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An awful situation uncovered after the death of a grandad, any ideas what I can do???


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This is a bit of a long one but I'm a bit stuck on the best action for my sister and I to take.

 

The rough background is my sister looked after our nana and grandad and helped with finances and paying bills for them, no real money as house being owned by bank in connection with a bankrupt business with their son, my uncle. The bank agreed to allow them to live their until their death with small repayments and to retake the house on their death.

 

My nana died approx 6 years ago and because my grandad had dementia, my dad was given the power of attorny? to make sure he was ok, finances etc. My uncle moved in the house not allowing grandad to be moved into a care home and my dad did his usual thing of leaving it to everyone else and not getting involved.

My uncle refused my sister any involvement including not even allowing her in the house to see her grandad. I don't live anywhere near them.

 

My grandad died a few weeks ago and after going to the funeral my dad has admitted to there being a huge mess with thousands owing. There was some fraudulent activity carried out in our nana and grandads account by my uncle but we do not know the situation after my nana died. He has a lot of cash for someone who does not work and has a massive gambling addiction.

 

Neither he or my father informed the bank of either my nana's or grandad's death this has led to my sister and I being very suspicious. My father has said he is dealing with it but he never has and never will.

 

My sister and I want to take the power of attorney of our dad and deal with this mess. My father has already said he thinks that if our uncle has done what it looks like then he will be in trouble as well so he's just doing nothing.

 

We know there is a will, although there is now only debt but we cannot find who the solicitors are.

My sister has spoken to the banks and today got all known accounts frozen although the banks cannot give us any details or tell us if there there are other unknown accounts / loans which is probable as my uncle is getting money from somewhere, probably loans.

 

We have copies of both death certificates and can get a copy of the document signed by the doctor saying grandad was in no fit mind to look after himself and this is why it was entrusted to my father who hasn't done anything at all.

 

Once we know fully the details we are also considering contacting the police.

Basically until we have the right to see details we are stuck as my dad is refusing to give any details.

 

Any ideas as I'm not sure what the best thing to do next.

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UvD

 

You need to find out who the executors are under the will. They are the ones responsible for taking any action to sort out the mess. Their names should be in the will. If the solicitor who drew up the will doesn't know, try asking the bank. If they agreed to allow your grandparents to stay in the house, I suspect they may know who the executor is. Otherwise (assuming there had been no messing around by your uncle), the executor could have said go away to the bank. They may not disclose the name of the executors to you, so ask them to ask the executors to write to you.

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Presumably, at some stage Probate will have to be applied for, and it it when this is granted that the Will becomes public.

 

You say that the Bank held a 'Charge' on the property so they would hardly be allowing the property to be used as security against any loans.

 

It may be that as you say you are unaware as to who the Solicitors are who drew up and possibly hold the Will are.

 

Many years ago when I worked for a firm of Solicitors, in Probate, I am sure there is a 'place' where you can 'advertise' your grandfathers' death and request anyone with information to come forward. This can, of course, also be done in the local newspapers who would give you more guidance.

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The only person entitled to your Personal Finance details is a Judge not a DCA

 

Move all banking activity to another banking group if you have a dispute - your funds can be used to offset debts within the same group.

Be careful with Banking details (card/account numbers) as these can be used to take unauthorised payments.

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You need to go to the police with this one immediately.... You may be prevented from getting info. in relation to your late Nan & Grandad but the police will be able to override this in the course of an investigation.

 

Having said that, it sounds as if your Dad might have known more about what was going on than he's let on to you... which may present another dilemma for you re. what to do.

 

Some difficult decisions for you here.... I think. All I can say is that you have to decide for yourself what you think is the right way forward re. the police or not and go from there.

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I think you and your sister need to be very firm with your dad, and put him on the spot.

 

If he knew what your uncle was doing and did nothing to stop it he too could be in trouble.

 

If your uncle has been committing fraud though your grandparents' accounts this will almost certainly come to light. Your dad needs to decide what he is going to do.

 

It's difficult to anticipate what will happen, but your father could be charged as an accessory if a crime has been committed. If he can get legal advice he should do this asap.

 

You and your sister need to protect your own position, and if this means you have to go to the police you'll have to do it, but try and persuade your dad to do the right thing before you do that.

 

DD

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Hi, thanks for the replies. We did sit down and talk to our father and he promised he'd deal with it. Unfortunately we have very little trust in him after a bad history also being hardly involvedt in our upbringing and is quite selfish. (fortunately our mother and step dad are wonderful decent people) We decided to give him the benefit of doubt as after all this is his father that has died.

 

He was supposed to go to the bank with my sister yesterday but when she went round to ask him when he wanted to go, he gave her a lot of abuse and was very threatening. He has been in prison for violence and has a very nasty temper. I've told my sister if he is like that again to call the police but to be honest he won't go to her home anyway. Anything that takes effort he won't do.

 

We've got an appointment with a solicitor next week now and all accounts we know of are frozen. We haven't contacted the police yet as we really don't know 100% what has happened and am hoping the solicitor will give some solutions.

 

We know grandad had a will and although it is now only debt we just want to clear his name. He was such a kind honest gentleman it pains me to understand how his two sons could do this.

 

If we can prove the uncle committed fraud will he be liable for paying the debt caused from it as at least it would clear some of it. I don't see why he should get away free.

 

I did contact the probate office as if there is a will, I'm told it should be registered there. I will have to send a letter with £5 to find out who the excecutors? of the will are and I suspect it will be my father.

 

I did ask my father if he was going to the bank and got a torrent of vile abuse which has rather upset me. I'm the one that always defends him, no idea why, but this time he's lost the only support he had. It really is a massive shame.

 

Does anyone know if not reporting a death to the bank when they had a legal obligation to, is there any legal repercussion?

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Your father's behaviour does suggest that he might have some involvement in all this.... but it looks like you're aware of this possibility as well.

 

A solicitor will listen to you because that's what he's paid to do but he/she needs to take instructions from you.... so if you're not sure what's going on either.... it could be an expensive journey to nowhere.

 

If I were in your shoes, I'd be going to the police. Although you're not 100% sure of what's happened, the police are there to investigate such claims and where a crime is suspected, they have more powers at their disposal to look into things than you do. Where fraud is suspected, then a criminal offence is possible.... so if this does prove to be true and the police gather enough evidence to prosecute, then your Uncle (and possibly your father) would not get away with it.... no.

 

You'll need to make a decision soon though while any evidence (and behaviour) is still fairly obvious, so to speak.

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I agree with PO.

 

It's really up to the executors to contact the banks but under the circumstances it's right that you have frozen the accounts.

 

If your uncle has committed fraud using your grandfather's account it's a criminal matter and the police will take action against him. The only way he could avoid that is if he put all the money back into the account immediately - he could say it was a loan. Of course he might use that excuse anyway.

 

I'm sure your mum and stepfather will support you through this horrible situation.

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Just a horrible thought. You mentioned that he has a lot of cash. Do you think he could have applied for credit cards in your grandparents' names and got money from those. I'd mention that to the solicitor.

 

we believe there are other accounts, including a savings account that has vanished which my sister paid into for my nana which was money to get care for grandad should she die first as he then had dementia. There would be no loans or credit cards if they were linked to uncles business but I'm convinced they are not so it is a possibility. The uncle always has hundreds and hundreds of pounds of cash in his wallet, big bundles and likes to show it off. He goes into the local town a lot mainly to put on bets. The house is all filthy and disgusting and falling apart but with 2 massive very new looking 42" tvs with horse racing on all the time.

 

We were under the impression the uncle wasn't able to get a bank account and understand the business that went bankrupt owed a lot of money to hmrc but this is just speculation.

 

The bank could not say much to us but mentioned a company name tied into the account with the house. They couldn't work out what type of account it was whether mortgage, business or bank account and are getting certain staff to look further but did say a company name was tied to it even though in my grandad's name so I suspect my uncles failed business was funded by my grandad. I've looked up on company house and it doesn't seem to exist anywhere even as dissolved so maybe this was why it went bankrupt with tax owing?

 

I'm going to ring the police tomorrow. I guess if nothing wrong has been done then they have nothing to worry about. My mum and stepdad are wonderful and understand why my sister and I won't let this drop.

 

Just another thing they have done is they left my nana's ashes in the crematorium for 6 years and they are still there. I really don't understand how anyone can do this to their parents.

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Hi Uvd, I'm sorry for all the problems you are having, you must feel terrible. Unfortunately it is going to turn into an us versus dad and uncle situation.

You must be prepared for alot of grief because all that you have said about your father implies that he is aware of the situation and may try to pressure you.

Before you go to the police list everything that has happened and take copies of any evidence that you may have.

Make sure you note any crime references and who you have dealt with; there can be a reluctance to deal with 'domestics', even when there is crime.

Good luck in this horrible time.

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Thanks Cymru, you're right but to be honest this is typical for dad's response.

I don't think he's involved in fraudulent activity, but has not done anything like contacting bank for example when nana died. I suspect he's panicking that its his fault and he'll be in trouble so is doing his usual act of sticking his head in the sand and being aggressive when people try to help.

 

He's always been like that and I've always defended him, but this situation is too disgraceful to ignore.

 

The stupid thing though is that my uncle is terrified of him and would do as dad says, but he won't do anything.

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That's excellent advice from Cymru to list everything before you go the police. I'm not sure that you should 'phone the police though.... you need to go down there and have an interview with an officer. They may even be willing to visit you at home... please check.

 

It is shocking to hear of stories like this.... please keep us informed and we will try and support/advise you as best we can.

 

:)

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The banks like most similar institutions are talking nonsense when they say the can't tell you anything .............. as a relative your an 'interested' party remind them that sec 1 DPA clearly states the act DOES NOT apply to a deceased person The DPA only applies to the living

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The banks like most similar institutions are talking nonsense when they say the can't tell you anything .............. as a relative your an 'interested' party remind them that sec 1 DPA clearly states the act DOES NOT apply to a deceased person The DPA only applies to the living

 

thats really interesting to read but as right now we have no legal right does this mean we can ask for the information based on suspected fraud, or would it be best to let the polce or solicitors get it? To be honest one bank have been amazing helping more than I thought they would but I guess its in their interest too.

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That's excellent advice from Cymru to list everything before you go the police. I'm not sure that you should 'phone the police though.... you need to go down there and have an interview with an officer. They may even be willing to visit you at home... please check.

 

It is shocking to hear of stories like this.... please keep us informed and we will try and support/advise you as best we can.

 

:)

 

thanks, its really useful to get other peoples opinions on this situation as being related to the people involved does mean things get emotional and I need to be very clear on what I need to do.

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  • 2 weeks later...

The legal responsibility of ensuring that grandfather's assets were protected during hius lifetime vested in your father as his attorney. It is an onerous responsibility.

 

What went missing after grandad's death is the responsibility of his executors. You can find out if there was ever a Grant of Probate by getting a copy from the York Probate Registry. Cost of £5 and they will need all dates and details of grandad etc. When you know who the Exectors are the beneficiaries can go after them if there has been any misfeance or negligence.

 

As an insolvent estate the executors named in the Will might, in all probability, renounce probate. That would leave the next of kin as potential personal representatives of grandad's estate or else any creditors can apply.

 

If grandad died without a Will and no Grant of Letters of Administration was ever obtained then the personal reps are the next of kin as determined under the intestacy priovisions, who, once appointed as such by a Grant, can pursue the brother.

 

Its messy my man, very messy. What's worse is that any legal costs will not in all probability be recovered.

Mozzone

_______________

Taking on the bloodsuckers

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We've got a copy of a document from the land register that shows a caution on the property as well as a charge. I'm waiting to see a photocopy as my sister didn't know what it meant.

Just waiting for an email with a few scanned documents,

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