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deed of variation?

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Deaths, Funerals & Probate
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  • orwenorwen Forumite
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    Nothing like as long as your rhetorical question implies. A three year law degree isn't the only route into the law, you can do graduate conversion as well, so the alternatives include a three year Law degree (whose relationship to practicing law is tenuous at best) followed by one year in Law College, or doing some arbitrary degree (maths, music, sports science, it doesn't matter) followed by a two year Law College course. So the answer to your question might be "two years, following an indifferent degree in a completely unrelated subject".

    People who earn zillions as high powered commercial solicitors are very smart, but the threshold for becoming a salaried partner in a firm of local solicitors who do probate, conveyancing and the occasional divorce is hardly high, and the work is dull enough (and poorly paid enough) that it hardly attracts the A team.

    I see, and thank you ukmaggie45

    The tax man is happy with IHT forms. But no wonder my solicitor did not comment on the opposing solicitor's slipshod letter writing, they must see this thing a lot then. An eye-opener. The situation my relative has placed me in appears to be finite - either a claim is raised or it isn't. At the moment we are opposing vague threats of legal action with nothing concrete to look at. War of nerves - my nerves - intimidation - from your nearest & dearest & at such a painful time. Still, at least hands have now been shown in that respect and I am left in no doubt about what the other side are capable of in any future dealings with them, which I hope will never be the case of course.

    Many thanks & to all.
  • orwenorwen Forumite
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    The six month window for claiming under the Inheritance Act closed on Friday. The opposing solicitor has still not delivered a formal case nor explained his apparently bogus contact with my late mother's solicitor. The processing of the deeds to what is now my only home was interrupted by my relative launching a solicitor's letter at me. Since there is no case to answer four months later I have instructed my solicitor to finalise the administration for the deeds to be transferred into my name. This was all being done by the family solicitor - these new people are high octane.

    On the phone we agreed a course of action. Yet another letter is to be sent the opposing solicitor explaining that because there has been no formal claim presented we are proceeding with estate administration - in other words, as if the case were resolved. This may galvanise a response. Whatever happens my hands are pretty much tied until the property deeds are finally made over to me - I have no option but to proceed as I have been doing. It is frustrating, worrying & expensive, and still leaves me in limbo after the sad loss of my mother, can't begin to move on until this legal labyrinth is behind me. At least Friday was a watershed as far as I am concerned, if a minor one.
  • securityguysecurityguy Forumite
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    "The situation my relative has placed me in appears to be finite - either a claim is raised or it isn't. "

    A relative of mine used to work for the CAB, and would routinely be confronted with situations in which A had threatened B with some vague legal action, and had a "solicitor's letter" to back their position up. What should B do? Well, as he used to point ou, there's no such thing as a solicitor's letter in law; it's just a letter, written by someone who happens to be a solicitor. You're under no obligation to open it, never mind treat it seriously and answer it; solicitors can no more compel you to do anything than I can. If they want to issue proceedings and take you to a court, such that you get a summons from the court, that's a different ballgame, but a solicitor has no power over you solely by dint of being a solicitor.

    Some people (and you only have to step over into some of the very sad "cut out of their lives" type threads to see this) think that getting a solicitor to write a letter threatening something should be enough to make their other party jump to attention. Another, and perfectly reasonable, response is "kcuf off and stop wasting my time, either take me to court or go away".

    One is, as ever, referred to the majesty that is Arkell v Pressdram.
  • orwenorwen Forumite
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    With thanks & succinctly put by them in seven letters. I have the deeds to have sorted, then that's it as far as I can see.
  • FreeBearFreeBear Forumite
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    (See post #27) I'm not even waiting for the six months to expire. All the paperwork to transfer the property and register it have been completed and I'll take the file over next week personally. If my opponent wants to make a claim, then the $!!! will have to pull his finger out and spend even more on legal fees.

    In all honesty, in your position, I wouldn't bother spending any more money on the matter. Just get on with wrapping up the loose ends and distribute the estate as per the will.
    Her courage will change the world.

    Treasure the moments that you have. Savour them for as long as you can for they will never come back again.
  • orwenorwen Forumite
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    FreeBear wrote: »
    (See post #27) I'm not even waiting for the six months to expire. All the paperwork to transfer the property and register it have been completed and I'll take the file over next week personally. If my opponent wants to make a claim, then the $!!! will have to pull his finger out and spend even more on legal fees.

    In all honesty, in your position, I wouldn't bother spending any more money on the matter. Just get on with wrapping up the loose ends and distribute the estate as per the will.

    Thanks,

    The six month period has now expired. All we received was a confused phone call to my solicitor from the opposing solicitor several weeks ago telling us he was "collecting evidence towards a claim, but can't say more at the moment". He's been working on a claim for over 4 months now, nothing in writing has appeared. He also alleged he had been in contact with my late mother's solicitor - the office where her Will was drawn up - I then phoned them & they had no knowledge of such a contact. I am gently applying pressure here because I want a definitive response, yes or no, documentary proof of bogus allegations by their solicitor is not going to further their cause. I may put in a formal complaint eventually.

    I also need to obtain from what was mum's / our family solicitor, what was left to be done for the deeds to be transferred, they were working on them for several months, I'd been called in to sign them, which I did. I don't want my current solicitor to re-invent the wheel here if all that is needed, for example, is sending the deeds up to the Land Registry? Solicitors have now sat on the deeds for months without reason in the absence of a formal claim - I had to remind them of this to get them working on the deeds again. This is not a light matter, the property now being my only home.

    Variation orders. This topic first raised it's head at the probate department of the current solicitor when they were preparing my estate account - a waste of time ultimately, the other side after making wanting the account a major grievance didn't even acknowledge receipt. I have spoken to three independent solicitors who consider variation orders 'a sensible thing to do'. The opposing side has never mentioned the term but what is a VO apart from an out-of-court settlement? I am convinced that this is the ultimate objective of subjecting me to pressure, some 6 months now. If I am formally approached by anyone to consider a VO my response can only be "on what grounds?" I can't see any grounds for giving money to someone who has caused such extra upset over this distressing time and who is not in need, and in receipt of inheritance anyway: only they want more. That is no ground for anything - I cannot understand why solicitors are so in favour of VOs whatever the circumstance, it seems to undermine the whole basis for anyone ever making a Will in the first place?

    Thanks again
  • orwenorwen Forumite
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    Have now heard from my late mum's solicitor. The opposing solicitor's claim this January that he was in contact with them and receiving information from them was false. There has been no recent contact at all. The opposing solicitor phoned my current solicitor and claimed this contact - his claim was then conveyed to me. I chased it up and it is without substance. Mum's solicitor have now formalised this in writing and sent it to my current solicitor.

    The opposing solicitor has thus lied to forward his client's threatened case (unformulated, undisclosed) against my late mother's Will. He has lied to another solicitor who professionally logged the call. Am now wondering if my solicitor should complain to the senior partner of the opposing firm in the strongest possible language - but in their own right, quite apart from mine?

    My mother's solicitor is still (as I suspected) nervous about submitting the deeds to the Land Registry on the strength of the opposing solicitor's original letter of 4 months ago. I reminded them that no formal case has materialised. They then grudgingly and with faltering reservation accepted that the deeds could be processed "but they might be contested". This seems a bit Looking Glass House to me. Anyone can contest anything and at any time - does that mean that we are all, all of us paralysed from doing anything 'just in case'? In other respects, the deeds being contested would achieve my aim of galvanising the other side to show their hand - if they have one - it is theoretically a win-win situation.

    Mum's solicitor is still in receipt of the documents relating to the deeds I signed 6 months ago, I was furious when I found out but controlled my frustration. They should have, as far as I am concerned, sent all relevant paperwork to the new solicitor by now. I am to deliver a formal letter to them tomorrow releasing these papers to my current solicitor so that the deeds can be processed or not by the Land Registry, it will be a 'wait & see' situation I guess. In the absence of a formal claim I can't see what the hurdle would be though?

    Thanks
  • securityguysecurityguy Forumite
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    Essentially, it sounds like the various solicitors are gun-shy on your behalf, worried that there might be some vague and unspecified "action" which might make everything complicated. But if you're willing to take the risk of that action (ie, either you're reasonably sure it's hot air, or that even if it materialised you'd be willing to fight what by the sounds of it is an open and shut case) then the solicitors should do what you tell them.
  • orwenorwen Forumite
    197 posts
    Fourth Anniversary 100 Posts Combo Breaker
    Essentially, it sounds like the various solicitors are gun-shy on your behalf, worried that there might be some vague and unspecified "action" which might make everything complicated. But if you're willing to take the risk of that action (ie, either you're reasonably sure it's hot air, or that even if it materialised you'd be willing to fight what by the sounds of it is an open and shut case) then the solicitors should do what you tell them.

    Many thanks. There were indeed vague rumblings towards legal action in their solicitor's letter of four months ago, nothing to date has come of this. Last month their solicitor phoned mine and made an apparently bogus claim that he was in contact with my late mother's solicitor. The phone call made reference to collecting evidence towards a claim - totally unspecified. My solicitor wrote back requesting a formulated claim. No acknowledgement or response to date. I can only proceed with having the deeds processed in the absence of a formal claim, the ownership of the property is anyway not directly disputed by anyone. Reading between the lines the other side will throw a spanner into the works whenever the opportunity presents itself I feel. But that is no good reason with not proceeding to the Land Registry, and if these good people are unhappy about anything I will do everything I can to assist them come to a resolution.
  • orwenorwen Forumite
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    With regard to the bogus claim I note that solicitors: "must not act in a way that lowers the public confidence in the legal professionSolicitor's Code of Conduct; Rule 1: Core Duties. None of these duties are achieved by lying."

    I will await my solicitor's response to the news that the opposing solicitor's claim was bogus with interest.

    http://debatewise.org/debates/3185-does-the-legal-profession-encourage-lying/
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