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  • FIRST POST
    • YoungBlueEyes
    • By YoungBlueEyes 11th Feb 18, 9:23 PM
    • 54Posts
    • 65Thanks
    YoungBlueEyes
    A few Questions, Advice Needed.
    • #1
    • 11th Feb 18, 9:23 PM
    A few Questions, Advice Needed. 11th Feb 18 at 9:23 PM
    Hi all.
    I'm after some advice to put my mind at rest. I'll be ringing my solicitor in the morning for an appointment but I want to do some research first so I know what to ask him. (Google is giving me millions of pages, which isn't helpful!)

    Quick background - Dad died recently, leaving 4 daughters from 2 marriages. 3+4 are executrices, the estate (i.e. bank account) has been distributed. 3+4 applied for probate, it was granted a couple of weeks ago. Daughters 1+2+3+4 got an equal share of dad's bank account, 3+4 also got his house (transferred a few years ago, not inherited in the will although it was reiterated in the will).

    1+2 now want to contest the will. They want "a more equal share" as we are all dad's daughters. They are prepared to go to court to achieve this. They don't feel as thought they have been recognised by dad, and feel they deserve financial reparation. 4 agrees with 1+2 and they have "come to an agreement". They are now asking the same of me. If I agree to pay 1+2 £15k each they will not take it any further. If I don't they will start legal proceedings and assured me they would win and I would get stuck with all the costs.

    My questions are these -
    On what grounds can you contest a will? Does being an equal daughter mean you can be awarded an equal share? (By equal daughter I mean not a step daughter or whatever.)
    Which websites should I be looking at for decent advice? Which ones can you recommend?
    Other than the obvious questions, anything I should ask the solicitor? He's the one who drew up the will.
    Contesting a will is expensive, but can anyone give me ballpark figure?
    Do these sorts of cases win? Would I be stuck with all the costs?

    Thanks for any replies

    Edit: I don't want to go to court, but I don't want to give them money to stop it either!
Page 1
    • Yorkshireman99
    • By Yorkshireman99 11th Feb 18, 9:36 PM
    • 3,686 Posts
    • 3,007 Thanks
    Yorkshireman99
    • #2
    • 11th Feb 18, 9:36 PM
    • #2
    • 11th Feb 18, 9:36 PM
    Hi all.
    I'm after some advice to put my mind at rest. I'll be ringing my solicitor in the morning for an appointment but I want to do some research first so I know what to ask him. (Google is giving me millions of pages, which isn't helpful!)

    Quick background - Dad died recently, leaving 4 daughters from 2 marriages. 3+4 are executrices, the estate (i.e. bank account) has been distributed. 3+4 applied for probate, it was granted a couple of weeks ago. Daughters 1+2+3+4 got an equal share of dad's bank account, 3+4 also got his house (transferred a few years ago, not inherited in the will although it was reiterated in the will).

    1+2 now want to contest the will. They want "a more equal share" as we are all dad's daughters. They are prepared to go to court to achieve this. They don't feel as thought they have been recognised by dad, and feel they deserve financial reparation. 4 agrees with 1+2 and they have "come to an agreement". They are now asking the same of me. If I agree to pay 1+2 £15k each they will not take it any further. If I don't they will start legal proceedings and assured me they would win and I would get stuck with all the costs.

    My questions are these -
    On what grounds can you contest a will? Does being an equal daughter mean you can be awarded an equal share? (By equal daughter I mean not a step daughter or whatever.)
    Which websites should I be looking at for decent advice? Which ones can you recommend?
    Other than the obvious questions, anything I should ask the solicitor? He's the one who drew up the will.
    Contesting a will is expensive, but can anyone give me ballpark figure?
    Do these sorts of cases win? Would I be stuck with all the costs?

    Thanks for any replies

    Edit: I don't want to go to court, but I don't want to give them money to stop it either!
    Originally posted by YoungBlueEyes
    From what you say there is little chance of them successfully contesting the will unless they can prove that they were financially dependent. It would be very expensive for them to start sy £20K.
    Last edited by Yorkshireman99; 11-02-2018 at 11:05 PM.
    • YoungBlueEyes
    • By YoungBlueEyes 11th Feb 18, 9:47 PM
    • 54 Posts
    • 65 Thanks
    YoungBlueEyes
    • #3
    • 11th Feb 18, 9:47 PM
    • #3
    • 11th Feb 18, 9:47 PM
    Thanks Yorkshireman.

    Dad did give out his money from time to time, but they certainly weren't dependent.
    If it's around £20k to start, it might end up costing what they're asking for.
    • Red-Squirrel
    • By Red-Squirrel 11th Feb 18, 10:31 PM
    • 2,335 Posts
    • 6,444 Thanks
    Red-Squirrel
    • #4
    • 11th Feb 18, 10:31 PM
    • #4
    • 11th Feb 18, 10:31 PM
    Previous thread for info: http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=5746396

    They probably won't win a court case, but what impact will refusing to share the inheritance have on your relationship with your 3 siblings? You have got plenty, if I were you I'd give them the 15K, I agree with your younger sister.
    • gettingtheresometime
    • By gettingtheresometime 11th Feb 18, 11:19 PM
    • 3,322 Posts
    • 8,030 Thanks
    gettingtheresometime
    • #5
    • 11th Feb 18, 11:19 PM
    • #5
    • 11th Feb 18, 11:19 PM
    But isnt this the house that was transferred into 3&4s name before the dads death?

    Then surely he cant have left it (even though he mentioned it in his will) to 3&4 because it was, at the time of his death not his?

    From memory 1&2 bullied 4 into agreeing to give them money & are now trying to do the same with you.

    Hopefully your solicitor will tell you to tell them to take a running jump & if needs be will follow this up for you with a letter to them saying that - what ever your solicitor charges to do this it wont be £15k
    Lloyds OD / Natwest OD / PO CC / Wescott / Argos Card cleared thanks to the 1 debt v 100 day challenge


    Next on the list - JD Williams
    • YoungBlueEyes
    • By YoungBlueEyes 11th Feb 18, 11:30 PM
    • 54 Posts
    • 65 Thanks
    YoungBlueEyes
    • #6
    • 11th Feb 18, 11:30 PM
    • #6
    • 11th Feb 18, 11:30 PM
    My relationship with 1 is just civil, with 2 was non-existent but is now nothing but insults, arguments and nastiness, with 4 is strained but basically ok.
    For me it isn't about the money, or how much each of us has. It's a point of principle. Dad knew what he was doing when he wrote his will, and for them to wait til now to say they want financial reparation for the issues they have with him is just plain wrong. And to say "give us £30k or we'll take you to court" is extortion. Sisters that you have to buy are not sisters IMO. If it came to it I could live without them, and probably will.
    • YoungBlueEyes
    • By YoungBlueEyes 11th Feb 18, 11:35 PM
    • 54 Posts
    • 65 Thanks
    YoungBlueEyes
    • #7
    • 11th Feb 18, 11:35 PM
    • #7
    • 11th Feb 18, 11:35 PM
    Yeah that's the one gettingtheresometime. Red-Squirrel has linked my other thread (I wouldn't have a clue how to do that!).
    The will is from 2003, he transferred the house 4 years ago. So when he wrote the will we would have been inheriting it, but now it's a different story.
    • konark
    • By konark 12th Feb 18, 2:15 AM
    • 981 Posts
    • 760 Thanks
    konark
    • #8
    • 12th Feb 18, 2:15 AM
    • #8
    • 12th Feb 18, 2:15 AM
    As has been said, Nos 1 & 2 can't have any share of the house because it is not part of the estate. Hopefully your sisters will seek legal advice on the matter and desist from this futile quest.
    • YoungBlueEyes
    • By YoungBlueEyes 12th Feb 18, 8:35 AM
    • 54 Posts
    • 65 Thanks
    YoungBlueEyes
    • #9
    • 12th Feb 18, 8:35 AM
    • #9
    • 12th Feb 18, 8:35 AM
    2 said they!!!8217;ve had legal advice, which was to approach me about it informally before going down the formal route i.e. court. She said they!!!8217;ve no problem with the court route, and when they win I!!!8217;ll be stuck with all the costs. I calmly said I!!!8217;d get legal advice before answering.
    I was looking online for hours last night, and I can!!!8217;t find any backup for the !!!8220;all equal daughters get equal share!!!8221; statement. Contesting a will seems to be more about the will itself (not written by a solicitor, fraud, coercion, signed by someone of an unsound mind etc - none of which apply here) rather than not liking it!!!8217;s contents.
    • silvercar
    • By silvercar 12th Feb 18, 8:40 AM
    • 36,659 Posts
    • 154,721 Thanks
    silvercar
    2 said they've had legal advice, which was to approach me about it informally before going down the formal route i.e. court.
    Which could be translated as:

    they took legal advice
    the legal advice said they don't stand a chance in law
    try reaching an informal agreement before wasting any money.
    • Margot123
    • By Margot123 12th Feb 18, 9:15 AM
    • 662 Posts
    • 675 Thanks
    Margot123
    If they have been formally told not to bother contesting the will as they have no valid grounds, then to continue asking for what they think is 'rightfully theirs' is harassment.

    Keep a record of all communications, and don't be drawn into any arguments. Above all don't let sentiment/family ties get in the way. If they had any respect for others, they would not being doing this.
    • YoungBlueEyes
    • By YoungBlueEyes 12th Feb 18, 9:19 AM
    • 54 Posts
    • 65 Thanks
    YoungBlueEyes
    To be honest, I!!!8217;m not convinced they have had legal advice. 2 has previously told me that having sought legal advice she will remove me as co- executor as I am the main beneficiary and can!!!8217;t be both, and that she!!!8217;ll remove me for mishandling the estate for not carrying out my duties - all untrue. Nothing has happened re any of that.
    It feels more like bullying/scare tactics to get more out of dad!!!8217;s will via me, which I disagree with on principle. I don!!!8217;t want to end up with a huge court bill though.
    • nom de plume
    • By nom de plume 12th Feb 18, 10:08 AM
    • 639 Posts
    • 599 Thanks
    nom de plume
    To be honest, I!!!8217;m not convinced they have had legal advice. 2 has previously told me that having sought legal advice she will remove me as co- executor as I am the main beneficiary and can!!!8217;t be both, and that she!!!8217;ll remove me for mishandling the estate for not carrying out my duties - all untrue. Nothing has happened re any of that.
    It feels more like bullying/scare tactics to get more out of dad!!!8217;s will via me, which I disagree with on principle. I don!!!8217;t want to end up with a huge court bill though.
    Originally posted by YoungBlueEyes
    Sounds like she's trying it on. There's no reason the main beneficiary can't be executor. My wife is named as both as are my children if my wife predeceases me. That will was drawn up by a solicitor.
    • gettingtheresometime
    • By gettingtheresometime 12th Feb 18, 10:45 AM
    • 3,322 Posts
    • 8,030 Thanks
    gettingtheresometime
    Which could be translated as:

    they took legal advice
    the legal advice said they don't stand a chance in law
    try reaching an informal agreement before wasting any money.
    Originally posted by silvercar


    Or


    they took legal advice
    the legal advice said they don't stand a chance in law
    trying it on, hoping the threat of legal action will frighten 3&4 into giving them money they aren't entitled to.
    Lloyds OD / Natwest OD / PO CC / Wescott / Argos Card cleared thanks to the 1 debt v 100 day challenge


    Next on the list - JD Williams
    • TBagpuss
    • By TBagpuss 12th Feb 18, 11:05 AM
    • 6,256 Posts
    • 8,053 Thanks
    TBagpuss
    OP, the reason you haeven't found anything saying 4 siblings are wentitled to equal shares is becuase (in English Law, anyway) there is no such rule.

    The starting point is that everyone has 'testamentary freedom' which means that your dad was free to leave his estate however he wanted. He could have chosen to leave 100% of it to a single child, had he wanted.


    There are there rules which allow certain people to contest a will. That includes children, so your sisters have standing to issue a claim - that doesn't mean they would win.

    As I understand it, in order for them to succeed, they would have to show one or more of the following:

    - Your dad didn't have proper capacity when he made his will (unlikely, he had a solicitor and they would consider this at the time. Also, he left something to each of you, so it doesn't look as though he had (for example) forgotten how many children he had ad left some of them out)

    - Your dad made the will as a result of undue influence or duress - i.e. that you or your sister made him favour you over over your siblings. Again, the fact that he made the will via a solicitor is strong evidence against this - the solicitor 's notes will show you were not in the room when your dad gave instructions and signed the will, and they should also be able to confirm that they were satisfied that your dad made his own decisions.

    - that your dad failed to make reasonable provision for them. This is the ground which was used in the high profile Ilott case. However, it's normally pretty tough to prove as the court has to be satisfied that his decisions were unreasonable, and in this case, he did not disinherit your siblings, he simply chose to be more generous to you. Unless they were directly financially dependent on him at the time he died, they would struggle.

    I would suggest that you check all this with the solicitor but assuming they don't say anything different, get them to write to you sisters to say that you will be following the terms of your dad's will and his wishes, and will not be agreeing any variation.

    My understanding is that if they were to contest, the costs would come out of the estate in the first instance, but that a court could make costs orders against them if they lose.

    Why did you need probate if the money from the bank account was already split? if there are any further assets in the estate perhaps reminding therm that you won't be able to distribute anything further until any potential claims against the estate are dealt with may focus their minds, as that would mean they would get nothing further as long as they seek to pursue any claim, as that money may be needed to fund the case for the estate.
    • Yorkshireman99
    • By Yorkshireman99 12th Feb 18, 11:11 AM
    • 3,686 Posts
    • 3,007 Thanks
    Yorkshireman99
    To be honest, I!!!8217;m not convinced they have had legal advice. 2 has previously told me that having sought legal advice she will remove me as co- executor as I am the main beneficiary and can!!!8217;t be both, and that she!!!8217;ll remove me for mishandling the estate for not carrying out my duties - all untrue. Nothing has happened re any of that.
    It feels more like bullying/scare tactics to get more out of dad!!!8217;s will via me, which I disagree with on principle. I don!!!8217;t want to end up with a huge court bill though.
    Originally posted by YoungBlueEyes
    As a last resort refer them to the case of Arkell v Pressdram that a quick Google will make them understand the meaning.
    • YoungBlueEyes
    • By YoungBlueEyes 12th Feb 18, 12:33 PM
    • 54 Posts
    • 65 Thanks
    YoungBlueEyes
    Yeah I think they are trying it on. There is no one main beneficiary, me + 4 received the same. 4 is giving them £15k each because she feels thats the morally right thing to do. Her choice but I dont agree.

    TBagPuss Those are the kinds of things I read last night, and many websites all said the same. The Heather Ilott v charity case gave me pause for thought, but that didnt set a precedent - it was specifically for that one case.

    Me +4 applied for probate because we were advised to by our solicitor. They only have 6 months from date it was granted to raise any issues, but without probate there is no end point.

    The estate was fairly small, 1+2 took their and 4s share (4 offered), which leaves my £2k. Dad only had the house and bank account, there was no investments or insurance policies etc. Ive paid all the bills from dads money (it was a joint account in my name for years before he died), so it wont pay for a court case by a long chalk! Id have to stand that personally Im guessing?
    Last edited by YoungBlueEyes; 12-02-2018 at 12:44 PM. Reason: Misbehaving apostrophes
    • Margot123
    • By Margot123 12th Feb 18, 12:57 PM
    • 662 Posts
    • 675 Thanks
    Margot123
    "The Heather Ilott v charity case gave me pause for thought, but that didnt set a precedent - it was specifically for that one case........."

    You have to remember that civil cases do not set precedents. However a judge can, and usually does, take directions from previous cases.
    Every case is judged on its own merits.
    • Yorkshireman99
    • By Yorkshireman99 12th Feb 18, 4:36 PM
    • 3,686 Posts
    • 3,007 Thanks
    Yorkshireman99
    The appeals do set a precedent. However th ilott case was holly exceptional and is unlikely to be relevant in this case.
    Last edited by Yorkshireman99; 12-02-2018 at 7:15 PM.
    • mrschaucer
    • By mrschaucer 12th Feb 18, 5:58 PM
    • 489 Posts
    • 536 Thanks
    mrschaucer
    Come on, OP, think about it for one second.
    They are threatening you by saying that they will challenge THE WILL? That is, the will which divides everything in the estate equally between you, and the will which specifically DOES NOT contain the house as it has been disposed of previously? What exactly in THE WILL do they propose to challenge?

    What they seem to want to challenge is the fact that the deceased disposed of some of his estate before he died. How inconsiderate of him!

    It's an unpleasant family row. I doubt if you will be advised that it could be turned into a valid "will challenge". What grounds do they have - simply not liking the will won't cut it. If they are out to show that you coerced your father into handing over the house to you, and therefore it SHOULD have been in the will, then they will probably find that extremely difficult, if not impossible. I'm assuming here that there was no coercion involved!

    And even if they somehow managed to prove that you coerced him into handing over the house four years ago, then they still have to prove that the will, made with a solicitor in 2003, has something inherently wrong with it just because it specifies that daughters 3 and 4 were to inherit more than daughters 1 and 2.
    I really don't think any solicitor would advise them that they have a good chance of proving all that.
    Last edited by mrschaucer; 12-02-2018 at 7:01 PM.
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