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Executor has mortgaged estate for personal gain

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  • Executor has mortgaged estate for personal gain

    Hi, my sister wrote my parents' Wills, she is also the Executor and one of the primary beneficiaries (I am the other, the rest of the family were left legacies).

    My parents died over 2 years ago closely together and Probate was granted in Aug 2017. She has used her position as Executor to raise a mortgage on the property to enable herself to buy a bar. None of the beneficiaries or legacies have any hope of being paid due to this.

    The Will stated that the inheritance would be distributed on sale of the property, but her son is living there and she is claiming that he is paying rent. But he is not in a position to do so. The house will never be able to be sold as it is now tied up with her bar as she has raised a very large mortgage on it.

    She has denied for over a year that she has used the house as collateral against her bar, yet the Land Registry forms and Companies House info for her bar were recently updated and show a charge against the house.

    She had asked for me to write a letter to the mortgage company when she was purchasing her bar (she said it would be it's own collateral and would not involve the estate), this letter would have mentioned that she had no debts against the house and I refused to write it as I did not want my parents' house even mentioned in her dealings and am also aware that she has a trail of creditors behind her which she evades by changing her name and moving house and/or country.

    She has ignored my attempts at obtaining the inventory and accounts of the estate - the recorded delivery letter was ignored 5 times and the Royal Mail have now destroyed it, I also sent the same letter to her many email aliases to no avail.

    I am also aware that she changed the Wills after my parents' deaths to lower the amounts left to some beneficiaries. On my letter to her, I stated this and have mentioned it in several emails which she has not denied.

    I have the forms from the Probate office as I have reported this matter to them but I am unsure which way to go. I am not certain what to write on the affadavit.

    I have also reported the matter to Action Fraud, but the Police's hands are tied unless I can obtain evidence for them apparently - but the creditors/accountant/solicitor who arranged her mortgage will not respond to my requests for the information.

    I feel at a loss where to turn as she has ensured that this is all very convoluted and not easily unraveled.

    She is well aware that none of the rest of the family can afford solicitors fees to fight her and my own poor mental health has allowed her to defraud the estate as I was unable to prove what she had done until recently. She does not seem to think she's done anything wrong, yet she denies having done it and has cut off all communication with most of the family.

    Could anyone offer a hint of a path to go down to sort this out?

    Many Thanks

  • #2
    I would start looking to hire contentious probate specialist. Also, the will is being stored by somebody - how can the will be amended?

    Comment


    • #3
      Hi, many thanks for replying - my sister wrote the Wills so therefore she was able to just go into the Word Document and amend the amounts, print it out again and put a ribbon back through - the Wills weren't stored with a proper solicitor or anything - she just kept hold of them and was free to alter them afterwards.

      Nobody in the family can afford a contentious probate specialist or a solicitor really - that's what she's relying on to get away with this as we cannot afford to fight her as she's the one who has profited. She would keep fighting this for years as she has the funds from the estate in order to do so.

      Also, as she wrote the Wills up she has written into it a £500 a month payment as Executor until the Will is settled (she said it was usually a one-off fee but hers is per month) - as she has no intention of settling the Will and has spent the inheritance on herself, can this be even remotely legal?

      Any ideas?

      Comment


      • #4
        You can apply to court for accounting and inventory of the estate. I suggest speaking to several solicitors and using a firm which will defer fees until successful. Either that or just forget about it.

        I will just add that you could win a case, but fail to collect any money. In that case, you could end up liable for solicitors' fees.

        Comment


        • #5
          Word documents have embedded into them when created and edited, do you have a copy of the word document? if so load it and then select file - properties, a box will appear with statistics which will show creation and editing dates.

          Comment


          • #6
            1) is the will even legal?
            2) you really need to act fast, as otherwise there maybe nothing left...

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Anna1972 View Post
              1) is the will even legal?
              2) you really need to act fast, as otherwise there maybe nothing left...
              "My parents died over 2 years ago". It's a bit late to act fast.

              Comment


              • #8
                Are the wills properly witnessed ?
                “We may not win by protesting, but if we don’t protest we will lose. If we stand up to them, there is always a chance we will win.” Hetty Bower

                Any support I provide is offered without liability, if you are unsure please seek professional legal guidance.

                Received a Court Claim? Read >>>>> First Steps

                If we have helped you we'd appreciate it if you can leave a review on our Trust Pilot page

                Find Solicitors offering fixed fees on our sister site - JustBeagle.com

                Comment


                • #9
                  Hi QueenGeek,

                  Sorry to hear of the issues you're having with the executor. I'm afraid I will in effect be saying the same as others. You really need to get advice on this one. There is apparent fraud taking place and potentially probate has been obtained using a Will that is not legal. Executors, unless professionals such as solicitors accountants etc appointed by the person writing the Will are not allowed to receive 'pay' for there duties. They can claim their reasonable expenses such as travel costs for example to deal with aspects of the estate but not effectively a monthly fee!

                  If the property was meant to be sold when certain events happened then until that time the property would usually be held in the 'trustees' names (this may be the executors name if no-one different has been appointed) but then it would not be possible for the property to be mortgaged by the trustees without a raft of information being obtained.

                  I would recommend obtaining a copy of the information held about the property from the HM Land Registry here:- https://www.gov.uk/search-property-i...-land-registry

                  If you have a copy of the Will and the Grant take it with you. If not you can obtain copies of the Grant (& Will) here:- https://www.gov.uk/search-will-probate

                  There are many solicitors who will give you a free half hour or reduced fee initial appointment just to discuss options with you. In addition if the prospects of you succeeding in any claim are over 50% then they may agree to defer fees or have a monthly payment scheme for example.

                  The executor has legal duties which if they do not do as is expected they can be removed. In addition they can be found personally liable for their lack of care in administering the estate.

                  Please get some advice on this maybe discuss with the other beneficiaries whether they would all be willing to contribute to the cost of at least obtaining some advice so you know what options you all have.
                  I am a qualified solicitor and 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.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Hi QueenGeek,

                    Can I just add one point to the excellent commentary from Peridot. You said at the outset "am also aware that she has a trail of creditors behind her which she evades by changing her name and moving house and/or country".

                    If you win your case, you may still find that you cannot in practice extract any money from your sister. That leaves you owing your legal bills, though, as you have won the case. I suggest that you discuss this with any potential solicitor before signing up.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by paulajayne View Post
                      Word documents have embedded into them when created and edited, do you have a copy of the word document? if so load it and then select file - properties, a box will appear with statistics which will show creation and editing dates.
                      Hi, my sister has the laptop the Wills were written on, there's no way she's going to let us look at the files. Thanks for the suggestion though (maybe if this gets far enough the Police will be able to look into it!).

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Amethyst View Post
                        Are the wills properly witnessed ?
                        Hi Amethyst, she got her 2 friends to witness the Wills.
                        I also strongly believe she also asked them to re-sign the Wills after she printed it out again and told me she had to trace Dad's signature through the page as she couldn't line up the holes properly for the ribbon without it showing the pages had been taken out and altered.
                        Many thanks
                        ps we've intercepted a Will she had written up for my Nan to sign and her cronies would also be the witnesses on this Will as well. Nothing written on this Will is anything like what Nan wanted (she didn't even ask her to write one up for a start as she dislikes her intensely). Nan would not give her the time of day and would never have signed the Will, but my sister is very domineering and could potentially have bullied her into it had the rest of the family not been aware of what was happening and have kept her away from my Nan.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by 2222 View Post
                          You can apply to court for accounting and inventory of the estate. I suggest speaking to several solicitors and using a firm which will defer fees until successful. Either that or just forget about it.

                          I will just add that you could win a case, but fail to collect any money. In that case, you could end up liable for solicitors' fees.

                          Hi, thanks for replying. I have written to her at her home address and sent the same letter to each of her aliases on her various emails but to no avail.

                          I will be writing up the affadavit to request she presents the accounts & inventory of the estate as this will be the only way of seeing what she's done as she has just ignored all attempts at communication.

                          Does the affadavit just need to say that I am requesting the accounts & inventory as she has failed to do anything about the estate, or should I also mention she has changed the Wills to suit herself and used the house as collateral for her own personal gain?

                          Many thanks.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Blimey, she's a bit open about forging your Dad's signature and changing the will to suit herself then ? bizarre. Presumably just believes she's invincible and you won't do anything about it.

                            Handwriting experts will be able to provide an expert report on that. You do need to get everything into a specialist solicitor. The Witness's may be required to sign afadavits about whether they did actually witness your Dad sign the Will.
                            “We may not win by protesting, but if we don’t protest we will lose. If we stand up to them, there is always a chance we will win.” Hetty Bower

                            Any support I provide is offered without liability, if you are unsure please seek professional legal guidance.

                            Received a Court Claim? Read >>>>> First Steps

                            If we have helped you we'd appreciate it if you can leave a review on our Trust Pilot page

                            Find Solicitors offering fixed fees on our sister site - JustBeagle.com

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Peridot View Post
                              Hi QueenGeek,

                              Sorry to hear of the issues you're having with the executor. I'm afraid I will in effect be saying the same as others. You really need to get advice on this one. There is apparent fraud taking place and potentially probate has been obtained using a Will that is not legal. Executors, unless professionals such as solicitors accountants etc appointed by the person writing the Will are not allowed to receive 'pay' for there duties. They can claim their reasonable expenses such as travel costs for example to deal with aspects of the estate but not effectively a monthly fee!

                              If the property was meant to be sold when certain events happened then until that time the property would usually be held in the 'trustees' names (this may be the executors name if no-one different has been appointed) but then it would not be possible for the property to be mortgaged by the trustees without a raft of information being obtained.

                              I would recommend obtaining a copy of the information held about the property from the HM Land Registry here:- https://www.gov.uk/search-property-i...-land-registry

                              If you have a copy of the Will and the Grant take it with you. If not you can obtain copies of the Grant (& Will) here:- https://www.gov.uk/search-will-probate

                              There are many solicitors who will give you a free half hour or reduced fee initial appointment just to discuss options with you. In addition if the prospects of you succeeding in any claim are over 50% then they may agree to defer fees or have a monthly payment scheme for example.

                              The executor has legal duties which if they do not do as is expected they can be removed. In addition they can be found personally liable for their lack of care in administering the estate.

                              Please get some advice on this maybe discuss with the other beneficiaries whether they would all be willing to contribute to the cost of at least obtaining some advice so you know what options you all have.

                              Many thanks for the good advice, I already have the Land Registry details that show a charge against the house in favour of her and her pub. She was the executor so she's apparently been able to put the house into her own name and raise a mortgage against it in order to buy a club and another £100k that she has kept for herself.

                              She's not a professional in any sense of the word - she went on a little course to write Wills and now does them for other people (which greatly concerns me as I wonder what she has done to other families if she's done this to her own). Although she is the owner of the club, she is not the licencee (possibly due to not being able to show them all her aliases and her current name only being used for about 5 years now).

                              The property was supposed to be sold, but her son wanted to buy it so she let him move in and make repairs; he was self-employed so he would have to wait about 1 more year before he had enough of a credit history to obtain a mortgage. However, he did not do that well in his 3rd year and he was persuaded by her to defer obtaining a mortgage for a further year. Now we are aware that this was because she was already planning on utilising the property for herself.

                              I still don't know how she was able to raise a mortgage on the house without anyone questioning it - I've written to her accountant, solicitor, original mortgage company and re-mortgage company and the only one who has bothered to reply was the solicitor who just said they'd check with their client what they should do. The 2nd letter just quoted the Data Protection Act and said they were not working for her anymore. Surely if they have a letter purporting to come from ME (that my sister asked me for to confirm that she has no debts on the house and for which I refused to entertain), then they can provide me with a copy of it?

                              Surely just the fact that she has borrowed nearly £200k and kept every penny for her own benefit is enough to prove Executor Fraud?

                              We all questioned the £500 monthly fee part of the Executor fees as none of us had ever heard of this before - just a one-off payment and travel/court costs reimbursed. She also wrote this into the Will she wrote that she expected my Nan to sign (even though she never even asked her to write one up).


                              Thank you all on this forum for your help, I have a plan of action:


                              I will get a copy of the Grant & Will from the link you provided, just in case it's different again to the one I have.

                              I will also contact a solicitor and ask if the other beneficiaries can maybe chip in or ask for deferred payment. The solicitor will maybe be able to get the information I requested already and then if we can prove she has forged a letter from me then the Police will be able to proceed as they said they could not do anything without proof (I personally would have thought that the Land Registry deeds would have been proof enough, but never mind).

                              I will send off the affadavit and get her into court for the Inventory and Accounts


                              I hope something works as she will continue to do this to other families unless she is stopped.


                              Thank you all so much.

                              Queen Geek

                              Comment

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