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  • FIRST POST
    • Churchward
    • By Churchward 5th Jul 18, 1:08 AM
    • 3Posts
    • 2Thanks
    Churchward
    Swindled out of inheritance - years ago, but recently discovered.
    • #1
    • 5th Jul 18, 1:08 AM
    Swindled out of inheritance - years ago, but recently discovered. 5th Jul 18 at 1:08 AM
    Here's a bit of a story. Events which took place over 20 years ago are very suspicious, however the evidence of any wrongdoing has only recently become available.

    Between September 1991 and December 1993, I was my grandparents' live-in carer. In October 1993, my grandmother died, and a few days later one of my two sisters arrived at the house, asking my grandfather to sign over Power of Attorney so that she could deal with my grandmother's affairs. The suggestion was that she would arrange a funeral on his behalf. He signed the document, which I was not invited to see.

    Another month or so passed, and the same sister's husband announced that my grandfather was going to spend some time in a care home. He was upset at the prospect, and in any event was not in need of a care home. He asked me if I could stop this, and I spoke to my brother-in-law to say that he didn't agree to be taken from his home. The following day, both my sisters arrived, with their husbands, and I was manhandled out of the house (which was also my own home). The Police were called, since I had been assaulted. I had already left when an officer attended. and I heard nothing more from them.

    Almost two more years passed, and my grandfather died. I thought little about whether there may be any inheritance. I knew he had been encouraged to make a new will, having forgotten which solicitors had his most recently made will. I assumed that either he had remembered everything I had done for him, or that pressure may have been brought on him to cut me out altogether, in which case there would be little I could do about it. He had two surviving children of his own, and my mother had already died leaving four of her own, so if there were no will, I would only see 1/12 of his net estate, which would probably not have been worth the legal costs of challenging. I had no idea what his estate was worth, since his house had been sold privately, and no local estate agent could tell me the sale price.

    As well as my two sisters, I have a brother who has learning difficulties. His understanding of details he has heard is not good, and I was unable to question him further when he informed me that our grandfather's new will left everything equally between our two sisters. All I could do was accept that we had both been swindled out of our (small) inheritance.

    Well, there was no Internet back then, or at least, it was sufficiently new that few people had access to it. Moreover, I have only recently been aware that there is available online (at probatesearch.service.gov.uk) a means of searching for wills and probate for all people in the UK who died since 1858. I have searched for both my grandparents' names. My grandmother's name appears. Administration was granted (so she had her own savings, presumably, but I don't know how much). My grandfather's name does not appear. Therefore, how can there have been any will? If there was none, how could his property be sold and the proceeds distributed?

    I am sure that there has been some dishonesty in this, and I wonder what I should do to have it investigated? The money is of very little concern to me. Much less than the thought that my efforts in caring for my grandparents seem to have been completely forgotten or disregarded. Do I go to the Police? I wonder whether, after over 20 years, I will be taken seriously. If I am advised to go down the Civil route, I will probably spend more in legal fees than I could recover.

    What would anyone here suggest?
Page 1
    • Yorkshireman99
    • By Yorkshireman99 5th Jul 18, 1:44 AM
    • 4,495 Posts
    • 3,717 Thanks
    Yorkshireman99
    • #2
    • 5th Jul 18, 1:44 AM
    • #2
    • 5th Jul 18, 1:44 AM
    Here's a bit of a story. Events which took place over 20 years ago are very suspicious, however the evidence of any wrongdoing has only recently become available.

    Between September 1991 and December 1993, I was my grandparents' live-in carer. In October 1993, my grandmother died, and a few days later one of my two sisters arrived at the house, asking my grandfather to sign over Power of Attorney so that she could deal with my grandmother's affairs. The suggestion was that she would arrange a funeral on his behalf. He signed the document, which I was not invited to see.

    Another month or so passed, and the same sister's husband announced that my grandfather was going to spend some time in a care home. He was upset at the prospect, and in any event was not in need of a care home. He asked me if I could stop this, and I spoke to my brother-in-law to say that he didn't agree to be taken from his home. The following day, both my sisters arrived, with their husbands, and I was manhandled out of the house (which was also my own home). The Police were called, since I had been assaulted. I had already left when an officer attended. and I heard nothing more from them.

    Almost two more years passed, and my grandfather died. I thought little about whether there may be any inheritance. I knew he had been encouraged to make a new will, having forgotten which solicitors had his most recently made will. I assumed that either he had remembered everything I had done for him, or that pressure may have been brought on him to cut me out altogether, in which case there would be little I could do about it. He had two surviving children of his own, and my mother had already died leaving four of her own, so if there were no will, I would only see 1/12 of his net estate, which would probably not have been worth the legal costs of challenging. I had no idea what his estate was worth, since his house had been sold privately, and no local estate agent could tell me the sale price.

    As well as my two sisters, I have a brother who has learning difficulties. His understanding of details he has heard is not good, and I was unable to question him further when he informed me that our grandfather's new will left everything equally between our two sisters. All I could do was accept that we had both been swindled out of our (small) inheritance.

    Well, there was no Internet back then, or at least, it was sufficiently new that few people had access to it. Moreover, I have only recently been aware that there is available online (at probatesearch.service.gov.uk) a means of searching for wills and probate for all people in the UK who died since 1858. I have searched for both my grandparents' names. My grandmother's name appears. Administration was granted (so she had her own savings, presumably, but I don't know how much). My grandfather's name does not appear. Therefore, how can there have been any will? If there was none, how could his property be sold and the proceeds distributed?

    I am sure that there has been some dishonesty in this, and I wonder what I should do to have it investigated? The money is of very little concern to me. Much less than the thought that my efforts in caring for my grandparents seem to have been completely forgotten or disregarded. Do I go to the Police? I wonder whether, after over 20 years, I will be taken seriously. If I am advised to go down the Civil route, I will probably spend more in legal fees than I could recover.

    What would anyone here suggest?
    Originally posted by Churchward
    After this time you have no chance of getting anything done. Forget it.
    • TonyMMM
    • By TonyMMM 5th Jul 18, 7:45 AM
    • 2,729 Posts
    • 3,040 Thanks
    TonyMMM
    • #3
    • 5th Jul 18, 7:45 AM
    • #3
    • 5th Jul 18, 7:45 AM
    A possible scenario ...

    ... one of my two sisters arrived at the house, asking my grandfather to sign over Power of Attorney so that she could deal with my grandmother's affairs.
    Originally posted by Churchward
    You can't have a Power of Attorney for someone who has died - far more likely it related to managing your grandfather's affairs.

    Your grandmother's assets ("administration being granted" means she didn't leave a will) would have passed to him.

    grandfather was going to spend some time in a care home. ...........

    Almost two more years passed, and my grandfather died.
    Originally posted by Churchward
    If he spent two years in a care home, that would use up a great deal of any funds he may have had

    how could his property be sold and the proceeds distributed?
    Originally posted by Churchward
    Probably using the POA, before he died - check the Land registry to see exactly when it was sold.
    Last edited by TonyMMM; 05-07-2018 at 7:55 AM.
    • Keep pedalling
    • By Keep pedalling 5th Jul 18, 8:21 AM
    • 5,413 Posts
    • 6,095 Thanks
    Keep pedalling
    • #4
    • 5th Jul 18, 8:21 AM
    • #4
    • 5th Jul 18, 8:21 AM
    The absence of any probate records is not evidence of any wrong doing. If the estate with simple with no property involved then probate is often not required.
    • Margot123
    • By Margot123 5th Jul 18, 8:52 AM
    • 1,076 Posts
    • 1,107 Thanks
    Margot123
    • #5
    • 5th Jul 18, 8:52 AM
    • #5
    • 5th Jul 18, 8:52 AM
    While the passage of time may have made a lot of evidence 'disappear', if you suspect fraud then you must act.

    In the first instance, consult with a solicitor; many offer free 20 minute advice sessions. You will soon be told if there is any chance of civil or criminal action.
    • badmemory
    • By badmemory 5th Jul 18, 11:56 AM
    • 1,975 Posts
    • 2,721 Thanks
    badmemory
    • #6
    • 5th Jul 18, 11:56 AM
    • #6
    • 5th Jul 18, 11:56 AM
    I would be suspecting fraudulent use of a POA, with the will as a side issue just in case they have missed anything. I would suspect that any money was long gone before he died.


    If your sisters have children it will be interesting to see how those children deal with their parent's finances.
    • Margot123
    • By Margot123 5th Jul 18, 1:29 PM
    • 1,076 Posts
    • 1,107 Thanks
    Margot123
    • #7
    • 5th Jul 18, 1:29 PM
    • #7
    • 5th Jul 18, 1:29 PM
    I would be suspecting fraudulent use of a POA, with the will as a side issue just in case they have missed anything. I would suspect that any money was long gone before he died.


    If your sisters have children it will be interesting to see how those children deal with their parent's finances.
    Originally posted by badmemory
    Unfortunately, when the sponsor of the POA is deceased, there is never any investigation by the Office of the Public Guardian or any other authority.
    • Dox
    • By Dox 5th Jul 18, 4:45 PM
    • 936 Posts
    • 718 Thanks
    Dox
    • #8
    • 5th Jul 18, 4:45 PM
    • #8
    • 5th Jul 18, 4:45 PM
    Well, there was no Internet back then, or at least, it was sufficiently new that few people had access to it. Moreover, I have only recently been aware that there is available online (at probatesearch.service.gov.uk) a means of searching for wills and probate for all people in the UK who died since 1858. I have searched for both my grandparents' names. My grandmother's name appears. Administration was granted (so she had her own savings, presumably, but I don't know how much). My grandfather's name does not appear. Therefore, how can there have been any will? If there was none, how could his property be sold and the proceeds distributed?
    Originally posted by Churchward
    Your grandfather's name won't appear if probate was never granted - and presumably it didn't need to be.

    Is that your 'recent discovery'? If so, I think it's a case of disappointment rather than dishonesty.

    See a solicitor if it makes you feel better, but in the absence of hard facts (including written evidence), there won't be anything they can do.
    • Brynsam
    • By Brynsam 5th Jul 18, 5:09 PM
    • 1,566 Posts
    • 1,135 Thanks
    Brynsam
    • #9
    • 5th Jul 18, 5:09 PM
    • #9
    • 5th Jul 18, 5:09 PM
    Here's a bit of a story. Events which took place over 20 years ago are very suspicious, however the evidence of any wrongdoing has only recently become available. What evidence - and why were events 'suspicious'?

    Between September 1991 and December 1993, I was my grandparents' live-in carer. In October 1993, my grandmother died, and a few days later one of my two sisters arrived at the house, asking my grandfather to sign over Power of Attorney so that she could deal with my grandmother's affairs. The suggestion was that she would arrange a funeral on his behalf. He signed the document, which I was not invited to see. POA cannot be assigned once the donor is dead. Why would your grandfather need to sign over anything if he was of sound mind - he could simply give his granddaughter (your sister) his blessing to arrange the funeral.

    Another month or so passed, and the same sister's husband announced that my grandfather was going to spend some time in a care home. He was upset at the prospect, and in any event was not in need of a care home. He asked me if I could stop this, and I spoke to my brother-in-law to say that he didn't agree to be taken from his home. The following day, both my sisters arrived, with their husbands, and I was manhandled out of the house (which was also my own home). The Police were called, since I had been assaulted. I had already left when an officer attended. and I heard nothing more from them. So why didn't you pursue it, not least to ensure you grandfather wasn't ejected from his home?

    Almost two more years passed, and my grandfather died. I thought little about whether there may be any inheritance. I knew he had been encouraged to make a new will, having forgotten which solicitors had his most recently made will. I assumed that either he had remembered everything I had done for him, or that pressure may have been brought on him to cut me out altogether, in which case there would be little I could do about it. He had two surviving children of his own, and my mother had already died leaving four of her own, so if there were no will, I would only see 1/12 of his net estate, which would probably not have been worth the legal costs of challenging. I had no idea what his estate was worth, since his house had been sold privately, and no local estate agent could tell me the sale price.

    As well as my two sisters, I have a brother who has learning difficulties. His understanding of details he has heard is not good, and I was unable to question him further when he informed me that our grandfather's new will left everything equally between our two sisters. All I could do was accept that we had both been swindled out of our (small) inheritance. That's a rather drama queen type of statement - especially with no evidence that you had been swindled. Maybe your grandfather was so upset that you didn't act to stop him being put in a home that he didn't want to leave you anything?

    Well, there was no Internet back then, or at least, it was sufficiently new that few people had access to it. Moreover, I have only recently been aware that there is available online (at probatesearch.service.gov.uk) a means of searching for wills and probate for all people in the UK who died since 1858. I have searched for both my grandparents' names. My grandmother's name appears. Administration was granted (so she had her own savings, presumably, but I don't know how much). My grandfather's name does not appear. Therefore, how can there have been any will? If there was none, how could his property be sold and the proceeds distributed? Quite easily if probate wasn't required. The property might well have been sold already. Have you checked the Land Registry records to see what the sale history is?

    I am sure that there has been some dishonesty in this, and I wonder what I should do to have it investigated? The money is of very little concern to me. Much less than the thought that my efforts in caring for my grandparents seem to have been completely forgotten or disregarded. So what would you achieve by trying to have this investigated - who is going to acknowledge your efforts? Do I go to the Police? I wonder whether, after over 20 years, I will be taken seriously. If I am advised to go down the Civil route, I will probably spend more in legal fees than I could recover.

    What would anyone here suggest? Unless you have much stronger evidence than the fact your grandfather's name doesn't appear on the list of wills/probate granted, where's your evidence? Hurt feelings may be very real, but they don't support your argument.
    Originally posted by Churchward
    Sorry this is a chain of negatives, but it could save you a trip down a frustrating and possibly expensive blind alley.
    • Yorkshireman99
    • By Yorkshireman99 5th Jul 18, 5:15 PM
    • 4,495 Posts
    • 3,717 Thanks
    Yorkshireman99
    Sorry this is a chain of negatives, but it could save you a trip down a frustrating and possibly expensive blind alley.
    Originally posted by Brynsam
    The bottom line is that after all this time the the OP has no realistic chance whatsoever of proviung or recovering anything.
    • Margot123
    • By Margot123 5th Jul 18, 7:46 PM
    • 1,076 Posts
    • 1,107 Thanks
    Margot123
    The bottom line is that after all this time the the OP has no realistic chance whatsoever of proviung or recovering anything.
    Originally posted by Yorkshireman99
    And this is why a 20 minute freebie session with a local solicitor would be time well-spent for them.
    In fact it probably wouldn't even take the full 20 minutes.
    • Brynsam
    • By Brynsam 5th Jul 18, 7:46 PM
    • 1,566 Posts
    • 1,135 Thanks
    Brynsam
    The bottom line is that after all this time the the OP has no realistic chance whatsoever of proviung or recovering anything.
    Originally posted by Yorkshireman99
    It's not the length of time which matters, it's the apparent lack of evidence - and the passage of time certainly won't have helped that.
    • goochie
    • By goochie 9th Jul 18, 3:02 PM
    • 494 Posts
    • 1,550 Thanks
    goochie
    It is frustrating, but I doubt there is anything that can be done now. My father died a number of years ago, very suddenly, and his father died a couple of months after him, I don't suppose that he had much in the way of finances and had lived in council accommodation all of his life, but I am pretty sure my father would have been named as one of 3 beneficiaries of his will (along with his two sisters), who again, I ASSUME, chose not to pass on my fathers share of inheritance to my sister and I (which I only recently found out they should have). What did I / am I going to do about it, precisely nothing, it can sit on their conscience, I'd rather they had it than me having to have anything to do with them!
    Being happy doesn't mean everything is perfect. It just means you have decided to look beyond the imperfections.
    • pearl123
    • By pearl123 12th Jul 18, 7:24 PM
    • 1,435 Posts
    • 2,113 Thanks
    pearl123
    I'm following this thread with interest, as I believe my mother might have been cut out of a will.
    • Dox
    • By Dox 12th Jul 18, 11:29 PM
    • 936 Posts
    • 718 Thanks
    Dox
    I'm following this thread with interest, as I believe my mother might have been cut out of a will.
    Originally posted by pearl123
    Have you bought a copy of the will, assuming probate has been granted?
    • elsien
    • By elsien 12th Jul 18, 11:32 PM
    • 17,124 Posts
    • 43,158 Thanks
    elsien
    If my grandparent had been manhandled out of his own home against his will I'm fairly sure I wouldn't have left it 20 years to do something about it.
    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.
    • Margot123
    • By Margot123 13th Jul 18, 8:32 AM
    • 1,076 Posts
    • 1,107 Thanks
    Margot123
    I'm following this thread with interest, as I believe my mother might have been cut out of a will.
    Originally posted by pearl123
    There's a big difference between being 'cut out' of a will and being 'swindled' out of an inheritance.

    If someone was in a previous will but not in a subsequent one, there is very little (if anything) they can do.
    • pearl123
    • By pearl123 13th Jul 18, 2:15 PM
    • 1,435 Posts
    • 2,113 Thanks
    pearl123
    Have you bought a copy of the will, assuming probate has been granted?
    Originally posted by Dox
    I still to purchase the will. It would not surprise me that the will instructions were not followed.
    • Margot123
    • By Margot123 13th Jul 18, 2:23 PM
    • 1,076 Posts
    • 1,107 Thanks
    Margot123
    I still to purchase the will. It would not surprise me that the will instructions were not followed.
    Originally posted by pearl123
    It's 10 for an instant download of the will and grant from: https://probatesearch.service.gov.uk/#wills

    A small price to pay for the information it can provide.
    • Brynsam
    • By Brynsam 13th Jul 18, 3:54 PM
    • 1,566 Posts
    • 1,135 Thanks
    Brynsam
    I still to purchase the will. It would not surprise me that the will instructions were not followed.
    Originally posted by pearl123
    Why not get a copy and find out, instead of wasting time and emotional energy speculating?
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