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F E Smith
F E Smith, Advocate
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10401
Experience:  I have been practising for 30 years.
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My mother died on 15th August, my brother says he has a will

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my mother died on 15th August, my brother says he has a will in his possession where he is named executor and everything has been left to him. my other brother and I have not seen this will and he is frantically trying to sell all her possessions and house. my mother told me back in 2008 that she wanted everything to go to me, but she never made a will. The brother who advised he has the will, told my other brother that whilst she was in hospital he had to force her to make a will. please can you advise what we can do.
thank you
Pam Taylor

Were you estranged from your mother?

Have you seen the will?

Will he let you have a copy?

The mother die while she was in hospital?

Did she write the will recently?

At the time she died, do you know whether she had full mental capacity or not?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
My mother and I fell out 2 years ago, I am not aware of any will, he will not let us see it, I think my mother died in hospital, from what my brother has advised, he did not tell me that she had died and I was contacted by the funeral director who informed me of when the funeral was, as he felt I should be told- he was a close personal friend of my mothers. My broker told me she was in hospital for the last two weeks and we think this is when he forced her to do it. she died of cancer and so would have been on a lot of medication, the house was in a terrible state, there were blooded tissues everywhere over her bedroom floor and clothes with excrement on them. I supported my mother for several years financially and when I became ill I was advised to back off from her as it was the cause my illness.

Presumably she died on 15 August last year and that’s not a typo for 15 July this year

If he will not let you see what is in the will then you can get a copy from the probate Registry for £6

There are various grounds for contesting probate and these are the family member doesn’t make a provision for you as in your case, you can bring a claim under the Inheritance (Provision for Family & Dependents) 1975.

Undue influence: if you think that your brother had twisted her above his mind to put in the well what he didn’t really want

if you lack mental capacity and finally fraud.

There are strict timescales and these are 6 months for a claim under the Inheritance Act and 12 months for claims of undue influence or lack of mental capacity.

Hence, you have left it really late to challenge the will.

Unless you have experience of issuing such proceedings, you may need to see a solicitor really quickly to get proceedings issued even though you may not present them to your brother. You then have three months to put a case forward to contest the will.

I cannot impress enough, the urgency of this if you want to make sure that your brother doesn’t keep everything.

Can I clarify anything for you?

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