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    • erbriggs
    • By erbriggs 17th Aug 19, 9:12 PM
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    erbriggs
    Payment of bequests
    • #1
    • 17th Aug 19, 9:12 PM
    Payment of bequests 17th Aug 19 at 9:12 PM
    My OH and I are dealing with his Mother's estate. Along with a typed sheet giving her funeral wishes, we found a hand-written sheet detailing small cash bequests to her grandchildren and a friend.
    We realise we cannot finalise the split of the estate between my OH and his brothers until the house is sold, but can we pay these small bequests as soon as we have access to MIL's bank accounts? They only amount to about one-tenth of her total savings.
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    • Keep pedalling
    • By Keep pedalling 17th Aug 19, 9:24 PM
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    Keep pedalling
    • #2
    • 17th Aug 19, 9:24 PM
    • #2
    • 17th Aug 19, 9:24 PM
    it sounds like these were not part of a will, so you have to make sure the residual beneficiaries of the will are OK for these to be paid. If she died intestate, then all those inheriting under the laws of intestacy must do likewise.
    • SeniorSam
    • By SeniorSam 18th Aug 19, 6:41 AM
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    SeniorSam
    • #3
    • 18th Aug 19, 6:41 AM
    • #3
    • 18th Aug 19, 6:41 AM
    Be aware that as Executors, you are responsible for the distribution as well as payment of any debts. If debts arise after distribution, then the responsibility of those will be yours. As long as you are certain that there are no debts, then you can use your discretion. This is one of the reasons why professional Executors take do long to reach distribution. They need to advertise the death and check on debts as they could be responsible too.
    I'm a retired IFA who specialised for many years in Inheritance Tax, Wills and Trusts. I cannot offer advice now, so my comments are just meant to be helpful.
    • AnotherJoe
    • By AnotherJoe 18th Aug 19, 8:27 AM
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    • #4
    • 18th Aug 19, 8:27 AM
    • #4
    • 18th Aug 19, 8:27 AM
    If the beneficiaries are OK with it then yes. Otherwise, you cannot legally do that.
    You could of course take the money from what your OH is due which is really just him giving that money.

    We had similar with my mum, she left a codicil that wasn't valid.

    However only two beneficiaries, me and my brother, and we were fine to distribute as per her wishes.
    • xylophone
    • By xylophone 18th Aug 19, 5:45 PM
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    • #5
    • 18th Aug 19, 5:45 PM
    • #5
    • 18th Aug 19, 5:45 PM
    small cash bequests to her grandchildren and a friend.
    These cannot properly be described as bequests as they were not made in the will.

    With regard to the grandchildren, the offspring of the deceased (who appear to be beneficiaries named in the will) should be shown their mother's letter of wishes - it is up to them whether they use part of their inheritance to give to their children.

    With regard to the friend, the beneficiaries of the estate would need to agree that the gift could be made from the money that they themselves would otherwise inherit.
    • erbriggs
    • By erbriggs 18th Aug 19, 7:01 PM
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    erbriggs
    • #6
    • 18th Aug 19, 7:01 PM
    • #6
    • 18th Aug 19, 7:01 PM
    Thanks for the help. The three brothers are all ok with the bequests (to their own children/grandchildren), so i think we're ok to pay out once we have the funds.
    • unholyangel
    • By unholyangel 19th Aug 19, 9:55 AM
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    • #7
    • 19th Aug 19, 9:55 AM
    • #7
    • 19th Aug 19, 9:55 AM
    Thanks for the help. The three brothers are all ok with the bequests (to their own children/grandchildren), so i think we're ok to pay out once we have the funds.
    Originally posted by erbriggs
    Only other thing I'd add to the good advice above is to be careful if any of the brothers are on means tested benefits as they are essentially giving away money that is legally theirs.
    Money doesn't solve poverty.....it creates it.
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