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F E Smith
F E Smith, Advocate
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10262
Experience:  I have been practising for 30 years.
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My father died in 2005. Within his Will it stated that his

Customer Question

My father died in 2005. Within his Will it stated that his estate would be left to his wife and then upon her death, shared between 4 children (2 of her children, myself & brother)
His wife died recently and we were contacted by a solicitor saying he was a trustee for my fathers Will. Apparently 22 months after his death a deed of variation was made by his Wife to remove her children out of Dad's Will, his estate was valued and a trust was created to protect this and now my brother and I will benefit. Within the deed of variation it stated that the home was done as joint tenants, yet on the day he died it was changed to tenants in common. My Dad was unconscious for the last 2 weeks of his life. Is this legal?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  F E Smith replied 1 year ago.

How do you know that your father didn’t ask someone to submit the severance of joint tenancy before he died and it only got registered several weeks later. A two-week delay at the land registry is not unusual.

How do you know that it was not his wife who severed the joint tenancy?

If in your father’s well he left everything to his wife for life with the remainder after her life interest to go to the four children, that is what happens.

She cannot do a deed of variation of your late father’s will to vary his will in respect of anything other than what she has an interest in. Hence, if she has a life interest in your late father’s estate, the only deed of variation she could effect would be in respect of that life interest.

What I strongly suspect is that your understanding is not quite correct and that your father’s will left everything to your stepmother with the wish that she was then to leave everything to the 4 children.

That wish is not enforceable.

Can I clarify anything for you?

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Best wishes.