Issue with money received as gifts! Threat of legal action
My Mother in Law recently went into a care home. During the last 18 months she was housebound so I took on most of her needs. This included her banking. She was very generous to me during that period and gave me gifts of money on a regular basis. My estimate is that the total could be much as £3000.00. Also during the period of 2012 to 2014 she helped my son with buying his first home. The total amount could be as much as £6000.00. All monies were gifts and NOT loans. My Mother in Law was of clear mind when she done this and absolutely not coerced in any way. Absolutely done of her own free will.
The problem is this. One of my Mother in Law's daughters has now taken over her financial situation - all part of the care home situation. These gifts of money has now come to light and she is furious to say the least. There has been accusations of "stripping the saving accounts" of someone not fully compos mentis and more. A threat of legal action to follow has been made.
Even though I have nothing to hide I am extremely worried. Could anyone speculate what legal action could be taken? What I could expect to happen? I am a full time carer for my Daughter and so I am on benefits with little personal savings. Affording a solicitor is out of the question.
I have no idea what to do next. I would like to be prepared should legal action start.
I would very much appreciate any advice.
1. You might can ask this and other questions on the net, at various websites, and find some answers. One question for the search engine might be: "proving money donations were donations" or something like that.
2. There is something called "paralegals" who know law but are not lawyers. You might want to get one of those who would be less expensive than a lawyer. You might type in to the search engine: "paralegals, your hometown" and ask what their price is. You might type in: "free legal advice your hometown" or "free legal advice" for the net in general.
3. If you can get in contact with the woman who gave you the money, maybe get her to sign a statement which says she gave you the money of her own free will. You'll probably need a witness. You may need justice of the peace (or some such title, I forget what it it) to witness also. Look that p on the net, too, "lawful signature" or something like that.
4. Those donations, wills, etc., can be tricky, especially when it involves the elderly or sick.
Get your son involved, have him sign things which show the money was given to him, not stolen or loaned. Did he visit his grandmother mother during that time, the one who was giving the money? Have him sign papers, have him say on video information, saying his grandmother gave him that money, his grandmother was of sound mind. Get medical reports from doctors, which show she was mentally alert.
Get all the data and help that you can. Be positive and know that you can win this. I've heard it said something like, "The truth is the strongest case."
Let us know how this is going.
MATON, I have some questions:
1. How come it was left to you or how come you were the one to take it upon yourself to look after her; where was her daughter or son/your husband during that whole time? Surely this duty were theirs?
2. Can you really claim 'free will' on her part if at the time the woman was in a predicament that'd wholly likely place her under the influence of huge gratitude towards whomever were busting a gut on her behalf, to the point of wanting to act on it? Is that a 'free' will or a laden one? I mean, how come she'd never before made you offers of considerable cash sums like this, *prior* to her becoming ill or frail, and only once you were in that carer-dependent position? Did that never occur to you? Or had she been that generous long before then?
Were such generous impulses characteristic or un-characteristic of her before she became incapacitated, is what I'm asking?
3. £9k in total is a considerable amount of money and could count as more than a 'gift' when judged against the woman's overall financial means as well as competence and lack of any sense of gratitude and obligation. Her daughter's reaction surely shows it was not some mere drop in her financial ocean? So, presuming you made the decision initially to take on the carer role for no other reason other than to do her a favour out of honour of your relationship with her and her son, and presuming you were intelligent enough at the time to work out that she were most probably feeling grateful and obliged, how come you didn't decline these offers of cash, saying something along the lines of, 'No, no, I couldn't possibly, and, listen, you don't have to *pay* me for looking after you'? Did these sorts of words ever pass between you both while she was in the midst of getting her wallet out, so to speak?