How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • Go back-and-forth until satisfied
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Stuart J Your Own Question
Stuart J
Stuart J, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 26844
Experience:  Senior Partner at Berkson Wallace
11292137
Type Your Law Question Here...
Stuart J is online now

Someone is contesting my dads will, contesting a will, he

Customer Question

someone is contesting my dads will
JA: Where are your dads? It matters because laws vary by location.
Customer: contesting a will
JA: What steps have your dads taken so far?
Customer: he has a will and passed away in January his ex partner 6 months later is now contesting it
JA: Is there anything else the Lawyer should know before I connect you? Rest assured that they'll be able to help you.
Customer: he made adequate provisions for her but she thinks its not enought
Submitted: 20 days ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Stuart J replied 20 days ago.

Hello. My name is***** you for the question.

It is my pleasure to assist you today.

I have been in the legal profession, in High Street practice, for almost 30 years so I have wide range of experience in a great many different aspects of law.

Please bear with me and I will be online and off-line from time to time and therefore, may be delayed getting back to you.

Although I am shown as online, I may be dealing with other people, on the telephone, or typing.

Please be assured that you will receive an email once I have written a reply.

Just Answer is not a chat service, it’s an email reply board and therefore sometimes it will be minutes, sometimes it may be longer, even hours or overnight.

I apologise in advance if you suffer a delay.

Kind regards.

Expert:  Stuart J replied 20 days ago.

How long were they together and what does she think shes entitled to?

Customer: replied 20 days ago.
she is trying to claim under 1975 family act
however my dad made adequate provisions for her and gave her a one bed flat free of tax however she wants to contest the will
Customer: replied 20 days ago.
my dad was 76 together 8/9 years she didnt contribute to the purchase of the house made no payments for anything the money my dad used to buy the house was from before he met her
Customer: replied 20 days ago.
she wants their main home and anything else she can get her hands on .my dad left her a one bed flat he had as a rental and the main home and everything else to me and my brother. those were his wishes. they were never married and he wanted us to have our inheritance
Customer: replied 20 days ago.
she is only 54 is able to work ( she was a refugee when my dad met her) and is trying to get citizenship by way of refugee status.. she is a money grabbing, conniving so and so .. she is not content with a flat worth nearly 300K
Customer: replied 20 days ago.
but wants the house where they lived in plus I don't now what else . surely she doesn't have a claim . as my dad did make provisions by giving her his one bed flat
Expert:  Stuart J replied 20 days ago.

It would appear that the partner is claiming under the Inheritance (provision for family & Dependents) act 1975.

The best she could hope for, if she didn’t contribute to the house, in my opinion, would be the right to live in the property for life. She wouldn’t get all the equity in it.

However if he left a different property I think the chance of her getting anything else is remote.

I don’t know whether she is bringing this claim herself or whether she has solicitors but I can’t help feeling the solicitors are leading her down the garden path to line their own pockets only to later drop it as having no chance of success.

Nonetheless, you are going to have to deal with it.

I agree with you that she has adequate provision but clearly she has pound signs in her eyes.

It’s not me however that you need to convince. It’s a county court judge, if it gets that far.

Do remember that I can only give you my opinion.

Another lawyer may have a different opinion. Litigation needs at least 2 parties and neither goes to court expecting to lose.

Nonetheless, one of them does, even though they have been told by their respective legal advisers that they have a good chance of success.

If there was a black-and-white answer to every legal problem there would be no need for anything to ever proceed to court.

Thank you for letting me assist you with your legal question. I am glad that I was able to help.

I am not certain whether that answers the question for you or not, but I am happy to answer any specific points arising from this.

It will be my pleasure to help you again either further with this or any future questions you have

Kind regards

Stuart

Customer: replied 20 days ago.
she was given a property a one bedroom one worth around 300k I think thesis perfectly adequate and acceptable she saved all her money and sent it to Mongolia and never contributed anything . I don't see why she should be allowed to stay in a 3 bedroom house they had no children together and weren't married .. I bet she will also ask for maintenance . all seems ridiculous
Customer: replied 20 days ago.
I thought common law entitlements were not valid but it seems a non married partner can actually claim but it doesn't seem fair ..teh house was bought with money accumulated before he met her whilst still married to my mother .. my dad met her at 65 and divorced my mother she was an illegal immigrant whom my dad helped get right to remain via refugee status she also been in prison for false documents .. will this go against her?
Expert:  Stuart J replied 20 days ago.

I agree with everything you are saying.

If they were not married but she has no entitlement to any kind of maintenance.

None family member can still make an inheritance act claim if they were dependent on the deceased.

If she has been in prison for. Human’s, you can raise the issue that you can’t believe anything she says because she has proven to be disingenuous. Never use the word liar.

Can I help you any further with this?

It's my pleasure to help. I’m glad that I was able to help so far.

Thank you for trusting Just Answer with your legal problem.

I'm happy to clarify anything which is outstanding.

Please don't hesitate to ask.

Kind regards

Stuart

Customer: replied 20 days ago.
dependant I don't see how she can use this word. she worked is able to work and pay her way like everyone else.. the fact that my dad paid all the bills was his choice she in fact didn't contribute anything and earns her own money so how is this dependant? please advise . she isn't disabled or unfit to work
Customer: replied 20 days ago.
all her money which she earns was and is sent over to Mongolia where she has bought property for her children would this go against her
Customer: replied 20 days ago.
can we also make a counter claim against the property my dad left her ..
Customer: replied 20 days ago.
or threaten to do so if she continues down this path . would we have any rights to make a counter claim
Customer: replied 20 days ago.
did he actually legally have to leave her anythign? they weren't married etc and she wasn't dependant on him .. she was just a money grabbing scrounger
Customer: replied 20 days ago.
relied on him to pay everything surely this isnt fair
Customer: replied 20 days ago.
also as executor of the will .. I have kindly let her live in the house up to now rent free and was waiting to tell her to move to the other flat giving her time to sort herself out etc . legally can I get rid of her now from the house or charge her rent or back date the rent
Customer: replied 20 days ago.
can we put the house for sale at the moment ?
Expert:  Stuart J replied 20 days ago.

you can put the house up for sale but it cannot be sold until you have got grant of probate/letters of administration so you would need to tell the agent that it was subject to probate. And they may refuse to start marketing it because at the moment probate could take a protracted period of time.

I don’t know whether she has solicitors and whether they have put a caveat at the Probate Registry because that would stop it being granted.

You can’t do a search of the probate registry to find out, all you do is make the application.

You have no counterclaim against the property that your dad left her unless you are going to contest it on the grounds that he lacked capacity or that he was coerced into leaving her something. It would form part of your defence to her claim, by way of counterclaim.

You could always say that if she continues down that path you will make a counterclaim which means that she may get less than she is already.if you can prove coercion or lack of capacity.

Did he legally have to leave her anything? There is no statutory provision to leave anything but she has a statutory right to make a claim under the Inheritance Act which is what she’s doing.

If you can prove that she wasn’t dependent, and she has no claim. She is not entitled to something just because they were living together. She has to be dependent on him in some way.

She is not entitled to live rent free so I would suggest that you started charging her rent and if she doesn’t pay, give her notice to quit.

Can I help you any further with this?

It's my pleasure to help. I’m glad that I was able to help so far.

Thank you for trusting Just Answer with your legal problem.

I'm happy to clarify anything which is outstanding.

Please don't hesitate to ask.

Kind regards

Stuart

Customer: replied 20 days ago.
can she now move to her own property which my dad left her? shall I tell her to move there or pay rent .. she has also been taking the rent for that property for last 6 months doesn't that money belong to the estate?
Customer: replied 20 days ago.
we have been very nice to her letting her live there rent free and collecting the money for the rent for last 6 months ..
Customer: replied 20 days ago.
could I ask her to repay the rental money for the flat or back date the rent for her living there since my dad passed away ..
Expert:  Stuart J replied 20 days ago.

I would ask for all of that.

Customer: replied 20 days ago.
back dated rent and the rental money for living in the house
Expert:  Stuart J replied 20 days ago.

Yes and ask her to leave telling her that if she doesn’t leave voluntarily you will be making a court application to get her out. You will need to go through the formal notice process but no reason not to make her worry about it and screw her weekend up.

Customer: replied 20 days ago.
even though the flat she was left is currently rented out and she is taking the rent for it
Customer: replied 20 days ago.
not sure what to do here
Expert:  Stuart J replied 20 days ago.

I can tell you now that bringing in defending any Inheritance Act claim is not something to be underta***** *****ghtly and this is really something that you need a solicitors weight behind.

I’m not pitching for this and I’m not a lover of lining solicitors pockets.

I’m afraid that we are specifically not allowed to take instructions from here.

If the site were to be a source of potential clients, we would no longer be independent because we would have an interest in pursuing litigation. With no interest in pursuing litigation, we can be really objective with our view is to whether something has a good chance or a limited chance of success.

In any event, for logistical reasons you would be better using a local solicitor .

She can’t claim that she has nowhere to live because she has a flat.

Customer: replied 20 days ago.
ok so I think I will give the tenants in her flat notice to leave. as soon as they leave tell her she has to leave immediately or be charged rent . in mean time she needs to back date the rental income from that flat and pay it back to the estate as she was living rent free and pocketing rent as well..
Customer: replied 20 days ago.
tell her if she makes a claim against willwe will do a counter claim and also ask for back dated rental money worth around 1800 per month for the house she is in ..
Customer: replied 20 days ago.
also one other final question .. their joint account.. can we access this now ? also is the estate entitled to money my dad put into that account?
Customer: replied 20 days ago.
as it was used to pay bills but she didnt pay anything into it . she just had access
Expert:  Stuart J replied 20 days ago.

If she has been left the flat in the will, then it belongs to her and you are not entitled to give notice and even then it can only be given once the is grant of probate. The rent belongs to her from the date of death although she would be obliged to repay it if the property got taken from her as a result of any claim that you make to challenge the validity of the will.

The joint account now usually belongs to her. Nothing normally to do with the will.

She would have only needed to put 2p into it for it to be “mixed money” and for there to be no claim by the estate. To be frank it’s not worth the argument over the bank account.

Customer: replied 20 days ago.
ok so she legally can keep the money for the rent as the flat was hers.. there for we can now ask rent from her and also back date it i
Customer: replied 20 days ago.
we cannot claim the 900 per month for the rent from her flat but we can ask for 1800 for the rent for my dads house( my house now)
Customer: replied 20 days ago.
are u sure the rent belongs to her from date of death or when probate is finalised? pls advise
Expert:  Stuart J replied 20 days ago.

She can legally keep the money from the flat that was hers unless you are going to contest your father giving it to her on the basis of coercion or lack of capacity.

You can actually ask what you like but whether you would get it would come down to the court.

These arguments can be very expensive for the loser. When not talking about the loser paying a legal bill of thousands of pounds or several thousand pounds but tens of thousands of pounds and potentially many tens of thousands of pounds.

At the moment, but is no say in who was entitled to what whilst there is this claim going on. The whole thing has to be decided by the court.

Customer: replied 20 days ago.
ok so ur recommendation is to wait and go to court? do u think we have a good enough case ?
Customer: replied 20 days ago.
my dad was of sound mind and wished the majority of his case to go to his kids and grandkids not her..
Customer: replied 20 days ago.
ok so she can legally keep that money we can therefore legally ask her now for rent ..
Customer: replied 20 days ago.
to vacate the property
Expert:  Stuart J replied 20 days ago.

You are asking me to make decisions which only a judge could make.

It would be for the judge to decide whether she can keep whatever she has rent or property and whether she has a claim on anything else.

You can ask her for what you like but whether she pays it or not is a different matter altogether.

You say your father was of sound mind which doesn’t fit in with him giving her a flat worth GBP300,000.

She is the one in bringing the claim, not you. You are going to have to defend it.

Customer: replied 20 days ago.
he was kind and generous and didnt want her to be homeless if something happened to her
Customer: replied 20 days ago.
she is the money grabbing cow wanting more
Customer: replied 20 days ago.
ok thanks
Expert:  Stuart J replied 20 days ago.

I fully appreciate that. Don’t say anything like that in court of course or in any paperwork and never put anything in writing that you wouldn’t wish to be read out in court.

I think we’ve probably gone as far as we can with this.

If you don’t have any further questions, I will mark this question thread as complete for now, but don’t worry, the thread stays open if anything else crops up over the course of the next days weeks or months.

I’m glad that I was able to help.

Thank you for trusting Just Answer with your legal problem.

Kind regards

Stuart

Customer: replied 20 days ago.
many thanks and lets see what happens
Expert:  Stuart J replied 20 days ago.

At the moment, unless you are going to allege that she did something wrong while he was alive, it really is a case of wait and see because there is a 12 month time limit on her bringing a claim. She hasn’t yet seen solicitors, that’s a good sign because she may be struggling to find someone to take it on.

By the way, if you would like to ask me a new question in the future, (not just clarification on this thread, then please just type @ (the at sign) followed by my name and you’ll be able to select my username to tag me in the question. If you like, you can also put “For Stuart J only” in the question thread and then the other experts will know that it’s for me. You can also tag me as one of your favourite experts. Thank you Kind regards. Stuart

PS: there is no need to reply as a matter of course otherwise your reply comes back to my inbox, thinks you’re waiting, and I have to reply again. Kind regards

Customer: replied 20 days ago.
I have received a solicitors letter
Customer: replied 20 days ago.
Scan_20220616.pdf
Customer: replied 20 days ago.
saying she is exploring her options and we will be receiving a formal pre action protocol complaints letter of claim in due course. she has asked for my dads will file
Expert:  Stuart J replied 20 days ago.

I wouldn’t give her the will file because she is not entitled to it but it’s not unreasonable to let her have a copy of the will.

I can’t open the letter.

Customer: replied 20 days ago.
her lawyer has requested it and has asked questions about it ... and the essence of the letter is saying we will be receiving a formal complaint claim
Customer: replied 20 days ago.
is she entitled to see the will file?
Customer: replied 20 days ago.
am sure she already seen copy of the will
Expert:  Stuart J replied 20 days ago.

You can always acknowledge the letter and tell them that you will respond in full when you get a Protocol Compliance Letter of Claim. They already have the will, tell them so or you might want to do is just let them have a copy anyway. Why have the argument? It serves no purpose.

Customer: replied 20 days ago.
she is requesting the file .. she already seen the will
Customer: replied 20 days ago.
I have no idea why she needs to see the file
Expert:  Stuart J replied 20 days ago.

I would need to see the letter before suggesting a reply.

Customer: replied 20 days ago.
what will the file reveal any ideas
Expert:  Stuart J replied 20 days ago.

I haven’t got a clue. Someone files are extremely comprehensive others flimsy in the extreme.

I would need to see the letter