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My step dad recently passed away after advice regarding his will

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jacob1980 | 17:35 Fri 26th Sep 2008 | Civil
4 Answers
My step Dad passed away recently and i believe i have been left the house in his will (no mortgage, house is all paid for).
To give a brief outline of circumstances my father died over 10 years ago and everything was obviously left to my mother. My mother then made a will out leaving everything to myself and my brother. A few years later my mother met another man and they eventaully married. After discussing her will with me my mother changed her will and left everything to her new husband (my step dad) and it was agreed that if she died that he would then leave the house to my brother and I.
My mother died about 5 years ago and my step dad then changed his will leaving the house to my brother and I and his own personal belongings to his brother/sister. I was an executor of the will when he made it out (i believe other executors were his brother, my mothers brother and probably the solicitor he used).
I was young at the time (late teens/early 20's) and also due to the stress of the situation i didn't really fully understand regarding the process of a will.
Time passed and my step father and I remained on good terms. Unfortunately he died recently. His brother/sister sorted the funeral and have handed over the death certificate o the solicitors. Due to not been close to them i'm feeling a little left out of the process regarding probate ect.
Could my step dad have removed me as an executor from his will?
What advice could anyone give me regarding my rights to the house? Is it a case of waiting to be called to the solicitors and been informed that the house is now my brothers and mine?
I feel a little useless in the whole process when I have been told that i have been left the vast majority of the estate.

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Will readings effectively do not happen so you will not normally be called to the solicitors office to be told anything. You are quite entitled to ask the solicitors if the will you remember being signed is still the valid one as you believe you were named as an executor. This will open a dialogue with them so you can then find out the full details.
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You have set down a really comprehensive set of facts, but it is still really diffcult to advise. I would be surprised if you were still the executor of the will if the funeral etc has been organised without you being involved as executor. It is difficult to say whether your step dad removed you as an executor, but it seems likely.

I really cannot say what your rights to the house are. You really need to find out what the will said and who it appointed and take it from there.

Given that there are solicitors involved, I would be inclined to write to them and ask them what the situation is. Once you have further information on that, your rights to the house, etc, or any possible claim can be determined.
A will can have no bearing on funeral details, as it's traditionally (and legally, I think) not officially disclosed until after that. It's why you should never leave your preferred funeral details in your will.

As joint executor, though, it is your job to ensure that the instructions in the will are properly carried out, and that includes any instruction as to what is to happen to any remainder to be sold and/or divided up.

I would suggest, as others have done, that you ask the solicitor.

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