Can an executor delay paying beneficiaries indefinitely

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Deaths, Funerals & Probate
20 replies 8.2K views
unagirlunagirl Forumite
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edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Deaths, Funerals & Probate
My father in law died 12 months ago. His will left his estate split between his 5 children and 11 grandchildren and specified his eldest middle and youngest children as executors. The youngest 2 executors have struggled to come to terms with their father's death, have not relished their roles as executors and have found it hard to let go of their father's effects and property. Probate was granted last August and the house is now sold, even though it nearly didn't happen, as these two executors did not agree to the exchange of contracts until the 11th hour. This was some time ago and all my late FIL's assets have now been liquidated; however these two executors have yet to submit their finals bills against the estate, gas water, gardener etc. and are not responding to requests from their solicitor to submit these bills, so that the final accounts can be sent to HMRC. I know they have found it hard, but so have we all; we have tried pleading on behalf of the grandchildren but it has not moved them. They will move when they are good and ready. My question is can they really hold out indefinitely even though everything is nearly sorted?
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Replies

  • Yorkshireman99Yorkshireman99 Forumite
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    unagirl wrote: »
    My father in law died 12 months ago. His will left his estate split between his 5 children and 11 grandchildren and specified his eldest middle and youngest children as executors. The youngest 2 executors have struggled to come to terms with their father's death, have not relished their roles as executors and have found it hard to let go of their father's effects and property. Probate was granted last August and the house is now sold, even though it nearly didn't happen, as these two executors did not agree to the exchange of contracts until the 11th hour. This was some time ago and all my late FIL's assets have now been liquidated; however these two executors have yet to submit their finals bills against the estate, gas water, gardener etc. and are not responding to requests from their solicitor to submit these bills, so that the final accounts can be sent to HMRC. I know they have found it hard, but so have we all; we have tried pleading on behalf of the grandchildren but it has not moved them. They will move when they are good and ready. My question is can they really hold out indefinitely even though everything is nearly sorted?
    They are failing in their duty as executors. How is the solicitor involved? Have you spoken to the solicitor. What is the value of the estate and is any IHT due? If they will not act then as a very last you can apply to the court to have tem removed as executors and ask for them to pay the costs.
  • Keep_pedallingKeep_pedalling Forumite
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    What is the third executor doing about this?
  • Thank you for your comments. A solicitor was appointed to prepare the estate accounts, as the estate is borderline on IHT, and apply for probate. However, she still needs the agreement of all three executors to do anything; she will not act on the instructions of just one. As a result the third executor is banging his head against a brick wall.
  • Margot123Margot123 Forumite
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    unagirl wrote: »
    Thank you for your comments. A solicitor was appointed to prepare the estate accounts, as the estate is borderline on IHT, and apply for probate. However, she still needs the agreement of all three executors to do anything; she will not act on the instructions of just one. As a result the third executor is banging his head against a brick wall.

    If they continue to do this, the only alternative would be to issue a subpoena compelling them to attend court with the accounts.
    All other avenues have to be exhausted before this happens.
  • macmanmacman Forumite
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    There is no reason why the assets cannot be distributed now with an adequate reserve retained to cover the outstanding debts and legal costs, which appear to only amount to a small fraction of the estate. A final distribution can be made once those bills are received.
    Gas and electricity bills must take no more than 6 weeks after the sale has completed-not 5 months!
    No free lunch, and no free laptop ;)
  • konarkkonark Forumite
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    Ok, house has been sold so who's got the money? If it's the solicitor they can surely make an interim distribution as it seems the final bills are trivial against the value of the estate.
  • Tom99Tom99 Forumite
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    konark wrote: »
    Ok, house has been sold so who's got the money? If it's the solicitor they can surely make an interim distribution as it seems the final bills are trivial against the value of the estate.

    [FONT=Verdana, sans-serif]The solicitor is not the executor so they cannot do anything without all three executors say so, which is the problem.[/FONT]
  • Margot123Margot123 Forumite
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    You say the house is sold, and contracts exchanged but has the sale actually completed. I've known of some lengthy gaps between exchange and completion.
    I know this isn't your question but may have some bearing on what is happening.
  • nom_de_plumenom_de_plume Forumite
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    Margot123 wrote: »
    You say the house is sold, and contracts exchanged but has the sale actually completed. I've known of some lengthy gaps between exchange and completion.
    I know this isn't your question but may have some bearing on what is happening.
    unagirl wrote: »
    Probate was granted last August and the house is now sold, even though it nearly didn't happen, as these two executors did not agree to the exchange of contracts until the 11th hour. This was some time ago and all my late FIL's assets have now been liquidated

    Looks like all monies are in.
  • unagirlunagirl Forumite
    7 Posts
    An update. At the time of my original post the house sale had been completed. All debts have now been paid and executor expenses submitted. However, the most 'awkward' executor is now saying that my Father in Law wanted to give his golfing partner £5000. Coincidentally this golfing partner is a good friend of the awkward executor. This 'bequest' is not in the will nor is it in writing anywhere. The executor claims that my Father in Law wanted it handled outside of the estate, which doesn't sound much like my Father in Law. Individually we are talking about a few hundred which will be much cheaper than taking him to court but could the other executors be compromising themselves by agreeing to this.
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