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Stuart J
Stuart J, Solicitor
Category: UK Law
Satisfied Customers: 22621
Experience:  PGD Law. 20 years legal profession, 6 as partner in High Street practice
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My Grandmother died in January, in her will, she left 60% to

Customer Question

My Grandmother died in January, in her will, she left 60% to her eldest daughter, my mother, 30% to her youngest daughter and 10% to the daughter of her deceased son. My Grandmother's first husband - my mothers father died in the war - my Grandmother remarried and had her youngest daughter. The youngest daughter is now looking to contest the will based on the fact that her fathers estate went to my grandmother and now my grandmother has chosen to distribute the estate as she has. Is she able to have any claim on anything other than the 30% she was left in the will?
JA: OK. The Estate Lawyer will need to help you with this. Have you consulted a lawyer yet?
Customer: No, we haven't consulted with anyone at this stage
JA: Please tell me everything you can about this issue so the Estate Lawyer can help you best. Is there anything else the Estate Lawyer should be aware of?
Customer: My Grandmother was 94 years old, she was very independent and enjoyed her life. When she was 92, my grandmother broke her hip, my aunty wanted to put her in a home, but my grandmother did not want to go into one, my mother and myself supported my Grandmother in her decision and made it possible by putting a good support system around my grandmother staying in her own home. My Aunty was not in agreement and did as much as she could to make it difficult for my Grandmother to remain in her own home - my uncle tried to bully her into leaving her home and it became quite unpleasant. Last October, my Grandmother made the decision herself to move into a nursing home. My mother, who lives in America, came to stay with my grandmother for a month to help settle her in the home and make sure she was happy. Every year, my mother would spend two months with my Grandmother, living with her, taking her out and making sure she had everything she needed, my mother spoke to her every day on the phone. My aunty who lived very close by, would call in once a week, but would not take her out and would not support my Grandmother in her decisions. My Grandmother made me her financial power of attorney, but I never needed to do anything as my Grandmother made her own decision right up until the day she died. When the relationship between my aunty and my grandmother worsened and my uncle told my grandmother never to ring them again and that she was never welcome in their home, my grandmother decided to change her will. She did not want my uncle to benefit from her estate and she was disgusted with the way my aunty had behaved towards her. My Grandmother was very unhappy in the nursing home, I visited her as much as possible, but I live 200 miles away and have two young children, I still managed to visit her every two weeks and take her out every time. My aunty did not visit her and refused to let my Grandmother spend Christmas day with her and her family as she had done for all of her life. I spoke to my grandmother every day, something 20 times a day, I made all the arrangements for her with regards ***** ***** move into the home and the ongoing arrangements including daily care and daily outings - again my aunty did not support my grandmother going out with carers every day.
JA: OK. Got it. I'm sending you to a secure page on JustAnswer so you can place the $5 fully-refundable deposit now. While you're filling out that form, I'll tell the Estate Lawyer about your situation and then connect you two.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: UK Law
Expert:  Stuart J replied 1 year ago.
Good morning. Thank you for the question. It is my pleasureto assist you with this today. So it is the 30% daughter that is contesting the will is it? Has she instructed solicitors yet or is she just makingnoises? Why was it that the grandmother decided to split theproceeds in the proportions she has? Thank you
Expert:  Stuart J replied 1 year ago.
Thank you. Based upon the circumstances you have described, it isperhaps not surprising that your grandmother favoured one daughter more thanthe other. In an ideal world, your grandmother would have a side letter withthe will (called a letter of wishes) which is quite simply a letter which isnot part of the will but explains the rationale behind why the state has beendistributed in the way that it has. It helps to avoid disputes like the onewhich is potentially about to start. Wills and estate admin can be contested on various grounds 1If a person doesn’t provide for dependents, children incl adopted children ofall ages and a spouse (but not step children unless they have been treated asthe deceased’s own children) in a will it can contested by making a claim under the THE INHERITANCE (PROVISIONFOR FAMILY AND DEPENDANTS) ACT 1975. I think this is probably what the 30%daughter is thinking about. I will give you my own thoughts when I’ve given youall the background and technicalities. Details are here with regard tothe Inheritance Act and here 2Undue influence if it is thought that the person making the will had been “gotat" when drafting the will. 3Or if, when drafting the will the person lacked mental capacity/didn’t knowwhat he/she was doing 4FraudThere are strict time limits forcontesting will under 1 above of 6 months from death.Claims under 2 or 3 above 12months.Claims under 4, no time limit. The5Promissory Estoppell. This is atechnical legal doctrine not used very often. It says that if anyone has beenpromised something during the lifetime of a person and they relied on thatpromise to their detriment then theyare entitled to have whatever was promised. The classic case is indeed theyoung man on the farm, who is told by the old man “don’t go off to seek your fortuneson, but stick with me and work on the farm and I will leave it to you when Idie,”.So the young man doesn’t go offto seek his fortune and stays and works on the farm and it turns out that whenthe old man dies he leaves everything in his estate to the prize cow, Daisy orhis new girlfriend, who is 30 years younger than he is. In that case, the young manhaving given up a future (to his detriment) on the basis that one day (he waspromised) the farm would be his and he believed it and relied on it, he can geta court order that the farm is transferred to him. Such claims are not cheap orquick to bring in do require a large burden of proof of the promise andreliance to detriment. Anyone can get a copy of a willonce it has been admitted to probate from HM probate registry, upon the paymentof £6 pounds. can also hold up the granting of probate by entering a caveat at theprobate registry. At least, they will then find out if there is a will. Theentering of a caveat will certainly wake up any executors. Some explanatorydetails are here; there is no will the estate is distributed under terms of the rules ofintestacy A person can register a standing search at the probate registry, whichmust be renewed every six months and it will tell them if anyone applies forprobate. When they do, they can then apply for a caveat. If anyone is considering litigating the matter on any of the groundsabove, they can make an application to court for pre-action disclosure of thewill and can ask the court to award costs against the executor. If theapplication fails, costs can be awarded against the applicant. Contesting the contents of a will is not quick and it’s notcheap and there will be no legal aid for it so the daughter is going to have tocome up with the legal costs if she wants this to go to court. Because therehas been provision made for her in the will, I think it most unlikely that aclaim would succeed. She is also likely to find that the actual cost of bringingthe claim is going to be completely disproportionate to the amount she isclaiming. If she had been left say 5 or 10% it still debatable whether it’sworth contesting but if she has been left 30%, she would be ill-advised tocontest it. Does that answer the question? Can I answer any specificpoints arising from this? Please do not forget to use the rating service to rate myanswer positively otherwise I get no credit for my time here today. You may get the impression that the thread closes afterrating, but it does not. It stays open and we can still exchange emails if youwish. Kind regards
Expert:  Stuart J replied 1 year ago.
Good morning. This thread is still open. Can I assist you any further with it?When you get a moment, please do not forget to use the rating service. It doesn’t cost you anything extra and it’s really important otherwise the expert doesn’t get credit. Thank you.Kind regards