09 Mar 2015

A question about : Executor trying to hold probate up

There are 2 executors - another relative and me. We are also trustees to the estate as there are 2 grandchildren under 18 but we are not beneficiaries. The 3 grandchildren are beneficiaries sharing 50% of grandmother's house and one third of Ј150K each (or what's left of it after what could be considerable costs).

The problem is the other executor is trying to stop probate going through and anything moving forward. She lives in the house and has no intention of moving, ever. Solicitor told her when second grandparent dies they will have to. That's when they became difficult.

The solicitor has told me nothing can be done if one executor is being difficult. He has had most of the documents for over 3 weeks and hasn't even applied for probate.(Solicitor doesn't have the death certificate - other executor won't give them up so will have to get another.)

What can I do to get things started? How can other executor prevent this continuing, are there lots of signatures needed or something? Why can't the solicitor start things?

I'm not bothered by the house and her living in it, that's something for the future, but it would be nice to get things started and the money distributed anyway.

Help please?

Best answers:

  • Thanks, I would if I had any money to do that, can't really afford it at the moment though.
    Couldn't the solicitor who has all the accounts just fill out the probate form, get probate and start things moving?
  • Ah, I see the problem now thanks. My sister won't care about any tax penalties even though one of the beneficiaries is her son. She didn't even care about her son hence why he's in care, she only cares about herself!
    I'm thinking the solicitor could start to apply for probate and send the form to her to be signed. If she refuses to sign the form or just ignores it, what happens then? Do you have to wait for a period of time and then the executor can be replaced?
  • Thanks.
    Is there any reason I can't just get the probate form back from the solicitor and apply for probate myself. Where would the problems arise there?
  • Is the solicitor also named as an executor ? If not, who has instructed them , and what for exactly ?
  • Well my dad booked the sols appointment. I got the stuff together - account books etc from their house and went with my sister to the solicitor. All seemed to be going ok until solicitor said sister would have to move out of house when my dad died. Then she has stalled.
    And the solicitor has not done anything either, not even filled out the probate forms.
  • They are not executors until they apply for probate.
    They can refuse to be executors leaving the estate for someone else to apply.
    They can cough up the will and apply themselves to stop someone else applying, thus forcing them in to action.
    If they refuse to act as executors, apply yourself.
    They then have two straight choices, pull the finger out or let you do it.
  • There's also an extreme complication. I thought we were home and dry and did something I'd wanted to do for 10+ years, blocked dad's and sister's numbers and assumed I'd never have to see them again in this lifetime!
    This is because dad had been trying to give me a large sum of money to look after the house for the next six or so years for my lazy sister so she could live in the lap of luxury. I wouldn't accept it.
    Further complication - Dad and sister are both child abusers. Sister is waiting for possible prosecution - CPS are deciding whether to prosecute. Nephew was taken away by the police last year and is now safe and happy. I might be asked to be a witness at the trial if there is one against my sister.
    Dad is in a rage because I have (or at least tried) to walk away. Accuses me of crazy things that I'm supposed to have said that can only have come from sister's mouth as she has a vested interest in trying to get the other half of the house off him for next to nothing. Or he has dementia. Elder abuse anyway but he protected sister when she was abusing her son and threatened his grandchild when he tried to get help, so I don't really care what happens to him.
    I don't even care if sister gets other half of house.
    But I would like my children and nephew to get what was in my mum's will.
    I'm a fool aren't I? I should have read up on it and pretended to be their friend for a little bit longer to get this through, but I was so desperate to escape from them now nephew is safe.
  • Thanks Mark
    The solicitor has the will and I'm not sure he will give it to me. I'll try and get him to apply for probate with my name on it this week and if he doesn't then I'll do it myself.
    But how do I get the original will off him if he won't give it to me?
  • Have you and your sister actually instructed the solicitor to act for you and apply for probate ?
    Did you make this instruction jointly as executors ?
    Or did you or your sister instruct them independently ?
    You need to be clear on this - solicitors are not the executors unless named as such in the will. If they aren't, they only act under instruction of whoever employs them.
    If you can it is usually preferable, and certainly a lot cheaper, if you can avoid solicitors altogether and apply for probate yourself.
  • Well we went for the meeting with the solicitors, left the account books and papers with him with the assumption that he would do the probate work for us. He said he would write to us with details of fees etc.
    That was over 3 weeks ago. He's done nothing, not even written. He's not named as an executor in the will but holds the original will.
    Can I ask for everything back from him? Does he have to give it to me or will he say we jointly instructed him (don't know if we did or not) and he can't give it to us?
    Thanks for your help, it's appreciated.
  • Thanks, I spoke to him Friday, he hasn't done any work.
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