2 Years On & No Grant Probate...

2ForJoy

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Last parent deceased late 2019. Left Will cash assets house to be shared equally 4 beneficiaries siblings 2 of whom are the executors. Nothing done regarding probate until early 2021 for a variety of inexplicable reasons. Various excuses given by executors covid valuations holidays away etc but the outcome was probate not commenced til 15 months after death.

At that time a sibling /beneficiary expressed wish to purchase house we all agreed she & family moved in. We agreed informally - nothing drawn up or legal - that the market value was X after an auctioneer valuation & that sibling would get it for that price by paying each of us our share when probate granted. That was 10 months ago. As a beneficiary I asked on multiple occasions that the solicitor be consulted regarding this arrangement to ensure we were doing it correctly.

Any queries I had in relation to progress of probate was just... it takes a lot time. I contacted probate office myself recently they told me 10-12 weeks unless complications. As months passed from early 2021 to now late 2021 I continue to email frequently asking what delays are , how long more , are there any issues to explain delay. The responses in the main are solicitor not contactable solicitor away solicitor will get back to us or solicitor says no updates.

I have tried to be reasonable to understand these things take time but overall I am very concerned by the way this has been handled. I previously read that CGT or CAT may be applicable where siblings transfer/sell to another beneficiary but it has to be done within a 2 year time frame from date of death. I asked about this but was told solicitor is being paid to deal with a issues so leave it to him.

Anyway 2 year has passed now and probate has still not been granted. I have no idea why or what delays are & I do believe executors ( perhaps naively) when they say they have no clue either. The most worrying part is the sibling who moved into the residence has proceeded to apply & receive planning permission on the property and has commenced works on the site. Given that probate has not yet been granted I was worried would this affect valuation etc .....I do not like the idea of going off and getting my own legal advice & do not wish to fall out with family members but would just like a satisfactory closure to all this and am anxious to ensure we do all aspects of this legally and properly.
 

Thirsty

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Your post is very difficult to read with no punctuation or paragraphs.

Simple answer is that in general exec has a year or so to apply for grant of probate.

You are well past that year.

You have two options:

a) Do nothing & lose your inheritance

b) Consult your solicitor with a view to removing the exec and appointing new exec to get grant of probate.

With option 2 you do indeed run the risk of falling out with family.

But they are your only choices.

For what its worth, I think you are being given the run around.
 

elcato

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If the probate only started 10 months ago I would be inclined to give it the year given some restrictions. The fact that you all met up and decided that a sibling could buy at a certain acceptable price makes me seem that the wheels are well in motion. My family probate with two engaging exceutors and plenty of family members still took a year to sort out. The conveyancy (for the sale) should be at a point of completion if your sibling has got planning so suggest you ask to divvy out the procedes of the sale to the executors and solicitor.
 

2ForJoy

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Your post is very difficult to read with no punctuation or paragraphs.

Simple answer is that in general exec has a year or so to apply for grant of probate.

You are well past that year.

You have two options:

a) Do nothing & lose your inheritance

b) Consult your solicitor with a view to removing the exec and appointing new exec to get grant of probate.

With option 2 you do indeed run the risk of falling out with family.

But they are your only choices.

For what its worth, I think you are being given the run around.
Thankyou for your response and apolagies for my posts lack of punctuation or paragraphs!. Yes I agree with your last point on being given a right run around but I am not entirely sure it is being done intentionally as I do feel the executor is getting a similar service from the solicitor. When you say 'consult your solicitor' do you mean the solicitor they are using for probate or go off and consult a separate solicitor.
 

2ForJoy

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If the probate only started 10 months ago I would be inclined to give it the year given some restrictions. The fact that you all met up and decided that a sibling could buy at a certain acceptable price makes me seem that the wheels are well in motion. My family probate with two engaging exceutors and plenty of family members still took a year to sort out. The conveyancy (for the sale) should be at a point of completion if your sibling has got planning so suggest you ask to divvy out the procedes of the sale to the executors and solicitor.
Thankyou for your response. I thought there could be implications with 'dividing out the proceeds of sale' regarding CGT /CAT and valuation dates and that could/should not be done until after probate was granted .....apolagies as I am writing this I realise my lack of full understanding on this topic
 

Thirsty

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3,553
..feel the executor is getting a similar service from the solicitor. When you say 'consult your solicitor' do you mean the solicitor they are using for probate or go off and consult a separate solicitor.
So the exec is free to find another solicitor or even apply for probate themselves. Depending on the estate and the terms of the will, it's not a hugely difficult process; pulling all the paper work together takes the most time, but if you are practical and good on detail it's very do-able.

The current solicitor appointed by the exec cannot reply to you as you are not their client; you would need to consult with your own solicitor.

Tax and the like comes later and again it depends on what threshold each beneficiary falls into.

Until Grant of Probate and house sale, there is nothing to divvy out.

I'm unsure how the sibling got planning when they are not the owner, but I'm not an expert on planning matters.
 

Thirsty

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Two years for what though? to find paperwork? claim life assurance? submit what is now known as the Statement of Affairs (old CA24 form)? get the Grant of Probate? Sell the property? settle tax issues? wind up a business?
 

elcato

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Probate only commenced 9 months ago. There are lots of extra stuff for the conveyancy cos the goto person who can answer questions like do you owe NPPR or property tax, where are the deeds, who's name is the title in, whre do you bank, have you a nest egg somewhere etc etc. is, uhm, dead.
 

Thirsty

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Probate only commenced 9 months ago.
Indeed, but the deceased passed away 24 months ago - so why was the exec or solicitor sitting on their hands for 15 months?

In the main, none of this stuff is really difficult. Where there is an extensive estate, farm, business etc., then it's a different picture. But I'm willing to say that the vast majority of folks have a few bank a/cs, perhaps life assurance and a home. It's the people factor that makes it a pain.

To take your example, NPPR isn't needed to apply for Grant of Probate, and getting a letter from the local CC takes a couple of weeks at the worst.

Property Title / ownership - almost everything on PRAI

Deeds: needed for sale but not for Grant of Probate, again in the event that they are lost forever, can be reconstituted, it just takes money.

Bank a/cs: Exec can provide and in any event a letter to all the main banks asking do you have accounts in the name of Jane Soap, DOB etc., covers you.

As for the deceased being dead - that's what a Death Certificate is for!
 

mathepac

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At that time a sibling /beneficiary expressed wish to purchase house we all agreed she & family moved in. We agreed informally - nothing drawn up or legal - that the market value was X after an auctioneer valuation & that sibling would get it for that price by paying each of us our share when probate granted. That was 10 months ago. As a beneficiary I asked on multiple occasions that the solicitor be consulted regarding this arrangement to ensure we were doing it correctly.
Major mistake.

I would respectfully suggest that neither the executors nor the beneficiaries have a clue what their duties and responsibilities are.

Did the execs seek legal advice before allowing a family (siblings or not) to move in?

What contributions are the occupants making to the upkeep of the house - utilities, maintenance, etc? They cannot insure the property as is not theirs. Are executors paying insurance on the house?

A single valuation from 12 months ago will have no relevance to the sale price whenever the house changes hands. The responsibility of the execs is to maximise the value of the real assets of the estate for the beneficiaries. This means the value of the house is the real market value of the house on the date of sale, usually established by getting 3 independent valuations and placing the house on the open market.

Post sale, the usual way of doing things is to disburse 33.3% of the net value of the house to each of the 3 non-purchasing siblings, the purchaser paying 75% of the market value of the house to secure it, 25% being his/her own share in the value of the property.

I know there are cash and other assets, but what if the purchaser can't raise a mortgage or other loan to finance the purchase of the house?
 

Billo

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Have to agree about major mistake in allowing sibling to move in before everything was finalised. . Put the brakes on now or ii could get more messy than it already is.
 

Clamball

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301
I would agree that agreeing to the sibling moving in has created a log jam in the process.

From what you said I don’t think probate has been applied for. When my MIL died in 2019 the solicitor gave permission for the house to be put on the market “subject to probate” after the application went in but before it was granted. Everything had to happen in order, certainly if a sibling wanted to purchase they would have done so at that stage. Then they would pay the solicitor who would distribute 25% to each sibling after all bills were paid.

From what you are saying I doubt you will get 25% of the figure you all agreed was a fair market price. It will be less.

So I think you need to find out if probate has been applied for. And find out if the sibling in the house has had ownership transferred to them? If so have they paid the full price to the solicitor? How can they pay 75% if they don’t know the costs owing.

Was all of this not discussed when you agreed to this?
 

2ForJoy

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So the exec is free to find another solicitor or even apply for probate themselves. Depending on the estate and the terms of the will, it's not a hugely difficult process; pulling all the paper work together takes the most time, but if you are practical and good on detail it's very do-able.

The current solicitor appointed by the exec cannot reply to you as you are not their client; you would need to consult with your own solicitor.

Tax and the like comes later and again it depends on what threshold each beneficiary falls into.

Until Grant of Probate and house sale, there is nothing to divvy out.

I'm unsure how the sibling got planning when they are not the owner, but I'm not an expert on planning matters.
Thankyou for that information. I am reviewing each response and appreciate your advice & insight on this matter.
 

2ForJoy

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I would agree that agreeing to the sibling moving in has created a log jam in the process.

From what you said I don’t think probate has been applied for. When my MIL died in 2019 the solicitor gave permission for the house to be put on the market “subject to probate” after the application went in but before it was granted. Everything had to happen in order, certainly if a sibling wanted to purchase they would have done so at that stage. Then they would pay the solicitor who would distribute 25% to each sibling after all bills were paid.

From what you are saying I doubt you will get 25% of the figure you all agreed was a fair market price. It will be less.

So I think you need to find out if probate has been applied for. And find out if the sibling in the house has had ownership transferred to them? If so have they paid the full price to the solicitor? How can they pay 75% if they don’t know the costs owing.

Was all of this not discussed when you agreed to this?
Apolagies my mistake probate has been applied for but not granted. It is the time it is taking that is concerning over 10 months now & in context of other issues outlined. Thankyou for your response
 

2ForJoy

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Have to agree about major mistake in allowing sibling to move in before everything was finalised. . Put the brakes on now or ii could get more messy than it already is.
Thankyou for your response I am unsure how I as a beneficiary could 'apply the brakes now'. There is a solicitor appointed and dealing with executors - just not very efficiently in my opinion. I am unsure how one would go about switching at this stage as solicitor has applied for probate but it has not been granted. But I will explore that as an option thankyou
 

2ForJoy

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32
Major mistake.

I would respectfully suggest that neither the executors nor the beneficiaries have a clue what their duties and responsibilities are.

Did the execs seek legal advice before allowing a family (siblings or not) to move in?

What contributions are the occupants making to the upkeep of the house - utilities, maintenance, etc? They cannot insure the property as is not theirs. Are executors paying insurance on the house?

A single valuation from 12 months ago will have no relevance to the sale price whenever the house changes hands. The responsibility of the execs is to maximise the value of the real assets of the estate for the beneficiaries. This means the value of the house is the real market value of the house on the date of sale, usually established by getting 3 independent valuations and placing the house on the open market.

Post sale, the usual way of doing things is to disburse 33.3% of the net value of the house to each of the 3 non-purchasing siblings, the purchaser paying 75% of the market value of the house to secure it, 25% being his/her own share in the value of the property.

I know there are cash and other assets, but what if the purchaser can't raise a mortgage or other loan to finance the purchase of the house?
I would fully agree and no disrespect taken we clearly do not have a clue here and seem to be going around in endless circles. Perhaps if we received clear information from solicitor it could be easier to follow the process and fully understand timeframes, our obligations etc
Also it was not a single valuation a number were received and an average of those calculated. We all agreed on the price and the move in by sibling but what was not anticipated was such a lengthy process in finalising matters & the issue of any potential tax implications.
 

elcato

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We all agreed on the price and the move in by sibling but what was not anticipated was such a lengthy process in finalising matters & the issue of any potential tax implications.
From your original post and subsequent answers I believe you are asking is 10 months a long time for probate and my own experience is no especially as there is a house sale involved so extra work in getting all ducks in a row. My advice is to let the hare sit for a full year before taking any action.
 

2ForJoy

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32
From your original post and subsequent answers I believe you are asking is 10 months a long time for probate and my own experience is no especially as there is a house sale involved so extra work in getting all ducks in a row. My advice is to let the hare sit for a full year before taking any action.
Thankyou for your advice & for responding to my query. I do agree it can be a lengthy process but probate office themselves indicated it is generally only taking between 10-12 weeks unless there are issues so hence my concerns.
 

2ForJoy

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Messages
32
I would agree that agreeing to the sibling moving in has created a log jam in the process.

From what you said I don’t think probate has been applied for. When my MIL died in 2019 the solicitor gave permission for the house to be put on the market “subject to probate” after the application went in but before it was granted. Everything had to happen in order, certainly if a sibling wanted to purchase they would have done so at that stage. Then they would pay the solicitor who would distribute 25% to each sibling after all bills were paid.

From what you are saying I doubt you will get 25% of the figure you all agreed was a fair market price. It will be less.

So I think you need to find out if probate has been applied for. And find out if the sibling in the house has had ownership transferred to them? If so have they paid the full price to the solicitor? How can they pay 75% if they don’t know the costs owing.

Was all of this not discussed when you agreed to this?
Apolagies for the misunderstanding probate has been applied for months ago but not granted yet. I thought ownership could not be transferred until grant of probate is received.

What was discussed when we agreed was ....here are a range of valuations from a number of auctioneers we all agreed on a price based on those valuations, one sibling wished to purchase at that price, moved in & we all agreed on that verbally. Nothing was put in writing as far as I know but solicitor was informed by executor.
 
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