as i had early concerns about the entire estate and the validity of the Will that i thought it best to place a caveat in the first instance
I have been asked to look at this. What information do you want from the execs exactly? What is your concern? You appear to have the will. The original or a copy? I do need full details please. Thanks
i have concerns over the validity of the Will and my fathers capacity to understand its content at the time he signed the document, i also know that there was an earlier Will and the same Will writer drew this document up too and had it signed and witnessed, now the Will writer is refusing to provide me with a copy of this earlier document.
Thank you. It always raises concern when someone hasinformation and will not be open and transparent.
It should be easy to get a copy of the will. This will bebetter coming from a solicitor, but there is no reason why you cannot do ityourself.
Write to whoever has the document saying that unless he letsyou have a copy within 14 days (give a date rather than a number of days) youwill make an application to court for pre-action disclosure to compel him tolet you have the document and any other documents, including his notes and hisfact find, which he holds in respect of your late father's estate. Tell himthat if you do have to do issue a court application, you will ask the court toaward the court and legal costs against him.
If he doesn't then come up with the documentation you need,make the application to court for pre-action disclosure on the 15thday. If you are doing it yourself, you can ask the court to award costs in yourfavour at £18 per hour plus the court costs.
Can I helpfurther?
The next part isreally important for me:
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in previous letters to the Will writer i have also asked that he inform me as to what additional information he has regarding my father and what other work he had undertaken on my fathers behalf, am i entitled to this information too in order to aid my investigation ?
You are entitled to a complete list of what he has got and ask him for everything.
as the Will writer works from home does this make things more difficult compared to a solicitor, is he regulated the same and how do i know that he has provided me with all the documents
Although there isa lot of talk about it, will writing is not regulated currently. You aretherefore faced with suing him personally and there is no regulatory body towhich you can complain. He may be a member of an association, but they have noteeth to take disciplinary action against him.
You do not know thathe has provided you with all the documents but to not do so and for you to findout later that there are others, he is in contempt of court and/or perjury ifhe declares that that is all he has. You can remind him that in the letter, andthat to do so is a criminal offence.
It only makesthings more difficult in that you are serving documents on somebody at home whomay not realise the consequences of non-compliance.
That is why thethreat of an application to court for pre-action disclosure is better comingfrom a solicitor
thank you so much for all your advice its been greatly received
Further to our previous conversation i wrote to the Will writer requesting all the documentation as you stated and i outlined the legal points as you advised, however today i received a letter from him again containing a copy of the Will and the File, he goes on to say that thats all the information which he holds for my father, now here is my problem.
i know that my cousin was witness to a Will signing on behalf of my father, however she was not in the room at the time so she questioned its legality, then the next day the same Will writer had another Will signed and witnessed by my step father, am i intitled to a copy of the Will which my cousin signed ? should he be producing these documents or information regarding this matter to me ?
So are you saying that he is lying when he says these are all the documents he holds? Have you drawn his attention to the missing documents and asked him to provide them telling him that you are aware that these exist?
If not, now you have the file,. I would simply tell him what's missing and asking to produce them and reiterate your threat of a court application
Well to be perfectly honest he is lying, my cousin was asked by him to witness my fathers Will, she signed the document at his request in the waiting room, when she later called him and asked if it was legal as she had not seen my father sign the document he replied it was perfectly fine. now the next day he returned to the hospital with another Will and had my stepdad sign as a witness, this is the Will which he has sent me a copy of, so my question is.
should he also provide me with a copy of the Will which my cousin signed ?
also should he provide me with details of when and how my father first contacted him etc ?
Under the threat of the application for a court order he should really disclose everything.
I would write back to him telling him exactly what is missing and asking to let you have it/them within the next five days , failing which you will make the application to court without further notice and asked the court to award costs against him .
If he is unable to produce the documents telling you want a sworn statement as to what is happening to them. By all means send the copies that you have to refresh his memory.
Details of how and when your father first contacted himmay be in his file notes . Once again, asking for the complete file , including attendance notes and fact find .
. If this ends up in court, you can always interrogating with regard to the information in the paperwork or missing from the paperwork .
I would actually telling what you were alleging and asking to let you have a copy of his professional indemnity insurance and ask him ,if you have to wish you proceedings, does he wish to appoint solicitors for service.
all this correspondence would actually carry more weight if it came from the solicitor .
is it possible that the first Will that my cousin signed has been shredded or should he have kpt a copy for his records ?
Thank you once again your advice is gratefully received and much appreciated
Further to our previous conversation i have today received a letter from the Solicitors who are trying to get me to lift the "caveat" which i have on my late fathers estate, they have enclosed a Statement from the Will writer who acknowledges that my cousin signed a Will, however i still have no copy of this document. the Solicitor goes on to inform me that if i now fail to remove my "caveat" within14 days then they will proceed to court and seek their expenses from myself, estimate £20,000.
can they do this or does the Will writer still need to provide me with a copy of this previous Will, can i write back to the Solicitors asking that they inform him to produce it for me prior to taking court action.
Tell them that you are quite happy to lift the caveat when you get a copy of the earlier will which is being held by the will writer and which he refuses to release.
However you should be making your application for pre-action disclosure and not simply sitting there with the caveat in place.
Tell them that you are making the application for pre-action disclosure by the will writer and when you have that will , you will consider lifting the caveat .
Ask them to assist you in bringing pressure to bear.
Tell them that if they make a court application , it is premature or and you will defend on that basis.
it might be worthwhile getting in front of a barrister to get an opinion . on the whole matter in general. It would probably be 800 pounds or so well spent
in all honesty i do not want to lift the "caveat" they have already sold assets whilst under a "caveat" so i can't trust them with the property.
however you are saying that im still entitled to a copy of this previous Will regardless as to what the Solicitor and Will writers statement say's ?
he is admiting the document now however i still have no copy, or answers to previous questions in relation to how he knew my father and when contact was first made and what other work if any he had undertaken on my fathers behalf, i believe im entitled to all this information.
You will have already threatened I assume theapplication for pre-action disclosure and costs. You need to make thatapplication.
I would bring the breach to the solicitorsattention and say that you will be raising that in court in defence of the caveat
yes i informed them of the pre-action disclosure as you advised, and i have the forms to submit too.
with regards to the Solicitor they are fully aware that assets have been sold under the Caveat and they refuse to give me any information as to why they were sold, how much for or who is holding the proceeds.
if the Will was produced under undue influence and i was able to have it over turned then i would be entitled to one third of the estate, would that be sufficent now to do put a pre action disclosure on the Administrator to find out where the proceeds of these assets are now ?
i have recently received a letter from the Solicitor who is employed to remove my Caveat, i replied to that letter and i mentioned the breach of the Caveat in relation to the sale of my Fathers car, they have now replied saying the purpose of the Caveat is to prevent a grant being issued and that my statement of any breach is erroneous.
So is a Caveat there to protect the property, assets, estate etc ?
The caveat is to preventobtaining probate. The sale of the car will not necessarily require probate butthe executors are still under a duty to acting beneficiaries best interest.