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Will challenge

(14 Posts)
OnYourCase Sat 17-Dec-16 17:21:56

My exMIL died in the summer, there's a lot of background but my ex is a pathological liar and the kind of person who always seems to create massive issues in everything he does. He has a half brother who was not brought up with him, basically exMIL left with my ex when the brother was a baby. They were occassionally in touch but it always ended in acrimony. My ex never knew who his father was.
He didn't invite half brother to the funeral, he said it was her wish. Half brother went bonkers about it and made threats via FB to my son about challenging the will. I thought at the time ex should have asked him as it would cause trouble, but as I said, he seems to thrive on that!
Probate was granted and I breathed a sigh of relief, but now a solicitors letter has been received re 'concerns about the will' and instructing the executors to refrain from distributing the estate.
I've read there are only a few reasons to contest, and being annoyed you were left out isn't one of them, but I think he's going to say she lacked capacity. I've had a look at the will and it was changed only a year before she died. She was very forgetful by then but no diagnosis of dementia had been made.
I don't know why it was changed and the half brother was never ever in the will. From what I can see though, this doesn't matter, if he can create a suspicion that there is an issue then the intestacy law takes over and he gets half. Is that right?
None of it affects me directly obviously but it affects my DCs, especially as ex is on his uppers and staying with DS2 and if he gets this house/money it will be a massive weight off DS's shoulders.

MrsBertBibby Sat 17-Dec-16 17:53:11

I imagine it's a bit of a try on, the Supreme Court will shortly rule in Illott v Mitson -Wilsons, the case of the estranged daughter challenging her mother's decision to leave everything to animal charities.

I think if the most recent will is struck down, the earlier will still stands, but it isn't my field.

CharlieSierra Sat 17-Dec-16 21:13:57

I do hope it's just a try on, I'm worried a fortune will be spent dealing with it though.

babybarrister Sun 18-Dec-16 20:48:22

It is going to be an interesting decision....

MrsBertBibby Sun 18-Dec-16 22:50:17

Too right!

babybarrister Mon 19-Dec-16 08:07:52

I did not understand the decision being appealed - seemed to run entirely counter to whole law of England and Wales in inheritance matters for centuries, namely that on death you can be as mean and nasty as you like to your family, unlike many jurisdictions where there is forced heirship. This is the very reason that charities have so much money here...

gingeroots Mon 19-Dec-16 10:33:25

Onyourcase - I wonder if executors can be stopped from distributing the estate on the mere mention of "concerns" .Have they said what the concerns are and why they've got them ?

I found the probate and wills section of Motley Fools forum gave good advice on will related stuff boards.fool.co.uk/wills-probate-practical-51094.aspx

OnYourCase Wed 21-Dec-16 12:52:22

Sorry, hadn't seen I had replies! They didn't specify the nature of the concerns, I guess that it will be for ExH solicitor to ask the question. From what I can see reading online if brother manages to raise a reasonable suspicion, it falls to the executors to prove that she had capacity/the will is valid, rather than to the challenger to prove it wasn't. I will look at that forum, thank you.

ThisThingCalledLife Thu 22-Dec-16 03:55:41

do they both have the same mother? If so, he may well have a claim.

as for your ex-h, what has he been doing since you split up?
He should have already made plans for his own place.

What would have happened if there was no money for him to inherit?
What exactly were his plans for moving out before he heard about the money?

OnYourCase Thu 22-Dec-16 10:21:41

They have the same mother, I don't see why that means he'd have a claim? She can leave her estate to anyone she likes and she's never supported him. He may well feel morally entitled, but I'm not sure I'd agree in the specific circumstances.

The fact that my ex is a useless twat who can't organise his own life has no bearing on the validity of the challenge to the will, it's just background from me about why I'm even interested 10 years after divorcing him.

EnormousTiger Wed 15-Mar-17 12:28:34

Supreme Court today follows the High Court with its nominal £50k award from her mother's estate for the lady on benefits whose mother chose not to leave her anything ( rather than the Court of Appeal's much higher £160k) so I think sense has prevailed in an unclear area of law.

www.bailii.org/uk/cases/UKSC/2017/17.html

babybarrister Wed 15-Mar-17 20:21:03

V interesting judgement

prh47bridge Wed 15-Mar-17 23:59:10

Indeed. I enjoyed reading it! It is highly critical of the Court of Appeal's judgement. Pretty much every aspect of their decision appears to be dismissed by the Supreme Court.

It is good to see that the Supreme Court has been clear that the original judge could have decided she wasn't entitled to anything and that, had he done so, any appeal against that decision would have failed. However, the original judge decided that she was entitled to some provision. That decision was not legally flawed to it stands.

EnormousTiger Thu 16-Mar-17 07:24:55

Yes, I was quite pleased with it. It is interesting that most of us in the UK do think people should be allowed to leave their money where they like (unless they are leaving babies behind etc). I will leave it all equally to the children if there is anything left but I want the choice not to do so if I so desire .

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