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deed of variation?

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Deaths, Funerals & Probate
135 replies 21.5K views
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  • ukmaggie45ukmaggie45 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.

    Sheesh, solicitors are supposed to know about the law. What's the point in paying them if all they do is back down to their fellow solicitors? What a load of wimps this lot are! Mind you, better wimps than frauds I guess. Or fit to be struck off like my parents' solicitor's partner was. Surely complaints to Solicitor Regulator Authority (or whatever it's called now) is in order? Why should you pay for non advice?
  • orwenorwen Forumite
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    ukmaggie45 wrote: »
    Sheesh, solicitors are supposed to know about the law. What's the point in paying them if all they do is back down to their fellow solicitors? What a load of wimps this lot are! Mind you, better wimps than frauds I guess. Or fit to be struck off like my parents' solicitor's partner was. Surely complaints to Solicitor Regulator Authority (or whatever it's called now) is in order? Why should you pay for non advice?

    Thanks. My mother's solicitor may be fighting shy of being asked to take the witness stand - the opposing solicitor called their professionalism into question four months ago - this is the man who has just made a bogus claim about 'collecting evidence' - and it appears has been caught out, by me. Despite the contemptuous nature of the above calling into question, I get the feeling the unwritten law amongst some solicitors may be 'least said soonest mended' and hence the mention of variation orders before we have even seen sight of any opposing claim at all. I can only now wait for my solicitor to respond to me over the bogus contact with late mum's solicitor which has now been verified. Or must I gently apply pressure until they admit the opposing side is making false claims - because is there some unspoken code underlying all this hugger-mugger activity which says not to rock the boat in terms of the profession of the law? I am beginning to wonder. It should be my solicitor who picks up on this flagrant irregularity, not their poor, beleaguered client :-o
  • Lean gently on them. You have a very strong case. A reduced fee might be possible.
  • orwenorwen Forumite
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    Lean gently on them. You have a very strong case. A reduced fee might be possible.

    Thanks. Fees are mental stress true enough - had no idea things were going to become so labyrinthine. Must first await the response of my solicitor to the news that the opposing solicitor is practising deceit. The man must have gambled we'd worry & do nothing apart from quake. Now he has to explain himself, either admit to the fraud or accuse my solicitor of making the phone call message up - now he's been caught out. How is this farrago on their part going to look in a court of law I wonder?

    Meanwhile, there's nothing wrong with my late mother's Will, it is a straightforward document drawn up by a law professional and witnessed by a solicitor.
  • FreeBearFreeBear Forumite
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    orwen wrote: »
    How is this farrago on their part going to look in a court of law I wonder?

    If it was going to go to court, you would have received the paperwork by now. As he is out of time, it just isn't going to happen.
    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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    Thanks, this still leaves the matter of the fraudulent phone call by the opposing solicitor, logged at the time and now formalised in black & white as a letter, sent back to the solicitor concerned. How can he respond? By apologising and admitting fraud? By denying the phone call and by implication accusing my solicitor of a deception? By keeping quiet and hoping the discovery of his fraud will just go away? However, I will certainly be writing to his firm on this matter in the near future. The other thing which I'm curious about is that solicitors don't act for themselves do they - they act under instruction from their clients? Presumably then, the idea for the fraudulent phone call arose on behalf of the client. How is this possible - a client suggesting their solicitor makes a false claim to another solicitor, and their solicitor following their instructions? I wouldn't have thought many solicitors would go along with such a questionable course of action - I'd really like to get to the bottom of this mystery.

    There is a precedent, the Funeral Director received a mysterious phone call demanding 'the name of the solicitor' shortly after my mother died. They never identified themselves or explained why a solicitor should be involved, and hung up when the FD suggested they contact the executor. The executor was me, I received no subsequent enquiry from a mystery caller.
  • securityguysecurityguy Forumite
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    "Thanks, this still leaves the matter of the fraudulent phone call by the opposing solicitor"

    Do you know for sure it wasn't your disgruntled relative pretending to be the solicitor?
  • orwenorwen Forumite
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    "Thanks, this still leaves the matter of the fraudulent phone call by the opposing solicitor"

    Do you know for sure it wasn't your disgruntled relative pretending to be the solicitor?

    Many thanks,

    I thought of that but re-reading the logged phone call it can only have come from the gentleman representing my relative. In retrospect I don't actually know what I'd do about this because solicitors won't attach any importance to correspondence or complaints from the opposition unless of course it is brought to the attention of a judge in a court room.

    If I take this anywhere else anyone could say 'oh, this is just a grumble arising from a dispute, it probably has no substance' and they wouldn't even look at it again. As it stands this evidence of fraud - because that is what it is - would be useful against a formulated claim, it would make the claimant's side look dodgy to say the least. I think we are looking at a dodgy threatened claim launched by an equally dodgy solicitor.
  • orwenorwen Forumite
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    Hi,

    The opposing solicitor sent another letter to my solicitor last week 'requesting' the estate be frozen and continuing the threat of unspecified legal action. So another non-letter in effect. However, when my solicitor receives these letters they busily draft up a substantial, indignant letter of reply - on my behalf - and then forward a copy to me for approval - so I catch sight of events up to a week later and hours have already been clocked up at my expense of course.

    Am getting tired of this. Have written to my solicitor and asked them not to respond to the opposing solicitor - apart from a briefest acknowledgement of receipt - unless they deliver a formulated claim. All future correspondence from my side is to contain the sentiment that the other side make a formal claim or stop wasting our time, short and sweet. I feel like a ping-pong ball in the middle of these solicitors at the moment and I am not enjoying it.

    If anyone has better suggestions of how to break this cycle of pointless correspondence between the two sets of solicitors please advise me.

    Many thanks.
  • FreeBearFreeBear Forumite
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    I would just instruct your solicitor not to reply to any further letters and to ignore any communication that does not comply with ACTAPS guidance - I would also point out to him that the window of opportunity has now closed for any inheritance act claim so there is no point in entering in to communication until such time as court papers are served.

    Once your solicitor has received this instruction in writing, you can then inform him that any time logged in replying will be at his own expense. That should focus his attention ;)
    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.
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