What can I do after all this time?

edited 30 November 2012 at 2:05PM in Deaths, Funerals & Probate
8 replies 1.3K views
Need_Advice_PleaseNeed_Advice_Please Forumite
3 Posts
edited 30 November 2012 at 2:05PM in Deaths, Funerals & Probate
Hi all,

I usually post under a different name that is known on other boards, I'm just using this name to ask for any advice on this personal matter.

Basically in 2005 an elderly family member died and made my Mum the executor of the will, in which everything was left to her.

I presumed that this was all sorted long ago and that there was just enough in the estate to cover the funeral costs etc. However I've recently found out from my sister that my Mum has never executed the will and there is actually money still in my deceased relatives bank accounts. All documentation is stored safely.

This is pretty much a revelation to me as my parents are retired and struggling in their own right and really could put this inheritance to use improving their own home.

I believe the savings are under the £16k limit as the relative was receiving benefits.

There are a few reasons why I think my Mum has held back on sorting this. I think she tried to get the ball rolling initially but the Solicitors kept repeatedly fobbing her off. She's not exactly in the best of health herself.

Also this relative was the last of my Mums side of the family to pass, so my Mum was not really in the right frame of mind to face up to all of the loose ends that needed tying up.

Of course if she had admitted this to us we would have encouraged her to step down as executor and either me or my sisters would have taken care of everything.

Now 7 years have passed and I'm just hearing of all this, I don't really know where to start.

My Mum is now thinking questions will be asked about why it has taken so long to execute if she starts proceeding now. I know she has kept detailed accounts on what was spent on the funeral costs etc so we should be able to provide everything needed.

Also my Dad has always managed their finances so my Mum doesn't have her own bank account, photo ID and the likes to receive inheritance - which should go directly to her.

I'm trying to approach this tactfully with her but I would welcome any help on what we may be expected to do e.g produce old bank statements, repay any benefits to DWP etc

The more prepared we are, the less stressful it will be.

Should we be pursuading her to step down as executor or get it sorted herself with our support? What is the most straight forward method?

What can be done to get this sorted? What's the first move and what can we expect?

Any advice is appreciated.

Thanks

Replies

  • getmore4lessgetmore4less Forumite
    44.3K Posts
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    This is what I would do(Ihave an idea having done an estate)

    Check the paperwork that your mum has collected,
    make sure there are no outstanding debts.
    Check the status of income tax.
    Check the will and that executor and benifitiary is mum.

    Consider new eqiries to get uptodate information if the cuurent stuff is old.


    It might be that the the amount is within the limits that will be released under an indemnity and not need probate. so check with the institutions that hold the assets. Most have standard release forms hat explain this option or require a probate deed.

    if not then offer to admin the estate on behalf of your mum, just needs a few forms filling in and a POA that the probate office will ask for, or do the forms for your mum and have her sign the things needed.

    Probate forms PA1 this will need the tax form IHT205. (a search will find them and the notes and other relevent forms)
    (worth reading these before you start if you have never done an estate before)

    To avoid having to attend the probate office you can use a solicitor to swear the oath quite cheaply.


    It is not that uncommon for estates to be left and done much later no one really cares.
  • Thank you! I'll do plenty of reading including of the items you suggest. I want to make it as easy as possible. The forms will be the easy part, convincing her not to worry is the difficult bit!
  • RASRAS Forumite
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    Take mum to the bank and get her to open a basic bank account in her own name. She also needs and executors account. She will need ID. Does she have a driving licence or passport? original birth amnd marriage certificates? Any accounts in her own name at all?

    She will not need a credit check to do these.
    The person who has not made a mistake, has made nothing
  • Thanks. She has birth and marriage certificates. No drivers license or accounts in her own name. Not even a joint account (it's all in my Dads name which is worrying)

    She doesn't have any photo ID which is why I think she should first apply for a passport first, then a bank account.

    I presume I'll be sorting a lot of her affairs in future so I know it will make a lot of things simpler if she has a widely accepted photo ID like a passport now.
  • RASRAS Forumite
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    She may not need photo ID - ask the banks.

    She will need an account in her own name - is the Council Tax solely in dad's name as that is unusual?

    Is she on the electoral register?
    The person who has not made a mistake, has made nothing
  • getmore4lessgetmore4less Forumite
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    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper I've helped Parliament
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    No need for an executors account.

    If you are going to the effort to convince her there will be no bad implications it might be worth asking her to let you do it that might be easier.

    Long term I think she needs to review things anyway, what if dad goes first.
  • DekazerDekazer Forumite
    452 Posts
    I agree with getmore4less - OP, you might find this thread http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=4164439 useful, as well as the checklist here: http://www.moneysavingexpert.com/family/death-plan - especially point 5 - 'Teach Others To Wear The Financial Trousers'.

    Best of luck :)
  • GoldiegirlGoldiegirl Forumite
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    Eighth Anniversary 1,000 Posts Rampant Recycler Hung up my suit!
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    I think I'd be inclined to do everything on my mums behalf.

    If you google Power of Attorney and Probate and go to the government sites, there's full details and downloadable forms to allow you to get POA to act on your mum's behalf and to apply for probate.

    If the estate that you will be dealing with is straightforward with no property you won't need to involve solicitors, and can be done by yourself.

    If the estate is very small, it'll be worth speaking to the banks etc to see what their requirements are. You may not even need to get the Probate, as the banks may accept Statutory Declarations. From memory, I did have to get the Stat Dec witessed by a solicitor, but it was quite cheap! If you get Power of Attorney you can sign on behalf of your mum, and open a bank account on behalf of your mum. That might be easier than getting her to get a passport she probably won't need.

    In the last few years I've dealt with my dad's estate, got power of attorney on behalf of my mum, and then dealt with my mums estate. It's takes time, but I listed everything I needed to do, and then ticked them off, maybe on thing a day until I'd worked through everything.
    Early retired - 18th December 2014
    If your dreams don't scare you, they're not big enough
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