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Advice on being a executor to a will on benefits


Laura Cooke
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Hi this post may be in the wrong place only can`t find any general forum

 

I am on benefits I have been made a administrator to deal with my widowed sisters estate as the executor was unable to deal with it my sister as left 3 children 15,20,21 two of the children could have been made administrator of the estate left to them but they are away at university and were unable to deal with probate so I contacted probate and asked if I could deal with it my working daughter is a joint administrator of the estate as it needed two with one of the children only being 15 years of age. One of the children could have cash now if he wanted the will stipulates they have to be 21 years old to inherit however the 21 year old lives abroad and won`t be back here for a year and wants me to keep the cash available to keep the home running

 

The estate consists of a house which is up for sale and a sum of money which as been sent to me as a cheque in my name the cash is over £30,000 there is around £10,000 of debt to be paid out of this and I have to keep paying the utilities and interest on the mortgage

 

The children want me to continue maintaining the home in the hope of a sale there is still a mortgage which I wrote to the building society and asked them to freeze for 3 months I then was hoping just to offer the interest only payment after this period. All the utilitiy bills are in my name so I am able to deal with them if there is a query as the 2 children are not living in the area. I am guardian to the 15 year old.

 

I set an account up at my bank some weeks ago in anticipation of receiving cash to allow me to pay some bills for my sisters home out of this account

 

Can anyone advise as to what I can do I need to know my position over the capital if it was to be placed in an account in my name I am not a beneficiary in the will I would just be the legal owner of the cash in my account but it`s not mine

 

I rang the law centre they were unable to advise, rang unemployed workers centre they said the money could not be classed as mine, the bank are unsure and I have now arranged to see me again and said an executors account might be a good idea

 

If anyone knows anything about this the advice would be much appreciated:???:

Edited by Laura Cooke
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Firstly, my condolences on your sad loss.

 

I'm very surprised that no one could help you.

You will need an account in the name of the administrators, its quite simple - the account would be in the names "AAAA and BBBB as Administrators of CCCC deceased" - all transactions should be done through this account & there should be no problems at all.

I suggest going to the bank where your late sister had her account as this will be simplest.

 

You are quiite correct in thinking the money will not be yours - you would hold it as a trustee on behalf of the beneficiaries of the estate.

Can I suggest that it is worth taking some legal advice as this can save you a lot of work and worry in the long run especially as there are absentee beneficiaries & a minor to deal with.

The estate will obvioulsy have to pay for this, but my experience is that some of the paperwork which would take you an age is what probate solicitors do day in & day out.

 

i hope everything runs smoothly.

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Got another appointment at the bank next week been told to return cheque made out just in my name and to get it replaced by one stating to the executors can`t see that the cheque is a problem so long as the account is a executors one? Hung on to the cheque will ask if the cheque can be paid in to an executors account or if indeed it has to be returned and replaced by one in both executors names and stating it`s an executor cheque

 

No intention of involving any solicitor it was a solicitor who was the original executor been done down enough not having any solicitor do what we are capable of doing already done probate without help

 

Will ask advice at the bank as to what to do concerning the two underage beneficiaries what cash there is doesn`t need putting in trust we need it to keep the family home running till it sells

 

Thanks for your input

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This is a situation where you may be the legal owner of the capital (as it's in your account), but you are not the beneficial owner. From the point of view of your own benefit entitlement, the fact that you are not the beneficial owner is the salient fact - the money may be in your account, but you cannot ethically or legally spend it as you choose.

 

The problem when dealing with the DWP (I am a former DWP benefit processor) is that this is a complex area of the law that's only briefly touched on in training (and is uncommon in practice), and I'd say 80% of benefit processors don't understand it. The basic point is that, from what you've described, this should not affect your entitlement to means-tested benefits even if you have the money in your own name. I defer to other posters on probate matters.

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Hello there. I'm very sorry to hear of your loss. I agree with what Elmo and Antone have told you. I helped my father sort out an estate and the executors'/adminstrators account was easy to set up.

 

It isn't hard to deal with a simple estate yourself and we found the CAB helpful. They have a leaflet or two on this that you could use. If you get stuck though, not all probate solicitors are bad. The Probate Office are used to dealing with non-lawyers on wills and once you've assembled all the information, you'll need a meeting with them. I could be wrong, but I think they call you in once they've seen the paperwork.

 

I think you'll be fine, but if the DWP cut up rough, come back to us.

 

My best, HB

Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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Thanks guys I have kept hold of the cheque I am hoping the manager will pay it in when I go he was happy to before and said i did not specifically need a executors account however since I explained that I`m on benefits he said it would be better to make the account he opened an executive account.

 

I have kept reading on the internet and it states that as I am not a beneficiary only the legal owner I should be ok

 

I have been maintaining my sisters home and bills are in my name as her sons are not here (Well for Christmas they are) put bills on hold but need to get them paid

 

Thanks for all the advice much appreciated

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This is a situation where you may be the legal owner of the capital (as it's in your account), but you are not the beneficial owner. From the point of view of your own benefit entitlement, the fact that you are not the beneficial owner is the salient fact - the money may be in your account, but you cannot ethically or legally spend it as you choose.

 

The problem when dealing with the DWP (I am a former DWP benefit processor) is that this is a complex area of the law that's only briefly touched on in training (and is uncommon in practice), and I'd say 80% of benefit processors don't understand it. The basic point is that, from what you've described, this should not affect your entitlement to means-tested benefits even if you have the money in your own name. I defer to other posters on probate matters.

 

 

Thanks for this advice my bank manager made some enquiries and the outcome was as you said hence I was able to pay the cheque in after having had it in my possession for over a month many thanks

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Thanks HB she as been dead 5 months it`s been a trying time now wrote to who she as her mortgage with asked if any chance of a long payment holiday till I sell the place it`s so expensive to maintain it`s a 3 story 5 bedroomed house dreading next gas bill at least now I can start to clear some bills/debts it would break her heart to see me in this position she was pure gold

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