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Clare
Clare, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 33958
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practice since 1985 with a wide general experience.
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Hello again. I wrote about my father and the will he drafted

Resolved Question:

Hello again.

I wrote about my father and the will he drafted for my mother.
I spoke to the witnesses but there was nothing apparently wrong with the witness process.

My question is this:
It has transpired that my father is sitting on the will he drafted, and not putting it into Probate. In that way he can keep the matter in limbo and thus hold a kind of control over us regarding all matters related to Mother's property.
Is it possible to remove Father as executor to the will?
He has not dealt with any of the matters that an executor normally does - her banks, her utility bills etc all dealt with by us her children in his absence.
He has not kept her property insured. It is also falling fast into disrepair (although it is lived in by one brother).
He has acted in a dishonest manner by ordering the property safe to be broken into and removing the safe contents. We suspect this may have included a codicil stating her wishes that the descendants could choose between either her new or late will (which was what she told us, naive as it sounds). It could also have included money - but there is no proof as to what was in the safe.
We do not trust him or his actions. He has a long (documented) history of exerting control over us his family and our mother (which culminated in their divorce and her freedom).

He also thinks that he can set up the trust himself and determine its future/format etc.
Needless to say the relationship between us all is not the best.
many thanks,
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Nicola-mod replied 3 years ago.
Hello,

I've been working hard to find a Professional to assist you with your question, but sometimes finding the right Professional can take a little longer than expected.

I wonder whether you're ok with continuing to wait for an answer. If you are, please let me know and I will continue my search. If not, feel free to let me know and I will cancel this question for you.

Thank you!
Nicola
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I am happy to wait - there's no rush.

Expert:  Nicola-mod replied 3 years ago.
Hello,

We will continue to look for a Professional to assist you.

Thank you for your patience,
Nicola
Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
Thank you for your question and for asking for me - I apologise for the delay
Have you considered the issue of Undue Influence - that you father pressured your mother to make this will?
Clare
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Clare,


We have considered this, because the truth is that this is what actually happened. Father first approached my sister in the summer of 2012 and asked her to put pressure on Mother to change her will, and my sister refused. At the time he was talking vaguely about putting the house in trust for all five children, "I have advised your mother as to what would be best," father said, "but I have no confidence in her actually getting round to it - she's always suffered from malaise." My sister ignored his request for interference and did not mention the matter to mother at all. He mentioned much later when mother was dying that "I have got her to change her will making me the sole executor". He also said that any interference would be considered as undue influence and that we would just have to "lump it" as she was poorly now. "There's not a damn thing you can do about it." he said. He stated that the primary objective of the new will was to keep the house out of the hands of any of his children and that he was fully aware that making it would cause trouble. We told him that mother had told us that we could choose between either of the two wills she had made (had father told her this was the case?) and he said, "Well, she was clearly deluded." After mother's death, he instructed our second-to-youngest brother to break into mother's safe with a hammer and chisel and deliver the will to him immediately, saying that if anyone destroyed or tampered with it it would be a criminal matter. What about the crime of breaking into the safe? There's lots more like this. He is used to flying very close to the wind...


 


Metia and Melandra

Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
HI
And do you not wish to take action on that?
Clare
Customer: replied 3 years ago.


We don't know what is best to take action on; he is used to misbehaving himself and getting away with it by a thin margin. We are very unhappy about the safe breaking, because there is a possibility that she could have put a note/codicil in to the effect that she had the two wills and that her family could choose between the two. He was desperate to get the safe broken into.


It is further complicated by the fact that the younger brother who carried out the break-in is living in Mother's property at the moment, and although he expressed an intent to buy it as soon as he legally could, we believe that Father has told him something to the effect of "if you stay in there long enough, and I don't put the will in probate, you can get it for free."


There is also the fact that nobody can legally charge rent on the property as it was a former stable attached to the house, and when the parents divorced, another brother bought our Father out and Mother moved into the converted stable - which had not had formal Building Regs passed - therefore is not legally rentable.


Complicated, isn't it?

Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
What is the extent of the actual estate?
Clare
Customer: replied 3 years ago.


It is not very much.


Her half of the marital home is a two bedroom semi detached stone long barn, set in half an acre of ground, and valued professionally at £190k. It is on the Land Registry as hers. No mortgage, no debts.


Brother living there has put up two barns (with late Mother's permission) on the land at the back which he is working in.


 

Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
If it is in her name why do you say she only owned half of it?
Clare
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Before the divorce it was one detatched farmhouse with stable - all one building. When they divorced, it was valued and a brother gave father half the value and bought half the property (the house half). mother was left with the other half (the stable half). land registry deeds were drawn to register the two different owners. the solicitor at the time of divorce/sale strongly recommended that Building Regs were also applied for, but it seems that they never were. Mother's part of the property is the estate valued at £190k. the building regs thing is only of interest because in the Trust will it stated that the property was to be let to a descendnt, but as it stands legally it couldn't be rented to anyone.

Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
So is the value the value with or without Building Regs?
Clare
Customer: replied 3 years ago.


With Building Regs, without it would be slightly less.


 


Opinions have been sought and it looks as though Building regs would not be a problem to get, as it was converted to living standards a good while ago.


 


(But someone would need some kind of title of ownership to get them, and at the moment, until a will is submitted, I understand there isn't even an official executor.)


 


There is also the problem that my Mother's sister and brother in law spent £40k on getting her property to a good living standard, as a gift on the proviso that she left her property unconditionally to her 5 children; they are extremely unhappy about the will my father drafted, as it goes against their agreement and their gift. They also cannot understand why she allowed him to write this doc for her, and it further points to his control over her. Their agreement and gift was not in writing! They were wonderful and generous to her.


It is worth saying that they had not been speaking to my father for the last twenty years, because of his behaviour on other occasions.


 


 

Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
Are all of your siblings willing to challenge the Will?
Clare
Customer: replied 3 years ago.


At the moment, yes.


 

Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
Then you should do so - it is clear that your mother was under great pressure at the time this Will was made and it in no way reflects her actual wishes
On that basis your father can be set aside and either you or you siblings can apply for Letters of Administration and the estate can be equally divided between you all
I hope that this is of assistance
Clare
Clare, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 33958
Experience: I have been a solicitor in High Street Practice since 1985 with a wide general experience.
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