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Probate questions

(15 Posts)
Pandoraslastchance Tue 13-Feb-18 19:58:21

Hi, Couple of quick questions

Relative A died over a decade ago leaving the house in the will to three relatives B,C and D with instructions that it is to be sold (once the current Elderly tennant no longer needs the property) and the proceeds split between B,C and D.

Relative E was named as executor (and worked in a legal office, this is relevant)Relative E passed away, Relative B is now the remaining executor of the will (and is non contact with the whole family) and the house needs some adaptations to enable the tennant to remain living there.

Now the council are rightly refusing to do the adaptations as the house is in Relative A's name (who died over a decade ago)

What should happen next? Surely someone who works in the legal business would have known how to transfer the deeds into the new owners names.

Person B has said that the house is still in persons A name and that the solicitor that they spoke to said it will cost £1000 to have the deeds changed etc but i dont trust person B, AT ALL.

What do B,C and D need to do next to enable them to modify and then eventually sell the property?

I am planning to speak to a lawyer in person but i am currently rather unwell so not able to do this yet.

Poshindevon Tue 13-Feb-18 23:15:47

You have answered your own question. Go and see a lawyer.

Pandoraslastchance Wed 14-Feb-18 00:53:00

Well thanks for that. Was it worth you even replying?

Anyone have any experience of this sort of thing happening?

Poshindevon Wed 14-Feb-18 08:55:06

You obviously think someone on MN will come up with the answer to you problem so you can sort this matter out without spending money.
This is more than having the deeds changed.
For whatever reason E failed to carry out his duties as the executor before he passed away. So its fair to assume as the house in still in As name this matter never went to probate.
10 years has passed ,you have an elderly tenant who could possibly take legal action against the estate
Because you dont trust B you or CD need to see a probate solicitor and a solicitor that deals with landlord and tenants. The problem you describe is a complex legal matter.
So before you are rude to me again go and see a solicitor.

Pandoraslastchance Wed 14-Feb-18 09:33:55

No i was asking for advice. Ive said that I will speak to a solicitor but I wanted to know if anyone had been in a similar situation and if anyone knew what would need to be done. Worried that a solicitors firm will take us for a ride and bill us for more than normal.

Is it common for executors not to complete the deceased persons wishes?

Who needs to pay for the deeds to be changed? Can this be claimed back against the estate? From a Google, which confused me more, it said that probate can take weeks? And cost thousands which b, c and d do not have.

Also how can probate have not been done(12 years after death) yet some items from the will ie shares have been given to the intended parties?

indignatio Wed 14-Feb-18 09:39:49

**Worried that a solicitors firm will take us for a ride and bill us for more than normal.

Can you see how you may have alienated those from whom you seek advice?

Pandoraslastchance Wed 14-Feb-18 09:49:07

I'm just worried that this will be dragged out for longer(than it already has been) and someone will see an easy buck to be made especially if they are paid by the hour.

As I said in my original post,this will was supposedly done and dealt with by the solicitors firm that E worked at yet nothing appears to have been done. Yes I know that they are just one legal firm and not all of them are the same but is it not a bit odd that a someone in the legal industry doesnt/didnt/couldnt/wouldn't sort the probate?

Poshindevon Wed 14-Feb-18 14:53:23

E may have been employed by a legal firm but his employers were not the executor E was and it appears from what you have said that E never carried out his duty.
The firm he worked for may have drawn up the the will but E was the executor. E was therefore totally and personally responsible
Not all solicitors are thieves and its shocking that you think so.
You can ask for an estimate of costs.Some solicitors give one hours free consultation. It may be possible for you to do some work yourself and just take guidance which will cut down the costs
It is very unusual for executors to not carry out their duties.
Probate can take months not weeks if the matter is complex. So I suggest you take legal advice asap

Pandoraslastchance Wed 14-Feb-18 16:34:12

Thank you. It's all just such a mess.

redavocado Wed 14-Feb-18 16:38:02

Worried that a solicitors firm will take us for a ride and bill us for more than normal.

Woah. You do realise the firm will set out costs that you agree to and have a code of conduct to stick to? Solicitors aren't just unregulated randoms!

BasiliskStare Wed 14-Feb-18 21:05:46

I agree with PPs - it sounds very much like probate was not done. If the executor is deceased then you need to move on and sort the situation out. If you do not want to use a solicitor , then you can look on the internet and download forms to do probate yourself. In this situation , if it were me , it sounds more complex & I would get a solicitor to do it. Whatever E did or did not do , is done and dusted now. I think B C and D may have enquired as to why they had no correspondence re probate sooner than 10 years hence , but then I am not a solicitor.

I would echo - consult a solicitor - perhaps the firm which E worked for , but £1000 for sorting out this mess ( i.e. checking was probate ever done , looking over the current situation ad getting things " straight " especially if one party is not on board ) doesn't sound particularly onerous to me . Do you have a copy of the will ? - That is where I would start.

TBH I think your bigger and more current problem is B being out of contact.

Pandoraslastchance Thu 15-Feb-18 01:18:49

C and D have access to the will(no idea about B,tbh B took the shares and the car and the money and cut all ties with everyone else a day or two after the funeral) and now B is the next named executor of the will. Can B make any changes to the will?

I I have seen the will myself and it states "the house is to be transferred into B,C and D name and then sold with the proceeds split equally between the three when current tennant no longer has need of the house"
But due to B intense dislike of C and the current tennant it is virtually impossible to get them into a solicitors office and get this sorted.

Not to mention money to pay for this all to be sorted. That's another major issue between them. sad

BasiliskStare Thu 15-Feb-18 01:53:13

I do have sympathy for you as it sounds a "bugger's muddle" if you will excuse my language.

As I understand it ( and this is not as a qualified solicitor) , any executor must try to ensure that the will as left is carried out as far as the person who made the will intended. If they don't then the other beneficiaries can ( in layman's terms) appeal against that.

It is hard to say when it is A B C D ( and I completely understand you don't want to give details) , but my guess is that if there are family / step family / new relationship / deep friendship type things , yes there could be problematic areas.

I have to say ( and I know you don't want to hear it ) but I do think that C&D need to look at the will properly and take some advice. I know it costs money , but if the end game is to inherit their share of the house , then it may be worth it. Also I think ( and again without knowing the circumstances) if the house should have been transferred into their name after A's death , they do need to understand why not , and how to remedy that , and their responsibilities as landlords.

Sorry Pandora because I think I am saying to you that as far as I can see this is an unusual and difficult situation. All I can say , is , if it were me , I would gather as much information as possible and this is why we have solicitors ( and indeed why they do a great deal of training and learning smile ) . I would advise C& D to get all information they can and go to some one qualified. It doesn't sound like an easy answer to me.

Sorry Pandora , I know you wanted an answer but I think this is a tricky one and it might just take a meeting with a solicitor to get you on the right track.

The other thing you might want to do is post on the legal bit of Mumsnet - but again as a layperson this one sounds harder than an internet view can sort out for you - just my opinion.

All good luck , nonetheless.

Pandoraslastchance Thu 15-Feb-18 02:05:28

Thank you Basilisk, it's just all too much to deal with alongside ill health and raising kids and supporting elderly grandparent.

And yes you got it bang on with it being relatives, family feuds and step parents. I mean arrrgh! Looks like the youngest of the beneficiaries, D, will have to step up and be the adult of the situation.

BasiliskStare Thu 15-Feb-18 02:11:44

Oh , I should have said , sorry you are unwell.

But you might advise C or D to look at the various .gov websites to see what was or was not done re probate and also Land Registry to see the current ownership of the house. It would be a start.

I am very much afraid I am coming back to saying if it were me , I would do some research and then go to a solicitor. This is not an easy question as far as I can see. I said before , I am not a solicitor but had dealings with FIL's estate last year. It was a great deal simpler than your situation seems. I do realise that when you are dealing with an estate , sometimes there is money to be paid out up front. You ( or C or D ) may well be able to claim it back out of the estate later. But a solicitor will advise on that. It's what they do! Best wishes with it.

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