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Case study 1 EXECUTORS AND ADMINISTRATORS – THE GRANT OF PROBATE AND LETTERS OF ADMINISTRATION – PROBATE IN SOLEMN FORM – COSTS OF PROBATE ACTIONS – COSTS OUT OF ESTATE – WHETHER ALLOWED – OTHER CASES – CONDUCT OF ACTION — UNFOUNDED CHARGES — UNNECESSARY INTERROGATORIES (1) Deceased executed a will and codicil in 1820 and another will and codicil in 1830 and a settlement in 1831. The first will was destroyed, the later will and codicil were not forthcoming and the court held that they must be presumed to have been destroyed and that the settlement was intended as a substitution for this codicil and pronounced for an intestacy. (2) Hostility in conducting a suit, unfounded charges and unnecessary interrogatories, are a ground for refusing costs out of the estate, especially where those costs would in effect fall upon minors not parties to the expense. (3) The court never forces a joint administration. (4) As between sisters the elder caeteris paribus has a slight preference. (5) On the application of a next of kin the sureties will be required to justify in respect of the share of the party excluded from the administration. Case study 2 WILLS – REVOCATION, REVIVAL AND REPUBLICATION – REVOCATION – BY DESTRUCTION – INTENTION TO DESTROY – PRESUMPTION OF INTENTION – WILL NOT FORTHCOMING AT TESTATOR’S DEATH – WHETHER DESTRUCTION WITH INTENTION TO REVOKE PRESUMED Deceased died on October 19, 1831, having made a will in 1820, and three codicils, all formally executed and attested to carry realty; he destroyed the will, but on each of the codicils was written, ‘June 18, 1830, my will, JP,’ and other indorsements at a subsequent date, inferring that he considered that at such time he had no will. In 1830 he executed a new will and a codicil, the latter subsequent to June 1830, which will and codicil were not forthcoming, and in 1831 he executed a settlement. Three codicils, the settlement, and its envelope were propounded as together containing the will, the court holding first, that the destruction of the will of 1820, primâ facie, revoked the codicils, that the words written on the codicils were not conclusive of an intention that they should operate as substantive papers, that evidence dehors the papers was therefore admissible, and on such evidence that the will and codicil of 1830 must be presumed to have been destroyed by deceased, but though destroyed, would primâ facie have been revocatory of the former will and codicils, and that the settlement was intended as a substitution for the codicils, pronounced for an intestacy, and refused costs out of the estate. Case study 3 WILLS – CODICIL – CUMULATIVE OR REPETITIVE BEQUESTS – TESTATRIX LEAVING JEWELLERY TO CLAIMANT DAUGHTER AND RESIDUE OF ESTATE TO DAUGHTER AND DEFENDANT SON IN EQUAL SHARES BY WILL DATED 1994 – TESTATRIX DIAGNOSED WITH ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE IN 2004 AFTER HAVING SHOWN SIGNS OF MENTAL CONFUSION SINCE 2000 – TESTATRIX DYING IN 2007 – CLAIMANT SEEKING TO PROVE CODICILS TO WILL ALLEGEDLY SIGNED BY TESTATRIX IN 2002 AND 2004 BY WHICH TESTATRIX PURPORTED TO BEQUEATH HOUSE TO CLAIMANT – WHETHER SIGNATURES AUTHENTIC – WHETHER TESTATRIX HAVING TESTAMENTARY CAPACITY WHEN EXECUTING CODICILS – WHETHER CODICILS VALID The testatrix made a will in 1994, leaving all her jewellery to the claimant (her daughter) and the residue of her estate to the claimant and defendant (her son) in equal shares. Between 2000 and 2002, the testatrix’s health began to deteriorate, in that she began to show signs of confusion. In 2004, she was diagnosed with ‘moderate to severe’ Alzheimer’s disease and in 2005, with dementia. She died in May 2007. In October 2008, having entered caveats against the grant of probate, the claimant issued the instant proceedings, seeking to prove, inter alia, two manuscript codicils said to have been signed by the testatrix in March 2002 and February 2004, each of which had been signed by two witnesses. The text of both codicils was materially the same: ‘I wish my daughter…to have my house, if she wishes, and its contents when I die, and the rest of the savings to be shared equally between…my daughter and son.’ The defendant challenged the validity of the codicils. He initially contended, inter alia, that the testatrix had not had testamentary capacity at the time that she had allegedly executed the codicils. A further issue arose as to the authenticity of what purported to be the testatrix’s signature on the codicils. It had been the claimant’s original position that the original codicils had been lost, so that handwriting analysis could only be carried out on photocopies. However, during the course of the trial the originals were produced and examined by the defendant’s handwriting expert. As a result of that analysis, the defendant also alleged, against the claimant, that the signatures on the codicils had been forged. The court ruled: Having regard to all the evidence, both codicils were forgeries. That finding was sufficient to dispose of the claimant’s claim. Even if that finding were wrong, the 2004 codicil would have failed because the testatrix had lacked testamentary capacity at the date of its execution. Moreover, both codicils would have failed because, on the evidence, neither had been signed in the date on which they purported to have been signed, but had been backdated from a time when the testatrix had not retained testamentary capacity (see  of the judgment). Case study 4 EXECUTORS AND ADMINISTRATORS – THE GRANT OF PROBATE AND LETTERS OF ADMINISTRATION – SPECIAL AND LIMITED GRANTS OF ADMINISTRATION – ADMINISTRATION PENDING SUIT – GRANT OF ADMINISTRATION PENDENTE LITE – GROUNDS FOR GRANTING — PROOF OF WILL AND FIRST CODICIL — SECOND CODICIL DISPUTED The deceased left a will and two codicils. Only the second codicil was disputed, and the executors of the will asked the court to pronounce for the will and first codicil, leaving the question of the second codicil to be decided by action. The respondent to the motion had issued a writ propounding the will and both codicils, but did not oppose the motion or ask for the appointment of an administrator pendente lite, provided that the property dealt with by the second codicil was protected: Held the executors might prove the will and first codicil, preserving always the property disposed of by the second codicil and the respondent’s rights thereunder.