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11 Year Old Son Left £15000 In A Will

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telford67 | 14:19 Sun 19th Mar 2017 | Law
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My wife's dad changed is will on the day he went into Hospital suffering from terminal cancer --his other daughter (my wife's sister ) helped him construct the wording and content .Three weeks later he died and the will left the house (valued at £135000) -contents and £50000 cash to her, my wife was left £5000 and our 2 sons were left each £15000 but to be put in trust until the age of 21.My wife's sister who was the executor said the cost to the estate was too costly so she released £15000 to my eldest son who is 18 but opened an instant access account at her address for my other son who is 11 years old and said she will decide when in the future he receives any of it..I have asked her to change this as she has a card and pin to this account and could draw on it at anytime and she has refused to give us any statements on the account.I said the money should be an account that only my son can draw on when he reaches the age of consent which would be 18 at least but she refuses and says get a solictor which we can not afford as my wife only works part time and i have stage 3 cancer --any advice would be appreciated.

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Hope you get a qualified answer later but you may get asked for more detail such as who witnessed this will? Was it written from hospital and lodged with anyone? The way you've described events it was just the sister which cannot be legal. A benefactor can't be a witness either (I don't think)
You are correct so far, Prudie. Perhaps Barmaid will spot this thread. 20 years ago I could have answered it myself as wills was my speciality but alas memory fades with age.
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Appreciate your reply --Her Husband arranged for a solictor to come to the house and bring a witness with them --she and her husband were present in the house when the will was signed but before my wife's dad died he said i have made a terrible mistake --!! take the money and run !! but before my wife could ask him what he meant her sister returned to the bedside and never left him alone again and got very defensive if we asked him anything (at that time we had no idea what was in the will )he died a few days later .
I don't understand the bit about the sister saying the cost to the estate was too costly.

One duty of an executor is to Distribute the estate in accordance with the terms of the will, making sure at least two trustees have been named for any gifts left to children under 18.
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My wife's sister was very well of before this inheritance and now openly flaunts new cars and luxury cruises but we have put all the bitterness aside but cannot ignore my son's money being in an insecure location --she had the gall to say to my wife the other day don't you trust me and offered her some money to pursuade me from taking any action against her.
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My wife is not a strong character and is easily lead and was talked into dissolving her powers as an co executor.
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The cost to the estate i think she was referring to the cost of setting up a trust fund and this may have eaten into her share of the inheritance .
Your sister in law is the Trustee of the fund. As such she MUST comply with both the trust instrument (ie the Will) and trust law. The trust instrument provides that your son must inherit the entire capital at age 21. In the meantime, the Trustee may advance the capital to him at her discretion. She must take advice on the investment, she must act prudently, she must be ready with her accounts. (You are entitled to an account of the money). Your son is also entitled to the intermediate interest on the money subject to the terms of the Will.

There shouldnt be a huge cost to the estate of setting up a trust fund since I would imagine the way to deal with a fund of this size is to put the majority into a high interest notice account and some in an instant access account. I cant say for certain but you should be able to get an IFA to advise relatively cheaply.

In terms of legal advice, I would suggest you seek the services of either a specialist solicitor or a direct access barrister. The joy of going to a specialist is that they will quickly get to the nub of the situation and thus should not cost you too much money.
Good advice from Barmaid. But in this type of situation I always worry what happens if the other party refuses to do what they are supposed to do? I know you can take legal action but that costs money, barmaids 'relatively cheaply' is still going to cost a £1,000 or so!
I know from personal experience that a solicitor will charge £50 to £100 just to send one letter!
I don't think telford67 has a lot of spare cash!
I also know that a barrister will charge a minimum £250 an hour just to prepare a case!
You would be surprised, Eddie. Telford could always try the Bar Pro Bono Unit. He might also be able to find a local barrister/solicitor who will do 30 mins on the phone for free.
Poppycock, Eddie. Absolute nonsense. I am not telling you my hourly rate but it is far less than that!
Question Author
Thank you Everybody for your advice it seems a shame in this world that only the rich seem to prosper and the poor must use what little they have to fight for justice.

Thanks again
Citizens advice bureau can help with all sorts of legal/financial problems. They may even be able to get you a cut-price half hour with a local solicitor
telford - plz follow or believe ( or both ) Barmaids advice
( hi bam bam ! )
it is the best going

the capital sum is £15k
the interest ( so called 'high' hur hur hur ) is pretty minimal
andhe should get £15k+ when he comes of age
not any awful lot plus.. in 7 y

//address for my other son who is 11 years old and said she will decide when in the future he receives any of it.//
that COULD mean that she realises that she can advance money on account and on application

re read Barmaid's advice
it is the best you will get

Telford, I'm pleased barmaid responded to you're post and gave good advice, sorry to hear you are unwell. Good luck.
Can just confirm that the two people who witnessed your father-in-law sign the Will were not beneficiaries. An executor can be a beneficiary, but a witness cannot. Also, was the your wife's father able to see when he signed? I have heard of examples where changes were made to the Will but the deceased had to have it read to him -and this has to be done correctly - I think two witnesses must sign to confirm they observed the will being read. There are many solicitors who will give you a free first half hour - this will be sufficient to see if you have cause to challenge the Will. Phone around a few. Go to the Law Society website - 'Find A Solicitor' - drop-down menu for 'Wills & Probate' (it might say 'Private Client') - and the relevant postcode/area.
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Thanks Barquentine for your answer --Yes the solictor who wrote up the will bought a person from his own office as a witness and her dad could read ok but the entire will and contents was carefully worked out by my wife's sister and her husband but we are not able to prove that in a court of law .

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