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Uncooperative executor refuses to show estate account information

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  • Uncooperative executor refuses to show estate account information

    Brief description

    My wife is one of three residuary beneficiaries in her late Mothers will. The other two residuary beneficiaries are my wife's two sisters and the executor is one of her sisters husbands. The executor has been uncooperative towards my wife throughout the whole process and all the way through he has not wanted any contact. The estate consisted of a number of my Mothers Bank accounts, savings, plus a property with full contents/fixtures and fittings. The estate has apparently now been finalised and concluded. My wife received in the post a cheque along with a sheet of A4 paper with no name or reference on it, all it had on the paper were some costings written down. Nothing at all was visible to confirm who had approved and who had sent it, as the executor had omitted to put his name to anything. The property was listed only as a net value, dismissing any of the contents or estate agent fees etc. My wife still does not know how much the property sold for. There was no banking information or bank account for the estate shown on the piece of A4 paper that she received. My wife wrote to the executor and asked if he would supply more detailed accounts, i.e the sold property price, what had happened to the property's contents, copies of invoices for estate agents, ect bank statement for the estate accounts showing the in and out transactions. The executor has responded today and blankly refused saying " that as a beneficiary it does not entitle myself to trawl through every document and that I do not have the right to conduct a fishing exercise" . He also said that "if my wifes Mother had wanted her to be the executor of her estate, then my wifes Mother would have appointed her" He then ended his arrogant reply by saying that " he will not be entering into any further correspondence regarding the estate, as he has concluded everything, as his work is done here" ! We are now looking to apply to the court ourselves [ in order to keep the costs down ] for an order for an inventory and account, we have never done this before and would be very grateful for any advice and guidance that anyone can offer. Thank you.
    Tags: None

  • #2
    Presumably you have a copy of the will and the grant of probate.
    You have a right to see FULL accounts

    If you are set on obtaining a full inventory and account you will need to obtain a form from the Probate Registry where probate was granted.
    It is called a " Summons Form".

    When you have completed the form you need to swear an affidavit showing
    - the 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.

    NB For "you" please read "your wife"


    • #3
      Hi DES8 and thank you very much for your help and guidance, as it is much appreciated indeed. Yes, we do have a copy of the will and we also have a copy of the Grant of probate. We will now approach the probate registry where the grant was issued. Hopefully, I would be grateful if you could possibly give ourselves some more advice on a question that is troubling my wife, if you could that would be great, thank you. When we received the sheet of paper along with the cheque, we were unsure as to whether or not to bank the cheque. The sheet of paper was not approved or signed by the executor, there were no indication on the paper to say it was either an interim account , before the final accounts had been concluded, or if the sheet of paper was actually the final accounts? As I say, there was no indication whatsoever of any reference made to final accounts! After debating on what to do with the cheque we decided to bank it after holding on to it for 3 weeks. Reason being if we kept the cheque for a great length of time we were worried that the Executor would put a stop on the cheque. My wife is now concerned that that action of banking the cheque may be be seen as an acceptance of the final administration. The executor never put in place any provision for my wife to either sign, confirm or agree that she had received the sheet of paper and the enclosed cheque. The only reason we knew that sheet of paper and cheque was sent by the executor was the fact that my wife recognised his handwriting on the front of the envelope.

      Thank you very much again.


      • #4
        Banking the cheque does not signal acceptance of it as a final payment


        • #5
          Thank you DES8, much appreciated, as this guidance will come as a great comfort to my wife. Will post again as matters with this situation progress. Thank you again and stay safe in these uncertain times.


          • #6
            Just an update and hopefully some advice on a question that i have. We have contacted the probate registry and we are now awaiting for the summons form to arrive, we have been informed that the paperwork should take between 4 to 6 weeks to arrive. The single sheet of figures that was sent to my wife showed only a net figure for the sale of the property. However, in the meantime we have now seen the actual sold price of the property on HM land registry. Speaking with the estate agent who sold the property, they confirmed that their agent selling fees for any property that they are instructed to sell is a maximum of 1% of the sold price. After deducting 1% from the official sold price and deducting a further 'estimated' 1000 to cover the cost of the conveyancing fees, it leaves a substantially higher net figure than the amount recorded by the executor. We have also not included any of the personal possessions from the property, which have to be added onto the final figure. We have decided to challenge the executor on this issue and have contacted a number of solicitors for quotations in order for a letter to be sent to the executor expressing our findings. The solicitors have replied explaining that this matter is now deemed as a contentious probate issue and only a solicitor with the correct insurance/ indemnity policy can now be instructed to contact the executor. To keep the cost at a minimal we have decided to write to the executor ourselves. My question is: On every occasion that my wife has requested for any information regarding to the estate, the executor has ignored all of her requests and blocked her with his legal representative, who we now believe to be a personal friend to the executor. When the executor receives this latest letter, we are sure that he will run to his solicitor friend once again and the solicitor will stonewall my wife's request with his personal opinions and suggestions that she is not in a position to request any such information . We have googled the executor's solicitor and on his home page he states that he practices in non-contentious work. So is the executors solicitor allowed to reply to my wife's letter or is he breaking regulations? If this is the case can the solicitor be reported?


            • #7
              Although he may state he practices in non-contentious litigation, it does not mean that he doesn't carry the correct PI cover.
              I do not know how you find out, and I wonder if there is any point in reporting him anyway.
              If he isn't insured he is just digging a big hole for himself


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