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  • FIRST POST
    • katy123
    • By katy123 5th Sep 17, 6:05 PM
    • 203Posts
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    katy123
    Probate Stand off / in situ
    • #1
    • 5th Sep 17, 6:05 PM
    Probate Stand off / in situ 5th Sep 17 at 6:05 PM
    We just met the solicitor who was named as executor, we made it clear that there is £2k in bank account and the house is jointly owned with grandad (so it automatically goes to him). Solicitor is insisting that she explore whether there is other cash in other banks and said she will not relinquish her role and will charge us. We asked who would have to pay for the work as the estate is insolvent (insufficient to cover funeral cost), she said grandad. Bank with the £2k is insisting probate so what we want is for the solicitor to renounce her role so grandad or my dad can apply for probate ourselves to save cost. She said the estate will just remain in situ, any advice?
Page 1
    • Yorkshireman99
    • By Yorkshireman99 5th Sep 17, 7:19 PM
    • 2,954 Posts
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    Yorkshireman99
    • #2
    • 5th Sep 17, 7:19 PM
    • #2
    • 5th Sep 17, 7:19 PM
    We just met the solicitor who was named as executor, we made it clear that there is £2k in bank account and the house is jointly owned with grandad (so it automatically goes to him). Solicitor is insisting that she explore whether there is other cash in other banks and said she will not relinquish her role and will charge us. We asked who would have to pay for the work as the estate is insolvent (insufficient to cover funeral cost), she said grandad. Bank with the £2k is insisting probate so what we want is for the solicitor to renounce her role so grandad or my dad can apply for probate ourselves to save cost. She said the estate will just remain in situ, any advice?
    Originally posted by katy123
    The solicitor is expected to renounce in such circumstances. If they will no renoune then you will proably have to go to their regulator but first you need to lodge a formal complaint under the firm's complaints procedure. You need to check how the property is held. Who arranged the funeral.
    • Mojisola
    • By Mojisola 5th Sep 17, 7:22 PM
    • 28,212 Posts
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    Mojisola
    • #3
    • 5th Sep 17, 7:22 PM
    • #3
    • 5th Sep 17, 7:22 PM
    Bank with the £2k is insisting probate
    Originally posted by katy123
    If that's going to pay for the funeral, there's definitely no need for probate.

    Get the funeral directors to send the invoice to the bank.
    • Keep pedalling
    • By Keep pedalling 5th Sep 17, 7:24 PM
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    Keep pedalling
    • #4
    • 5th Sep 17, 7:24 PM
    • #4
    • 5th Sep 17, 7:24 PM
    Which bank is insisting on probate? Even if they won't pay out without probate, they may pay funeral costs direct to a funeral director, which would clear the account out, which would overcome the near for probate.

    Funeral costs have first call on the estate, and if that pushes the estate into insolvency the solicitor cannot pass on her fees on to your GF.

    If your GFs will also appoints a solicitor as executor, make sure he changes it pronto.
    • katy123
    • By katy123 5th Sep 17, 7:57 PM
    • 203 Posts
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    katy123
    • #5
    • 5th Sep 17, 7:57 PM
    • #5
    • 5th Sep 17, 7:57 PM
    The thing is my GF has already paid the funeral in full, but I know that it should be the same, i.e. funeral has first call whether it has been paid or not by somebody else.

    Will ask the funeral to send to bank. Thank you so much for your comments, I'm going to complain........

    What if this scenario arises? We manage to get funds out without probate. say 5 years later we find out somehow that there were other savings, will we have to go back to the solicitor again to get probate? From our point of view, it is therefore easier if solicitor just renounce executorship (letter) so if this arises, we can apply ourselves but from her point of view, she don't want to give it up. How can we force her to give this to us? If the answer is you can't, then there will always be this stand off. Solicitor's mind will be thinking "who knows for 100% sure there isn't other money and how much", but we are 99% sure there isn't. Hence if they gives it up, we can make enquiries ourselves, but we can't enquire without being named as the executor (with probate), it's a catch 22 situation.
    • Yorkshireman99
    • By Yorkshireman99 5th Sep 17, 9:15 PM
    • 2,954 Posts
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    Yorkshireman99
    • #6
    • 5th Sep 17, 9:15 PM
    • #6
    • 5th Sep 17, 9:15 PM
    The thing is my GF has already paid the funeral in full, but I know that it should be the same, i.e. funeral has first call whether it has been paid or not by somebody else.

    Will ask the funeral to send to bank. Thank you so much for your comments, I'm going to complain........

    What if this scenario arises? We manage to get funds out without probate. say 5 years later we find out somehow that there were other savings, will we have to go back to the solicitor again to get probate? From our point of view, it is therefore easier if solicitor just renounce executorship (letter) so if this arises, we can apply ourselves but from her point of view, she don't want to give it up. How can we force her to give this to us? If the answer is you can't, then there will always be this stand off. Solicitor's mind will be thinking "who knows for 100% sure there isn't other money and how much", but we are 99% sure there isn't. Hence if they gives it up, we can make enquiries ourselves, but we can't enquire without being named as the executor (with probate), it's a catch 22 situation.
    Originally posted by katy123
    If you can persuade the solicitor to renounce probate you can apply for letters of administration with the will annexed. Don't do this unless you are sure the state is solvent. As I said first make a formal complaint under the firms complaints procedure.
    • poppystar
    • By poppystar 5th Sep 17, 9:33 PM
    • 174 Posts
    • 476 Thanks
    poppystar
    • #7
    • 5th Sep 17, 9:33 PM
    • #7
    • 5th Sep 17, 9:33 PM
    We just met the solicitor who was named as executor, we made it clear that there is £2k in bank account and the house is jointly owned with grandad (so it automatically goes to him). Solicitor is insisting that she explore whether there is other cash in other banks and said she will not relinquish her role and will charge us. We asked who would have to pay for the work as the estate is insolvent (insufficient to cover funeral cost), she said grandad. Bank with the £2k is insisting probate so what we want is for the solicitor to renounce her role so grandad or my dad can apply for probate ourselves to save cost. She said the estate will just remain in situ, any advice?
    Originally posted by katy123

    A question for the more knowledgable (YM… on what grounds would the GF have to pay?
    - surely the executor works for the estate (which can't pay)?
    - is the solicitor saying he should pay because he is husband? or a beneficiary (of nothing in this case)?

    It seems ludicrous that someone not benefitting and not contracting the solicitor should have to pay. Also an odd precedent that would seem to suggest if someone is left something in a will of an insolvent estate they can be made to pay money that they might not have and will not be inheriting.
    • Mojisola
    • By Mojisola 5th Sep 17, 9:35 PM
    • 28,212 Posts
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    Mojisola
    • #8
    • 5th Sep 17, 9:35 PM
    • #8
    • 5th Sep 17, 9:35 PM
    A question for the more knowledgable (YM… on what grounds would the GF have to pay?
    Originally posted by poppystar
    He wouldn't.
    • poppystar
    • By poppystar 5th Sep 17, 9:48 PM
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    poppystar
    • #9
    • 5th Sep 17, 9:48 PM
    • #9
    • 5th Sep 17, 9:48 PM
    He wouldn't.
    Originally posted by Mojisola
    Thanks. That's what I thought but when none had mentioned it in replies I wondered if I was missing something.
    • Yorkshireman99
    • By Yorkshireman99 5th Sep 17, 9:53 PM
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    Yorkshireman99
    He wouldn't.
    Originally posted by Mojisola
    We don't know if the house was owned as joint tenants or tenants in common. Therefore it could be possible that the estate might have an interest in it. That was my reason for saying it. What puzzles me is why the solicitor wants to administer the estate if it is, as it may be, insolvent.
    • katy123
    • By katy123 5th Sep 17, 10:13 PM
    • 203 Posts
    • 6 Thanks
    katy123
    We don't know if the house was owned as joint tenants or tenants in common. Therefore it could be possible that the estate might have an interest in it. That was my reason for saying it. What puzzles me is why the solicitor wants to administer the estate if it is, as it may be, insolvent.
    Originally posted by Yorkshireman99
    Joint tenants, 100% certain as confirmed by solicitor.
    • katy123
    • By katy123 5th Sep 17, 10:14 PM
    • 203 Posts
    • 6 Thanks
    katy123
    We don't know if the house was owned as joint tenants or tenants in common. Therefore it could be possible that the estate might have an interest in it. That was my reason for saying it. What puzzles me is why the solicitor wants to administer the estate if it is, as it may be, insolvent.
    Originally posted by Yorkshireman99
    We are puzzled too. She is banging on about potential money we don't know about in other banks and she wants to write out to banks and charge GF knowing the estate is insolvent at the moment.
    • katy123
    • By katy123 5th Sep 17, 10:15 PM
    • 203 Posts
    • 6 Thanks
    katy123
    If you can persuade the solicitor to renounce probate you can apply for letters of administration with the will annexed. Don't do this unless you are sure the state is solvent. As I said first make a formal complaint under the firms complaints procedure.
    Originally posted by Yorkshireman99
    What tactics can I use to persuade? I can't think of any that can/will work legally..hahah
    • Yorkshireman99
    • By Yorkshireman99 5th Sep 17, 11:24 PM
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    Yorkshireman99
    I can only repeat. Make a formal complaint to the firm.
    • securityguy
    • By securityguy 6th Sep 17, 3:07 AM
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    securityguy
    If the estate is effectively insolvent, and the house is joint tenants so outside the estate, why don't you just walk away?
    • Yorkshireman99
    • By Yorkshireman99 6th Sep 17, 5:55 AM
    • 2,954 Posts
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    Yorkshireman99
    If the estate is effectively insolvent, and the house is joint tenants so outside the estate, why don't you just walk away?
    Originally posted by securityguy
    Agreed except the solicitor obviously thinks there IS value in the estate. Either the solicitor is incompetent or knows somerhing we don't.
    • Mojisola
    • By Mojisola 6th Sep 17, 9:30 AM
    • 28,212 Posts
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    Mojisola
    We asked who would have to pay for the work as the estate is insolvent (insufficient to cover funeral cost), she said grandad.
    Originally posted by katy123
    We don't know if the house was owned as joint tenants or tenants in common. Therefore it could be possible that the estate might have an interest in it.
    Originally posted by Yorkshireman99
    I agree - and someone else might decide to pay a bill rather than sell a property but that would be by choice, not because they were legally required to.

    If katy has understood the solicitor correctly, the solicitor has said that her grandad will be billed for the work even if the estate is insolvent - not someone I'd want to employ as a solicitor.
    • SevenOfNine
    • By SevenOfNine 6th Sep 17, 10:35 AM
    • 1,121 Posts
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    SevenOfNine
    The thing is my GF has already paid the funeral in full, but I know that it should be the same, i.e. funeral has first call whether it has been paid or not by somebody else.

    Will ask the funeral to send to bank. Thank you so much for your comments, I'm going to complain........
    Originally posted by katy123
    My mum was reimbursed within days by Barclays for her sister's funeral costs when we realised the funds could come from the estate. Mum had already paid 1/2 but Barclays just asked for sight of the invoice & coughed up without quibbling at all. The funeral director sent the invoice directly to them for the other half.

    Take GF into the bank with the invoice.

    Are you absolutely SURE there is no money hidden elsewhere, it does sound like this solicitor suspects there is. As has been said, complain, make it clear the estate is insolvent (not even £2k in the bank after funeral costs reimbursed), GF has not employed the solicitor & won't be paying any bills. In writing.
    Seen it all, done it all, can't remember most of it.
    • getmore4less
    • By getmore4less 6th Sep 17, 12:10 PM
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    getmore4less
    I would do the land registry work first you only need the death cert.
    • TBagpuss
    • By TBagpuss 6th Sep 17, 1:18 PM
    • 5,866 Posts
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    TBagpuss
    Agreed except the solicitor obviously thinks there IS value in the estate. Either the solicitor is incompetent or knows somerhing we don't.
    Originally posted by Yorkshireman99
    If there is anything in the estate, then the solicitor would still have to distribute it in accordance with the will.

    If there is not, they cannot bill your GF unless he separately agrees with them that he will pay.

    I would be a bit inclined to write to the solicitor stating something along the lines of

    "I understand that you have refused my/our request to renounce your role as executor under [name]'s will, despite my having requested that you do so.

    under the circumstances, I understand that you will now be applying for probate and dealing with the estate.

    I enclose a copy of the invoice and receipt in relation to funeral coasts. I am aware that these must be paid as the first call on the estate, and look forward to receiving reimbursement."

    She can't bill your GF, she can only bill the estate. As long as you F doesn't sign anything agreeing to pay her costs, he will be fine.

    TBH, if she wants to take on an insolvent estate, I would suggest that you do nothing whatsoever to discourage her - it saves you having to do so and risking making any mistakes. And if she does find some other assets, then you are still better off than you expect to be, and you (or your grandfather) can still make a complaint if she does not deal properly with the estate.
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