View Full Version : Denied access to will- what can I do about it?


Lyndiloo
09-05-2008, 14:14
My mother's 2nd husband died recently, they were married 33yrs. Mum has dementia & is in care home. As her appointee have asked her husband's son to show me will as he says his father left everything to him. He refuses to show me will. Cannot get legal aid for probate matters & all solicitors I have spoken too say without a solicitor acting for us we can't force him to show us will. As son had access to all his father's & my mum's bank accts. he could have removed any money before his dad died & therefore would not have had to register with probate office. He won't even allow me acces to house(rented) to retrieve mum's personal stuff, phots & family mementos that she had before she married his father. It just seems so unfair that because mum & I can't afford a solicitor this man can basically just state that there's a will, everything is his & we can't do anything about it. If he produced a will & his dad did leave everything to him then I would drop the matter but I want to get some justice for my mum who can't fight for herself. Please, anyone out there who can help?How can we force his hand?

lisalee
09-05-2008, 14:19
My mother's 2nd husband died recently, they were married 33yrs. Mum has dementia & is in care home. As her appointee have asked her husband's son to show me will as he says his father left everything to him. He refuses to show me will. Cannot get legal aid for probate matters & all solicitors I have spoken too say without a solicitor acting for us we can't force him to show us will. As son had access to all his father's & my mum's bank accts. he could have removed any money before his dad died & therefore would not have had to register with probate office. He won't even allow me acces to house(rented) to retrieve mum's personal stuff, phots & family mementos that she had before she married his father. It just seems so unfair that because mum & I can't afford a solicitor this man can basically just state that there's a will, everything is his & we can't do anything about it. If he produced a will & his dad did leave everything to him then I would drop the matter but I want to get some justice for my mum who can't fight for herself. Please, anyone out there who can help?How can we force his hand?

Contact Age concern or Help The Aged for advice. If they cant help, they maybe able to point you in the right direction.
Hope you get this matter sorted as soon as possible.

lisalee
09-05-2008, 14:20
Also, have you asked anyone at your mums care home for advice? The matron maybe able to help.

cgksheff
09-05-2008, 14:22
I'm fairly sure that any will that is registered for probate becomes a public document.

lisalee
09-05-2008, 14:23
I'm fairly sure that any will that is registered for probate becomes a public document.

If thats the case, contact the Town hall, hope this helps.

depoix
09-05-2008, 14:26
I'm fairly sure that any will that is registered for probate becomes a public document.me to, willman would know, he may read this and post when he comes on..

ukstudent
09-05-2008, 15:33
try contacting the citizens advice bureau - they will def know

good luck

Lyndiloo
09-05-2008, 16:30
Thanks to everyone for their suggestions.Care home know less than I do about the law.Already contacted Age concern, Citizens advice, various advice centres, Sheffield Law Society etc all pointed me towards solicitors.Called many solicitors all said the same thing, I wouldn't get legal aid for probate matters.2 of them suggested sending what's known as a 7day letter requesting access to will or would seek legal action but he still refuses to show will. Probate registry in London said if not a large amount involved probably didn't register will & even if will registered they would only issue information if executor requested.Solicitors have said to me that morally he should show me the will but without solicitor no way to force him.Spoken to Mum's social worker(no help at all)Have spent 6weeks trying to sort this out but appears there's a loop hole in the Law so that any executor can say there's a will leaving everything to them but no-one but a solicitor can force them to show the will.How do you contest a will when it may be nonexistent anyway & you can't afford a solicitor?Maybe willman could help?

cgksheff
09-05-2008, 16:37
Just to take a step back ..... if your mother was married to the deceased, shouldn't a will be irrelevant?
The spouse should inherit by right? ... at least a recognised share before other distributions?

Heyesey
09-05-2008, 16:38
Just to take a step back ..... if your mother was married to the deceased, shouldn't a will be irrelevant?
The spouse should inherit by right?

The will overrides any "right," although it can be contested under certain circumstances.

If there is no will, the spouse does not automatically inherit everything.

Lyndiloo
09-05-2008, 17:13
I explained my mum's situation to several solicitors.3 of them gave me free advice over the phone.They all said that IF there is a will then the husband could leave everything to his son but that if there IS NO will then any monies,chattels, car etc would by law pass to my mum.Remember, they were married 33yrs, lived together all that time in that house until mum went into care home last year. If mum was still living in their house right up to time of husbands death there's no way the son would have taken everything from her.The son(&executor) seems to be taking advantage of the fact that mum has dementia & had to go into care home because of her husband's illness.And also working in his favour was the fact that while his dad was ill he handled all Bank accts,pensions,attendance allowances etc for my mum & his dad so it was v.easy for him to access all their money.I have never asked the son about any money, it was after he refused me access to the house to get family mementos,photos etc that I asked if there was a will.Also,if he was left everything in will why not show it to me?V.suspicious!!:suspect:

Plain Talker
09-05-2008, 17:36
lyndiloo,

as I understand it, if someone dies intestate (without a will), and their estate is worth more than (say) 125,000, then half the estate goes to the surviving spouse, and the other half is divided between the surviving kids.

if the estate is over a certain amount, then the Govt take a cut, too.

The thing is, when was the will in question made? Was it made before your mother and stepfather married?

When I divorced, I was instructed by my solicitor that any will(s) I had made prior to the divorce would be invalidated by my divorce, and that, if I made a new will, and then remarried, then, again, the will would be invalidated, and I would have to re-write a will.

Cyclone
09-05-2008, 18:10
The advice that only a solicitor can force him to show the will sounds a bit odd.

Solicitors have no legal powers, the only thing they have is some training.

Presumably what they mean is that a solicitor could file some sort of court claim to force him to show the will, in which case anyone can file those papers.

Heyesey
09-05-2008, 18:49
As above .. in the absence of a will, your mother is entitled, at an absolute minimum, to half of the estate.

Unless he produces a will showing otherwise, that is. Perhaps you should tell him that if he doesn't produce said will, you'll simply take what is hers.

Or maybe you should apply to whatever is the official body, to appoint YOU as executor for his estate, since as far as you are aware there is no will.

wolfstalin
09-05-2008, 19:28
Just to take a step back ..... if your mother was married to the deceased, shouldn't a will be irrelevant?
The spouse should inherit by right? ... at least a recognised share before other distributions?

No CGK, that would be the case in the absence of a will, but in either case the probate office administers these matters.

All that is required is a visit to the probate office to register a complaint, they will sort everything out.

Ms Macbeth
10-05-2008, 05:59
Here are the details.

SHEFFIELD
Sheffield Probate Sub-Registry
P.O. Box 832
The Law Courts
50, West Bar
Sheffield
S3 8YR
Tel: 0114 281 2596
Email : sheffield.psr@hmcourts-service.gsi.gov.uk

I hope you get some advice and help for your mother.

wolfstalin
10-05-2008, 06:19
The main office is in Leeds, that's where the investigators are, so if you don't get satisfaction with the office in Sheffield which only has about 4 staff try Leeds.

Lyndiloo
12-05-2008, 15:00
Thanks once again to all who showed interest in my problem.Think I'll try to lodge complaint with probate registry but they did tell me that if the amount concerned is only small & there's no house to deal with any will would not necessarily have to pass to probate & they would therefore not have any record of it.
The idea of asking solicitor to send letter on letterhead requesting will is to let the offending party know that we are seeking legal advice & then he would hopefully either show us the will or admit there is no will.Unfortunately, as I was made redundant & can't afford this initial letter we can't get a solicitor involved.Neither could I get legal aid if we tried to take him to court because you don't get legal aid for probate matters.
A Clerk of the Court has suggested I get the Police involved & accuse him of theft & misappropriation of funds & let them look into it but not sure that's the right path to take.As everything else seems to be failing maybe that is the final option as I can't see any other way of finding out for once & for all if a will does exist!Anybody out there think this would be a good step to take or could I be accused of "false accusation" in the unlikely event that the will does exist?
NB.The will was made last year after mum entered care home.Her husband became terminally ill & put his son in charge of all banking, pensions,payments etc.,.No previous wills exist.

Dozy
12-05-2008, 15:14
Thanks once again to all who showed interest in my problem.Think I'll try to lodge complaint with probate registry but they did tell me that if the amount concerned is only small & there's no house to deal with any will would not necessarily have to pass to probate & they would therefore not have any record of it.
The idea of asking solicitor to send letter on letterhead requesting will is to let the offending party know that we are seeking legal advice & then he would hopefully either show us the will or admit there is no will.Unfortunately, as I was made redundant & can't afford this initial letter we can't get a solicitor involved.Neither could I get legal aid if we tried to take him to court because you don't get legal aid for probate matters.
A Clerk of the Court has suggested I get the Police involved & accuse him of theft & misappropriation of funds & let them look into it but not sure that's the right path to take.As everything else seems to be failing maybe that is the final option as I can't see any other way of finding out for once & for all if a will does exist!Anybody out there think this would be a good step to take or could I be accused of "false accusation" in the unlikely event that the will does exist?
NB.The will was made last year after mum entered care home.Her husband became terminally ill & put his son in charge of all banking, pensions,payments etc.,.No previous wills exist. My bold

A Will doesn't come into effect until after a person has died, the son must have had Power of Attorney (I think it's called) which is quite different. My ma in law made out one to me, so that I could deal with all her money matters.

It sounds like the police might be the only solution. After all, he's also hanging onto personal possessions of your mothers, which must constitute some sort of offence.

willman
12-05-2008, 15:23
Everyones' gettign bits of everything mixed up. If a will has been made, the beneficiary can be anyone and not necessarily your mum. The son sounds like he has been given power of attorney to deal with financials - however he cannot access any joint accounts or accounts in your mums name without her consent.
All joint accounts should be frozen until probate is carried out.
1. contact you rmums bank and request a freeze on the joint account if any - they might not do it, but they might if you are attorney for your mum.
2.contact probate office in writing.
3. PAY a solicitor - any decent one can do a letter and try to sort it out for 100 quid.
4. has your mum got a will - it's unlikely that a couple married 33years will make seperate wills.

My gut feeling is he's lying and has power of attorney and no more which means the longer you leave it the more chance he has to syphon off the money.
He cannot touch anything jointly owned whilst your mum is alive, unless he can prove ownership.

Lyndiloo
15-05-2008, 14:19
Thanks once again to everyone who has shown an interest & offered suggestions. I think I know exactly what I need to do now so I'm closing this thread down.
Also, It's been brought to my knowledge that the son(& partner) who are at the heart of this matter have logged on to the forum & have seen our postings relating to gaining access to a will. They are apparently furious & have seen fit to phone my brother, who has nothing to do with these postings, and berate him about the things I have said. Everything I have said in these postings is to my knowledge true unlike the slanderous statements they are making to my brother about me!!!
So this is a message to those 2 people (you know who you are) from now on if you have anything to say about me or you want to accuse me of anything, have the good grace to call me (you've got the number) so that I can at least defend myself against your unfounded accusations.