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Deed of variation. can someone explain it to me please?

(8 Posts)
mrsnec Fri 16-Jan-15 09:04:10

I was left a sum in my father's will.

My ex stepmother contested the will and the executors awarded her a sum after mediation without discussing it with me.

They gave her double the maximum sum I'd ageed to and that was all 6 weeks ago and I've not heard anything since.

Another family member told me I should at least have had a deed of variation by now.

What happens next? What would happen if I didn't sign anything? I'm too angry with the executors to communicate with them rationally.

FlowerFairy2014 Fri 16-Jan-15 11:19:53

If it is in England then if she were left out of his will and she depended on him then she might have had a claim under legislation on the estate and to avoid the cost of that the executors might have agreed to compromise that possible claim if she had a good claim. I suppose that would be just about lawful.

If you did not sign a variation of the will to give her more then you might end up with the original amount. The executors may not want to take it to court. Are they family members or solicitors? Was your step mother married to and living with your father when he died? Did he leave her out of his will entirely?

mrsnec Fri 16-Jan-15 12:50:30

Yes it's the uk.

He was seperated from her and left her out of the will because he died before he got round to divorcing her. The estate was his half of the house they sold. He also hadn't got round to buying a new house with his new partner. We had already offered her 3 different sums as a settlement. She had already had her share of the house profit.

We're now in the 3rd year since he died. I just feel it should be sorted now. Court dates didn't happen because neither side was ready then they both decided to mediate first and our legals told us apparently that if we couldn't get her to agree a sum we'd end up going to court and lose everything. It took our legals 2 years to tell us that. Dh and I were telling the executors all along our legals were questionable and they ignored us.

I know I have to accept it now and feel out of order saying this but now I think the least they could do is get what's left distributed ASAP.especially since the executor encouraged her to make a claim against us anyway. It's crossed my mind to try and fight it but so much of the pot has already gone in legal fees.

mrsnec Sat 17-Jan-15 08:31:59

bump just in case there are any more legal bods around this morning that can help me with this.

FlowerFairy2014 Sat 17-Jan-15 17:17:52

3 years is a long time.
It was not necessarily wrong to mediate. Sometimes people spend the whole estate sums on legal fees of £200k, win the case but there is nothing left to split but they certainly should get on with the distribution.

mrsnec Sat 17-Jan-15 18:40:41

Thanks flower, the estate was 150k. My share is 42 percent.

She accepted 45k at mediation. This includes her legal fees.

I have no idea what my share is or how much they spent on fees. Any idea what happens now? I thought they could just pay her off then distribute. They blamed a delay on 'everyone' taking a 3 week break at xmas but I think that's just an excuse.

FlowerFairy2014 Sun 18-Jan-15 12:56:20

Probate lawyers seem to take 5x the time of other lawyers. I don't think there are legal time limits on them. However I would keep chasing them.
If she's accepted £45k all in (which must be very annoying as he was divorcing her) and no inheritance tax to pay then I suppose it's £150k less expenses to date - the executors' and any lawyers' fees, burial costs, any debts, mortgages etc of the person who died etc etc. Say that gets the estate down to £125k (I am only guessing) then take off her £45k leaves £80k. Is that £80k then "the estate"? Probably and you get 42% of that. = £33,600 for you. i don't think her "share " would be regarded as a percentage of the estate. i think it would be regarded like a mortgage or other debt or cost and taken off before the 42% is applied.

If the executors are a law firm they will probably have to wait at least a week until their billing department can work out their final bill. They might do a smaller payment to the heirs first as an interim payment whilst they are obtaining confirmation from HMRC no tax is due etc. That is quite commonly done. I spent 100 hours on my father's estate (!!). It can be a very time consuming business so I am glad I did it ( am a lawyer not a probate lawyer) rather than our paying a lawyer to do it.

mrsnec Sun 18-Jan-15 14:54:05

Thanks again for your response. It is a great help.

My dsf told me to expect around 30k once it's all sorted but I had not a clue where he got that from so your explanation makes sense and is a great help.

The executors are my du and db. Du wasn't one of the beneficiaries. They wanted to do as much of the work as possible but neither really had the time. Du delayed mediation while he went to do mission work in Africa and db has other personal problems. My dh offered to help as I am estranged from them but they refused. So I have no idea where we are with it all.

My dsf is trying to arrange a meeting with du. Dsf said the same about bills too but surely that wouldn't take 7 weeks!

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