Will Legacy

Nero1234

Registered User
Nov 3, 2015
28
So I don't think she'll have a case. Not because of the adoption or lack thereof, but because she got a legacy which I'm assuming wasn't derisory. If she had been ignored, maybe.

I don't wish to pry but are we talking hundreds, thousands, tens of thousands or what?
Ten thousand in 2003 will but could have been × 10 in the 2015 will as the 2015 will was drawn up in ℅ and the 2003 will was more explicit with the legacy's in £
 
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Beate

Registered User
May 21, 2014
11,837
London
Um no she wouldn't. You just have to outlive the testator (by seconds even) for the gift to pass. And the OP's aunt has done that.
Really? I stand corrected. But that would mean that all the beneficiaries of people who would benefit of the 2003 will but who have since died, would also have to agree to the deed of variation, right? Have they all be notified by the solicitors? Honestly, what a mess.
 

jenniferpa

Registered User
Jun 27, 2006
39,448
To the step-daughter you mean? I was really talking about the legacy to your aunt, but anyway, it rather explains the kerfuffle. How do the children of the now deceased other executor regard this? I suppose now I'm just being nosy, but the additional £90K must be coming from other people not just your aunt. And I find it hard (touching I suppose but hard) to believe that all these people are happily signing over their inheritance to the SD. I rather wonder if the solicitors are saying the same thing to everyone: everyone else is willing to sign the deed of variance, so will you? Sort of peer pressure.
 

jenniferpa

Registered User
Jun 27, 2006
39,448
Really? I stand corrected. But that would mean that all the beneficiaries of people who would benefit of the 2003 will but who have since died, would also have to agree to the deed of variation, right? Have they all be notified by the solicitors? Honestly, what a mess.
Depends on if the gifts to the other beneficiary's who have predeceased the testator also had the lapse language. They might well not have: it's more of a thing for the residual estate to avoid the whole intestacy thing.

The more I think about it the more I think it's possible that each beneficiary is being told "all the others agree".
 

LadyA

Registered User
Oct 19, 2009
13,562
Ireland
Just something I noticed whizzing through the thread again. That word "issue " as it pertains to children. When I worked for a Probate solicitor many years ago, this was something he came up against with a Will that was contested. A man who wanted his estate divided between his children. But whoever had drawn up the Will had used the word "issue " rather than "children ". The man's two biological children challenged the Will on the basis that "issue " means your biological children only, and doesn't include adopted children (in this case the man had two adopted children as well as the two biological children), or step children. While acknowledging that the man's likely intention was to include all his children, the judge had to rule in favour of the biological children as that was what the Will clearly said.
 

jugglingmum

Registered User
Jan 5, 2014
5,513
Chester
Depends on if the gifts to the other beneficiary's who have predeceased the testator also had the lapse language. They might well not have: it's more of a thing for the residual estate to avoid the whole intestacy thing.

The more I think about it the more I think it's possible that each beneficiary is being told "all the others agree".
Normally a will should ensure there is a residual beneficiary, which is where the lapse language comes in.

Unless specified otherwise, only those still alive on the testator's death can benefit from the will.

So if a will says to divide an estate equally between a, b and c, but c is dead, it is divided between a and b, unless the will states if c has already died to pass c's share to someone else, which I suspect is what the extract Nero posted is trying to say, but there wasn't enough of it to make it clear.

In the event of a car crash, and both occupants die, then it is deemed for the purpose of any will that the oldest died first.

I hope the solicitor has got good PI as the step daughter may have a case if there was an unreasonable time delay between instruction and signature, or the solicitor was aware that time was of the essence. Based on earlier comments I suspect it was a legal warehouse where the work was undertaken by a legal executive rather than a solicitor, which is why you see low fees quoted for certain types of legal work.
 

Nero1234

Registered User
Nov 3, 2015
28
Update

To the step-daughter you mean? I was really talking about the legacy to your aunt, but anyway, it rather explains the kerfuffle. How do the children of the now deceased other executor regard this? I suppose now I'm just being nosy, but the additional £90K must be coming from other people not just your aunt. And I find it hard (touching I suppose but hard) to believe that all these people are happily signing over their inheritance to the SD. I rather wonder if the solicitors are saying the same thing to everyone: everyone else is willing to sign the deed of variance, so will you? Sort of peer pressure.
Hi, the estate is quite substantial one and my aunts legacy is now worth a lot more in the 2003 will than the updated 2015 will
The SD stands to lose out a lot more if the 2003 will goes through and a deed of variation is not signed by all the other beneficiaries, so if she contests it at court who knows what the outcome could be and it could drag on for years I think
 

jenniferpa

Registered User
Jun 27, 2006
39,448
The good news for you and your aunt is that you do not have to be involved. That is, you don't have to make any expenditure at all. Just keep saying no, my aunt doesn't have capacity and if it goes to court, then the court will decide. If they decide in favour of the stepdaughter then your aunt is no worse off then than she is today. And if they don't then she, or her beneficiaries, are better off.

I have to say either you're overthinking this or you are feeling bullied. If the latter, push back: tell them to take it to the courts and you cannot/will not involve yourself or your aunt.

Incidentally - just to be clear - are you aware that the other beneficiaries can each sign a deed of variation for their part? That is, if they want to give their legacies to the SD they can do it. It's not an "everyone agrees or nothing can be done" sort of deal. Of course that might not be so much money if the first will referred to £x while the latter talks about percentages, but that's not your problem.
 
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garnuft

Registered User
Sep 7, 2012
6,585
Door was opened by a woman who contested her mothers will.
Regardless of the sentiment involved (personally I agreed with the daughter) but the mother changed her will and a famous animal charity was to inherit the farm.
Daughter contested, won (hurray!) the argument but set a precedent for changing even signed Wills.

Where there's a will, there's a relative or a charity.

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Kevinl

Registered User
Aug 24, 2013
4,774
Salford
So I don't think she'll have a case. Not because of the adoption or lack thereof, but because she got a legacy which I'm assuming wasn't derisory. If she had been ignored, maybe.

I don't wish to pry but are we talking hundreds, thousands, tens of thousands or what?
Having read all this sorry saga I agree with Jen, the only valid will is the 2003 will, the later will is unsigned is a piece of paper, you might as well wrap your fish'n'chips in it.
If this was due to an unnecessary delay the stepdaughter may have a case against them and their insurers but that's not your fight. Remember that what solicitors what you and I might call a delay are 2 totally different things, they're not famous for their speed and the case will be judged by other members of the legal profession, but as I say, that's not your fight. As Garnuft says it looks like someone trying to get a bigger share of the cake at the old ladies expense, I'd stay well out of it.
K
 

Nero1234

Registered User
Nov 3, 2015
28
Update

Having read all this sorry saga I agree with Jen, the only valid will is the 2003 will, the later will is unsigned is a piece of paper, you might as well wrap your fish'n'chips in it.
If this was due to an unnecessary delay the stepdaughter may have a case against them and their insurers but that's not your fight. Remember that what solicitors what you and I might call a delay are 2 totally different things, they're not famous for their speed and the case will be judged by other members of the legal profession, but as I say, that's not your fight. As Garnuft says it looks like someone trying to get a bigger share of the cake at the old ladies expense, I'd stay well out of it.
K
OK, if my aunt was awarded the property and the car as the legacy in the 2003 will says who would sell the flat and the car if the solicitor s are holding the title deeds and the car documents at their office.
 

jenniferpa

Registered User
Jun 27, 2006
39,448
If you aunt is awarded the flat and the car then the title of both will be signed over to her. At this point someone (probably you) will apply to become a deputy to deal with this. If you don't want to do this you can request that the COP appoint a panel deputy. There will be a fee for this, payable from your aunt's assets, but it might be easiest.

Just because the solicitors have these documents doesn't mean they will hold them to ransom. Well not if they want to continue being solicitors that is.
 
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Kevinl

Registered User
Aug 24, 2013
4,774
Salford
At this point someone (probably you) will apply to become a deputy to deal with this.
And potentially put yourself right in the firing line. If you do agree the deed of variation some people will be winners and some people may be losers. Remember charities have in the past contested a will when they feel they are losing out.
It may be the expensive route but I'd go with the COP option then no one can contest their decision or if they do it will cost them.
In order not to possibly cause a family schism I'd let the COP decide. My feeling is they won't agree to a deed of variation as it will deprive the lady concerned of her legally inheritance which she may need to pay for her ongoing care and the beneficiaries of her will be they people or charities of their inheritance too.
I certainly wouldn't apply for deputyship because then it's all up to you and the winners will love you and the losers possibly not, people can get very strange where money is concerned.
K
 

jenniferpa

Registered User
Jun 27, 2006
39,448
I totally agree about not applying to become a deputy until everything has been sorted. But the OP's question was what if her aunt does get the car and the flat, what to do then? And the only answer is: someone will need to be appointed deputy to deal with the sale.

I may not have made it clear (with my "at some point" language) that this should probably only happen after any adjudication re the will.
 

Kevinl

Registered User
Aug 24, 2013
4,774
Salford
I may not have made it clear (with my "at some point" language) that this should probably only happen after any adjudication re the will.
The will won't go to adjudication, the new will is unsigned and so invalid, section 9 of the Wills Act 1827 (old but still the rules) I doubt any solicitor would touch the case, it's not even contestable, the law is quite plain, no if's no but's.
K
Signing and attestation of wills
No will shall be valid unless—
(a) it is in writing, and signed by the testator, or by some other person in his presence and by his direction; and
(b) it appears that the testator intended by his signature to give effect to the will; and
(c)the signature is made or acknowledged by the testator in the presence of two or more witnesses present at the same time; and
(d) each witness either—
(i) attests and signs the will; or
(ii) acknowledges his signature, in the presence of the testator (but not necessarily in the presence of any other witness), but no form of attestation shall be necessary.]
K
http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/Will4and1Vict/7/26/section/9
 

jenniferpa

Registered User
Jun 27, 2006
39,448
When I said adjudication I meant in the sense, when everything is decided (yes, sloppy I know :D). I agree with you that I doubt any challenge to the valid will will be successful, but people can string this out f o r e v e r. And possibly swallow up any assets unfortunately. So, no, the OP shouldn't apply to be a deputy until after the dust has settled if this is the only issue. But if the dust does settle and the OP's aunt is now the owner of a flat and car, then to sell them someone will have to apply to be the deputy. Which was her question.
 

Kevinl

Registered User
Aug 24, 2013
4,774
Salford
It's a "relative" of the OP so if there's a next of kin or any other closer relatives if so they may want to apply for deputyship too, plus you'd be mad to do it.
Cars have to be kept continuously insured and taxed or a Statutory Off Road Notification has to be made at the DVLA and the car stored on private land. The house will have to be made secure, weatherproof and insured too which may mean weekly visits or whatever the insurance company stipulate if you can get insurance at all.
The utility companies: gas, water, electric, council tax and all the rest have to be sorted, the list goes on.
I've done it and it's a nightmare of paperwork, without deputyship or LPA no one wants to even talk to you unless they want paying in which case they're quite happy to ask you for the money, you're not liable but I was told more than once that I was and pressured to pay personally one even told me I should pay "because it is your Mother".
K
 

Nero1234

Registered User
Nov 3, 2015
28
Update

And potentially put yourself right in the firing line. If you do agree the deed of variation some people will be winners and some people may be losers. Remember charities have in the past contested a will when they feel they are losing out.
It may be the expensive route but I'd go with the COP option then no one can contest their decision or if they do it will cost them.
In order not to possibly cause a family schism I'd let the COP decide. My feeling is they won't agree to a deed of variation as it will deprive the lady concerned of her legally inheritance which she may need to pay for her ongoing care and the beneficiaries of her will be they people or charities of their inheritance too.
I certainly wouldn't apply for deputyship because then it's all up to you and the winners will love you and the losers possibly not, people can get very strange where money is concerned.
K
If my aunt has not made a will which I believe she has not and is now incapable of doiñg so or appointing a LPA or guardian, what happens then would it all become intestate ?
 

Saffie

Registered User
Mar 26, 2011
22,506
Near Southampton
I think talk of house and car is going off-topic and isn't actually helping Nero. In fact it would make me want to run!
Nero's relative hasn't got the house, nor the car, so it's immaterial at present.
I still think that the only answer has to be to contact the CoP and left them decide or at least to give advice.
This is what the response to these solicitors should say too.
However, you should ascertain that your relative doesn't have mental capacity though even the fact that she has dementia means that her judgement could be impaired.
It's a tangled web indeed!


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