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Probate Fraud.

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  • Probate Fraud.

    Hi All.
    My father died in 2021. His solicitor has undervalued his personal belongings house and car on the probate form. I decided to check with my father's stockbroker and found out the solicitor had only put half the value of my father's shares down on the probate forms. I believe my father's wife is also involved after reading a statement she made. My father's stock portfolio has also lost 200,000, since his death.
    My questions are.
    Should the solicitor have safeguarded the share portfolio?
    Is this a criminal offense?
    I have received the paperwork from the stockbroker confirming share values at the time of death.
    I have my own solicitor who wants to see the paperwork tomorrow and confront my father's solicitors, before I do this I shall be checking my father's other accounts to see if they are correct.
    Does my solicitor have to inform on my father's solicitor for breaching some sort of code?
    My father was very ill when he made his will the following day he was admitted to the hospital and passed away shortly after. I have a copy of father's medical record, which says he was muddled and confused when admitted. Should his solicitor have had a medical professional present?
    Thanks in advance.
    Tags: None

  • #2
    Have you read your father's will? Who is the named executor or executors? Does the will state the whole of his estate is left to his wife?


    • #3
      I have read my father's will it is divided up between several people. The executor is the solicitor.


      • #4
        Why are you worried about the value stated on the probate application? The sole purpose of it is for the calculation of IHT so executors will use every legal means to come up with the lowest possible basis of valuation.

        Personal possessions are valued at what the executor could sell.them for, which is usually not a lot. The share portfolio is worth whatever it was worth. If that was understated on the probate application that doesn't change what it is actually worth. So why are you concerned? In what way has the share portfolio actually lost 200,000?

        If you are a beneficiary how would it help you if the estate value was increased and more IHT had to be paid to HMRC?
        All opinions expressed are based on my personal experience. I am not a lawyer and do not hold any legal qualifications.


        • #5
          The solicitor, as executor is responsible for valuing your late father's estate for IHT purposes.
          Any assets jointly owned with his wife, such as the house, pass straight to his wife and are exempt from IHT..
          If a percentage of the residual of the estate is left to his wife, that is also exempt from IHT.
          The remaining assets, if valued under 325k, will not incur IHT
          IHT forms and schedules are far from easy to complete. The guidance note for completing IHT400 is 80 pages long.
          The value of stocks and shares at the time of death is included on schedule IHT411. Have you got a copy of IHT411 ready for your solicitor?
          The value of personal belongings are inserted on other IHT schedules.
          Your solicitor could put the executor in a difficult position if he or she finds the estate has been significantly under valued, possibly to avoid or reduce IHT
          The solicitor, when drafting your father's will should have asked for a medical report if he or she suspected your father lacked the mental capacity to understand what he was doing.


          • #6
            Am I right in thinking you are unhappy with the contents of the will your father made a few days before his death? Are you aware that there was a previous will that you would have benefitted from or if there wasn't a will, your father would have died intestate?


            • #7
              Does my solicitor have to report my father's solicitor? He has submitted only half the value of the shares even the stockbroker was concerned


              • #8
                Your solicitor will want to see a copy of the will to make sure your father did not leave any shares to his wife.
                Probate application forms do not provide a detailed breakdown of IHT only summaries transferred.
                Detailed IHT forms and schedules are sent direct to HMRC


                • #9
                  adamwest101 why is this a concern to you? Why do you want the estate to pay more IHT tax, which seems the likely outcome?

                  You appear to base your conclusion that there has been probate fraud on the values declared for probate. That isn't reliable evidence of fraud.

                  I am still not clear your status in this. Are you a residual beneficiary?
                  Last edited by PallasAthena; 29th October 2023, 17:24:PM.
                  All opinions expressed are based on my personal experience. I am not a lawyer and do not hold any legal qualifications.


                  • #10
                    This is far from straightforward. You are seeing your solicitor tomorrow. Ask him or her your questions. Patience!

                    Are you still pursuing an Inheritance Act claim?
                    Lawyer (solicitor) - retired from practice, now in academia. I do not advise by private message.

                    Litigants in Person should download and read this: https://www.judiciary.uk/wp-content/..._in_Person.pdf


                    • #11
                      I should have read Adam's previous threads. Some of my questions have already been answered under these threads. It's a pity Adam did not continue posting under his ! March 2022 thread "act 1975"


                      • #12
                        Now I have read Adam's threads I am confused.
                        Is Adam's father and stepfather the same person?
                        Adam originally said his brother had also been left out of the will. In a later post he says his brother is a beneficiary?
                        Adam states his stepfather married a younger wife and started a new family.
                        How many siblings and step siblings has Adam got?


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