Suspect executor is using outdated will

Without going into too much detail, I suspect the executor of my late father's estate is using a will that is not the most up-to-date version as it is in their interest to do so. They have not applied for Grant of Probate so the Will is not public. Are there no other checks to ensure that an executor is using the correct version?

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  • YBR
    YBR Posts: 527
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    Do you have a good relationship with the executor, and have you approached them?
    For me the first thing would be to talk to them, and let them know your late father had talked about changing his will (how sure are you?). Perhaps you can suggest where the new will might have been stored.

    Depending on what the details are exactly they might (for example) tell you the new will was found but never signed, or never witnessed and therefore is not valid.
  • Linton
    Linton Posts: 17,023
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    There are no external checks that the correct version of a will has been used by the executor.  Unless the estate goes to probate there is no official record of the will.  If you know of a valid later version  of which the executor may be unaware it is up to you to tell them.

    I suggest you don’t assume that the executor is acting dishonestly unless you have good evidence. 
  • Flugelhorn
    Flugelhorn Posts: 5,414
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    the executor may not know of the newer will - do you know if or where the newer one is? 

    maybe ask the exec if they "managed to get the newer will OK"
  • Have they not applied for probate because it’s not needed (no property or other assets that can’t be released without it) or they just have not done it yest?

    If the latter you can place a caveat with the probate office to put a temporary block on it being obtained. 

    Would your father have used a solicitor to make a will? 
  • The executor gave me a copy of Dad's will when asked but I suspect it is out of date as it predated their marriage and property transactions. However, I have no proof of this. I have approached the solicitor for confirmation that this is the latest will, but they were only able to tell me that they have a copy of Dad's will but cannot divulge anything further, without the executor's permission adding that they look forward to hearing from me.. As she has already given me a copy of the older will and voluntarily made a point of telling us that Dad owned nothing when they met I know approaching her will only cause animosity. We know Dad had some shares in his own name so would expect Probate was needed, but have checked and it has not been applied for. Unfortunately our suspicions are based on her previously boasting of obtaining an inheritance by dubious means. If there is a later will she would definitely know about it. Again, I don't "know" anything for sure but have a strong gut feeling that there's something dodgy going on which I would like to put to rest.
  • The executor gave me a copy of Dad's will when asked but I suspect it is out of date as it predated their marriage and property transactions. However, I have no proof of this. 
    In England any former will would be voided as soon as your dad got married. And if there is no newer will then his spouse would become the major beneficiary under the rules of intestecy.
  • The will I have seen states their intention to marry and that this should not affect his wishes so I assume that it could still be valid, but at the time he owned a property in Spain which I was told would go to his children (which I understand is part of Spanish law). This was later sold and a second property bought in the UK which is currently in joint names and occupied by her son and which would now come under his UK estate (which all goes to her) if this will is the correct one. I just feel they would have "tidied" this up in a later will. It may well be that it still all goes to her but I would just like to know if that was his intention.
  • Keep_pedalling
    Keep_pedalling Posts: 16,170
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    edited 26 September 2023 at 12:47PM
    The will I have seen states their intention to marry and that this should not affect his wishes so I assume that it could still be valid, but at the time he owned a property in Spain which I was told would go to his children (which I understand is part of Spanish law). This was later sold and a second property bought in the UK which is currently in joint names and occupied by her son and which would now come under his UK estate (which all goes to her) if this will is the correct one. I just feel they would have "tidied" this up in a later will. It may well be that it still all goes to her but I would just like to know if that was his intention.
    Yes it would be valid as the will was made in contemplation of marriage.

    Spanish law is very different and that property really should have been covered by a separate Spanish will. Although he probable should have made a new UK will after disposing of the Spanish property unfortunately a lot of people (probably the majority) fail to review and update wills. Those that go to the trouble of doing so would normally also destroy any previous will.


  • Spanish law is very different and that property really should have been covered by a separate Spanish will. Although he probable should have made a new will unfortunately a lot of people (probably the majority) fail to review and update wills. Those that go to the trouble of doing so would normally also destroy any previous will.
    Sounds like the spanish property was sold and the money transferred back to the UK to buy another property which is now under the English estate 


  • Spanish law is very different and that property really should have been covered by a separate Spanish will. Although he probable should have made a new will unfortunately a lot of people (probably the majority) fail to review and update wills. Those that go to the trouble of doing so would normally also destroy any previous will.
    Sounds like the spanish property was sold and the money transferred back to the UK to buy another property which is now under the English estate 
    Agree, but I have edited that post as it was not very clear what I meant.
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