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F E Smith
F E Smith, Advocate
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 16478
Experience:  I have been practising for 30 years.
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It's about my dads will, Kent, None the will is with a

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it's about my dads will
JA: Where are you? It matters because laws vary by location.
Customer: Kent
JA: What steps have you taken so far?
Customer: None the will is with a solicitor selected by executor and he has told me my sister is contesting it
JA: Anything else you want the Lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: I don't think so

Good morning. I will assist with your question - be aware this is an email not chat service therefore i maybe delayed in replying.

who is executor?

what are your fathers assets?

who are the beneificiaries?

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Ok thanks executors are his 2 friends assets are property money and residue estate myself my husband are main benificary with my sister being left £30k my dads sister some furniture and grandchildren £1000 each there are 4

Thank you. It is not unusual for executors to decide that they don’t want to deal with an estate into passage on to solicitors. The solicitors will get paid whereas the executors would not have done.

What are the grounds on which your sister is contesting the will?

If she has been left GBP30,000, and you have been left everything else, is there a reason for the disparity?

I need the full background detail please. Thank you

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
My sister was estranged from my dad not through arguments just because she couldn't be bothered to see him we all lived close by my dads health became bad in 2016 and I gave up work to look after him he had a partner who died September 2018 and my dad passed March 2019 my dads partners health wasn't good either I would take them shopping hospital appointment Drs appointment and do any housework they needed my dad was in hospital 4th September for a knee op his partner had a stroke in the August and was in hospital I would take dad everyday to see her the hospital said my dad would need help when he was discharged whilst in hospital having his operation dads partner died so when dad was discharged my husband and I moved in with him to take on full time caring roll dads health was up and down he needed a lot of help with bathing making his dinners etc no one else was willing to help so we got on with it whilst living with dad we made it clear that everyone was welcome so he had friends visit most days but my sister stayed away her children visited my dad dad never suffered mental health problems just physical I always called my sister when dad was in hospital and on one occasion the dr said he was going to die I called her and she asked if it was imminent as she had just opened a bottle of wine. I never left her out of what was happening and I was also in close contact with dads sister informing them of any changes. Dad always said he wanted to leave us more as repayment for what we had done but we never discussed his will it wasn't our place we moved out of dads in January 2019 as he was well enough to cope alone at night i still went everyday to make sure he was ok had enough food and would cook him dinner do housework etc and his friends still visited everyday I only know my sister is contesting will via a conversation with the executor I've had no formal notice from any solicitor I've had no updates about dads will or estate from executor or solicitors. Whilst we lived with dad we paid our own way if dad needed money I went to cash point for him or my husband did we always gave him a receipt dad looked after his own financial affairs but he would ask me to open his post and check bank accounts I knew what he had but was never poa for health or wealth

Thank you. What is the value of the estate. I need to how disproportionate what has been left is although I fully appreciate the reasons..

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
The house is worth £755k although it's held as tenants in common so 50% will go to the nephew of dads partner that died there is a car valued at about £1k bank account of £52k insurance policy of £100k then just dads clothes personal items and household items and furniture obviously pension but not sure how much that was solicitor needs to be paid and any bills and I paid £7k for the funeral
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
My dad left it to be shared between myself and my husband

Thank you.

So you inherit.

GBP375,000 from the house.

GBP1000 car.

GBP52,000 in the bank

GBP100,000 insurance

the funeral comes off the top line and you are entitled to be reimbursed for that. For now, let’s leave it out of the equation.

You inherit GBP528,000

your sister inherits GBP30,000

Almost GBP0.5 million difference.

Notwithstanding the fact that your sister didn’t see your father, I can understand why she wants to contest the will. On the other hand I can understand why if she simply couldn’t be bothered with him, your father left her out to the greatest extent.

If she contests the will, she can only do it on limited grounds and within limited timescale.

Your father didn’t have the capacity to do the will and didn’t know what he was doing

he was under some kind of influence from an external person (you in this case)

fraud (not applicable)

that he hasn’t made adequate provision for someone who could reasonably have expected something, under the provisions of the Inheritance Provision for Family & Dependents act.

If the will was written some time ago, she is probably contesting the latter.

A lot depends on whether you honestly feel as though she should have more or whether considering how she was with your father, the GBP30,000 is adequate.

She is going to get awarded more than she now has?

You have to decide whether emotionally, and bearing in mind how she was with your father, whether you think that she should also ethically get more than she has. The court may disagree and if she does, she will get costs awarded against you and that could easily be far more than she’s claiming. However she’s going to have to get someone to deal with the claim and fund it in the interim.

If she goes to court I feel confident that she would get awarded more than she has been left and I think that she would be probably getting between GBP60,000 and GBP90,000 although there is no hard fast calculator for that.

If you make a Civil Procedure Rules Part 36 offer and she fails to beat that in court, then she pays all the legal costs, including her own legal costs from the date of the offer. The legal costs could be as much as she is awarded so do consider her making an offer which you think she is unlikely to beat. It has to be made on a certain format and I would suggest that came from a solicitor.

The sooner you agree to settle this, the less money the bloodsucking lawyers will get because someone is going to end up paying tens of thousands of pounds in legal costs if this goes to a fully defended trial argument.

Can I clarify anything else for you?

I am happy to answer any specific points arising from this.

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Thank you.

If you still need any points clarifying, I will still reply because the thread does not close.

Best wishes.


F E Smith and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Thanks for reply I understand what you are saying I also need to know that as I've not officially been informed of her contest what's my next move do I contact solicitor dealing with estate or just wait I'm not 100% sure of the accuracy of this information as it came verbally from executor who hasn't given me any updates at all I've rated you 5* as you've been very in depth thank you I will probably have more questions when I've digested the information more

I would investigate a solicitor now to find one that would be capable and willing to do it but don’t do anything about it until you get details of the claim, if any.

It’s unlikely that the solicitor dealing with the probate and the estate will deal with the dispute because of a potential conflict-of-interest.

Thank you for the positive rating. It is appreciated.

The thread stays open but after about 5 days I longer get notification that you have replied so if you do and I don’t get back to you quickly, please don’t think you have been abandoned. Sometimes it could be days before I get wind that you have replied but that only happens generally after five days or so. Kind regards