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Can We Contest A Will When The Executor Will Not Share The Contents?

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Fwalker | 22:21 Mon 25th Feb 2013 | Law
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Our mother has been coerced into making a will by our youngest sisters husband who named himself as executor. He refuses to share a copy of the will with us (daughter and two sons of mother) and as our Mother lays in bed in a nursing home slowly loosing her life all we receive from our youngest sister and her husband is continual telephone calls telling us not to remove anything from the house because it all has to be sold. This Saturday they told my brother the will was changed this year we don't know if this was a codicil or a new will and they will not confirm. However our mother was medically diagnosed with dementia in June last year so we believe any changes made will be void as she was not of sound mind. Our question is can we contest at this point when we don't know what it says or do we have to wait for it to go though probate before we can contest? We believe our mother would not have wanted everything sold and would have wanted her thirteen grandchildren and ten great grandchildren to have been allowed to have something to remember her by and we certainly don't want the cash that selling the property would raise. Can anyone advise?


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Is your mother still alive? A will doesn't become a "live" document until the testator dies. Has your mother given a power of attorney to anyone?
Question Author
Thanks for the link - helpful. She is still alive but we think she will pass in the next day or so. Our other brother in law has applied for power of attorney and we expect this to come through this week but it will probably be too late. It really is quite devastating that they can't focus on our mother and all they are concerned with is a few hundred pounds!
You can do one of two things.

You can either make an immediate application for a statutory Will (this is a Will made by the Court on your mother's behalf). However, given that she has a recent will this is unlikely to be successful. Given that death is imminent, it is unlikely to be worth it.

Wait until your mother dies, but in the meantime collect as much evidence as you can (witness statements etc). Once she dies, immediately lodge a caveat. Then post again.
Question Author
Thank you that's really helpful. I'll get everything in order so we can move ahead when needed. Can't quite believe I am having this conversation when all we really want to do is look after our mother!
it's no consolation Fwalker, but I spend my entire life dealing with this type of thing. It is not as unusual as you might think!

Best you can really do is be with mum. Legally there is naff all you can realistically do for now, so you might as well be a comfort in her last few days.
Question Author
I'm sure this kind of thing happens a lot - just thought not in our family - all feels a bit too daytime TV for my liking! Will certainly go with the caveat and will be back with a post if I'm stuck. Thanks again
You have had great advice here, I just wanted to add I appreciate how upsetting it is when family behave this way when priorities should be your mothers comfort and peace of mind at this time. As Barmaid has said unfortunately it happens more than we'd like to think, so you're not alone in that. I hope all goes as peacefully as possible for you and your mother until you need to come back for further advice about what happens afterwards. X
I think once your mother dies the will becomes a "public document" so they cant refuse to show it to you.
No VHG, the Will only becomes a public document once Probate is granted. That won't happen if a caveat is lodged. However under the pre action protocols the other side will be required to disclose a copy.

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