Legal advice: My husband’s uncle passed away without leaving a will and the farm he was promised is currently being divided
USAHis husband has worked on his uncle’s farm for the past 20 years. The uncle has no children and lives on a farm. He always said he would move the house and farm to my husband.
When we were married three years ago, I wanted very much to build my own nest in one of the fields on the farm, which is considered vacant and unused land.
The uncle refused to let us build and said it would be a waste of money because his house would be ours anyway. He said he would transfer the property to us “in the next few years”.
As a result, my wife and I bought a mobile home to live in and put it on the land.
Unfortunately, my husband’s uncle recently passed away without leaving a will and the house and farm are currently being divided between my wife and my brother and his brother.
His brother has never been interested in the farm and doesn’t live nearby. He and my husband don’t get along, and I know he won’t agree to sign his piece of land.
Where did it leave us? Does my brother-in-law have the same rights to land as we do?
When a person dies without leaving a will (will), the law determines who gets to divide that person’s estate (their property).
Since your husband’s uncle has passed away and his estate is being divided between your husband and his brother, this indicates that he has died without any surviving parents or siblings..
In a situation where the farmer has no children, it is common for a nephew or other relative to help them on the farm. Usually, this relative works on the farm with the hope that one day they will inherit the same.
The farmer can often make such a promise to his nephew, telling him that he will inherit the farm.
During this time, loved ones can make significant sacrifices to work on the farm – for example, do not pursue their education or any other employment opportunities.
You don’t say whether your husband is educated or if he has any other career opportunities.
The legal doctrine of Promissory or Proprietary Estoppel can be considered in your husband’s situation.
This is based on three main factors:
■ representations or warranties are made for the claimant;
■ the claimant has a reasonable reliance on such representation or assurance;
■ and the claimant relies on that assurance to their detriment (in some way changing their course and giving up/sacrificing something, such as giving up an education to run the farm).
The court will consider a number of factors in such cases, including looking at the words your husband’s uncle used, whether the words were spoken in front of a third party, and the specific actions taken. that your husband did.
If the court is in your husband’s favor, the court may direct any one of several remedies, for example, transferring all or part of the property to him or making a lump sum payment.
It seems from the limited information you provided that a statement has been made to your husband that the farm and house will be transferred to him.
It seems that by farming the land for the past 20 years and not building your own family home, you have relied on that representation.
Therefore, it is important that you and your husband immediately consult a lawyer for complete and detailed instructions as you only have time after the date of death to proceed with the proceedings.
Deirdre Flynn comes from a farming background and practices law in Tralee, Co Kerry.
The information in this article is intended as a general guide only. While every care is taken to ensure the accuracy of the information provided, Ms. Flynn is not responsible for any errors or omissions that may arise.
https://www.independent.ie/business/farming/legal-advice/legal-advice-my-husbands-uncle-died-without-a-will-and-the-farm-he-was-promised-is-now-being-split-41434671.html Legal advice: My husband’s uncle passed away without leaving a will and the farm he was promised is currently being divided