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Forced to get a solicitor to request copy of father's will


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Hello,

 

Small back story; my father left my mother when I was a little 'un and when I turned 14 I was curious about finding him. It took several years (on and off) and many Internet searches but 5 years ago it paid off and I tracked him down.

 

I was born out of wedlock and he had no other children.

 

When I met him, it was 'facilitated' through a close friend of his (let's call her 'Woman A') as my father was apparently in a bad place at that time.

 

During that chat we spoke about guilt and forgiveness and the hope of creating a new relationship where the past remains right there in the past. We arranged to meet again the following week.

 

Woman A was not a partner or lover and he assured me of that. But she was intent on getting the message across to me that she has been there for him through his dark times, I thanked her for that and my father also said the same; that she had been there for him.

 

During the second meet up, he was talking about his travels and interests and he just mentioned that my children would be 'made' when he goes. Quite unexpected but he went on to explain he was due to sell 2 houses to buy a pub down south but now I have got in touch he no longer wanted to do that.

 

We never did become close, but we would call infrequently and exchange texts and emails more often.

 

Roll forward four years (to 12th Jan) and I received a phone call from from woman A telling me my father had died of an aggressive cancer the day before and that he did not want to tell me because he was afraid it was going to hurt; instead she said that she took care of him and it was the hardest thing she has had to do. I don't disagree with that, they were close friends.

 

It all starts to get a little cloak and dagger from there and that's why I am asking for advice.

 

As I am the sole living son of his, I assumed it would be my responsibility to assess any assets and distribute as per the will (first time dealing with deceased) but Woman A said no, Woman B is the executor and will sort it out as that was my father's wish.

 

I went along with that and was receiving piecemeal texts from woman A asking me if it was OK if my father's fridge and other furniture could be donated to charity - of course I was all happy for it to go to good use.

 

As my father mentioned to me in our chat that we would be 'taken care of' I assumed the houses would come to me. But I checked the land registry on the one that I knew the address of and its registered owners are both my father and woman A. From recollection, I believe therefore the property simply moves over into woman As name. So I began to wonder what my father meant.

 

I let it go and received a phonecall from woman A to see how I was coping and I just asked outright "what's happening with my dads houses" and she said that she had spoken with the mortgage company and they were going to sell my dads houde that only he lived in (the one explained above that's in both their names) in order to pay off in full the other house in which she lives. They never lived together, just held the houses in joint names.

 

That is when I started to get suspicious. So a few weeks later I sent woman A a text to say I'm surprised my father cut me out especially after our chat, I saw my backside and left it at that.

 

The feeling had been knowing at me for months as he may have had life insurance policies that have paid out, and pensions that might be owing so I sent woman A a text message asking to see a copy of the will as well as the family history my father had compiled.

 

Woman A responded asking me if I wanted another sentimental item but didn't mention the will. She then sent another text asking me "why do you feel you should have a copy of the will" to which I replied " is him being my father not reason enough"

The following exchange took place and this is where I am lost for words and my suspiciousness is going berserk .

 

Woman A "let me have your solicitor's details please"

 

Me "sorry, I am at a loss as to why o would need a solicitor"

 

Woman A "everything is in the hands of my solicitor"

 

 

So... alls I want is to see a copy of the will so I can ensure nothing untoward is taking place and to make sure that I am a beneficiary of any pensions or life insurance policies but I have no reason why i would need to instruct a solicitor; indeed I would have no answer to the solicitor's inevitable question of "and how would you like to instruct me".

 

Can I tell this woman to just provide me with the will ?! Or do I actually need a solicitor to see this? Given I am the only living child and he never married.

 

Best regards

J

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Hello Honeybee,

 

Thank you for responding.

 

I do not; I have no problem texting her and asking her for them though. I just didn't want to look petulant by asking "I don't have one, what is yours"

 

Regards

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Until probate has been granted, you do not have any statutory rights to see the will or be informed of its contents (sorry if this isn't what you wanted to hear).

 

Once probate has been granted, the will becomes a public document and a copy can be ordered via: https://probatesearch.service.gov.uk/

 

You do not need to appoint a solicitor of your own to communicate with A's sol if you don't want to. Just be mindful of what you write, keeping emotions and gossip out of any communications.

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Until probate has been granted, you do not have any statutory rights to see the will or be informed of its contents (sorry if this isn't what you wanted to hear).

 

Once probate has been granted, the will becomes a public document and a copy can be ordered via: https://probatesearch.service.gov.uk/

 

You do not need to appoint a solicitor of your own to communicate with A's sol if you don't want to. Just be mindful of what you write, keeping emotions and gossip out of any communications.

 

Indeed,

 

Thank you v much Honeybee and Mr P

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  • 3 months later...

Hello,

 

Just following up on this as I have not had any further correspondence from my request to Mrs. A get her Solicitor's details so that I may liaise with him/her!

I have been searching the probatesearch.gov.uk website weekly but so far my dad has not returned as a positive match and we are now 10 months down the line from when he passed. Given I have just seen his house has sold back in July, I would have assumed the will & probate documents would have been available online to download by now? Is someone able to confirm that's the case and why it might not be online?

 

I know there is a will and that Mrs. B is an executor - but I have no means of contact Mrs. B nor had any visibility on the will.

 

Best regards

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Hello there.

 

I have limited experience of getting probate, but if there are other investments or loans to resolve, it could be that the probate process isn't complete yet.

 

I agree it's long though. I'm executor for someone and there is a lawyer who's also executor, he's dealing with the estate. This lady passed away last October and probate came through about 3 months ago from memory.

 

HB

 

HB

Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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Hey there HB,

 

thanks again for responding. I sent another text requesting the solicitors details after putting up my last post and received a response literally moments ago. Very unsatisfactory I might add, it went like this "thanks for your text i hope you are well. Your dad's estate now finalised so i have no involvement with solicitor. take care"

 

I sent another one in response "We are well thanks; refreshed after a family holiday. Glad it is all finalised on your end but I would appreciate seeing the will or discussing with your solicitor. I would be grateful if you would pass on those details as probate doesn't seem to have been complete"

 

I got a response - "as I said, its all finalised i have no solicitor will arrange for a copy of the will from 'B' the executor take care" (no grammar in text, sorry)

 

Having looked at property markets - both houses have now sold!

 

Oh well - if she comes good on the will; I'll see where I can take it from there.

 

Thanks again

J

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If the properties have been sold...normally the conveyance/Solicitor will want to see a copy of probate ?

 

Andy

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