David Cotterell was complicit in misleading the solicitor regarding the Bristol shops (my step fathers trust) being worth £1.3m – twice their estimate.
The properties had not been ‘valued recently at £1.3m’ as the solicitor was informed. Why mislead the solicitor by keeping quiet? Why not correct him?
Solicitor notes 10th July 2014 “Irene’s estate would be exhausted after payment of IHT and so there would be nothing left to share between Maureen, Andrew & David”
This is the reason (I believe) that mother allowed David to control everything (including paying me 50% in his own time?) – Influence?
My Mother clearly believed the overstated IHT would result in David losing the house and any changes would make matters worse.
Mother had been informed by David Cotterell that what they had gained by lasting 7 years since the transfer into joint names would be negated if they made any changes – Influence? David and mother had discussed it prior to our meeting Wed 18th June 2014
Mother – “and he said, believe you me, it’s a hefty sum, it would swallow up this house and there would be nothing, and he said I don’t want to lose the house. And the only way to save it . . .is they’ve changed the law again now, because so many people were doing exactly what I did to make it over to one of the children so It’s passed over and then shared out and they’ve twigged on to how many people were doing it and you’ve got to live seven years which we have done. But even so, if it was altered now, it would come under the new law.”
My Mother was informed by David Cotterell that Tracey (my wife) would insist the house be taken to pay the IHT (putting pressure on mother as she did not want the house sold) – Influence?
Mother: I think his main concern is he didn’t want to lose the house.
Andrew: He won’t lose the house.
Mother: I think that was what he was most anxious about. He was afraid that . . . .
Andrew: I would insist that it be sold?
Mother: He didn’t say Andrew. He says Andrew wouldn’t think of that. But he said Tracey would.
Andrew: No she wouldn’t. No she wouldn’t. That is so wrong Ma.
Mother: You’ll have to talk to him about it.
David Cotterell was complicit in misleading the solicitor regarding the reason mother wanted to gift her share in the property to David.
Solicitor notes 10th July 2014 – It was stated that “The present difficulties are with Andrew. He feels that Irene’s three children should be treated equally” – Why would David Cotterell and Mother not be honest and inform the solicitor about the meeting of 18th June 2014 (only a few weeks earlier)? Both David and Mother clearly confirmed their understanding of the 2007 (solicitor) meeting and agreement. They also agreed that David Cotterell was to pay within 5 years? Would this have confirmed to the solicitor that an agreement or trust existed and matters should have been concluded differently?
My Mother was concerned about David getting upset with her if she ‘did anything’ – Monday 16th June 2014 – Influence?
AC: Everything’s in his name, all the bills everything’s in his name. In a Court of law, if David . . . . if something happened to you, David has complete control, absolutely over everything. He can do and he will stay, you mark my words, he’ll stay in this house. I have absolutely no doubt whatsoever. This is, the way he’s acting, you can’t see it because you are too close to it all the time, but I’ve seen it several times. But it did make me stop in my tracks, the last time I came here and he did that because I thought what on Earth. . . . I came to see you in your home and he came rushing out the door and before I even got level with the car, he said you can’t bring that dog in here! You know? When do you think I would ever do that to him? Would I ever? When have I ever been anything except honest and open with him?
IC: I can’t do anything
AC: But you can. All you’ve got to do is. . . . If you’re serious? If you want to make it even . . . .
IC: But you see . . . if I do that . . . . I would be in a fix without him . . I can’t cope without him . .
AC: What do you mean? Without him – what do you mean?
IC: If he didn’t come here . . you know . . . .
AC: What do you mean? What do you mean Mother if he doesn’t come here?
IC: If he got upset with me or whatever
AC: Mother – if anything like that happens. I will look after you.
If he got upset with me or whatever . . . .
Complete control over my mothers bank accounts for some considerable time – David Cotterell – Influence?
David attempted to keep funds in mother’s accounts (for himself) by survivorship (£70,000) even though he was by now sole executor and had a duty to the estate – The beneficiaries had to issue proceedings against him to recover the funds.
My mother gave David just over £21,000 in cash in 2013 – I only discovered this once I had access to the estate account after taking action legal against David
David Cotterell convinced mother he was concerned for me – Influence?
“He’s afraid, he doesn’t want you to lose out”
“His main concern was for you”
“He said do you think that I would do my brother out of what you want him to have and I told him I love you both and I want you both to have the same and he said . . .”
“Well the only thing I can do is talk to David about it. He has promised me on his honour that he will see you get half the house”
Clearly there was no concern for me but that’s not how David Cotterell presented it to my mother – Influence?
David Cotterell convinced mother he would look after me
Solicitor notes 4th Aug 2014 “when David has said that he would always stand by Andrew, Irene believes that would always be true” – this is what my mother informed the solicitor she believed to be true. Why would she have told the solicitor this?
In June 2014 David Cotterell was concerned about the consequences of people knowing about the 2007 transfer into joint names and I was concerned about him putting pressure on mother – Why, unless it changed the outcome for him?
Andrew: Because what I’m nervous about is then different pressures may be brought to bear. . . Mum is here. . . We’re all calm. If what Mum wants . . . if you’re happy with executing what Mum wants?
Mother: David does want what I want
Andrew: Okay well then, in that case why not get it tied up legally so there is no doubt at all. Is there any problem with that?
Mother: No, not really. Is there David?
David: I want to think about it Mum. I want to think about it.
Andrew: Why do you need to think about it?
David: I . . . I . . . .Because I have to say the way this has all developed has been . . . . . . difficult for me to absorb. I want to think through the full consequences of what’s being suggested. I want to . . . because we are now, it seems, in the habit of telling everybody what the arrangement is, I want to think through the full consequences of how that sits.
Difficult for me to absorb
Note: Full & independent advice regarding transfer into joint names in 2007
David can NOT discharge this obligation!
David cannot discharge the obligation regarding the transfer into joint names in 2007
David Cotterell tried to stop mother saying ‘what she wanted’ and didn’t actually say he wanted the same as her – he just wanted to understand what she wanted.
David: Yes. I want to understand exactly what Mum wants.
Andrew: In that case, well, Mum you tell him what you want.
David: Don’t put pressure on Mum to answer that question now.
Mother: David knows what I want. I want you both. . . everything left half each. . . half the house each. And David wants to live here and I want him to live here and the only way he can live here is by giving you half the money when the house is valued. But it will have to . . . there’ll be a lot of tax to pay anyway on the other properties won’t there?
I want to UNDERSTAND
Mother was convinced by David Cotterell he would need to sell his house to pay and it would all take a long time (hence the IHT would be due etc – would it all be far better totally under his control?) – he has not sold it, of course – Influence?
Mother: “He said he’d have to sell his own house to buy this. That’s what he said. He would sell the house he’s got”
David Cotterell was present for 75% of the meetings with the solicitor and mother was probably taken there by David for the only meeting he wasn’t present – Influence?
Mothers First Will –
Solicitor notes 10th July 2014 – David Cotterell misleads the solicitor by stating he was the sole executor of the first will and also states it was shared three ways (including Maureen) – This is not true – it was 50/50 between David and me both as executors. The original will was not presented to the solicitor for some considerable time later.
The house has been under valued at £650k (it was probably worth closer to £1,000,000).
Mother was convinced it wasn’t worth more. Note – £650,000 is the value submitted by David Cotterell regarding IHT calculations.
It is most likely mother would have written a side letter
This could explain (as was indicated twice by the solicitors notes in 2014) but strangely this letter has not surfaced. I suspect it would have provided evidence regarding the truth.
Mother told me “everything would be alright” only a few weeks before she died
– indicating to me she trusted David to pay me half as recently agreed. It seems very likely she believed that David would do as he promised in the meeting 18th June 2014 (but in his own time).
Mother says repeatedly that David would ‘stand by’ me – Influence?
Yet, he has not only refused to honour his promise but he has also attempted to keep £70,000 in mothers bank accounts for himself (as sole executor) – as a beneficiary I have been forced to issue proceedings against him to make him return the money.
29th June 2014 discussion between Andrew and mother. This is an extract from a discussion we had about what I thought David was doing . . . . . .
Mother: I trust he will for my sake because it’s what I want
Andrew: Let’s see . . . let’s see what happens . . . I can tell you now he won’t , what he’ll try and get you to do is he’ll try and get you to sign something which signs everything over to him which then makes it impossible for me to do anything
Mother: Well that wouldn’t be right because then you wouldn’t get anything
Andrew: No . . . I’m not going to get anything now mother . . . I’m not getting anything now
Mother: You will
Andrew: I won’t
Andrew: Because that’s not what David is about mother
I have subsequently discovered that David had contacted a solicitor already two days earlier (27th June 2014). My mother had been quite ill in recent months and had already suffered a number of strokes. As I suspected, my mother did subsequently sign documents giving David complete control and she died only days after completing this. How could matters have apparently changed so much in such a short period of time?
I can’t do anything . . . . .
Andrew’s sons with their Grandmother