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Can't get an executor to provide esate account information

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  • Can't get an executor to provide esate account information

    Back Ground.

    On 21Nov 2018 my step mother-in-law sadly passed away. On the 6thDec2018 her brother went into Lloyds bank and closed her bank accounts(3 off) and transferred the balances into another account. The total of money transferred was 25k. There had been power of attorney held by his son and daughter but these, of course lapsed when she died. Probate was granted in Feb 2019 with the executors being the same two people as had had LPA,s.

    My wife found out that she and my 2 children were residual beneficiaries after we obtained a copy of the will and probate. The house was sold in Oct 2019. We asked for statement of accounts when we were told what the inheritance would be and realised that the numbers simpy did not add up.It would seem that beneficiaries ( there are 14 equal shares under the will) have been receiving different amounts at different times. Our letter was ignored at first but then we received a single A4 sheet of paper listing costs etc. This shows the following:-

    Some 7000 has simply disappeared since the bank accounts were closed. This is after death but before probate was granted.
    One of the executors paid himself over14k(4.5% of the estate value) for exercising probate for his time not for his expenses; further payment of some 1k were taken for admin etc etc.
    There are large sums deducted for house/roof repairs ( although the property is leasehold on the ground floor in a block).
    No invoices or receipts have been provided.

    We engaged a solicitor who wrote to the executors. They explained that, as a lay executor, they could not charge for their time and asked for copies of invoices. The letter has been ignored. To pursue a civil case against the executors will cost more than the value of the estate. How can it be that someone can effectively take some 21+k from the estate and not be accountable? What can my wife do (as a residual beneficiary) to force the executor to provide invoices/justification for the money that has been taken from the estate?

    I would welcome your advice
    Tags: None

  • #2
    So a single sheet of paper would not, IMO anyway, contain sufficient information to be classed as an inventory and accounts for an estate which included 3 bank accounts and a property.

    Suggest to your solicitor that you apply to the court for an order for an inventory and account from the executor, together with an application for costs. A relatively cheap procedure.
    This puts the executor under pressure, and possible scrutiny by a judge, but most of all should give you the full paper trial which may open other avenues for action.


    • #3
      Thanks for that. if my wife were to do it herself - apply for an inventory and account, what form would she use- N2?. And how does she prepare an afidavit - which she has to have . I mean what form does it take - she has copies of all the letters and emails we have sent him and a copy of the letter from a solicitor asking him for accounts and giving him 14 days to produce it. Would I be correct in thinking an afidavit is merely showing that she has asked for the accounts etc?


      • #4
        Sec 61 of the Non-contentious Probate Rules 1987 apply (http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/1....xht?wrap=true)
        You will be requesting**the court to require the inventory and account under s.25 Administration of Estates Act 1925 (as amended).

        The form is from the Probate Registry and headed: " Summons Form".

        the affidavit has to show deceased and date of death
        Date probate granted
        Requests for inventory and account and failure to produce.
        Fact that applicant is a beneficiary

        As you will need a solicitor for swearing the affidavit, it might be worth having a fixed fee session to check the application is being made correctly.


        • #5
          Thanks for that. Have spent a frustrating couple of hours trying to talk to various probate offices in an attempt to get the form. Can't see it at*https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/probate-forms*Is it downloadable? Thanks again.


          • #6
            Finally managed to get the form from Newcastle registry along with the affidavit pro-forma so we are good to go. Will let you know what progress we make.
            Thanks again


            • #7
              Aarg, forms arrived this morning. Thought they would be generic but they are specific to Newcastle registry. Shall have to start again tomorrow:-(


              • #8
                But at least you know the form exists


                • #9
                  but trying to get it from Winchester Probate registry is proving impossible.


                  • #10
                    At last I have the forms :-)


                    • #11
                      Ok so I have filled in the summons form but one item at the bottom is puzzling me
                      The statement"And the costs of and incidental to this application be borne by the said...............in any event"
                      Should I put my name in there? or the executor, who I think should pay the costs; or do I make application for costs in court?


                      • #12
                        executor's name

                        Do chat with your solicitor before just pushing ahead.
                        In probate matters there is always more to consider than can be found on forum posts


                        • #13
                          Thanks for that. It was my solicitor who advised taking out the summons. Hopefully the executor will see sense before we get to court


                          • #14
                            Wrote to the registrar with the relevant forms - all good. Registrar asked me to give a further 7 days for them to respond, which we did. Still no response. Sent copies of letters and proof of posting and delivery to the registrar. Letter from Registrar today asking if we are content for this to be dealt with by way of paper direction order rather that a hearing. Not sure what that means. Does it mean the registrar asks for inventory and accounts from the executors? The letter points out that a hearing may still be necessary at a later date. Also asks me to submit form N260 with details of costs we intend to claim.


                            • #15
                              As they have not responded the court will give directions based on your paper submissions, unless you actually want a hearing.

                              You need to file and serve a statement of* costs for summary assessment* 24 hours before the hearing (but I don't think form N260 needs to be used)


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