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James Mather
James Mather,
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 22629
Experience:  Senior Partner at Berkson Wallace
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i am challenging my husband will and my late husbands son-in-law

Customer Question

i am challenging my husband will and my late husbands son-in-law wants to know when I GOT DIVORCED from my first husband , which was 1994 when i bought and sold property which i sold in 1999 me and my son lived in i lived with my late husband in 1993 at his property and my solicitor because my ex husband was trying to get money of my late husband property i had to move to sorrel close then my ex husband tried to get money from sorrel close this sale of sorrel close was mine and my brothers nothing to do with my late husband can you please advise me if i have to answer these questions if not can you point me to the law which states that i have to answer these questions and the law that i do not have to thankin you
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  James Mather replied 4 years ago.
there appeared to be a lot of facts here including two husbands and several properties.

You have also written the whole question in one sentence with no punctuation.

Can we have a clear facts from end to end in detail please?

thank you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I have had two husband one I divorced and one that has recently died

the one who died I am contesting his will. My husband who died his son-in-law is asking all the questions. 1. When did I divorce my first husband. 2. as above about I had to purchase a property although I lived with my late husband to 1997 I hope you understand my questions now

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

already sent

Expert:  James Mather replied 4 years ago.

I do need the full background detail please.

What exactly is it in your late husband's will that you were contesting

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I put £15.000.00 into my late husbands property and over the years I have asked for this money back. I fought my ex husband Bill for 7 years for a property settlement and finally received it and part of this money I put into Stans Property (my late husband) I did tell stan that if he did not write it up in his will then I would contest his will. Also he left me a letter which my son and I read stating that "myself and him had a financial connection " and this letter has dissappeared from both his filing cabinet and from his solicitors files - although the letter was typed up on his solicitors headed paper ?? Also he left a hand written letter stating that as I was ill he was leaving me £10000.00 this was in 2005 Hope you understand the above Thanks Bearing in mind his son-in-law is a junior barrister ??? makes you think what happened to that letter.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

already sent above question

Expert:  James Mather replied 4 years ago.

I appreciate that the letter on the solicitor's paper as disappeared from your late husband's file.

How long ago was this done and do you know which solicitor it was? Are they likely to have a copy?

How much money did your husband leave?

who did he leave it to in the will?

who is the executor ?

what have you been left ?

I do need the full details please not just snippets here and there.

I will say but the fact that his son-in-law might be junior barrister impresses me not one bit unless he has experienced Chancery Counsel . if you think he has done something that he should not have done and you have any proof of that , you can report into the Bar Standards Council . it is of course something that you can threaten because if you do make a complaint, he is going to have to deal with it and they will dig very very deeply. the last thing he wants is the bar standards Council on his back.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.


Yes I do the Will was completed by post and my husband went down to sign the will - Charles Lucas and Marshall the will was completed in 2005


My husband left approximately £412.000.00 house and money


The executor is his daughter - I was excluded from the funeral. She had the Vicar state that my husband who I have been with for 30 years and still married on his death 20 years. That my husband has gone to be united with his wife Iris hello I am his wife. Iris divorced my husband ??


I was left £10000.00 because I am ill with Rhumatoid/Osterporis/Broncollis (speelings not too good)


Regards Annie Thankyou still waiting for my answer to my previous questions about the property thankyou

Expert:  James Mather replied 4 years ago.

Thank you.

I assume that you were still living together at
the date of death.

Wills and estate admin can be contested on various grounds


If a person doesn't provide for dependents, children incl adopted children of
all ages and a spouse (but not step children unless they have been treated as
the deceased's own children) in a will it can contested by making a claim under the THE INHERITANCE (PROVISION

Details are here




Undue influence if it is thought that the person making the will had been "got
at" when drafting the will.


Or if, when drafting the will the person lacked mental capacity/didn't know
what he/she was doing



There are strict time limits
for contesting will under 1 above of 6 months from death.

Claims under 2 or 3 above 12

Claims under 4, no time limit.


Promissory Estoppell. This is a
technical legal doctrine not used very often. It says that if anyone has been
promised something during the lifetime of a person and they relied on that promise to their
then they are entitled
to have whatever was promised. The classic case is indeed the young man on the
farm, who is told by the old man "don't go off to seek your fortune son, but
stick with me and work on the farm and I will leave it to you when I die,".

So the young man doesn't go off
to seek his fortune and stays and works on the farm and it turns out that when
the old man dies he leaves everything in his estate to the prize cow, Daisy or
his new girlfriend, who is 30 years younger than he is. In that case, the young
man having given up a future (to his detriment) on the basis that one day (he
was promised) the farm would be his and he believed it and relied on it, he can
get a court order that the farm is transferred to him. Such claims are not
cheap or quick to bring in do require a large burden of proof of the promise
and reliance to detriment.


Anyone can get a copy of a will
once it has been admitted to probate from HM probate registry, upon the payment
of five pounds.

Anyone can also hold up the granting of probate by entering a caveat at the
probate registry. At least, they will then find out if there is a will. The
entering of a caveat will certainly wake up any executors. Some explanatory
details are here;

there is no will the estate is distributed under terms of the rules of


A person can register a standing search at the probate registry,
which must be renewed every six months and it will tell them if anyone applies
for probate. When they do, they can then apply for a caveat.


If anyone is considering litigating the matter on any of the
grounds above, they can make an application to court for pre-action disclosure
of the will and can ask the court to award costs against the executor. If the
application fails, costs can be awarded against the applicant.

You can make a court application for pre-action
disclosure of the solicitor's file and it would be worthwhile putting the
solicitor on notice that this is going to be required although they are only
under a duty to keep files for six years and this might already have been
destroyed or passed to his executors, who can obviously destroy it or do what
they like with it.

I can see no reason why your late husband's
son-in-law wants to know this and I can see even less reason why he is entitled
to this information and I would not be giving it to him unless I hear from his
solicitors. A wonderful standard answer in cases like this is quite simply to
say to him that if his solicitors right to you, you will respond to them
appropriately. That way you are not saying that you will give him the
information and you are not saying that you will not. Once his solicitors right
to you (if indeed they do) you can then ask them exactly why they want the
information and make an informed decision based upon their reply.

Based upon the information you have given me, I
think you have a good chance of challenging the will certainly under the
Inheritance Act if nothing else. Because this is what appears to be a blatant
abuse of the Act I think that you may get a solicitor to deal with this on a no
win no fee basis but you will have to ring a few firms to find one. It is not a
do it yourself job.

Does that answer the question? Can I assist

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

My late husbands son-in-law who whats to know about sorrel close etc is a junior barrister but he does not state WHY HE WANTS THIS INFORMATION thank you for all your help this is my last question

Expert:  James Mather replied 4 years ago.

In my opinion, he isn't entitled to ask for it unless he has a good reason. I would ask him why he wants it after all, you are the one who is challenging the will not him.

As I said, I wouldn't be impressed necessarily by him being a barrister unless he has specific experience of wills, probate and estate matters .if he doesn't, the only thing you will have is access to free legal advice by asking his colleagues.


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