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  • FIRST POST
    • YoungBlueEyes
    • By YoungBlueEyes 11th Feb 18, 9:23 PM
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    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 2
    • YoungBlueEyes
    • By YoungBlueEyes 12th Feb 18, 10:49 PM
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    YoungBlueEyes
    In amongst all the websites I was reading was a link to a youtube video. A lawyer was discussing the Ilott case and explaining why it really only applied to her. I forget the details now (cos that was at silly o'clock in the morning) but I didn't think it applied to me.

    MrsChaucer - their point was to contest and overturn the will on the grounds that 4 full daughters should get 4 equal shares. The rules of intestacy would then apply, and the house and bank account would be shared equally between us all. In the mean time all the house + contents + bank accounts (mine and estate) would be frozen til the court ruled, and it would be in their favour. And then because they'd won I'd get all the costs. But I can save myself the money and hassle of all that by paying them each £15k.
    It's a wonder I stayed as calm as I did!
    There was no coercion or fraud or theft or abuse of a vulnerable adult or any of the other nonsense I've been accused of. Dad's will is right and proper, so I doubt they'll get very far.
    One thing my solicitor told me way back at the start was - expect to receive threatening letters from their solicitor. They're stubborn angry and wealthy so they'll have no trouble finding someone to take their money for a few letters. Nothing legal has dropped on my doormat yet though....
    • Sea Shell
    • By Sea Shell 13th Feb 18, 6:56 AM
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    Sea Shell
    I didn't think the house formed part of the estate any longer. Wasn't it gifted/sold/transferred to children 3 + 4 BEFORE he died?? If so, what are 1 + 2 contesting....as the will was 25% to each child...perfectly fair. (the fact that the assets left in the estate is less than they were expecting, is the bug-bear)

    If they had a problem (or weren't told) about the transfer of the house, then that was the time to have faced up to Dad about it, surely.
    " That pound I saved yesterday, is a pound I don't have to earn tomorrow "
    • mrschaucer
    • By mrschaucer 13th Feb 18, 10:27 AM
    • 490 Posts
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    mrschaucer

    MrsChaucer - their point was to contest and overturn the will on the grounds that 4 full daughters should get 4 equal shares. The rules of intestacy would then apply, and the house and bank account would be shared equally between us all.
    Originally posted by YoungBlueEyes
    In their dreams!
    • nom de plume
    • By nom de plume 13th Feb 18, 10:44 AM
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    nom de plume
    I didn't think the house formed part of the estate any longer. Wasn't it gifted/sold/transferred to children 3 + 4 BEFORE he died?? If so, what are 1 + 2 contesting....as the will was 25% to each child...perfectly fair. (the fact that the assets left in the estate is less than they were expecting, is the bug-bear)

    If they had a problem (or weren't told) about the transfer of the house, then that was the time to have faced up to Dad about it, surely.
    Originally posted by Sea Shell
    The house, according to the OP's first post was transferred to 3 & 4 but, had that not happened, it was bequeathed to the in the will in any case.
    3+4 also got his house (transferred a few years ago, not inherited in the will although it was reiterated in the will).
    • nom de plume
    • By nom de plume 13th Feb 18, 10:47 AM
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    nom de plume
    Dad died recently, leaving 4 daughters from 2 marriages.
    Originally posted by YoungBlueEyes
    Can we assume 1 & 2 have a different mother to 3 & 4? If so, is there perhaps a reason relating to that as to your father's decision? Perhaps their side of the family has wealth they are likely to inherit that you and your 'full' sister will not?
    • YoungBlueEyes
    • By YoungBlueEyes 13th Feb 18, 10:22 PM
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    YoungBlueEyes
    Thats what I thought mrschaucer, but til my appointment with my solicitor I treat this forum as a sounding board/good advice. Sometimes you just need to hear someone tell you youre not going mad, if that makes sense? I dont want to get blasŤ and overconfident, thinking I know what Im doing, then trip myself up because of my own arrogance.
    Dad was married twice, first marriage produced 1+2, 3+4 are second marriage. I dont think they have wealth coming to them, their mother died a few years ago but I dont think they got much (if anything) from her.
    Yep dad left the house to me + 4 in his will, which was drawn up in 2003. In 2014 he transferred it to me + 4 so I didnt think it could ever be part of the estate now. They knew about me + 4 getting the house, 1 approached dad about it a few years ago, he stuck to his guns despite vociferous protestations.
    The trouble is (without giving away too much identifiable information hopefully) 2 is at the top of the tree in a well known learning establishment so people doing everything she asks is normal to her. People saying no gets her riled up and she comes out all guns blazing. So the stuff she comes out with sounds so convincing it sometimes makes me doubt myself. Then I come on here and the weight is lifted Thank god for all of you!
    Last edited by YoungBlueEyes; 13-02-2018 at 10:24 PM. Reason: Sodding apostrophes!
    • Red-Squirrel
    • By Red-Squirrel 13th Feb 18, 10:35 PM
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    Red-Squirrel
    Did your dad continue to live in the house after he gave it to you and your sister? If so, I'm no expert, but I think it would be deemed that he still had 'beneficial ownership' perhaps? I don't think that would in anyway affect the challenge to the will, but maybe other things such as IHT? Hopefully someone who knows more than me can address that!

    It does seem clear that your older sisters won't succeed in any challenge, but I do feel very sorry for them and understand why they are angry at your dad. I hope one day all 4 of you will be able to be sisters, whatever you decide to do.
    • YoungBlueEyes
    • By YoungBlueEyes 13th Feb 18, 10:46 PM
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    YoungBlueEyes
    Sea Shell they arent happy that they didnt get 1/4 of the house too. So theyre contesting the will on the grounds that it didn't make equal provision for them as equal daughters (i.e. not step daughters or adopted or whatever). Equal daughters therefore equal share.
    Nom de Plume dad was not a lover of money, if you have enough you have plenty type mindset. He gave most to me + 4 because we needed it most, 1+2 are older and established and have husbands/families/careers etc which me + 4 do not. I was dad's carer for many years so he was just seeing us right, especially as I gave up a good job to look after him. It's all being viewed as a popularity contest though, and we (3+4) should right dad's wrongs so that it's morally fair. 4 agreed and is giving them the £15k each they asked for, but I whole-heartedly disagree with that. Especially when 2 said give us £30k like 4 has or we'll take you to court. Makes me want to stick my heels in and tell them where to go!
    • YoungBlueEyes
    • By YoungBlueEyes 13th Feb 18, 10:58 PM
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    YoungBlueEyes
    Red-Squirrel yeah he did. There's a name for it (that I've forgotten now) gift with reservation maybe...? When I was doing all the IHT forms I rang the taxman and told him everything, just to make sure I was doing it right, but as it was all well under the threshold we were ok.

    I understand their point too, there have been long tearful angry conversations about all this. Dad made decisions which they didn't like, and I appreciate what theyve been through because of him. But when it comes down to it, it isn't for me to "right his wrongs". It all happened years before I was even a twinkle in his eye, they were his choices to make and are not for me to rectify. Most certainly not with a substantial amount of money on the threat of being taken to court!
    If that's sisters, you can keep them.
    • troubleinparadise
    • By troubleinparadise 13th Feb 18, 11:09 PM
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    troubleinparadise
    So it wasnít their family house, it was a property acquired after the end of the first marriage, and presumably invested in by your mother and father during their marriage. It has been your family home, not your half-sisters.

    Had your mother outlived your father, this probably wouldnít have arisen.

    Iím surprised the half-siblings think they have any call on the house at all - it strikes me as being a very odd way to think.
    • YoungBlueEyes
    • By YoungBlueEyes 13th Feb 18, 11:24 PM
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    YoungBlueEyes
    That's a good point troubleinparadise, I never even thought of that. I doubt we'd be in this situation of mum was still living, but frankly I wouldn't like to bet on it.
    No it wasn't their family home. Dad took early retirement and bought this house with the golden goodbye (if that's the right term for whatever the opposite of a golden hello is).
    If I understand them correctly, they want recognition as his daughters which they feel they are lacking because he walked out on them. They want him to make up for it, and the only way to make him (literally) pay now is to go after me and 4 for what they see as rightfully theirs. 4 agrees with them, as is her choice. I'm so angry/disappointed/disgusted with them that I need a new word to accurately describe it!
    • troubleinparadise
    • By troubleinparadise 14th Feb 18, 12:20 AM
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    troubleinparadise
    YBE - your father did recognise them by bequeathing them a share of an account (or similar).

    Just because your father had owned a house some years ago there is no obligation on your part to gift them any of that.

    Iíd be amazed if there is any legal standing to demand that.

    Iím sorry they have unresolved anger or resentment over the failure of their parentsí marriage and what they perceive his behaviour to have meant about his feelings for them. Divorce and relationship breakdown causes very long term damage.

    But that doesnít give them a legal standing to demand a share of a property that your father didnít even own at the time of his death. They are using intimidation and manipulation to force this.

    You may wish to gift them something, or not. But I rather think the relationship between you is irreparable now anyway whatever course of action you take.
    • YoungBlueEyes
    • By YoungBlueEyes 14th Feb 18, 12:41 AM
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    YoungBlueEyes
    Yep they were names beneficiaries and received thousands of pounds (75% of the bank account between them as 4 gave them her 25%).
    I agree, it is awful. The pain and hurt they're still feeling all these decades on is terrible, and I can't see them ever finding any peace with it.
    I do feel like it's bully-boy tactics to get some redress for their issues, but I don't feel I should be paying a five-figure sum for pain that I didn't cause, especially when the money won't help with the issues one wee bit. If I honestly believed that money could bring them some peace and resolution I'd have given them my 1/4 of the bank account when they asked for it at the start. I know we're not talking squillions of pounds here but £30,000+ is an awful lot of money to me, whereas it's a few handbags to them. Dad was well aware they're like this too, possibly why he didn't leave as much to them as he did to me + 4.
    Yeah our relationships now are irretreivable. I could give them what they've asked for, but they'd still have issues, dad would still have left them, I'd still be the bad !!!!! for putting them through all this (a line which is often thrown at me) and I'd be much worse off. So what's the point?
    • troubleinparadise
    • By troubleinparadise 14th Feb 18, 12:49 AM
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    troubleinparadise
    Absolutely no point, and nothing could be achieved by it - I doubt it would mean the four of you could sit happily round a table, pleased that had all been sorted and put behind you.

    I hope you are able to sleep a little better knowing you donít have a case to answer, nor does their bluster about getting the Will invalidated or executors changed have any legal basis.

    Iím only sorry that losing your father seems to have brought further unhappiness and family disharmony - caused solely by your half-siblings.
    • konark
    • By konark 14th Feb 18, 12:53 AM
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    konark
    Just ignore them they are whistling in the wind, you cannot put assets into a person's estate that have already been disposed of. Just sit back and wait for the 6 months from probate to be up , after which they won't be able to bring any legal action. You won't hear from any court as no solicitor in their right mind would think they have any chance of success.
    • YoungBlueEyes
    • By YoungBlueEyes 14th Feb 18, 1:22 AM
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    YoungBlueEyes
    Thanks everyone for your replies. You!!!8217;ve confirmed what I thought. Probate was granted a month ago, so still a long wait to go.
    In the meantime me and 4 are getting the house turned round and ready to be sold (I can!!!8217;t afford to buy her out and I can!!!8217;t get a mortgage), so we!!!8217;re both house hunting now too.
    Please god let that all be easier than this has been!
    • getmore4less
    • By getmore4less 14th Feb 18, 1:58 AM
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    getmore4less
    can you remind us how the house was owned when mum died and how, if she owned any, how that was distributed at that time.
    • Red-Squirrel
    • By Red-Squirrel 14th Feb 18, 9:51 AM
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    Red-Squirrel
    Has your sister given them her whole share?
    • YoungBlueEyes
    • By YoungBlueEyes 14th Feb 18, 1:23 PM
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    YoungBlueEyes
    Getmore4less - I don;t know. It;s always just been the family home, you don;t consider these things when you;re children. It was bought outright by dad when he retired. Dad might have put it in his and mum;s names, but I don;t know. If it was in both names, we didn;t inherit mum;s half when she died 23 years ago, but then it may have reverted back to dad? Dad retired after a lot of years in a very good job, mum only worked because she wanted to, not out of necessity. The house was certainly wholly dad;s when he transferred it to me +4. Now that I think about it, Im not sure if mum even had a will...
    Red-Squirrel - No it isn;t her whole share. We each got £2078 from the bank account, the house has been valued at around £150k ish. She gave them her £2078 and now they;re getting another £30k from her. So very roughly half her share.
    Last edited by YoungBlueEyes; 14-02-2018 at 1:26 PM. Reason: Goddamn apostrophes
    • Red-Squirrel
    • By Red-Squirrel 14th Feb 18, 1:46 PM
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    Red-Squirrel
    Has the house been sold then? Sorry I was under the impression you lived in it for some reason.
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