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Stuart J
Stuart J, Solicitor
Category: UK Law
Satisfied Customers: 22620
Experience:  PGD Law. 20 years legal profession, 6 as partner in High Street practice
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Hello, I am requesting this infromation for a very close friend,

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I am requesting this infromation for a very close friend, I will call her Ann. Ann's mother who is widowed inherited a large sum of money from her husband about one million. Against her late husbands wishes she distributed the money out to grandchildren and children. One of her children (linda) is a part qualified accountant. She has had the mother change the will several times. My friend Ann and her sister Linda were both joint executors of the will but Linda the accountant had her mother change it so that only she is executor. Ann has been told that there is a property that has been left for her. However she has also been told that a tax libailty will fall on her as a result of the will but she does not know what. Her and her sister are not talking and she does not trust Linda. Ann has been told that she cannot see the will , she has been told that she knows about everything that is relevent to her. This is not coming from her mother but was dictated to her mother to pass on by Linda who is controlling everything. My friend is concerned that she has had the tax liability for the whole estate passed on to her via the will (as there is so much animosity in the family). She does not have any money and if hit by a huge tax bill after her mothers death would end up homeless. Does she have a right to request to see the will
Thank you for the question. It is my pleasure to help you with this today. Please bear with me if I ask for more information.

Is the proposed distribution in the mother's will?

I assume the mother is still alive.

Will the mother not let her see it?

Can I have full background to what is in the will as a far as is known?

What is the main concern?

Customer: replied 3 years ago.


As far as I know, the will has distributed the state to direct memebrs of the family Ann, Linda and brother Mark. There is also money allocated to Lindas sons and for one of Ann's sons.


Linda and her sons have done very well well by the mohters estate adn both Linda and one of her sons were brough property.


Linda has told her mother who is now 80 and cannot remeber what is said one day to the next, that Ann is not to see the will as it is not her business.


Linda wrote down parts of the will that she deemed Ann needed to see and left this with her mother to give to Ann. This where Ann saw that she had a tax liabaility but she does not know the extent of this and for exactly what it is.


Her mother is scared of Linda so will not let Ann see the will.


Her mother does not understand finances at all and cannot answer Ann's concerns re the tax liability, she just tells Ann that LInda deals with everyhting as she knows the processes.


Ann needs to see the will so that she understands the extent of her liabilities, is ther enay way in whcih this can be enforced?


Ann, Linda and Mark all have power of a ttorney I do not know if this is joint or several.


Linds has registered her POA with her mother'she bank so has direct access to her mothers money, Ann has no dealings with her mother's money.

If the
mother is still alive and it is not possible to contest will, or insist on
seeing it before the person writing the will (the testatrix) has died.

Wills and estate admin can be contested on various grounds


If a person doesn't provide for dependents, children incl adopted children of
all ages and a spouse (but not step children unless they have been treated as
the deceased's own children) in a will it can contested by making a claim under the THE INHERITANCE (PROVISION

Details are here




Undue influence if it is thought that the person making the will had been "got
at" when drafting the will. That might be a distinct possibility here



Or if, when drafting the will the person lacked mental capacity/didn't know
what he/she was doing this might also be a distinct possibility




There are strict time limits
for contesting will under 1 above of 6 months from death.

Claims under 2 or 3 above 12

Claims under 4, no time limit.


Promissory Estoppell. This is a
technical legal doctrine not used very often. It says that if anyone has been
promised something during the lifetime of a person and they relied on that promise to their
then they are entitled
to have whatever was promised. The classic case is indeed the young man on the
farm, who is told by the old man "don't go off to seek your fortune son, but stick
with me and work on the farm and I will leave it to you when I die,".

So the young man doesn't go off
to seek his fortune and stays and works on the farm and it turns out that when
the old man dies he leaves everything in his estate to the prize cow, Daisy or
his new girlfriend, who is 30 years younger than he is. In that case, the young
man having given up a future (to his detriment) on the basis that one day (he
was promised) the farm would be his and he believed it and relied on it, he can
get a court order that the farm is transferred to him. Such claims are not
cheap or quick to bring in do require a large burden of proof of the promise
and reliance to detriment.


Anyone can get a copy of a will
once it has been admitted to probate from HM probate registry, upon the payment
of five pounds.

Anyone can also hold up the granting of probate by entering a caveat at the
probate registry. At least, they will then find out if there is a will. The
entering of a caveat will certainly wake up any executors. Some explanatory
details are here;

there is no will the estate is distributed under terms of the rules of


A person can register a standing search at the probate registry,
which must be renewed every six months and it will tell them if anyone applies
for probate. When they do, they can then apply for a caveat.


If anyone is considering litigating the matter on any of the
grounds above, they can make an application to court for pre-action disclosure
of the will and can ask the court to award costs against the executor. If the
application fails, costs can be awarded against the applicant.


A person cannot saddle another person with a tax liability in a
will, although a bequest of property or money or whatever can carry its own


There are two ways that inheritance tax is dealt with in a will:

the inheritance tax is paid on the overall estate and each of the
assets passes free of inheritance tax, provided there is enough money to pay
the tax from everything else. Or

each of the assets bears its own tax in which case the tax
liability is divided across the whole estate


If Anna thinks that Linda is spiriting money away. Then she is
abusing her position and that is a matter for an application to court to have
her removed as a Attorney.


should not be worried about getting a tax bill because the only tax that she
can be possibly asked to pay is inheritance tax or whatever it is that she

that answer the question? Can I answer any specific points?

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I will go back to Ann to explore these options, it may take a day or so. Can I return to yuo then if any further specific questions arise?


Your reponse has been very helpful

Of course you can. The thread remains open even after you rate my service. Thanks
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