Pal is being left out over late wife's will

A FRIEND was married for 26 years but he was back and forward.

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His wife passed away two weeks ago.

Her daughters organised the funeral and kind of cut him out. He is thinking of overturning the will as there was a house which is bought and he contributed to. But the house and money side of things is in the deceased wife's previous married name, though she was using his name for other things and was buried with his name.

The daughters are not letting him know anything about the estate.

l The fact your friend and his wife didn't always live together does not defeat his rights, if any, to the estate. Likewise, the actual name used on documents is not relevant. It's more of a problem if the house was solely in the wife's name and the husband was not named on the deeds.

We don't know what is in the will, but if the house is willed to the girls, then the husband has no claim on it. He does, though, have a claim as spouse for a share of savings, investments or insurance even if not mentioned in the will.

We must assume the girls are executors of the will, but he is still entitled to claim a share. It is unlikely he will be able to overturn the will, though. He needs detailed legal advice.

MY father is in a care home. We are a family of six children of my father and late mother, and I feel as if I am being left out of the loop.

My father had a heart attack in the home, a mild one, though worrying enough, but I was never told.

I complained but the home say they are not obliged to call me with this kind of news. They say my brother is next-of-kin, but surely all children are equal?

l Children are equal in law, but it is not practical for a home to keep in contact with everyone. In this case next-of-kin is the person nominated by your father as the one to be kept in touch.

Indeed, better if that person also has a power of attorney granted by your father if he is still of sound enough mind. It is then a family matter, not a legal one, as to how the chosen child passes information round the family.

MY mother is a tenant. After a three-year fight, she got a new kitchen. While doing the kitchen a workman broke her cooker. An inspector came to assess the damage and told her to claim for a new one, which she did. She borrowed £200 from a friend for a new cooker and two months later she was offered £75, but because she owes council tax they want to put the money towards that. Are they within their rights to do this?

l Not in terms of the claim. Council tax has no bearing on the settlement of that legal matter. However, if the factor/landlord is the agent for the council in respect of council tax, they may be able to set-off the money coming in against debt, in this case council tax.

Ask for a copy of the factoring agreement and/or check your lease before agreeing - or challenging - anything. Also contact the Citizens Advice Bureau.

Local government

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