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Probate (long, sorry)

(2 Posts)
MeadowHay Thu 28-Jan-16 20:51:24

Hello, wondering if anyone who works in this area could help or alternatively anyone who may have had a similar experience. I have to be deliberately vague because otherwise this could out not just me but lots of other people.

A relative passed away about 7 years ago. Nobody has seen a will except one relative who organised funeral and burial and claims that deceased relative's estate has all been left to her. This hasn't been contested by any other relatives because I think it was common knowledge before the death that that was their wishes. This relative has done absolutely nothing with the estate, however. The estate has council tax debts going back all of this time. This relative lives in a council house and is claiming HB. The council have recently put some pressure on her about sorting something out because understandably they are unhappy there is a house laying empty and this relative in a council house when she has her own property. Relative says estate is all in probate so she is doing nothing illegal. I am quite confident she is correct, as far as I'm aware she has been granted probate but then just not bothered actually dealing with it. However I have a feeling that there is a law that local councils can now take possession of houses that are laying empty for so long? I am really concerned for this relative that she is going to end up losing everything through inaction. Relative is disabled which includes severe mental illness, but does not lack capacity.

My questions are basically, does this all sound like she is safe or not? Could she end up losing that property? And also, would it be possible for someone else to apply for probate given she has not done anything with the estate in so long? I can only find that this is possible if the executor agrees to it, which there is no way that she would. Also I have looked online on the government probate registry, and deceased relative is not on it, which is ringing alarm bells?! Any help appreciated!

RatherBeRiding Fri 29-Jan-16 14:06:33

www.wrighthassall.co.uk/knowledge/legal-articles/2013/04/04/removing-and-substituting-executors/

This is very useful reading and should help you decide a course of action. Not sure about the council's rights of possession but it does sound as though the executor is incapable of acting, even if she does not actually lack mental capacity in other areas.

It depends on how much you want to get involved, but if you are concerned for the executor, and concerned that the deceased's estate is not being handled properly, then there are steps you can take.

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