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  • FIRST POST
    • orwen
    • By orwen 30th Oct 15, 8:59 PM
    • 194Posts
    • 85Thanks
    orwen
    deed of variation?
    • #1
    • 30th Oct 15, 8:59 PM
    deed of variation? 30th Oct 15 at 8:59 PM
    Hi,

    My parent suddenly passed away & I was their carer. My parent made their final will 2 years ago when they were fit & healthy, we both thought they'd live on for at least 5, 7 or even another 10 years. Sadly it was not to be - a sudden illness was to blame. Of siblings, I received the more in the will, perhaps unsurprisingly since I was my parent's sole carer.

    My parent's will is now being challenged. The will was drawn up at the solicitor's office of the parent and is considered, quite rightly to be 'water tight'. However, my solicitor - since I am now obliged to seek one - has started talking in terms of a deed of variation.

    I had no idea such deeds existed, I thought wills were practically written in stone. Apparently not. Yet why should I vary the parent's final wishes? This confuses me. Can anybody tell me what the solicitor might be driving at, I've been left to boggle over the weekend it seems - are there examples of cases of deeds of variation that might guide me at this stage please?

    Worrying.

    But thanks
Page 7
    • Yorkshireman99
    • By Yorkshireman99 15th Mar 16, 10:53 AM
    • 5,396 Posts
    • 4,560 Thanks
    Yorkshireman99
    There is a 'partner & solicitor' listed at the local office who has been with the firm for at least 30 years, but his area specialism is not dispute or probate, so I don't know if speaking to this person would be helpful?

    However, both probate and conveyancing are mentioned in connection with the local office, but none of the senior names I found come up under this address, they are all based many miles away. If I visit the local office to complain the people at the front desk may just ask me who is dealing with my case, then tell me they can't help because those people are based elsewhere?
    Originally posted by orwen
    Every firm of solicitors has to have a formal complaints procedure and you can access that at any of their offices. Just go in there and do it rather than delaying that will achieve nothing. The solution is in your hands.
    • Savvy_Sue
    • By Savvy_Sue 15th Mar 16, 11:02 AM
    • 40,020 Posts
    • 37,350 Thanks
    Savvy_Sue
    Ask how to start the formal complaints procedure! Do not be fobbed off with questions about who is dealing with you, you are making a complaint.
    Still knitting!
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    • orwen
    • By orwen 15th Mar 16, 12:12 PM
    • 194 Posts
    • 85 Thanks
    orwen
    Every firm of solicitors has to have a formal complaints procedure and you can access that at any of their offices. Just go in there and do it rather than delaying that will achieve nothing. The solution is in your hands.
    Originally posted by Yorkshireman99
    Thank you. The blue touch paper is burning I can assure you of that. If I receive confirmation that my administration is indeed to be delayed, off I go to the local office.

    Meanwhile, there has been no response to my suggestion that we ignore further correspondence from the opposing solicitor, unless they come up with a court order. When I suggested to my firm that I would not pay for further incidental correspondence between solicitors I received an instant, reproachful reply - invoking my contract with them - followed by an invoice.
    • orwen
    • By orwen 24th Mar 16, 11:04 AM
    • 194 Posts
    • 85 Thanks
    orwen
    Update: there does seem to be some movement on the administration, they now requested various certificates, which were sent, in relation to the deeds. In terms of the on-going dispute I asked what could be expected in the light of the closure of the Inheritance Act window? I was told my parent's will might still be contested on grounds of influence and/or capability, this is despite the will being drawn up, witnessed and countersigned by a solicitor. However, my solicitor has now written to the opposing side advising them that we will not respond to them further until and unless they deliver a formal claim. I imagine, at long last, in solicitor-speak this is 'put up or shut up'? Should have been said many, many months ago I feel. I await the opposing side's next move. Meanwhile, I have things like pension provision to look to, having now retired.

    Many thanks.
    • FreeBear
    • By FreeBear 24th Mar 16, 11:03 PM
    • 2,915 Posts
    • 3,889 Thanks
    FreeBear
    In terms of the on-going dispute I asked what could be expected in the light of the closure of the Inheritance Act window? I was told my parent's will might still be contested on grounds of influence and/or capability, this is despite the will being drawn up, witnessed and countersigned by a solicitor.
    Originally posted by orwen
    My opinion: The time to contest the will on grounds of undue influence or capability is before probate is granted. The basic steps would be: Enter a caveat to prevent probate being granted. Investigate the circumstances surrounding the execution of the will and seeking a Larke-v-Nugus statement. Initiate high court proceedings to get the will ruled as invalid.

    As none of this has happened, it is highly unlikely to take place now. in addition, undue influence is extremely difficult to prove - Not going to happen.

    At least your solicitor has started to take notice of your instructions and doing what he is being paid for.
    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.
    • orwen
    • By orwen 25th Mar 16, 11:40 AM
    • 194 Posts
    • 85 Thanks
    orwen
    Thanks FreeBear,

    I view the opposing side's action as an attempt to inflict as much emotional and financial harm as possible and at a time when I was least able to cope. Indeed, the last letter from their solicitor seemed to have been timed to coincide with the date of my birthday, which it happily missed due to the perennial tardiness of my own solicitor - in whose interest it seems to be to 'keep the kettle boiling' by keeping me in ignorance or, as in the present case, being economical in answering my direct question: 'what might happen?'

    It now looks as if my solicitor's letter - which is a precis of my own draft - removes the stick from the opposing party's grasp with which they have been tormenting me for six months, practically ever since my mother died. Predictably then, they will now throw all their toys from the pram, the spiteful stick having been taken away from them.

    Thanks again.
    • orwen
    • By orwen 16th Aug 16, 12:18 AM
    • 194 Posts
    • 85 Thanks
    orwen
    Solicitors' Fees
    Hi,

    It is almost a year since I received the initial letter from the opposing solicitor. In all the intervening time there has been no pre-action protocol Letter of Claim. Despite, this the opposing solicitor continues to fire off fatuous letters to my solicitor, who then deliver back to them an expansive reply costing a small fortune. I now find myself a ping-pong ball in the middle of two solicitors. My solicitor shows no sign whatever of even attempting to draw matters to a close and they are now writing to me to try and initiate further action. The has in-sensed me because the action would be incidental to the dispute and has nothing to do with refuting the threats of letters of claim from the other side.

    At what point can I politely thank my solicitor for representing me this past year, formally disengage from them, and instruct the opposing solicitor to write direct to me in future please?

    Many thanks
    • SuzieSue
    • By SuzieSue 16th Aug 16, 6:51 AM
    • 3,865 Posts
    • 4,067 Thanks
    SuzieSue
    Hi,

    It is almost a year since I received the initial letter from the opposing solicitor. In all the intervening time there has been no pre-action protocol Letter of Claim. Despite, this the opposing solicitor continues to fire off fatuous letters to my solicitor, who then deliver back to them an expansive reply costing a small fortune. I now find myself a ping-pong ball in the middle of two solicitors. My solicitor shows no sign whatever of even attempting to draw matters to a close and they are now writing to me to try and initiate further action. The has in-sensed me because the action would be incidental to the dispute and has nothing to do with refuting the threats of letters of claim from the other side.

    At what point can I politely thank my solicitor for representing me this past year, formally disengage from them, and instruct the opposing solicitor to write direct to me in future please?

    Many thanks
    Originally posted by orwen
    You should have done it months ago. If you don't have a solicitor the opposing side has to write to you. This happened to me when I had a legal dispute.
    • orwen
    • By orwen 16th Aug 16, 12:47 PM
    • 194 Posts
    • 85 Thanks
    orwen
    Thank you,

    Sigh of relief.

    I suspect my solicitor is now using the upsetting dispute following the sad loss of my mother as a license to print money, they are actually touting for business now, on the back of sending me invoices for letters written - it has got ridiculous.
    • Anthear
    • By Anthear 16th Aug 16, 7:59 PM
    • 107 Posts
    • 103 Thanks
    Anthear
    Oh my goodness - you poor thing!!!

    If you haven't already, make a formal complaint - make it crystal clear - say what you are complaining about then how it has affected you - the detriment, then say what you want them to do about it.

    After this stage you can go to the Legal Ombudsman. Just be very meticulous and focussed. Good luck!!!!
    • orwen
    • By orwen 16th Aug 16, 9:49 PM
    • 194 Posts
    • 85 Thanks
    orwen
    Legal robbery
    Thanks Anthear,

    I just want this whole business to stop, I have been through so much these last 18 months, too much. I have now written to the opposing solicitor telling them to write direct to me, if they need to. I have also suggested to them that unless they are to deliver a formal Letter of Claim to me they will be wasting their time. I have emailed my solicitor and told them to stop representing me and stop replying to the opposing solicitor. I will expect a reproachful email from my solicitor tomorrow. I have just paid them 700 quid for a useless reply to a useless letter from the opposition, if they try and con any more money out of me I will complain to the senior partner and contact the Ombudsman. That means they will have to account for all the hours they claim they have clocked up on futile correspondence, so it's wait and see.

    Thus the solicitors from Hell.

    • Anthear
    • By Anthear 17th Aug 16, 1:20 PM
    • 107 Posts
    • 103 Thanks
    Anthear
    I know exactly how you feel. There is a certain arrogance amongst certain individuals/firms in the legal profession. They appear to have absolutely no shame.

    Hope you are getting closer to a resolution. If it's any consolation, a relative of mine died in Oct 2014 and the estate administration has STILL not been completed - the Executor is a firm of Solicitors. I think as a whole the industry works very slowly as it's in their interests, they don't seem to feel any pressure of time and they do things in a linear format - ie one thing after another rather than concurrently. Takes bloody forever and they pay a tiny amount of interest on the money they hold to add further insult to injury so all the while the money is worth less and less...... makes me soooooo cross.
    • orwen
    • By orwen 17th Aug 16, 7:36 PM
    • 194 Posts
    • 85 Thanks
    orwen
    Reptilian
    Some probably smaller firms seem ok, some firms, probably the larger ones, are atrocious - this firm sits on correspondence for days on end then appears to factor the days of sitting into their costs, the longer they can draw everything out, the longer is the bill they present you with. It is a confidence trick and I rue the day I was recommended to these people, they have achieved precisely nothing with regard to the dispute. Every time I asked them what the state of play was, seeing that all the opportunities for the opposing side to launch a case have expired - all they'd say was 'We cannot say what their next move will be', when it was patently obvious even to a lay person like me that there were no more moves left for them to make, apart from firing off meaningless solicitors' letters at my solicitor to keep the dispute broiling. The dispute will never be resolved because the other side took umbrage at my mother's will, there's nothing I can do about that and I will never, ever vary my mother's final wishes - not for the other side or for anybody else. Mum's will is sacred as far as I am concerned, I was shocked to learn how glib some solicitors are about varying people's wills as if the people who made them were of no concern because no longer in the land of the living. That is such an unbelievable insult to the memory of those who have passed on. You got it right when you mentioned 'no shame' among some of these people, they have about as much conscience as a reptile.
    • securityguy
    • By securityguy 17th Aug 16, 9:11 PM
    • 2,414 Posts
    • 3,682 Thanks
    securityguy
    So why didn't you simply sack the solicitors and distribute the estate? Yes, they appear to have behaved appallingly. But all you had to do was write to them and say "you no longer represent me, please forward me your invoice for my consideration". Yes, I know you have some byplay about them somehow "holding" your house deeds, but they can't do that, as the shortest trip to the SRA would reveal.
    • orwen
    • By orwen 17th Aug 16, 11:48 PM
    • 194 Posts
    • 85 Thanks
    orwen
    Well, in a sense, isn't that what I just did? They are off the case now - a case which never existed in the first place. My initial solicitor's underpants changed colour when they thought they were going to end up in court defending their professionalism - the will they drew up for my late mother - so I ended up with these sharks instead. Solicitors!
    • Anthear
    • By Anthear 18th Aug 16, 8:52 AM
    • 107 Posts
    • 103 Thanks
    Anthear
    I wouldn't pay them personally. Well done for seeing through the façade. Almost as bad as Estate Agents???
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