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Bad Will scenario.


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Hi folks,

It would be valuable if any of you guys may offer an insight on my and my siblings current situation after the passing of our father a few years

 

My Dad, a successful businessman, divorced my mum years ago when I was in my early 20s.

Their marriage had been pretty dysfunctional for a long time so it wasn't surprising.

 

My Dad remarried a few years later to a subordinate from the establishment he worked for, also a divorcee.

 

After originally having some animosity towards her for the divorce, perhaps misplaced, over the ensuing years we got to know her personality.

 

To say she is materialistic, shallow, and a goldigger is an understatement.

My Dad was the exact opposite.

He was intellectual and thick skinned

she a bit of a dullard and seemed to only be interested in appearances and acquisition of new items.

 

My Dad was coerced by her to acquiesce to this over the years, antithetical to his upbringing.

We could see the change in him and there was tension but mostly civility between us and her for him.

She seemed controlling with him.

Him having to be home at certain times etc.

All of us children concurred on her personality.

He brought the majority of wealth to the relationship.

 

My Dad tragically died a few years ago in bad circumstances.

He was unconscious for a while and passed away some days later.

She was not at the hospital at the time.

 

My Dad left a TIC Will on the house leaving her a life interest and £multiple k in money, half his large pension.

The Will was generic and not personalised at all.

The beneficiaries were her kids and us equally on the house.

 

We believe it’s possible she coerced him into a will that didn't immediately allow any estate to the beneficiaries if he passed first.

She didn't offer a penny of his capital even as a token gesture.

She lives in a nice house in with no money worries.

She also refused an executor access to the will file for unknown perhaps insidious reasons.

 

One of my siblings does not need any advance on the inheritance.

I'm currently disabled living on ESA and on my uppers and my other sibling wants to move out of his flat.

We cannot do anything currently.

I may pre decease her as I have health issues.

I know it was my Dad's Will but do you think she should at least talk to us about the situation?

Maybe he was coerced.

 

We have thought of an equity release scheme but knowing her personality with money she may be obdurate and make things worse by changing her will.

Her daughters seem to be in her mold.

We all got on really closely with my dad and were devastated at his early passing.

I had a deep depression.

I am really struggling financially and this constant worrying about money and her is affecting my MH badly.

 

Is there a loan one can take out against being a beneficiary in will?

 

What can we do?

 

Thank you kindly in advance.

Edited by dx100uk
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Sorry to hear about your troubles.

 

One possibility is that you mention "We believe it’s possible she coerced him into a will". Undue influence is one of the legal grounds for challenging the validity of a Will. More info here.

 

https://www.wrighthassall.co.uk/knowledge/legal-articles/2013/05/24/disputing-will-undue-influence/

 

Another possibility is that you have a claim for "reasonable financial provision" under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975. More info here

 

https://www.lawdonut.co.uk/personal/claiming-an-inheritance/dependants-claims-against-an-estate

 

Note that a claim for Undue Influence challenges the validity of the Will itself, and if the claim were successful the Will would be void and your father's Estate would then be dealt with under Intestacy law. But a claim under the 1975 Act accepts the validity of the Will but seeks a variation of it so family or dependants can, in some circumstances, receive funds from the Estate which were not left to them in the Will.

 

Whether you could use either of these approaches I can't say. It's a complex area of law and needs legal advice from a solicitor specialising in this. From what you've said it seems unlikely you have sufficient evidence to meet the high standard of proof needed to establish 'undue influence'. I fear that, in any event, you may have left it far too late to pursue either of these routes. Generally action needs to be taken within 6 months of Probate being granted.

 

I doubt it's possible to get loan secured on the house until the property actually passes to you. You don't have a legal interest that would allow a lender to use the house as security, your interest is only 'contingent'. That would be my first thought but it's not something I know much about.

 

Good luck.

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Thanks Ethel for your thoughtful insightful reply.

 

Avarice is one of the human traits I hold in least regard.

People really can be 'blinded' by love.

We only suspect he may have been coercred through nagging due to her personality, but cannot prove it and I thought there was a statutory time limit on making a claim against the legality of a Will, that will now have expired.

 

My brother as an executor and co-trustee requested that a small change of a clause be included due to very ambiguous language. She refused.

 

I will certainly investigate the two options you outlined.

Thanks awfully for the links.

 

As you mentioned though the time limit will have probably expired as he passed a few years ago.

Having no insight to her subsequent behaviour and suffering the depressive episode at the time I certainly did not have the wearwithal to investigate these routes.

 

Thanks again for the input

Edited by dx100uk
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We only suspect he may have been coercred through nagging due to her personality, but cannot prove it and I thought there was a statutory time limit on making a claim against the legality of a Will, that will now have expired.

 

The validity of a will can only be challenged before probate is granted. To delay probate, a caveat is normally entered to allow sufficient time for investigations to be completed. A suspicion is not sufficient grounds, and you would be hard pushed to find a solicitor who would take on such a case.

 

An Inheritance Act claim needs to be made within six months of probate being granted. Once again, you need good grounds for making a claim without relying on the Illot-v-Mitson case. You will also need substantial funding to pursue a case through the high court. Something in the order of £40,000 for the preliminaries and may be as much as £100,000 or more to go to trial.

 

In both contesting a will and an inheritance act claim, once outside the time limits, you can seek permission from a judge to file a claim. But you would need pretty good reason for being out of time, a strong chance of success, and a very deep pocket.

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To add to the above post: The rules in Scotland governing inheritance are different to that of England & Wales. If the deceased resided in Scotland, then it is certainly worth paying a visit to a solicitor and getting some qualified advice.

PLEASE HELP US TO KEEP THIS SITE RUNNING

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Thanks Mr P for the great input.

 

I think the legal route seems to be a non starter for the expense and timing constraints.

 

It seems that we should keep her onside, hope she doesn't change her Will to only her daughters and son and just be patient.

 

Some people really are solipsistic sometimes. My executor brother should've seen the Will before my Dad's passing really.

 

Thank you again.

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