Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you have any legal concerns we suggest you consult a solicitor.

Inheritance Advice Please

(17 Posts)
OrchidLass Sun 31-Mar-13 16:14:50

Can anyone offer any advice on the following situation please?

PILs have been advised that, along with FILs sister, he is next of kin to an elderly relative who recently passed away. There is also another beneficiary with an equal share. No one was aware of this person until fairly recently and he is entitled to an equal share of the property that the elderly relative left.

I do not believe that FIL and his sister are trying very hard to find this gentleman and inform him of his entitlement to his share of the property. They refuse to contact a solicitor at this stage and although they have a contact name and address which may (or may not) be this third person, they have not made any effort to make contact. They seem to think that if they make a vague effort to find him and tell a solicitor as such, then the inheritence will be split two ways instead of three.

We feel that apart from the fact this is just wrong, as this man is just as entitled to his share as they are, they may be held liable legally and get into some kind of bother. Can you tell I know NOTHING about these matters> smile Basically, I feel they could get into a lot of trouble and it is morally wrong for them to try to fiddle this person out of his inheritence.

What can be advise them to do? We have already told them to get in touch with a solicitor and put the whole thing in their hands but any other advice?

LIZS Sun 31-Mar-13 18:05:02

Whoever is executor is legally obliged to make reasonable enquiries, including I think advertising in papers local to last address.

greenfolder Sun 31-Mar-13 18:15:23

Two things firstly the executor could instruct a tracing agent. This would not be a lot.secondly what does the will say about if the other beneficiary has died or can't be found? To be honest the executor would have to really satisfy themselves that the person didn't exist because these days it really isn't that hard to find anyone

ohmentalnessisme Sun 31-Mar-13 18:58:14

A friend of mine was in this situation recently but she was the long lost relative that the other beneficiaries were supposed to trace. The solicitor instructed geneologists to trace her and she got a phone call from out of the blue.

babybarrister Sun 31-Mar-13 19:50:06

It is not the responsibility of the beneficiary but of the executors - of course they may be the same person .....

OrchidLass Sun 31-Mar-13 20:18:58

Thanks all, I'm not sure who the executor is. The lady who died left everything on her will to her husband but he died before her but the will was never changed, I think she was quite ill by this point. There was talk of newspaper and in the area they think he is but they're not sure. I'm sure I read somewhere that there is a certain period of time given to find someone like x amount of years but that could be rubbish.

What's really bugging me is that both PILs and the sister are pretty wealthy but this other beneficiary may not be and may really benefit from the money. I just don't think they want to find him. sad

babybarrister Mon 01-Apr-13 08:57:26

Find out who the executors or administrators are smile

digerd Mon 01-Apr-13 16:18:43

This other person will be named in the Will. Also who the executor is.
Strange that the others had not known about him.

OrchidLass Mon 01-Apr-13 17:05:37

Thank you for the replies. Digerd No one is named in the Will apart from her husband who already passed away before her. FIL and his sister and this other person are all next of kin. The couple had no children and the lady had two sisters (both deceased) FIL and his sister are the children of one of the sisters and this other gentleman the child of the other. There was no contact with any of them for the last 30 years or so but I'm told they are next of kin because there are no other living relatives. This is all very confusing as I know nothing about these things but I'm worried that in laws are going to 'hide' any possible information on this man, thinking that more money will come to them.

Xenia Mon 01-Apr-13 17:28:24

You could pay for some credits on 192.com to trace him - electoral roll, company register etc. (as said above it should be the executors doing the looking). If that fails the executors should pay tracing agents. Also every week I think lawyers advertise - have you heard of this person and put that in local papers too - in other words you do have to make proper efforts to track the person down otherwise the money might be handed out spent and then the people forced to pay it back later.

LIZS Mon 01-Apr-13 17:31:48

So did she effectively die intestate ?

greenfolder Mon 01-Apr-13 17:53:48

So presumably there must be a seperate executor? If so, they will trace all parties. If they don't distribute the estate correctly they are personally liable.

OrchidLass Mon 01-Apr-13 17:54:16

Yes she did LIZS. that's what do m worried about Xenia, if they withhold this name and address they have from the executor and for whatever reason they can't find him, then they could inherit money from house sale then spend it. Then this gentleman may find out and quite rightly want his share of the inheritance.

OrchidLass Mon 01-Apr-13 17:56:41

Oh I didn't know that green folder, that's interesting. I just know that whatever I tell them they won't believe me and do what the hell they like anyway.

Xenia Tue 02-Apr-13 09:35:36

If no will you have administrators not executors. It says on here who acts as the PRs - there is an order of who gets the role
https://www.probatewizard.co.uk/guides/intestacy-who-are-the-personal-representatives.html

SarahBumBarer Thu 04-Apr-13 15:16:22

There is a will it is just that the gift/bequest has failed due to the beneficiary predeceasing the Testator. I think that while the laws of intestacy will govern the distribution of the estate, the executors appointed by the will remain in place.

Xenia Thu 04-Apr-13 17:07:46

Indeed if that is so. In fact most will says all to my spouse and if they die before me then the children so they are trying to cover what happens if the beneficiary dies first by giving a second option I think.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now