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Can't get an executor to provide esate account information

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  • justanoldun
    started a topic Can't get an executor to provide esate account information

    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

  • justanoldun
    replied
    Thanks for your help, have written to the registrar asking her to add the penal notice and asking why I need to go to the small claims when I wish to enforce the order for costs.

    Leave a comment:


  • des8
    replied
    Probate registry is a division of the High Court so don't know why you were told to go to a lesser court.
    Costs orders made in the High Court, whatever the value, can be enforced by a High Court Enforcement Officer (HCEO) under a writ of control. Once instructed, the HCEO will complete Form PF86A and obtain the writ of control and then commence enforcement proceedings by issuing a notice of enforcement.

    ¬*A penal notice is a warning to the respondent that disobedience to the order may be punishable by imprisonment, a fine or sequestration of assets.
    ¬*

    Leave a comment:


  • justanoldun
    replied
    Heard from the registrar today. The executors have ignored the direction from them.¬* "¬*The Registrar has asked me to inform you that a penal notice can be added to the order and sealed, and that to enforce order for costs, this would be a small claim in the County Court." What is a penal notice? and why do I have to go to a small claims court to enforce the order for costs? Is there no penalty for just ignoring the order from a registrar?
    puzzled

    Leave a comment:


  • justanoldun
    replied
    Thanks for that. Shall wait until the 14 days are up as I don't believe that they can produce inventory and accounts. Then shall see what the registrar does. The executors have consistently ignored all previous requests and only recently stated that the estate is too complicated to do so and only at great expense etc etc - all explained in pseudo legalese mumbo jumbo. Of course they also throw in a lot of vitriol and lies but expected that. Thanks for your help.

    Leave a comment:


  • des8
    replied
    Instruct High Court Enforcement Officers if he does not pay the costs.
    Their charges will also be added to the costs

    Leave a comment:


  • justanoldun
    replied
    costs are about 1k and I estimate that the executors have misappropriated some 21k.

    Leave a comment:


  • des8
    replied
    Getting the money is always the problem!

    How much were the costs?
    Is it going to be worth the hassle?

    Leave a comment:


  • justanoldun
    replied
    After a delay caused by the covid lockdown, have received a letter from Probate registry. It says that they have written to the executors to the effect that the residual beneficiary has a right to inventory and accounts - even though they may be the only beneficiary asking for them, and that they must be submitted within 14 days. I don't believe that he can do this but we shall see. Question is how do I force them - the executors, to comply with the order for costs?
    tia

    Leave a comment:


  • justanoldun
    replied
    Thanks for that. He hasn't given reasons except that it will cost money for him to do that - provide inventory and accounts, and as HE says we are the only ones wanting it we should pay for it.¬* The letter is a long list of nonsense really. Oh and he doesn't think he should pay costs.
    Shall wait and see then.¬*

    Leave a comment:


  • des8
    replied
    The court will look and decide whether or not his reasons are valid, and give directions accordingly

    Leave a comment:


  • justanoldun
    replied
    Well the summons to provide inventory and account was issued along with an order for costs. They had 28days to provide them or 14 days to give reasons why not. Today - 12 days in they have written and declined to provide them, a long rambling letter full of typos etc. Basically they say that I am the only beneficiary to ask so that if I persist then they will want paying as the estate has all been disbursed etc etc. Not true as 4 of the 14 beneficiaries have asked for the same info. The letter is copied to the registrar and I have written and said I do not agree to let the matter drop - the whole letter was more or less a veiled threat that if I force them to comply then they will want money from me to pay for the work. They also state that they don't think they should pay my costs. My question is - what happens next?
    Thanks for any advice

    Leave a comment:


  • des8
    replied
    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)

    Leave a comment:


  • justanoldun
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


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

    Leave a comment:

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