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Need some help please! How to enforce a last will and testament?


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Hi everyone

 

I found out this year that my father (who I'd never had contact with) had died over 2 years ago, and had left me £25,000 in his last will and testament (I have a copy of the will from public record).

 

However, the executor is my brother (who I've also never met) who inherited the majority of the estate, and after some difficulty in getting a response out of him, he has responded saying that I was removed from the will as a beneficiary.

 

The copy of the will that is on public record does have codicils on it, but they do not relate to the money I've been left.

 

My brother has now stopped contact, and I'm unsure of what the next step is!

 

The document is a high court document from the district probate registry at Oxford, but there is no contact details for anyone other than the executor (my brother).

 

Any advice please on how to proceed?

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You send him a letter explaining that the copy of the will on public record still has you listed as a beneficiary.

That unless he explains why you aren't a beneficiary that he (as executor) is in breach of trust by not making the bequests mandated by the will.

That if he persists in not explaining why you were not a valid beneficiary (or pays the bequest, since it has gone through probate for the will to be on the public record) that you will take legal action to hold him personally liable for his breach of trust.

 

Was he the sole executor? If not, copy in any other executor / PR.

 

Does he have assets you could recover a judgement from if it went to court?

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I found out this year that my father (who I'd never had contact with) had died over 2 years ago, and had left me £25,000 in his last will and testament (I have a copy of the will from public record).

 

However, the executor is my brother (who I've also never met) who inherited the majority of the estate, and after some difficulty in getting a response out of him, he has responded saying that I was removed from the will as a beneficiary.

 

Unfortunately, due to the amount involved and the fact that it is an inheritance dispute, your only real option is to get a solicitor involved. This could involve some expensive litigation through the courts, but you'd be able to claim the costs back after winning.

 

First step is to find a solicitor experienced in contentious probate with a proven track record of success. Avoid the no-fee-no-win outfits and be very wary of signing any Conditional Fee Arrangements.

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Hi BazzaS

 

In our short exchange of letters I asked him to provide evidence as to why I was no longer a beneficiary, his response was that I now needed to provide him with ID before he would communicate any further.

 

I sent the ID, along with further requests for any evidence that counter acts the public record document, but no he has stopped responding.

 

He is the sole executor.

 

In theory he should have a lot of assets! I found out that my father was a multiple property landlord, sold all the property, gave his other son (the executor) the majority of the estate before his death, then in the will left him about half a million that was left of the estate to hand over.

 

If the executor is no longer responding to correspondence, what is my next move? Do I need to get a lawyer? Because I'm not a rich person!

 

Thank you for your help by the way!

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If the executor is no longer responding to correspondence, what is my next move? Do I need to get a lawyer?

 

If the executor is not responding to any communication, then I'm afraid a solicitor may well be the only option.

 

Most will offer a thirty minute consultation and then offer a possible course of action along with some estimate of the costs involved.

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Hi Mr.P

 

Ok, thank you for the advice! Shame it has to go to this, but I'll look into getting someone.

 

 

 

Please do let us know how you get on, as any outcome might help others who find themselves in a similar situation.

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