• Welcome to the LegalBeagles Consumer and Legal Forum.
    Please Register to get the most out of the forum. Registration is free and only needs a username and email address.
    REGISTER
    Please do not post your full name, reference numbers or any identifiable details on the forum.

Standard STEP Provisions

Collapse
Loading...
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • #16
    I would be inclined to suggest appointing a professional executor and not respond further to any issues.
    Responding will only invite further replies and more protracted threats and stress.

    You may find they will not accept the suggestion to appoint an independent professional, which would give the lie to their threat to apply to the court!

    Comment


    • #17
      Originally posted by des8 View Post
      I would be inclined to suggest appointing a professional executor and not respond further to any issues.
      Responding will only invite further replies and more protracted threats and stress.
      Thanks, that seems eminently sensible as I have reached a point where it is just not worth carrying on after over 1600 emails in the last 3 years and stress certainly diminishes your existence. I can only hope that an independent executor is not swayed by hearsay and will just go on the facts and good practice etc.

      I think that most family members will not realize what they might be letting themselves in for when they agree to be an executor. I had no idea that my siblings would act as they have and in retrospect, appointing a professional executor when things started going wrong would have been a much better option and would have saved us over 10,000.
      One day perhaps, law-makers might look at ways of preventing such situations from developing during estate administration.
      Originally posted by des8 View Post
      You may find they will not accept the suggestion to appoint an independent professional, which would give the lie to their threat to apply to the court!
      I hope that doesn't happen, but it would be par for the course! My blood pressure thanks you very much for your advice and I will update on the response I get.

      Comment


      • #18
        well good luck with that, and I agree that not many realise what they are letting themselves in for when they agree to act as executor.
        Even with the most simple will, matters go awry and it can be disputed and executors don't appreciate their liability lasts their lifetime (literally!)

        Fortunately Executor's Liability Insurance is available nowadays, although few seem to know about it.

        Comment


        • #19
          Originally posted by des8 View Post
          well good luck with that, and I agree that not many realise what they are letting themselves in for when they agree to act as executor.
          Even with the most simple will, matters go awry and it can be disputed and executors don't appreciate their liability lasts their lifetime (literally!)

          Fortunately Executor's Liability Insurance is available nowadays, although few seem to know about it.
          I am thinking that it would be a good idea to propose or even insist that a WIQS member solicitor is instructed and that all beneficiaries sign an affidavit for the solicitor. Is that reasonable?

          Comment


          • #20
            I would not be so confrontational as to start by "insisting" and laying down conditions about affidavits.
            Often better just to propose and negotiate going forward.

            However I do not know what the other parties are like.......

            Comment


            • #21
              Originally posted by des8 View Post
              I would not be so confrontational as to start by "insisting" and laying down conditions about affidavits.
              Often better just to propose and negotiate going forward.
              However I do not know what the other parties are like.......
              Amazingly my co-executor and I got to the point where we agreed to use a WIQS member solicitor as a professional executor this morning, which was in fact one of 4 steps they proposed in the 3rd beneficiary's solicitor email, and our solicitor sent a response.

              The response we got back included new complaints about the costs of a professional executor and again proposes we try mediation first, though they know my thoughts about mediation from my co-executor.

              My heart was sinking until I got to the end which gives one of the proposed steps as 'apply to court to replace themselves as executors with a professional executor (to be proposed by them and approved by my client or the court.)'

              My co-executor agreed to a WIQS member solicitor, but does a beneficiary have any right to approve a decision of the executors and if I say yes to this, does it mean we have to have her approval for the solicitor we engage?

              Comment


              • #22
                I was thinking more along the lines of the joint executors agreeing on the appointment of a professional to act for them, rather than actual replacement .
                Replacement would need court approval (I think) but IMO the beneficiary cannot veto the choice of a professional executor if both appointed executors agree to the appointment.

                If the beneficiary doesn't agree, she can always make application to the court to have executors replaced.
                In spite of all her huffing and puffing she hasn't really made out a case (at least nothing reported here!) and courts are reluctant to remove executors

                Comment


                • #23
                  Originally posted by des8 View Post
                  In spite of all her huffing and puffing she hasn't really made out a case (at least nothing reported here!) and courts are reluctant to remove executors
                  Apologies for the length of this but maybe the following will clarify the situation without going into even more detail. You suggested previously that I should not respond to any further issues, and I don't really feel like doing so now though the context is slightly different and a confirmation of your advice would be appreciated.

                  Just as I was about to post this another email from our solicitor came in advising us that if we can't agree on the proposal or identity of a professional executor, it could cost up to 20,000 if the court felt that anyone in particular was being unreasonable and they would face personal liability for costs. It doesn't really change anything but if I think it does I will comment on it later.

                  Originally posted by des8 View Post
                  I was thinking more along the lines of the joint executors agreeing on the appointment of a professional to act for them, rather than actual replacement .
                  The letter we responded to asks the executors to "confirm they consent to their removal and the appointment of a professional executor". Three days ago I told our solicitor that I consented, which my co-executor then also agreed to and our solicitor then responded to the beneficiary's solicitor agreeing to this.

                  The same day, the beneficiary solicitor responded arguing that a professional solicitor is a last resort due to the significant costs to the estate, and because the solicitor must remain neutral and will not be able to adjudicate on outstanding issues that we must still resolve between us, which is exactly the intractable position that we have been in for three years. A new proposal is to "confirm that they will apply to court to replace themselves as executors with a professional executor (to be proposed by them and approved by my client or the court.) In other words, the beneficiary is now trying to exert some control over the choice of executor, which I consider the thin edge of the wedge and am not willing to agree to.

                  Despite my co-executor initially agreeing, she now disagrees and wants us to pay the funeral expenses to avoid court, which we would theoretically have to bear in any case if the beneficiary applied for directions. I showed that her argument did not make sense. In any case, the funeral expenses were incorrectly totalled and have a couple of clearly dishonest claims such as for parking at a non-existent car park and claiming for travel on a shopping trip that was clearly her own food shop. The amounts are minor but the dishonesty is obvious. I can similarly show that her other complaints are vexatious.

                  Beneficiary and co-executor continue to avoid providing photographic evidence of items of significant value that she misrepresented on the probate valuation and were grossly undervalued. The true value could even tip us over the inheritance tax threshold.

                  Sixteen months post-mortem, my co-executor and the beneficiary claimed for the first time that some valuable (but grossly undervalued) items on the valuation, that had been allegedly valued from photographs, were an ante-mortem gift. I felt at the time of the valuation that my co-executor had made some kind of fraudulent arrangement with the valuer and I later mentioned in 2 emails to my co-executor and solicitor that the total given on the valuation was wrong but received no comment from either, and the valuer also did not respond when I asked him why the items he had given values for on the valuation, were not included in the total.

                  They have made an issue out of every little thing that they could (I count at least 55) many of them ridiculous, with the intent I believe of tying me up in knots and drawing attention away from their attempt to defraud and misappropriate assets.

                  In view of the above I feel the only option is to sit tight and see what happens. The beneficiary is not stupid and should know that she is on very thin ice, but she has a tendency to cut off her nose to spite her face, just to cause aggravation for me so she may well apply to the court, even against her solicitor's advice.

                  My co-executor has not responded to my latest email and I have spent some time compiling a response to the latest demands but should I even bother sending it? I think responding will just continue a pointless game in which they will continue trying to wear me down.

                  I feel that the only realistic option for closure is a WIQS member professional executor, and that to avoid the same kind of poison pen emails and other distractions, I should insist that all beneficiaries submit an affidavit, or at least some kind of submission, to the executor that lays out their respective issues, and that no further communications should be sent by beneficiaries to the executor unless the executor needs information to clarify any points.

                  It is extremely doubtful that they would agree to this. So I have the option I think of replying personally to the solicitor's email to deconstruct in detail each issue that they are complaining about, or simply not respond to further issues and call their bluff. Much as I do not want to end up in court, our agreement to a professional executor has been torpedoed by my co-executor, and I am very confident that I can show their claims for what they really are and that they would therefore not have the protection of the Without Prejudice as to Costs.

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    I really don't think I can add to your considerations.

                    Generally I would always advocate negotiation over court action as being less stressful and less expensive, but sometimes the opposing sides just can't come to an agreement and the court has to make an order.

                    Does your solicitor not have a view on this?

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      Originally posted by des8 View Post
                      I really don't think I can add to your considerations.

                      Generally I would always advocate negotiation over court action as being less stressful and less expensive, but sometimes the opposing sides just can't come to an agreement and the court has to make an order.

                      Does your solicitor not have a view on this?
                      You can ignore all this as I have moved on and will do a fresh post.

                      Thanks again. Our solicitor has emphasised the futility of a professional executor (assuming no affidavit would be agreed by my co-executor I suppose) and being so caught in the middle, I will probably agree to mediation now. The beneficiary proposes it for this month which is far too short a notice for me. Numerous other outstanding issues that the beneficiary has not mentioned are involved and I may need several weeks or a month to prepare for it properly. Is that a reasonable request do you think?

                      Can the court make an order directly on viewing the result of the mediation or do you mean court action between us because of disagreement about the result?

                      My main concerns now are that many valuables in the beneficiary's possession that she only admitted to having recently and has so far not identified as individual items, could take us over the inheritance tax threshold, making the executors potentially liable to HMRC, and that if I do not deal with them now, the beneficiary may well turn up at some future date making trouble. To protect the estate and myself in particular, I think it would be prudent to record that each item I know about is either in someone's possession or missing.

                      For example, an item similar to the unidentified ones was given a value of 30 on the probate valuation but 1050 by a specialist valuer, and there are a dozen or so similar kinds of items so the sums involved are not inconsiderable.

                      Our solicitor has said that each party would have their own solicitor's costs but I am wondering whether a solicitor is really necessary for me, since I would be relying on provable facts from emails, documents and audio recordings of conversations with the testator rather than hearsay?

                      Would you be able to point me to a good web resource that explains the mediation process in detail in laymen's terms explaining what I can and can't do in a video mediation?
                      Last edited by Jesmar; 19th June 2021, 03:47:AM.

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        Couple of links to assist you understand the process:
                        https://www.inbrief.co.uk/preparing-...ion-procedure/
                        https://www.fenwickelliott.com/resea...n-guide-basics

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          Originally posted by des8 View Post
                          I really don't think I can add to your considerations.

                          Generally I would always advocate negotiation over court action as being less stressful and less expensive, but sometimes the opposing sides just can't come to an agreement and the court has to make an order.

                          Does your solicitor not have a view on this?
                          After reading between the lines of our solicitor's advice, it dawned on me that my co-executor's collusion with the beneficiary has put the estate in an impossible position, where technically we may become liable for costs, however unjust that may be.

                          It was stupid to even consider mediation or a professional executor in these circumstances as my co-executor and the beneficiary obviously intended to continue their Trump like double act until the bitter end whatever the consequences.

                          IMO it is an amoral legal profession that continues to allow executors who are acting honestly, to be denied proper advice on the laws that govern the process, by the very solicitor who they are paying, on the grounds that the solicitor cannot advise one against the other. The only people who benefit from it are the solicitors themselves and it is no better than cock-fighting!

                          I was obviously right not to rely on a solicitor to help with this problem, as it would have wasted more of my time and money, and the worst mistake I made was agreeing in the first place to joint instructions with a co-executor who I knew was going to be difficult to begin with.

                          Anyone in a similar position reading this should consider what to do about that very carefully. One thing for sure is that if you want justice, it is likely to cost you very dear, in time, money and stress and you will probably end up feeling like it wasn't worth it anyway and that is now my position.

                          A pity there are still other details that I can't avoid having to sort out but into every life a little rain must fall!

                          Comment

                          View our Terms and Conditions

                          LegalBeagles Group uses cookies to enhance your browsing experience and to create a secure and effective website. By using this website, you are consenting to such use.To find out more and learn how to manage cookies please read our Cookie and Privacy Policy.

                          If you would like to opt in, or out, of receiving news and marketing from LegalBeagles Group Ltd you can amend your settings at any time here.


                          If you would like to cancel your registration please Contact Us. We will delete your user details on request, however, any previously posted user content will remain on the site with your username removed and 'Guest' inserted.
                          Working...
                          X