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James Mather
James Mather,
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 22624
Experience:  Senior Partner at Berkson Wallace
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In 2002 my father, now aged 96, made a will in favour of his

Customer Question

In 2002 my father, now aged 96, made a will in favour of his two step sons disinheriting my brother and me. I believe he made his will whilst being influenced by my step mother who has now died. Although deaf, my father is still mentally capable and he wants to make a new will in favour of all four of us, i.e. my two step brothers, my brother and me. My dad's solicitor is unwilling to do this.

Can my dad approach another solicitor and make a new will?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  James Mather replied 4 years ago.

Why is the solicitor refusing?

Have any of them met father?

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

The solicitor I consulted is reluctant because it is my dad's solicitor's belief that daddy is being influenced by me which is not so.


 


At first, the solicitor that I consulted was willing to meet my dad and talk to him but then dad received a letter from his solicitor saying that she would act for him, and come to see him at home, but only if he made the appointment himself without anyone else's knowledge and she gave him her telephone number. Daddy is deaf and very reluctant to use the phone so is most unlikely to ring her up himself. I should also add that his solicitor is in a town 15 miles from his home. Although I am not officially my dad's carer, I take him for appointments etc. and it is me who makes the appointments on my dad's behalf BUT only if he asks me to.


Before Christmas I took dad to see his solicitor and I believe he told her what his wishes were regarding changing his will.


 


As you can see it is always me doing the running around for my dad and hence why his solicitor thinks I am influencing him.

Expert:  James Mather replied 4 years ago.


I will give you my suggestion.

Your father can presumably
read and can write even if unsteadily.



He may be able to speak.



My suggestion would be to see
another solicitor and ask the other solicitor to go to see your father
personally and without you present.



I would tell your father what
you have arranged.



In that case, the new
solicitor does a will there can be no argument whatsoever that what is in the
new will is your father's wishes



Can I help further?





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Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Yes I will try another solicitor. I am so afraid all the time, that every move I make is being regarded as influencing my father.


 


I should add that my father's solicitor has told me that any new will my father makes could be challenged after his death by my step brothers and they would then have to revert to the 2002 will. I am under the distinct impression that she might advise them to do this. Do you think it likely that she would behave in such an unprofessional manner? I don't think my step brothers would contest but as they have known about the will for ten years and have not said anything, who can tell. My relationship with my step mother and step brothers has never at any time been acrimonious. We have always got on well.

Expert:  James Mather replied 4 years ago.


But you did say that your
stepbrothers were in favour of this, in which case, there is no reason why the
stepbrothers should not ask the Solicitor who your father currently uses to go
and visit him. The problem is, of course , that may may be nodding politely to
you and going along with what you suggest, but inwardly when the thought of the
tens of thousands of pounds in their sticky little hands being depleted by
having to give you some dawns, they may have a different attitude.

Can I help further?





Please bear with me today because I will be online and
off-line.

Please don't forget to positively rate my answer service (even if it was not
what you wanted to hear) and I will follow up any further points you raise for
free.

If you don't rate it positively, then the site keep your deposit and I get 0
for my time. It is imperative that you give my answer a positive rating. It
doesn't give me "a pat on the head", "good boy" (like ebay), it is my
livelihood!

If in ratings you feel that you expected more or it only helped a little,
please ask me for further info before rating me negatively otherwise I don't
get paid at all for my time and answer.

The thread remains open for us to continue this exchange



James Mather and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Yes they are in agreement at the moment! But I take your point and I like your humour! But my father's millions???? No. It is the fact that my father has been persuaded to forget that he has a son and daughter of his own and that they are somehow not important any more because he has remarried. It is the hurt that has been caused. I am sure he was being influenced by my step mother and, subconsciously he could still be I suppose. The fact that he wants to put things right is uplifting but time is not on our side.

Expert:  James Mather replied 4 years ago.

Humour? That's me being serious!

Things change once they start doing sums or greedy wives bring pressure to bear.

I think you are prob right re stepmother particularly if she was around for some years. I hope you get sorted. Regards

PS. Dont forget my pat on the head

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

If a will has been made with a Notarary Public is it any different than if it had been made with an ordinary solicitor?

Expert:  James Mather replied 4 years ago.




Not
at all. Writing wills is not regulated, so it would not matter if it was
drafted by the office cat. It can be written on the back of a cigarette packet
and, indeed, will has been admitted to probate written on the shell of an egg.

Provided
it contains the necessary clauses and is correctly executed, it is legal,
regardless of who drafted it



Customer: replied 4 years ago.

If my father makes a new will with a new
solicitor, will the original solicitor have cause or need to know that this has
been done either now or after dad has gone?


Olivia

Expert:  James Mather replied 4 years ago.




the
first thing in the new will is a clause which revokes the old will, so there is
no need for the old solicitors know about it and it makes no difference.
Unless, of course, there end is up being an argument over the validity of the
new will.

It
is always good practice for whoever writes a new will to ask for the old one to
be destroyed to prevent someone destroying the new one and attempting to rely
on the old one



Customer: replied 4 years ago.

So a new solicitor will contact the old one, in
which case she will say that, in her opinion, my dad is being influenced by
someone in his family. The accused is
me. I definitely am not influencing my father
but how do I prove that? I feel
increasingly that I may need to do this at some point in the future. Other than his will, can my dad write down, or
say, or both, in front of someone other than me, what his wishes are and would
that be a legally accepted document in a court of law?


Olivia

Expert:  James Mather replied 4 years ago.




No,
not at all. If the new solicitor did that, it would be a breach of client
confidentiality.

The
only way of proving that you were not influencing your father is for your
father to deal with the new solicitor completely on his own with you, not even
in the building. Ask the new solicitor to go with a colleague to provide a
second opinion with regard to undue influence and his mental capacity. Tell the
solicitor to specifically asked the question as to whether your father is being
influenced or not. And then, if it does crop up in the future. The solicitor
can then say that he did specifically press the point and that the gentleman
confirmed he was not under undue pressure and he was doing this of his own free
will.