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Thomas
Thomas, Lawyer
Category: UK Law
Satisfied Customers: 7475
Experience:  BA (Hons), PgDip, Practising Solicitor
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My father died a few weeks ago. I was told by the executor,

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My father died a few weeks ago. I was told by the executor, my sisters husband. that he had received an emailed version of the Will from my dads solicitor and he read this to us all via his mobile phone. I then asked for a copy of my dads Will which he has refused to supply and wont give me details of my dads solicitor. The Will was changed while he was in hospital on 10th Feb 2010 and he died in hospital on 04 March 2010. After lots of requests the executor sent me an email of the Will which isn't signed and looks like its been thrown together on Word , its certainly not what I would expect to see if a solicitor had done it. The Will leaves money to me, sister and my children in trust untill age 21 but there any no details other than this of the trust. The executor says there is no previous Will but I'm certain there was. I have entered a caveat. I want to know what I can do to get a copy of my dads signed Will if the executor refuses and how to get name of his solicitor.
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: UK Law
Expert:  Thomas replied 6 years ago.

HiCustomer

 

Thanks for you question.

 

I think you are probably right to be concerned.

 

Surprisingly, there is a bit of a grey area over whether a beneficiary has a right to see the Will. Ultimately, the Will shall become a public document once the grant of probate has been obtained (it will be attached to the grant) so there is little reason to withhold it. Though there may be some circumstances in which the executors postpone, for example where the beneficiary is to inherit subject to surviving 28 days from the date of death then they will likely wait until the 28 day period has expired.

 

If you are concerned (it sounds as if you should be) that there may have been some undue influence with respect to the execution of the Will in hospital then I would advise two things:-

1. Immediately make a "standing search" of the probate calender, which will notify you and send you a copy of the grant if one is taken out within 6 months of the date of the search:-
https://www.hmcourts-service.gov.uk/cms/1211.htm

This will keep you in the picture with the administration of father's estate

 

2. Go and see a local solicitor, tell him your concerns and get him to write a letter to the executor on your behalf asking for the issues to be address by your brother in law. Take a copy of the Will passed to you by your brother in law.

 

It does all sound quite fishy and there may be a reasonable explanation as to why your brother is obfuscating but I think you could benefit from formalising things by getting specific legal advice since it should hopefully compel your brother in law to provide some clarity over the situation. It really is a situation that a professional should take over for you, contentious (disputed) probate is much better handled by a practitioner rather than a lay person. If nothing else, it will quicken the resolution of the issues and provide you with some interim peace of mind.

 

 

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Kind regards,


Tom

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