Last Will & Testament

Does anyone know what the procedure is when a relative dies and there is a will. A close relative died last week and he made a will recently when he knew he was going to die. Not knowing anything about it or who the executors were we paid for all funeral expenses and was then told the executors should have asked for the receipts to be given to solicitor. We were quite happy to pay but wonder what the procedure is now.

How long does the solicitor take to sort out the will. Do they write to the beneficiaries, if so how long does this take?

It is very difficult to talk to anyone to know what to do, it doesnt seem the right time but just want to make sure his wishes are carried out. Hopefully the executors will do this but may not know their responsibilities as there are three of them and they didnt ask for any receipts etc. Any help would be appreciated.
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  • SystemSystem Forumite
    177.9K Posts
    10,000 Posts Name Dropper
    In my experience it can take 6 months or more for the estate to be settled. Probate will have to be obtained and the solicitor/executors have to contact all banks/building societies, insurance companies, employers, pension providers, utility companies and anyone who might be owed money to get settlement details.
    I would contact the solicitor, if there is one, or one of the executors and give them a copy of your receipts and they will reimburse you for the funeral expenses once they have received any funds from closed accounts or insurance payouts. The beneficiaries will not be paid until all monies are in and all debts paid including any Inheritance tax.
    The executors also need to contact the deceased's tax office to inform them of the death and ask for an R27 form (if the deceased is dealt with under PAYE as opposed to SA - Self-assessment). This form is used to clarify if any refund of tax is due for the tax year up to the date of death.
  • sylblakesylblake Forumite
    113 Posts
    I think I am probably a beneficiary of the will but have not contacted the solicitor. I didnt think this was the right thing to do under these circumstances. At what point would the solicitor contact a beneficiary - would a beneficiary be advised before the estate was sorted out or on completion of everything? A neighbour of the deceased has all paperwork, key to house, etc for safe keeping. The executors are other neighbours.
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  • margaretclaremargaretclare Forumite
    10.8K Posts
    Hi all

    I heard of a horrendous case not long ago. A woman was left a widow, husband's estate was all going to probate, his bank were the executors. She had NO INCOME and no funds at all that she could access apart from her share of the married couple's state pension.

    Since hearing that we've decided to open a basic joint account just to pay the normal household bills (by direct debit). At present they go from my account. Although we've both had reasons to distrust joint accounts (from former marriage partners!!) we're now in a much more open and trusting relationship and we can see the benefit of doing this.

    Can't imagine anything worse, being bereaved AND having to worry about e.g. the electricity being chopped through not having money to pay for it.

    Best wishes

    [FONT=Times New Roman, serif]Æ[/FONT]r ic wisdom funde, [FONT=Times New Roman, serif]æ[/FONT]r wear[FONT=Times New Roman, serif]ð[/FONT] ic eald.
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  • Ted_HutchinsonTed_Hutchinson
    7.1K Posts
    Last JUNE I was the beneficiary of a relatives estate.
    I was contacted by the solicitor JULY telling me roughly the amount, and how it was made up and how it was supposed to be divided up. We had a choice between selling the shares and dividing up the money or re-assigning the shares. We asked the solicitor to sell the shares and then divide the money.
    By AUGUST the shares were sold and the cheques were issued. However SEPTEMBER there were some further dividend payments and other assets which had been overlooked so another cheque arrived.

    I felt the service was prompt and hassle free however from a fund of about £10,000 the Professional charges were £925.50 plus £161.96 so about 10% for him and the rest split equally between 4 of us.
    Still don't really know if it would have been better for us each to have had a quarter of the shares allocated but I expect there would have been charges to doing that as well and it was felt selling the lot and splitting the cash would be quicker and easier so I was outvoted.
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