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  • FIRST POST
    • dANatecuLA
    • By dANatecuLA 18th May 17, 8:57 PM
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    dANatecuLA
    Advice on executor behaviour
    • #1
    • 18th May 17, 8:57 PM
    Advice on executor behaviour 18th May 17 at 8:57 PM
    Sorry this is a new account, and for the vagueness, and length. I need some advice, and do not wish the parties involved to google me by the username they know me by or by other specific details!

    One of my parents recently died, and named me as executor in the will, along with my sister. Everything was left to the spouse, so nothing really complicated. Only thing is due to the sums involved it means probate needs to be applied for to sort out the personal bank accounts, etc., and that of course means filling in the Inheritance tax forms too.

    Now, unfortunately, I don't live nearby and my sister does. I have spent as much time up there as I have been able, trying to get to grips with the extent of the estate, but the more I uncover, the more I am being pushed out by my sister and our surviving parent - I have been denied original copies of the death certificate, have been told not to value anything, and have now been told not to come to the house at all. My sister had our parents firmly in her pocket, not helped by this remaining parent being extremely vulnerable, having had a stroke, and now having memory issues; I know she is quite happy to help herself to anything in the house that she wants, and is being given permission to do so, insomuch as permission can be given....

    Now, having seen some of the bank statements, I have just found out that my sister has been receiving several hundred pounds per month from the deceased, paid directly to her bank account by standing order, and this has been ongoing for many years. I believe that any such payments over the last seven years have to be declared on the IHT forms as a cash gift, but it seems my sister wants to have everything wrapped up with the minimum of investigation. Despite agreeing initially to have me handle the financial aspects, she has interfered and second guessed me at every opportunity. I reckon the chattels in question, not shared items, may be worth up to £100K, consisting of a heck of a lot of very low value items with just a few gems, but she wants it all ignored, and all other gifts I know about ignored too.

    I understand, from reading everything I can find, I have duties and responsibilities as an executor, even prior to grants being issued, to protect the assets and ensure everything is accounted for. I have spoken with the banks, and the personal accounts will now need both executors signatures to access, but there are still significant sums in joint accounts that I can do nothing about.

    Given the sole beneficiary is already effectively in possession of most of the assets, being in the house, along with my sister, whom has a key and her ear, what liability do I have for items going missing or being misappropriated by either the beneficiary or my sister prior to completion of probate? What options do I have to protect things? And do I really have to be worried about accounting for everything, anyway, given there will almost certainly not be any IHT to pay.

    This is explained perhaps by my sister being obviously financially stressed... she appears to be claiming means-tested state benefits whilst not declaring the several hundred pounds per month she has been getting from our parent. She complains of having no money, but goes on holiday every school holidays. I think it is the prospect of this money being discovered that is behind her trying to push me out of the situation.

    I have no love lost for my sister; we're like chalk and cheese and never really got on, and would normally just ignore her, however I don't want to put myself into a situation where I acquiesce to a wrongdoing, nor do I want to allow her to drain my parent dry, so I can't simply walk away, and in any case, at some point this is all going to have to be done again! Finally, there are an awful lot of items in the property that are financially worthless, but hold a lot of sentimental and historical value to myself, which I do not want to see lost, which is likely as neither of them have an interest in these things.

    So... what can I do? If it were a stranger, I'd both report her to benefit fraud and contest that she was not a suitable person to be an executor! But that is likely to drive an (even more) massive wedge between us. And I'd definitely not be allowed back in the house to deal with things...

    Thanks for reading...
Page 1
    • Yorkshireman99
    • By Yorkshireman99 18th May 17, 9:10 PM
    • 3,140 Posts
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    Yorkshireman99
    • #2
    • 18th May 17, 9:10 PM
    • #2
    • 18th May 17, 9:10 PM
    Ultimately you are the only one who can decide what to do. You obviously know the issues. If you want the abuse to go on then do nothing. Otherwsie shop her to the authorities.
    • Topcat1982
    • By Topcat1982 18th May 17, 9:32 PM
    • 349 Posts
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    Topcat1982
    • #3
    • 18th May 17, 9:32 PM
    • #3
    • 18th May 17, 9:32 PM
    There's no benefit fraud here. Gifts from family do not affect means tested benefits.
    • Yorkshireman99
    • By Yorkshireman99 18th May 17, 9:57 PM
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    Yorkshireman99
    • #4
    • 18th May 17, 9:57 PM
    • #4
    • 18th May 17, 9:57 PM
    There's no benefit fraud here. Gifts from family do not affect means tested benefits.
    Originally posted by Topcat1982
    If the payments take the recipient's assets above the limit for capital there could be. Not mention the possible consequences on IHT.
    Last edited by Yorkshireman99; 18-05-2017 at 10:01 PM.
    • dANatecuLA
    • By dANatecuLA 18th May 17, 10:04 PM
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    dANatecuLA
    • #5
    • 18th May 17, 10:04 PM
    • #5
    • 18th May 17, 10:04 PM
    OK, well that's a positive. Found some references to confirm that. It just seems counter-intuitive - the sums involved are in excess of what some people I know actually earn in a month, and she's even buying a house on the back of it...

    It makes me think she might not know this either, though, hence the obstructiveness.... Or maybe being an obnoxious brat is just too ingrained in her nature...
    • securityguy
    • By securityguy 18th May 17, 11:14 PM
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    securityguy
    • #6
    • 18th May 17, 11:14 PM
    • #6
    • 18th May 17, 11:14 PM
    "Now, having seen some of the bank statements, I have just found out that my sister has been receiving several hundred pounds per month from the deceased, paid directly to her bank account by standing order, and this has been ongoing for many years. I believe that any such payments over the last seven years have to be declared on the IHT forms as a cash gift"

    They probably don't. Firstly, there is a £3000 per year gift exemption, so unless there were gifts to another person as well, £250 per month is exempt. Secondly, there is also an exemption for regular, ongoing gifts made from income which do not affect the donor's standard of living: ie, you can give away excess income without attracting IHT liability.

    "she appears to be claiming means-tested state benefits whilst not declaring the several hundred pounds per month she has been getting from our parent"

    Those gifts are not counted as income for the purposes of means-tested benefits, unless they are being saved and take her over the capital limit.
    • TonyMMM
    • By TonyMMM 19th May 17, 7:42 AM
    • 2,458 Posts
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    TonyMMM
    • #7
    • 19th May 17, 7:42 AM
    • #7
    • 19th May 17, 7:42 AM
    If you want to see a death certificate you can get one from the register office yourself (as can anyone).
    • getmore4less
    • By getmore4less 19th May 17, 8:31 AM
    • 29,995 Posts
    • 17,927 Thanks
    getmore4less
    • #8
    • 19th May 17, 8:31 AM
    • #8
    • 19th May 17, 8:31 AM
    From a capital returns(IHT) point of view the reason the non exempt gifts need accounting for is they fall outside the spouse exemption so use up some of the Nil rate band thus reducing the transferable nil rate band to the spouse.

    The issue is that it is likely that the sums involved should be included on the return even if they are all exempt for whatever reason.

    Since both parents could have £3k per year that would allow a £500pm SO to be fully exempt if that was the only gifting.

    Now if mums current asset base is in excess of £325k that transferable nil rate band will be needed so should be documented properly.
    • Mojisola
    • By Mojisola 19th May 17, 9:45 AM
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    • #9
    • 19th May 17, 9:45 AM
    • #9
    • 19th May 17, 9:45 AM
    she's even buying a house on the back of it...
    Originally posted by dANatecuLA
    Those gifts are not counted as income for the purposes of means-tested benefits, unless they are being saved and take her over the capital limit.
    Originally posted by securityguy
    If she's building up enough capital to buy a house, she must be over the capital levels she's allowed before it affects her benefits.
    • securityguy
    • By securityguy 19th May 17, 10:44 AM
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    • 3,662 Thanks
    securityguy
    If she's building up enough capital to buy a house, she must be over the capital levels she's allowed before it affects her benefits.
    Originally posted by Mojisola
    Depends on how much she has built up, doesn't it?

    And if the deposit was paid directly by the parents in exchange for a share of the house (for example), then the money would just be going straight out as mortgage payments. Or if they gave her the deposit, there's a potential IHT issue but no benefit issue. There's not enough detail here to judge. Getting involved in a benefits dispute as well strikes as self-defeating if the OP's objective is to have the estate wound up in as orderly fashion as possible.
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