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Clare
Clare, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 33953
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practice since 1985 with a wide general experience.
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To clarify your answer Clare, the letters of administration

Resolved Question:

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?

Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.

Thank you question.
From the copy letter it appears that basic steps were in fact taken to authenticate the Will and it appears to be valid.
What are you now being asked to pay for?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

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"?

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.

- the Solicitors have seen the Will and are certain it is the Original document and not a copy?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

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?

Regards,

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

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?

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Which affects both sides ...


3 Challoner Court Bristol BS1 4RG



9 November 2014

Ms Sarah O’Grady

Associate

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.

Yours sincerely

Brenda Page

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

3 Challoner Court Bristol BS1 4RG



26 October 2014

Ms Sarah O’Grady

Associate

Clarke Willmott LLP

Your Ref: LT060/3816/1727/415481.00001

Dear Ms O’Grady

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.

Yours sincerely

Brenda Page

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Keith
Has anyone actually asked you ?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

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.

Regards,

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.

There does appear to be confusion all around.
The Solicitors are acting Administrators of the Estate - they are instructed by the Administrator and are acting accordingly.
When the "Will "appeared it was their job to assess whether or not it was valid on the face of it - and this they appear to have done (assuming that the Will was indeed an Original document)
It appears that their initial assessment is that it is valid
All the costs up to that point are costs of the Estate.
Having made the assessment that the will was on the face of it Valid at that point any costs of challenging it should be paid by those who wish to challenge it PROVIDED that they are sent Client Care letters confirming this.
You need to decide whether or not you do wish to pursue this at your own cost or not
Clare
Clare, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 33953
Experience: I have been a solicitor in High Street Practice since 1985 with a wide general experience.
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