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Contensting a Will


sar011279
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No i think i've got that wrong, i want to pursue a case for neglegence against the solicitors who dealt with my late fathers estate and possibly misrepresentation against a company who set up a trust fund for him. VERY long story.

I guess i'm not contesting the will am i??

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Don't think so - you're querying the ability of the solicitors who were acti'g as administrators of the estate. First port of call is the Low Society - see their website and 'How To Complain About A Solicitor'.

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Most (if not all) policies depending on when they were taken out, were voluminous documents, of which it is the policyholder who has to keep it 'safe'. Life companies only hold a record of the number, name, amount, who gets the commission etc etc. This changed in the 70's but I'm assuming you're looking at a polict from 1920-1960s? Even when a policy is paid out (after the original document is sent to them) it is 'cancelled' and returned as a souvenir. So getting a copy probebly won't be a viable option.

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A trust fnd was set up in 1999 by my father with the intention of the funds being held in trust for 20 something years and then paid to myself and my siblings. The policy was set up whilst my father was in a hospice and my uncle and step mother were also present (the legal and general rep actually came to the hospice). It was made clear that the intention of the policy was for the trust fund, both my father and uncle have told me this. However it turns out that the policy would become the property of my step mother in the event of my fathers death (obv inevitable as he was in a hospice). I honestly believe that this was an oversight by my step mother at the time but when this transpired she withdrew the funds, £148k, and kept it all herself. I believe that this is misrepresenation from legal and general's actions as the policy sold was clearly not suitable for what was intended. I did take legal advise at the time and was told that although i may have a case it would be very costly to pursue - the solicitor also implied that i may have had a case against my father's solicitors for neglegance.

Sadly I was only 19 when all this happened, 21 when the problem came to light, and didn't have the knowledge or empowerment to pursue it any further. Sadly i think i may have left it too long now - about 7 years - to ever be able to put things right.

Thanks for your help anyway guys.

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You may be confusing different things. A Legal & General policy cannot be a 'trust fund' - it could certainly be part of one, but then your step monther would not have access to it, only the trustee. What you've described appears to be a standard policy with benefits, and on death the next of kin (wife) would recieve the benefit once the policy was encashed. It would also have to have been accounted for as part of the Probate settlement on the winding p of his affairs - something that would have been avoided if it was a truse (but not if he died within 7 years of its creation.

 

Add to this, there is a limit of 6 years (5 in Scotland) to raise a formal action for recovery if you can prove negligence and you are now passed this. However, as you would be only assuming there was a trust (is there any other proof other than verbal assurances) it may have been an error by your stepmother, or she may have planned it all along. If your step mother is still alive, then she's the person to query it with - if not, then a look at her probate records may reveal what happened to some of the money. Without a signed trust deed, naming you and your family, it is all heresay and now too late to pursue - UNLESS you can raise the matter with your MiL.

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Thanks buzby

 

Understandably relationship with stepmother has broken down irretrievably - poss something to do with moving her new man in 2 weeks after my father passed away.

My father died in Sept 99 - 2 months after taking out the policy and at the same time as he prepared his will.

I do have proof that the accounts existed as i have a letter from legal and general quoting the policy numbers and also mention of the money not going into the estate 'as expected' ( a letter from my fathers solicitors to my step mother).

I think you're right that i've left it too long now. I know that the policy was mis-sold as it was not fit for the purpose intended - my uncle swears that the purpose of the policy was discussed when taken out.

Oh well nothing i can do then - let's just hope that what goes around comes around.

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