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Caveat

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Deaths, Funerals & Probate
148 replies 37.7K views
freda11freda11 Forumite
236 posts
edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Deaths, Funerals & Probate
As some folks on here are aware, we are expecting 'trouble' and a certain person contesting a Will when my dad in law dies. I have been reading about a Caveat, which this person could apply for which will prevent probate being granted. it seems to be that if we and this person cannot agree then this caveat could halt probate for years. This does not seem fair when the Will was made and the intentions clearly stated, that a Will can be contested. It appears unfair that we may have to 'give in' to the person putting the caveat in place to allow probate to be granted, otherwise we will pay thousands to the court to fight it :(
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Replies

  • rpcrpc Forumite
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    A caveat could cause you problems.

    If a caveat is entered, the executors can issue a "warning". This means that the objector has to formally state their interest (an "appearance") or the caveat will get removed. If the appearance is entered, it is off to mediation/court/wherever.

    If the claim is unfounded or vexatious, costs would likely be awarded against the dafty who put it in. I would expect them to receive legal advice warning them of the same if they embark upon this path.
  • RASRAS Forumite
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  • RASRAS Forumite
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    Hi

    Several times in the previous threads you were advised that you needed to seek legal advice on the will.

    The major concern that you do not seem to have addressed is that since step-dad has been supporting mum for 30 years she will be able to challenge any will that does not make proper financial provision for her.

    His son has very little chance of making a successful challenge although it would have been half way sensible to have left any children from his earlier relationship a token inheritance.

    Have you taken legal advice yet?
    The person who has not made a mistake, has made nothing
  • freda11freda11 Forumite
    236 posts
    Hi RAS, yes we have taken legal advice now. Solicitor advised us if son tries to contest unless he can prove he has been dependant on his father he will not succeed. We have built bridges with mum in law and she has no intention of contesting, she is happy that we will be paying all her bills for her and she will remain in the house until she dies. She said her other sons (whom live abroad) have been pecking her head and getting her all upset and confused. She regrets allowing her other son to take the money out of the bank account. As for leaving his blood son a token inheritance, he was admanant that he be left nothing. Even now on his death bed he is stating that fact. Money sure is the root of all evil :(
  • freda11freda11 Forumite
    236 posts
    Our solicitor has now received solicitor letter from blood son solicitor sating they are investigating a potential claim in his late fathers estate. they have seen the previous Will and last Will and want our solicitor to reply as to the circumstances surrounding him witnessing the Will. They also quoted Larke v Nugus Statement which is basically asking 11 questions ie how long the solicitor knew the testator and who instructed him, and who introduced the firm to the testator. Not sure where this is going to lead to now apart from a lengthly drawn out dispute/court proceeding!
  • John_PierpointJohn_Pierpoint Forumite
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    Who represents the cow?

    How about a nice boundary dispute to really boost the lawyers' profits ?
  • I remembered your first thread, and have just read the second.

    I'm pleased your husband and yourself were able to support step-dad in his dying days.

    I'm so sorry the other family members are proving to be so difficult. The behaviour of his wife, blood son and the other step-children has been appalling.

    My advice to you would be to not let it get to you.

    The solicitor will provide all the statements as to step-dad being of sound mind, and it is possible that simply as a result of this that blood son's solicitors will advise him that there is no case to take to court.

    If it does go to court, I'm sure it will be seen that the actions step-dad took in changing his will wre entirely rational, sensible and valid,
    given the circumstances of:

    a) A written statement as to why the blood son was being left out of the will. [A blood son who had not been in contact for years and did not really have a relationship with his father at all, and was in no way dependent on him].
    and
    b) A wife who has been left a right to reside in the house and a pension
    even though she
    (1) never once visited him in his final 6 months
    (2) has drained funds from him in the past, without his agreement (even if they were joint funds, it will not look good that she has a history of taking unreasonable amounts out behind his back)
    (3) has children (his step-children) who he did not trust, and who have indeed already, in his dying days, shown that this mistrust was justified by both (a) actually taking money out of his current account [sibling in UK], and (b) pressuring wife to take monry out [siblings in Oz].

    I'm sure everyone on this board can see his changing of the will as a very rational step, and I'm sure the court will too.

    Good luck, and keep us posted.
  • freda11freda11 Forumite
    236 posts
    Thanks Tuesday I will keep you posted. By the way the money taken was from an account in step dads name only, not joint, so that's even worse! Our solicitor has just replied to the 10 or so questions as standard by to blood sons solicitor as quoted Larke v Nugus Statement. So we await the next hurdle!
  • edited 1 October 2013 at 10:40AM
    freda11freda11 Forumite
    236 posts
    edited 1 October 2013 at 10:40AM
    Right an update for you very helpful people on here! Received a letter from our solicitor stating that a caveat was put in place in June (sol has only just told us) and basically clarifies what rpc states in answer 2. So are solicitor is issuing him with s warning and then we will have to take it from there. Obviously he will try and fight this will all his being, not sure what his finances are but I am sure it will cost a few thousand, can we ask in advance that if he looses we will get our costs back? I presume when he has been served with the warning he will have to state his reasons for why he is putting this caveat in place. Ie blood son, previous will stated everything was going to him. Surely the fact that he was not dependant on his father, didn't speak to him for over 15 years, never bothered with him when he was diagnosed with a terminal illness and never came to see him when we rang and asked him to. He just told us too much water under the bridge and leave things as they are! Funny though how he tried to interfere and show concern that his dad had a proper funeral service. Poor dad in law has still not had his ashes interred yet because of the trouble this son was causing on this subject too! When he responds to say he thinks he should of been left everything like stated in the first will etc will they accept this or will he then have to prove why he thinks he should have it??
  • rpcrpc Forumite
    2.4K posts
    Costs are a matter for the court. In the Larke v Nugus case, the challengers lost but because of the conduct of the defendants the costs were awarded against the estate.

    There are limited legitimate grounds to contest a will and "I don't like the new one because I'm not in it" is not on that list.

    He could challenge the validity, but the solicitor can probably torpedo that argument. He can also claim as a dependent, but he would have to show financial dependence.

    All you can do is wait for the reply to the warning and listen to your solicitor. If his claim is founded purely on greed then it will fail and a judge will see through him. Hopefully, his solicitor will advise him that he has no case and would best cut his losses.
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