I would like to avoid challenging a Will in years to come!
I own a property with two other parties. I invested a sum of money into my mother’s property 5 years ago, although my name was not included on the deeds or any legal document. The property was divided verbally with 60% main share to my mother and then an equal split of 20% each to myself and another person. My mother will be getting married shortly and I am worried about the entitlement my mother’s new husband will have on the property. What is the best legal way of dealing with this matter?
It is extremely prudent that you are seeking to deal with this issue now rather than risking a potentially long and expensive court challenge over a challenged Will in the future.
It appears from your question that, on paper, your mother is the sole owner of the property. In the event of her death, it is extremely likely that your step-father will have an entitlement to the property. Depending on how you proceed now, will determine whether he will have an entitlement to the whole of the property, or will be limited to your mother’s 60% share of the property.
There are a number of ways in which the ownership of the property can be handled so as to avoid a challenge later down the track!
The first action that needs to be taken, is a frank discussion between your mother, yourself and the other part owner of the property, to determine what actions are possible. This could be the purchase by your mother of the 40% of the property owned by you and another. It could entail the sale of the property and the division of the proceeds of that sale on the same basis as the property was purchased i.e. 60% to your mother, 20% to you and 20% to the other part owner – this method may include a reconciliation of what each party has paid towards the property’s general maintenance and upkeep including Council rates and other statutory charges.
It is also an option to have your mother acknowledge the other interests in the property in her Will and clearly state that you and the other part owner have an equitable interest in the property. Your mother and her intended husband could also enter into a Binding Financial Agreement, to protect you part in the property from any claim in the future by her husband.
These are just a few options that are available to you to ensure that your mother’s upcoming marriage, does not endanger your interest in the property that is held in her name.
The next step is to seek expert advice from a Wills and Estate Lawyer on how to protect your interest in the property and minimise and possibility of a Will challenge in the future.
If you need advice on avoiding Challenges to a Will in NSW you need to seek legal advice from an Expert Wills & Estates Lawyer. You need to speak to the expert lawyers at Sydney Wills Lawyers on how to avoid Challenges to a Will. We specialise in Wills & Estate Law and pride ourselves on our open and honest communication with clients.
Call Graeme Heckenberg today on:- 9221 2779