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JGM
JGM, Solicitor
Category: Scots Law
Satisfied Customers: 10650
Experience:  30 years as a practising solicitor.
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I am looking to receive advice on a will were I am both executor

Resolved Question:

I am looking to receive advice on a will were I am both executor and beneficiary
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Scots Law
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
My late father left me a pecuniary legacy in his will, should his wife (my stepmother) predecease him. In the event that she did not predecease him my father's share in the residential property was to be held as a liferented fund for the liferenter (my stepmother) and enjoyment so long as she requires such house for her own personal occupation.My stepmother has now sold the house and the sale is complete. She has offered me less than the legacy my father left me. I had expected to receive 100% of the legacy upon the sale of the house. Can you advise me if this should be the case?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
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Expert:  JGM replied 1 year ago.
How did she manage to sell the house if she only had a liferent in your late father's share? And who was the fiar of his share?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thanks for your response. From what I can see my legacy was tied up in the liferent and my stepmother still had her share. I can scan the will and let you see it. She used a different solicitor from the one who prepared the will. My understanding of the will was that if she gave up the liferented legacy I. E sold the house that I would receive my share with no interest added and the residue of my father's share was to be split between my siblings and step siblings.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Sorry I don't know what you mean by fiar.
Expert:  JGM replied 1 year ago.
The liferenter is the life tenant. The fiar is the beneficial owner who takes possession of the property once the liferent ends. It will be helpful to see the will and I can explain further. Thanks you.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi, I attach here the relevant pages of the will for you to look at. I look forward to hearing from you.Kindest regardsJohn
Expert:  JGM replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for doing this. Can you upload the rest please. I need to have the pages which deal with the situation following the liferent.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Good morning. Remaining pages here. I am seeing my stepmother over the weekend and I would like to be in a position to know where I stand legally.Thanks
John
Expert:  JGM replied 1 year ago.
The important pages are 3 and 4 I think. Can you upload those please.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I have sent you all the pages. 3 and 4 are in the first upload. I have added them again here.Kindest regards
John
Expert:  JGM replied 1 year ago.
Sorry about this but I'm getting an error message when I try to look at either 3 or 4. Can you try to upload them again.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi. I have tried adding them as screen shots.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
If this does not work can you send me an email and I can send direct.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
They work on the original post I sent you when I sent pages 1 - 4.
Expert:  JGM replied 1 year ago.
Tried again and they're not opening, nor do I see them with pages 1 and 2 from yesterday. Can you email the files to***@******.*** and ask the moderator to send them to JGM. Thanks.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I have sent the email and documents as requested.Kindest regardsJohn
Expert:  JGM replied 1 year ago.
I've read these now. Your father's share of the house was left in liferent to your step mother. Subject to the liferent, you and Calum as executors were instructed that his share was bequeathed to Carol, Amanda, Calum, Catherine, Sandra, Peggy and Ian. You aren't mentioned So unless the title was joint and to the survivor your step mother had no power to sell the house as a whole. Please see if you can get this clarified and revert to me once you have spoken to her.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I will be speaking to her at the weekend. I was told by my father of the gift of £50k and that any residue would be shared amongst the other siblings (including step). My understanding was that if and when the liferent was either renounced or my stepmother died, upon the sale of the property I would receive my 50k and the residue of my father's share would go to my siblings. Is this not the case?
Expert:  JGM replied 1 year ago.
That's not how I read the will. The will says that you get the £50k if your stepmother died before your father. She didn't. She inherited a liferent of your father's interest in the house. On evacuation of the liferent the share goes to the family members mentioned.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Well that is devastating news and makes no sense that I, his only biological son would inherit nothing whilst being executor of his estate. I had a full and loving relationship with my father all of his life and this must be an error in the content of the will. In fact it was my stepmother who told me I was to receive 50k and my father arranged for me to receive a copy of the will. Can this be challenged if need be?
Expert:  JGM replied 1 year ago.
So there are two issues. The fact that your stepmother has managed to sell the house when on the face of it she didn't have title to do so and also that your father managed to cut you out of the will. The will looks like it was prepared by a non solicitor, perhaps one one these will writers. You could challenge it if you can establish it didn't reflect his intentions. That would be very expensive. If the family accept the position you could vary by Deed of Family Arrangement depending on the date of death. Very unsatisfactory all round and you have my sympathy.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Good morning,I have searched JMD Associates (UK) Limited (Will writers) and they have gone into liquidation in 2015. The internet is riddled with references to poorly drafted documents containing life changing errors.If you say my stepmother did not have the title to sell the house, should the solicitor she used have ascertained this? For example would he have asked her if there was a Will in place? I just want to be certain of my options before I have a conversation with my step mother. This not only impacts me, but my biological siblings too.Kindest regardsJohn
Expert:  JGM replied 1 year ago.
The answer to that depends on the title to the house. Do you have access to the title?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I don't think so. Would the fact the will held my Dad's share of the property as a liferented legacy not mean that she did not have full title to the property?
Expert:  JGM replied 1 year ago.
No. You can't will something that you don't have and if the title deeds provide a survivorship destination already then the provision of the will would be irrelevant and unenforceable because the title would already provide that the house passes to stepmother on death or vice versa. The title should have been checked when the will was made. I have to know what the title says so that I can fully answer your question. I may be able to look up the title depending on when the house was purchased.
JGM, Solicitor
Category: Scots Law
Satisfied Customers: 10650
Experience: 30 years as a practising solicitor.
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