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Widow forced to sell house to fund step-daughter’s travels

by | Oct 13, 2021 | Case Studies, News, Probate and Wills | 0 comments

Lorraine met David, a widower, in 1999 at a function in the Deelrovers GAA club in Crossmolina. They immediately hit it off and had a lot of common interests particularly a great passion for Mayo GAA. David was fifteen years older than Lorraine and had one daughter Sadhbh from his previous marriage. Sadhbh never got on with Lorraine.  Lorraine moved from Dublin to David’s home in Crossmolina.  Lorraine and David soon married in the local church and happily welcomed two boys within a few years of their marriage. Lorraine and David both hoped the boys would one day play football for Mayo. 

David often thought about making his will. He had a loving wife, two young boys and a happy grown-up daughter. He just never seemed to get around to doing it. He often ran into his friend Pat, a local solicitor and club member, in the bar in the clubhouse and would always say “I need to come into you to make my Will”. Sadly, David was diagnosed with prostate cancer five years after his marriage to Lorraine. When Pat heard that David has received this diagnosis he expected at some stage to hear from him about making his Will. He often ran into David at funerals. David always said the same thing: “I must to come in to see you and make the will “.

Pat was saddened and shocked to receive the club email announcing that David had passed away.

After the months mind Lorraine contacted Pat’s office and was surprised when she was told that no Will had ever been made by David.  Unfortunately, the implications of this oversight by David were only to become a reality for Lorraine soon after David’s death.

David had been the sole owner of the property they resided in together. Lorraine moved into David’s house with him and his daughter not long after they met. Lorraine had always believed that she would inherit the house to raise their children.

However, under the rules of intestacy Lorraine was only entitled to two thirds of David’s estate which consisted solely of his house. David’s one daughter from his former relationship Sadhbh and the two boys were entitled to the other third of the estate to be divided equally between them. As the boys were under eighteen years of age their share of the estate would be held on trust for their benefit until they reached eighteen years of age.

David’s grown-up daughter Sadhbh instructed Pat that she wanted her portion of the estate in cash as soon as possible. She informed Pat that she intended to go travelling with her new boyfriend to recover from the trauma of the death of both of her parents.

Lorraine was struggling financially after David’s death and his long illness. David had been the sole breadwinner and the family savings were all but gone. Lorraine was surviving on a widow’s pension and did not have enough money to pay out this portion of the estate to her step-daughter. This caused a significant rift in the family. Unfortunately, Lorraine was forced to sell the property and down size so that Sadhbh’s share could be paid to her from the estate.

If you have a concern about inheiritance why not contact us.

Please note for privacy and GDPR reasons names and circumstances have been changed to protect the identity of the individuals involved.

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