we can all have fun. What an A hole.
1 Like #24
This sounds like it's already gone on for a while. You really need to get a solicitor's advice with your Gran ASAP. Sadly, if it does get more complicated - only your step-Grandfather's intentions and wishes that are written down will be considered.

It's sad that people are so intent on inheriting money they didn't earn. If they were my Grandparents, I'd be encouraging them to live a little more before they go.
1 Like #25
Hi all,

Thanks again for all your help, advice and comments. I just thought I would update you, and to help anyone else who finds themselves in a similar situation.

Ive now had the opportunity to speak with a solicitor that specialises in Probate, and what they have told me is quite clear. They have also written me a letter to present to the cretchins, just in case they are in any doubt about our position over the whole situation. The jist of it is as follows:

'Joint names for Convienience' is not a recognised probate terminology and does not have any legal impact. If the account was held in joint names, the money in the account will automatically pass by survivorship to the deceased's partner. The only exception to this is if the couple had made a declaration that the account was to be held as tenants in common rather than jointly (i.e. held in two seperate shares). If the son and daughter are to have any claim on the money, the account would have to FIRST be set up as 'tenants in common', (which is rare), and SECONDLY they would need to prove that it was not intended for the money in the account to pass by survivorship. Acceptable proof in court would have to consist of written, signed and independently witnessed evidence (usually within the will itself), stating that under no uncertain terms the money was to pass to the remaining joint account holder. In the unlikely event that both the first and second point is possible, they would still need to prove that the money was solely deposited by the deceased i.e. unless evidence is provided to prove what amount the deceased contributed to the account, it would be deemed that the remaining account holder deposited the full amount. The reason for stating the amount of money in the joint account as part of probate is for 'Inheritance Tax' purposes only. My step grandads estate will not even come close to the threshold, thus there is no issue there at all.

So basically in a nut shell they have no claim on the money. Our approach to the situation is still undecided, as unfortunately they now own (pending probate) half of nan's house, as that was left in the will, thus they could be awkward further down the line if they choose to. We have no issue with them owning our Step Grandads half of the house, as this was what was decided by both my Nan and him when they got married all those years ago. It is fair because when they met, my step grandad sold his house and bought half of my nans when they moved into together, which meant they both had cash in their pockets and despite being in their 70's, travelled the world together, bought a new car and seriously enjoyed their retirement. Something neither of them would have been able to do had they of not met each other and been able to release funds.

As my Nan says, they both had the time of their life over the last 18 years, and although he's gone, she has such fond memories of their time spent together, which gives her a great deal of comfort.

Regards the situation, one scenario we are considering (although there is no legal need to do it) is that Nan offers to pay 1/3 of the funeral costs out of the money (even though the will clearly states it is to come out of the estate), as a 'good will' jesture, in an attempt and on the condition that they back off and stop causing trouble. This may not only try to soften tension which could cause problems further down the line due to their connection to the house, but Nan has also said that she would like to contribute to it for her own benefit, as a way for her to pay her last respects and say good bye.

I could tell you some stories about what his children have already done that you simply wouldn't believe but here is probably not the place lol. The main thing is that my Nan is protected, and despite them wanting to put both their dad and my Nan in a home many years ago, we now have some comfort knowing that there is some money there to prevent such a thing from happening until a time where my Nan needs 24hr care that no amount of money could possible provide. I hope they haven't banked on being able to sell the house anytime soon, because I think they are going to have a long wait.................

Thanks again for everyone's input. It really was appreciated :)
1 Like #26
chalkysoil

Ok, post his name address and phone number on the web and we can all have fun. What an A hole.[/quote]


Haha! VERY tempting!!

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