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  • FIRST POST
    • Darcie
    • By Darcie 19th May 19, 11:25 PM
    • 15Posts
    • 13Thanks
    Darcie
    Will Fraud
    • #1
    • 19th May 19, 11:25 PM
    Will Fraud 19th May 19 at 11:25 PM
    Hi. Hope someone can throw some light on this one.
    My neighbour has very recently died. No close family but a few friends who he had told of his intentions to include them in his will when he died. A woman suddenly appeared on the scene. Treated him appallingly, alienated him from these friends and when he died, did not tell anybody.

    She will not give any information (no known solicitor), only saying she was made sole executor and beneficiary and it is nobody else's busines. No will has been found to be registered by his friends.

    Is fraud on this scale really that easy? I have discovered a distant family member who is now in the process of placing a caveat on the probate.

    Many thanks for any comments.
Page 1
    • elsien
    • By elsien 19th May 19, 11:33 PM
    • 19,197 Posts
    • 48,708 Thanks
    elsien
    • #2
    • 19th May 19, 11:33 PM
    • #2
    • 19th May 19, 11:33 PM
    How do you know it's fraud?
    Perhaps there is a perfectly valid will - they do not need to be registered, mine isn't. There is also no obligation for the executor to show the will to anyone while dealing with it.
    If his friends were out of his life before he died, it's no great surprise that they are no longer in the will if they were ever in it in the first place. People do make promises which aren't always kept when it comes down to it. Unless you suspect coercion or lack of capacity, the only thing you really have have to go on is unsubstantiated allegations from people who may be disgruntled because the money is no longer coming their way.
    All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.

    Pedant alert - it's could have, not could of.
    • Darcie
    • By Darcie 20th May 19, 8:54 AM
    • 15 Posts
    • 13 Thanks
    Darcie
    • #3
    • 20th May 19, 8:54 AM
    • #3
    • 20th May 19, 8:54 AM
    Thank you for your reply. Yes - definitely fraud. I am just astounded that somebody can carry out such fraud with ease, especially as by naming themselves as executor can basically shut and lock any doors behind them to stop anybody else gaining any proof of such fraud.

    How can anybody question her motives if they are unable to see the paperwork to prove she is Executor? If he didn't have a solicitor would her solicitor have a duty to check the validity of the Will?

    All very interesting and quite alarming!
    • Yorkshireman99
    • By Yorkshireman99 20th May 19, 9:21 AM
    • 5,387 Posts
    • 4,545 Thanks
    Yorkshireman99
    • #4
    • 20th May 19, 9:21 AM
    • #4
    • 20th May 19, 9:21 AM
    Thank you for your reply. Yes - definitely fraud. I am just astounded that somebody can carry out such fraud with ease, especially as by naming themselves as executor can basically shut and lock any doors behind them to stop anybody else gaining any proof of such fraud.

    How can anybody question her motives if they are unable to see the paperwork to prove she is Executor? If he didn't have a solicitor would her solicitor have a duty to check the validity of the Will?

    All very interesting and quite alarming!
    Originally posted by Darcie
    Somebody can’t just name themselves as executor . The will specifies the executor. What evidence do you have to support your allegations?
    • Boleyn19
    • By Boleyn19 20th May 19, 9:50 AM
    • 58 Posts
    • 16 Thanks
    Boleyn19
    • #5
    • 20th May 19, 9:50 AM
    • #5
    • 20th May 19, 9:50 AM
    To access bank accounts or sell the house the will will need to be seen which will name the executor and beneficiaries.
    • Savvy_Sue
    • By Savvy_Sue 20th May 19, 12:34 PM
    • 39,868 Posts
    • 37,113 Thanks
    Savvy_Sue
    • #6
    • 20th May 19, 12:34 PM
    • #6
    • 20th May 19, 12:34 PM
    To access bank accounts or sell the house the will will need to be seen which will name the executor and beneficiaries.
    Originally posted by Boleyn19
    Yes, the will needs to be seen, but only by those who have a right to do so. That includes the executor and any institutions from which they are extracting funds. Does not include people who thought they were beneficiaries.

    However, if probate is applied for (which isn't always necessary) then the will becomes a matter of public record.
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    • MoneySeeker1
    • By MoneySeeker1 20th May 19, 12:43 PM
    • 36 Posts
    • 57 Thanks
    MoneySeeker1
    • #7
    • 20th May 19, 12:43 PM
    • #7
    • 20th May 19, 12:43 PM
    As I understand it the situation is anyone (even a total stranger) can see someone's Will.

    Wills can be bought from the Probate Office if the Executor does not provide a copy.
    www.gov.uk/search-will-probate.

    Another thought is to put the property on the "Property Alert service" run by the Land Registry. It's free and up to 10 properties can be placed on the notification list. This would be subject to the house having been sold recently enough that it is Registered. It doesn't seem to be possible to find an unRegistered house on this. That way you will know if someone is trying to sell it.
    • Marcon
    • By Marcon 20th May 19, 2:27 PM
    • 1,028 Posts
    • 788 Thanks
    Marcon
    • #8
    • 20th May 19, 2:27 PM
    • #8
    • 20th May 19, 2:27 PM
    Thank you for your reply. Yes - definitely fraud. I am just astounded that somebody can carry out such fraud with ease, especially as by naming themselves as executor can basically shut and lock any doors behind them to stop anybody else gaining any proof of such fraud.

    How can anybody question her motives if they are unable to see the paperwork to prove she is Executor? If he didn't have a solicitor would her solicitor have a duty to check the validity of the Will?

    All very interesting and quite alarming!
    Originally posted by Darcie
    ....and all highly speculative. You say confidently that this is 'definitely fraud' but where's your evidence?
    • Mojisola
    • By Mojisola 20th May 19, 2:30 PM
    • 30,986 Posts
    • 79,422 Thanks
    Mojisola
    • #9
    • 20th May 19, 2:30 PM
    • #9
    • 20th May 19, 2:30 PM
    My neighbour has very recently died. No close family but a few friends who he had told of his intentions to include them in his will when he died. A woman suddenly appeared on the scene. Treated him appallingly, alienated him from these friends and when he died, did not tell anybody.
    Originally posted by Darcie
    This is the point that people should have acted.

    It's probably too late now - how would you be able to prove that she had forced him to make a new will in her favour?
    • Sea Shell
    • By Sea Shell 20th May 19, 2:32 PM
    • 1,939 Posts
    • 3,313 Thanks
    Sea Shell
    Are you meaning that you suspect the new "executor" coerced the testator somehow to re-write their will recently in their favour?
    " That pound I saved yesterday, is a pound I don't have to earn tomorrow "
    • Darcie
    • By Darcie 20th May 19, 10:29 PM
    • 15 Posts
    • 13 Thanks
    Darcie
    Thank you each and all for your replies - very interesting and valid points.

    Yes Sea Shell - that is exactly it! His friends are all older and some have died so they probably didn't know who the real Executor should be. It just seems so easy to commit this fraud and get away with it because no one is entitled to question her motives.

    Mojisola - you are right. More should have been done earlier. People did try to help though.
    • Iwanttobefree
    • By Iwanttobefree 21st May 19, 12:00 AM
    • 1,975 Posts
    • 4,695 Thanks
    Iwanttobefree
    In the 1990's my Grandad died.

    He made it clear to my two sisters and myself, what was being left to who in his will (dad got 2/5 we each got 1/5).

    One of my sisters who doesn't drive, walked nearly an hour to and from his house almost every day, to clean, cook, look after him etc.

    Then he started to lose his memory, getting very very confused, and ended up in a care home.

    He died.

    A few days later I got a phone call from my other sister saying that a new will has appeared, a will my dad got him to write just before he died, witnessed by the care home manager, (don't forget, my Grandad was in there as he was totally confused), leaving everything to my dad, my sister said it looked like a 5 year old had written it.

    I was earning a fortune at the time, and my sister who phoned me, she had a good career and wasn't hard up at all.

    My other sister the one who had cared for my Grandad for years and years, had nothing.

    I got hold of the solicitors dealing with the will and left an answering message along the lines of

    "I've just been informed that Mr xxx has allegedly made a new will while living in a care home that he was put in as he could no longer look after himself and got confused. I understand it has all been left to my father.

    I don't give a dam if I don't get a penny, my older sister doesn't need any either. But there's no way I'm going to see my younger sister, who has nursed him for years, while my dad ignored him, go without what my Grandad has always promised us.

    Tell my dad he has a choice. Either the old will is back in place, or I shall contest the new will in court. I don't care if I don't get a penny, but I'll make dam sure that my dad ends up with hardly anything by the time I've finished, and I have the money to do it. His choice"
    The next day the solicitors phoned my sister to tell her the old will was back in place.

    Had I not said what I said, neither of my sisters would have dared threaten to contest it, and my dad would have got away with it.

    It is far far far too easy, the solicitor must have been aware how little chance my dad had if I contested it, but it appeared he seemed happy to go along with it up until that point (again the will looked like it had been written by a 5 year old)

    This is the same dad who paid someone to clear my grandads house, not giving a dam about the many sentimental items I would have loved, such as photographs, or the stuff that was actually mine.

    It's the same dad who when my Grandad was in his care home, I went down to visit my Gran, and I walked in to find a huge mirror he always promised my sister had gone, so had the clock from the wall (a wedding present to me that I had lent them) and he had basically stripped her home bare while she was still alive and living there. I asked my Gran where everything was, she said "dad took it as he has nothing"

    I had visited my dads house, brand new detached house, his wife had a passion for Laura Ashley, furnished with top notched stuff.

    I told my Gran that she should ask to go visit his house to see how poor they are, she said she had asked but he said it was too far (he lived in Sheffield, she lived in Hastings).

    And she said she was struggling to pay her bills. I got her cheque book and had a look through it,. I saw she had sent my dad £150. I asked her why, she said that he needed it as his car window got smashed while he was in France (his fully insured car that he replaced with a brand new one every two years) He was in his mid to late 50s at this point

    I could go on, but I expect you get the picture. Some people are self centred selfish gits.

    On a funnier note, a dear friend of mine passed away a couple of years ago. He was in his mid 80s, had had a good life. I used to phone him up regularly for a chat, and I was the only person to phone him up on Christmas day etc.

    He was always moaning about his sister and another relative who both hadn't wanted to know him all his life until he got ill. He didn't like them and said that the tone of their conversation was always about money and he was convinced they only befriended him for his money.

    Totally unexpected to me, he left 2.5K to me, my wife and both my children (10k in total), he left a few other amounts to various things, the funny bit though was rather than leave his relatives anything, he left the largest percentage, that worked out to £85K to the noise abatement society.

    When I was sent a copy of the will and how it was divided up etc, I was on the floor laughing. I would have loved to see his relatives faces.
    Last edited by Iwanttobefree; 21-05-2019 at 12:07 AM.
    The way things are going, soon we are all going to be victims of something or other.

    Who will we blame then?
    • Sea Shell
    • By Sea Shell 21st May 19, 5:48 AM
    • 1,939 Posts
    • 3,313 Thanks
    Sea Shell
    Thank you each and all for your replies - very interesting and valid points.

    Yes Sea Shell - that is exactly it! His friends are all older and some have died so they probably didn't know who the real Executor should be. It just seems so easy to commit this fraud and get away with it because no one is entitled to question her motives.

    Mojisola - you are right. More should have been done earlier. People did try to help though.
    Originally posted by Darcie
    You're right, the current system IS open to abuse. Although the will has to be witnessed, by 2 people, they do not have to actually KNOW the Testator, or have discussed their wishes with them, they're just signing to say that they saw Mr X sign this document!!! They actually don't even need to see ID that Mr X is in fact Mr X at all either!!!!

    There was another recent thread, whereby the witnesses were actually the friends of the new Beneficiary/Executor.

    In a situation like you describe, it could be very easy for someone persuasive to manipulate someone into making these changes, probably including saying things like "to make it all easier, just leave everything to me, i'll then make sure everyone gets what you've promised" - Yeah right!!!!

    Unfortunately, whilst wills can be done DIY, and don't have to be registered with a central body, then this can and will continue to happen.

    Of course the biggest issue is ever being able to PROVE any of this....as your key witness has died. As these things only tend to come to light after the event!

    I'm not sure that any of this helps you though....you might just have to let this one go i'm afraid. Sad I know.
    " That pound I saved yesterday, is a pound I don't have to earn tomorrow "
    • MEM62
    • By MEM62 21st May 19, 3:09 PM
    • 2,474 Posts
    • 2,136 Thanks
    MEM62
    Yes - definitely fraud.
    Originally posted by Darcie
    An assumption on your part without evidence.
    • Darcie
    • By Darcie 21st May 19, 6:53 PM
    • 15 Posts
    • 13 Thanks
    Darcie
    Iwanttobefree - such a sad story but so pleased it turned out well for you. Karma was certainly kind to you.

    Seashell, very informative thank you. I had been totally gobsmacked at the ease at which she could perform her fraud. You certainly get what I am struggling to explain - thank you.

    Mem62 - You do make a valid point. I am assuming the evidence we have is valid, however, that would be for the police to follow up.

    I will be more than happy to elaborate when I know the outcome.

    This has been a real eye opener for me. You certainly live and learn!
    • Robin9
    • By Robin9 21st May 19, 6:57 PM
    • 4,342 Posts
    • 2,767 Thanks
    Robin9
    Darcie - have I missed something here ? Have you reported your suspicions to the police ?
    Never pay on an estimated bill
    • Manxman in exile
    • By Manxman in exile 21st May 19, 10:34 PM
    • 2,425 Posts
    • 2,072 Thanks
    Manxman in exile
    Whilst on the face of it the circumstances appear suspicious, the OP seems to be making a lot of assumptions with very little sound evidence. It's rather a large leap to conclude there is "definitely" fraud here.


    I'm not sure the police would be interested in this - they usually advise people to contact Action Fraud or whatever it's called, and they don't investigate anything (so far as I can see).
    • Darcie
    • By Darcie 21st May 19, 10:40 PM
    • 15 Posts
    • 13 Thanks
    Darcie
    Hi Robin9. The police are aware of the situation but I believe it is more likely to be a civil case. I will follow events closely and hopefully report back with good news in due course.
    • Lastinline
    • By Lastinline 22nd May 19, 3:36 PM
    • 4 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    Lastinline
    Will/probate fraud
    It does seem to be very easy to carry out this sort of fraud.
    As a co executor I am trying to trace money withdrawn and reimbursements not paid into the deceased account and I find that despite being an executor no agency ( funeral director, care home etc) will let me have copies of the bills paid by the other executor.
    I have had to put the whole thing into a solicitorís hands and hope that they can find out.
    I also suspect that the other executor was preparing with help of the bank to transfer all funds into his account.
    Frankly I have lost all faith in the law.
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