Will advice

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Deaths, Funerals & Probate
23 replies 2.8K views
wantnomoneyworrieswantnomoneyworries Forumite
561 Posts
edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Deaths, Funerals & Probate
My mother in law passed away earlier this month - she was 91 and spent her last weeks in a care home. In trying to get her affairs in order my sister-in-law looked for and found a will (mother-in-law had said she thought there was one. but not sure where it was kept) - now the will looks official, however it is not signed by my mother-in-law or any witnesses.
My brother-in-law is on it as executor (he's not her son) and he seems to think that this is the "official" will. A couple of life insurance policies have been paid to the executor and then paid into my mother-in-law's bank account, which her daughter can access (not a joint account but she had something that let her act for her mum?) and out of which she has paid for the funeral and some other bills.
They are now asking me to arrange to put the house on the market, but I am worried that there is no signed paperwork to prove the will is real!
I am not sure what the procedure is when someone dies, but wouldn't my brother-in-law need the actual signed original will to be able to do anything -and I am not sure my sister-in-law should be paying for things out of her mum's account?
Any advice gratefully received.
«13

Replies

  • Yorkshireman99Yorkshireman99 Forumite
    5.5K Posts
    ✭✭✭✭
    My mother in law passed away earlier this month - she was 91 and spent her last weeks in a care home. In trying to get her affairs in order my sister-in-law looked for and found a will (mother-in-law had said she thought there was one. but not sure where it was kept) - now the will looks official, however it is not signed by my mother-in-law or any witnesses.
    My brother-in-law is on it as executor (he's not her son) and he seems to think that this is the "official" will. A couple of life insurance policies have been paid to the executor and then paid into my mother-in-law's bank account, which her daughter can access (not a joint account but she had something that let her act for her mum?) and out of which she has paid for the funeral and some other bills.
    They are now asking me to arrange to put the house on the market, but I am worried that there is no signed paperwork to prove the will is real!
    I am not sure what the procedure is when someone dies, but wouldn't my brother-in-law need the actual signed original will to be able to do anything -and I am not sure my sister-in-law should be paying for things out of her mum's account?
    Any advice gratefully received.
    If the will is not signed or witnessed then it is invalid and cannot be admitted to probate. Someone needs to apply for letter so administration. Without that or a valid will the house cannot be sold.The payments out of the account may not be legal unless the bank have been told that your MIL is dead. Your BIL needs to be told quite firmly that he has to do this by the book.
  • Thank you Yorkshireman99 - I thought that was the case - just needed someone to agree with me - I think the chances are there is a genuine will held somewhere - but he seems to think the one he has is valid so doesn't need to pursue this- strange thing is he is an educated man, but doesn't seem to have an idea what he is doing or to think to ask someone - if you know what I mean.
  • Yorkshireman99Yorkshireman99 Forumite
    5.5K Posts
    ✭✭✭✭
    I do! Sadly greed often addles sensible people's brains. If there is no valid will then the Intestacy rules have to be followed that may well mean some people lose out. This may mean a valid will is concealed or destroyed.You need to be firm but polite in telling him. You can lodge a caveat if he will not play ball.
  • ShelldeanShelldean Forumite
    2.3K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts
    ✭✭✭✭
    Also any permission for sil to deal with mil bank account should've ceased when mil passed, I believe?????

    But it's common for banks to release funds for funerals from deceased persons account before probate is even granted in some cases.
  • jonesMUFCforeverjonesMUFCforever Forumite
    28.9K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper
    ✭✭✭✭✭
    Are you sure that this is not a copy of the will - who drew it out (solicitor?) they might have the true signed copy.
  • troubleinparadisetroubleinparadise Forumite
    1.1K Posts
    Ninth Anniversary 1,000 Posts Combo Breaker
    ✭✭✭
    The house will not be able to be sold without a valid will (or letters of administration if the estate is intestate) - perhaps a visit to solicitor to check over the "Will" would help to clear this up before it all gets too muddled.
  • edited 1 December 2015 at 2:28AM
    konarkkonark Forumite
    1.3K Posts
    ✭✭✭
    edited 1 December 2015 at 2:28AM
    If there's a solicitor's name on the will that's the place to start asking.

    If no valid will can be found she has died intestate. Letters of administration should be applied for and the the estate is then divided according to the rules of intestacy. You can put the house on the market if you wish but no sale can be concluded until LoA are granted.

    Your BIL (if he is not the deceased's son ) will probably not inherit under the intestacy laws.
  • Are you sure that this is not a copy of the will - who drew it out (solicitor?) they might have the true signed copy.

    Yes I think it is a copy - but my BIL thinks that's all he needs!
  • edited 1 December 2015 at 9:17AM
    wantnomoneyworrieswantnomoneyworries Forumite
    561 Posts
    edited 1 December 2015 at 9:17AM
    konark wrote: »
    If there's a solicitor's name on the will that's the place to start asking.

    If no valid will can be found she has died intestate. Letters of administration should be applied for and the the estate is then divided according to the rules of intestacy. You can put the house on the market if you wish but no sale can be concluded until LoA are granted.

    Your BIL (if he is not the deceased's son ) will probably not inherit under the intestacy laws.

    Thanks - My BIL is not mentioned in the will except as executor (his wife is) - the Will was in an official looking envelope, but not with a solicitors address on it or anything - it looked like some kind of will holding service? We think my MIL may have done the will with an insurance company? She was unfortunately someone who invited in anyone who knocked on her door and could be sold anything!! At the end of her life. she hadn't lost her marbles.but just couldn't remember things.

    To be honest I am not worried about the integrity of my BIL or SIL, but more that they can get in trouble for not doing what they should.

    Thank you everyone for commenting :)
  • antrobusantrobus Forumite
    17.4K Posts
    ✭✭✭✭✭
    konark wrote: »
    ...If no valid will can be found she has died intestate. Letters of administration should be applied for and the the estate is then divided according to the rules of intestacy. You can put the house on the market if you wish but no sale can be concluded until LoA are granted.....

    This source suggests otherwise;

    "A potential administrator should not, for example, advertise a property for sale before the Grant has been issued". because "Unlike an executor, a personal representative who intends to apply for a Grant of Administration only owns the estate once the Grant has been issued and has no authority to act until then".

    http://death-duties.co.uk/content/executors-and-administrators
This discussion has been closed.
Latest MSE News and Guides

A guide to council tax bands

Lower your band & save £1,000s

MSE Guides

Cinema MoneySaving tips & tricks

Including year's 2for1 movies for £1

MSE Deals