Joint executor refuses to file for probate 18 months later

Discussion in 'Wills, inheritances and gifts' started by Worndownwithit, Sep 5, 2018.

  1. Worndownwithit

    Worndownwithit Registered User

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    My mum died in Feb 2017 having resided in a care home for 7 years as her only daughter along with the help of my husband and children I cared for her for many years.
    Her will was written with myself and eldest sibling named as executors and a POE drafted solely in my name 17 years ago after the death of my father, both held by a local firm of solicitors. The basis of the will was a small sum to each of her 7 grandchildren and the remainder of the estate to be split equally between myself and two elder brothers.
    The relationship with my siblings has always been difficult we have never got on basically fuelled by jealousy and sibling rivelry. I was the closest to our parents, I lived nearby, saw them daily and cared and looked after them laterly. Youngest sibling lived abroad for 30 years returning occasionally to cause disharmony within the family and then leave again. The eldest sibling although locally based never got involved in helping or caring for either parent as he regarded it as my job/duty.
    I filed the POE a year before mum moved into a care home, and kept comprehensive financial records and furnished my brothers with annotated bank statements until her death. I also oversaw the renovation of her property, and its subsequent rental to help towards care home costs. Neither of my brothers raised any queries or suggested financial impropriety of any sort for over seven years.
    After her death I have received numerous inaccurate solicitors letters alleging finanacial impropriety no evidence has ever been produced (because it dosent exist) where as I have referred to the bank statements they have received and supplied additional records and evidence which disproves all of their allegations.
    It has become apparent over the passage of time, in the content of the letters received and a demand from both brothers that I renounce my role as an executor in favour of my other sibling (as i am not a fit and proper person to carry out the role). That their intention is to wear me down by means of bullying and intimidation into renouncing the role of executor thus giving them total contol of the administration of mums will.
    I have also suggested that for transparancy and fairness a third party, an impartial solicitor could be used to administer the estate, this suggestion hasn't received a response.
    Its now over 18 months since mum died and nothing had been done towards the administration of her estate my eldest sibling the other executor refuses to file for probate despite their being a property attracting costs and presumably deteriorating. I have recently engaged a solicitor who has requested that my eldest sibling either files for probate with me, or takes me court for whatever reason he sees fit.
    That was over 5 weeks ago and despite a reminder being sent and a 21 day deadline being stated a formal reply, from my sibling or his solicitor (apart from an e.mail claiming he was on bereavement leave) has yet to be received.
    My siblings appear to have run out of baseless accusations and now steam, so delaying tactics appear their only course of action
    I am waiting to hear from my solicitor but what are my options?
     
  2. Mary55555

    Mary55555 Frequent Poster

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    Last edited: Sep 5, 2018
    Hello,

    I’m not a solicitor but I commend you. I would say stick it out. You have come this far with it all.

    Leave it with your solicitor and I know very difficult to do , stop thinking about it. The ball is in their court. Obviously don’t give up your rights as executor as you won’t get your right share( as they won’t excute the will according to the terms) .. It’s a waiting game now... you can wait .. I know you are concerned about the property as you are a conscientious person. Wait...

    Maybe the brother abroad will get anxious and bring pressure on the local brother. Wait...


    Or you could ask your brother to renounce his role as executor ...

    If he doesn’t want to tell him you intend to go to court as a beneficiary to remove him as executor.. I would suspect the cost would go against the estate and it might be costly...
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2018
    Ravima likes this.
  3. noproblem

    noproblem Frequent Poster

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    Are your brothers married? Sometimes this can cause extra problems as greed can multiply. In any case i'm sure there's legal procedures that come into place in this type of scenario and you seem to have gone about it properly. Have a chat with the solicitor again and move it to the next level
     
  4. Brendan Burgess

    Brendan Burgess Founder

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    Sounds as if you have a fairly good proactive solicitor.

    While there is no harm in asking for ideas on a public forum such as Askaboutmoney, go with your solicitor's advice unless you have good reason not to.

    Brendan
     
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  5. Worndownwithit

    Worndownwithit Registered User

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    Thank you as you say it is a waiting game, but every now and again It gets to me!.
    The youngest sibling (who provides the bullets for the other one to fire) moved back into the UK several years ago so I am up against a united pair with the same obvious goal.
    When I look at at calmly and logically I can see they have been backed into a corner, and don't have anywhere to go, so eventually a conclusion will be reached.
    It is not in my nature to give up so I take solace in the fact that any relief giving all this hassle up could never compensate for the self hatredI would feel allowing them to get the better of me.
    I also feel my poor parents would be horrified at the scenario, although they loved both their sons they would be appalled by their behaviour. So I owe to them that their last wishes are upheld.
    Thank you for your advice and support.
     
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  6. Worndownwithit

    Worndownwithit Registered User

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    No I dont believe either are currently married (they have both surprisingly! had frelationship issues in the past) the executor has a partner of several years. Both my siblings are comfortably off, so I have concluded that revenge for being "the favourite" is their motivation. As I said both my parents were an integral part of my families life. Where as one brother lived abroad and the other was happy leading an insular life and particulaly despised our father.
    I am confident that I have handled correctly, and the comprenensive financial records I have kept are undeniable proof.
    I am expecting to hear from my solicitor tomorrow, as she is currently seeking advice from her boss.
    Thank you for your advice
     
  7. Worndownwithit

    Worndownwithit Registered User

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    Thank you, it is my intention to take my solicitors advice.
    I have used the forum as I feel having as much information and advice from people who have experienced similar situations can only help.
    As they saying goes 'forewarned is forearmed".
     
  8. Early Riser

    Early Riser Frequent Poster

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    My little suggestion is that you should try to put questions about their motivation out of your mind. Ruminating about this will add to your stress and won't help resolve the issue. Maybe try to think of it solely in business terms rather than family terms - like as if it is a service provider trying to collect payment for a service they never provided.

    It sounds like you have done well by your mother to date and now you are just going to follow her last wishes.
     
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  9. Worndownwithit

    Worndownwithit Registered User

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    Thank you I appreciate your advice and will take your suggestion on board.
    I know you are right I have wasted to much time and emotion, analysing their actions.
    By being one step ahead and refusing to give in must have caused them irritation.
    Employing a solicitor to take over was the start of letting go, I must allow the legal people do their job.
     
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  10. DirectDevil

    DirectDevil Frequent Poster

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    In brief, stick with the advice of your solicitor (and counsel). It looks like you are playing it exactly the right way.

    This is nothing more than nasty bullyboy tactics - not unusual when there is money around and the greed is exacerbated by some sense of unconscionable twisted entitlement.

    It sounds like your brothers are related to Donald Trump :p. So, stick with the solid factual evidence that you have already established and that should dispose of your siblings "fake" allegations.

    If proceedings are threatened you can soften the cough of the overseas sibling by instructing your solicitor to apply for an order for security of costs against him given that he would be a plaintiff from outside the jurisdiction.

    Stick to your guns and see them off.......
     
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  11. DeeKie

    DeeKie Frequent Poster

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    Stick to your guns.
     
  12. Worndownwithit

    Worndownwithit Registered User

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    Thank you and what an awesome phrase " unconscionable twisted entitlement" which sums them up along with " transference of guilt" as the way they treated me was awful. I could only assume they convinced themselves I must have been receiving a financial incentive to do all the things I did do for our parents, thus justifing the negligible lack of interest/care they took in them.
    Unfortunately my younger sibling has been back in the UK for several years, he was diagnosed with cancer and returned here to shaft the NHS for care having not resided here as a tax payer for 30 years..... Oooh how I could go on.
    Your reference to Donald Trump also amuses me and yes he is unravelling as the truth will always come out. However my late mums care home staff had them summed up and referred to them as The Kray Brothers.
    I assume the next step will be a trip to court, the costs are at the courts discretion but I have all the proof to dispel their allegations and hi-lite their bullying behaviour which hopefully puts me in a positive position.
    This forum has been most helpful in restoring my sonetimes waning confidence.
    Thanks again
     
  13. Worndownwithit

    Worndownwithit Registered User

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    Thank you the advice and comments from the forum has boosted my resolve and confidence.
     
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  14. DirectDevil

    DirectDevil Frequent Poster

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    Just a few quick additional observations as they come to mind.

    As an executor (albeit a joint executor) you need to move along the probate process as it is in abeyance for far too long.
    It is probably now time to start exerting rights and pushing the issues onwards.

    I would be inclined to ask my solicitor the following ;

    1. Please review the papers and advise me on what needs to be done next.

    2. Check if either sibling has registered a caveat with the Probate Office to inhibit probate. Caveats are valid for about 6 months but can be renewed.

    3. Please advise me if it is possible to seek a High Court order compelling the joint executor to discharge his duties as such or possibly to have him removed as an executor on the grounds that he is refusing to discharge his obligations as an executor.

    4. Can you please advise me if I can apply for probate without my joint executor doing so ?

    Best of luck with this really horrible situation.
     
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  15. Gordon Gekko

    Gordon Gekko Frequent Poster

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    Are you based in the UK?

    This is obviously an Irish site, so you may not receive advice that’s applicable.
     
  16. Worndownwithit

    Worndownwithit Registered User

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    Thank you for the advice as of last Friday still no response from siblings or their solicitor.
    1)I have already applied for a caveat and its subsequent renewal so no fear the peoperty can be sold, which gives me some peace of mind.
    2)Legal Action is the next step, but I believe that as the other executor has the original will, it could determine the course of action. I also need more information and details on the procedure of removing an executor and the grounds necessary to do so.
    3)I am hoping to speak to my solicitor early next week, I understand she has been seeking advice from her head of department.
    I will keep the forum up to spead with developments.
    Yes Gordon Gekko I am based in England
     
  17. Worndownwithit

    Worndownwithit Registered User

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    Update.
    My solicitor had been unable to get a response from siblings or their solicitor. Attempts she made to contact the latter resulted in “he is not available and his workload has not been allocated to colleagues”. My solicitor is dumfounded by the lack of response and the unprofessionalism exhibited.

    She suggested the following rather than apply directly to court to have my brother removed as executor. That a final letter is sent to all concerned parties advising of my intention. As I have taken a caveat out preventing the sale of mums property. She didnt want my brother to use that in court as an excuse for not applying for probate.
    The above sounded like a suitable next step, showing I was still being fair. Also demonstrating to the court that I have tried everything to avoid having to take court action, which will definately be the next step.
    I then discovered that within 30 minutes of this conversation. My siblings solicitor had left a message for my solicitor to contact him tomorrow, (as he was feeling ill and going home!) - this is in response to our letter of 27/7!!!
    So I will now have to await the results of that conversation. Suppose slow progress is better than none!
     
  18. DirectDevil

    DirectDevil Frequent Poster

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    You now need to set time limits and not allow this to run at the other side's pleasure or pace.

    I suggest that the final letter is still sent. Send it by registered post so that there is no mistake.
     
  19. Worndownwithit

    Worndownwithit Registered User

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    Thank you and you are of course right regarding the runaway timescale, I am awaiting a draft of the letter which I will ensure confirms reply deadlines and references to court costs.
    However my solicitor did confirm that despite the last letter being sent by recorded delivery my eldest sibling (other executor) failed to sign for it, presumably he had been made aware of its contents by other sibling.
    Am still awaiting feedback as to whether they has been any interaction between both parties solicitors.
     
  20. Vanessa

    Vanessa Frequent Poster

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    Your case is one of a number that I am aware of in recent times with the same scenario. I say that you stick to your guns and follow the wishes of your parents. If the others want to waste their money on legal fees so be it. They will pay on the double as they have to pay their own solicitor and also their share of the solicitor engaged by you the executor.
    Sadly when it is all over you may never be on speaking terms again