Dispute with exceutors who are solicitors

After my fiancée mum past away she and her sister are joint executors  of mums will with a firm of solicitors  who are not very cooperative  with regard to probate. the ladies have since done  a lot of work already around probate issues.
How can this dispute be resolved with it affecting the beneficiaries losing  out on funds as a result  of dispute.
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  • elsien
    elsien Posts: 32,300
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    edited 6 November 2023 at 8:30PM
    So the solicitors are designated joint executors in the will, rather than being appointed by the executors to help them out?
    In what way are they being uncooperative? There’s a little bit of a difference between being uncooperative and being in a dispute so what exactly is going on?
     Is it a complex estate because if not a request can be made for them to stand down. 
    All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.

    Pedant alert - it's could have, not could of.
  • Marcon
    Marcon Posts: 10,016
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    Itk144 said:
    After my fiancée mum past away she and her sister are joint executors  of mums will with a firm of solicitors  who are not very cooperative  with regard to probate. the ladies have since done  a lot of work already around probate issues.
    How can this dispute be resolved with it affecting the beneficiaries losing  out on funds as a result  of dispute.
    Without any details of what the dispute is, or why you think the solicitors are 'not very cooperative with regard to probate' it's impossible to comment helpfully.

    Why do you think two laypeople, however hard working they may have been in administering the will, are better placed to assess what needs to be done and the timeframe needed (and I suspect timing is part of the issue?).
    Googling on your question might have been both quicker and easier, if you're only after simple facts rather than opinions!  
  • Thanks for your comments firstly the solicitors/joint executor tefused to release signed will.
    Both daughters already settled thier mums debts via her savings in bank account.
    Thier mums last wish was for them to administer her will and distribute proceeds to grandchildren.
    Another unfortunate aspect is that the solitors in the will have a really negative score and lots of complaints (not sure if i can name them here) in trust pilot.
    They are now in a probate stale mate as the solicitors are refusing to standdown at the bequest of daughters.
    The mum took equity agsinst the main property 
    The equity release have given them one years grace before repayments have to resume so theier on the clock a bit.  (9 months)   
  • elsien
    elsien Posts: 32,300
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    The solicitors have to have a good reason not to stand down so what justification have they given?
    All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.

    Pedant alert - it's could have, not could of.
  • Hoenir
    Hoenir Posts: 1,260
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    Itk144 said:

    Both daughters already settled thier mums debts via her savings in bank account.

    In effect working independently of the other jointly appointed executors. What else have they have done?  Executorship is a role defined in law. No great surprise the solicitors are refusing to renounce. Has probate actually been granted? 
  • Marcon
    Marcon Posts: 10,016
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    Itk144 said:

    Thier mums last wish was for them to administer her will and distribute proceeds to grandchildren.

    But unfortunately that's not what she put in her will.

    Hoenir said:
    Itk144 said:

    Both daughters already settled thier mums debts via her savings in bank account.

    In effect working independently of the other jointly appointed executors. 
    Quite. Not surprising the solicitors are holding their ground.
    Googling on your question might have been both quicker and easier, if you're only after simple facts rather than opinions!  
  • msb1234
    msb1234 Posts: 510
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    Have the daughters actually sat down and met with the solicitors? Working together is probably the best way forward from now on. If the solicitors have actually submitted the probate application, there won’t be a will to hand over, as it will have been submitted along with the application. 
    The house will need to be sold - point out to the solicitor that as there is equity release on the property, the longer the sale takes the more interest will rack up. 
  • Malthusian
    Malthusian Posts: 10,838
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    elsien said:
    The solicitors have to have a good reason not to stand down so what justification have they given?
    OP - this isn't just Elsien's opinion on the solicitors' state of mind. If solicitors are appointed as executors but the beneficiaries want them to renounce, there is legal precedent that says they should do so unless they have a good reason not to. 

    However, all the executors have a duty to ensure all the creditors of the estate are paid in full, or in due proportion if there is not enough money. Have all the debts been paid off apart from the equity release? (An equity release loan would normally have a "no negative equity" clause so that creditor being underpaid should not be an issue once the house is sold.) The solicitors may be able to justify not stepping down on the grounds that if they did so, they could still be held liable if creditors are underpaid.

    Unfortunately the executorship should have been sorted out before the executors started paying off debts.
  • TBagpuss
    TBagpuss Posts: 11,198
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    As others have said, your fiancée needs to clarify why they are unwilling to renounce. 
    Generally, if an application for probate hasn't yet been made, then they should **normally** renounce if the beneficiaries request this, however, they ought also to consider what reasons the testator gave (if any) for appointing professional executors .It is also normal for there to be a charge involve to prepare and sign a renunciation and 

    I'd suggest that your fiancée and her sister arrange a meeting with both of them and the solicitor and clarify why they are unwilling to renounce and, if there are other things that she is not happy with, to dscuss those specifcally. 
    All posts are my personal opinion, not formal advice Always get proper, professional advice (particularly about anything legal!)
  • saajan_12
    saajan_12 Posts: 3,572
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    Would be easier if the full picture was given rather than dripping info. In particular
    * What does the will say (who are the beneficiaries / splits)
    * If that's different to "the grandchildren" then are all the beneficiaries per the will happy to give their shares to the grandchildren?
    * Does the estate cover all outstanding debts?
    * Do the solicitors agree all debts are covered or are they wanting more time to double check?
    * What other disagreements are there with the solicitors?
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