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Probate granted over a year ago but still waiting for inheritance.

(35 Posts)
pippala Thu 15-Nov-12 11:10:34

My SF died over two years ago and my SS and SB are the executors.
Probate was granted over a year ago and the house was sold. I have had an interim payment from the sale of the house but am still waiting for the rest of the inheritance.
My SS is not happy that I was left anything and has asked me to do a deed of variation to give her the money back. Which I refused. We have not spoken for 18months since.
How can I make her give me the rest of my inheritance?
Her solicitor has not responded to my solicitor since last november even though my solicitor has written several times.
I am not happy that SS and SB probably had their share but I havent had mine? Can solicitor do that?

Xenia Sat 17-Nov-12 11:59:56

You need to try to find out the reason for the delay. Sometimes they waiting for HMRC to work out tax due or debts or payments from a business need to be collected in. Can you not email your relatives direct to chase them? Has your solicitor had an explanation for the delay?

Mintyy Sat 17-Nov-12 11:16:24

Your ss and sb, I mean? Tell them that inheritance money will be depleted by court action and that it will soon be coming to the point where you will have to go down that route. I must say, from your side of the story, they do sound horribly grasping.

Mintyy Sat 17-Nov-12 11:15:03

I am sorry for your situation and can offer no practical advice - sorry sad - but I am extremely curious as to how your ss worded her request that you simply give your third of the inheritance back? Did she think you would say, yes, sure, here you go and sign on the dotted line? The mind boggles!

Have you tried writing directly to them?

emsyj Sat 17-Nov-12 11:04:41

"Why would I need to take them to court when they have a legal obligation as executors to pay the beneficiary?"

To enforce the obligation. It always surprises me when people who have paid handsomely for legal advice end up on here - why is your own solicitor not answering these questions for you? They should be best placed to advise as they know the background and have a much better picture of what's going on than folk on here. If you are finding your solicitor unhelpful, go elsewhere. I would be very disappointed in myself if a client felt they weren't able to get the answers they needed from me and had cause to resort to an internet forum for advice that I should be giving!

"Is it possible that Ssis and SB are arguing between themselves and holding up winding up the estate?"

It's very possible - I have had this situation and it can cause long delays and escalated costs.

pippala Sat 17-Nov-12 10:06:01

The Kuggerands , lowry's etc were classed as Chattals which my DM was not left.
I have always been more interested in getting my 1/3 and left the SSiblings to argue over the chattals. They even argued over the three piece suite!!!
My solicitor has not been that pro-active in putting pressure on. To be fair I have been very patient but two years is long enough.
We can not wind my DM estate up until we have the final figure from SF estate and I would like some closure now.
If we threaten them with court, what grounds do I have? There is no time limit to distributing the estate so they could sit on this money for as long as they want?

cumfy Sat 17-Nov-12 01:21:16

It is your solicitors job to ensure you get your share.

cumfy Sat 17-Nov-12 01:19:33

confused

What is your solicitor's response when you have pointed out the discrepancy and the Kuggerands/ Gun collection ?

pippala Sat 17-Nov-12 00:58:05

Cumfy- forgot to comment, yes we think you are right.
We believe SF had several other accounts that were not on the list brought forward by Stepsiblings solicitors but we believed in Oct 2010, rightly or wrongly not to bring it up as we just wanted probate granted.
We could not prove conclusively that there were missing bank accounts.
However before my DM died she told me what SF was worth. When we got the accounts through before probate it was about £400,000 short of what my DM told me.
Is it possible that Ssis and SB are arguing between themselves and holding up winding up the estate?
SSis and SB have never got on as Ssis was given many K's from her DF over the years.

pippala Sat 17-Nov-12 00:40:39

Cumfy, in total over the last two years of probate etc my solicitors bill is over £10,000 not just for three letters!
However I am loosing faith with my solicitor in that she does not seem to be putting enough pressure on SF executors.
The will is a straight forward one and is undisbuted so why has it taken over two years for the funds to be paid.
The house has been sold for over a year, bank accounts closed, shares sold etc so why has the money not been divided three ways?
Unless it has been two ways but my share is sitting somewhere?
I am p...ed off that I was so kind to my SSis that I "let" her clear the house after my Mum died. She turned up with packing boxes and cleared the house of Capo dimonte (sp) ornamants, Kuggerands worth £25,000, a gun collection worth £40,000, lowry prints, worth god knows how much, before her DB could get there!!!
I understand that she is not happy that I have inherited !/3 of her DF estate but if my Mum had not died, she would not be withholding my Mum's 1/3?
My mother would have been allowed to live in the house till the end of her life and she should still be alive now if she hadn't have had the stresses of looking after an invalid for 20 years.
However the point of this thread is HOW can I INSIST that they pay me the monies that are outstanding?
Why would I need to take them to court when they have a legal obligation as executors to pay the beneficiary?

cumfy Fri 16-Nov-12 21:58:32

I'm beginning to feel executors are silent because they may dispute what the rest of the estate is composed of.

Maybe they've an account or two up their sleeve that's not being declared and they want time to empty and launder ?

cumfy Fri 16-Nov-12 21:55:12

£10k for 3 letters shock.
I'm sure there is more, but if these 7 day notices are not being backed up by court action, you're being taken for a very big ride.

You need to get another solicitor to sue present solicitor and executors.

emsyj Fri 16-Nov-12 20:13:39

It's quite common when the estate will take some time to settle (e.g. because there are lots of assets, or it's very complex for some other reason) to make what's called an interim distribution (i.e. a part payment of the residuary beneficiaries' shares) before the administration is finalised. Then once everything is finished off, the final distributions would be made and the estate would be wound up. So it's not unusual or anything to be concerned about that the OP has received a part of her entitlement - although it is very strange that the solicitors dealing with the estate are totally non-responsive. Goodness knows what is going on.

digerd Fri 16-Nov-12 19:13:44

What I find confusing is that OP said she had" been given" her 3rd of the house sale in November 2011.

emsyj Fri 16-Nov-12 18:19:45

The value of the OP's late mother's share of the deceased's (SF)'s estate would fall to be dealt with as part of her estate. In effect, because the OP is entitled to her late mother's estate, she gets the share from her deceased SF, but unless there is a Deed of Variation to provide that the share goes direct to the OP, it would belong to the OP's late mother's estate and then be distributed to the OP from there.

You can PM mumblechum OP, but I think she just does will writing now rather than probate - although she may be able to help. I am an ex probate solicitor (gave up just before Xmas last year, now work for HMRC). I think what you need is some advice from a specialist in contentious probate (i.e. litigation relating to estates) as you appear now to be in a position where you need to take some enforcement action. Neither mumblechum nor myself are experts in this area, it's quite specialist. You can find details of contentious practitioners via the Association of Contentious Trust and Estate Practitioners (ACTAPs).

pippala Fri 16-Nov-12 15:19:11

digerd, My solicitor has told me that until SF estate is finalised she cannot finalise my Mother's.
There is no reason for my Stepsiblings not to have transferred my 1/3. The will is very straight forward and IHT has been paid, all accounts closed down, shares sold, house sold etc.
My solicitor says they can not legally pay themselves without also paying me.
The only reason we can think is that they are holding on to it because they are not happy for me to receive it?
At least three times now in the last year my solicitor has written to theirs saying you have 7 days to finalise the estate. We hear nothing back.
It has cost my over £10,000 now for two years of having a solicitor fighting to be paid what is legally mine.
With mumblechum would give me her advice!!!

digerd Fri 16-Nov-12 13:43:36

Pippala
You say you received your 3rd share of the house sale in November 2011, which should have gone to your mother, but she sadly died too soon after your SF.
So can assume you mean the 3rd of the rest of his estate eg savings stocks and shares, furniture and other personal possessions?

You are entitled to the full 3rd share that your mother would have received as she was a surving heir at the time of his death

As far as her estate at time of her death is concerned, she did not have her inheritance, so would not be included , but you received it - or part of it- last November. - a year ago. I don't see why this should affect your dealing with your late DM's estate?

cumfy Thu 15-Nov-12 19:07:50

Give solicitor 2 weeks to get money; otherwise instruct someone else ?

pippala Thu 15-Nov-12 18:25:47

I cannot settle my DM accounts until SF estate is also settled.
My DM died two years ago!

pippala Thu 15-Nov-12 18:23:39

Their solicitor has not responded to any letters from my solicitor since I was given my 1/3 of the house sale in November 2011!
The will left 1/3 of ALL SF estate to my DM, SSis and SB. My DM died after my SF leaving ALL her estate to me.
So in effect I now inherit 1/3 of SF estate.
This is undisbuted but my SSis is not happy about it!
She and I got on well but she and my DM didn't!

I really need to know how I can MAKE them give me my money. Surely their solicitor can not withhold it just beacuse she isn't happy with it?

digerd Thu 15-Nov-12 17:59:44

Does the Will state that if your mother pre deceased him, that you inherit her third ?

emsyj Thu 15-Nov-12 17:39:54

They should pay you interest on your share when you get it - is it being held by the solicitor? Are they just not replying to any questions about why the money hasn't been sent to you?

pippala Thu 15-Nov-12 16:50:56

The estate is a very substantial one!
Inheritance tax was paid before probate was granted.
I have seen the accounts before and after the probate was granted.
My step siblings are not happy as their DF left my Mum 1/3 of his estate. My Mum has died which meant her 1/3 now comes to me.
They asked me to give them the 1/3 back to them through a deed of variation.
I refused as if my Mum was alive she would not have given them her 1/3 she would have left it to me!
My mum looked after their DF for over 20years with Parkinsons and dementia. He should have been in a home years ago and it led my Mum to an early grave!
i think they and their solicitor are just keeping me waiting as there is no reason not to distribute the estate. I guess they have their 1/3 each just not given me mine.
It amounts to well over 6 figures.

emsyj Thu 15-Nov-12 14:32:30

It is true that some people do bonkers things following a death - bereavement has funny effects on people, and adding money into the mix often leads to very nasty behaviour, even from people who have previously been very reasonable and nice. I hope the OP gets an explanation as to what's going on!

cumfy Thu 15-Nov-12 14:26:32

I can't envisage a situation where you would make a part payment of a specific amount in this way.

Well yes that is indeed the conundrum.

One answer to which is yours.
The other is essentially that jealous SS executor has decided that her residuary bequest, consequent on the housing slump, is unjustly low, that OP deserved nothing in the first place and that she can manipulate the situation being an executor.
eg withholding funds and requesting a deed of variation, as she apparently has.

emsyj Thu 15-Nov-12 14:14:24

Oh, I don't interpret it like that - I read it that the OP is still waiting for money but doesn't know how much, probably because my personal experience as a solicitor in practice is that I have never known executors to pay a part of a legacy, I've only ever made interim distributions to residuary beneficiaries: I can't envisage a situation where you would make a part payment of a specific amount in this way.

I think the OP needs to establish what their reasons are for not paying out - there could be legitimate reasons, but it seems strange that the solicitors have not disclosed them.

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