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I am US citizen and live in US. My father, a UK citizen, sent…

I am US citizen and...
I am US citizen and live in US. My father, a UK citizen, sent me most of his savings about two months before he died, (although he didn't know he would be dead in two months! ) because he didn't want his wife's daughter to get it, and he knew his invalid wife would not get any of it. The wifes' /daughter's attorney is demanding bank statements for the last six years of my father's life, because she is sure, although cannot prove, that my dad gave the money away. What are my legal obligations to provide this information? The Will was not probated, because we were told that in the UK estates under 20,000 UK pounds do not have to be probated. My nephew (in the UK) was named as executor, I was named alternate. (although not officially appointed by a UK Probate court). He paid all the final bills then sent me the small balance in the estate to distribute to people named in the Will. I have done this already.
Can you tell me where I stand? Can they get a judgement against me - for a part or all the money dad sent me - in the UK, although I am a US citizen, and then come over here and make me pay it back? Can they get a judgement against me for their legal costs? That would probably exceed the amount of money he sent me! ( $88,000) by the time they hired US attorneys to file a claim against me over here. I need to know if there is a possibility I could be left with their legal bills, which could be enormous!
Need some advice. Local attorneys don't have a clue!
Thanks!!
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Answered in 6 minutes by:
6/29/2010
Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., UK Law Answer Team
Category: UK Law
Satisfied Customers: 126,759
Experience: UK Law Expert
Verified
In general, the UK subpoena has no validity in the US and in order for her to make a valid demand she would have to come to the US in KY and get an order from the KY court to produce the information. The issue here is that when a person divests themselves of substantially all of their assets within 2 years of death this can be looked at as an advance on inheritance or can be recalled to the estate. They could get a judgment against you in the UK and then come to the US to have the US courts enforce the judgment against you here under the international treaties on recognition of court judgments and if you lose under UK law they can order you to pay their attorney's fees. This is why the attorney told you that you really need an attorney in the UK to represent you on this.


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Customer reply replied 8 years ago

Thanks for your response. However, since I live in Kentucky, and know no UK attorneys, can you suggest how I can find a UK attorney who would represent me? Considering the relatively small amount in issue, and to prevent huge attorney fees that I may be forced to pay, would you suggest I just make them an offer to send them say half of what dad sent me? or more? I cannot take a change of having their legal bills to pay on top of my own, and still have to give the money back? I'd hate to do what my dad did NOT want, but I also cannot take the chance of having to pay huge bills either!

 

This has been going on since March, and so far they are still only asking for information. Why haven't they filed a claim already?

 

thanks for your advise please.....

The best way to contact a UK attorney is through the US embassy in the UK. However, at this point since everything is in the US and they are in the UK you could also consult with a UK attorney and then possibly do nothing and force them to come to the US to pursue the matter since the UK courts have no jurisdiction over you in the US and this is why they haven't filed any claims. It also may be that they have no evidence of any claims they have against you which is why they have not filed.

You should not tell them what you were sent. You can call and tell them rather than spend money fighting over this ask them what they want to go away and drop the issue. Then see what they say and you can negotiate from there. But I would still either contact a UK attorney through the embassy or you can go to the JA UK Law section and ask them about the particulars of the UK law involved here.
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Customer reply replied 8 years ago

Thanks again. It appears it is a game of intimidation at this point.! I will seriously consider your advice - can you please explain what the "JA UK Law section" is? I feel at this point I don't want to take the chance of getting a judgement for their legal fees against me, and I am sure they realize that, so maybe an offer will be the best way out. what do you think? I can't take the chance of a big judgement. Sorry for delay - had to answer the phone here.

thanks

I can refer this question there to one of our experts once you click accept on one of my answers and one of our UK experts will come on and assist you with the UK aspects of the laws pertaining to your situation.
Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., UK Law Answer Team
Category: UK Law
Satisfied Customers: 126,759
Experience: UK Law Expert
Verified
Law Educator, Esq. and 87 other UK Law Specialists are ready to help you
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I will refer you to the UK law section, please do not respond and a UK expert will be with you shortly.
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Aston Lawyer
Aston Lawyer, Solicitor
Category: UK Law
Satisfied Customers: 10,798
Experience: LLB (HONS) Over 23 years legal experience specialising in Property law and Wills/Estates
Verified

 

Hi there,

 

PaulmoJD has asked me to assist you in dealing with the Uk element of your question.

 

The answer is that you are are under no duty to provide any information/Bank statements for the period that your Father was alive.

What your Father did with his money during his life was his own business and no-one else's.

 

If his wife's daughter feels something has been done illegally with your Father's money during his lifetime (which, by the sounds of it is not the case), and this has affected her inheritance, it is up to her to issue Court proceedings against the perpetrator.

She is highly unlikely to take such action, bearing in mind the potential costs involved.

 

I hope this assists.

 

Kind Regards

 

Andy M

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