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Illegal Will, Executor refusing to disclose financial information

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  • Illegal Will, Executor refusing to disclose financial information

    My first post - Hi everyone.
    A family member recently died. Two Wills were came to the fore written within a week or so of each other, but both written some years back.. Both wills had been altered and allegedly initialed by the deceased in exactly the same place - to reduce the inheritance of another family member. In fact one of the Wills was written in blue pen and corrected and initialled in black pen! Both handwritten wills were only witnessed by one person and signed by the deceased. I understand that a Will needs to be witnessed by two people to be legal, is my understanding correct? I saw a bank statement and was amazed at how much money the deceased had coming in. Moreover I was startled at the relatively small amount left in the bank given the deceased lived a frugal life and was housebound. The only person with access to the money was the Executor who lived with her. The Executor is point blank refusing to show any bank statements appertaining to the account and has no financial records of the estate for beneficiaries at all. The Executor advises the issue does not need to go to Probate and is in a bulls rush to hand out monies to beneficiaries. I do not wish to take mine in case it looks like I am receiving a "settlement" which I certainly am not willing to do without further investigation into where the other monies have disappeared to.

    All I want to know is the truth about where the money has gone. Obviously, in my heart I know where its gone, but I just need to clarify for my own sanity. If its gone it surely won't be found again, I know that, but this all seems so unjust and unfair. Any advice please?

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  • #2

    Condolences on your loss.

    Where was the testator resident? in Scotland a will only needs one witness.

    Regarding initialled changes to the will, if these were made after the will was executed (if that was valid anyway!) it is likely that probate registry would not accept the amendments and would therefore rule the changes do not form part of the original legally valid will.

    The executor only deals with the estate as it stands at the time of the testators passing.
    What was the executor's relationship to the deceased?
    Possibly acted with full knowledge and approval of the deceased?
    Does your suspected reduction of the estate have a bearing on possible IHT payable?


    • #3
      As the 2 wills have only one signature each they are both invalid. The person who lived with the deceased is therefore not the executor and should be told so as soon as possible.
      Someone needs to apply for the grant of letters of administration where the court appoints an administrator. This process is instead of probate.
      The administrator does not have to be a solicitor. It should be someone trustworthy and willing, a friend, a relative.
      The administrator has to follow the laws of intestacy when dealing with the deceased's estate.
      The appointed administrator will have the authority to contact the deceased's bank and obtain statements. If there is any suspicion that the live in person has been moving the deceased's money into their own bank account or hiding cash this should be investigated further.


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