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QLD What to Do When Partner's Sister Steals Inheritance Money?

Discussion in 'Family Law Forum' started by Lunalovelace, 1 June 2016.

  1. Lunalovelace

    Lunalovelace Member

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    Hi. Just wanting a bit of help if anyone cares to share as my partner and myself have found ourselves in a really tricky situation.

    My partner, who has minor disabilities, has recently separated himself from an emotionally abusive relationship with his sister. He is 34 years old and has been living and dealing with his sister who has been manipulating and emotionally bullying him for over 15 years.

    15 years ago, he had a serious car accident leaving him with minor disabilities (at the time of healing, it was far more severe). Since then, his sister has managed to control every aspect of his life. This has impacted his relationships, freedom and self-confidence. 18 months after we first started dating, we decided together, after trying to mend and change things with his sister, that if he were to keep her in his life, that nothing would ever change.

    We went through months of being threatened (our home and lives) and her attempts at controlling our relationship, very sneakily might I add. This included trying to ground my 30 odd-year-old partner, constant reminders that he is disabled and incapable of doing "normal" things, and meddling in our relationship. She has admitted to having mental health issues also, so is quite unstable and desperately needs professional help which she will not seek.

    When my partner's mother passed away, no will was left. Him and his sister decided to go halves in the inheritance that was left. Being under her command she had convinced him to let her keep his share in his bank account until he decided he would use it for something worth while. This was done as she convinced him he was incapable of managing money like a responsible adult ( which is completely the opposite of how he is with his money).

    After the falling out, we have tried to pass on a message, as we do not wish to have verbal contact as she threatens our wellbeing. She has simply said " as far as I am concerned we have nothing to do with each other" and has refused to return anything. Not to mention she has also got everything that their mum owned, their mum's ashes, her cat, her cat's ashes and lots more.

    My partner had spent years looking after his mother and both my partner and his mother did all they could to avoid contact with this woman. We do not know where to start with this as there is no will and nothing in writing to say what belongs to who.

    We were thinking about writing a letter to formally ask for the return on his inheritance by a certain date or we will be treating the situation as theft and will be seeking and taking legal action. Does anyone have any suggestions on a smart way to go about this situation? The only evidence we really have is other members of his family knowing of this arrangement. Perhaps this is something that will need to be investigated.

    This woman is the sort of person we have had to get out of our lives as we fear our safety and the safety of our future family / children. She has threatened to push my partner's ex-partners downstairs before if they ever fell pregnant.

    We would love to live our lives in peace and would be amazing if we could get a head start with this money as we both work hard and study.

    The total sum is roughly around anywhere from $80,000.00 - $100,000.00.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    Thank you
     
  2. Victoria S

    Victoria S Well-Known Member

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    Hi,

    Sorry to hear of your situation. First things first. In situations where there is no will, your partner and his sibling cannot simply decide how they will divide the estate the rules of intestacy apply which are outlined in Part 3 of the Succession Act 1981. In this case, where I assume there is no surviving spouse, children inherit in equal shares anyway. Who is administering the estate?

    In terms of practical steps to simply recover the inheritance of your partner, yes I would draft a letter of demand, which demands that the money be paid in full in to his bank account by X date - or something along those lines or you will be commencing legal proceedings to recover it. Make sure you set a date by which it must be fulfilled. If she doesn't pay seek advice from a lawyer or community legal centre as to your further options. Otherwise I'm not sure whether the Public Trustee would be able to assist you or not - if they are administering the estate.
     
  3. Lunalovelace

    Lunalovelace Member

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    Thank you so much for your reply. There is no surviving spouse as his father passed away many years ago. I believe his sister dealt with all the estates etc. So surely there must be something in writing somewhere along the line. Thank you again :)
     

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