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  • FIRST POST
    • missbee79
    • By missbee79 5th Dec 17, 10:49 PM
    • 7Posts
    • 1Thanks
    missbee79
    Intestacy rules not followed
    • #1
    • 5th Dec 17, 10:49 PM
    Intestacy rules not followed 5th Dec 17 at 10:49 PM
    Hi I wonder if any one can help please.
    My grandmother died in May and despite her telling me that my Uncle had her Will - it has now transpired that she has died intestate leaving 7 children. She often told me how much money she had and since her death my uncle divided her estate as he pleases. He has left 2 brothers out and not shared the remainder equally. I believe her estate to be approx £50k but I have no proof only my grandmothers word. He has offered no explanation on how her estate was divided - he hasnt applied for probate or letters of administration and simply gave 4 envelopes of unequal cash to his 4 brothers and sisters totalling £20k.
    When finally asked for an explanation he said he was highly offended and refused to meet up to discuss further. We politely wrote to him asking for an explanation and he wrote back admitting that he had not followed the rules of intestacy and asked all family members to return the cash they had received in order for him to now divide equally. He knows that this is not possible in my mums case as she bought a small car with her share. He has also offered no explanation on the value of her estate or offered to provide proof.
    My mum and uncle have sought legal advice but have been told by the firm that due to the small estate it would not be beneficial to the family to proceed down the legal route as the costs would outweigh any benefits.
    Does anybody have any suggestions on how we can get some closure on this, a i feel he has manipulated the situation to his advantage and potentially stole £25-£30kk from my Grandmothers estate. Please help
Page 1
    • Yorkshireman99
    • By Yorkshireman99 5th Dec 17, 11:11 PM
    • 3,366 Posts
    • 2,726 Thanks
    Yorkshireman99
    • #2
    • 5th Dec 17, 11:11 PM
    • #2
    • 5th Dec 17, 11:11 PM
    Hi I wonder if any one can help please.
    My grandmother died in May and despite her telling me that my Uncle had her Will - it has now transpired that she has died intestate leaving 7 children. She often told me how much money she had and since her death my uncle divided her estate as he pleases. He has left 2 brothers out and not shared the remainder equally. I believe her estate to be approx £50k but I have no proof only my grandmothers word. He has offered no explanation on how her estate was divided - he hasnt applied for probate or letters of administration and simply gave 4 envelopes of unequal cash to his 4 brothers and sisters totalling £20k.
    When finally asked for an explanation he said he was highly offended and refused to meet up to discuss further. We politely wrote to him asking for an explanation and he wrote back admitting that he had not followed the rules of intestacy and asked all family members to return the cash they had received in order for him to now divide equally. He knows that this is not possible in my mums case as she bought a small car with her share. He has also offered no explanation on the value of her estate or offered to provide proof.
    My mum and uncle have sought legal advice but have been told by the firm that due to the small estate it would not be beneficial to the family to proceed down the legal route as the costs would outweigh any benefits.
    Does anybody have any suggestions on how we can get some closure on this, a i feel he has manipulated the situation to his advantage and potentially stole £25-£30kk from my Grandmothers estate. Please help
    Originally posted by missbee79
    To obtain the money from the bank accounts he will have to have signed an indemnity. If someone now applies for letters of administration they will be able to revolver the funds from the bank who will try to recover them from the culprit. However this will not be easy without knowing the banks. You could go to the police but they may not be interested. Perhaps a letter saying what you plan to do might bring him to his senses.
    Last edited by Yorkshireman99; 06-12-2017 at 8:26 AM.
    • missbee79
    • By missbee79 6th Dec 17, 7:23 AM
    • 7 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    missbee79
    • #3
    • 6th Dec 17, 7:23 AM
    • #3
    • 6th Dec 17, 7:23 AM
    Thanks. We know her account details so we could try this route.
    Much appreciated!
    • Margot123
    • By Margot123 6th Dec 17, 8:32 AM
    • 289 Posts
    • 247 Thanks
    Margot123
    • #4
    • 6th Dec 17, 8:32 AM
    • #4
    • 6th Dec 17, 8:32 AM
    I'm sorry for your loss and the stress you are going through.

    Your solicitor will have provided you with the best advice already, and it appears that any Court action will be nonviable. Costs for such cases can run to £40k+, even for something fairly straightforward.

    It may be worth investigating if there is evidence of fraud. Although it may be that your Grandmother and Uncle had joint bank accounts.
    Before contacting the Police, it would be wise to consult your solicitor. However even if fraud can be proven, it doesn't mean the situation would be rectified financially.
    • missbee79
    • By missbee79 6th Dec 17, 8:54 AM
    • 7 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    missbee79
    • #5
    • 6th Dec 17, 8:54 AM
    • #5
    • 6th Dec 17, 8:54 AM
    Thankyou Margot - it does seem that going down the legal route will prove to be too expensive and its very frustrating that the law only seems to be available to those who can afford it.

    It has been suggested that we apply for letters of administration and Probate as this would then give us the legal right to request her bank statements etc and administer her Estate correctly - does this seem viable?
    Also what would be the consequences for my uncle who has acted unlawfully? Would the beneficiaries need to pay back what they have received to correct the estate as, in my mums case, she has spent hers prior to realizing what a mess this was.
    • PasturesNew
    • By PasturesNew 6th Dec 17, 9:02 AM
    • 60,942 Posts
    • 355,976 Thanks
    PasturesNew
    • #6
    • 6th Dec 17, 9:02 AM
    • #6
    • 6th Dec 17, 9:02 AM
    Would the beneficiaries need to pay back what they have received to correct the estate as, in my mums case, she has spent hers prior to realizing what a mess this was.
    Originally posted by missbee79
    It's all about how much you should have had -v- what you got.

    If the car was, say, £10k and she should have received £20k from the estate then hold onto the car and await £10k in the future when it's sorted.

    If the car was, say, £40k and she should have received £20k then the car would need to be sold to hand back £20k to the pot, to be given to whoever it was, or borrow the money to keep the car.

    Money handed out doesn't need to be handed back to start again .... somebody just needs to work out the figures properly and then compare to who got what and work out how to move forward from that.

    If your Xmas dinner were served up on your plate and then the server realised they'd given people 3 potatoes instead of 2 and they'd now run out - you'd not all scrape your dinners back into all the serving dishes and start again, you'd just compare what you'd got to what you should have had ...and hand back one spud.
    Last edited by PasturesNew; 06-12-2017 at 9:05 AM.
    • Yorkshireman99
    • By Yorkshireman99 6th Dec 17, 11:25 AM
    • 3,366 Posts
    • 2,726 Thanks
    Yorkshireman99
    • #7
    • 6th Dec 17, 11:25 AM
    • #7
    • 6th Dec 17, 11:25 AM
    Thankyou Margot - it does seem that going down the legal route will prove to be too expensive and its very frustrating that the law only seems to be available to those who can afford it.

    It has been suggested that we apply for letters of administration and Probate as this would then give us the legal right to request her bank statements etc and administer her Estate correctly - does this seem viable?
    Also what would be the consequences for my uncle who has acted unlawfully? Would the beneficiaries need to pay back what they have received to correct the estate as, in my mums case, she has spent hers prior to realizing what a mess this was.
    Originally posted by missbee79
    It is a very tricky situation as the uncle has stolen the money and then given some of it away. The recipients probably could be forced to return it as it is stolen property. However I don’t think the police will be interested.
    • Silvertabby
    • By Silvertabby 6th Dec 17, 12:52 PM
    • 1,914 Posts
    • 2,405 Thanks
    Silvertabby
    • #8
    • 6th Dec 17, 12:52 PM
    • #8
    • 6th Dec 17, 12:52 PM
    We politely wrote to him asking for an explanation and he wrote back admitting that he had not followed the rules of intestacy and asked all family members to return the cash they had received in order for him to now divide equally.
    Is it possible that your grandmother had any debts? Contrary to popular belief, loans, credit card debts, utility arrears, etc are not automatically written off after death - they have to be repaid from the estate, if there is one.

    If so, then it may be that your uncle wants the money back to pay off these bills. Yorkshireman may confirm, but my understanding is that if the administrator of an estate keeps/distributes the money instead of using it to pay off any debts, then the administrator becomes personally liable for said debts up to the limit of the money he had misappropriated.
    Last edited by Silvertabby; 06-12-2017 at 2:33 PM.
    • gingercordial
    • By gingercordial 6th Dec 17, 1:20 PM
    • 1,041 Posts
    • 1,026 Thanks
    gingercordial
    • #9
    • 6th Dec 17, 1:20 PM
    • #9
    • 6th Dec 17, 1:20 PM
    Why would your grandmother think and say she'd made a will when there wasn't one? You even had some details on your other thread:

    "The Will was a simple WHSmith one and definitely not registered she told me my uncle had it which he had denied."

    I find it very hard to believe your grandmother would have imagined this to the extent of knowing where she'd got the template from.

    What I mean by this is I suspect there was a will, your uncle didn't like the contents, and is saying there never was one because he thought (wrongly) that this meant he can do what he likes. Maybe she left everything to one of the other siblings and nothing to him. Maybe she left everything to the cats' home.

    I don't think she died intestate at all.

    OP, if I were you I would confront my uncle (with someone else there as a witness) and ask where is the will that your grandmother told you, in detail, that she'd made and given to him. Or get a solicitor to write and ask this question formally. If you can remember when she told you this (even the year) give details.

    He might even admit there was one but say it wasn't valid as not properly signed or something - in which case that's an admission there was a document and you should ask him to produce it to prove it is not valid.

    But of course if it does exist, the contents might not be to your/your mother's benefit either!
    • Margot123
    • By Margot123 6th Dec 17, 3:52 PM
    • 289 Posts
    • 247 Thanks
    Margot123
    This is all conjecture.

    If the will cannot be found by all means available, then it does not exist in Law, and Grandma has died intestate. It is irrelevant who said what, it's the paper document that counts as evidence.
    • missbee79
    • By missbee79 6th Dec 17, 9:47 PM
    • 7 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    missbee79
    Thanks everyone.

    ive spoken to a number of solicitors today and it seems the cost of taking legal advice on this would run into the thousands.

    Despite my uncle not following the rules of intestacy, and not accounting for £20k, it seems he is above the law as we cannot afford the legal advice to correct this.

    We have tried to be reasonable and he is unwilling to provide any reasonable explanation - I am going to try my Citizens Advice tomorrow, but Im not too hopeful.

    It seems to me that the Law is only there for people who can afford it.
    • missbee79
    • By missbee79 6th Dec 17, 9:52 PM
    • 7 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    missbee79
    No she had no debts - he has asked for the money back so he can distribute the estate correctly - but he is failing to include the extra £20-30k missing. He has called our bluff and told us to get legal advice knowing full well we cannot afford this.
    • getmore4less
    • By getmore4less 7th Dec 17, 7:51 AM
    • 30,738 Posts
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    getmore4less
    He has left 2 brothers out
    These are the ones than need to deal with this.

    If he is claiming no will, then one action is for any one or more of the siblings to start the application for a grant of administration.
    everyone is equal in the queue.

    that will flush out a will or get a grant that can be used to do full investigations into the assets of the estate

    £215 + a bit between 6 <£50 each.
    • Margot123
    • By Margot123 7th Dec 17, 8:42 AM
    • 289 Posts
    • 247 Thanks
    Margot123
    These are the ones than need to deal with this.

    If he is claiming no will, then one action is for any one or more of the siblings to start the application for a grant of administration.
    everyone is equal in the queue.

    that will flush out a will or get a grant that can be used to do full investigations into the assets of the estate

    £215 + a bit between 6 <£50 each.
    Originally posted by getmore4less
    Whilst this is good advice, anyone considering this course of action will have to evaluate the potential legal costs and timescales.
    For example, they MAY be successful in their claim against 'Uncle' and MAY be awarded their costs (tens of thousands) BUT what if 'Uncle' is on a low income or is actually bankrupt? They could end up being paid £5 a week in dribs and drabs, ad infinitum.

    The OP has already, sensibly, sought professional legal advice from different sources, and has been made aware of the costs. If the case was viable for the claimants, a solicitor would already be offering their services.
    • getmore4less
    • By getmore4less 7th Dec 17, 10:28 AM
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    getmore4less
    Very little cost to start with as they are on an asset hunt.

    They know there is £20k as that's been dished out to 4 of the 7.
    ungle will have at least another £5k(doubt they left themselves out).

    if there is more they need a way to track that down and the grant is the starting point as they can make enquiries.
    • Margot123
    • By Margot123 7th Dec 17, 4:15 PM
    • 289 Posts
    • 247 Thanks
    Margot123
    For those of us who have gone through similar situations, I am sure most of us can say we start with several 'interested' parties offering practical and financial help. However we seem to end up where just one, or if you're lucky, 2 people who do the leg work while the rest sit back and wait for a payout.

    In reality, even close families rarely ever work together on these cases. It can be time consuming and very expensive for those prepared to take it all on.
    • konark
    • By konark 9th Dec 17, 2:31 AM
    • 923 Posts
    • 720 Thanks
    konark
    It seems a lot of money (£50k+)to have got his hands on without letters of administration, well above the threshold for a 'small' estate, is it possible the bank account /s were in joint names?

    If someone was to become administrator,( and it would be a next-of -kin ideally), they could certainly investigate how the Uncle was able to lay his hands on the deceased's assets and exactly how much was taken from the accounts and confront him with that information. The banks themselves may take action or call the police, your Uncle has certainly made himself a prime 'intermeddler' and as an official administrator of an estate you might just prod the police into some sort of action.. Or perhaps just the threat might bring the Uncle to his senses..

    Oh and if you're on Means tested benefits probate is free.
    Last edited by konark; 09-12-2017 at 2:33 AM. Reason: add
    • Margot123
    • By Margot123 9th Dec 17, 9:24 AM
    • 289 Posts
    • 247 Thanks
    Margot123
    Seems the only reasonable explanation as to how 'Uncle' was able to access such a large amount of money is that he either had Power of Attorney, they had a joint account, or he had third party access and has not informed the bank (or Office of Public Guardian) of the death.
    • Keep pedalling
    • By Keep pedalling 9th Dec 17, 9:57 AM
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    • 4,428 Thanks
    Keep pedalling
    It seems a lot of money (£50k+)to have got his hands on without letters of administration, well above the threshold for a 'small' estate, is it possible the bank account /s were in joint names?

    If someone was to become administrator,( and it would be a next-of -kin ideally), they could certainly investigate how the Uncle was able to lay his hands on the deceased's assets and exactly how much was taken from the accounts and confront him with that information. The banks themselves may take action or call the police, your Uncle has certainly made himself a prime 'intermeddler' and as an official administrator of an estate you might just prod the police into some sort of action.. Or perhaps just the threat might bring the Uncle to his senses..

    Oh and if you're on Means tested benefits probate is free.
    Originally posted by konark
    Banks will pay out quite large sums without the need to go through probate, Barclays will pay up to £30,000, so if split across several institutions that sort of money could be released without probate.

    There is the possibility of cause that the estate was no where near £50k as the OP has no proof that it was that high.
    • getmore4less
    • By getmore4less 9th Dec 17, 10:01 AM
    • 30,738 Posts
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    getmore4less
    Some Institutions release with Death certificate and indemnity,
    Some will want a will with named executor as well.

    Some of the limits without grant are quite high(eg Barclays £50k)
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