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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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  • orwenorwen Forumite
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    FreeBear wrote: »
    ...The only option(s) left is to bring a claim under the Inheritance Act (very difficult and expensive) or apply pressure for an out of court settlement. Once six months has passed from the date probate was granted, they would be out of time to bring a court claim

    Thanks again, this is new to me. I have dealt with two separate solicitor's offices now and neither has mentioned an Inheritance Act. I googled for the Act and this is what I saw:

    The Act apparently makes provision for those who:-

    a) have not inherited as a result of intestacy (where there is no will);
    b) have been left out of a will entirely; or,
    c) have not been left as much as they need.


    [hughjames dot com]

    Clause (a) is inapplicable; (b) is unmet because the claimant received a cash legacy and a share in property owned by the deceased; and (c), the claimant is not in need because he owns property, has one if not two pensions (occupational and private) and has a wife who also has a pension.

    It follows that I cannot see a reasonable claim in respect of the Inheritance Act here?

    In fact, in all, there seems to be very little substance to the claimant's solicitor's letter which is a veiled threat to go to court of course, or why issue such a worrying letter in the first place? But this makes me wonder why my current solicitor is making such a protracted project over something with so little ground for consideration - their letter informs me it will take them an initial 8 to 10 weeks to issue a 'substantive' reply to the claimant's solicitor, and that is if the claimant doesn't decide on court action.

    But, given the above, what possible course of court action could be anticipated I wonder?

    There has yet been no reply to my email to my solicitor querying variation orders.
  • edited 21 January 2016 at 3:24PM
    orwenorwen Forumite
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    edited 21 January 2016 at 3:24PM
    Hi,

    My solicitor received a confusing telephone call from my sibling's solicitor last week. He said he was 'collecting evidence' towards making a claim and requested my solicitor 'freeze the estate' or words to that effect. He also claimed he was in receipt of material from the solicitor who drew up my mother's will. I then phoned that solicitor who had no knowledge of the matter. My sibling's solicitor has not formally replied to the substantive letter sent to him in reply to his original to me, nor even acknowledged it. All we get is this phone call - mentioning a claim - but no clue as to the nature of a claim. This of course is mental torture for me in the new year.

    My solicitor has now put a letter together asking my sibling's solicitor to deliver a formal, written claim if they wish to make a case, adding that there is nothing they can do in the absence of a formal claim. They also added that they have no power to freeze the estate - querying the need for this - and reminding their solicitor that I am the sole executor.

    I understand that the time period for a claim under the Inheritance Act is six months, but I also notice that beneficiaries making a claim against an estate have up to 12 years in which to do so.

    www[dot]probate[dot]uk[dot]com[fslash]how[fslash]long[fslash]contest[fslash]will[dot]html

    What exactly constitutes a beneficiary please? I know that I was included in the will as residuary beneficiary but I am now unsure of what my sibling's status actually is. They are due to inherit property mentioned in the will when the tenant of that property deceases.

    Thanks
  • orwen wrote: »
    Hi,

    My solicitor received a confusing telephone call from my sibling's solicitor last week. He said he was 'collecting evidence' towards making a claim and requested my solicitor 'freeze the estate' or words to that effect. He also claimed he was in receipt of material from the solicitor who drew up my mother's will. I then phoned that solicitor who had no knowledge of the matter. My sibling's solicitor has not formally replied to the substantive letter sent to him in reply to his original to me, nor even acknowledged it. All we get is this phone call - mentioning a claim - but no clue as to the nature of a claim. This of course is mental torture for me in the new year.

    My solicitor has now put a letter together asking my sibling's solicitor to deliver a formal, written claim if they wish to make a case, adding that there is nothing they can do in the absence of a formal claim. They also added that they have no power to freeze the estate - querying the need for this - and reminding their solicitor that I am the sole executor.

    I understand that the time period for a claim under the Inheritance Act is six months, but I also notice that beneficiaries making a claim against an estate have up to 12 years in which to do so.

    www[dot]probate[dot]uk[dot]com[fslash]how[fslash]long[fslash]contest[fslash]will[dot]html

    What exactly constitutes a beneficiary please? I know that I was included in the will as residuary beneficiary but I am now unsure of what my sibling's status actually is. They are due to inherit property mentioned in the will when the tenant of that property deceases.

    Thanks
    It sounds like a lot of BS to me!
  • orwenorwen Forumite
    197 posts
    Fourth Anniversary 100 Posts Combo Breaker
    Yorkshireman99 said: "It sounds like a lot of BS to me!"

    Sincerely hope so - did not think solicitor's engaged in this sort of 'Chinese whisper' tactics? If the alleged contact with my mother's solicitor was fraudulent, it is fraud. Unfortunately, this was done on the phone, nothing in writing. But what sort of solicitor is this? The phrase 'back street' comes to mind.

    And how long can they keep up the BS, surely there is a point beyond which 'enough is enough' in the eyes of the law?

    Thanks again
  • Your solicitor needs to put their foot down and tell their opposite number to stop prevaricating. Put up or shut up should be the message.
  • orwenorwen Forumite
    197 posts
    Fourth Anniversary 100 Posts Combo Breaker
    Almost picked up the phone to the opposing solicitor and said that myself. My solicitor has written to them demanding a formal claim in writing, if that is what is in the offing, they can't keep taunting us with a case if there is no case in the first place. If there is no movement by the end of this month I will start some movement - am now fed up by being bullied by my relatives through their inept solicitor. I've been subject to this war of nerves for nearly six months now. It is I who should be considering taking legal action for harassment - surely it is harassment if they fail to come up with a legitimate claim - they have had more than enough time to formulate a claim if there is one to be made?
  • orwen wrote: »
    Almost picked up the phone to the opposing solicitor and said that myself. My solicitor has written to them demanding a formal claim in writing, if that is what is in the offing, they can't keep taunting us with a case if there is no case in the first place. If there is no movement by the end of this month I will start some movement - am now fed up by being bullied by my relatives through their inept solicitor. I've been subject to this war of nerves for nearly six months now. It is I who should be considering taking legal action for harassment - surely it is harassment if they fail to come up with a legitimate claim - they have had more than enough time to formulate a claim if there is one to be made?
    You should consider making a formal complaint now to the senior partner at the other side's solicitor. I have to say I think your solicitor need a kick up the rear as well.
  • edited 22 January 2016 at 12:41AM
    FreeBearFreeBear Forumite
    4.7K posts
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    edited 22 January 2016 at 12:41AM
    orwen wrote: »
    I understand that the time period for a claim under the Inheritance Act is six months, but I also notice that beneficiaries making a claim against an estate have up to 12 years in which to do so.

    http://www.probate.uk.com/how_long_contest_will.html[Warning]

    [Warning] The quoted link is for a (questionable) firm of solicitors - Do not ring the premium rate help line expecting free advice !


    You are correct in assuming any claim under the Inheritance Act must be brought within six months of probate being granted - This time limit can be extended at the discretion of a high court judge, but there must be very convincing reasons presented before an extension would be allowed (and a substantial sum of money paid in court fees & legal costs).

    The twelve years for a beneficiary to bring a claim would be for cases where assets were incorrectly distributed or the estate was mismanaged either through incompetence or fraud - I should point out that that is my understanding, so please take qualified legal advice on that point.

    In any contentious probate claim, there is a clear process that should be adhered to - Although not a formal part of the CPR rules, judges take a dim view if the ACTAPS code is not followed. If you want to read up on the subject, see http://www.actaps.com/draft.cfm - There is a link at the bottom of the page to the ACTAPS code in doc format.

    By the sounds of it, your opponent is just blowing hot air and trying to intimidate and doesn't have a winnable case. Just sit tight until the six months is up and then stick a finger or two up at him.
    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.
  • konarkkonark Forumite
    1.3K posts
    Solicitors do not work on 'phone calls', they work on written contracts, deeds and letters. If the opposing solicitor had anything worthwhile to contribute it would have been sent in writing. To take on their 'vain hope of getting anything' claim , the other solicitor would be wanting a large deposit up-front (£5,000 min.). If he is truthful when telling them of their chance of winning I doubt your family members would pay this.
  • Thanks Free bear for the link. It is invaluable.
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