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Ross Miller
Ross Miller,
Category: Law
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Experience:  Director (Litigation and Mediation) at Hilltop Solutions
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My aunt Satvinder, who has now sadly passed away asked me

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My aunt Satvinder, who has now sadly passed away asked me and her younger brother; Marn to get her a Solicitor so she could make her Will whilst she was seriously ill in hospital.Aunt Satvinder was married to my Mum’s younger brother, who's name is Kanwal.My uncle Kanwal did not want my aunt Satvinder to make a Will as in the absence of her making her Will he would inherit her share of the estate. They have no children.Upon my aunt Satvinder’s request I contacted a local firm of Solicitors in Nottingham called; Actons. The Will solicitor is called Cara. I explained the situation and she agreed to visit the hospital to make my Aunts Will. I did mention to Cara at that time that her husband would be hostile to his wife making a Will and it's likely that he'd contest it.My aunts hospital doctor certified her capacity on the day and in advance of Cara taking her Will instructions. The hospital also contacted uncle Kanwal on the same day to make him aware that his wife was making her Will in hospital. After giving her wishes to Cara in hospital, my aunt said she wanted to sign her Will once she was discharged from hospital at home in front of her husband; Kanwal.A few weeks later Aunt Satvinder was discharged home and her younger brother; Marn arranged for Cara and a 2nd Solicitors from Actons to come to the house to get aunt Satvinder to sign her Will. Marn and myself met with Cara in advance to give her directions to the house etc. Aunt Satvinder signed her Will at home in front of 2 Solicitors and her husband; Kanwal.I did not mention to uncle Kanwal that I had in fact arranged the Will to be taken at the hospital. I was just doing what aunt Satvinder asked me/her younger brother to do. All I told him was that aunt Satvinder had instructed a solicitor to make her Will.As it is a sizeable estate, uncle Kanwal will be starting litigation to try and get his deceased wife’s Will overturned, probably on the grounds that she did not have capacity.The beneficiaries of the Will are my deceased aunts younger brother and her 3 sisters. I am not a beneficiary.Cara has now advised uncle Kanwal’s Solicitors that I was present along with uncle Marn prior to the two occasions; where Cara took my aunts wishes in hospital and gained her signature at home.My question/worry is that my uncle Kanwal will litigate against me for not informing him at the time that I had followed my aunts request to find her a Wills solicitor and arranged the hospital visit and doctor to certify her capacity. I also did not tell him that I had met Cara in advance of her coming to the house to get the Will signed.Uncle Kanwal has now been made aware by Cara and his own Solicitors of my actions.

Hello if you give me a few minutes to read over this I will see if I can help. Thank you.

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Thanks Ross

Thank you I have now had. the chance to read through this. I honestly think you have nothing to worry about at all. Cara has acted properly in ensuring that her client, your aunt had capacity to sign the Will when she did, therefore it is legally binding. He may try to argue that you coerced her not make the Will, but as she was of sound mind and body then she had the capacity to say no to you if she wanted. I think he is obviously trying to get the whole estate to himself. However, Cara will simply show that she was instructed by your aunt (even if you done this on her behalf) and she was of sound mind when she signed therefore there are no real grounds to have the Will rejected. As long as she had capacity, which you say she did (and Cara being a lawyer would have checked) then I don't see any way your uncle will be successful in this matter.

the best thing you can do is enlist the help of the Citizens Advice Bureau. They have appointed benefits advisers who are experts in this matter. If you go to them with all your documents then they will be able to assess the situation for you. The Citizens Advice also have programme called QBC this will allow them to input all of your information and do an assessment on your individual situation without having to contact the DWP. This QBC system will also be able to highlight and identify any benefits you may be entitled to but are not qualifying at the moment. If you application is rejected then the CSA can help you with any mandatory reconsideration as well as potentially provide you with representation at a benefits tribunal should this become necessary.

Kind regards

Ross

Please ignore what I wrote about the citizens advice as that was advice for a previous client.

I hope this information has helped.

Kind regards

Ross

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Thanks Ross,Knowing the vindictive nature of my uncle Kanwal do you think he'd be successful in litigation against me personally if it went to court for not disclosing to him that I basically followed what my aunt asked me/us to do? Was I obliged to tell him that I had arranged the introduction to a solicitor for my aunt and the doctor to certify her capacity on the day?
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
All I told him was that I had been at the hospital and aunt had made her Will. The hospital contacted him anyway as they said they were obliged to let aunts next of kin know.
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
I am less concerned about uncle Kanwal challenging the Will. I'm more concerned about me not being "shot in the cross fire" by him during the/his litigation.

As I said already you have done nothing wrong. Just because he doesn't like it doesn't give him any legal standing. From what you have told me, no I don't think he will be successful. However, Cara will be a witness in this matter and she has acted correctly. if Cara doesn't defend you on this matter then you will have to look at another representative and they will prepare you if you require to go to examination in court.

I hope this information has helped. You can find a local solicitor who deals with this on the law society webpage which is;

https://solicitors.lawsociety.org.uk/

Kind regards

Ross

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Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Excellent! Thanks as ever Ross. You are a star!