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  • FIRST POST
    • littlehobbit
    • By littlehobbit 16th Jan 16, 4:53 PM
    • 35Posts
    • 55Thanks
    littlehobbit
    Will, probate and difference of opinion :(
    • #1
    • 16th Jan 16, 4:53 PM
    Will, probate and difference of opinion :( 16th Jan 16 at 4:53 PM
    I really hope someone can help, or point me in the right direction.

    A relative has recently died. They left a will leaving named items to another family member, and the 'residual estate' to myself. Both of us are also the named executors. Both of us seem to have a very different understanding as to what our responsibilities are and what we need to do next.

    I have done some research, and thought I had got some understanding, but family members (including the other executor) do not agree with me.

    There is a property involved, along with some money in the bank and a life insurance policy etc. I thought that if 'a significant amount of money is involved, and/or property' then we have to apply for grant of probate?

    I am being told this is not needed as a will makes it straightforward, and removes the need to apply for grant of probate. Have I misunderstood?

    I thought grant of administration was for when there was no will, and grant of probate was if there was a will and significant money (ie property)

    I'm also being told that as the will says I have only been left the 'residual estate' It means 'just the house'. Therefore everything else not specifically mentioned (money in the bank, life insurance etc) has to be shared and is not mine. However I thought the term 'residual estate' relates to everything else owned by the person (apart from items specifically left to others), not just their property?

    Feeling very confused, I also feel very guilty that we are starting to squabble over money at a time like this
    Last edited by littlehobbit; 16-01-2016 at 5:08 PM.
Page 5
    • RAS
    • By RAS 27th Jan 16, 1:05 PM
    • 28,012 Posts
    • 48,418 Thanks
    RAS
    Agreed with tip.

    Edit:

    If after taking possession of the items left to you, you later decide that actually you would like to give them away, that is your business and should be seen as the donor not the other relative who rides rough shod over the deceased's wishes and ignore their legal duty as an executor.
    Last edited by RAS; 27-01-2016 at 1:07 PM.
    The person who has not made a mistake, has made nothing
    • littlehobbit
    • By littlehobbit 27th Jan 16, 6:10 PM
    • 35 Posts
    • 55 Thanks
    littlehobbit
    Agreed with tip.

    Edit:

    If after taking possession of the items left to you, you later decide that actually you would like to give them away, that is your business and should be seen as the donor not the other relative who rides rough shod over the deceased's wishes and ignore their legal duty as an executor.
    Originally posted by RAS
    Yes thats the difference Isnt it! I am quite happy to share some of the household items (In fact I had planned to once I have sorted and tidied up there) but in fairness they are mine to give away, not the other persons. Probably a technicality in a way. I will consider changing the locks, just a bit worried of causing a family rift over a few items. Still feel they have overstepped the mark. I will have to say something, or they are going to think I'm a pushover and may want to try and push things further.
    • DereksDaughter
    • By DereksDaughter 3rd Feb 16, 10:27 PM
    • 1 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    DereksDaughter
    [QUOTE I have just read that an executor can only reserve their role as executor if they have not done anything, such as opened an executors account. So it may already be too late as we are in the process of doing this with his bank [/QUOTE]

    Where did you read this about reserving the role as executor? Can you post a link? What does it mean about not done anything?
    I'm just about to open an account as i'm the only executor that is happy to do probate as my father had a house with his ex and he's left his part to his children of which i'm one.
    • wwl
    • By wwl 4th Feb 16, 12:16 AM
    • 316 Posts
    • 262 Thanks
    wwl
    [QUOTE I have just read that an executor can only reserve their role as executor if they have not done anything, such as opened an executors account. So it may already be too late as we are in the process of doing this with his bank
    Originally posted by DereksDaughter
    Where did you read this about reserving the role as executor? Can you post a link? What does it mean about not done anything?
    I'm just about to open an account as i'm the only executor that is happy to do probate as my father had a house with his ex and he's left his part to his children of which i'm one.[/QUOTE]

    I think the idea is an executor can't screw up and then avoid liability by reserving powers, so in theory an executor can't have reserved powers or renounce if they have already acted in some executorial capacity, like handling some of the finances, disposing of assets etc.
    What happens is the person(s) applying for probate list all executors named in the will, and for each indicate if they are reserving powers (or deceased). Other executors don't need to sign the form, are not contacted.
    So unless there is any likelihood of some dispute from beneficiaries (or HMRC if IHT is involved), even if they had done something, it would be unlikely to be an issue.
    • littlehobbit
    • By littlehobbit 11th Oct 16, 11:18 AM
    • 35 Posts
    • 55 Thanks
    littlehobbit
    Just posting to update this thread, and to once again thank everyone for their advice, at the time it was so difficult to know what to do and I felt overwhelmed with the situation, as I had no experience.

    It was a steep learning curve. Some days there seemed to be lots of phonecalls to make, forms to fill in, then there would be very quiet periods.

    I have kept all receipts and letters safe. I even kept a diary of what I did and when, and what I had been advised by whoever I called.

    Probate was in the end, very painless. The paperwork suggested that the other executor would be contacted, for their permission to apply, and to confirm they were reserving their powers, but in the end I dont even think that happened. I didnt apply straight away, the probate office said there was no 'time limit' as such, as long as it was done before the house sold, as without probate, that couldnt happen. It worked out well, as things like council tax is only free for 6 months after probate is granted, so a bit of a delay in applying gave me time to sort the property. I recorded as accurately as possible the value of items, but a 'ballpark' figure, as it was well under inheritance tax threshold, I didnt tie myself up in knots about it, and it was accepted fine. The forms look daunting, but I had two copies and filled one in 'rough' first. Once I started filling it in, I realised it was easier than I expected it to be. The probate offcice was very helpful with a couple of queries I had.

    Swearing the oath, I organised that at a local solicitors, simple less than a minute. I dealt with everything else, apart from the house sale itself.

    Eventually the other executor appeared to admit defeat and let me get on with things 'my own way' (the correct way) which meant all the sorting and paperwork was left with me, but I was quite happy with that as I at least knew what was happening, and that it was all done right.

    Seemed impossible to set up an executors account anywhere, nobody seemed interested. In the end I just kept my relatives account open after having a meeting with someone there, they added me onto the account as executor. I also had an old account at a different bank, from my 'stoozing days' which I also used, so if a cheque was made out to 'executors of' I put it in my relatives account, if it was made out to me, I could put it in my unused account, and I could easily pay outstanding bills etc from that account too.

    I have, bit by bit cleared my relatives house, offering items to my relatives friends, donating and recycling whatever I could, in a way that I hope my relative would approve of.

    The house has now sold, and I have now put all the money together in one account.

    It will take me some time to accept this money is now mine, I still feel like I am wearing my 'executor' hat, but eventually I will feel comfortable about taking that hat off and putting the 'beneficiary' hat on, which I really should do, as it would only be sensible to place the money somewhere safe with a decent interest rate (if that is possible nowadays)

    So, again, thank you for all the support and advice you people gave me at the time, and the confidence that gave me, as I now look back and feel proud that I did this work right for my relative, the last thing I could do for them. To anyone else starting out on this right now, it does take time, sometimes you are waiting for other agencies, other times it can be very busy, but in the end, it does settle down and all work out.
    Last edited by littlehobbit; 11-10-2016 at 11:37 AM.
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