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Solicitor stopping executors

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  • Solicitor stopping executors

    Hi,

    I’m new here to the forum and would like some advice regarding my grandmother’s will.

    She died November 2023 and has 100K in bank accounts and a mortgage free house.

    She has appointed myself and my uncle as executors and we are the only beneficiaries as well. My mother would have been an executor/beneficiary but she passed away so her half is coming down to me.

    We have applied for Grant of Probate and we have mentioned to the solicitor that we would like to have some early access of the money once that comes through.
    We were hoping to apply for an interim payment of 10K each so that we have some financial help as we have both had some money troubles recently and have had to pay out (I’ve had car/caravan troubles and have paid £5K since Christmas).

    We are both happy to apply for this as it means 80K is still in the account to cover any issues that could come up RE the house sale.

    HOWEVER the solicitor keeps telling us no and to wait until the house is sold. We keep saying all we want to apply for is a small amount which would help us greatly whilst we wait for the house to be sold.

    My question is, can the solicitor dictate how we manage the account once Probate comes through?
    He’s not the executor. He keeps telling us wait in case house issues come up, but we’ve said we’re keeping 80K in there for that?

    Does he really have a right to say no? Can we demand a request for an interim payment? We feel he is too protective over the account and is taking over as if he is an executor.

    Thanks.
    Tags: None

  • #2
    You are the executors. Your solicitor advises you. You may ignore his advice, at your risk.
    Lawyer (solicitor) - retired from practice, now in academia. I do not advise by private message.

    Litigants in Person should download and read this: https://www.judiciary.uk/wp-content/..._in_Person.pdf

    Comment


    • #3
      Different banks release different amounts to executors before probate. £20k may be acceptable to some banks but not others
      There is a list individual banks release available on the internet
      As executor you need money to pay the house bills until the property is sold

      Comment


      • #4
        It isn't up to the solicitor whether and when you can access the money in the bank accounts before Probate comes through. It's nothing whatsoever to do with the solicitor. That's a decision for the banks to make.

        Once Probate comes through it's not up to the the solicitor to tell you how you manage the Estate unless you appoint the solicitor to carry out specific work for you, eg to handle the conveyancing of the house sale, or to give you advice on managing the Estate.
        All opinions expressed are based on my personal experience. I am not a lawyer and do not hold any legal qualifications.

        Comment


        • #5
          Thanks all.

          Pezza54, I don’t mean before Probate, as I know they can’t release any funds beforehand. The bank has said we need Probate.

          We would have thought that once Probate has come through, we can apply to take 20K out, leaving 80K in the fund for any bills or house issues.

          When we suggested that once we have probate we were going to take a few thousand out, he wasn’t even pleased with that. He said not to do it.
          I didn’t see what was so unreasonable with taking out 20K and leaving 80K in there. He was acting like we were being unreasonable.

          As long as he cannot dictate how we manage the estate then at least I know where we stand.

          If he refuses to accept our interim payment request can we complain?

          Comment


          • #6
            Did the solicitor explain why he gave you that advice?

            The two Executors are also the sole beneficiaries, so if you both agree you can transfer the money to your own accounts as soon as you have Probate and spend it on whatever you like. It's nothing to do with the solicitor.

            Possibly the solicitors have good reason to advise as they did but they need to tell you what the reason is if their advice is to be of any help to you. Is there perhaps a tax bill (in addition to IHT) coming that will need to be paid from the Estate? If so he needs to explain that.

            Why would you submit the request to the banks for payment through the solicitor once you have Probate? The solicitor has no ongoing role once Probate has been granted to you. You just present Probate to the bank yourself and instruct them where to transfer the money. All the money, not an 'interim payment'.
            Last edited by PallasAthena; 29th March 2024, 11:09:AM.
            All opinions expressed are based on my personal experience. I am not a lawyer and do not hold any legal qualifications.

            Comment


            • #7
              All banks release funds before probate, but vary to how much they will release. Please check the internet. Your grandmother's bank would have released funds to pay for her funeral

              Comment


              • #8
                Yes they have released funds for funeral expenses but I’m talking about them releasing funds to us as beneficiaries for us to spend ourselves.

                Her personal bank has stated that we are not allowed to access her money to spend unless we have probate as the money in her account is too high.

                We simply would like to know whether the solicitor has any power in denying us access to these funds when probate comes through.

                As in my original post, there’s over 90K in cash, we wanted a fraction of that for ourselves to tide us over financially. The rest of the money can stay within the account to manage housing bills etc.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Pallasathena, the reason why he said we shouldn’t release all the money to us is if problems arise with the house when we’re trying to sell it and we’d need to possibly do repairs.

                  But we’ve explained to him we only wanted to take a quarter of the money, not all of it.

                  We were also told by the solicitor that we cannot access any of the money until the house is sold. Even if probate is granted, as the ‘estate’ is still ongoing waiting for the house to be sold, we’d need to apply for an interim payment?

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    You should go back to the bank and ask if they can release more money to maintain the house and ask what is the maximum you can have. I might be wrong but I recall some of the big banks would release up to £50k before probate

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Gatomon_83 View Post
                      Pallasathena, the reason why he said we shouldn't release all the money to us is if problems arise with the house when we're trying to sell it and we'd need to possibly do repairs.
                      That's good advice, I would't disagree with the point he makes. Potential buyers might come back after survey asking for something to be fixed before they will complete. House clearance costs. Estate agent might recommend eg some external repainting and keeping the garden looking nice. And you'll need to keep up routine maintenance in the meantime, pay insurance, water and power bills, and possibly council tax. All good reasons why you need to keep money back until house is sold. There will also be legal and other costs in selling, but usually the conveyancing solicitor deducts those from the sale proceeds.


                      Originally posted by Gatomon_83 View Post
                      We were also told by the solicitor that we cannot access any of the money until the house is sold. Even if probate is granted, as the Estate is still ongoing waiting for the house to be sold, we'd need to apply for an interim payment?
                      I've never heard that argument before, maybe one of the lawyers here can comment. There's nothing to stop the Executors of an Estate making an interim payment to the beneficiaries AFAIK - I've always done that when I was an Executor. Who does he think you'd have to make an application to? You'd be making it to yourself! The two Executors are also the sole beneficiaries so jointly consider the advice and make your own decision.

                      There might be different considerations if Executors and beneficiaries were different people. Or if the two Executors disagree.
                      Last edited by PallasAthena; 29th March 2024, 17:30:PM.
                      All opinions expressed are based on my personal experience. I am not a lawyer and do not hold any legal qualifications.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I don’t think you’re understanding what I mean.

                        I’m not talking about releasing money for house bills, I’m talking about releasing money to myself and my uncle for us to spend on ourselves.

                        Probate has already been applied for, and that’s fine. We can wait until that comes through.


                        My solicitor just keeps telling us that when probate comes through, we shouldn’t take our inheritance. We should wait until the house is on the market because if any issues were to arise with the house (IE massive damp) then we’d have to use some of the inheritance money to fix it.

                        So I want to know whether once probate comes through, whether the solicitor can legally not allow us to get at least some of our inheritance.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Pallasathena, yes we’re both executors and beneficiaries and we definitely are in agreement as to what we want.

                          i totally understand the logic of keeping money back of any work as you say like painting etc. We’ll be keeping roughly 75K in there and hoping to take out the rest for us to spend on ourselves.

                          How do you quote a previous post by the way? Sorry I’m new here.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Gatomon_83 View Post
                            How do you quote a previous post by the way? Sorry I'm new here.
                            At the bottom of the post you want to quote there's a broad blue band, at the right hand end it says "Reply with quote". Click that and the reply box will open with the post quoted in it. Edit the quote if you only want to quote relevant parts of it.
                            Last edited by PallasAthena; 29th March 2024, 17:53:PM.
                            All opinions expressed are based on my personal experience. I am not a lawyer and do not hold any legal qualifications.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Gatomon_83 View Post
                              So I want to know whether once probate comes through, whether the solicitor can legally not allow us to get at least some of our inheritance.
                              Short answer. No. The solicitor is not an Executor or an officer of the Probate court and has no legal powers over what you do with your grant of Probate once you have it. He's giving you advice, which is fine and you should consider it, but he cannot prevent you doing what you want to do. It's your decision, not his.
                              Last edited by PallasAthena; 29th March 2024, 17:51:PM.
                              All opinions expressed are based on my personal experience. I am not a lawyer and do not hold any legal qualifications.

                              Comment

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