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  1. #1
    Monty1984's Avatar

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    Default Executor refusing to pay other executor and beneficiaries

    Father passed away nearly six months ago and my co executor, who had £14k transferred to her by NatWest from my father's savings account, is refusing to distribute it as per the will (10% each for me and my brother). I spoke with the solicitor briefly and he says that not much can be done other than taking her to court, but that could cost more than the £1400 each we are due.

    Any advice for gettingniur inheritance?

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    Kati's Avatar

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    Default Re: Executor refusing to pay other executor and beneficiaries

    tagging @Ula??
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    Default Re: Executor refusing to pay other executor and beneficiaries

    Hi and welcome
    I would not expect any distribution of the assets to be made until after 6 months from grant of probate at the earliest.

    Did you and your co executors obtain a grant of probate, or was that not necessary?

    If probate has been obtained you could demand that she produces an account of the estate.
    If she fails to comply you can make application to the court forcing disclosure. This is relatively cheap and will put her on the defensive.
    Psychologically it puts you in the driving seat.

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    Default Re: Executor refusing to pay other executor and beneficiaries

    Sorry not my area of expertise but tagging @Peridot
    I do my best to provide good practical advice, however I do so without liability.
    If you have any doubts then do please seek professional legal advice.


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    Monty1984's Avatar

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    Default Re: Executor refusing to pay other executor and beneficiaries

    Quote Originally Posted by des8 View Post
    Hi and welcome
    I would not expect any distribution of the assets to be made until after 6 months from grant of probate at the earliest.

    Did you and your co executors obtain a grant of probate, or was that not necessary?

    If probate has been obtained you could demand that she produces an account of the estate.
    If she fails to comply you can make application to the court forcing disclosure. This is relatively cheap and will put her on the defensive.
    Psychologically it puts you in the driving seat.

    Thanks, this did not go to probate as there was no property and savings were only £14k.

    She is not hiding the estate. I have spoken with his bank and they have confirmed the amount released to her. She's not disputing that, just refusing to pay the money out. Is it a police matter or is she just aware that only way for us to claim the money is through the courts? (And perhaps she's aware that this would cost more than is supposed to be coming to me and my brother?)

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    des8's Avatar

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    Default Re: Executor refusing to pay other executor and beneficiaries

    I can only think of two ways of possibly progressing this (@Peridot may have comments to make)

    1) contact the Probate Office as they may be able to advise you, and may even ask her for accounts or initiate proceedings. (a long shot)
    2) Approach bank with copy of will shewing joint executorship, and request they reinstate account as they should not have released funds to a single executor.
    She will have signed a letter of indemnity and the bank can then recover the funds from her.

  7. #7
    Peridot's Avatar

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    Default Re: Executor refusing to pay other executor and beneficiaries

    Hi Monty1984,
    I suspect that she is thinking that neither of you will bother as the cost of going to Court may well exceed the amount due to you although of course if she has not acted appropriately then the costs may be ordered to be paid by her, although this is never an exact science and would be down to the Judge on the day. If the costs were coming from the estate then this would effect the amount coming to you both as it appears you are meant to receive 10% of the residue which would of course be reduced if there was less in the pot.

    I believe you would have to sue your sister for the amount due to you but before you get to that point you need to know exactly how much there is to calculate the amount due to you both. There are of course other things to be paid from the assets following the death that are legitimate so if the account was all your father owned it doesn't mean that you can just say 10% of that amount is due to you I'm afraid.

    As co-executors, even without a Grant you would be entitled to see the assets and liabilities. Were there any debts and liabilities such as funeral costs and bills that needed to be taken from the £14k? It may be there is even less available to divide once legitimate debts etc are deducted?
    As there is a Will as Des8 suggests, it may be worth contacting the bank for confirmation of what was signed, the Probate Registry for any pointers although I suspect they will not be particularly useful, but worth a try and also contacting your sister stating you will be doing so and that you are taking legal advice? It may get her to rethink and you won't be any worse off by doing this. Request a list of all the assets and liabilities that have had to be paid so you at least know what figure you are arguing about then you can decide whether you wish to pursue this further for the amount due to you.

    Write to your sister requesting all the information assets and liabilities and saying if it isn't forthcoming in 14 days for example you will be taking legal action. Before taking any action in the Courts you must allow her the chance to provide you the information, then you can take a view whether the amount you are pursuing is worth the cost and stress of going to Court.
    I am a qualified solicitor employed by the LegalBeagles forum to provide guidance on a wide range of legal queries. I am happy to try and assist informally, where needed.

    Any posts I make on LegalBeagles are for information and discussion purposes only and shouldn't be seen as legal advice. Any practical advice I give is without liability. I do not represent people on the forum.

    If in doubt you should always seek professional face to face legal advice.

  8. #8
    Monty1984's Avatar

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    Default Re: Executor refusing to pay other executor and beneficiaries

    Quote Originally Posted by Peridot View Post
    Hi Monty1984,
    I suspect that she is thinking that neither of you will bother as the cost of going to Court may well exceed the amount due to you although of course if she has not acted appropriately then the costs may be ordered to be paid by her, although this is never an exact science and would be down to the Judge on the day. If the costs were coming from the estate then this would effect the amount coming to you both as it appears you are meant to receive 10% of the residue which would of course be reduced if there was less in the pot.

    I believe you would have to sue your sister for the amount due to you but before you get to that point you need to know exactly how much there is to calculate the amount due to you both. There are of course other things to be paid from the assets following the death that are legitimate so if the account was all your father owned it doesn't mean that you can just say 10% of that amount is due to you I'm afraid.
    Aware. I handled everything in terms of funeral and all other matters relating to his death, including going through all of his banking and making sure any debts were paid - that is all now done. Including the funeral costs. £14k is actually what is leftover (everything else was covered by what is in his current account).

    I am his son and next of Kin, and named as executor on the will. The other other executor who has his savings is not my sister - it is his partner.

    I've seen all the accounts and I'm very aware of what the estate is, i have all the statements and documentation, and a running total of what we have paid out - she was forthcoming when paying for funeral costs from the money sent to her from his current account.

    The bank have already informed me that they released the money to her as executor, she signed for this, and that they did not need me to sign as the amount was under a certain amount. I have spoken to the bank several times and they have been very open about everything, but insist that they are legally within their right to have released the savings to her.

    Is there a point that I am missing in writing to her asking what the assets and liabilities are, seeing as we are both fully aware of what they are as it's actually very simple (he owned very few possessions and his only estate was savings account and current account) - we have meals in which this is details by both os us executors.

    It's only now that she is refusing to transfer the money. I think her mental health has been badly effected by all this, and she has a lot of her own debt.

    2) Approach bank with copy of will shewing joint executorship, and request they reinstate account as they should not have released funds to a single executor.


    They insist that they have no legal responsibility or that the money should be recovered. It's NatWest. I have spoken with the bereavement team several times and they are quite clear on this. Very frustrating as I spoke with the solicitor who did the will and he said that they should not have released the funds. Frustrating to be receiving contradictory information, feeling a bit lost.

  9. #9
    des8's Avatar

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    Default Re: Executor refusing to pay other executor and beneficiaries


    Those are the banks own internal rules.
    As you are an executor, you could apply for the grant of probate.
    Once that is to hand you could then return to the bank and demand they give you the funds
    This ombudsman's decision is relevant
    http://www.ombudsman-decisions.org.uk/viewPDF.aspx?FileID=81999

  10. #10
    Peridot's Avatar

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    Default Re: Executor refusing to pay other executor and beneficiaries

    Hi Monty1984,

    Sorry I had replied a while ago but it appears to have disappeared. Apologies for the assumption the co-executor was your sister. It is hard when families struggle following a death and can be made so much more stressful when things are not going to plan or as your father would have wished.

    It is good you have all the relevant information, so no you wouldn't need to be contacting your father's partner for this.

    I was going to suggest that you write to her setting out the facts and figures and confirming that if you do not receive £x by a set date (Usually 14 - 21 days would be reasonable) then you will be taking Court action and suing her for the amount due. Of course you do not have to take the next step of issuing the claim but the threat of it may make her deal with the matter.

    As Des8 has mentioned the bank issue could be looking into further, however this would mean applying for the Grant of Probate which would be £255 which would come from the estate. In addition there is your time in completing the relevant IHT forms and getting the Oath sworn, which your father's partner would also have to do. The available residue would be reduced with the deduction of the probate court fee and the amount of the residue % you would receive reduce accordingly. If the bank played ball following the Grant issue they would pursue the co-executor for return of the monies.

    You could point out what would happen in both scenarios in the hope that she sees reason and decides to deal appropriately?
    I am a qualified solicitor employed by the LegalBeagles forum to provide guidance on a wide range of legal queries. I am happy to try and assist informally, where needed.

    Any posts I make on LegalBeagles are for information and discussion purposes only and shouldn't be seen as legal advice. Any practical advice I give is without liability. I do not represent people on the forum.

    If in doubt you should always seek professional face to face legal advice.

  11. #11
    Monty1984's Avatar

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    Default Re: Executor refusing to pay other executor and beneficiaries

    Thanks for all the advice. I'm going to write a letter stating the facts, and asking for the will to be enacted. I appreciate the time taken here.

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