Carer left money by parent. Then sued. Who has experience of what to do?

Hi. I am a carer but really writing on behalf of sister, carer of 11 year old who is mobile but has severe mental challenges so really hard life 24/7.
Parent of carer died, previously sent money all the time, left money and eventual share of house in will. Presently child in real poverty (not detailed as heartbreaking wall of text would be too much) , hoping to repair roof and adding safety features with money. So far so good. Many people must be anticipating and relying on same. However step parent has cut off contact and demanded via millionaire child of hers the acceptance of a fraction of worth of house (house and pension far beyond anything we can ever expect left to stepparent for life). Estate now locked away with no money likely for years if we do not agree.
We have been to solicitors and found many complexities making it hard to fight this but when it comes down to really arguing the case for the section 2 of the 1975 act (to get technical) noone seems to have real experience evaluating and arguing the case. Leaving moral arguments aside we need proper advice or at least someone who can say yes, all the headings under which a disabled child gives you legal rights are… and we can plug in your position and from experience we get X.
We have found a solicitor who has crushed a carer but not one that has won. Anyone know a good place to go?

Hi @Parttimecarer50 welcome to the forum, this is a hard one, best advice is speak to the carers helpline either by phone or email as they can help. Speak to citizen advice as well, your mp about and maybe human rights or any of the charities that this person who you care for has as a condition like autism for example etc. Best of luck.

Hi @Parttimecarer50 and welcome to the forum. Like @Michael_1910123 says, this is a hard one and frankly a situation I’ve never come across, personally or professionally. As @Michael_1910123 says, it may be worth contacting the helpline, but most of the legal challenges carers face are about social care and NHS issues: I don’t know if they’ve come across something like this before.

Sorry I can’t be more helpful on this one.

Hello, Part Time Carer. The words “share of house” ring alarm bells with me. Leaving joint ownership of a house to multiple beneficeries, even close relatives other than a married couple, is fine - as long as all the beneficeries wish to live in that house for the rest of their lives. In practice, this situation seldom occurs, and problems arise when one party wants to sell their share and another wants to stay put. I have come across such cases before. Hence the deadlocked situation your sister is currently in.

I am no legal expert but I am trying to analyze this situation and express some ideas.

Your dad left the house jointly to your sister and his wife (your sister’s stepmother). I am sure he meant well and had divided loyalties, but things have not turned out as he would have hoped.

Your sister’s step mother has cut off contact. I presume that by this you mean that your sister does not even know where she now lives. If she wants to claim her share of the house she should be dealing with your sister via a solicitor, not via her child.

Hypothetically speaking, if your sister and her stepmother were to agree to sell the house and divide the proceeds of the sale, this would break the deadlock - but your sister would be left homeless. Her stepmother sounds as though she is financially very happy already.

Is this a fair summing-up of the situation?

Yes, as others have said, this is a tough situation. I suggest that your sister “shops around” a bit for solicitors. Citizens’ Advice would be a good move too; they have lists of solicitors and their specialized fields. But it is essential that her stepmother is traced. This should be possible if the stepmother’s child is making contact.

Some questions:

  • What is your sister’s job situation?
  • In what other ways should she benefit from the will? Apart from the house, was there any actual money to be inherited, either as a lump sum or a fund with regular dividends?

Your answers could enable us to come up with further ideas. Meanwhile, good luck and keep in touch with how things go.

Thanks to all for replies so far. I am trying to summarise a rather complicated situation. So my sister has no money other than benefits and her husband’s small income (he is likely to be fully disabled himself soon). Lets just say he is not in a good place but is trying. There was a small amount of money. However locked behind probate and the case (another series of issues I dont propose to get into because its a whole thing)

Stepparent has known location but wont engage except via other. Apparently surviving stepparent relies on precedent found saying child disability mere detail, no need for more money on that basis, poverty only can be relied upon under that act. We really need a case or a solicitor who dealt with such where a carer was able to press for more because disabled child needs certain things. For example, white goods need to be quiet. Doors need specific fittings. (This would lead to a big decision - should carer simply defend with other beneficiaries or sue the estate and hence costs implications ? but that is down the road).

I realise this is a very specific.

Trouble is there are many solicitors that can deal with this right down to the amounts a child of deceased is due for poverty but not the added disabled child of the child aspect. I have asked the advice email address here and several solicitors but it seems hard to find the right place to ask. We have gone to solicitors in the field but lots of near misses.Any specific forums or ideas welcome.

Apologies for wall of text !

Thanks for coming back. Your sister is on benefits. I presume that she is unable to work because of her caring duties, which sound as though they are going to increase when her husband needs to give up work. That is the pity. If she could raise a mortgage to cover her stepmother’s share of the property, she could buy out that share and satisfy her stepmother. She would of course need to pay off the mortgage, though these payments would amount to only half of what they would have been if she had not had the inheritence. She would benefit in that respect. But this is not possible if she is without a job and on benefits.

I am sorry but I cannot see an easy way out of the house-share-deadlock situation. But certainly seek someone that can. That is why I think that Citizens’ Advice is the best next step, if she has not done that already. They cannot necessarily sort out every problem themselves, but they know people that can. They have contacts with solicitors, financial advisors and social services.

How big is the house that your sister lives in? Could she consider moving to smaller accommodation?

Your sister needs to make a list stating clearly what she needs. This could include:

  • Unlock money tied up in probate.
  • Stop her stepmother pestering her.
  • Find out what additional social assistance is available for her child.

I am sorry I cannot be more helpful, but best wishes.

Thanks ! Everything helps.
The main advice email person also kindly came back with a couple of general places to look