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  • FIRST POST
    • Oxtonite_62
    • By Oxtonite_62 14th Nov 17, 2:23 PM
    • 21Posts
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    Oxtonite_62
    Probate Court summons for Inventory & Estate Accounts
    • #1
    • 14th Nov 17, 2:23 PM
    Probate Court summons for Inventory & Estate Accounts 14th Nov 17 at 2:23 PM
    Hi

    I hope someone can help and save me a costly email from my Solicitor!!

    I will try to summarise the situation as best I can!

    My elderly relative is a beneficiary in his late wife's Will. She died about 20 years ago and after a long and costly court case he was allowed to stay in the house until he went into permanent residential care. He also has a share in the property which was sold and completed on in October.

    His stepdaughter & stepson are the executors of the Will and have been quite difficult...they changed the locks on the property before he went into permanent care - he is now in a nursing home without any of his precious belongings!

    I have an LPA in place for my relative and have instructed a Solicitor who has issued a summons for the executors to provide an Inventory and Estate Accounts as so far any communication to them from my Solicitor has been completely ignored.

    My questions are: what is the process from start to finish? I have been to an independent Solicitor to have the affidavit and exhibit sworn. Will the executors receive the court summons registered post or normal post as I believe it will be ignored if normal post? How long does the court date normally take to come through? I am concerned that they may dispose of his share of the sale of the property!

    Thank you.
Page 1
    • eddyinfreehold
    • By eddyinfreehold 14th Nov 17, 9:55 PM
    • 156 Posts
    • 114 Thanks
    eddyinfreehold
    • #2
    • 14th Nov 17, 9:55 PM
    • #2
    • 14th Nov 17, 9:55 PM
    Oxonite ... without far more detail about the relationships and offspring your relative's partner had (before or after his marriage to her?) and many more details about a court case where he was allowed to stay in a property he partially owned, I'm afraid I doubt anyone on a web forum can advise you. Sorry. This is one for the professionals with all the papers in front of them. It is difficult ... for you with POA are effectively acting for and as your relative. One saving grace may be that if your relative lived in the house for 20 years after the demise of his wife (not sure this is fact) then the majority of the chattels, papers, possessions must surely be his. What happened to them on the sale of the house?
    • Oxtonite_62
    • By Oxtonite_62 15th Nov 17, 9:36 AM
    • 21 Posts
    • 5 Thanks
    Oxtonite_62
    • #3
    • 15th Nov 17, 9:36 AM
    • #3
    • 15th Nov 17, 9:36 AM
    Oxonite ... without far more detail about the relationships and offspring your relative's partner had (before or after his marriage to her?) and many more details about a court case where he was allowed to stay in a property he partially owned, I'm afraid I doubt anyone on a web forum can advise you. Sorry. This is one for the professionals with all the papers in front of them. It is difficult ... for you with POA are effectively acting for and as your relative. One saving grace may be that if your relative lived in the house for 20 years after the demise of his wife (not sure this is fact) then the majority of the chattels, papers, possessions must surely be his. What happened to them on the sale of the house?
    Originally posted by eddyinfreehold
    Thanks for the reply 'eddyinfreehold'. Unfortunately my relative did not partially own the property as it was in his late wife's name when and after they married (he never pressured her to put it in joint names as he didn't want her children to think ill of him). Although he paid the mortgage; as she didn't work and this was recognised by the Judge when it went to court so he was allowed to stay in the property (his stepchildren wanted him to be evicted) and was to receive one sixth of the sale proceeds as stated in her Will. Yes, he did live in the property since his wife's death and up until last November when he went into a Nursing home.

    With regards to the contents of the property and his personal possessions, while he was in hospital the stepchildren changed the locks and stripped the house of everything. The stepdaughter will not reply to letters from my solicitor so we don't know what has happened to the contents etc.

    My main question is if anyone has been through the process of issuing a court summons for the executors to produce an Inventory & Estate Accounts, what is the actual process/time frame from start to finish. I believe once we have the estate account then this could be a 'springboard' for further steps to be taken against the executors!

    Thanks
    • eddyinfreehold
    • By eddyinfreehold 15th Nov 17, 10:15 AM
    • 156 Posts
    • 114 Thanks
    eddyinfreehold
    • #4
    • 15th Nov 17, 10:15 AM
    • #4
    • 15th Nov 17, 10:15 AM
    I have an LPA in place for my relative and have instructed a Solicitor who has issued a summons for the executors to provide an Inventory and Estate Accounts as so far any communication to them from my Solicitor has been completely ignored.

    My questions are: what is the process from start to finish? I have been to an independent Solicitor to have the affidavit and exhibit sworn. Will the executors receive the court summons registered post or normal post as I believe it will be ignored if normal post? How long does the court date normally take to come through? I am concerned that they may dispose of his share of the sale of the property!


    ...as far as I am aware it is the Court that issues the summons, not the solicitor. I assume your solicitor has therefore been to court and presented evidence before the magistrate who has authorised the court to produce a summons. It is good that you have done this as soon as possible as I believe there are time limiting issues with some alleged offences. The summons should state how long the step children have to reply, so one assumes the case is heard shortly after that. The solicitor will advise how the summons is/was presented. They are being very very foolish as far as I can see, because with the exception of minor offences (traffic etc) they may be liable to arrest and charge for not responding. After that, I am unable to help I regret, this is a matter for legal professionals. I would not expect anything to be resolved in the next few weeks. I would suggest that several months or more may be your answer.

    In the meantime, and I am sure you have.... make sure you have a copy of the deceased (nearly ex) wife's will and probate, retain any paperwork you were able to recover before the locks were changed, look out any photographs you may have from the last 20 years inside and outside the property proving contents, and make as extensive a list of your father's property as you can, down to the last matchbox.

    I feel very sorry for you. This is a ghastly business.
    • Margot123
    • By Margot123 15th Nov 17, 11:29 AM
    • 803 Posts
    • 812 Thanks
    Margot123
    • #5
    • 15th Nov 17, 11:29 AM
    • #5
    • 15th Nov 17, 11:29 AM
    Having been a similar situation with regard to safeguarding a vulnerable elderly person, I can empathise with what you are going through.
    It is a terrible situation BUT please keep at the front of your mind that your relative is safe and being cared for. It would be lovely for him to have some possessions returned but from what you have said it appears very unlikely. There will be a lot of stress for your relative if he thinks things will be returned to him and they aren't. It's all about the emotional costs.
    It is also quite possible that his share of the property sale will be swallowed up in care fees as well unless he has CHC assessments.
    • Oxtonite_62
    • By Oxtonite_62 15th Nov 17, 4:10 PM
    • 21 Posts
    • 5 Thanks
    Oxtonite_62
    • #6
    • 15th Nov 17, 4:10 PM
    • #6
    • 15th Nov 17, 4:10 PM
    Thanks for the replies Eddy & Margot. Its a great comfort to know that there are people willing to listen and offer advice.

    Yes, I did manage to get all the relevant paperwork i.e. Will, Court Order etc before the locks were changed.

    I believe my Solicitor may have already issued the paperwork to the Court as I returned the sworn affidavit and exhibit to him last Friday. Its good to know that the executors may be liable to be arrested if they ignore the summons as they do appear to think they are above the law.

    Margot, unfortunately my relative is in the advanced stages of dementia so I don't think he realises that he doesn't have his possessions but it may have been a comfort to him if they were present in his room.

    A CHC assessment was carried out for my relative this week....but that's a story for another day/forum.....totally shambolic!!

    I will return to this thread at some point to update you both on the progress/outcome of the court summons.

    Thanks again!
    • eddyinfreehold
    • By eddyinfreehold 15th Nov 17, 8:32 PM
    • 156 Posts
    • 114 Thanks
    eddyinfreehold
    • #7
    • 15th Nov 17, 8:32 PM
    • #7
    • 15th Nov 17, 8:32 PM
    Oxtonite... As someone with POA you are doing everything required in spades, keep going patiently....
    • Oxtonite_62
    • By Oxtonite_62 10th Feb 18, 5:16 PM
    • 21 Posts
    • 5 Thanks
    Oxtonite_62
    • #8
    • 10th Feb 18, 5:16 PM
    • #8
    • 10th Feb 18, 5:16 PM
    Hi

    I hope someone can help and save me a costly email from my Solicitor!!

    I will try to summarise the situation as best I can!

    My elderly relative is a beneficiary in his late wife's Will. She died about 20 years ago and after a long and costly court case he was allowed to stay in the house until he went into permanent residential care. He also has a share in the property which was sold and completed on in October.

    His stepdaughter & stepson are the executors of the Will and have been quite difficult...they changed the locks on the property before he went into permanent care - he is now in a nursing home without any of his precious belongings!

    I have an LPA in place for my relative and have instructed a Solicitor who has issued a summons for the executors to provide an Inventory and Estate Accounts as so far any communication to them from my Solicitor has been completely ignored.

    My questions are: what is the process from start to finish? I have been to an independent Solicitor to have the affidavit and exhibit sworn. Will the executors receive the court summons registered post or normal post as I believe it will be ignored if normal post? How long does the court date normally take to come through? I am concerned that they may dispose of his share of the sale of the property!

    Thank you.
    Originally posted by Oxtonite_62
    Hi

    I thought I would post an update to this thread and ask another question that someone may be able to help with. Unfortunately my relative passed away in January and as my LPA came to an end, I am now dealing with this as the Executor of his Will.

    The Executors (my late relative's stepdaughter & stepson) to his late wife's Will provided an estate account before it went to Court. Having received the court paperwork, one of the Executors sent a rambling email to my solicitor in December stating a number of ridiculous excuses as to why she hasn't distributed my relative's share according to his late wife's Will and 'offering' him one fifth of the money he was entitled to. My solicitor sent her an email 'reminding' her of her duties as Executor - she then instructed a Solicitor and both my Solicitor and hers came to an agreement that they would provide the estate account at the beginning of Feb.

    Once we received the account it showed up a number of issues but mainly that the Executors have distributed the money to all beneficiaries (their siblings) apart from my relative. A letter from their solicitor states that their client is not prepared to distribute my late relative's share but no valid reason given as to why! My solicitor has now given them two weeks to come up with a valid reason and if they don't it appears that we will have to go to Court which will be very costly. There is definitely a case of maladministration and unfair treatment of one beneficiary.

    My question is, aside from a possible court case (if it goes ahead), is there a possible criminal case and could I report them to the Police or actionfraud? It seems very unfair that they appear to believe they are above the law and are getting away with it!!

    Thank you and sorry for the very long and complicated post!
    • Yorkshireman99
    • By Yorkshireman99 10th Feb 18, 6:15 PM
    • 3,990 Posts
    • 3,254 Thanks
    Yorkshireman99
    • #9
    • 10th Feb 18, 6:15 PM
    • #9
    • 10th Feb 18, 6:15 PM
    Hi

    I thought I would post an update to this thread and ask another question that someone may be able to help with. Unfortunately my relative passed away in January and as my LPA came to an end, I am now dealing with this as the Executor of his Will.

    The Executors (my late relative's stepdaughter & stepson) to his late wife's Will provided an estate account before it went to Court. Having received the court paperwork, one of the Executors sent a rambling email to my solicitor in December stating a number of ridiculous excuses as to why she hasn't distributed my relative's share according to his late wife's Will and 'offering' him one fifth of the money he was entitled to. My solicitor sent her an email 'reminding' her of her duties as Executor - she then instructed a Solicitor and both my Solicitor and hers came to an agreement that they would provide the estate account at the beginning of Feb.

    Once we received the account it showed up a number of issues but mainly that the Executors have distributed the money to all beneficiaries (their siblings) apart from my relative. A letter from their solicitor states that their client is not prepared to distribute my late relative's share but no valid reason given as to why! My solicitor has now given them two weeks to come up with a valid reason and if they don't it appears that we will have to go to Court which will be very costly. There is definitely a case of maladministration and unfair treatment of one beneficiary.

    My question is, aside from a possible court case (if it goes ahead), is there a possible criminal case and could I report them to the Police or actionfraud? It seems very unfair that they appear to believe they are above the law and are getting away with it!!

    Thank you and sorry for the very long and complicated post!
    Originally posted by Oxtonite_62
    It will be very difficult, if not impossible, to pursue a criminal case. However the executors are responsible for the costs of their actions.
    • getmore4less
    • By getmore4less 10th Feb 18, 7:21 PM
    • 31,907 Posts
    • 19,125 Thanks
    getmore4less
    There is an issue with asking for an inventory and account in that a dodgy executor can just make it up.

    Then the requester has to go back and ask the court for more information if they think it wrong.

    In your case if the executors have given you what you believe are correct(enough) accounts then that my be enough proof they are holding the cash due and there is a debt against the estate you are administering.

    As debt claim may be easier than a full blown case of maladministration against them.
    • Yorkshireman99
    • By Yorkshireman99 10th Feb 18, 7:41 PM
    • 3,990 Posts
    • 3,254 Thanks
    Yorkshireman99
    There is an issue with asking for an inventory and account in that a dodgy executor can just make it up.

    Then the requester has to go back and ask the court for more information if they think it wrong.

    In your case if the executors have given you what you believe are correct(enough) accounts then that my be enough proof they are holding the cash due and there is a debt against the estate you are administering.

    As debt claim may be easier than a full blown case of maladministration against them.
    Originally posted by getmore4less
    If the executors were to give false information then it might theoretically become a criminal matter of conspiracy but this might be hard to persuade the police to investigate it.
    • Oxtonite_62
    • By Oxtonite_62 11th Feb 18, 1:00 PM
    • 21 Posts
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    Oxtonite_62
    Thank you all for your replies. I didn't think it would be simple and straightforward.

    Good point 'getmore4less', something I didn't actually consider but yes there is a debt against my late relatives estate. That may an option worth consideration.
    • Margot123
    • By Margot123 11th Feb 18, 1:49 PM
    • 803 Posts
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    Margot123
    Thank you all for your replies. I didn't think it would be simple and straightforward.

    Good point 'getmore4less', something I didn't actually consider but yes there is a debt against my late relatives estate. That may an option worth consideration.
    Originally posted by Oxtonite_62
    With regard to any criminal prosecution, the burden of proof has to be 'beyond reasonable doubt' and that is why the Police rarely take on this type of investigation, and similarly the CPS would be unlikely to prosecute.

    However you have good grounds to pursue the debt owing to the estate, and then it is up to them to show the debt has been discharged. The burden of proof is on the 'balance of probabilities', so much easier for the aggrieved party to pursue.

    Just be mindful of the costs in pursuing a civil case as they may be higher than the sum owing. Would a judge consider that justifiable?
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