John and Ann Scarle were found frozen dead in their home on October 11, 2016. They had died from hypothermia and had laid undiscovered for a week in their home in Southend-On-Sea. Now their children are locked in a court battle over who will inherit the property, valued at over £300,000.
Step-sisters Deborah and Anna are fighting to find out which parent died first, so they can determine who inherits their parent’s Estate.
Retired electrician John, 79, and Ann, 69, a formal sales assistant, had no children together after their marriage in 1989, which was her third and his second. But they both had children from their previous marriages, which is where things become complicated. The Scarles’ are not thought to have made a Will.
If it can be proved that Ann died first, her father would have briefly inherited his wife’s share of their home and £18,000 of savings. On his death, therefore, the money should go to Anna. Deborah’s argument centres on a little known part of the 1925 Law of Property Act, which states that when two people die in circumstances where it’s unclear who survived the other, the assumption is that death happened in the order of seniority of age. In which case John would be deemed to have died first and the money would go to Deborah.
This is yet another example of a case where a failure to put an up to date Will in place has resulted in a painful family feud, with no real winners but the legal teams who take on the case. Don’t let this happen to your loved ones, come and speak to us here at Redwood to find out more.
Redwood is one of the Souths’ leading Pensions, Investments, Wills, Trusts & Estate Planning providers and we are dedicated to helping families to grow, protect and enjoy their wealth. With our unrivalled knowledge of Estate Planning and Probate, we can advise on any situation. We specialise in helping our Clients with Long Term Care Fee Planning. Join us at one of our Free Public Information Seminars: Book online Book Me A Place!, Call us on 01489877 547 or Email firstname.lastname@example.org to book a FREE Initial Meeting with us to review your financial planning needs.
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