Inheritance and wills

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  • jpkeates
    replied
    That's pretty much what I thought had happened.

    It would be helpful to know who the trustees are (there are meant to be at least two).

    From what you have written, the beneficiaries of the trust change after the death of your nan, which would mean that you have some claim on the benefit of the property.

    Obviously, it's worth checking whether your nan knew what she was doing, but if the trust was prepared by actual solicitors (and not the will writer) they might have checked that (and possibly should have).

    My earlier point stands, though. It's a common enough process to avoid paying inheritance tax, so it's not something that anyone else involved, including your nan, might have considered fishy.
    Without it, if the value of the estate attracted inheritance tax, it's possible that the property might have to be sold to meet the bill, which would have been an unattractive option, given that it's home to your uncle and his family.

    Leave a comment:


  • Raiden328i
    replied
    My solictor has emailed me and said the following and ill be talking to him on Monday:

    Dispute relating to your nans estate

    I attach a copy of the email received from the will writer enclosing copies of the following:

    1 Minutes of meeting of a trustee's held on the 8th of Dec 2014
    2 Trust instruction form
    3 official copies of land registry entries relating to 'Park ave' showing the postion as at 15 Dec 2014
    4 The nan family trust

    I would draw your attention to the following:

    Mintutes of the meeting:

    1 Meeting took place between your nan and uncle
    2 The purpose of the trust is stated to be as follows-

    a Allow your nan to express her general affection and moral obligations towards her relations and to be assured that the nominated members and other potential beneficiaries will benefit will benefit from the trust

    b to avoid challenges to wills, long delays in estate adminstration and substantial legal costs

    c protect the settlor (your nan) and her welfare

    d enable trustees to make decisions if the settlor loses capacity

    e protect against 'sideways disinhertance' and preserve assets

    f to assist in inheritance tax planning and possible generation skipping

    g the settlor to have a life interest in the property

    Trust instruction form:
    It would appear that these instructions were prepared by mr will writer as consultant

    Your nan family trust:

    The beneficaries are stated to be:
    a your uncle and his children
    b After the death of your nan, anyone entitled to inherit her estate under her will (this would therefore include you)

    5 The trust fund would be the interest of your nan in the property on the date that the trust was created. (it is not clear at this stage what her interest would have been, but in the absence of any trust deed or declaration or anything else to the contray, one would assume that this would have been 50% value in the property)

    6 A separate letter of wishes states that your nan wanted the trust fund to be held for her son and his issue.

    There based on the above, and if the trust is accepted without challenge, your nan beneficial interest in the property as of the 8th of Dec 2014 would have transferred to the trust and proceeds arising from the sale of the property relating that beneficial interest would be held in accordance with the provisions of the trust ie income arising from these monies would go the beneficiaries of the trust (primarly your uncle and his children) at the discretion of the trust (your uncle)

    It is not clear from the papers that have been provided whether your nan truely understood the nature of what she was doing and whether this had been properly explained to her and and that no undue influence had been exerted on her. These may be grounds on which the trust may possibly be set aside and I would recommended that both the solictors who prepared the trust and mr will writer (who appears to have acted as a consultant) are asked to provide full disclosure of their files relating to the preparation of the trust deed. Please contact me

    Leave a comment:


  • jpkeates
    replied
    Originally posted by Raiden328i View Post
    Does situation sound strange and should I pursue it if he continues to ignore me? If this document says we get nothing and my nan hated us then fine I told him i'll accept that but he just won't give a straight answer.
    I've just re-read the whole thread and I have one issue.

    The ownership of the property keeps changing.
    Starting off, the property is owned by Nan.

    At some point, she must have had a joint tenancy with uncle XXXX.
    Otherwise it's not possible to sever the tenancy (which converts a joint tenancy into tenants in common).

    I don't see how or why that came about, although it looks like it was an actual transfer of ownership on the title deeds rather than a trust (again because of the need for the severance).

    You can get copies of historic deeds from the land registry for £7 per deed per date.
    If you pick the right dates you should be able to track the ownership in the title.

    What I think that was has happened is that when she died, your nan owned only half of her home.
    So, at most, you and your sister would only be entitled to a quarter in the will, with your uncle inheriting a quarter to add to their half.

    Overlayed on that are the trusts that are referenced.
    There is obviously something that your uncle had in place that gave the entire beneficial ownership to your uncle when your nan died.
    Regardless of what the title deeds say.

    He sold the property before probate, which he could do that as executor, claiming the proceeds as a result of the trust. Which takes the property out of the estate and the trust takes the proceeds out.
    Title Deeds Beneficial Ownership
    Nan Nan
    Nan and Uncle as Joint Tenants Nan and Uncle
    Nan and Uncle Tenants in Common Trust created - Nan and Uncle
    Nan Dies - Nan estate and Uncle Tenants in Common Uncle
    Property Sold - New owner Uncle takes proceeds
    Probate agreed without property or proceeds
    That puts your uncle in a difficult position, because acting in that manner looks to me that it breaches their duty as an executor to maximise the value of the estate, but they possibly have a conflicting duty as a trustee of the trust owning the beneficial interest (although there must be another trustee involved).

    I'd probably see what the solicitor gets as a response, but your uncle should be able to show that they had a superior right to the £237,500 which otherwise would have passed to you and your sister.


    Leave a comment:


  • leaseholder64
    replied
    Do you mean County Court. Magistrate Courts don't have judges.

    Leave a comment:


  • Gordon999
    replied
    In post #61, Raiden328i wrote :

    " The trust remains a confidential item and without a court order it is my understanding this is off limits for disclosure". Its very strange the will writer should be the one to get probate .

    Here is my suggestion:

    Buy a copy of property title from Land Registry Online to see who is the registered title holder.( you can pay £3 by credit card and download the the copy of property title.

    So go to a local Magistrates Court and speak to the Court Manager about making application for Court Order to see "whatever documents" you want to see and ask the Court Manager how much to make application to the Court. .

    If the Court fee is OK, you should submit the application in triplicate and attend the Court hearing and explain your problem to the Judge.

    Leave a comment:


  • jpkeates
    replied
    Originally posted by leaseholder64 View Post
    I think you find that probate is when you start being an executor. Before that the validity of the will is open and whether someone is an executor can only be known once the validity is certain.
    You're right, I was expressing myself badly.

    Leave a comment:


  • leaseholder64
    replied
    Originally posted by Gordon999 View Post
    Apply to Magistrates Court for court order requiring your uncle to provide a copy of the will .
    Unnecessary expense. The OP has already bought a copy of the will from the central register of wills (although as a beneficiary, they should have been given a copy before probate).

    What is in dispute is not the will but the trust to which the property was allegedly transferred more than 7 years before the death.

    In particular, the will does not say what property is in the estate, only what to do with it if it should be in the estate.

    Leave a comment:


  • Gordon999
    replied
    Apply to Magistrates Court for court order requiring your uncle to provide a copy of the will .

    Leave a comment:


  • Raiden328i
    replied
    My solicitor says that my uncle and the will writer have not given us any information or kept us in the loop since my nan passed away which he said is not on.

    He said looking at the will we are beneficiaries and we are entitled to know if we get half the house or not and if we don't then send us proof. He said he can't understand why they are being so awkward.

    Leave a comment:


  • leaseholder64
    replied
    I think you find that probate is when you start being an executor. Before that the validity of the will is open and whether someone is an executor can only be known once the validity is certain.

    However, the grant of probate is to the will writer, presumably a solicitor, not to the uncle, so I don't see how he could have been an executor.

    If there is a trust for the property, it wouldn't appear in the value of the estate.

    Leave a comment:


  • jpkeates
    replied
    That would indicate that there's no half of a property worth £800k plus in the estate.

    I'm not sure what your uncle means about taking him off as the executor, he's finished being an executor with probate.
    You'd be suing him for breach of trust, which is a bit more serious than he seems to think.

    Leave a comment:


  • Raiden328i
    replied
    It just says:

    Be it know that Mrs so n so of 99 joe bloggs rd died April 2016. And be it further known that the last will and testament of the said deceased (a copy of which is annexed) was proved to be registered in the high court of justice and that admin of all the estate which by law devolves to and vests in the personal representative of the said deceased was granted by the court on this date to Mr Will writer

    for the use and benefit of Mr so n so ltd until further representation be granted.

    It is hereby certified that it appears from information supplied on the application for this that the gross value of the said estate in the UK does not exceed 325k and nett value of such estate does not exceed 284k

    Leave a comment:


  • jpkeates
    replied
    What does the grant of probate say is the size of your nan's estate and does it mention the property?

    Leave a comment:


  • Raiden328i
    replied
    Just wanted to get peoples thoughts on this as this has dragged on and I finally got my sister on board about paying for legal advice.

    The house I found on right move was sold for 850k in Feb which my uncle never mentioned so now we don't know where he is living and he won't tell us. My solicitor has written to the will writer twice and finally got an update and the reply was: The trust remains a confidential item and without a court order it is my understanding this is off limits for disclosure. And at the moment me and my sister are only getting and sharing half of what was in her bank account which was 18k. Also my solicitor said he checked with land registry if the trust was registered with them when the house was sold and they have no record of it which he said is strange but not unusual. I finally got a few months ago downloaded a copy of the will and grant of probate off the GOV website and it clearly states me and my sister inherit 50% of my nans estate. The will was done in 2007.

    My solicitor is writing 1 last letter saying we want a copy of the trust, records of accounts and date when money will be distributed and if there are any hold ups what are they and why? If not then will see you in court.

    He said my uncle is being very obstructive and doesn't see why he is being difficult and what the big secret is. If he has a legal document saying he gets the house then just show it. If not he said get the judge to take him off as the executor and bill him all the costs.

    Does situation sound strange and should I pursue it if he continues to ignore me? If this document says we get nothing and my nan hated us then fine I told him i'll accept that but he just won't give a straight answer.

    Leave a comment:


  • Raiden328i
    replied
    Well the saga continues and looks like I have my answer. Emailed the will writing firm who did the trust and said look no more BS I want the details on the trust now so I can update my will and plan my future. The guy replied that my uncle is the sole beneficiary of the trust and it was signed by my nan 7 years ago. So basically we get nothing and he has lied all this time

    Leave a comment:

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