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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
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Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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my mother in law died in October 2012. The Registrar wont grant

Customer Question

my mother in law died in October 2012. The Registrar wont grant probate - the solicitors couldnt find the will so had to write an affidavit saying that they were sending a copy. They detailed why my mother in law had changed her will in favour of my daughter instead of her other son. She changed her will in 2008 because my brother in law and his partner had taken a lot of her money by persuading her to take out credit cards, give them loans for cars and a flat - none of which were ever paid back. My husband had tried to sue them but they tricked my mother in law into rescinding with the small claims court. The case went to a mediation and they paid back less than an quarter of what they owed. They then had to sign a document saying they wouldnt a. approach her again ever about money and b. pay 75 pounds a month until her death.
Somehow (we think we know how) the will went missing. I had taken it into the solicitors in January 09 - the solictors supposedly gave me a copy of the will but in fact I believe it was the will marked as being a copy. Anway they couldnt find the actual will - my husband believes he showed it to the solicitor when he and my daughter (both excecutors and beneficiaries) and commented on how pristine it was compared to the solicitors copy. Neverthless we cant now find that 'copy' The registrar says she is 'minded to grant probate ' but that the solicitors must write to my brother in law because he now with the new will will not inherit anything. I understand that if he objects (within 14 days of receiiving the letter ) that my mothers new will is now void, she becomes intestate and the estate will be split - eventually - between my husband and his brother.
Is this automatic - or can we appeal? My brother in law had hundreds out of the estate over the last 20 years. My husband had to take over as her power of attorney because my brother in law had rendered her penniless. We got her a care manager, reported everything and she was then termed a vulnerable adult. Her carers, the hospital GP and speciliasts were all aware and although my brother in law didnt ever visit her in hospital (until she died that is) we gave up all our time last year to look after her and monitor her care. The solicitors didnt ever tell her they didnt have the will. She took it with her in December 08 and I returned it to them in January 09. They followed up in April 09 with a strong demand she paid their outstanding bill - which she did. No more was said about amissing will until a week after her death and my daughter and my husbands visit to the solicitor.
If my brother in law objects to the copy will - which is a certainty - will the will then become automatically void and she will be deemed intestate?
Can we appeal and will we be allowed to appeal and tell our side of the story or is there absolutely no right of appeal?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Stuart J replied 3 years ago.
What is the value of the estate?

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