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Ask Clare Your Own Question

Clare
Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 33325
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practise since 1985 and have specialised in Family Law for the last 10 years
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Can i as a defacto spouse make a claim on an old will made

Customer Question

Can i as a defacto spouse make a claim on an old will made by my late partner 23 years ago?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
Were you in any wat financially dependent on your late partner?
What is the extent of his estate?
Claire
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I was not financially dependant, however he lived with me and owns a lot of properties and has increased his portfolio whilst with me. (12 years) I also did a lot of secretarial work for him. I know he has a later will but cannot find it. the executors are acting on an old 1990 will and being quite demanding as i hold all his papers. Do you think i can have a claim on his estate?

Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
Did you make any financial contribution towards these properties or his business?
Claire
Customer: replied 3 years ago.


No just time. but whilst with me he did not have any running costs of a roof over his head and food as i paid for everything. be back tomorrow as late now

Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
The fact that you had been living together for more the two years prior to his death means that you can make a claim against his estate under the Inheritance (provision of Family and Dependants) Act - although you must act swiftly as there are strict time limits involved
I am a little concerned that his estate will try and argue that you were not technically financially dependent on him but none the less since you were in the equivalent of a marital relationship (defacto is not a UK term) I would expect a Court to award you something
Claire
Customer: replied 3 years ago.


how much time do i have?

Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
You have six months from the date that probate is granted
More details here
http://www.pcm-law.net/briefguideinheritance.html
Claire
Customer: replied 3 years ago.


My partner is quite wealthy. what rights do i have when all his paperwork is in my house that I own and people are demanding to have it and say they are executors of the original will. do i need to see proof of they are executors before I hand them over?


 


All a bit of a mess............does this information go viral (web) or is it confidential? I will need to know as i have to stop corresponding like this

Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
You are entitled to evidence that they are the executors before you hand anything over.
Once you complete the matter you will be offered the chance to lock it for privacy?
Claire
Customer: replied 3 years ago.


if a will is in a safety deposit box in a bank i hold the keys to but I am not listed as an authorised person. Am I allowed to know the contents of the box by way of inventory?

Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
Not if it is not your box I am afraid
Claire
Customer: replied 3 years ago.


is there anything else you can advise me on or point me in the right direction with regards XXXXX XXXXX on his estate?

Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
You must now get face to face advice and start the next step.
I now it is hard to face but sadly it wont get any better if you delay it.
Unless you are an executor of the Will you are not entitled to retain his paperwork - so being co-operative on this point woudl be sensible.
face to face advice from a specialist who can review all the details would also be a wise move
Claire
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you. How long do you have to search for the latest will before an old will can be acted upon? is it 6 months from probate?

Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
Unless there is clear evidence of a later Will then there is no need to search for any length of time.
yes it is 6 months from the Grant of Probate - but the earlier the claim is made the better
Claire
Customer: replied 3 years ago.


I have been told specifically by my partner he has made a will and solicitors are his executors and nobody knows what is in it. What i do not know is who the solicitors are. What is the likelyhood of finding the later will?

Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
Have you contacted local solicitors?
Looked through his paperwork for an Invoice?
Claire
Customer: replied 3 years ago.


Do i copy everything i hand over just in case we do find another will? I cannot find an invoice he kept a lot to himself and if you knew his ex wife you could understand why!


 


is it worth putting a notice in the law society magazine or some such?

Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
You can certainly put an advert in the Law Society Gazette and you can also check with the company here
http://www.certainty.co.uk/national-will-register
There is no need to copy the paperwork unless you wish to do so
Claire
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

do you think i should take everything to a local solicitor to act for me and hand his papers and keys over so that everything is evidenced? or is this not necessary?


 


He has a van on my drive and they would like the keys to it, I am not sure what they will do with it. Can they just turn up and take it away?

Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
It would be better to simply ask them for a receipt so that everyone is certain what has been handed over
Yes if the van is his then his executors can remove it
Claire
Customer: replied 3 years ago.


Hi Claire


 


Just to add to confusion the van is registered in his company name, but i actually made the transaction from my bank account as they would not accept his cheque. He then gave me a cheque back for the price of the van. do i still hand the keys over?


 


Incidentally this is the way we have done many transactions...........your thoughts please and whether i do have grounds to contest the old will.

Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
I have already said that you have grounds to make a Claim against the estate and should do so
If he or his company actually paid you for the van then it is part of the estate (or the company assets)and should be handed over
Claire
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Apologies Claire i have repeated myself. it has been so difficult and i am so alone........and so desperately unhappy and miss him so so much


 


Thank you for you help


 


May your God go with you

Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
You are most welcome - it is horrible to have to face this when you are grieving.
Do think about contacting Cruse
http://www.crusebereavementcare.org.uk/
for support
Claire
Customer: replied 3 years ago.


I think i will


 


thank you

Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
You are most welcome - I hope you see a way through
Claire
Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 33325
Experience: I have been a solicitor in High Street Practise since 1985 and have specialised in Family Law for the last 10 years
Clare and other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.


Can you advise if gifts made to me whilst he was living, such as cars and furniture, jewelry etc are still mine or part of his estate?

Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
Gifts he gave to you remain yours
Claire
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

What about gifts i gave to him?

Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
They form part of his estate - but are part on which you have a very good claim
Claire
Customer: replied 3 years ago.


in the meantime, should i hand these gifts over or keep them?

Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
Provide his administrators with a List and say they can be dealt with at the same time as your claim
Claire
Customer: replied 3 years ago.


ok thanks a lot. that is really helpful


 


I really appreciate your advice. I think i know what to do next


 


Thank you


 


 

Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
You are welcome - I hope all goes well
Claire

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