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  • FIRST POST
    • mummalove
    • By mummalove 3rd Jan 18, 9:49 PM
    • 932Posts
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    mummalove
    Estranged Brother / Probate / Beneficiary Query
    • #1
    • 3rd Jan 18, 9:49 PM
    Estranged Brother / Probate / Beneficiary Query 3rd Jan 18 at 9:49 PM
    I just want to run this scenario past you and ask your opinion as it is something that really concerns my husband.

    A little background - my husband is deliberately not in touch with his brother 'G', I guess you could say they are estranged as 'G' has caused too many upsets and troubles in our lives and is the proverbial bad penny. 'G' has also not been in touch, or made any effort to contact their father in any way for the past 10 years. FIL also makes not effort.

    My father-in-law has made a Will, naming my husband as the Executor and which specifically names beneficiaries: £10k to 'G' and £5k to 'G's' son (FIL's grandson). The rest of the Estate is left to my husband, which includes his house worth circa £200K, approx £5 savings, car, etc.

    When the sad time comes that my FIL passes away, my husband really does not wish to liaise in any way with 'G' including any funeral arrangements. He intends to not have any contact until after the funeral (please don't judge).

    Questions are:

    1) Does he have to contact 'G' prior to applying for Probate. Not sure how Probate works exactly...is it my husbands responsibility as the Executor to obtain addresses for 'G' and 'G's' son? Then post cheques to each?

    2) Would he have to sell the house, car, etc before the monies are all distributed? Or do we have the option to pay the £10k and £5k from our personal savings before selling the house?

    3) Would 'G' have any entitlement to gaining access to the house / contents, etc or would he simply have to wait for his £10k cash?

    I hope I have explained our query in as much detail as possible. FIL is very much alive and kicking thankfully but this is something my husband worries about.

    Thanking you in advance.
    "A smile takes but a moment...
    ...but the memory of it lasts forever"


Page 1
    • Keep pedalling
    • By Keep pedalling 3rd Jan 18, 10:07 PM
    • 5,082 Posts
    • 5,665 Thanks
    Keep pedalling
    • #2
    • 3rd Jan 18, 10:07 PM
    • #2
    • 3rd Jan 18, 10:07 PM
    1) No there is no need to have any contact, but yes he will need to be able to establish his bother and nephew's current whereabouts in order to give then their bequests.

    2) If he wants to pay then in advance of the house sale that is also fine (assuming it has not been previously sold to finance care costs)

    3) No, only the executor has that authority, unless your husband died first and no other executor was named. Are you or any one else also an executor? it would be unwise to have only your husband named.
    • newatc
    • By newatc 3rd Jan 18, 10:11 PM
    • 246 Posts
    • 281 Thanks
    newatc
    • #3
    • 3rd Jan 18, 10:11 PM
    • #3
    • 3rd Jan 18, 10:11 PM

    Questions are:

    1) Does he have to contact 'G' prior to applying for Probate. Not sure how Probate works exactly...is it my husbands responsibility as the Executor to obtain addresses for 'G' and 'G's' son? Then post cheques to each?

    2) Would he have to sell the house, car, etc before the monies are all distributed? Or do we have the option to pay the £10k and £5k from our personal savings before selling the house?

    3) Would 'G' have any entitlement to gaining access to the house / contents, etc or would he simply have to wait for his £10k cash?
    Originally posted by mummalove
    Not an expert but my thoughts are:

    No he doesn't have to contact his brother for probate purposes but I would suggest keeping the beneficiaries informed even if it's done in a matter of fact way. And yes he will have the responsibility of getting the funds to them.
    The brother would have no entitlement to enter the house.
    The executor can pay the other beneficiaries as soon as the "Estate" funds has 15K (I can't see any reason why you couldn't lend the Estate money to speed the process fund up but can't be sure there are no pitfalls).
    • Keep pedalling
    • By Keep pedalling 3rd Jan 18, 10:16 PM
    • 5,082 Posts
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    Keep pedalling
    • #4
    • 3rd Jan 18, 10:16 PM
    • #4
    • 3rd Jan 18, 10:16 PM
    One other point, if this is a DIY will, I would strongly advise your FIL to get a new one drawn up by a solicitor.

    A DIY will coupled with estranged siblings could be a recipe for some serious and expensive trouble.
    • getmore4less
    • By getmore4less 4th Jan 18, 8:52 AM
    • 32,174 Posts
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    getmore4less
    • #5
    • 4th Jan 18, 8:52 AM
    • #5
    • 4th Jan 18, 8:52 AM
    Does your husband have any children?
    • Margot123
    • By Margot123 4th Jan 18, 9:00 AM
    • 835 Posts
    • 850 Thanks
    Margot123
    • #6
    • 4th Jan 18, 9:00 AM
    • #6
    • 4th Jan 18, 9:00 AM
    This is a situation where an executor has to clear all previous relationship issues from their mind and concentrate on their role. Your husband will have to be very matter of fact in order to protect himself.

    When distributing the final cheque to the estranged brother, he will have to make sure the brother proves his current address by providing copies of photo ID, recent utility bills etc. The address may differ from the one on the will, and this action will cover your husband in the event of any money laundering etc.
    • paddy's mum
    • By paddy's mum 4th Jan 18, 9:31 AM
    • 3,518 Posts
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    paddy's mum
    • #7
    • 4th Jan 18, 9:31 AM
    • #7
    • 4th Jan 18, 9:31 AM
    Might your husband and father-in-law give serious thought to whether the appointment of a solicitor to administer the estate in due course would be wise?

    There would be cost implications but avoiding legal wrangles going on for perhaps years plus the peace of mind it offers your husband might make it a worthwhile proposition.

    It's always hard for MSE ers to contemplate spending hard cash on something they could do for themselves but if you look upon it as preventative medical intervention....
    • Mojisola
    • By Mojisola 4th Jan 18, 9:39 AM
    • 29,366 Posts
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    Mojisola
    • #8
    • 4th Jan 18, 9:39 AM
    • #8
    • 4th Jan 18, 9:39 AM
    This is a situation where an executor has to clear all previous relationship issues from their mind and concentrate on their role. Your husband will have to be very matter of fact in order to protect himself.

    When distributing the final cheque to the estranged brother, he will have to make sure the brother proves his current address by providing copies of photo ID, recent utility bills etc. The address may differ from the one on the will, and this action will cover your husband in the event of any money laundering etc.
    Originally posted by Margot123
    He could employ a solicitor to make contact with his brother and nephew and deal with the confirmation of identity and transfer of money.
    • mummalove
    • By mummalove 4th Jan 18, 7:30 PM
    • 932 Posts
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    mummalove
    • #9
    • 4th Jan 18, 7:30 PM
    Thank you.
    • #9
    • 4th Jan 18, 7:30 PM
    I have just caught up on everyone's replies.

    Many thanks to all for your detailed answers and I have relayed them to my husband this evening. He is so relieved now and can put his concerns to bed for now.

    Just to follow up on some points you raised:

    1) the Will is not a DIY one, it was drawn up by a professional Will Writing Service company. We had ours done at the same time

    2) after discussing this again with my husband, I believe we are both joint executors of my FIL's Will

    3) we have taken on board the comments regarding involving a solicitor to verify the estranged brother's address, etc and this way we will not have to have any involvement with him direct. We would prefer to pay a solicitor and not have the stress of bringing him back into our lives

    Once again, thanks for taking the time to reply, I truly do appreciate it
    "A smile takes but a moment...
    ...but the memory of it lasts forever"


    • Yorkshireman99
    • By Yorkshireman99 4th Jan 18, 9:19 PM
    • 4,240 Posts
    • 3,459 Thanks
    Yorkshireman99
    I have just caught up on everyone's replies.

    Many thanks to all for your detailed answers and I have relayed them to my husband this evening. He is so relieved now and can put his concerns to bed for now.

    Just to follow up on some points you raised:

    1) the Will is not a DIY one, it was drawn up by a professional Will Writing Service company. We had ours done at the same time

    2) after discussing this again with my husband, I believe we are both joint executors of my FIL's Will

    3) we have taken on board the comments regarding involving a solicitor to verify the estranged brother's address, etc and this way we will not have to have any involvement with him direct. We would prefer to pay a solicitor and not have the stress of bringing him back into our lives

    Once again, thanks for taking the time to reply, I truly do appreciate it
    Originally posted by mummalove
    Sorry to say that will writing companies are bad news you cannot rely on them and their are all sorts of ripoffs. You should consider duetting job done properly by a solicitor.
    • mummalove
    • By mummalove 5th Jan 18, 7:09 PM
    • 932 Posts
    • 9,178 Thanks
    mummalove
    Sorry to say that will writing companies are bad news you cannot rely on them and their are all sorts of ripoffs. You should consider duetting job done properly by a solicitor.
    Originally posted by Yorkshireman99
    This is the company we all used:

    https://www.willsdirectnorthampton.co.uk/

    Hopefully not a rotten apple?
    "A smile takes but a moment...
    ...but the memory of it lasts forever"


    • Yorkshireman99
    • By Yorkshireman99 5th Jan 18, 7:23 PM
    • 4,240 Posts
    • 3,459 Thanks
    Yorkshireman99
    This is the company we all used:

    https://www.willsdirectnorthampton.co.uk/

    Hopefully not a rotten apple?
    Originally posted by mummalove
    My comments are the same. Use a solicitor who will be really qualified to advise and not charge for storing wills ror try and sell you all sorts of other products.
    • mummalove
    • By mummalove 7th Jan 18, 7:17 PM
    • 932 Posts
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    mummalove
    Our Wills have been in place with this company for a couple of years and it all seemed all above board to me. Thanks for your comments though.
    "A smile takes but a moment...
    ...but the memory of it lasts forever"


    • Kim kim
    • By Kim kim 7th Jan 18, 7:34 PM
    • 2,243 Posts
    • 3,357 Thanks
    Kim kim
    Our Wills have been in place with this company for a couple of years and it all seemed all above board to me. Thanks for your comments though.
    Originally posted by mummalove
    TRust the advice above and save yourself money further down the line.

    My mother had a will challenged, she was the beneficiary. It was all above board, but the person challenging had legal aid. This was in the early 90s it might be different now. Anyway both sets of legal fees came out of the estate, the legal fees swallowed it all up.
    • Sea Shell
    • By Sea Shell 8th Jan 18, 6:33 AM
    • 778 Posts
    • 1,052 Thanks
    Sea Shell
    TRust the advice above and save yourself money further down the line.

    My mother had a will challenged, she was the beneficiary. It was all above board, but the person challenging had legal aid. This was in the early 90s it might be different now. Anyway both sets of legal fees came out of the estate, the legal fees swallowed it all up.
    Originally posted by Kim kim
    In your situation, would the outcome have been any different if the will had been drawn up by a Solicitor??
    " That pound I saved yesterday, is a pound I don't have to earn tomorrow "
    • Margot123
    • By Margot123 8th Jan 18, 9:13 AM
    • 835 Posts
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    Margot123
    With regards to verifying identity; my solicitor said it would be more cost-effective to use the services of a private detective rather than those he provided!
    • Kim kim
    • By Kim kim 8th Jan 18, 11:30 AM
    • 2,243 Posts
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    Kim kim
    In your situation, would the outcome have been any different if the will had been drawn up by a Solicitor??
    Originally posted by Sea Shell
    A million times yes!!!
    They challenged a home made will. N
    • Sea Shell
    • By Sea Shell 9th Jan 18, 6:42 AM
    • 778 Posts
    • 1,052 Thanks
    Sea Shell
    A million times yes!!!
    They challenged a home made will. N
    Originally posted by Kim kim
    Did they win though, and on what grounds? Or are you saying they only challenged the will because it was a DIY will and wouldn't have bothered if it had been a Solicitor drawn up one.
    " That pound I saved yesterday, is a pound I don't have to earn tomorrow "
    • Margot123
    • By Margot123 9th Jan 18, 10:03 AM
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    • 850 Thanks
    Margot123
    Did they win though, and on what grounds? Or are you saying they only challenged the will because it was a DIY will and wouldn't have bothered if it had been a Solicitor drawn up one.
    Originally posted by Sea Shell
    Yes, please let us know the outcome.
    Were they successful? Did it just prolong the process or was the will found to be invalid?
    • Kim kim
    • By Kim kim 9th Jan 18, 6:03 PM
    • 2,243 Posts
    • 3,357 Thanks
    Kim kim
    Did they win though, and on what grounds? Or are you saying they only challenged the will because it was a DIY will and wouldn't have bothered if it had been a Solicitor drawn up one.
    Originally posted by Sea Shell
    They’d disnt win as such but they used most of the money up in legal bills.

    It’s up to you, you have been warned.
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