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  • FIRST POST
    • NKR
    • By NKR 11th Jan 18, 6:44 PM
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    NKR
    co-executor refusing to transfer agreed money to his beneficiary daughter
    • #1
    • 11th Jan 18, 6:44 PM
    co-executor refusing to transfer agreed money to his beneficiary daughter 11th Jan 18 at 6:44 PM
    My brother and I were joint executors for my father's estate. Everything was left 50/50 to each of us, with the exception of money that he had put into named accounts with a Unit Trust provider, for his grandchildren. As executors, we had agreed that this money should be distributed to his daughter "T", and my son "F", and the remaining estate split between us. This was recorded in a spreadsheet that we had created to track everything. We also exchanged emails, of which I have a copy, in which he acknowledges transferring the money for "T" (about £12,000) from the account we had set up for my late father's estate, into his own account. We had agreed that he would send the money to his daughter, and me to my Son. I did this immediately, and my son acknowledged receipt of the funds by email to both of us.
    About this time my brother discovered a previous boyfriend relationship that his daughter had had, of which he very strongly disapproved. This was the beginning of a rupture in their relationship. About a month after I'd transferred the money to my son, I asked if he had done the same to his daughter. He said he hadn't because he thought she was a spendthrift, and would just fritter the money away. I told him that this was irrelevant, and that he had a legal duty as executor to transfer the money to her. This was all in November 2014. Subsequently, my brother & I became estranged, and have not communicated. I have been in more regular contact with "T" over the last few months, providing some career guidance etc (she has no contact with her father), and it soon became apparent that she had not received the inheritance.
    I have just sent emails to my brother asking that he carry out his duties as executor.
    What recourse do I have if he refuses to transfer the money? It seems that he has committed probate fraud, but I would like a solution that avoids expensive litigation.
Page 1
    • Margot123
    • By Margot123 11th Jan 18, 6:52 PM
    • 526 Posts
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    Margot123
    • #2
    • 11th Jan 18, 6:52 PM
    • #2
    • 11th Jan 18, 6:52 PM
    Seek professional legal advice for this. Most local solicitors offer a free 20 minute session in which you will be able to ask your options.
    • Keep pedalling
    • By Keep pedalling 11th Jan 18, 7:55 PM
    • 4,333 Posts
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    Keep pedalling
    • #3
    • 11th Jan 18, 7:55 PM
    • #3
    • 11th Jan 18, 7:55 PM
    If the unit trusts were written in trust to the grandchildren, they did not form part of your father’s estate and should have been paid directly to the beneficiaries unless they were minors at the time, in which case they should have been held in trust until they reached 18.

    If on the other hand they weren’t and simply formed part of his estate then any reallocation should have been done through a deed of variation. If this is the case then your informal executors agreements means nothing, and he is under no obligation to give any share of his inheritance to his daughter, and your son’s “inheritance” as actually a gift from you.
    • Tom99
    • By Tom99 12th Jan 18, 2:04 AM
    • 1,012 Posts
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    Tom99
    • #4
    • 12th Jan 18, 2:04 AM
    • #4
    • 12th Jan 18, 2:04 AM
    If the unit trusts were written in trust to the grandchildren, they did not form part of your father’s estate and should have been paid directly to the beneficiaries unless they were minors at the time, in which case they should have been held in trust until they reached 18.

    If on the other hand they weren’t and simply formed part of his estate then any reallocation should have been done through a deed of variation. If this is the case then your informal executors agreements means nothing, and he is under no obligation to give any share of his inheritance to his daughter, and your son’s “inheritance” as actually a gift from you.
    Originally posted by Keep pedalling
    I would think the OP is saying the amount in the Unit Trust was left to his grandchildren in his will.
    • Keep pedalling
    • By Keep pedalling 12th Jan 18, 9:14 AM
    • 4,333 Posts
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    Keep pedalling
    • #5
    • 12th Jan 18, 9:14 AM
    • #5
    • 12th Jan 18, 9:14 AM
    I would think the OP is saying the amount in the Unit Trust was left to his grandchildren in his will.
    Originally posted by Tom99
    I think you need to read the opening post again, the will was a simple 50/50 split.
    • jackyann
    • By jackyann 12th Jan 18, 9:25 AM
    • 3,282 Posts
    • 7,403 Thanks
    jackyann
    • #6
    • 12th Jan 18, 9:25 AM
    • #6
    • 12th Jan 18, 9:25 AM
    I would think the OP is saying the amount in the Unit Trust was left to his grandchildren in his will.
    Originally posted by Tom99
    I think that this is unclear. OP says that the amount in the Unit Trust was 'for his grandchildren' AND that the executors 'had agreed'. The fact that they transferred the money into their own accounts, with the intention of transferring it to T & F, indicates to me that this was an informal agreement, not stated in the will.

    So OP, I think it all hinges on what the will actually said. If it does not specifically name T & F (or grandchildren) then it would appear to me that your bother has acted legally (if not morally).
    If you have any proof of your father's wishes, then you may think it worthwhile seeking legal advice.
    Even if you have no legal recourse, I would keep the paperwork and information that you have. Family feuds shift about a bit, and you may yet be able to persuade your brother to honour your father's wishes.

    Can I, at a personal level, suggest you consider another approach to your brother? Saying something like that in the course of your discussions with your niece about her career, it seems that she is now mature enough to handle the money properly. That gives your brother a reason to hand over the money and save face.

    Of course, if the will does name the grandchildren, then tell your brother you will be seeking legal advice.

    Good luck
    • Tom99
    • By Tom99 12th Jan 18, 9:38 AM
    • 1,012 Posts
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    Tom99
    • #7
    • 12th Jan 18, 9:38 AM
    • #7
    • 12th Jan 18, 9:38 AM
    I think you need to read the opening post again, the will was a simple 50/50 split.
    Originally posted by Keep pedalling
    "with the exception of money that he had put into named accounts with a Unit Trust provider, for his grandchildren"
    • Jenniefour
    • By Jenniefour 12th Jan 18, 11:07 AM
    • 1,298 Posts
    • 1,402 Thanks
    Jenniefour
    • #8
    • 12th Jan 18, 11:07 AM
    • #8
    • 12th Jan 18, 11:07 AM
    "with the exception of money that he had put into named accounts with a Unit Trust provider, for his grandchildren"
    Originally posted by Tom99
    Perhaps OP will clarify. Keep pedalling has covered both possible scenarios neatly - either the accounts for the grandchildren were held in trust for them, didn't form part of the estate and should have been handed over to the grandchildren or it was an informal agreement between OP and his/her brother and discretionary. If it's the former then OP might want to get legal advice since he/she has a joint responsibility as co-executor to ensure the estate has been dealt with properly.
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