Probate

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Deaths, Funerals & Probate
22 replies 3.1K views
P2PP2P Forumite
37 Posts
edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Deaths, Funerals & Probate
Hi,

I have recently been contacted by the solicitors dealing with my fathers estate, to request that the house is cleared of all personal items etc etc.

Additionally they have asked me to justify payments made from my Father's account to me prior to him passing away. These were completed by my father before his passing and I am upset that only payments to myself seem to be being addressed as nothing is mentioned about all other payments which have equally left his account. My concern is that as there is family feud the attention is purely being focused in my direction, and that if any payments are being reviewed surely all payments taken from my late fathers account should be addressed and over a specified period.

It feels very much like a witch hunt and I do not see the relevance to a solicitors appointed to manage the estate as surely they are responsible for dealing with the estate following his death and not before, and seem to be expanding their remit

Am I obliged to discuss/justify these payments as they are of a personal nature.

Any help would be appreciated.
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Replies

  • nom_de_plumenom_de_plume Forumite
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    Depending upon the size of the estate, there may be Inheritance Tax to pay and gifts made within the last 7 years would possibly need to be included in the calculations of the Inheritance Tax Bill. Could thisbe the reason for the questions?

    Also can you be sure the same questions are not being asked of the other recipients?

    Is the Solicitor the Executor?
  • Yorkshireman99Yorkshireman99 Forumite
    5.5K Posts
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    P2P wrote: »
    Hi,

    I have recently been contacted by the solicitors dealing with my fathers estate, to request that the house is cleared of all personal items etc etc.

    Additionally they have asked me to justify payments made from my Father's account to me prior to him passing away. These were completed by my father before his passing and I am upset that only payments to myself seem to be being addressed as nothing is mentioned about all other payments which have equally left his account. My concern is that as there is family feud the attention is purely being focused in my direction, and that if any payments are being reviewed surely all payments taken from my late fathers account should be addressed and over a specified period.

    It feels very much like a witch hunt and I do not see the relevance to a solicitors appointed to manage the estate as surely they are responsible for dealing with the estate following his death and not before, and seem to be expanding their remit

    Am I obliged to discuss/justify these payments as they are of a personal nature.

    Any help would be appreciated.
    Who is the executor? It is their responsibility to clear the house. NDP's comments are echoed by me.
  • Margot123Margot123 Forumite
    1.1K Posts
    Agreed, the issue of IHT and gifts will be the reason behind the questioning.

    When there is a family feud, there is the temptation to assume everything is a 'witch hunt'. A lot of it will be, some of it won't.
  • jackyannjackyann Forumite
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    I am assuming that the solicitors are the executors (or have been instructed by the executor). Do you know the exact wording of your late father's will?
    A couple of things spring to mind: one is whether thy are large enough amounts to make a query about Inheritance Tax. The other is whether any gifts were intended to go into 'hotch pot'. To explain:
    It ia our intention to give each of our children a sum of money to help towards house purchase. For various reasons we are waiting until they are firmly intending to buy. So, if say, children 1 & 2 have each had say, £25k; then we both go under the proverbial (but now infrequent) bus, children 3 & 4 need that evening up.
    So, in this hypothetical example, children 3 & 4 get their £25k each from the notional 'hot pot' of £100k. THEN the estate is divided 4 ways (or whatever)

    So, if these 4 children weren't talking to each other (and records of transactions were unclear) the executor has to find out who has received the £25k from hotch pot; and if there was an odd payment for say £5k, was that supposed to come from hotch pot, or was that an extra payment for a specific reason.

    Sorry for being long winded if that doesn't apply!

    As for the reasons, I would give as little details as possible, and let them come back to you if more is needed. For instance: My father gave me £x as an unconditional gift to enable me to deal with some family problems.
  • Tom99Tom99 Forumite
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    If the payment was a gift then just say that and no more. If it was repayment of a loan then it would be important for the executors to know that.
  • dresdendavedresdendave Forumite
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    Who is the executor? It is their responsibility to clear the house.

    Perhaps the solicitor meant for the OP to remove his personal belongings before the executor arranged for a house clearance company to come in?
  • MojisolaMojisola Forumite
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    P2P wrote: »
    Additionally they have asked me to justify payments made from my Father's account to me prior to him passing away.
    Tom99 wrote: »
    If the payment was a gift then just say that and no more.

    If it was repayment of a loan then it would be important for the executors to know that.

    Did they actually use the word 'justify'?

    I could understand them needing to know whether they were gifts or loan repayments, as Tom says, but you don't need to explain why the money was gifted or what you spent it on.
  • TBagpussTBagpuss Forumite
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    With regard to the house, it may be that the solicitors are offering you the opportunity to collect any items which are of personal / sentimental value before they get the house cleared for sale, as there may be things such as photographs and letters which would be of value to you, but not of any monetary value.

    SO with the 'clearing the house' would ask them to clarify.

    With regard to payments made, as other posters say, this may be relevant for IHT and potentially in relation to how the will is worded and therefore what needs to be done to correctly implement the will.

    It is likely that the solicitors are raising the same question with other beneficiaries.

    It might be different if you were living with your dad or more closely associated with him during that final period - if he was unwell then it is possible that they are looking to check that the payments were legitimate, particularly if they appear unusual in the context of your dads normal financial activities, but even if that is the case, its in your interests to address any concerns.
    All posts are my personal opinion, not formal advice Always get proper, professional advice (particularly about anything legal!)
  • Yorkshireman99Yorkshireman99 Forumite
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    TBagpuss wrote: »
    With regard to the house, it may be that the solicitors are offering you the opportunity to collect any items which are of personal / sentimental value before they get the house cleared for sale, as there may be things such as photographs and letters which would be of value to you, but not of any monetary value.

    SO with the 'clearing the house' would ask them to clarify.

    With regard to payments made, as other posters say, this may be relevant for IHT and potentially in relation to how the will is worded and therefore what needs to be done to correctly implement the will.

    It is likely that the solicitors are raising the same question with other beneficiaries.

    It might be different if you were living with your dad or more closely associated with him during that final period - if he was unwell then it is possible that they are looking to check that the payments were legitimate, particularly if they appear unusual in the context of your dads normal financial activities, but even if that is the case, its in your interests to address any concerns.
    With regard to the last pargraph I am not sure the executor has any business in this context. Their remit is to administer the estate but perhaps you have some other ideas?
  • P2PP2P Forumite
    37 Posts
    The estate size doesn't warrant IHT
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