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Ash
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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I am writing a book about an inheritance dispute in

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Hello, I am writing a book about an inheritance dispute in the UK based on a true story. In the book a daughter is given a 50,000 pound cheque by her father and stepmother just before her father dies. She has had a very good relationship with her father and stepmother. Her father tells her not to tell her only brother who is not a caring son and is a former SAS soldier, who has enriched himself by working as a mercenary in Oman. The money is given with no strings attached. After the father's death, the daughter continues to visit her stepmother regularly, take her on outings and holidays and pay for any maintenance bills on the penthouse apartment. Then, the stepmother and stepdaughter have a small argument. The stepmother gets in a huff and asks the brother to pay her next maintenance bill, which he does so. The stepmother also tells him that the stepdaughter, his sister, has stolen 50,000 pounds from her. He confronts the sister but she denies this. He then turns the stepmother against the stepdaughter. He gets her to give him general power of attorney, signed under duress, as he threatens to dob her in for benefit fraud if she doesn't sign. He also gets her to sign a deed of gift giving him the penthouse, and she makes a new will leaving everything to him. He gives the instructions for the deed of gift and the will to his lawyers, and pays the bill. His lawyers never meet the stepmother. The new will and deed of gift are drawn up in 2000, only one year after she executed a will in 1990 with her own lawyers leaving 2/3 of her estate to her stepdaughter, 1/3 of her estate to her stepson, and naming nine minor beneficiaries. Six years later and only one month before the stepmother died, the stepson instructed his solicitor in a typed letter, signed by him, to register the transfer of ownership of the apartment (worth 650,000 pounds in 2006) in his name. A client care letter was sent by the solicitor to the stepmother, but it was returned signed by the stepson. After the probate the stepdaughter complained to the SRA about the conduct of her brother's lawyers. The SRA found that the solicitors had breached the code of conduct for solicitors. I am trying to write a plausible ending for this book (not the actual ending, which is depressing) and perhaps you could tell me if this is believable for readers: In the book, the stepdaughter hires a lawyer and goes to a mediation session with her brother and his lawyer. Because the SRA has proved they were negligent, her brother's lawyers agree to a settlement of 75,000 with the stepdaughter and agree to pay her legal costs. The brother is unreasonable and very angry. He will only agree to a 50,000 pound settlement. So the stepdaughter decides to get her lawyer to write a letter outlining the abuse of power of attorney, misrepresentation of stepmother's wishes and theft of property and take it to the police. A year later the brother appears in court and is charged with misuse of power of attorney and theft of property. The will is overturned, and the 1990 will reinstated, so stepdaughter will get 2/3 of estate, and nine minor beneficiaries will receive legacies. Brother does not inherit because he has been convicted and sentenced to two years in prison. Could you please advise me if this sounds like a plausible ending to my book about an inheritance abuse, based on a true story. Many thanks, ***** ***** Jong
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
If you have any questions I'm happy to answer them. Just letting you know the brother in the story is a decorated war hero, and worked as a fire arms tutor for the police. His chief constable does not like him, and the sister is going to give the chief constable her lawyer's letter accusing him of theft of property and misuse of power of attorney. This should ensure a criminal investigation. It's also important for you to know that the stepmother did not have dementia. Before she died she was ill, but sound of mind.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Just reassuring you that we have changed names and places in the book to protect identities.
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help you.Just to be clear the ending is fiction?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi Alex, To answer your question, yes, the ending is fiction. I am ghostwriting this book for a woman called Adrienne in Taupo, NZ, who wants her story told. She is the step daughter in the story. The story is based on a true story, so most of the events are true, with some embellishments, however, the ending is fiction. Adrienne wanted a happy ending. The real ending is quite depressing. Adrienne settled at mediation for a paltry 40,000 pounds. But she regrets this as she feels she could have won if she had a better lawyer because the SRA report had pointed out so many 'mistakes' that had been made by her brother's lawyers. I'm sorry, I can't chat live because of the time difference. But please continue to send me any more questions you may have.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
In what court in the UK would the brother 'Alex' be convicted of theft of property? In NZ, he would be convicted in the High Court. I believe our justice systems are very similiar. By the way, Adrienne immigrated to NZ after her brother excommunicated her from the family by spreading lies about her (that she stole the 50,000 pounds from her step mother leaving her hard up) so the book is set in the UK and NZ, but most of the action takes place in the UK. Also, Alex, the brother, is a decorated war hero (this is true). It's an interesting story because inheritance disputes are common but books don't seem to be written about them. Thank you for your help.
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
It would be theft if it was appropriation of property which belongs to another with permenant intention to deprive. Does that clarify?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Could you tell me if it is likely that Alex would go to trial for theft of property in the High Court with a Judge presiding? Would it be likely that Judge finds him guilty and delivers this verdict: 'I sentence you, Alex Coleman, to two years in prison for theft of the property or your late step mother. The last will of your step mother is to be disregarded and the 1990 will reinstated. You must also give your father's autobiography and war souvenirs to your sister.'
Please tell me if the above ending is plausible for readers - you are welcome to change phrasing. Thank you, Maria
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
No. It would be Magistrates Court or Crown Court. It would NEVER be the High Court. But the wording is ok.
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
Does that clarify? Alex
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Do you think this Alex being convicted of theft in the Magistrates Court is a plausible ending for the reader? Adrienne prefers this ending, but I wondered if it is unlikely that a person would be convicted?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
An alternative ending is Alex is pressured by the threat of being investigated by the police for theft of property into settling at mediation for say, 450,000 pounds.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The book is semi-fiction, but I want it to be believable. Maria
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
Then it could be theft and election to Crown Court. That is fine Maria
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
Does that clarify? Alex
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Not quite sure what 'election to Crown Court' means?
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
For theft you can be tried in the Magistrates Court or elect to go to Crown Court.
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
Does that clarify? Alex
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi Alex. I've just been reviewing our conversation and I do have one more question. The ending is that the brother elects to go to the Crown Court and is convicted of theft of property and the 1990 will is reinstated. In the 1990 will the sister inherits 2/3, the brother inherits 1/3 and there are 9 minor beneficiaries. I believe the brother will not be allowed to inherit 1/3 - can you please explain why?
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
Sadly I am not a probate lawyer as deal with Criminal matters. I can help you with crime element.
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
Does that clarify? Alex
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Is this a likely scenario: What are the hypothetical reasons Alex would elect to be tried in Crown Court?
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
Its someone's right to elect. Its up to them, they have a choice.
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
Does that clarify?
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
Alex
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Would a case like this be tried in the Crown Court by a Judge, or a Judge and jury?
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
Crown Court is never by Judge alone. It is always Judge and Jury.
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
Please remember to rate my answer otherwise the site doesnt pay for my time spent with you - thanks.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Could you please tell me of any websites or material online that could help me with the task of describing a scene where the brother is sentenced in the Crown Court?
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
http://www.mulrooneycraghill.com/what-happens-at-a-crown-court-trial-an-introduction/https://www.gov.uk/courts/crown-courthttps://www.cps.gov.uk/victims_witnesses/going_to_court/
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
Please do remember to rate and have a good weekend. Alex
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi Alex, Don't worry, I will rate you. Those sites are helpful, thank you. I'm just wondering if only a tiny percentage of cases go through to the Crown Court, isn't it more likely the brother would be sentenced in the Magistrate's Court? Or do you think that because it is theft of a property, it is a serious theft, and would got to the Crown Court?
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
No. Because if he chooses to go to the Crown Court, which is his right, he can do so there.Over 90% of cases are dealt with in the Magistrates Court but its his right to be tried in the Crown
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
Does that clarify?Alex
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Do you think the brother would think it would be to his advantage to be tried by a judge and jury in the Crown Court?
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
Yes I do.
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
Does that clairfy?
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Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Yes, thank you. That's the end of my questions for the moment.