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Executor refuses to pay beneficiary

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  • Executor refuses to pay beneficiary

    My grandmother passed away 5 years ago and my brother still refuses to pay the money left to me. My grandmother received around £12,000 in compensation shortly before she died, but as she was in hospital and not at all lucid, she had no knowledge of this. My mother had power of attorney and she is easily led by my brother. She used this to withdraw all the compensation money and gave it to my brother. He then used it to go in holiday and buy a car. My grandmother left me £500. Should I contact the police about them abusing their power? How would I go about claiming back my inheritance? Do I need a copy of the will to go through small claims court?
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  • #2
    Hi and welcome.

    It sounds as if your brother administered your grandmothers estate
    Do you know for sure if she left a will?.
    Did he obtain a grant of probate? You can check here: https://www.gov.uk/search-will-probate
    If he did, you can get a copy of the will.
    First find out if there was a will, and who the executor was.

    If your grandmothers estate was small there might not have been need for a grant of probate.
    Nevertheless the executor has to implement the will according to the testators wishes.

    If she did not leave a will there are set rules for distributing the estate.

    If your brother is the executor and you know for sure your legacy is £500, first write to him requesting payment, including the statutory interest which is now due.
    Tell him that if he doesn't act properly you will apply to the Probate Registry for an order that he exhibits an inventory and account in respect of his administration.
    This may or may not do the business.

    If your mother had PoA for finance she should only have used the cash for the benefit of your grandmother, and kept meticulous records.
    The Office of the public guardian might be interested if you have concerns, but it may of course have repercussions for your mother

    tagging Peridot


    • #3
      I know that she left a will. I have seen it and she specified that £500 was to given to me, £100 to her neighbour who she was close to and neither has been administered. My brother was the executor. He didn't put the estate through probate as it was a small estate, but he did sell a lot of her things and kept the money for himself. I have repeatedly asked for the money verbally and have been told that there wasn't anything left in the estate despite him selling items and the fact that there was money in her account.


      • #4
        You will need to get an accounting of the estate as suggested in my post above before proceeding further.
        It is possible (even if unlikely) that her estate was swallowed up by expenses and there was nothing left to pay the individual legacies
        Hopefully Peridot will pop in tomorrow and give improved advice.


        • #5
          Thank you. My grandmother planned ahead on some things and had even paid for most of her funeral expenses, but the administration of her estate was not dealt with responsibly or honestly. She lived in a council bungalow. The whole time that she was in hospital which was about 8 - 9 months, her pension was still going into her bank account, but was being withdrawn to pay for my brother's expenses. The compensation money would have covered any final amounts although my gran had some money in savings including money put aside to leave to myself and her neighbour. I think I shall draft a letter tomorrow to my brother and see what happens from there. No doubt, he'll try to ignore it. Any further information would be helpful.


          • #6
            Hi Neri247,
            Never easy when this sort of situation arises. The issue you have is what did your grandmother actually have when she passed away. Money she received prior to her death is irrelevant if it no longer existed when she died, whether it had been spent, given away etc. I suspect the bigger issue here is whether her attorney acted in her best interests during her lifetime.

            As Des8 suggested it may be that the Office of the Public Guardian would look take a view, but as pointed out this is in effect putting your mother as attorney in the firing line rather than anyone who received any money via her.

            Has this been going on for 5 years since your grandmother died? What steps have you taken before now? If the estate was not large enough to require a Grant of Probate it will likely be difficult to persuade a lawyer to assist you with this. The cost of taking action will most likely outweigh any benefit you may receive, particularly if the legacy of £500 is all that you may be entitled to. If on the other hand you were a residuary beneficiary so should have received a share of the remainder of the estate value after debts, taxes and specific legacies were paid out, it may be worth looking a bit deeper.

            A letter to the executor and you could also contact the Office of the Public Guardian to see if they have any advice that may assist you, although they would usually intervene when someone is still alive. They may have some pointers though so worth asking https://www.gov.uk/report-concern-about-attorney-deputy
            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.


            • #7
              I have repeatedly asked for my inheritance as I wanted to put it into savings, but have been told that I won't get it. My brother is extremely dishonest and very greedy where money is concerned. He has conned a lot of money out of his girlfriend's and even their parents over the years. My grandmother's possessions were sold after her death and I was told that it was to raise the money for my inheritance.

              My mother is bullied by my brother and submits to what he wants for a quiet life. This has already led to her getting a criminal record. She didn't keep records, but the bank statements would show this.


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