You and the Law – 21st December 2010

An essential will

My fiancé and I have lived together for seven years and planned to get married this year.  Unfortunately, he has been seriously ill.  He says he has changed his Will to leave me everything, but I haven’t seen a copy and now his daughter is demanding to see it.  Does she have a right to see it?  It’s possible there is no Will after all.  PS

You are going to have to discuss this with your fiancé.  Since you have lived together for more than two years you could make a claim on his estate if he dies.  But it could be expensive to establish this claim and it could set you against your fiancé’s family.  I am sure this is not what he would wish.  If he has made a Will it will be to no avail if it can’t be found.

Although neither you or his daughter have any right to see it, you should at least establish its whereabouts.  If necessary, a solicitor will be prepared to make a home visit in order to draw one up.  If you do get married this would cancel any will he made previously.

Emergency stop

I was standing at the front of a bus when it turned a corner and the driver suddenly slammed on the brakes.  I hurt my neck, shoulder and back and was off work for three weeks, requiring physiotherapy.  My solicitor tells me I cannot proceed with a personal injury claim because I am unable to prove fault.  There were no witnesses and the driver says he thought a pedestrian was about to step off the kerb.  Surely the bus company’s liability insurance should cover this type of accident?  DG

It does, but you have to show that the company is liable.  I’m afraid your solicitor is probably right unless you can prove that the driver’s action was unnecessary or unreasonable.  Witnesses are vital and if you can trace a witness to confirm that the driver was in the wrong you may be able to pursue your claim.

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