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Standard STEP Provisions

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  • Standard STEP Provisions

    I am dealing with a will which includes "The Standard Provisions of the Society of Trusts and Estate Practitioners (1st Edition) shall apply with the deletion of paragraph 5. "

    I have a beneficiary who wants to claim for expenses in a situation that the 2nd Edition allows, but the 1st Edition does not.

    My co-executor supports the claim but I do not, so my question is, who is right?
    Tags: None

  • #2
    I would say 1st edition applies, but I'm wondering for what expenses a beneficiary could apply?
    Does the will make provision for payment of beneficiaries' expenses?

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by des8 View Post
      I would say 1st edition applies, but I'm wondering for what expenses a beneficiary could apply?
      Does the will make provision for payment of beneficiaries' expenses?
      The beneficiary is claiming significant travel expenses after removing some house contents with my co-executor before I gave my permission for removal, and there is no mention in the will about beneficiaries expenses.
      Last edited by Jesmar; 10th April 2021, 17:42:PM.

      Comment


      • #4
        Were the items removed a specific legacy to the beneficiary?

        If not, did they have any value (other than sentimental) which could have been realised and added to any residuary?

        Generally any costs involved in the transfer of a legacy (e,g, insurance or transport) are the responsibility of the beneficiary unless the will states otherwise.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by des8 View Post
          Were the items removed a specific legacy to the beneficiary?
          If not, did they have any value (other than sentimental) which could have been realised and added to any residuary?
          Generally any costs involved in the transfer of a legacy (e,g, insurance or transport) are the responsibility of the beneficiary unless the will states otherwise.
          It was not a specific legacy. I agreed to some items of furniture, including an antique chest being given to the beneficiary, but not the contents which included antique textiles with a value probably between 2000-3000, which have now disappeared. The more valuable items were taken a month ante-mortem and the rest post-mortem when the chest was taken away.

          The way this travel claim came about involves collusion, misappropriation of assets, deception and probable fraud so strays off topic but if it interests you, I will post again about it or maybe start another thread.

          After a year of no contact, the beneficiary is now threatening to sue for her funeral catering expenses, which still haven't been fully agreed, because she added more expenses 16 months post mortem, about 18 months ago, which have not yet been agreed.

          A major objective for me is that there is no ambiguity in the record of distribution of personal possessions etc. because it is quite probable that the beneficiary will return at a later date and cause more trouble about them, but due to the Trump like behaviour I am facing, I can see lengthy and costly proceedings which I would like to avoid.

          If the beneficiary sues, would it be possible for me to raise all the issues that have led to her demand for funeral catering expenses, which is clearly a stratagem, and request a summary judgement rather than letting proceedings go ahead?

          I think it would be quite easy to get my co-executor removed on the evidence, but I also realise that I may be removed as well and a court appointed solicitor appointed to deal with it, which would also be fine by me I think.

          Any thoughts on that would be appreciated and thanks for what you have told me so far.

          Comment


          • #6
            If items disappeared prior to the testator's passing, that is a question of were they given away by the owner, or stolen from him, or disposed off in some other way? Not necessarily an executor's problem.

            Items the executor allowed a third party to remove post testator's passing need to be accounted for in the inventory and account. If the items are no longer available valuation could be a problem, but bear in mind it is the sale value you would be looking for, not replacement or insurance value.

            Funeral expenses..depends on wording of will. Taxman allows reasonable catering costs of the wake to be deducted, but unless mentioned in the will it is debatable if they can even be deducted from the estate assets.

            Don't underestimate the difficulty of removing an executor!

            Comment


            • #7
              Thanks again for the first two points.

              Originally posted by des8 View Post
              Funeral expenses..depends on wording of will. Taxman allows reasonable catering costs of the wake to be deducted, but unless mentioned in the will it is debatable if they can even be deducted from the estate assets.
              It does mention funeral and testamentary expenses in the will, but it is not a question of reasonable costs. As I mentioned, I have been dealing with Trump like behaviour, and the beneficiary now threatens to sue for an amount that she has demanded, which is not what has so far been agreed. I don't see how she can really justify that in view of how we have arrived at the situation.


              Originally posted by des8 View Post
              Don't underestimate the difficulty of removing an executor!
              I think the beneficiary has been trying to provoke me into trying just that for over a year, but they have taken far too much of my time already and I have better things to do with it. I doubt if the beneficiary will sue, but if that happens I will have to try to end the stalemate in some way or it will inevitably be followed by another claim ad infinitum.

              Comment


              • #8
                Does she have invoices supporting her expenses claim?

                Rather than court you could jointly appoint a probate specialist to finalise the estate

                Comment


                • #9
                  Is arbitration possible when one executor and beneficiary are colluding?

                  Today, 08:30:AM
                  Apologies for cross-posting. but have been asked to repeat my query to this thread

                  I am one of two executors and have a beneficiary who is threatening to sue the estate.
                  I have rejected mediation because it is clear that the beneficiary's offer to mediate is not genuine.
                  The beneficiary's solicitor also offered arbitration, which I would agree to if the facts can be properly tested, but my co-executor has been colluding with the beneficiary throughout and entirely supports the beneficiary.
                  Can someone tell me whether arbitration would be possible under such circumstances?

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    No reason why you should not use arbitration as it will be cheaper, quicker and less stressful than court.

                    However make yourself familiar with the Arbitration Act 1996,(especially sec 16 about appointment of arbitrators as I doubt you will want the beneficiary's solicitor acting as arbitrator)

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Jesmar View Post
                      Is arbitration possible when one executor and beneficiary are colluding?

                      Today, 08:30:AM
                      Apologies for cross-posting. but have been asked to repeat my query to this thread

                      I am one of two executors and have a beneficiary who is threatening to sue the estate.
                      I have rejected mediation because it is clear that the beneficiary's offer to mediate is not genuine.
                      The beneficiary's solicitor also offered arbitration, which I would agree to if the facts can be properly tested, but my co-executor has been colluding with the beneficiary throughout and entirely supports the beneficiary.
                      Can someone tell me whether arbitration would be possible under such circumstances?
                      I now have 5 days left to respond to a solicitors letter from the beneficiary and talked to a solicitor today who was unfortunately quite dismissive when I thought arbitration was an option in the circumstances. His fee was over 400 an hour and a Laker Legal solicitor wanted 500 up front just to have a face to face meeting so I have decided to hell with it and go it alone for now.

                      The letter I received was Without Prejudice As to Costs but the offer was definitely not a genuine attempt to resolve the outstanding issues as stated, and consisted of the usual lies and stratagems which are clearly apparent from various emails and other documents and I intend to respond saying that I intend my response to be seen in open court or whatever the term is, so that I can present the actual facts.

                      If I crash and burn then too bad, but at least I will have my say and the threat is to "apply to court for directions to complete the administration of the estate, which is likely to include their removal and the appointment of a professional executor (either to be agreed or appointed by the court), and will seek the costs of the application from the executors personally."

                      I would rather have a professional executor than carry on like this so at least the end could be in sight, and I can only hope I don't get lumbered with the costs on some kind of technicality

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        So why not write to the other party and agree to the appointment of a professional executor (aka a solicitor).
                        The appointment to be made by agreement and jointly

                        Save the court costs and will make their application redundant, and save you the stress

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by des8 View Post
                          So why not write to the other party and agree to the appointment of a professional executor (aka a solicitor).
                          The appointment to be made by agreement and jointly

                          Save the court costs and will make their application redundant, and save you the stress
                          Thanks, that sounds like a good idea. Would I be able to submit evidence such as recordings and other documents to the professional executor to support my case and refute the unsubstantiated allegations that the beneficiary is relying on in her attempts to reduce my share of the estate?.

                          And would the professional executor have to properly investigate an allegation of fraud?
                          Last edited by Jesmar; 11th June 2021, 08:03:AM.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I don't see why you should not make a complete submission to any professional appointed jointly by the executors.
                            On the contrary I would expect him to want to be given full details from both of you so he can come to the correct decision

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Many thanks again. I think that is good enough for me and as you say will avoid the extra stress. If I suggest a professional executor in response, should I also respond to the issues raised in the letter at this stage, which I can do in forensic detail, or would it be better to just leave it for a submission to the professional executor.

                              Comment

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