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cmd2008, Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 3090
Experience:  BSC (hons), Solicitor with 14 years legal experience
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, i need advice please.4 days ago a dear close friend

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hello, i need advice please.4 days ago a dear close friend for the past 15 years passed away with heart disease.we were in a relationship for years but then remained very close friends. he died at his mothers home where he lived alone as few months ago she had to go to a home with dementia.the home is in somerset. he has a brother who lives in london who is a solicitor. i was written a letter off my friend and his last will and testament in event of his death, which he told me to get having left it in his fathers old red tin. i live a distance away in south wales. as his death was sudden i was told by his neighbour who found him. she now has the key. his brother is unable to get down at the moment. we spoke on the phone and i told him that i have been left a letter to read in the tin, which has my name on it. he told me that as he will be in charge of the house now that he would need to open it first without me being there as he needs to see anything legal.i asked if the neighbour could send it to me or he could send it to me unopened first. i need to know if he can open a letter addressed to me without me being there?? im a bit worried as he is a solicitor and i was told by my close friend that he wanted to leave his small savings to me and my be glad of some advice thank you beverley
cmd2008 :

Hello. The executor of a will is entitled to look and administer the will accordingly. In fact he is obliged to do so. If there are letter, there is nothing to stop him reading this himself. However, any will would become public once probate is obtained. I would at this stage wait for the brother to reveal the letter which you are told is addressed to you. The will would indicate what you have been left. The letter would have no legal basis. I hope that helps.


hi there, thanks for my reply,. i just assumed that if a letter is addressed to me that i should be the one to open it first. i realise that he has to deal with it as executor. i dont know if i can trust him as they werent close as brothers he could say he couldnt find one or even tear it up!

cmd2008 :

That is unfortunately very true, but as a solicitor he is an officer of the supreme court. He would not tear up a will as it's contempt of a court. Unfortunately the letter is another matter. It would certainly call into question his ethics as solicitor and this could be reported.

cmd2008, Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 3090
Experience: BSC (hons), Solicitor with 14 years legal experience
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In fact the Brother is not required to read the letter - nor does he have any right to do so.
I suggest that you politely write and inform him that since the letter is addressed to you there is in fact no legal basis on which he can read it and that if you do not receive the envelope, still sealed, you will report the matter to our Governing Body for unethical behaviour