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Clare
Clare, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 34587
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practice since 1985 with a wide general experience.
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My stepmother claims she's lost my fathers will and can't re

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My stepmother claims she's lost my fathers will and can't remember the name of his solicitors. She had lasting powers of attorney and I was named as a "second" and also as next of kin as his eldest daughter.
My father told me, before he died on 9/7/15 that I was an executor and about various bank accounts, so I know that including their property, the estate is relatively large. I have one of their bank account details but they have various accounts etc even in NZ!
My father was 20 years older than stepmother, She was very difficult and incredibly cruel to my father during his illness, not even going to his cremation and going to a pop concert 3 hours after his death. My father has 2 children, 6 granchildren and 7 great granchildren, all of whom he doted on. She had no children and openley avoided the young children, stating she hated kids!
I'm sure my father would have wanted to leave them something if only a token. She said he had nothing of value ( which isnt true as I've given him various things over the years) and she's already sent all his things to a charity shop!
I have signed up to the "Certainty will register" but as yet have heard nothing.
Is there anything I can do to find the will and execute his wishes, whatever they may be. I feel powerless and angry and I know that she's not telling the truth, particularly as she is meticulous about documents and money matters, I'm certain she's hiding something!!
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
Thank you for your question.
My name is Clare
I will do my best to help you but I need some further information first.
How much was his estate worth?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi Clare.

Probably upwards of 1.5 million

Lucy

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
Are these assets all in his sole name?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

No, I believe they're in both names. Or since she acquired lasting power of attorney I think she transferred most things into her name.He had an independent savings account but she emptied that during the last year of his life. He owned property and business prior to meeting her. She had nothing. They were married for many years. He may have left all or half the house in trust for the family, which could be the reason she claims she can't find the will or remember the solicitors name. At least 2 accounts are held in Nz as I mentioned. They had property there from late 90's until the earthquake when they received a substantial payout. She has said that the money's there is to avoid paying tax.

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
Do you have any idea which solicitor he might have used?
Or where ?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

No, that's why I signed up to the Certainty will register. It could be in Woking Surrey or Henley Oxfordshire. All previous addresses have been given.

Lucy

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
Sadly the Register is not as extensive as they like to think.
One starting point is to phone all solicitors in the two areas and ask if they are holding a Will - or ever prepared one for your father
You can check the ownership of any properties you are aware of and see if they were held as Joint tenants 9and pass to her automatically) or as Tenants in Common - in which case they can only be dealt with via a Will.
Any monies in Joint Accounts will pass to her automatically as well.
You should also lodge a Caveat with the Probate Registry in case she applies for Letters of Administration without notifying you.
Finally you could write a formal letter asking for evidence that all assets were held in joint names and pointing out that if not then she is only entitled to the first £250,000 free and clear.
I hope that this is of assistance - please ask if you need further details
Clare
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