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Clare, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 34885
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practice since 1985 with a wide general experience.
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My mother died in January and left a UK will. I could not face

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My mother died in January and left a UK will. I could not face dealing with her affairs for several months, but eventually applied and was granted probate in May. In the will she made me the executor, left all her jewellery to my cousin (which I have given her), and up to £5000 each for my nephews to be given to them on their wedding day. One is 15 and one is 23. They are the sons of my brother who dies several years ago, and have different mothers. She was clear about the amount, and she stipulated the wedding day thing only because she did not want the mothers of one of the boys taking it off him.
One of the witnesses to the will has recently received a letter from a solicitor. It says that they have been asked to investigate the will and ask him 13 questions. At the end it threatens that he may be summoned if he does not answer. He called the solicitor to ask who it is that has asked for it to be investigated and he would not say. The witness is happy to answer because he has nothing to hide. In fact I am sure that the will is fine and there are no grounds for dispute.
However, I am really angry about this. Neither of the boys bothered with my mum whilst she was alive, and since she has died one of the boys mums has been sending me 'anonymous' texts saying that my brother was 100% sure the other boy was not his. They also told me that my mum owned my brothers house. She did not. I believe they think there is more money somehow to be had, but there is not. She left £11,100 - of which they will be getting £10,000 between them. I also think they are somehow imagining they can get the other boy written out.
I am so angry about this I intend now to write both boys out of my own will. I have several hundreds of pounds of assets and no children, so they have been fools to dispute this. So I have 3 questions:
1) is there any way I can make the solicitor tell me who has asked for the investigation?
2) if I end up instructing a solicitor can I use mums estate to pay for it and effectively eat into their own money?
3) I want to wash my hands of them as soon as possible so intend to give them the money as soon as I can, rather than meet my mums wishes. But how can I find out if the investigation is finished when they have not informed me it has started? is it safe to pay out 6 months from the date of probate or could I end up giving the, disputed money?
Thank you for your question.
My name is Clare
I will do my best to help you but I need some further information first.
Have you actually received any contact from a solicitor or anyone regarding this?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you Clare. No, I have not heard from a solicitor myself. The letter was written to one of the witnesses (not both). I have seen the letter.

Just to check - which part of the Uk are you in?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.


How close are you to administering the estate?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I do not understand the question really, as I thought the answer was in my initial story. But to recap: there are 4 people that benefit. Me, my cousin, my 2 nephews. The 2 nephews were meant to have their money only when they married. I have already given my cousin all of my mums jewellery. The boys money is in an account, waiting.However, because of this situation, and my anger, I do not want to prolong these affairs. I did not take my mothers death well, and this has brought everything back. I am reliving every moment of her illness before she died. So...I want to give them the legacy asap. With a letter explaining why I am doing it now. However, IF there is a claim/investigation/ or whatever it is being instigated, I would be foolish to give either one of them money only for me not to get it back if this goes to court. I have 3 theories on what is going on. 1) child A's mum (who married my brother just before he died) may be trying to claim the money as my brothers next of kin. Even though it was left to both boys. 2) child B's Gran believes that child A was not my brothers and so does not deserve a penny, and so is going after all of it for child B. 3) or perhaps one or both believe there is more money/another will, and that they could gain more (my Mum was a bit of a fibber and would tell people rubbish about what she had). There is no insurance, no hidden houses, no hidden cash. So I am at a loss. I want to know which one it is that has caused this so i can explain the hurt they have caused and to tell them how wrong they have been. I just want to give them both their £5000 asap and wash my hands of them for good.

My profound apologies - I meant how close are you to distributing the estate (apart from the monies for the two children) - is the matter nearly finished?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Yes. There is nothing else left. I cleared her house (the house i bought her abroad). One of the boys wanted some family pictures, which I have for him.

In that case I suggest that you write to the solicitor involved saying that you are aware of the letter that was sent to the witness.
Tell them that you have completed the administration of the estate so that if there are any queries they should be raised now.
You may also wish to remind them that in the event of a dispute then your costs will indeed come from what is in fact a very limited estate
I am afraid that you do have to abide by the terms of the Will - but you can do so by placing the monies in two savings account which can then be transferred into their names when the time comes.
I hope that this is of assistance - please ask if you need further details
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you. I just need to clarify the point about complying with the will. Do you mean I cannot give them the money now? one or other may never get married. It was a romantic addition by my mum to somehow be present on their big day. The key point for her at the time of the will though, was that they gain £5000 at some point.

You certainly cannot give the bequest to the younger child until he turns 18 - but there is in fact little point in delaying the gift any longer than that
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