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Clare, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 35054
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practice since 1985 with a wide general experience.
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My 'first cousin', Anne Bennett (daughter of my mothe

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My 'first cousin', Elaine Anne Bennett (daughter of my mother's twin sister) died on 15th January, 2013. A few years before her death she met a Mr. Alan King who subsequently moved into her home (previously owned by her Father). On the death of her Father, Elaine moved into his home, and 'let' her own home, and there are therefore two properties involved (approx. value £1/2m.). To date (according to Land Registry, Elaine's original home remains in her sole name (free of any mortgages) and her Father's home remains in his name and also free of mortgage. Therefore Elaine never administered her Father's property, and no one has administered her estate since she died. To the best of my knowledge, Mr. King remained with Elaine in the capacity of 'live in boy friend'. I learnt of Elaine's death when he 'phoned to tell me, but all he appeared interested to know were the details of any of her other relatives. After waiting for two weeks for date/details of Elaine's funeral, I 'phoned him. He then informed me the funeral had already taken place! When I asked (as Elaine's closest relative) why wasn't I invited, he replied, quote:- "You said you didn't want to come!". I was very angry at this blatant lie (I had assisted Elaine concerning her Father's funeral) and then put into operation my own enquiries. Via Lawson & Lewis, Eastbourne, I was informed that Elaine had made a will, naming Alan King as Executor, and he had collected this from Rix & Kay of Seaford on 25th Jan, 2013. Lawson Lewis wrote to Mr. King requesting a copy of Elaine's will, but this request was ignored. Mr. King has not applied for Grant of Probate (I have paid for an 'eight year search' at Leeds Probate Registry), and that is how this matter stands. I assume that Mr. King is collecting rental monies from Elaine's first home, but do not understand that if he is sole beneficiary under Elaine's will, why he has not applied for probate....also as a cohabiting 'boy friend' what legal standing he has in this?
HiThank you for your questionMy name is ***** ***** do my best to help you but I need some further information first.I assume that your query relates to a potential claim on the estate?Did your cousin have any other Aunts and Uncles on either side of her family who left children?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I am only interested in a potential claim on Elaine's Estate IF I am mentioned in her will and IF it is shown that the actions of Alan King are illegal...for further information he 'co-habited' with Elaine for over two years. I am very annoyed with this man (who I have never met) for not inviting me to the funeral of my closest relative and then lying about it, and then refusing me and my solicitor (Lawson Lewis, Eastbourne) sight of Elaine's will. If his actions are legal, why hasn't he applied for probate during the past two and a half years? In answer to your second question, firstly neither Elaine or myself had any brothers/sisters. On Elaine's mothers side i.e. Constance Bennett, only one sister to both Connie and my own mother survives, Mrs. Jean Barton plus her daughter Mrs. ***** *****. To the best of my knowledge, there is only one other surviving relative, i.e. The son of Connie's brother (Mr. Wilfrid Shepherd, deceased) i.e. a Mr. Ian Shepherd, but I have had no contact with him for over forty years (for further info. I am 82 years old next January).
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Oh! I forgot to add that other that the fact that Elaine's father had a sister, I know nothing of any other relatives on her father's side.
Nothing that Mr King has done is illegal as suchApparently he was named as Executor and was entitled to collect the WillHowever his failure to administer the Will and obtain a Grant of Probate does raise the question as to his capability of doing the jobGiven that no applictaion has been made for Probate it would be reasonable for you and your cousin to instruct a solicitor to write andsay that in the event that there is no movement then it will be assumed that there is no valid Will and an applictaion will be made for Letters of Administration and the Intestacy Rules will applyI hope that this is of assistance - please ask if you need further details
Clare and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Dear Clare,
I do not understand your comment ..."it will be assumed there is no valid will". As advised in my first 'blog', Elaine did make a will (dated 19th September, 2005) and she died 15th January, 2013.Within that Will Elaine appointed Alan King as her Executor. This Will was collected from Elaine's Solicitors (Rix & Kay of Seaford, Sussex) by Alan King on 25th January, 2015. Rix & Kay have refused to disclose any content concerning the Will, and have only advised my Solicitor (Lawson Lewis, Eastbourne) to contact Alan King direct. My Solicitor wrote to Alan King in an effort to obtain a copy of the Will, but
he simply ignored the letter. How can I therefore claim that there is no valid will?
It appears to me that simply by doing nothing, Alan King can live in Elaine's home (i.e. formerly the home of her Father) and presumably carry on collecting rental from Elaine's initial home? I believe that King did not invite me to Elaine's funeral as he wishes (for reasons unknown re. the Will) to keep me "at arms length"? It also appears that this situation can carry on presumably until he dies? It amazes me that this situation can legally continue.......for example, there must be IHT to pay on the estate!
I will be grateful to receive your advice on this.

If you do not have a copy of the Will - and he will not apply for Probate then it is reasonable for you to proceed on the basis that there is no Valid Will.

This is what you need to tell the named Executor.

It is then his choice whether he applies for Probate of the Will in his possession - or you will proceed on the basis of an Intestacy.

Until this matter is brought to a head in this way nothing at all will happen I am afraid