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Can you find out how much someone left in their will?

(7 Posts)
Katiekitty Tue 08-Jan-08 17:33:19

I'm executor of a will and there's a family member that wants a copy as they were mentioned in it and have received a legacy. They have asked for a copy of the will, which I am happy for them to have access to, besides, probate has been granted so it is a public document (so I am told).

My question is: can the relative find out say, how much the deceased left in their bank savings etc? There are no other amounts mentioned in the will, other than the legacy sum left to the relative who wants a copy of the will.

TIA for your help.

welshdeb Tue 08-Jan-08 17:41:37

As you said a will is a public record once probate is granted. Any member of the public can obtian a copy of the grant of probate on application to the Probate officce and payment of a small fee. I think that this document gives an estimate of the estate.
Also I was under the impression that executors had to do an estate account showing all monies in, payments out and distribution to beneficiaries. However I dont know if you are obliged to give these to beneficiaries.
Is there a problem with this relative?

Katiekitty Tue 08-Jan-08 17:48:14

Thanks for your quick reply Welshdeb, there is indeed a bit of a problem with the relative, without giving too much away as it's a delicate matter, but basically, we think they were expecting more than they got in the will.

As executor, I have collated all the monies in and bills and liabilities, legacies etc out and there are no other named beneficiaries other than the executors. This relative is only to receive a legacy, so they are not entitled to have any further knowledge than the beneficiaries of the estate, AFAIK?

Can this relative find out any of the amounts from the deceased's savings etc?

If I don't reply, it's because I've had to go away from my pc, but I will check in as soon as poss and definitely tomorrow!

Lilymaid Tue 08-Jan-08 18:04:20

When I was executor of my aunt's will, one of my uncle's relatives asked to see the will. A solicitor friend told me that he should be directed to the probate registry where he could obtain a copy. As far as I remember, the accounts did not have to be sent to the registry - as your relative was only a legatee he/she is only entitled to the specified sum and what the testator actually was worth is not his/her business.

FairyFay Tue 08-Jan-08 19:39:42

If the recipient contacts the probate registry after probate is granted then they can obtain a copy of the Grant of Probate which contains a summary of what the estate was worth, if it is over a specified amount (sorry I can't remember what that is but the probate registry will tell you). They can't, however, find out what individual assets were worth. Why don't you give your local probate registry a call tomorrow as I'm sure they will be able to tell you more.

mylittleponey Tue 08-Jan-08 20:50:50

bumping this for you katiekitty

Katiekitty Wed 09-Jan-08 11:34:43

Thanks everyone for your help on this, I think that if the estate is over the threshold for inheritance tax, then more information is openly available, however, if it's under this, then people can't find out... i think! We'll see what happens.

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