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Clare
Clare, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 34581
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practice since 1985 with a wide general experience.
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Probate.A will was witnessed but a witness was unable to

Resolved Question:

Probate. A will was witnessed but a witness was unable to sign and directed me to do so at his direction. My Nan gifted her house by way of keys and telling me where her title deeds were 6 months before she died.   What are the implications of this

Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
Thank you for your question.
My name is ***** ***** I will do my best to help you but I need some further information first.
Why could the Witness not sign?
Clare
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

He had a problem with his hand an injury but also he may have been slightly dyslexic.

Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
May I ask why he was asked to Witness a Will in those circumstances?
Clare
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

First opportunity to have 2 independent witnesses present at the same time. He drove so presumably he could sign, he was embarrassed so suspect he was dyslexic afterwards.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Would add the the testator had signed and the other witness before him he had not said that he would be unable to sign until it got to him. Only one copy was taken.

Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
Will he give evidence to that effect if need be?
Clare
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Not now previously he would have. Huge dispute about building works he performed and now denies even meeting the testator. He has been trying to extort money for around 9 months. There is written evidence to his I would have helped you etc... and a witness to say he had meet the testator, turns out he is on medication and was working while on benefits.

Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
Have you tried to obtain Probate of the Will?
Clare
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Yes granted back in 2012 estate distributed as per the will. The will was passed to colleague and asked about the clause for 'at the direction of' to be added if required. They never came back with a yes or no, valid or not, a few months later the testator died and they sent it off as it stood. The will was called back after the solicitors were reported to the police and SRA, The witness was working for the senior partner, clearing files, they reported it to the police. No beneficiaries have raised issue with it.


 

Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
So the Probate office accepted it but are now challenging it I am afraid
Clare
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

No the probate office is not involved.

Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
Sorry - i thought you said that Probate had been granted?
Clare
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Probate granted 2012 the estate distributed they have not raised an issue with it. The solicitors who made the application and the witness have informed the police. Arrested no charges the police have been investigating now for a year.

Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
So what do you wish to know about this?
Clare
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

A will was witnessed but a witness was unable to sign and directed me to do so at his direction. My Nan gifted her house by way of keys and telling me where her title deeds were 6 months before she died. What are the implications of this

Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
Just for clarity - what name did you sign on the will?
Clare
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

His name was given not signed as a signature his address was dictated by him.

Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
Who were the other possible beneficiaries of your grandmother - how many children/grandchildren are there?
Clare
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Myself and my children are the only living relatives now. I was also her Attorney, she was moving down to live with us, hence the building work quoted 12 weeks took 12 months. Hence none of the beneficiaries had a problem, we all knew her wishes and plans.

Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
Did your parent (her child) have any siblings?
Clare
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

No, my mum was adopted and died, my nan had a half sister who died, I had a brother who died he left 2 children who were adopted.

Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
Do you mean they were adopted by someone else after his death?
Clare
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

yes they were 1 yr and 2 yr when he died, his partner moved on.

Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
In that case there is no real problem
Even if the Will was not valid you are the only person who would have inherited the whole estate in any event so there is no loss to anyone.
Couple with that the fact that the Probate Registry accepted the Will as valid in terms of what happens to the Estate since there is no one to challenge the Will it is hard to see what action the police could take as it appears that there is no evidence - other than that of the Witness - that there was any wrongdoing in any event
Please ask if you need further details
Clare
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

My Nan also gave me her house around March as it was to be sold to help fund the conversion and her living costs. We did not register the gift as I would have had to pay taxes on the transfer it also to have to be registered at the land registry. (unregistered property) I had Power of Attorney etc.. she gave keys said where the deeds were, as she was moving and it was to be sold we just left it at that. Would this gift be recognised as valid. The house has been sold years ago now. There probably is not any written evidence of the gift because we had no reason to think any one would question it.

Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
How much was her total estate worth?
Clare
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

without the house £25,000.00 with the house £330,000.00 the house was declared on the IHT forms as it was a transfer.

Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
So again there is no issue for anyone to object to
Clare
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