Father's Death - Estate a complete mess?

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Deaths, Funerals & Probate
6 replies 1.3K views
Temp2015Temp2015 Forumite
3 Posts
edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Deaths, Funerals & Probate
Forgive the temporary ID, I don't want to post under my usual name.

Earlier in the year my father died. There's just me and my brother. He's left everything 50/50 between us.

We duly went to his house to collect all the financial paperwork to take to the solicitors (he appointed), as requested by the solicitor.

It was during the investigation of the paperwork we found there was a huge mortgage, bills & debts. Whether we found all of them we do not know.

The worse of it was, absolutely no insurance whatsoever, not even mortgage cover. The house (given the state of it) was very unlikely to even raise enough to cover the mortgage.

The solicitor renounced him being the executor there and then. And advised us to do the same.

He passed all the paperwork to the mortgage company, and told them to deal with it.

Now the house has sold, and we've been advised it sold with enough to clear the mortgage with an unknown value left over. It could be 10p, £1 or £10,000. We simply do not know.

The question is, should we proceed with a Grant of Letters of Administration or just let it go to court and then how do we apply for any left over funds, and can we claim the funeral costs back?

We have heard from the mortgage solicitors with this text :-
[FONT=&quot]We act for XXXXXXX, the mortgagee in possession of the above property. Following [/FONT][FONT=&quot]the redemption of our clients charge we have been instructed to distribute a balance of surplus [/FONT][FONT=&quot]funds.[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]We note from your letter dated 20 May 2015 that your firm had decided to renounce their appointment as Executors together with their right to the Grant of Letters of Administration. We also note that you stated that the late Mr xxxxx's two sons were to propose to renounce any right that they had to a Grant of Letters of Administration.[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]We advise that our client is not obliged to act in the capacity suggested in your letter. Please [/FONT][FONT=&quot]therefore confirm that both your firm and Mr xxxxx's two sons did not proceed to obtain Grant of Letters of Administration. We will then submit an application to pay the entire balance of surplus funds into Court.[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]We would be grateful to receive a response by xx December 2015. If we do not receive a [/FONT][FONT=&quot]response by this date, we will continue with our application to Court.[/FONT]

Replies

  • theoreticatheoretica Forumite
    8.6K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Name Dropper Photogenic
    ✭✭✭✭
    Unless there would be money left over after all the bills and debts (not just the mortgage) I can see no reason for you to claim this money and have the responsibility for distributing it. How soon does it become public knowledge what a house sold for? I imagine someone in the know could find out before it gets to Zoopla and the like, and that would let you calculate how much might have been left over after the mortgage.
    But a banker, engaged at enormous expense,
    Had the whole of their cash in his care.
    Lewis Carroll
  • Keep_pedallingKeep_pedalling Forumite
    9.5K Posts
    Sixth Anniversary 1,000 Posts Name Dropper Photogenic
    ✭✭✭✭
    Presumably you and your brother paid for the funeral, and that debt should have first call on the surplus from the house sale. After that the unsecured debts need to be settled and if there is anything left after that then that goes to you and your brother.

    Without knowing how much is left over makes the decision difficult, but it may be easier and quicker to get the funeral costs back if you handle the administration yourself although this would mean you need to deal with your dad's creditors as well so not a pleasant task. Personally I would take some professional advice this is not something you want to get wrong.
  • Yorkshireman99Yorkshireman99 Forumite
    5.5K Posts
    ✭✭✭✭
    Temp2015 wrote: »
    Forgive the temporary ID, I don't want to post under my usual name.

    Earlier in the year my father died. There's just me and my brother. He's left everything 50/50 between us.

    We duly went to his house to collect all the financial paperwork to take to the solicitors (he appointed), as requested by the solicitor.

    It was during the investigation of the paperwork we found there was a huge mortgage, bills & debts. Whether we found all of them we do not know.

    The worse of it was, absolutely no insurance whatsoever, not even mortgage cover. The house (given the state of it) was very unlikely to even raise enough to cover the mortgage.

    The solicitor renounced him being the executor there and then. And advised us to do the same.

    He passed all the paperwork to the mortgage company, and told them to deal with it.

    Now the house has sold, and we've been advised it sold with enough to clear the mortgage with an unknown value left over. It could be 10p, £1 or £10,000. We simply do not know.

    The question is, should we proceed with a Grant of Letters of Administration or just let it go to court and then how do we apply for any left over funds, and can we claim the funeral costs back?

    We have heard from the mortgage solicitors with this text :-
    [FONT=&quot]We act for XXXXXXX, the mortgagee in possession of the above property. Following [/FONT][FONT=&quot]the redemption of our clients charge we have been instructed to distribute a balance of surplus [/FONT][FONT=&quot]funds.[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]We note from your letter dated 20 May 2015 that your firm had decided to renounce their appointment as Executors together with their right to the Grant of Letters of Administration. We also note that you stated that the late Mr xxxxx's two sons were to propose to renounce any right that they had to a Grant of Letters of Administration.[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]We advise that our client is not obliged to act in the capacity suggested in your letter. Please [/FONT][FONT=&quot]therefore confirm that both your firm and Mr xxxxx's two sons did not proceed to obtain Grant of Letters of Administration. We will then submit an application to pay the entire balance of surplus funds into Court.[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]We would be grateful to receive a response by xx December 2015. If we do not receive a [/FONT][FONT=&quot]response by this date, we will continue with our application to Court.[/FONT]
    Ask how much the surplus is. If it is more than the debts than apply for LOA. Otherwise do nothing.
  • G_MG_M Forumite
    52K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper Combo Breaker
    ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    But I suspect if all 3 executers did indeed renounce their roles, then the mortgagee's solicitor will not give them any information (ie what funds were left over after the sale)

    DID you all 3 renounce?

    From your initial review of the paperwork:

    * do you have any idea of the outstanding mortgage before the sale?
    * do you have any idea of the other outstanding debts?
    * do you have any idea of the possible sale value?

    in other words - can you make any intelligent guess as to whether there might be a positive balance in the Estate after paying off all critors.

    On the plus side, you won't have to worry about Inheritance Tax.
  • dzug1dzug1 Forumite
    13.5K Posts
    10,000 Posts Combo Breaker
    ✭✭✭✭✭
    The (reasonable) funeral costs are another debt on the estate. The simplest course of action seems to be to write to the mortgagee's solicitor asking for them.
  • Keep_pedallingKeep_pedalling Forumite
    9.5K Posts
    Sixth Anniversary 1,000 Posts Name Dropper Photogenic
    ✭✭✭✭
    dzug1 wrote: »
    The (reasonable) funeral costs are another debt on the estate. The simplest course of action seems to be to write to the mortgagee's solicitor asking for them.

    From the opening post I don't think that will be possible, as they do not want to administer the estate, the OP would have to apply to the court. I would also think that in going to the court much of what is left over is going to be used up on legal expenses.
This discussion has been closed.
Latest MSE News and Guides

Energy price cap could be extended beyond 2023

New plans have just been announced by the Government

MSE News

Cheap contents insurance for tenants

DON'T assume your landlord covers you

MSE Guides

Summer sizzlers round-up

Incl £2ish sun cream & £1.50 disposable BBQs

MSE Deals