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Alice H
Alice H, Solicitor/Partner
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 2847
Experience:  Partner in national law firm
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family fall out over a car left by a dad to his son

Resolved Question:

a friend of mine's sister is threatening to take him to court claiming that before their dad died he was forced to sign over his car to his son (Not sure if it was in the will or before the will, but the car is now in his name) (my friend) where does my friend stand on keeping the car and proving it was not signed over by force. (the car is worth quite a bit of money)  She was after more money from the estate and when she found out there was none left she is now after the car. what actions does he need to take? He has tried mediation, but she is determined to take him to court to get the car.

Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Alice H replied 2 years ago.
Alex Hughes : My name is***** and I'm happy to help with your question today. I need to ask you some preliminary questions to be able to help you.
Alex Hughes : On what basis is she making the claim?
Customer:

that the car was given to her brother, under duress and therefore he is not entitled to the car and instead it should be sold and the money split between them

Customer:

the fathers estate has already been split between my friend and his siblings, but one sister is wanting more than her share

Alex Hughes : Understood. How much is the car worth?
Customer:

she is claiming that the car should really be hers and not my friends

Customer:

im not sure exactly but it is a new jag

Alex Hughes : The bot***** *****ne is that she has to prove her allegation to the standard required by law. Just making an allegation and demanding return of the car is not enough. Any claims she makes has to be corroborated with reliable evidence. The person who could have clarified the position exactly is now dead; so she will have to come up with some other evidence. If she can't back up her claims she wil lose and risk having to pay his legal costs if she does,
Customer:

ok so what can he do to protect himself from these claims, he has the documents to prove the car is his and that it was signed over to him by his father,

Alex Hughes : His best stance would be to demand sight of any evidence she intends to rely on and take it from there. If she has no evidence then her claim will not succeed.
Customer:

she is claiming to have evidence, but there cant be any if it was done above board as he saysm

Customer:

she wont show him the evidence, but says it will cost him more in lagel fees than the car is worth

Alex Hughes : He can ask to see her evidence. He has a right to this under the Civil Procedure Rules Pre-Action Protocol. He doesn't need to do anything if she won't show him the evidence.
Customer:

I know it ahs something to do with what is written in the will but as i have not seen the will, i can not comment about that

Alex Hughes : Sounds like she's trying to bluff him.
Alex Hughes : He can demand to see it. If what she says is true then he could negotiate a settlement .
Customer:

ok, so legally speaking he has not go to do anything and if she tries to take him to court he can ask to the evidence against him

Alex Hughes : Yes, that's absolutely correct.
Customer:

if she insistsa on taking it to court what is the worst case sinario

Alex Hughes : Seems to me that she's only after the her share of the value of the car. So worst case he would have to split it with her.
Customer:

I think he is worried about the cost of going to court to protec

Customer:

what about legal fees

Customer:

would he have to pay them

Alex Hughes : Impossible for me to say what the fees would be at this stage. But usually the losing party in a claim pays his own fees and the fees of the other party.
Customer:

ok, but roughly, would the legal fees if he lost cost more than the car concidering it is a new jag

Customer:

i cant see how he could loose but i just want to put him in the full picture

Alex Hughes : Impossible to say at the moment. It could be a few hundred pounds or it could be a few thousand. It's not a simple thing to calculate at this stage.
Customer:

ok, I see i dont understand lagal stuff.

Alex Hughes : Can I help any further?
Customer:

But basically i can tell him, not to worry becasue it is up to her to prove it was given to him under duress and not for him to prove otherwise. He can ask to see the evidence under a law and if she wont or cant show the evidence really she does not have a leg to stand on. If it did go to court the worst case sinario is that he has to sell the car and give her half the money. but if she looses then she pays the fees. so ask her for evidence first and she she cant or wont show it he has nothing to worry about because it is all talk. but if there is something he needs to worry about which he has not tlod me about, then it might be worth negotiating with her

Alex Hughes : Correct. You're absolutely right.
Customer:

brilliant, that is what i will say and then it is up to him what action he takes after than, just wanted to help a friend out. so that info is very useful especially the law bit where she has to show evidence.

Customer:

can i save this conversation so i can show him?

Alex Hughes : No problem at all. I'm not sure how you save the conversation - you might have to cut and paste it.
Alice H, Solicitor/Partner
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 2847
Experience: Partner in national law firm
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Expert:  Alice H replied 2 years ago.
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