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How To Access A Non-Probated Will

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Hello - Please can anyone advise how to access a will which is sat in a solicitors office and not probated. My grandmother died in 2001, her will never went to probate, i checked with the probate office. I dont know who the executor is, I wrote to the solicitors in the town where she lived and found the one who holds her will, they will not let me access it or tell me who the executor is. When my grandmother died she had a 2nd husband and 3 children from her first marriage. My father died a couple of years ago and i sent proof to the solicitors who hold the will of my grandma to say he had died and asked if dad was executor, they would not tell me. My grandmothers 2nd husband disowned the entire family the day she died and will not talk to me. I was lead to beleive the will said that their home was to be given to my father upon my grandmothers 2nd husbands death. How can i ever get access to the will or find out who was supposed to be executor?

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Hello and welcome to CAG. I'm sorry to hear about your problems.

 

Weekends are a little quieter here, but I hope the forum guys will be along soon with advice for you.

 

My best, HB


Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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Hello again.

 

I just had a thought, have you spoken to the SRA who regulate solicitors about this? I don't understand why a will wouldn't be presented for probate when someone dies.

 

HB


Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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Hi, Honeybee, thanks for the message, I also wondered why the will is just sat in the solicitors files. Grandma paid them for the service of her will and I told them she was dead and they wont let me access it or do anything with it. Makes me wonder what the point of purchasing a will via a solicitor is, if when you die they just hold on to it and dont do anything with it? I havent spoken to the SRA, I havent heard of them before so this is a new avenue to try. I hope some other forum members will read my thread and offer some thoughts too as someone might have some knowledge on this sort of subject.

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Hi, Honeybee, thanks for the message, I also wondered why the will is just sat in the solicitors files. Grandma paid them for the service of her will and I told them she was dead and they wont let me access it or do anything with it. Makes me wonder what the point of purchasing a will via a solicitor is, if when you die they just hold on to it and dont do anything with it? I havent spoken to the SRA, I havent heard of them before so this is a new avenue to try. I hope some other forum members will read my thread and offer some thoughts too as someone might have some knowledge on this sort of subject.

 

You will need to show the solicitors/executors that you have a beneficial interest in your Grandmother's Estate and the reason as to why you require a copy of the Will.

 

Kind regards

 

The Mould

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Briefly, did your late father leave a Will, if yes, does it mention the property owned by your Grandmother?

 

Perhaps the property mentioned in your Grandmother's Will is held on trust for you and maybe your siblings/other family members.

 

More details required please, minus personal details. Thank you.

 

Kind regards

 

The Mould

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Hi The Mould,

 

Dad didnt leave a will, my mother is still alive. When the solicitors holding grandma's will refused to speak to me, I sent them proof of my fathers death and also mum wrote a letter giving permission for me to make enquiries into the will and grandmas estate (in case she had any responcibility following dads death). I sent the solicitor also a copy of my grandmothers marriage certificate, dads birth, death certs and my birth cert to prove who i was and the solicitors still refuse to help or speak to me. Only the receptionist would talk to me on the phone at the solicitors and she said "she had been told not to say anything and that she could not help further and the solicitor was refusing to speak to me".

 

How can i show i have a beneficial interest to the executor if i dont know who the executor is and the solicitor holding the will wont tell me either? How do i find out who the executor of the will was and also get access to it. It all seems so rediculas since Grans been dead since 2001, it seems so wrong that they can hold onto her will, keeping it secret for etertnity.

 

Please offer any further thoughts and advise etc.

 

Kind Regards

 

Notts

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Hi The Mould,

 

Dad didnt leave a will, my mother is still alive. When the solicitors holding grandma's will refused to speak to me, I sent them proof of my fathers death and also mum wrote a letter giving permission for me to make enquiries into the will and grandmas estate (in case she had any responcibility following dads death). I sent the solicitor also a copy of my grandmothers marriage certificate, dads birth, death certs and my birth cert to prove who i was and the solicitors still refuse to help or speak to me. Only the receptionist would talk to me on the phone at the solicitors and she said "she had been told not to say anything and that she could not help further and the solicitor was refusing to speak to me".

 

How can i show i have a beneficial interest to the executor if i dont know who the executor is and the solicitor holding the will wont tell me either? How do i find out who the executor of the will was and also get access to it. It all seems so rediculas since Grans been dead since 2001, it seems so wrong that they can hold onto her will, keeping it secret for etertnity.

 

Please offer any further thoughts and advise etc.

 

Kind Regards

 

Notts

 

Hello Notts

 

Thank you for the above post.

 

Based upon the matters posted here, it would appear that property is held in trust for your late father by your Grandmother's 2nd husband. Given the length of time that has passed since your Grandmother's death and in the light of the fact that your efforts to engage the otherside in discussion/disclosure have been disregarded, I would, therefore, advise that you need to instruct a solicitor with experience in Trusts, Wills & Probate to deal with this matter on your behalf.

 

Kind regards

 

The Mould

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Not all wills need to go to probate.

 

Also I don't think the SRA will help you. You are not the client of the solicitor and are not a beneficiary of the will from what you have said.

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Her late father was a beneficiary under the Will, so she was lead to believe, her mother is still alive.

 

The 2nd husband may be holding property in trust for Notts late father, if this is the case, her mother has sufficient interest in the Grandmother's Estate based upon their belief that property is held on trust for her late husband.

 

Based upon Nott's posting here, there are clearly grounds to investigate the matter.

 

Kind regards

 

The Mould

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"I was lead to beleive the will said that their home was to be given to my father upon my grandmothers 2nd husbands death."

 

 

 

Is this definite?

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Hi, would it be worth me talking to the SRA and the ombudsman first perhaps? A local solicitor said they would "start enquiries for a fee (£240 from memory)" but am worrid of throwing money down the drain, would the SRA be a way forward? especially with my belief that dad was the beneficiary of the will?

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What makes you think that?

 

Like I said, the SRA only deal with complaints from clients.

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Hi Ganymede, I dont know for sure what it said, only what dad said he could remember from reading it himself after it was written, and that a solictor has confirmed they hold her will.

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Hi Ganymede, I dont know for sure what it said, only what dad said he could remember from reading it himself after it was written, and that a solictor has confirmed they hold her will.

 

Notts

 

The SRA is of no use to you on this matter. In order to try and take the matter forward and perhaps gain some clear and unequivocal answers on this, you may indeed need to instruct a solicitor (who practices in this area of law) to send a formal letter to the solicitors holding the Will and setting out yours and your mother's position and that you believe that property recorded in the Will is held on trust for your late father and that since he has sadly passed away, your mother has a claim thereon under intestacy as your late father died without leaving a Will.

 

A solicitor in this area of law will know precisely what to set out in the opening letter to the other side and put them on notice of potential litigation being commenced by you/your mother if they fail to respond.

 

£240 p/hr is a lot of money, I know, but clearly you need a professional to act for you on this matter as the otherside are not responding or engaging in any discussion to try a resolve the same.

 

I hope that helps.

 

Kind regards

 

The Mould

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notts

out of interest, when you say 'will never went to probate' do you mean that it has never been considered at the time or since? and the will was not known about, and her estate was dealt with intestate, or was it excepted from probate? when did you start making enquiries?

Edited by Ford

IMO

:-):rant:

 

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Could you write to the solicitor and ask them for confirmation that your father was NOT a beneficiary.

 

Of course if he was, once the second husband dies your mother should hear about this, depending what the will says about if any of the beneficiaries pre-decease him.


 

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Hi Ford, I checked with the probate registry and they have nothing on file for my grandmothers estate. The will was made in the late 1990's, my father took gran into town to the solicitors (at her request) to arrange it. I started making inquiries a couple of years after she died, then managed to track down where the will is about 2 years ago.

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Hi Caro, I did try and ask if my late father was executor, but they wouldnt confirm anything. I suppose I could try asking. I did phone a local solicitor who did a 10 mins general advice for free type session. He said that on death a spouse would inherit property and even if the deceased left a will saying "leave my half of the house to the cats home" It wouldnt matter as the surviving spouse inherits it all by law. But since then I have been told that if they (gran and 2nd husband) had separate tenancy ownership then she could leave her half to whom ever she wished. The 2nd husband had no children nor previous or new spouse, other than grandma. I'm finding it hard to say more without personal info being divulged which i must not do. Also i guess if he made his will with gran and no new will was made, when he dies, whatever was said in the wills will be legally what should happen.

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Hi Ford, I checked with the probate registry and they have nothing on file for my grandmothers estate. The will was made in the late 1990's, my father took gran into town to the solicitors (at her request) to arrange it. I started making inquiries a couple of years after she died, then managed to track down where the will is about 2 years ago.

 

thanks for reply. was just thinking that this could be a case of a 'lost will' if it was never known/considered at the time, which could be applied on to the registrar. as has been suggested, legal advice may be the best way forward. yr local citizens advice may be able to provide some help/pointers.

 

ps. yes, afaik, re any joint property, if joint tenants in equity, then generally any 'property' would pass to surviving joint tenant regardless. and if 'in common' then that tenants property share can pass according to their will or intestacy.

Edited by Ford

IMO

:-):rant:

 

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Hi All, I rang the CAB & the SAR, a phone call for advise etc, They both recommend that i contact a probate solicitor to investigate the matter. The CAB also said that I might be able to claim via court against someone for not following Grandma's Instructions in the will. They mentioned regards the property that i need to find out if the property was owned by my grandma & 2nd husband " as Joint Tenants or Tenants in Common". So Before i go spending any fees with Solicitors i think it worth investigating this first. I have found the following website link probatewizard.co.uk/guides/how-to-tell-if-a-house-is-owned-joint-tenants-or-tenants-in-common.html

Which says "

If the deceased owned a house or other property jointly, it is important to find out if it was held as “joint tenants” or “tenants in common”.

This is relatively easy if the property is registered, which is true for the vast majority of property in England and Wales.

The title register will show how the property is owned.

If the title register shows only one registered owner (the deceased), the deceased owned the property solely.

If the title register shows two or more registered owners (including the deceased), the deceased owned the property jointly.

If jointly owned, check the register for the following text:

"No disposition by a sole proprietor of the registered estate (except a trust corporation) under which capital money arises is to be registered unless authorised by an order of the court."

This is known as the “Form A restriction”. If this text is present, it means the property is held as tenants in common. If it is absent, it is held as joint tenants.

(It would be much better if the register entries included the phrase “this property is held as joint tenants / tenants in common”, but, as you may be aware, lawyers often do not make life easy!)"

So I guess i'm off to check now with the Land Registry. If anyone has any further advise or comments that would be appriciated

 

 

Thanks

 

 

Notts

 

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Hi all, does anyone know if a "Legal Charge" document held at the Land Registry would show if a property was “joint tenants” or “tenants in common”.?

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