Failing to put your affairs in order in your declining years is an invitation to conflict and needless expense after you are gone. Exactly that happened in the case of a pensioner who was still embroiled in a property development partnership with her son when she died at the age of 91.
Although intellectually active, the woman suffered from arthritis and was increasingly frail in her final years. However, her partnership with her son was only dissolved on her death. After disputes over money subsequently broke out within the family, the executors of her estate launched proceedings against her son.
In ruling on the matter, the Court found that there was a single partnership between mother and son, rather than two or three in relation to separate developments. A property that the son claimed was an asset of the partnership was declared to have been beneficially owned solely by his mother.
Another property was ruled a partnership asset, although it was held in the son’s sole name. No steps had been taken to equalise the partnership assets in the years before his mother’s death and the Court found that the son had overdrawn certain of his entitlements from the business. The Court’s ruling means that the son will be required to reimburse substantial sums to his mother’s estate.
This case highlights the importance of ensuring your affairs in order and using a solicitor to deal with your estate and business matters. If you need help or advice about making a Will or administering an estate then please contact us today.