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Aston Lawyer
Aston Lawyer, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10585
Experience:  Solicitor LLB (Hons) 23 years of experience in Conveyancing and Property Law
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How legal is it for the warden in a sheltered housing complex

Resolved Question:

How legal is it for the warden in a sheltered housing complex to store opened bank statements of one of her residents in her home? She has now been named executrix in the will of the said resident and both she and her husband are beneficiaries to the tune of 50%.
The resident was my 93 year old uncle who passed away on Monday.
Opinions please
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Aston Lawyer replied 3 years ago.
Hello and thanks for using Just Answer.

My name is XXXXX XXXXX am happy to assist you with your enquiry.

There is nothing illegal as such for the Warden to have been holding the Bank statements- I'm not sure for certain, but perhaps your Uncle had asked the Warden to hold on to this paperwork/ if the Warden had been appointed as Attorney for your Uncle, then she has done nothing wrong.

I am guessing your main issue is that she is beneficiary/Executrix. Have you seen a copy of your Uncle's Will and if so, does it appear to have been prepared or witnessed by a Solicitor?

Were you financially dependent on your Uncle?

I look forward to hearing from you.

Kind Regards
AL
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I was not financially dependent at all. My uncle latterly was unable to communicate due to a series of strokes. I have suspected for a few years that something was amiss with his affairs as the warden appeared to know all about his bank balances etc. She did not have power of attorney.


I have seen a copy of the will which was prepared by a solicitor although it is quite amateurish in appearance. My worry is that he has been taken advantage of by a person who was supposed to be responsible for elderly residents. Only bank statements were in her possession and not other documentation. The estate was not small but this woman would be very aware of this as she had full knowledge of the amounts involved. Any thoughts please.


Caroline

Expert:  Aston Lawyer replied 3 years ago.

Hi Caroline,

Thanks for your reply.

I totally appreciate your concerns and fears that not all may have not been done above board. The problem you have is that if you wish to dispute the Warden's entitlement is that you would have to issue Court proceedings to show that the Warden exerted "undue influence" over your Uncle. Whenever we Solicitors prepare a Will, we have to satisfy ourselves that the client has not been subject to any such undue influence (eg by making sure we take instructions from the client alone/discussing family and other potential beneficiaries with the client). On the basis that a Solicitor prepared your Uncle's Will, no doubt he took this issue on board.

To enable you to be successful in any Court case, you would have to show that your Uncle was somehow influenced by the Warden to make her/her husband beneficiaries, when it would have been the sensible thing for your Uncle to have perhaps left them a lot less than the 50%. The mere fact that the warden was holding Bank statements would not be sufficient. Indeed, she may argue that this was one example of how she had been helping your Uncle and this was one of the reasons why he had left so much to her.

I am sorry if I have come across a bit harsh, but it is going to be difficult for you to prove undue influence if a Solicitor prepared the Will.

However, if you wish to pursue matters, you should go and see a local Solicitor just as soon as possible.

I am sorry this is perhaps not the Answer you were looking for, but I have set out the legal position.

Kind Regards
AL
Aston Lawyer and 5 other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you for your rapid reply. I know I will struggle to prove anything untoward went on but as mentioned I have had my suspicions for years.


 


Thank you