You and the Law – 18th May 2010

Hotel overbooked

When I went on holiday I was met at the resort airport by a travel rep, who told me I would be staying in a different hotel from the one I’d booked.  Surely I should have been informed of this beforehand and given the option to cancel?  The holiday firm says I’m not entitled to compensation.  What do you think?  MK

You will have to check the booking terms and conditions in the holiday brochure.  These often contain a clause allowing the tour operator to put you in a different hotel.

If so, you will only be entitled to compensation if the hotel you were moved to was of a lower standard or had fewer facilities, or if you had told your travel agent that you wanted your original hotel for a specific reason.

All for one

Our parents lived apart for many years, although they were not divorced.  Of the three sons, one kept in touch with father while the other two kept in touch with mother.  My father died two years after my mother, having made a Will leaving his estate to just one of his three sons.  Is that legal?  The house was in his name only.  What would have happened if he hadn’t made a Will?  LS

If your mother had outlived your father she would have had a claim on his estate, since they weren’t divorced, even though your father had made a Will leaving his property to one of the sons.

But since she died first (apparently without making a Will) anything they jointly owned will have gone to your father; so even if the house had been in joint names it would have become his on her death.

The sons who have been left out of his Will could claim on his estate, although such claims are difficult for adult children unless he was supporting them financially when he died.  If he hadn’t made a Will his estate would have been split equally between his children.

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