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Questions regarding duties of executor

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  • Questions regarding duties of executor

    I am looking to get accurate answers to the four questions below which refer to actions of an executor, many thanks.

    1. With a small estate and no probate can executor distribute funds amounting to half the estate to a beneficiary before any tax and/or bills are paid?

    2. A beneficiary claims he set up an investment account in deceased's name and that monies held in the account are his which we believe is true. However, can an executor arrange to close this account and transfer the money to the said beneficiary without informing the other beneficiaries of the account and/or tax authority?

    3. On finding will was invalid six months after death can executor apply for Grant of Administration without informing beneficiaries of invalidity and discussing/agreeing on who should apply to be Administrator?

    4. Executor is also a beneficiary and maintains loan from deceased was actually a gift. There is no written evidence of this although there is written evidence in deceased's handwriting of a previous loan which was repaid. This is in dispute and executor has informed beneficiary that remainder of funds will not be distributed until we agree to view this loan as a gift and drop our dispute. We have offered to negotiate but this has been refused.
    Can an executor literally blackmail beneficiaries into agreeing in this way?
    Tags: None

  • #2
    Re: Questions regarding duties of executor

    Looking back over your previous posts on different threads you have mentioned
    1) an invalid will which named your sister as executor
    2) your sister becoming administrator
    3)a dispute about whether a sum of money was a gift or loan to your sister
    Then you ask about distribution of funds from a disputed will
    More recently you said while acting as executor (presumably before realizing the will was invalid) she closed accounts and passed a substantial portion to your USA based brother.

    This is becoming confusing.

    First things first
    Why was the will declared invalid?
    Who decided it was invalid?
    When closing the Nationwide account only a week after your father's passing I'm a bit surprised they didn't pick up on the invalidity of the will.
    You mentioned an amount of £7000, which now is claimed by your brother to be his investment account in your father's name. Rather suspicious sounding and does the taxman know?

    If a grant of administration has been made the provisions of the will should be ignored and the strict rules of intestacy apply.


    • #3
      Re: Questions regarding duties of executor

      A Building Society or Bank is able to make up it's own mind as to whether money from the Deceased's Account can be transferred to a relative, Executor or Administrator of Letters if the Estate is thought to be below the threshold according to the rules of Probate.
      So long as the person presenting the Death Certificate, proof of their ID, their relationship to the Deceased and a copy of a Will or other accepted document and is thought to be who they say they are.
      The Staff in their Bereavement Department can make that decision and does not have to wait for further legal proof.

      A Will can be found invalid later for several reasons.
      The wording of the original Will may not be accepted.
      A new or later Will could have been found to be written.
      Benefactors or others could come forward with a claim on the Estate originally not known.
      The Witness's to the Will may not both have been present at the time of the signing of the Will.


      • #4
        Re: Questions regarding duties of executor

        2. Administrator is obliged to close accounts which are in the name of the deceased.
        The accounting will be documented and any tax due to be paid will be part of that.

        3. If the sums concerned are relatively small and no other interested party has expressed to the Court of Probate that they wish to take over or be joint Administrators beforehand then I think the Judge can allow the 1st person who first accepted the role under oath to continue.

        As it cost £90 (a few yrs back) to apply, and the members with some dispute were family and no law firms were involved. It can be thought cheaper for the beneficiaries to communicate with one another to save them time and money.
        If one wants to inform Probate that the Administrator failed in their duties to communicate then the Administrator, who has been put under oath will be in some degree of trouble.
        Mainly Court of Probate try to keep matters simple to save the grieving further distress.
        Conflict amongst yourself will ultimately take time and money from you all and is not generally what benefactors need.


        • #5
          Re: Questions regarding duties of executor

          Whatever is decided, after funeral costs, debts owed by the estate must be paid first.
          There is a strict pecking order on who gets paid first, with the likes of HMRC taking priority.
          If the will is not legal, then the law decides who inherits the estate.
          In this case the beneficiaries are also decided by law, so existing people who think they are beneficiaries, may not be so, and they should check.
          The rules of intestacy will apply if there is no will, or if it is an invalid will.
          Only married or civil partners and some other close relatives can inherit under the rules of intestacy.
          If someone makes a will but it is not legally valid, the rules of intestacy decide how the estate will be shared out, not the wishes expressed in the will.
          Married partners or civil partners inherit under the rules of intestacy only if they are actually married or in a civil partnership at the time of death. So if you are divorced or if your civil partnership has been legally ended, you can’t inherit under the rules of intestacy. But partners who separated informally can still inherit under the rules of intestacy.
          If there are surviving children, grandchildren or great grandchildren of the person who died and the estate is valued at more than £250,000, the partner will inherit:
          • all the personal property and belongings of the person who has died, and
          • the first £250,000 of the estate, and
          • a life interest in half of the remaining estate. This means that if you are entitled to the life interest, you cannot get rid of or spend that part of the estate. You can, however, have the benefit of it during your lifetime.

          Children of the intestate person will inherit if there is no surviving married or civil partner. If there is a surviving partner, they will inherit only if the estate is worth more than a certain amount.
          A grandchild or great grandchild cannot inherit from the estate of an intestate person unless either:
          • their parent or grandparent has died before the intestate person, or
          • their parent is alive when the intestate person dies but dies before reaching the age of 18 without having married or formed a civil partnership

          In these circumstances, the grandchildren and great grandchildren will inherit equal shares of the share to which their parent or grandparent would have been entitled.

          The following people have no right to inherit where someone dies without leaving a will:
          • unmarried partners
          • lesbian or gay partners not in a civil partnership
          • relations by marriage
          • close friends
          • carers.

          It is possible to rearrange the way property is shared out when someone dies without leaving a will, provided this is done within two years of the death. This is called making a deed of family arrangement or variation. All the people who would inherit under the rules of intestacy must agree.
          If they agree, the property can be shared out in a different way so that people who do not inherit under the intestacy rules can still get some of the estate. Or they could agree that the amount that people get is different to the amount they would get under the rules of intestacy.
          If you think that the way the estate is shared out should be rearranged, you will need legal advice.
          “The only man who sticks closer to you in adversity more than a friend, is a creditor.”


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