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Caveat on probate please help


joannw2009
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Help needed

 

my husband of 1 year passed away at the age of 83years old, i

 

I was made sole executor of the will and sole beneficiary on his new and last will dated 8 months before he passed away.

 

I had been together with my husband for 4years and looked after him day and night, simply his wife, carer, friend and we had a good life together.

 

My late husband had no blood children of his own nor did we have children together

 

before we married he was widowed and his late wife had a son from a previous marriage whom lives abroad

He had completely no contact with my late husband.

 

I made an application for probate only to find out 3 weeks later that my late husbands step-son had put a caveat on the probate.

 

This man is 60 years old and has lived abroad all his life, made no contact with my late husband or came to the funeral.

 

How can this be allowed?

 

I was with my husband day and night at the hospital until his dying day,

 

i live in the matrimonial home which is on my husbands name and there is about 70k in the bank on my husband bank account which rightfully is mine

 

i cannot get any access to it without grant of probate.

My solicitor sent them a warning and giving 8 days to reply.

 

Does this man have a right to place a caveat and on what grounds?

 

My husband was of sound mind when he did the will and it is a legit will witnessed by a different solicitors.

 

What can happen?

Edited by citizenB
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I will try and find someone who can help.

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the 8 days is for them to give the formal reasons for objecting to the will.

if they dont reply within the 8, then the cav is removed.

 

ps, you are the spouse, so it should go to you. provided all legit.

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Anyone can place a caveat for what ever reason they feel like and they do not have to give a reason at the time. Now that a warning has been issued, the step-son must respond stating his reasons within the alloted time (eight days from receiving the form) or the caveat will be struck out.

 

The usual reason for entering a caveat is to allow time for the circumstances surrounding the execution of a will to be investigated. Occasionally, it is used by some disreputable solicitors to extract a settlement from the estate where they don't have a worthwhile claim under the Inheritance Act. By the sounds of it, you already have a solicitor handling the situation. I would recommend leaving it in his hands for now.

 

If the house was in your husband's sole name, you will have to wait for probate to be granted I'm afraid. If you do not intend to sell within the next year or two, this isn't a problem. Carry on living there, transfer the utility bills, council tax, and insurance over to your name, not forgetting to claim the single person discount if you are on your own.

 

I'm assuming the bank account was solely in your husbands name. In which case, the bank is quite right to refuse to release funds without probate being granted. They should however release funds directly to the funeral director to cover the cost of burial/cremation. If there were any other accounts containing small amounts of money, the banks will often release funds up to £20,000 (this varies depending on the bank) to the executor once an indemnity form is signed.

 

Unfortunately, these things take time to be resolved and there is no easy quick fix.

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Did I saw, it is also very expensive to contest the validity of a will and getting it thrown out. IF the will were to be ruled invalid, then the stepson needs to be aware that the rules of intestacy may well kick in and he would get nothing.

 

Then there is the cost of funding a claim which would cost a minimum of £10,000 which he would have to pay out of his own pocket. Should he lose (which is very likely if the will was drawn up by a solicitor), there is every chance that he would also be liable for your costs too.

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Did I saw, it is also very expensive to contest the validity of a will and getting it thrown out. IF the will were to be ruled invalid, then the stepson needs to be aware that the rules of intestacy may well kick in and he would get nothing.

 

Is the stepson claiming there was a previous valid will?.

If so, if the current will is found to be invalid, this doesn't mean the husband died intestate.

 

I doubt the stepson is going to succeed.

I suspect he is trying to be awkward, hoping for a payoff to withdraw any claim.

 

I suspect you should just "ride out" his attempts / objections, with the assistance of your solicitor in making the process as speedy as possible, so I agree overall with MrP ; I just wanted to highlight that the rules of intestacy may not apply here regardless of if the current will is valid or not, if there was a former will.

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Is the stepson claiming there was a previous valid will?.

If so, if the current will is found to be invalid, this doesn't mean the husband died intestate.

 

In England and Wales, a marriage will usually nullify an existing will unless it was drawn up with the marriage in mind. See: http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/manuals/ihtmanual/ihtm12074.htm

 

If the will is revoked by way of marriage, and no new will is executed (or it is ruled invalid by the courts), then rules of intestacy kick in and the partner (generally) inherits the first £250,000 of the estate and half the remainder(1). That is my understanding of the matter in England & Wales. Scottish law(2) on the subject has significant differences.

 

(1) https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/relationships/death-and-wills/who-can-inherit-if-there-is-no-will-the-rules-of-intestacy/

(2) http://www.gov.scot/Publications/2005/12/05115128/51285

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