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F E Smith
F E Smith, Advocate
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 8443
Experience:  I have been practising for 30 years.
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My father died on August 11th. He lived with his girlfriend

Resolved Question:

My father died on August 11th. He lived with his girlfriend for 27 years, in a bungalow they owned 50% of each. I, as the oldest, have always been joint executor, representing my dad's half. Until it was changed to her son in law in march this year! I wasn't informed, only finding out in a casual phone call. I am concerned now that all the moaning she has done to everyone about how if it wasn't for her and her family, he would have died sooner, was to coerce my dad into changing his will in favour of her?? She left us out of the funeral, calls about his condition from the hospital and even called herself next of kin! She ignored us at the funeral and due to my sister telling her she is out of order. We are no longer allowed to phone her!! Please help, we have written to her to ask for a copy of the will because she says she can't afford to start probate.
Submitted: 1 month ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  F E Smith replied 1 month ago.

Do you know that your father wrote a will?

Have you seen a copy?

Do you know what is in it?

Do you know who was appointed as executor?

With regard to the bungalow, do you know whether it was joint tenants or tenants in common and if you don’t know, have you seen the land Registry title deed?

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
I have written to her asking to furnish me with a copy of the will. It was changed in March, when they realised dad was dying! Previously, I was joint executor with Jill. I wasn't informed this had been changed to her son in law instead til after he died. I don't know which type of tenant yet, sorry! I probably shouldn't have contacted you until I knew more. I haven't seen the land registry, as I didn't know I could? I will get on with doing that now, many thanks. Am I being charged to reply to you, or you to me please?
Expert:  F E Smith replied 1 month ago.

You paid one fee and we can have as many exchanges as you like for that one fee.

You don’t pay per reply.

If she will not let you have a copy of the will, (she is not obliged to do so) then she may be hiding something. My advice to people is that even though anyone asking for a copy of the will may not be entitled to it (even beneficiaries are not entitled to see the will although they can get a copy from the probate registry once probate has been granted) is for complete transparency, if any potential beneficiary asked to see a copy, just reveal it.

Hence, if she won’t let you have a copy, and you think that your father may have been under some kind of undue influence from her to change his will in her favour or that he lacked the mental capacity to do so when he did it, you can make an application to court for Pre-Action Disclosure of the will and you can ask the court to award court costs against her on the basis that you are asking for a copy of the will was not an unreasonable request in these circumstances.

You may find that she is more receptive to a request coming from a solicitor. However, if she’s done anything untoward, she may dig her heels in even further!

You can get the deeds to the property from this link for £3.they arrive in minutes.!ut/p/b1/04_SjzS0tDQwMTIxMjLXj9CPykssy0xPLMnMz0vMAfGjzOKNjSxMDA1NjDwsjM3MDTxN3dyNDUNMjQ1MjPWDU_P0c6McFQH3SLFU/

you can attach the deed or what you need to do is look for a restriction, along the lines of, “no disposition by a sole proprietor …..”

If that rather odd wording is in there then the property is held as tenants in common and each share of the house passes in accordance with the deceased will. If that wording is not in there, then the property is joint tenants and passes to the survivor under the right of does so, regardless of what the deceased will says.

Can I clarify anything for you?

Please rate the service positive. It doesn’t cost you anything but helps me greatly as that’s what pays me. We can still exchange emails.

Best wishes.


F E Smith, Advocate
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 8443
Experience: I have been practising for 30 years.
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