You and the Law – 26th January 2010

Double or quits

My uncle died six months ago.  He left small bequests to my sister and I and our cousin, and the rest of the estate to my father.  However my father died before my uncle, as did all his other brothers and sisters.

I’m told that intestacy rules say our cousin will get half of the residue and we will get a quarter each.  Is that correct?  CT

Your uncle made a Will so he is said to have died ‘partially intestate’.
The small bequests to you, your sister and your cousin will stand but, since your father is no longer alive to receive the residue, that part of the Will will fail and it will be distributed under intestacy rules.

I take it your cousin isn’t the child of this particular uncle (or he would have received the whole lot).  If he is an only child, and the three of you are the only children of all the brothers and sisters, your uncle’s estate will be divided as you suggest.

Learning curve

I started a training course recently that paid a salary into my bank account each month.  I was told that payment would be made on the 5th, so I arranged a direct debit to go out of my account on this date.  Twice now the payment has been a day late, and as a result I’ve incurred bank charges of around £80.  Can I reclaim the charges from the training institute?  VS

The fact that you were paid a day late is, on the face of it, a breach of your employment contract.  However given that the 5th of the month may well fall on a weekend it is unlikely that an employment tribunal, or the County Court, would see fit to award you compensation.

The answer is to move your direct debit payment forward a few days or arrange an overdraft facility.

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