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Problems with executors of Mothers will.

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new to the group was hoping someone could give me some advice.

My mum died in September 2021.

My brother came over from New Zealand moved into my mums house and changed the locks to stop me entering the property,  he completely emptied the property of all my mums things a lot of which was valuable,  she had a lot of jewellery and antique furniture.

I asked to see the will, my brother said I would have to speak to executors. I spoke to executors, husband and wife, and they refused to let me have copy of will.

In June 2022 I paid a solicitor £300 to request a copy of the will, they dragged their feet but eventually sent solicitor the will.

Myself and my 2 adult daughters are named in will though my brother has the lions share .

The contents of the house was removed by November 2021, the house was put on the market in February 2022, sale couldn't be completed because they hadn't applied for probate,

I found this very strange as the executor was a practising solicitor at the time , though she told me she was a family friend for 15yrs, never seen or heard of her before neither have my step sister or aunts.

Probate was granted on 4th September 2022 a year after my mums death.

The house sale finally went thru in November 2022.

I have tried writing to executors to find out where they are settling my mother's estate, they replied to my 1st letter saying you haven't got a solicitor. 

I wrote again last January... 12 months ago and still waiting for a reply.

My initial questions to you guys are should I have paid a solicitor to obtain a copy of will as I am a named beneficiary and do I need a solicitor to get money owed to me and my 2 daughters

Thanks in advance any advice would be greatly appreciated 

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Several different issues here.

Did your brother have permission from the Executors to move in and to sell jewellery etc? If not it was probably theft if he kept the sale proceeds for himself. He should have handed the money over to the Executors, it's part of your mother's Estate.

From when your mother died until the Executors transfer the Estate to the beneficiaries the legal owners of the house and other property are (usually) the Executors. So it is the Executors who would need to take action to recover the items from your brother.

Nobody is entitled to see the Will or have a copy of it until Probate is granted, not even beneficiaries. After Probate it becomes a public document and anyone can download a copy.

It seems that by using a solicitor you got a copy of the Will several months before Probate even though Executors had no obligation to give it to you. So you got some benefit from your £300.

It sounds like now is when you might need a solicitor if the Executors are refusing to communicate with you or pay out to beneficiaries. But have you really waited a year without following up your last request?

Their response to your first letter - that you hadn't got a solicitor - is irrelevant. Beneficiaries don't need a solicitor. Unless of course, as here, you may need to start legal action to get Executors to pay your inheritance to you.


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We think executors gave my brother permission to live in house and empty it. I went round to house at end of November 2021at request of executors,  I questioned why I has been asked round when the house was already empty of my mothers possessions and was told there was a  tele in the corner if I wanted it, I didn't..  

It has been a year since my last letter, trying to communicate with executors but I just expected it all to fall into place and get sorted once house was sold. 

When I instructed solicitor to obtain copy of the will I didn't realise they hadn't got probate as house had already been put up for sale.

Thank you 

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Executors are responsible to all of the beneficiaries to distribute the estate in accordance with the will.

As Ethel says though, you probably need a lawyer to start a discussion with the husband and wife team.

You could try this helpline which is run by lawyers. They give free advice and don't pressure you to use their services. It might help you to talk to someone before you go looking for a solicitor.


We give practical information, advice and signposting on the many issues and procedures that face us after the death of someone close.


Illegitimi non carborundum




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