How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask Clare Your Own Question

Clare
Clare, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 33816
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practice since 1985 with a wide general experience.
13262538
Type Your Law Question Here...
Clare is online now

I am estranged from my very recently deceased father, who

Resolved Question:

I am estranged from my very recently deceased father, who separated from my mother many years ago and remarried. I have no contacts with my stepmother.
About 10 years ago, my father sent a letter to me and my sisters asking us to sign some sort of agreement which made us trustees of a trust. I do not know what the trust held. I presumed it was my father's house, in trust and my sisters, at least partly to reduce death duty (?).
My father died a few months ago and I have heard nothing from anyone (not even a formal "your father has died" from my stepmother ).
Some time ago my father did send me and my sisters £20000 each. My sisters think this was the content of the trust. I think not. The reason I think not is that the reason given out of the blue gift was that the investment was not doing well and we might as well have the money right away. Had the money/investment been in a trust, the permission of the trustees would have been required to liquidate it and distribute it . But I do not really know any trust law.
My presumption was that it was in the trust children, with the condition that my stepmother could use it rest of her life, after which me and my sisters could do as we pleased with it. I seem to remember that my stepmother was also a trustee.
Is there any way of finding this out? My stepmother will not provide any information, and will probably refuse permission to obtain it if she has that right.
Could the money already distributed to us have been the content of the trust we are trustees?
And would the land registry record the existence of the trust if that was how the house (4 Hangleton Manor Close, Hove) is held?
Eton Manor
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.

Thank you question.

I will do my best to help you but I need some further information first.
Are you sisters aware of any Will your father made?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thank you. No neither I nor my sisters are aware of any will my father may have made. None of us are that close, I have neither seen nor spoken to him years.
One sister has had occasional, limited contact. Our stepmother has been blunt that she does not want any contact and clearly will not answer any questions of this sort.
Is it possible to find a will through a public register?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I'm not clear that my response to your request information got through. I' just repeating. It here
Thank you. ***** or my sisters are aware of a will left by my father. None of us were close to him; I have not spoken to or seen him years. We have, I that time exchanged a very few letters, one of which invited me and my sisters to sign as trustees to a trust whose contents were not mentioned.
One sister has had occasional contact with. Father and stepmother, but the stepmother has made it very clear that she wants no contact with any of his family and would not answer any questions about the will. Is it possible to sea will through a public register?
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.

My apologies delay
May I ask exactly which month he died in?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
My father dies in Nov 2014, I think. I do not know the exact date, I was not told personally at all. My stepmother called one of my sisters some time after the event to tell her, and to add that there would be no invitations of the family to any funeral , which would be minimal anyway.
So I cannot really be sure, but November is a food guess. It was certainly no earlier than October, nor later than early December
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.

It is unlikely that Probate of any Will would have been applied and it is only when Probate is granted that the Will becomes a public document,
However you can check using the process here
https://www.gov.uk/search-will-probate
You can check who owned the property he lived in using the process here
https://www.gov.uk/search-property-information-land-registry
It is likely that the property was held in joint names and passed to his widow automatically - but it would be sensible to check
Please ask if you need further details
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thank you . It provides some useful suggestions.
Just one other point; my sisters suggest the £100 000 my father gave to us (£20000 each to me and my four sisters) would have been contained in the trust of which we are all trustees. When it was distributed, it came with a note to the effect that the investment was performing poorly, so we might as well have the money now ( that was about three years ago).
My sisters are of the view that that was the contents of the trust. I thought it would not be possible to liquidate and distribute the contents of the trust without the consent of a majority of the trustees, and so that money could not be all of or even part of the trust.
Is this a correct view, or could my father have made that decision with our reference to the other trustees?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thank you . It provides some useful suggestions.
Just one other point; my sisters suggest the £100 000 my father gave to us (£20000 each to me and my four sisters) would have been contained in the trust of which we are all trustees. When it was distributed, it came with a note to the effect that the investment was performing poorly, so we might as well have the money now ( that was about three years ago).
My sisters are of the view that that was the contents of the trust. I thought it would not be possible to liquidate and distribute the contents of the trust without the consent of a majority of the trustees, and so that money could not be all of or even part of the trust.
Is this a correct view, or could my father have made that decision with our reference to the other trustees?
One other point; would the trust have to be detailed I the will, or could it exist without being mentioned in the will?
And would the land registry have a record of the trust if it did contain the house, with trustees who would have some control over its sale or other disposal? If that is so, would it be possible to have access to that land registry record?
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.

In fact I suspect that your sisters are correct - some investments are set up in a way that could allow them to be released in such a way - without seeing the documentation there is no way of knowing
The Trust would not have to be mentioned in the Will - however it would be possible to identify if the house was involved as there would be a restriction on the ability of a single signatory to register a transfer
Clare
Clare, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 33816
Experience: I have been a solicitor in High Street Practice since 1985 with a wide general experience.
Clare and other Law Specialists are ready to help you

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • Thank you so much for your help. Your answers were really useful and came back so quickly. Great! Maggie
< Previous | Next >
  • Thank you so much for your help. Your answers were really useful and came back so quickly. Great! Maggie
  • A quick response, a succinct and helpful answer in simple English. I believe I can now confront the counter party with confidence -- worth the 30 bucks! Rick
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C.
  • This expert is wonderful. They truly know what they are talking about, and they actually care about you. They really helped put my nerves at ease. Thank you so much!!!! Alex
  • Thank you for all your help. It is nice to know that this service is here for people like myself, who need answers fast and are not sure who to consult. GP
  • I couldn't be more satisfied! This is the site I will always come to when I need a second opinion. Justin
  • Just let me say that this encounter has been entirely professional and most helpful. I liked that I could ask additional questions and get answered in a very short turn around. Esther
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Jo C.

    Jo C.

    Barrister

    Satisfied Customers:

    30316
    Over 5 years in practice
< Previous | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/EM/emus/2015-7-7_192327_bigstockportraitofconfidentfemale.64x64.jpg Jo C.'s Avatar

    Jo C.

    Barrister

    Satisfied Customers:

    30316
    Over 5 years in practice
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/BE/benjones/2015-12-1_0437_ennew.64x64.jpg Ben Jones's Avatar

    Ben Jones

    UK Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    11553
    Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/BU/Buachaill/2012-5-25_211156_barrister5.64x64.jpg Buachaill's Avatar

    Buachaill

    Barrister

    Satisfied Customers:

    1754
    Barrister 17 years experience
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/JO/jojobi/2013-3-19_0265_maxlowryphoto.64x64.jpg Max Lowry's Avatar

    Max Lowry

    Advocate

    Satisfied Customers:

    894
    LLB, 10 years post qualification experience
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/UK/UKLawyer/2012-4-12_9849_F2.64x64.jpg UK_Lawyer's Avatar

    UK_Lawyer

    Solicitor

    Satisfied Customers:

    750
    I am a qualified solicitor and an expert in UK law.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/KA/Kasare/kasare.64x64.jpg Kasare's Avatar

    Kasare

    Solicitor

    Satisfied Customers:

    402
    Solicitor, 10 yrs plus experience in civil litigation, employment and family law
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/OS/osh/2015-7-7_19268_gettyimagesb.64x64.jpg Joshua's Avatar

    Joshua

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    8199
    LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice
 
 
 

Related Law Questions