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Confused about what to do re dads estate

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My Dad owned his house and had made a will leaving his estate etc to myself and my brother.  My brother died last year,
I contacted Dads solicitor and he confirmed that myself and my brother were executors.  So now its just me the sole executor.  Brothers half goes to his two children.  There is issues in the family that brothers wife and kids don’t want anything to do with me. They came to the funeral but didn’t speak to me. 
I asked the solicitor to handle the probate and the estate to help me.  He has submitted the application for Grant of Probate and contacted HMRC and the bank etc.  I have asked the solicitor to no longer handle things he is going to forward me the sealed GOP and any other correspondence he receives and a cheque with the balance of my Dads bank.

I know I am to have the house valued etc as the property will need to be sold.  There is nothing of significant value in there.  My brothers children were born after my mum died and 95% of things were my Mums.  I want purely to do my best for my late parents and rebuild my life.
I am Struggling with how to deal with the possessions some are mine as I’ve lived there after failed relationships.  As i am the now the only executor is it my decision to just sell the possessions and note everything down and keep the money and when the house is sold, the money from the possessions will then be split.  Do i have to contact my nieces? One is 15 the other 22, i am well aware that their mum will be after anything she can get.

Sorry for the long post.

Replies

  • Teapot55Teapot55 Forumite
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    Sorry for your loss. 

    Your nieces are at an age where it’s likely they won’t feel the passing of their grandfather too badly. Many years from now they’ll be grateful that an uncle (that they hardly knew at the time?) put a few small items by in his house that would mean a lot to them as they themselves got older. 

    The above is my advice to you from my involvement in clearing the houses of my parents, my in-laws and of a friend. 

    Re. the friend, we found an old photo album in his council flat full of ‘stuff’ We sent this back up north to the relatives by registered post. 

    Re. my mother-in-law, I kept her sewing basket, which one day her only granddaughter  will be delighted to have. She herself now has a daughter to possibly pass it on to in time. If not, still useful to give to a charity shop one day. 

    With my parents I’ve necessarily had to whittle a lot down eventually, such as photos of them on holiday with random friends I don’t know the names of (and find this helps with the grieving process). I’ve kept a few letters & other small items from earlier departed relatives that clearly my mother had put by herself. There’s a jewellery box with small keepsakes. Nothing valuable but I’ve put a note inside about whose it was. I took  all my parents clothes at the time to charity shops (not that many & all in excellent condition). All the useful stuff in their house (nearly new cooker, nearly new fridge freezer etc) was distributed across both the family and to neighbours of my parents. 

    Kind regards, TP55. 

    would've . . . could've . . . should've . . .


    A.A.A.S. (Associate of the Acronym Abolition Society)

    There's definitely no 'a' in 'definitely'.
  • Keep_pedallingKeep_pedalling Forumite
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    The simplest thing to do would be to allocate their portion of the chattels as a cash payment, based on the value submitted to probate. Unless the will leaves any specific items to anyone you have no obligation to to anything more.

    Your biggest issue is going to be dealing with the younger niece’s inheritance as this now need to be placed in a bare trust until she is 18 (16 if she is in Scotland)  
  • gwynlasgwynlas Forumite
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    Sorry for your losses and the rift in the family. You as executor will obviously need to clear the house and decide what to do with the contents. From what you have said your nieces did not know your mother so it is unlikely that they would want or need anything of her personal property. You should sort through all paperwork and remove your own possessions .
    It is up to you to decide if the house should be furnished or emptied prior to sale. Clothing and  furnishings can be donated to charity unless you think some items can be sold. 
    With one of your nieces being a minor her share of the inheritance can be safeguarded in a trust until she is 18
  • MojisolaMojisola Forumite
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    As there is nothing of particular  valuable in the house, put a nominal sum in the accounts and then keep or dispose of individual items as you choose. Our solicitor put £500 as a total for all the contents of Dad's four-bed house. 
  • Newly_retiredNewly_retired Forumite
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    When my parents died we did a huge amount of work clearing the junk in the loft, shed and lean-to. Inside, After myself and other family members had chosen items to keep, ( those who had helped most had most choice ) and clothes had gone to charity shops, we got house clearers in. They also run a junk shop. They valued the remaining contents at £150, deducted the cost of a skip for the bedroom suite( unsaleable)  and declared the remaining £50 their charge for the work. Job done.
  • 123catsrule123catsrule Forumite
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    Thank you so much for your advice.  To me the best thing would be would be estimate the value and give them their portion when the final accounts are done.  Me and dad sold the sofa in February as dad wasn’t living there. I have that cash here at mine safe. 
    Because of the issues I feel contacting them would cause so much added heartache for me.  There are some of my late brothers things which I told the previous solicitor that I will sort and then his family can collect etc From the shed etc. They don’t need to come in the house for it. 

    I guess the decision is can i finalise the estate and do accounts without a solicitor. 
  • Keep_pedallingKeep_pedalling Forumite
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    Thank you so much for your advice.  To me the best thing would be would be estimate the value and give them their portion when the final accounts are done.  Me and dad sold the sofa in February as dad wasn’t living there. I have that cash here at mine safe. 
    Because of the issues I feel contacting them would cause so much added heartache for me.  There are some of my late brothers things which I told the previous solicitor that I will sort and then his family can collect etc From the shed etc. They don’t need to come in the house for it. 

    I guess the decision is can i finalise the estate and do accounts without a solicitor. 
    You don’t need a solicitor to do do those things. Have you given any thought as regards putting a trust in place for the younger niece?
  • FlugelhornFlugelhorn Forumite
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    re the contents - if you don't feel you want to contact the nieces to ask them if they want anything from the house then unless there is anything stunningly valuable then just nominate a low figure (I put £500 too as above , must be a standard) - ultimately cost more to clear the house anyway.  
    You need to look in to the trust for the 15 year old until she is 18.
    don't forget all your expenses come out of the estate too 
  • AnotherJoeAnotherJoe Forumite
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    You said you need to get the house valued, wasnt it valued for probate ?
  • edited 21 July at 10:05AM
    MalthusianMalthusian Forumite
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    edited 21 July at 10:05AM
    I would leave the job of distributing the nieces' money at least to a solicitor. Half the cost would be born by the nieces; you have no relationship with your nieces, and I'm guessing you wouldn't clean their rooms for free, so I see no reason you should do free estate administration for them either (which would come 100% from you rather than 50%). That way there are no awkward social issues around contacting them or the mother (who based on your post is the obvious choice of Trustee for the 15 year old's money, unless being "after everything she can get" translates into being liable to steal her daughter's money).
    If the mother is not to be trusted then it is definitely a matter for a solicitor to ensure the choice of Trustee for the 15 year old's money doesn't come back to bite you one way or another.
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