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Buachaill, Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10974
Experience:  Barrister 17 years experience
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Whilst my father was alive I had Power of Attorney and dealt

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Whilst my father was alive I had Power of Attorney and dealt with his affairs in his later years, paying nursing home fees etc. most of this came from income and part from his estate (share portfolio). During this time my father showed me his will.
My father died 3 years ago and I was the executor and obtained probate and collated the assets and distributed the the bequests in the will.
I am being criticised by the recipients that I saw the will (true) and that I used the EPA to manipulated his assets to my own benefit (not true - I maintained his assets in order to pay nursing home fees adn other expenses'
I this a valid criticism, that I saw my fathers will before he died?
Alan C
1. Dear Alan, a will is a private document and it has no effect until the person actually dies. So, the fact your father showed you his will before he died, merely shows he trusted you to a high degree. However, as the will was confidential to him, he could show it to whoever he wanted. As you were going to be his executor, he clearly believed you had a need to know what was in the will. However, there is no legal challenge possible to the fact you saw his will before he died. It is purely the testator's own decision whether he keeps his private affairs private to himself or whether he shares them with someone he trusts. However, the fact your father showed you his will is unimpeachable in law.
2. Additionally, how you managed the Enduring Power of Attorney is also something which cannot be challenged, so long as you derived no personal benefit from it. Under the EPA you had a wide ambit of discretion as to how you managed your father's affairs. So, again what you did is unimpeachable in law. Some of the criticisms smack of sour grapes and you should give them the deaf ear!
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