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Legal Help -m Agreement or just a broken promise.

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XB
Jul 2016
2:19pm, 13 Jul 2016
3367 posts
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XB
I hope using the combined brains of Fetchville I can put my MiL's mind at rest.

Here's the potted facts. MiL offered to share the proceeds of the house (she lived in with her 2nd husband) with his son and his son's 2 kids in the ratio of 2:1:1. Upon discovering the size of the estate and how much the son was getting she changed her mind. Eventually she made a gift of half what the grandkids were expecting and nothing to the son. The son declined to share his windfall (£1m) with his kids.

The granddaughter has now issued a letter before action in which she is demanding the other half for her and her brother and her father's share plus interest.

My limited knowledge informs me that there is no formal agreement, no contract and therefore no legal action can arise. However, she is a solicitor and probably knows more.

Any help and direction you can give before I have a first meeting with MiL's solicitor will be most helpful.

Thanks
Jul 2016
2:22pm, 13 Jul 2016
3524 posts
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minardi
Did the husband leave a will? (Just curious, I'm not in a position to advise)
XB
Jul 2016
2:28pm, 13 Jul 2016
3368 posts
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XB
Yes. But this wasn't covered in the will. It was an offer mil made.
Jul 2016
6:42pm, 13 Jul 2016
6995 posts
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Duchess
How did she make the offer? Was it ever written down in any way, or just discussed verbally?

And does MIL have a functioning relationship with her step-son and step-grandchildren? Because going into battle over this will destroy it. And probably cost the estate a significant amount of money. (I speak from experience).
Jul 2016
6:48pm, 13 Jul 2016
12886 posts
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jennywren
I'm not an expert by any means but I think it will depend to whom it was said, whether there were any independent witnesses and whether the supposed beneficiaries could have reasonably made plans based on what they thought they were getting. A letter before action is often used to 'concentrate the mind' and to start negotiations so no need to panic yet.
Jul 2016
6:51pm, 13 Jul 2016
1280 posts
  • 0
FurryHamster
Google verbal contracts? A contract doesn't always have to be in writing.
XB
Jul 2016
7:43pm, 13 Jul 2016
3369 posts
  • 0
XB
Thanks.

I see the issue as being that mil stated an intention (to her husband) to do something (make a gift) that was communicated to all parties. She changed her mind when further information became available.

I can't see an agreement, a contract, or any grounds for a legal claim. I am just going to send a holding letter for now.
Jul 2016
7:59pm, 13 Jul 2016
12887 posts
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jennywren
Was the change of heart communicated? That might be significant but only the that last point of mine above.

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Maintained by XB-alidocious
I hope using the combined brains of Fetchville I can put my MiL's mind at rest.

Here's the pott...
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