Patricia Pearl - Small Claims Procedure - A Practical Guide


An excellent guide for the layperson in how to use the County Court - a must if you are intending to start a claim.

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  1. #1
    Basic Account Holder theywontwin Novitiate

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    Default Wills, probate, executors and the law - HELP PLEASE!

    I need some help regarding willsicon, probateicon, executors and the law. If this is not the place to ask please advise where I could get info from.

    If I can ask in here, let me know and I shall post my problem.

    Thank you

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  2. #2
    Basic Account Holder theywontwin Novitiate

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    Default Re: Wills, probate, executors and the law - HELP PLEASE!

    Thinking about it, that post wasn't very informative or helpful was it. I shall explain what the basics are regarding this.

    The executors of my late mums will went against an action I made regarding the sale of mums house. They basically cancelled an action and did their own, more expensive option.

    This would appear fine, as they are executors. However, they did this before probateicon was granted. I thought executors couldn't do anything until probate was granted?

    Also, should they keep me up to date re the sale of the house? I only found out by accident that the house was sold STC. In fact, they haven't spoke to me at all since Nov last year.


  3. #3
    Basic Account Holder Dons2008 Novitiate

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    Default Re: Wills, probate, executors and the law - HELP PLEASE!

    Hi Theywontwin

    I myself am dealing with probateicon, regarding my late partner dying intestateicon in 2000 and our son having a share of the estate.. As you may have found out, Probate is a messy can of worms and not nice to deal with.

    From what I know, the executors shouldn't have made any movements on the assets before Probate was granted - if they have, and the estate suffered a loss, there MAY be potential to recover this - you would need this confirmed of course, and to find out your complete rights in this aspect.

    Regarding informing you as to the sale of the house - I am assuming you are a beneficiary of the estate? - I do believe you have the right to be kept informed of movements of assets forming the estate, again, seek confirmation of this.. If you believe you are being deliberately kept in the dark over affairs within the estate and certainly if you believe intermeddling of the same is happening, I do know that court orders could be made to remove administrators/executors from wills/probate if acting improperly, that is, not in the interesticon of the estate nor beneficiaries; and for any hidden info to be presented.

    As every case is different and Probate law is very complicated, I would speak either to C.A.B. or a Probate specialist who can advise you 100% accurately in respect of your position and your next movements.

    Keep posting your progress and good luck

    Dons2008


  4. #4
    Basic Account Holder theywontwin Novitiate

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    Default Re: Wills, probate, executors and the law - HELP PLEASE!

    Hi Dons2008

    Firstly, my sincerest sympathy for your loss. I know how you feel my friend, I feel for you.

    Secondly, thank you for your answer.

    The details about their actions are:

    Before probateicon was even applied for, myself (sole beneficiary), my wife and the 2 execs had a meeting with mums sols about the details in the will. The sol told me to go into mums house, clear it as neccessary, sell anything I wanted and keep the money I got for the sale of said items. They also told me to get mums house on the market asap.

    Clearing was a bigger task than anticipated (why do people keep such junk!!)

    In the mean time, my wife contacted the estate agents, got the house on the market and the agents advised us to take up a sales pack. My wife knew what this was and explained that it means all searches (ie land reg etc) and legal stuff is done up front for a one off fee of £600 appx. If the sale was to fall through, we wouldn't be landed with a huge sols fee for work done, then charged again when someone actually buys the house and searches done again. Basically its a one-off, one fixed fee that takes care of the legal side of buying a house. This would have saved us appx £1500.

    Unbeknown to me, the appointed execs cancelled this pack (I found this out purely by chance). When I asked them why, they said we should only use the sols with whom your mums will is kept with, not other sols. The "other" sols is ones that were used by the estate agents for doing these packs for selling houses. This has now cost £1500 extra based on their decision.

    This decision was made BEFORE probate was granted.

    Since then, no contact has been made by the execs to myself, they told the estate agents not to talk to me as I am only a beneficiary and they are the execs and no mail has been forwarded to their address, even though I have forwarded all of mums post to them. She is still getting mail from British Gas, elec, BT etc.

    Finally, I have spoken to mums sols on the phone, and my God is she rude!! "I hope your not asking for money, because I haven't got any!" she said prior to me asking a serious question.

    Anyhow, thats the jist of the story, any further comments from anyone as well as Dons2008 most welcome.

    Thank you for your time.


  5. #5
    Basic Account Holder Dons2008 Novitiate

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    Default Re: Wills, probate, executors and the law - HELP PLEASE!

    Hello again... and OMIGOD!!!!!!!

    I cannot*** CANNOT*** believe what you have been subjected to.

    That is disgusting. The council tax issue we dicussed in the 'Council Tax levied even when you're dead' thread - regarding the death cert and the strong letter via recorded delivery - do the same for all the utilities that are still mailing your blessed mum. Keep copies, recorded delivery POD's, everything.. If this should go to court this will form your evidence (or part of it!)

    As for the solicitor - you write to her and tell her you wish to be kept informed of all the progress being made regarding mum's estate. If she is rude to you again, you tell her you will make a formal complaint about her to the Law Society, and recap the situation you described earlier when she said she hoped you weren't asking for money. That is completely unprofessional and she has made herself look awful.

    Please please get advice regarding the execs and that they made decisions about assets in the estate before the probateicon was granted - if they were within their rights then at least you know for sure. Find out if you have any legal right to apply for their removal as execs of the estate - again, if you don't have the right to do this at least you know for sure. I am sure that the fact they haven't even contacted the utility companies and the local council may hold some sway. They have had since October to do this and this could go against them.

    The execs have a duty under law to liquidate all assets and pay all debts and they ALSO have a personal responsibilty for tax and a personal responsibility to beneficiaries.
    If you wish to contest an executor with a view to having them removed and wish to be an executor yourself, I do believe that this is possible - as far as I am aware, the only person who cannot be an exec is a witness to a willicon. If you wanted to go down this route you would have to get some sound advice re this. Bear in mind that an exec can reclaim nearly all the costs of proving and executing a will so this shouldn't be too much of a burden. It may be the best way forward so that you know everything is taken care of properly...

    I am not trying to put words in your mouth, nor ideas in your head but these are points to consider very carefully inmaking sure your mum's wishes are met.

    Dons2008 x


  6. #6
    Basic Account Holder theywontwin Novitiate

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    Default Re: Wills, probate, executors and the law - HELP PLEASE!

    Thank you Dons2008. I very much appreciate your advice. Will keep you all updated


  7. #7
    Basic Account Holder Dons2008 Novitiate

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    Default Re: Wills, probate, executors and the law - HELP PLEASE!

    HI Theywontwin

    Stick at it and grit your teeth - these things are never easy I know but from what I can see (and I'm not an expert!) you seem to have a good case. With the right advice and guidance, things will even out for you I promise...!!


  8. #8
    Basic Account Holder Twilightzone Novitiate

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    Default Re: Wills, probate, executors and the law - HELP PLEASE!

    Hi

    I am in exactly the same position as you were with malicious executors dealing with my Mum's estate. They are upset they were not left anything in the Will and are being very unhelpful and nasty. I am also the only beneficiary. What was the result of your experience?


  9. #9
    Basic Account Holder theywontwin Novitiate

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    Default Re: Wills, probate, executors and the law - HELP PLEASE!

    Hi all, sorry for the HUGE delay with any responses.

    UPDATE

    Sought legal advice from an independent solicitor. Although she admitted the executors were being "most unfair and stubborn", they had acted within the law. She advised that I just keep pestering them via letter to release the second half of my inheritanceicon. Because I have MS and had to stop work suddenly, my mortgageicon started to fall into arrears. I tried and tried to find work that I could manage with my condition, but to no avail. The executors were aware of all this but insisted "they were sticking to my mothers wishes." Like I told them, my mother was aware of my condition, but at that time it was not nearly as bad as now.

    After numerous letters back and forth to them, they finally broke, and paid out the 2nd half. This was after a meeting, however, called by the executors and mums solicitor. Wow, what a meeting!! I was ripped into by all parties. Even the receptionist raised her eyebrows at the volume level of the execs and sols voices. I was accused of squandering, living on a different planet and all sorts. I walked out in the end.

    So, in the end, they gave in, but not until a verbal slanging match had occured.


  10. #10
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    Default Re: Wills, probate, executors and the law - HELP PLEASE!

    Maybe the solicitor was happy to be running up a big bill - just maybe. As he was your mother's solicitor it would be likely that he drew up the will and it seems weird to me that as sole beneficiary you were not named the executor.


  11. #11
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    Default Re: Wills, probate, executors and the law - HELP PLEASE!

    The authority of executors derives from the will and is therefore exercisable from death. In this respect all a grant of probateicon does is to confirm the authority.


  12. #12
    Basic Account Holder shirls8 Novitiate

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    Default Re: Wills, probate, executors and the law - HELP PLEASE!

    Hi, I hope you dont mind me using your thread but I am new to this and dont really know where to start.
    About 5 years ago my grandmother passed away leaving my uncle executor and Power of etterny (as far as I know) I havent spoken to uncle for years. I knew where grandmothers will was and called her solicitor to inform him of her death (which he didnt know) and he told me that her will could not be opened unless my uncle gave him permission to do so. What I would like to know is how long does a solicitor keep a willicon unopened after death and is there any way I could find out its contents without solicitor getting the permission from uncle?
    Hope this makes some sense


  13. #13
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    Default Re: Wills, probate, executors and the law - HELP PLEASE!

    There is a lack of logic there. If the solicitor does not "open" the will how can he know who the executor is and accordingly whose permission he needs to open the will?

    Once a willicon is probated it becomes a matter of public record. I confess I am uncertain of its status before probateicon. Whatever it is, I am having difficulty seeing how the solicitor could be breaching any rules of professional conduct or otherwise by letting you know whether or not you are a beneficiary under the will.

    Write to the solicitor and ask him to let you know what his authority is for the proposition that he cannot open the will without the executor's consent. At the same time enquire how he can know who the executor is if he does not open the will. Then go on to say that if you are a residuary beneficiary you are entitled to a copy of the will and that if you have some other benefit you are entitled to be informed.


  14. #14
    Basic Account Holder Barclaycard1 Novitiate

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    Default Re: Wills, probate, executors and the law - HELP PLEASE!

    My dad passed on at the end of April. He made a willicon two years ago, and appointed his bank (HSBCicon) and his solicitor as joint executors.
    The solicitor has always seemed a good guy, my dad had a good relationship with him, and he gave my wife and I a free consultation a few years ago when we had trouble with a council tax issue. As an only child I turned out to be the sole beneficiary of the will (my mum having died a few years ago), so the solicitor suggested that with my permission they revoke their right as executor in favour of me, and said he would write to the HSBC to suggest they do the same, to generally speed things up and hopefully save me money. The HSBC want to meet me to discuss this (possibly to attempt todissuade me from requesting them to revoke as I'm sure they want to offer me their probateicon services,) which they are doing this coming thursday. Up until a few hours ago my gut instinct was to go with whatever the solictor suggested. However.....

    The lady at the funeral director that we used is an old family friend, and says that this particular solicitor is a nightmare! I passed the funeral bill on to him as soon as I received it several months ago, he told my wife and I at our first consultation that it would be paid straight away. However, whenever the funeral director lady has rang to ask about payment he keeps fobbing her off and making excuses- according to her it is not the first time he has done this, and he is basically slow at everything in general, and will be charging me interesticon.

    I am in a bit of a quandary now, who do I trust? Solicitor, bank, funeral director?! Anyone got any advice please? I've never been in this situation before so am a wee bit lost!

    Thanks


  15. #15
    Basic Account Holder Monkish Novitiate

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    Default Re: Wills, probate, executors and the law - HELP PLEASE!

    Did any of you guys need to place articles in newspapers? Most probateicon guidelines say that this is a required step, but I just thought I'd check and find out the best way to proceed. Any advice would be most welcome.


  16. #16
    dax dax is offline
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    Default Re: Wills, probate, executors and the law - HELP PLEASE!

    Yes you are supposed to place an advert so that people can claim anything they may be owed, due etc from the estate if applicable. It covers you, so you gave others the opportunity to claim from the estate and express their interesticon before you dispose of any assets to the legal beneficiaries.


  17. #17
    Basic Account Holder Monkish Novitiate

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    Default Re: Wills, probate, executors and the law - HELP PLEASE!

    Thanks


  18. #18
    Basic Account Holder paul Jex Novitiate

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    Default Re: Wills, probate, executors and the law - HELP PLEASE!

    My father passed away on the 29/10/2010.He was married,But she was my stepmother.My dad told me he wrote 2 letters 1 for me and 1 for my sister and also a willicon.But after he died things dissapeared.But my step mother said she would go by my dads wishes.Now we been banned from his house and they say that he signed everything over to her.she won't show me anything thats in my dads name.But not even 24 hours after my dad passed away she was trying to close his bank accouts down.I told her about probateicon and she said it doesn't apply to her because theres no will,But i know there was one,So is she right on that one,Because i am seeking advice from a solicitor next week,But can she touch anything now before probate because i don't know if my dad was worth under £5.000 or over 250.000.As she won't tell me nothing just that he had loans and they have to be paid back,But i know he didn't have any loans.Also if someone comes forward and says there was a will but they were not a witness.Does that make the will valid as they say "There was not one".Theres more to it,If i ask to look at stuff all i get is"your only after the money"but they keep saying theres no money But i will say when someone replys to my post.But way should she walk away with everything and we get nothing.Really bad.But Thanks guys.Hope this makes some sense


  19. #19
    Site Team honeybee13 Authoritative honeybee13 Authoritative honeybee13 Authoritative honeybee13 Authoritative honeybee13 Authoritative honeybee13 Authoritative honeybee13 Authoritative honeybee13 Authoritative honeybee13 Authoritative honeybee13 Authoritative honeybee13 Authoritative honeybee13's Avatar

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    Default Re: Wills, probate, executors and the law - HELP PLEASE!

    Hello, sorry to hear about your Dad.

    Did he make a 'do it yourself' will or go to a solicitor, do you know? If it was through a solicitor they would normally keep a copy. You 'd still need it to be valid and not overtaken by a later will.

    HB

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    Default Re: Wills, probate, executors and the law - HELP PLEASE!

    Quote Originally Posted by Aequitas View Post
    The authority of executors derives from the will and is therefore exercisable from death. In this respect all a grant of probateicon does is to confirm the authority.


    My wife's father has just died.
    She and her brother are joint executors of his will.
    They have a step mother who is now in a care home.
    The 'step-relatives' have an EPA activated for my wife's stepmother.
    The 'step-relatives' and my wife now wish to sell their (him and stepmother’s) bungalow as soon as possible (as it is now unoccupied).

    Does your statement mean they can sell his bungalow before probate is granted?





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