To clarify your answer Clare, the letters of administration were granted, the property sold and inheritance tax paid. Probate was granted to a cousin on 22nd Oct 2013. The "will" was not produced until early July 2014. I am not sure if it is an original or copy. In your previous answer, we you saying the it was up to the estate to prove whether the will was valid or invalid?
We are being asked to pay to challenge it.
Relative and beneficiary and executor of the will were friends. The flat mentioned in will was part of relatives property.
They then fell out. Relative had to sell his parents property, also mentioned in the will, in order to "buy her off" and the flat was purchased by relative.
Beneficiary claims that relative gave her a "box of valuables" to keep safe when he went on his trips. Despite requests beneficiary has not come forward with any other paperwork.
No copy of the will was found in relatives paperwork, his home, solicitors etc.
We believe will was destroyed by relative when their relationship ended, but she still had a copy (as previous executor) that was not destroyed - this is why it took so long will to "turn up"?
It has never been referred to as an Original document - and the photocopy that was presented to me is very poor, and it looks more like a copy of a copy?
Also, the firm of solicitors appointed in the letter of administration worked with the person who produced the will, as well as ourselves i.e in the preparation of instructions handwriting analysis. Has our case been jeopardised by informing her that there inconsistencies in the will as in signature etc? in effect they were working sides of a contentious will?
Which affects both sides ...
3 Challoner Court Bristol BS1 4RG
9 November 2014
Ms Sarah O’Grady
Clarke Willmott LLP
Your ref: LT060/3816/1727/415481.00001
Dear Ms O’Grady
I am very surprised by your response dated 6 November in reply to my letter dated 26 October.
The Will was taken to your offices in Bristol as I was advised that Clarke Willmott was looking after the Estate of Mr Thomas Henshall. At that first meeting with Ms Cummins, as stated in my previous letter to you, she asked me if I would be happy to handle the matter and I said I would be. Far from being advised that Clarke Willmott was acting on behalf of Karen Hymas, at the subsequent meeting, when I handed over to Ms Cummins the handwriting samples she had requested, I asked her if those disputing the Will had a solicitor acting and she replied that it had not come to that yet.
Now you say in your letter “it has always been the case that we have acted Hymas. We now act of the beneficiaries as well …”.
Why was I not made aware that Clarke Willmott was acting Hymas and not simply being an impartial administrator of the Estate, which is what I understood them to be? And how is it that you can at the same time as administrating the Estate impartially, also represent clients who are challenging the Will?
I do not agree that the cost of a report from a handwriting expert, requested by Karen Hymas et al, or any other fees or expenditure incurred on behalf of Karen Hymas et al, should be paid out of the Estate.
26 October 2014
Your Ref: LT060/3816/1727/415481.00001
I acknowledge receipt of your letter dated 22 October, together with enclosures.
Immediately on discovery of the Will, I took it to your office as I was advised that Clarke Willmott were looking after the estate of Thomas Henshall. I met Ms Carol Cummins who asked me if I would be happy to handle the matter. I said I would be, and then, and at a subsequent meeting, I spoke candidly and fully in answering all her questions about my relationship with Mr Henshall. To my great surprise, I now see from your communication that you are not simply caring estate, but actually representing the group of people accusing me of counterfeiting.
In principle I have no objection to a handwriting expert seeing the Will and in response to a request from Ms Cummins I took in to her office further samples of Mr Henshall’s handwriting which were in my possession, together with sample of my own handwriting. Incidentally, I don’t see this sample of my writing mentioned in your draft letter to the handwriting expert.
What about the witnesses to the Will? Or are their signatures also considered to be forgeries?
I look forward to hearing from you.
So far £540 and £384 - included in that time is working with Brenda Page and we are told that we are jointly and severely responsible bills.