There are many instances where my brother David Cotterell has either lied or kept quiet in front of a solicitor when he could have spoken up. This may well have allowed my mother to believe something that was incorrect. In his position as a barrister (and chartered surveyor specialising in valuation and property) he would surely be more aware than most regarding what he should and should not say?
For example – Family Shops valued at £620k not £1.3million (Step father trust). David Cotterell was present in a meeting with the solicitor and my mother when the solicitor was informed the shops were worth (£1.3million). This is more than twice their estimate (£620,000 submitted to HMRC). This resulted in mother and the solicitor believing her estate would be exhausted by the inheritance tax.
Furthermore David Cotterell allowed the solicitor to believe the properties had been ‘valued recently at £1,300,000’ when this was absolutely not the case. David would surely know this as he specialises in property law and the rents (£50,000pa) were nowhere near high enough to justify the figure! He surely would have known this? Misrepresentation?
This completely distorted the truth and led to the solicitor stating in his notes 10th July 2014 “that 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 a possible reason mother gave control of everything to David (including perhaps paying me 50% in his own time?) so no one else could sell the house to pay the IHT.
My Mother clearly believed (incorrectly) the overstated IHT would result in David losing the house. Mother had been informed by David Cotterell that what they had gained by lasting 7 years would be negated if they made any changes after the 7 year period. David and mother had discussed it prior to our meeting Wed 18th June 2014
“and he (David Cotterell) 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.”
David Cotterell attempted to take funds (about £70,000) from the estate for which he became sole executor just prior to mother dying.
David has attempted to keep the funds in my mothers accounts. The accounts had been changed into joint names to supposedly aid administration etc, however, David Cotterell has since attempted to claim them as his own by survivorship. After issuing proceedings against David he has now returned the funds to the estate. Is this how an Executor should act?
My Grandmother’s Will
David Cotterell stated in a letter from his solicitors that “Mrs. Cotterell mentioned that under her own mother’s will, she was left nothing! Whereas the bulk of the estate was left to her sister, Joan, who had cared for her mother throughout her old age. Mrs.Cotterell also said that her mother’s decision reflected the fact that Mrs.Cotterell was comparatively wealthy whereas her sister Joan was not. Mrs.Cotterell had always said that she accepted her mother’s decision without any problem” – This is a lie as my grandmothers will was split evenly between all her children.
David Cotterell agreed to pay me in front of my mother in 2014. Why would he have agreed unless there was an understanding or agreement? He now denies there was an agreement. This is clearly wrong however and evidenced by multiple comments by mother and David Cotterell in the recordings, for example;
AC -“I have to trust you 100% if something happens”
AC- “which I am a little uncomfortable with”
AC-“for reasons in that letter. You know, . . . be that as it may”
DC- “I think that’s misplaced but there we are”
David Cotterell was suggesting I should trust him – what about? Surely the agreement or trust? It’s completely clear from the recordings what was agreed regarding the 2007 transfer into joint names and that all parties understood this.
“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 . . .”
June 2014 Mother said:
IC: He (David Cotterell) said do you trust me Mum? I said of course I do. He said, Do you think Andrew doesn’t trust me? And I said he’s your brother, I would think he did. He said have I ever broken my word on anything I’ve ever done? and I said no. He said . . . I said I don’t want you to get cross. He said I’m not cross, I’m just sad. 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 . . .
AC: I don’t want you to get stressed Ma, so if you don’t want to talk about it don’t say anything.
Trust David Cotterell to do what? Surely there is only one answer – to honour the agreement. Wouldn’t you think that might set up a Trust? If so, how can the solicitors have destroyed the files as it should have been kept for the trust duration plus 6 years? Why and under who’s instruction were the notes destroyed?
Do you trust me? Do you think Andrew doesn’t trust me? Have I ever broken my word? . . . . Someone is telling Porky Pies!
David Cotterell was complicit in misleading the solicitor
David was complicit or misled the solicitor regarding the reason mother wanted to gift her share in the property to him (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 not be honest and inform the solicitor about the meeting only weeks earlier of 18th June 2014, where David and mother both confirmed their understanding of the 2007 Turners Solicitor meeting and that David had agreed to pay me within 5 years? Misrepresentation?
The house has been under valued at £650k (2014 value according to David – a professional valuer)
(it’s probably worth more than £1,000,000) – The new Will makes him responsible for IHT on the house portion of the estate so I suspect he would want it valued as low as possible.
My Mothers first will
Solicitor notes 10th July 2014 – David misleads the solicitor by enabling them to believe he was the sole executor of the first will and also states it was shared three ways (including Maureen) when it was 50/50 between David and me both as executors. Misrepresentation?
I didn’t think this was about the money . . . .