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  • FIRST POST
    • barrytiptree
    • By barrytiptree 30th Sep 16, 9:46 AM
    • 8Posts
    • 3Thanks
    barrytiptree
    Contacting the solicitor etc.
    • #1
    • 30th Sep 16, 9:46 AM
    Contacting the solicitor etc. 30th Sep 16 at 9:46 AM
    My wife's mother passed away around 1 month ago.
    My wife is a joint executor of her mother’s will, along with her brother. Her younger sister is not listed as an executor. The brother is dealing with the legal stuff and has the will. The brother made all the funeral arrangements which has taken place.

    Currently the brother is refusing to give details of the solicitor who is holding the will but has said that he and my wife are joint executors and the solicitor will be in touch. Even though the solicitor does not have our address or contact details, maybe up to the brother to supply them, (if he chooses to) who knows ! The brother said that it was his own solicitor that was dealing with things, but we don’t know who they are.

    I am wondering if my brother is not divulging the solicitor details so that perhaps my wife could be removed as an executor ?

    My wife’s brother and sister have fallen out with my wife and almost refuse to have almost any communication with her, possibly due to the fact that the mother died in hospital (she had a weak heart and was very poorly) and both the sister and brother were trying to get her well enough to return and die at home. Something my wife was against as the home was not suitable for her to continue living in, in her condition.

    The brother appears aggressive over the phone when he does speak to my wife after she rings him.

    There are various items of value such as jewellery and the sale value of the house. The jewellery has been removed by the brother.

    My wife and I have helped partially clear the house but as we are 5 hours drive away we have not been able to return there too often.

    My questions are:
    Could the brother be looking to remove my wife as one of the executors, or under what conditions could that happen.
    Having checked with the GOV website I cannot see the will showing as entered probate yet, perhaps it appear later ?
    Can we read the will online somewhere ?
    If we use the GOV website and apply to see the will. Will it show the solicitors details.

    Any other advice would be appreciated

    Thank you.

    Barry
    Last edited by barrytiptree; 30-09-2016 at 9:57 AM. Reason: add text
Page 1
    • jimmy cricket
    • By jimmy cricket 30th Sep 16, 9:55 AM
    • 257 Posts
    • 150 Thanks
    jimmy cricket
    • #2
    • 30th Sep 16, 9:55 AM
    • #2
    • 30th Sep 16, 9:55 AM
    My wife is a joint executor of her mother’s will, along with her brother. Her younger sister is not listed as an executor. The brother is dealing with the legal stuff and has the will. The brother made all the funeral arrangements which has taken place.

    Currently the brother is refusing to give details of the solicitor who is holding the will but has said that he and my wife are joint executors and the solicitor will be in touch. Even though the solicitor does not have our address or contact details, maybe up to the brother to supply them, (if he chooses to) who knows ! The brother said that it was his own solicitor that was dealing with things, but we don’t know who they are.

    I am wondering if my brother is not divulging the solicitor details so that perhaps my wife could be removed as an executor ?

    My wife’s brother and sister have fallen out with my wife and almost refuse to have almost any communication with her, possibly due to the fact that the mother died in hospital (she had a weak heart and was very poorly) and both the sister and brother were trying to get her well enough to return and die at home. Something my wife was against as the home was not suitable for her to continue living in, in her condition.

    The brother appears aggressive over the phone when he does speak to my wife after she rings him.

    There are various items of value such as jewellery and the sale value of the house. The jewellery has been removed by the brother.

    My wife and I have helped partially clear the house but as we are 5 hours drive away we have not been able to return there too often.

    My questions are:
    Could the brother be looking to remove my wife as one of the executors, or under what conditions could that happen.very difficult to do and can only be done by a court on specific grounds (I know as this is what I am planning to do, but know it will be expensive and drawn out
    Having checked with the GOV website I cannot see the will showing as entered probate yet, perhaps it appear later ? [COLOR="rgb(139, 0, 0)"]all executors have to sign the probate forms and be in attendance for the interview[/COLOR]
    Can we read the will online somewhere ? [COLOR="rgb(139, 0, 0)"]only when probate has been granted[/COLOR]
    If we use the GOV website and apply to see the will. Will it show the solicitors details

    Any other advice would be appreciated

    Thank you.

    Barry
    Originally posted by barrytiptree

    Sorry, for your wife's loss.

    I am going through something similar, but for me, the other executor is refusing to deal with anything, so finding it impossible to finalise the estate. I've put my two pennorth worth above, hope it helps
    • barrytiptree
    • By barrytiptree 30th Sep 16, 10:13 AM
    • 8 Posts
    • 3 Thanks
    barrytiptree
    • #3
    • 30th Sep 16, 10:13 AM
    • #3
    • 30th Sep 16, 10:13 AM
    Hi Jimmy, Sorry for your loss too, thanks for the info.
    • TBagpuss
    • By TBagpuss 30th Sep 16, 10:39 AM
    • 4,870 Posts
    • 6,384 Thanks
    TBagpuss
    • #4
    • 30th Sep 16, 10:39 AM
    • #4
    • 30th Sep 16, 10:39 AM
    It' s quite dificult to remove someone as an executor and unlikely that this is what he is planning.

    You won't be able to find the will/probate yet as probate is grated after the executors apply for it. Your wife will need to sign and sweara a probate oath and the oath has to have a copy of the will with it, as she will also have to sign the front of the will to confirm that it is the one for which she (and her brother) are applying for probate.

    A month isn't very long, and while it may be that your brother in law is being awkward, it's also possible that he is grieving in a different way than yor wie and his ability to cope with things is moving at a diferent speed.

    It might be worth your wife sending him a letter r e-mail saying something like 'I know you mentioned that the solicitor would contactme - as we are joint executors we should really be making a joitn decision abotu which solicitor to use and how to proceed, so please could you give me the details of the person you propose we use with a view to us agreing on this. I'd like the time to consider before we apppooint someone so it will avoid delay if you let e have thier details sooner rather than later"
    • Yorkshireman99
    • By Yorkshireman99 30th Sep 16, 10:39 AM
    • 1,630 Posts
    • 1,379 Thanks
    Yorkshireman99
    • #5
    • 30th Sep 16, 10:39 AM
    • #5
    • 30th Sep 16, 10:39 AM
    The brother needs to be brought to account. As an executor he has to act properly and for the benefit of the estate not himself. I suggest a a polite but firm letter pointing out his responsibilities and asking him to get in touch so that proper arrangements can be made to execute the will. If that does not produce results then a letter saying that an application to the court. Only do this if you are prepared to take that action.
    • konark
    • By konark 1st Oct 16, 1:35 AM
    • 748 Posts
    • 581 Thanks
    konark
    • #6
    • 1st Oct 16, 1:35 AM
    • #6
    • 1st Oct 16, 1:35 AM
    It would not surprise me if your wife's brother did request your wife 'renounce' probate, not only because of their poor relationship but because she does not live nearby.

    It will be inconvenient to administer the estate with joint executors when one of them lives 5 hours away. A lot of the work cannot be done over the phone or the internet but involves face-to-face meetings with bank officials, solicitors and estate agents who will be reluctant to act without both executors present and singing from the same hymn-sheet.
    • getmore4less
    • By getmore4less 1st Oct 16, 8:39 AM
    • 26,307 Posts
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    getmore4less
    • #7
    • 1st Oct 16, 8:39 AM
    • #7
    • 1st Oct 16, 8:39 AM
    If the brother is really handing this over to a solicitor they should not go ahead without contacting you to confirm you are in agreement.

    If he is planning to try something alone then the probate office should pick up the need for your consent to you not acting.

    Both of those are should and not unknown for the checks not to happen properly(eg forged signature on a renounce or power reserved)

    One practical option you have is caveat
    https://www.gov.uk/wills-probate-inheritance/stopping-a-grant-of-representation

    as relationships are stained once he realises this won't help but gives a bit of time to try and get some comunications before going if with threats.
    Last edited by getmore4less; 01-10-2016 at 9:24 AM.
    • brewerdave
    • By brewerdave 1st Oct 16, 8:41 AM
    • 4,026 Posts
    • 1,609 Thanks
    brewerdave
    • #8
    • 1st Oct 16, 8:41 AM
    • #8
    • 1st Oct 16, 8:41 AM
    It would not surprise me if your wife's brother did request your wife 'renounce' probate, not only because of their poor relationship but because she does not live nearby.

    It will be inconvenient to administer the estate with joint executors when one of them lives 5 hours away. A lot of the work cannot be done over the phone or the internet but involves face-to-face meetings with bank officials, solicitors and estate agents who will be reluctant to act without both executors present and singing from the same hymn-sheet.
    Originally posted by konark
    ...further to the above -it is possible to effectively remove an executor by applying for probate listing that executor as "with power reserved" -I did this for my mother's estate with the full knowledge and approval of the other (three) executors - but they didn't actually have to sign or acknowledge anything - I swore the oath and listed on the paperwork was a statement that I had informed the other executors in writing - but NO checks on my honesty !
    So it would be possible to obtain probate and distribute the estate in theory without the knowledge of a second executor.
    • barrytiptree
    • By barrytiptree 1st Oct 16, 8:43 AM
    • 8 Posts
    • 3 Thanks
    barrytiptree
    • #9
    • 1st Oct 16, 8:43 AM
    • #9
    • 1st Oct 16, 8:43 AM
    Hi
    Many thanks for the info, very useful to know. I'm very willing to travel back to London any time to help organise things and I will make that clear to all relatives.
    • getmore4less
    • By getmore4less 1st Oct 16, 9:30 AM
    • 26,307 Posts
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    getmore4less
    Is it possible to stay in the house?

    This may be one of those situations where a week(long weekend) off and some face to face time might assist,

    You can give lots of help with clearing the house go into the solicitors.

    it won't be a holiday and use up some time but it is a one off and may help you move on with the rest of your lives much quicker.
    • barrytiptree
    • By barrytiptree 1st Oct 16, 9:38 AM
    • 8 Posts
    • 3 Thanks
    barrytiptree
    Hi, Both myself and my wife have been to the house to help clear things over one weekend.
    We are aiming to go up for a weekend soon and will arrange to meet the other executor there, if he agrees to show up. We are always very polite and friendly to all relatives concerned, will continue trying to be nice to everyone. We don't want to go ahead and force issues (asking, as we don't known them, the Brother's solicitors details and viewing the will) yet, we are a bit wary of what the brother maybe planning and we are hoping that our fears are false ones.
    Many thanks.
    • ahja
    • By ahja 1st Oct 16, 1:28 PM
    • 29 Posts
    • 42 Thanks
    ahja
    It's very sad when fall outs happen at such a time, but it doesn't stop it happening!

    Are you aware of what the will contains? If say, the will is split 3 equal ways with there being 3 siblings, then she will own a third of the house and he will have to get her involved as he won't be able to sell the house without her consent, so there does have to be some form of communication somewhere - its just really frustrating when people don't keep you in the loop - I hope this is temporary for all concerned and that everything is sorted eventually!

    If he does manage to remove your wife from being an executer, then at least you can get a copy of probate (which he will have to go through as there is property) from the gov website for £10 when probate has been granted but if he uses a solicitor it will take some months to be completed. If he does something like removing your wife off probate with 'power removed' he has to write to her - this is said on the probate form which might be helpful for you to download and have a look at from the gov website - if he doesn't write to her then he is not doing his duties right - more than likely that this will not be chased for proof, but you can challenge that he did not write to your wife.

    Keep in mind that this situation could get very messy, grief + wills + fighting relatives is a powerkeg so I would say get as much information as possible so you know about probate etc so if he is playing fast and loose then he will know that you know your rights.

    My mother recently died and I was an executer with my sister - as she works I did most of the financial arrangements, both coming in and going out - all I was ever asked was did she agree with what I was doing and no one ever asked for proof of her signing anything (which I could have forged), so I do think it is quite easy to 'go rogue' if you are that way!

    If she is a beneficiary then you are entitled to ask for a copy of the financial records, whether he does them or a solicitor - if it does get messy then you will probably end up having to get your own solicitor involved here, so try to keep it softly softly if you can!

    Good luck!
    • marcelli
    • By marcelli 11th Oct 16, 11:28 PM
    • 20 Posts
    • 12 Thanks
    marcelli
    The executors are specified in the Will, and the solicitor is not one of them, from what I understand of the info given, so if your brother in law has approached a solicitor to do the work, that solicitor will have to obtain your permission to go ahead. Bearing in mind that probate costs are apparently going sky high, it might be worth trying to obtain probate yourselves; it can be time consuming, but you can find information on how to do it. I think if your wife and her brother can agree initially on what are the assets and what are the debts (however small) of and to the estate, then that can avoid suspicion later as all payments in and out will be documented somehow, therefore verifiable - things like any small pensions, utility bills, credit cards etc - you just make a list and contact those parties informing of death. The Tax Office can be really helpful, and the probate enquiry line/website would point you in the right direction.
    However, brother being gruff and trying to suppress emotions, might just want a solicitor to deal with things, so it depends on whether or not you could persuade him of the advantage of doing the work yourselves (i mean wife and brother), should you wish to.
    As mentioned in the previous post, it can get messy, it is such a difficult time anyway, but if you can manage to ring the probate helpline to see what is involved before you meet up with the other executor, then you are forearmed.
    Wishing you well.
    • barrytiptree
    • By barrytiptree 15th Oct 16, 8:12 PM
    • 8 Posts
    • 3 Thanks
    barrytiptree
    Theft of an item bequested in the will
    Hi We are progressing slowly and have agreed that the brother acts as lead executor using his solicitor to do the work. The brother is saying that a diamond watch left to me (co executor) as a bequest in the will appears to have gone missing !

    One member of the family stayed at the property after the funeral for around one week and had started clearing various items ( evidence of jewellery boxes piled onto dressing tables when I visited )

    Is it something that I can report to the police as theft ? or would it have to be via a solicitor. I'm hoping the threat of getting the police involved may achieve in someone finding the diamond watch.
    • Yorkshireman99
    • By Yorkshireman99 15th Oct 16, 8:31 PM
    • 1,630 Posts
    • 1,379 Thanks
    Yorkshireman99
    Hi We are progressing slowly and have agreed that the brother acts as lead executor using his solicitor to do the work. The brother is saying that a diamond watch left to me (co executor) as a bequest in the will appears to have gone missing !

    One member of the family stayed at the property after the funeral for around one week and had started clearing various items ( evidence of jewellery boxes piled onto dressing tables when I visited )

    Is it something that I can report to the police as theft ? or would it have to be via a solicitor. I'm hoping the threat of getting the police involved may achieve in someone finding the diamond watch.
    Originally posted by barrytiptree
    You can report it direct to the police as theft but they will require evidence before they take any action. Beware of making an accusation that you cannot substantiate.
    • barrytiptree
    • By barrytiptree 15th Oct 16, 8:37 PM
    • 8 Posts
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    barrytiptree
    Its more of a way of pushing for a positive outcome. I've now been told that in the box that there were 2 rings, one ring was left to myself and the other ring to the other member of the family. The other member of the family have their ring from the box but for some unknown reason mine was not there !

    Anyway heres hoping that things progress positively form us.
    Last edited by barrytiptree; 15-10-2016 at 8:39 PM.
    • Tigsteroonie
    • By Tigsteroonie 15th Oct 16, 8:44 PM
    • 22,127 Posts
    • 55,117 Thanks
    Tigsteroonie
    Hi We are progressing slowly and have agreed that the brother acts as lead executor using his solicitor to do the work. The brother is saying that a diamond watch left to me (co executor) as a bequest in the will appears to have gone missing !
    Originally posted by barrytiptree
    How long was the period between signing the will & your M/MIL passing? It may be that the watch was gone some time before her death, unless you are certain that you saw it shortly beforehand.
    Going to become Mrs Marleyboy for real

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    • barrytiptree
    • By barrytiptree 15th Oct 16, 10:42 PM
    • 8 Posts
    • 3 Thanks
    barrytiptree
    Hi
    All bequested items listed in the will appear to be accounted for except the watch.
    Its probably something I will not be able to prove and I'm not sure if the police will be interested but hopefully just the idea of me calling the police may have the desired effect and the watch may miraculously appear.

    One of bequested items (a ring) has already been taken from the box by the person it was left to in the will but for some unknown reason they are saying there was no watch.

    Due to the fact the family have fallen out and no longer speak (only email) we think they do not want us to benefit in any way. It might be more difficult for them to stop the value of the property (house etc) being split three ways between the deceased's children as is also written in the will. Anyway hopefully things improve, although I doubt it.
    • ahja
    • By ahja 16th Oct 16, 2:00 PM
    • 29 Posts
    • 42 Thanks
    ahja
    As frustrating as it is you are probably going to have to write the watch off, no way to prove it was there when the person died and if someone removed it they will know that.

    The house is another matter as there is no way they can make that disappear! When probate has been granted (whether it is to a solicitor or a family member), the probate office keep the official will, the probate letter back will also have stamped copies of the will, so there is no way they can 'do anything' to the original will so hopefully if that thought has crossed your mind, then you can let it go!

    To sell the house, there will have to be 3 signatures as 3 people now own it - end of! No solicitor/mortgage company etc will want anything less - that means they will have to communicate with you about whatever happens to the house as you all have to agree to it.
    • barrytiptree
    • By barrytiptree 16th Oct 16, 3:09 PM
    • 8 Posts
    • 3 Thanks
    barrytiptree
    Hi
    That reassures us a great deal. Many thanks.
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