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To wonder if this is a bit dodgy - inheritance again

(14 Posts)
TwentyFive Wed 18-Oct-17 04:22:36

FIL died over a year ago. About 15 years ago he told us repeatedly he had made a will and lodged it with a solicitor.

When DH was arranging the funeral he asked to see the will because there was a question about funeral arrangements. MIL was reluctant to show it to him but when she did it was a diy one that was written 30 years ago - so over a decade before the one FIL told us he had lodged with a solicitor.

At the time he spoke to us SIL was estranged from her family. FIL said he had taken SIL out of the will when he told us about it - tbh I doubt he did but he was pretty cross with how much SIL was hurting her mum at the time. MIL did not want him to take SIL out of the will because that wouldn't be fair.

When FIL because ill and it was clear he was not gong to recover SIL "helped" her mum to sort things out. This included going through FIL's papers - they came across £50k he had invested and MIL gave this to SIL. The savings probably date to the same period as the diy will (around the time of FILs retirement ). MIL said they had forgotten all about it.

I cant help wondering if they found the old will at the time and SIL has hoodwinked MIL into believing FIL did not make another. I cant believe he would have said he had made a new will if he hadn't but he may wall have forgotten about the diy one, or not realised it could still be used. FIL had told DH that he had organised all of his papers and left everything in order but there was nothing there other than the diy will and possibly his pension. He was very organised indeed so I would have expected all his pensions, savings and investments to be there.

Just before FIL died SIL took MIL to the solicitor "where dad made his will" so MIL could write hers. It seemed like an odd thing to do at the time and my sister thought that it was possibly a concern in terms of emotional abuse. SIL has definitely been emotionally abusice to MIL since FILs death and I can't help thinking there's something a bit dodgy with FILs will as well.

The will that FIL mentioned to us, repeatedly, was written over a decade after the diy one and he went to a solicitor to write it, but seems to have "gone missing". Is there any way to find out if it ever existed? There is no record of any will at all in the public record.

SIL is "a bit odd" and very manipulative. Since FIL died she has managed to isolate DH from MIL and MIL from other members of her family. I have suggested DH contact the solicitor as his dad said he was an executor of the will but he doesn't want to upset people (himself included I think). So should there be a record of the will? It all seems a bit dodgy to me but maybe IABU.

The reason SIL was estranged was that she became very close to an aunt and shut the rest of her family out. Family members thought SIL was cosying up to the aunt for financial gain - the aunt is relatively well off and has no children of her own. MIL was very jealous of their relationship and still is. SIL plays the aunt and MIL off against one another she was a joint executor of the aunt's will but the aunt has recently removed the other executor.

SIL lives in rented accommodation, has no pension provision and MIL and SIL our both homeowners in the home counties with healthy bank balances and various other investments.

honeysucklejasmine Wed 18-Oct-17 04:27:18

So, you've contacted all local solicitors and none of them have a copy?

TwentyFive Wed 18-Oct-17 04:35:23

No - I know which solicitor it was - he has retired and DH doesn't want to contact them/is embarrassed/worried/basically can't deal with it. He took his dad's death hard and SIL was especially vile to him afterwards. I wouldn't think I could contact them as it isn't my dad.

TwentyFive Wed 18-Oct-17 04:42:51

Would they be allowed to tell me if they have a will?

TwentyFive Wed 18-Oct-17 04:44:04

I just saw on another thread that you can check wills as they are public record documents and there is no record of any will for my FIL.

Trumpton Wed 18-Oct-17 04:51:25

I think that you can only check on wills after they have probated .
Before that they are held by the individual solicitors.
I have certainly heard of family contacting various firms to ask if they hold a deceased persons will.
Note to self ...I should let DC know where our wills are held.

liminality Wed 18-Oct-17 04:55:23

I think those public records are for wills that have been executed - that is - for people who have passed and their will has been used. It's not going to be on the public record before then, and only if it is actually used iyswim. If it was hidden or not used for whatever reason it won't be automatically on the system.
If his will wasn't executed, there is a problem, and you should contact the old solicitor to check. But really, if it's going to stress your DH out, then maybe just let it go.

Trumpton Wed 18-Oct-17 04:56:12


TwentyFive Wed 18-Oct-17 04:57:39

Would it have been probated though? It's not listed but I'm wondering it there's a valid reason that it might not have been?

RedBullBlood Wed 18-Oct-17 05:05:22

It would be in no way strange or unusual to call the solicitors and ask, especially when your dh believes he is an executor.

PolarBearGoingSomewhere Wed 18-Oct-17 05:09:47

The will won't have been through probate as probate is a process which happens after death and even then not for verysimple or.low value estates

Definitely phone the solicitor and ask - it's in no way an unusual request

TwentyFive Wed 18-Oct-17 05:15:03

Thank you all.
I will see if the solicitor is able to throw any light on it. If there wasn't a will I think it would be good to know that rather than wonder about the alternative.

I suppose though that creates the possibility of opening a can of worms for oh if there is one.

RedBullBlood Wed 18-Oct-17 05:30:47

I wouldn't worry about opening a can of worms, tbh. If there is a will it is a legal, filed document of your Fil's wishes and your dh, if an executor, has a duty to ensure the will is administered properly. If Sil has a problem with that then it is up to her to spend the time and money contesting the will. Hope it all works out well for you.

Longdistance Wed 18-Oct-17 05:37:14

Check with the solicitor first. Nothing to be embarrassed about.

My uncle said he made a Will with a solicitor, we rang around every one of them. Nope, nothing, no Will. He just left us with a shit storm instead hmm

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