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    • Fenris
    • By Fenris 2nd Oct 16, 5:19 PM
    • 665Posts
    • 520Thanks
    Co-Executor of Will Problems
    • #1
    • 2nd Oct 16, 5:19 PM
    Co-Executor of Will Problems 2nd Oct 16 at 5:19 PM
    Hi all,

    Hope this is the right forum for this (found another thread similar in this part of the forum). If not, please move to correct forum.

    Right, I'm hoping someone could advise me here. My Aunt (my Mother's sister) was diagnosed with cancer in 2013. She knew it was terminal so she set out her will early. She made my Mother and my Uncle (my Mum and Aunt's brother) co-executors on the will.

    My Aunt died in June this year and so began the process of disposing of her estate. I live with my Mum in Lincolnshire and my Uncle lives in Milton Keynes where my Aunt also lived. For the last year or so of her life my Uncle was her sole carer. We know that my Aunt paid him out of her Attendance Allowance but my Uncle did not get carers allowance.

    When my Aunt died my Uncle took complete control of everything, form arranging the funeral (which was already paid for by my Aunt) to getting the probate started.

    And this is where the problems started. My Uncle is keeping my Mum completely in the dark. He's failed to tell the relevant people that my Mum is a co-executor and he completely rejects the fact that whatever he signs Mum has to sign to, so he's been doing things without first consulting my Mum. For example; he spoke to my Mum about marketing the house, he told her the price the agent had suggested, which Mum agreed to. We waited for several weeks for the paperwork to arrive from the agents so that Mum could sign it. When it didn't arrive Mum phoned them and asked why she hadn't received it yet and was shocked to find out that they didn't know she was an executor! My Uncle failed to tell them. When the paperwork arrived Mum signed to say she was happy with the price the house was to be marketed at and sent it directly to the agent. A couple of weeks later Mum gets an irate call from my Uncle asking where her copy of the paperwork was and Mum told him she'd sent it back to the agent, as you would. He got very angry and said she should have sent it to him for him to send to the agent! He had his own copy to return so he didn't need to see Mum's copy.

    Anyway, a few weeks pass and Mum hears nothing from my Uncle so she calls to see what's happening. He tells her that, despite both parties agreeing to the agents market valuation, he's decided to up the price by 30k! He did this on his own, without asking my Mum. The estate agent will only deal with him as it's too much trouble for them to keep Mum in the loop! That's what they said. And of course my Uncle doesn't keep Mum informed so she's always in the dark.

    He was even cagey about giving Mum copies of the probate forms to sign and it took him a good couple of months to supply Mum with a copy of the will. She's seen none of my Aunt's personal papers and has no idea of the state of her finances other than one piece of paper that was included in the probate bundle which shows the balance of my Aunt's bank account at her death. However, Mum knows that my Aunt had at least one off-shore bank account, which seems to be hidden from her. We don't know what else my Uncle is keeping away from my Mum, but he goes very quiet when he's asked direct questions about my Aunt's paperwork/financial info.

    So, now I've given some info, what we'd like to know is, how can we get all the information my Uncle's not providing? Would the solicitor doing the probate have information regarding my Aunt's off-shore accounts? Is there any way we can make my Uncle provide Mum with all the relevant paperwork? And since he's upped the price of the house without consulting Mum (surely she would have had to re-sign the paperwork to agree to a price hike after agreeing to the original price agreed?) can she do likewise and get the agent to put the price back to that agreed? There's no way that my Mum and Uncle will get the higher price as it's just not worth it! It'll sit there forever, all the while they have to pay all the fees (it's a retirement home) which my Uncle is insisting he won't pay! I'm worried that his behaviour will lead to some kind of action being taken and, as Mum's the co-executor, she'll be liable too and, at 75, there's no way she can cope with that.

    Sorry, that turned out longer than I expected!

    If anyone can advise we'd appreciate it.

Page 2
    • greenglide
    • By greenglide 25th Nov 16, 7:22 PM
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    • 2,029 Thanks
    I feel vindicated though as Uncle has, from the very start of this process, constantly ignored me when I've said Mum needs to be involved in everything and that, if she's not and he screws up in some way, they're both liable. He's said it'll only be him, but Mum's new solicitor confirmed I was right all along and she would be liable! I'm glad to have official confirmation that I've been correct all along.
    It is very simple to get an executor removed so that just one executor goes to probate. We did that with my mother's will last year. My brother was in hospital and basically wasnt coming out again. I explained this to the solicitor and she said "no problem" and just wrote a letter to my brother telling him of this and to respond if not happy with this. Amazingly it didnt require a response from him.

    So if you intercept the letter go can get sole probate very easily.

    Our case was genuine but shows how easy in can be!
    • dunstonh
    • By dunstonh 25th Nov 16, 7:27 PM
    • 93,379 Posts
    • 60,886 Thanks
    Thanks for the update Fenris. Hope your mums health improves and yours too.

    It is very sad but an all too common scenario. Relatives can suddenly change when they see . Keep on guard as you have been and keep us updated as it is always nice to know the outcome of situation posted on the board.
    I am an Independent Financial Adviser (IFA). Comments are for discussion purposes only. They are not financial advice. If you feel an area discussed may be relevant to you, then please seek advice from an Independent Financial Adviser local to you.
    • Fenris
    • By Fenris 17th Dec 16, 2:49 AM
    • 665 Posts
    • 520 Thanks
    Another update:

    Things have been pretty awful here. Of course, after finding out that Mum consulted a solicitor, Uncle spat his dummy out. I won't go into details because I'm sure you can guess what it's been like! He was specifically told to address all communications to the solicitor, but he called and e-mailed instead. As Mum isn't tech-savvy I've been first to see any e-mails he's sent and they're not the nicest. It's not outright aggression though, it's subtle unpleasantness.

    I've always been the "black sheep" of the family and am used to being metaphorically spat on on a fairly regular basis, but in a letter he e-mailed over he's effectively accused me of stealing from my Aunt. He's not said it outright, but it's heavily implied and Mum was not impressed! It's all getting very nasty, so much so that he's basically ruined Christmas for my Mum.

    Anyho, yesterday (Friday) Mum received a bundle of paperwork in the post. It's the Oath that needs signing. Now, this is what's really making me angry: Mum's solicitor told us he was contacting the probate people to get an Oath for Mum to sign here, getting her solicitor to countersign, which we'd then send directly to the probate team. Uncle was explicitly told this. So what does he do? Sends the Oath paperwork (which he's presumably been sitting on for the last few weeks!), unsigned by him and told Mum that she has to sign it, send it back to him where he'll sign it and forward it to the probate team. Why he didn't sign it before sending to Mum is anyone's guess.

    He's determined to do everything HIS way, despite the solicitor telling him otherwise! I'm now convinced he's hiding something from Mum because this is not the behaviour of a man who's got nothing to hide!

    I want to stop him funnelling the money into his personal bank account as, once it's there, we'll never see it again, I'm sure. I mean, if he won't let Mum see the paperwork she's entitled to see, there's no way she'll get to see his bank account!

    So we're off to see the solicitor again on Monday to see what can be done.

    I'll be back!
    • LHW99
    • By LHW99 17th Dec 16, 4:41 PM
    • 1,355 Posts
    • 1,251 Thanks
    Good luck, no real constructive comments to make, but so sorry for your situation at this time of year.
    • Fenris
    • By Fenris 15th Sep 17, 6:20 PM
    • 665 Posts
    • 520 Thanks
    Hi again all,

    Haven't updated this thread in ages as, between Mum being ill, me being ill and Uncle making both of our lives a misery, I've not had the time/energy to update. Sorry for that.

    So, here's how things stand as of today:

    We had a buyer for the house! Notice the word had there? It's been another nightmare thanks to the Uncle from Hell.

    The house was sold stc way back in April or May (sorry, I can't remember exactly when). But the Probate hadn't been granted, so we (and the potential buyers) had to wait a few weeks for it to come through. When it came time to sign it Mum did so at her solicitor's office. It wasn't until we got home and I read through the will I noticed it wasn't the correct will; Uncle had sent an older will though which had since been superseded with one dated a month after the one Mum and he had sent for Probate. Wonderful. As there was something in the older will that was removed from the correct, later one, we had to start the process all over again. *Sigh*

    Once again, Uncle took his sweet time getting the paperwork sorted and it wasn't until mid June it arrived at Mum's solicitor to be signed, which she did on the Friday and was sent back to Uncle's solicitor on the following Monday. We waited.

    And waited...

    And better waited. (You see where this is heading, don't you?!)

    It took him a further three weeks to sign and return to his solicitor!

    By the time the correct Probate was granted, the potential buyers pulled out of the sale. Mum was, understandably, gutted.

    Now, we knew that the buyer had gone though the usual steps of doing the searches and surveys, so we figured a reduction in the price would lure them back. So Mum called Uncle's solicitor late August to suggest that. Guess what we did then? Yup, waited some more!

    Mum called today and, oh surprise surprise, Uncle hadn't responded to his solicitor's letter. I mean... Words fail me.

    Thankfully the solicitor now knows Mum's an executor so she called Uncle for her. Apparently Uncle hadn't bothered to respond to the letter as he had been told by the estate agent that the buyer had pulled out for health reasons. Nice of them to to contact Mum, eh?

    So here we are gain; Uncle is still being obstructive; won't communicate with Mum at all and now doesn't even respond to letters from HIS solicitor!

    I've been reading that you can't just remove an executor for being a pain in the backside (shame!), but that you can if they're "wasting or mismanaging the estate". We feel this may be the case, due to the above and other issues relating to the liquidation of my Aunts estate. E.g, he refuses to lower the price of the house.

    We thought getting our own solicitor involved would make him see that he has to work WITH Mum, but he's just carried on doing what he wants, when he wants, without consulting her; she's had to chase his solicitor and the estate agent to get any information; no-one's contacting her!

    Mum just wants this whole thing over with now as it's been dragging on for so long and she's spent so much on her own solicitor's fees. Getting him removed may be the only way this thing gets wrapped up and we can all go on with our lives instead of this limbo he's put us all in.

    I hope to get through to Mum's solicitor on Monday, see what he says about removing Uncle.

    Until then!
    • dunstonh
    • By dunstonh 15th Sep 17, 6:31 PM
    • 93,379 Posts
    • 60,886 Thanks
    Thanks for the update.

    If the executor is failing in their duties then a petition to remove them is possible. A court order can be applied for to remove them.

    However, before that is possible, you must first ask the executor to make an account of the estate's administration. They are required to respond to this.

    Some of the most common examples of misconduct a court is likely to consider is when the executor:

    is stealing from the estate
    fails to keep accurate accounting records
    does not obey a court order
    wastes or does not manage the estate properly
    I am an Independent Financial Adviser (IFA). Comments are for discussion purposes only. They are not financial advice. If you feel an area discussed may be relevant to you, then please seek advice from an Independent Financial Adviser local to you.
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