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Withholding of direct bequeathment from Great Aunt's estate

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  • Withholding of direct bequeathment from Great Aunt's estate

    Hello,

    I am hoping that someone can give me some advice on how I can help my Aunt and parents with this situation. This is a bit of a longer story but please be patient. My great aunt died back in march of 2017 in England and my family lives in the United States. When my great aunt died, she had in her will specific bequeathments to both my mother and to my aunt of specific distributions of funds and personal objects. The personal objects have been received relatively fast. The issue has been with the specific individual bequeathments of funds to my mother and to my Aunt. The law firm that has been acting as the executor has asked for a significant number of documents to provide proof that they are speaking to the correct individuals. My family has been more than accommodating to this and has provided a significant amount of personal data as requested. After nearly two years, the executor finally agreed to make the distribution to my mother. We are now trying to get them to make the distribution to my Aunt. She has a physical disability (bad arthritis) and my parents take care of and provide for her. She lives with them and they take care of all of her affairs. Because of this physical disability, the executor continues to withhold any distributions to her stating that any distribution to her is a risk to their firm. They are even now demanding that they have access to her doctor and have that individual speak of the inheritance with them. (US. HIPPA laws will ban any release of health information to them due to medical information privacy requirements) At this point, my aunt and my parents are just at the end of their rope dealing with this situation. They are getting to the point of considering these funds stolen by the executor and stop contact with them even though they say they just need more information. They executor has even proposed using the bequeathment to purchase insurance covering the law firm's needs or getting a third party law firm involved as well. Is there any resource available that we can use to deal with this after their delays over 2.5 years? At this point we feel they have no intention of paying and will just keep the funds for themselves. The value of the bequeathment is not a small value either but rather quite a large sum. Any advise is greatly appreciated.


    Thanks for your help!
    Tags: None

  • #2
    Hi Rzande1,
    Sorry your family are having such issues. Depending on the size of the estate and the types of assets does dictate the time it can take for the estate to be administered and distributions made. Shares and property can take time to finalise so this may be part of the issue causing the delay in you receiving the financial legacies.
    Unfortunately the UK Money Laundering Regulations insist on id being obtained and ascertaining you are always speaking to the correct person. Great when preventing fraudulent activity which we'd all be grateful of if it was someone calling pretending to be us but not so hot when you have a situation like this. It is the legal requirements I'm afraid so you won't change that.
    In addition as part of the MLR it is not permissible for law firms to make payments to third parties either. Are you asking for the payment to be made to someone other than the Aunt or is it that she can't provide the necessary ID? I am confused what the issue actually is if she is the named beneficiary and has provided ID. If it is the fact that your mother deals with her affairs does she have a power of attorney to do so? If she does then again this shouldn't cause an issue but if she doesn't then that may be the problem.
    It is also necessary to carry out bankruptcy checks against beneficiaries which if they flag anything can again cause delays.
    Hopefully that clarifies why the checks have to be carried out. I would suggest that they need to consider just providing the information requested as the legacies won't be paid until all the legal requirements for checks are carried out I'm afraid.
    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


    • #3
      Hello,

      Thanks so much for the response. She has provided multiple pieces of information to prove who she is such as copies of her birth certificate, naturalization certificate, etc etc etc. She has even sent multiple notarized documents along with these requests where third parties including our CPA and personal banker has verified that she is who is claims to be. Additionally, she is asking for funds to be sent to her account with all of the appropriate beneficiary details in the funds order. She has even spoken to the law firm on the phone before. In terms of my parents helping her with her affairs, anytime that this occurs she has first been able to identify herself and has provided consent to the party on the matter. My mother and father just help with her affairs since she doesn't want to deal with any of this. She has a hard time getting around and has lived with my parents for 40+ years so that they can take care of her needs.

      Regards

      Comment


      • #4
        Hi again,
        It sounds like she has provided everything they have requested to date. I'm afraid it is probably a case of having to jump through the hoops. Unless she is asking for the funds to be transferred to someone else I'm not sure what the issue could be although I don't know how long an international bankruptcy search can take.
        Not sure what else I can add I'm afraid. I hope it gets sorted soon .
        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

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