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  • FIRST POST
    • brooke68
    • By brooke68 2nd Oct 17, 10:19 AM
    • 102Posts
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    brooke68
    Executors dragging their feet?
    • #1
    • 2nd Oct 17, 10:19 AM
    Executors dragging their feet? 2nd Oct 17 at 10:19 AM
    I know this is a bit of a 'piece of string' question but what would be a reasonable timescale to wrap up an estate? My husband's stepfather died at the beginning of April. He knew he was dying so left everything in good order from what I've been told by the executor. He was an ex policeman and scrupulous about record keeping. Probate wasn't granted until June and the house didn't go on the market until the beginning of August. It sold within a week (we were told it was with no chain involved hence the executors accepting a price £15k under the asking price) but any enquiries as to how long it is likely to be before the estate is finalised is met with vague answers.
    Is this a reasonable timeframe for an estate of this kind?
Page 1
    • Linton
    • By Linton 2nd Oct 17, 10:47 AM
    • 8,325 Posts
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    Linton
    • #2
    • 2nd Oct 17, 10:47 AM
    • #2
    • 2nd Oct 17, 10:47 AM
    The timescale looks reasonable so far. My father died in the March, an offer was accepted prior to probate within a week of the house going on the market in May, the house was sold in September and there was a preliminary distribution in October. The final distribution happened a few months later.

    Is there a date for exchange/completion of the sale? It can take some time between acceptance of offer and money changing hands, after then things can move fairly quickly.

    So be patient and dont hassle the executor. She/he is probably under significant stress at the moment.

    Is the estate being sorted by a solicitor or a family member? Solicitors can be very slow.
    • Margot123
    • By Margot123 2nd Oct 17, 2:26 PM
    • 120 Posts
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    Margot123
    • #3
    • 2nd Oct 17, 2:26 PM
    • #3
    • 2nd Oct 17, 2:26 PM
    A reasonable timeframe is when all estate debts are cleared eg DWP overpayments, tax etc, and not before. This can take quite some time as executors have to make sure that these are paid first, otherwise they are personally liable for distributing funds wrongly.
    I would allow a year for it to be sorted before making an informal enquiry.
    • brooke68
    • By brooke68 4th Oct 17, 7:50 AM
    • 102 Posts
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    brooke68
    • #4
    • 4th Oct 17, 7:50 AM
    • #4
    • 4th Oct 17, 7:50 AM
    The timescale looks reasonable so far. My father died in the March, an offer was accepted prior to probate within a week of the house going on the market in May, the house was sold in September and there was a preliminary distribution in October. The final distribution happened a few months later.

    Is there a date for exchange/completion of the sale? It can take some time between acceptance of offer and money changing hands, after then things can move fairly quickly.

    So be patient and dont hassle the executor. She/he is probably under significant stress at the moment.

    Is the estate being sorted by a solicitor or a family member? Solicitors can be very slow.
    Originally posted by Linton
    The estate is being managed by a friend of my father in law who tells us she is a retired legal professional (I don't know in what capacity). My husband and his step father were estranged so we don't know this lady.

    My children are the beneficiaries. She did send my adult son a list of the debts to be paid (but not the amounts) so I think everything should be pretty straightforward. Apart from a small mortgage remaining and a bill for a recently built conservatory, the only debts will be to the estate agent and solicitor from what we understand. Surely these will be paid as soon as the sale goes through?
    • Linton
    • By Linton 4th Oct 17, 8:20 AM
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    Linton
    • #5
    • 4th Oct 17, 8:20 AM
    • #5
    • 4th Oct 17, 8:20 AM
    Selling a house usually takes many weeks There is a lot that must happen between acceptance of offer and actually getting the cash from the buyer with a moderate chance that the sale never gets to that stage.

    The mortgage will be paid off as part of the sale of the house. The EA will be paid by the conveyancer. The remaining money is then sent to the executor who pays off any other debts. When the debts have been paid and receipts obtained money can be distributed to the beneficiaries.

    A professional executor (or a prudent non-professional) is likely to only make a partial distribution as further debts could be discovered. The final distribution may not happen until a year after death.
    Last edited by Linton; 04-10-2017 at 8:31 AM.
    • brooke68
    • By brooke68 4th Oct 17, 9:02 AM
    • 102 Posts
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    brooke68
    • #6
    • 4th Oct 17, 9:02 AM
    • #6
    • 4th Oct 17, 9:02 AM
    A professional executor (or a prudent non-professional) is likely to only make a partial distribution as further debts could be discovered. The final distribution may not happen until a year after death.
    Originally posted by Linton
    Is my son, as a residuary beneficiary, likely to receive anything in the partial distribution or will he only receive his share in the final distribution?
    • Yorkshireman99
    • By Yorkshireman99 4th Oct 17, 11:37 AM
    • 3,140 Posts
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    Yorkshireman99
    • #7
    • 4th Oct 17, 11:37 AM
    • #7
    • 4th Oct 17, 11:37 AM
    Is my son, as a residuary beneficiary, likely to receive anything in the partial distribution or will he only receive his share in the final distribution?
    Originally posted by brooke68
    Probably not unless there are a lot of liquid funds.
    • troubleinparadise
    • By troubleinparadise 4th Oct 17, 12:37 PM
    • 975 Posts
    • 1,604 Thanks
    troubleinparadise
    • #8
    • 4th Oct 17, 12:37 PM
    • #8
    • 4th Oct 17, 12:37 PM
    Is my son, as a residuary beneficiary, likely to receive anything in the partial distribution or will he only receive his share in the final distribution?
    Originally posted by brooke68
    When I picked up my Mum’s will from the solicitors storing it, I was warned not to make any purchases, such as buying a house, relying on any possible inheritance as when it might arrive was impossible to say.

    He could ask the executor if there might be a partial distribution, but probably should anticipate that there won’t be.

    Whilst the executor may be familiar with the process, and the affairs in order, the toing and froing of paper communications and the vagaries of companies administrative systems means the process takes a lot longer than you might think.

    As it is only 6 months from the death and a house to sell in the estate, it has progressed pretty quickly. I wouldn’t say the executor has dragged their feet at all, however orderly the affairs of the deceased; if anything, that is pretty quick even if the final distribution is still to be made. I’m afraid your son will probably need to be patient for a while longer.
    Last edited by troubleinparadise; 04-10-2017 at 12:41 PM.
    • Margot123
    • By Margot123 4th Oct 17, 3:28 PM
    • 120 Posts
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    Margot123
    • #9
    • 4th Oct 17, 3:28 PM
    • #9
    • 4th Oct 17, 3:28 PM
    When waiting for an inheritance it's perhaps prudent to accept that 'Christmas' might be postponed till 'Easter' ;-)
    • -taff
    • By -taff 4th Oct 17, 8:33 PM
    • 7,429 Posts
    • 4,870 Thanks
    -taff
    Perfectly reasonable. Very quick in fact.
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