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Blocked Application for Letters of Administration Goes on and on . . . .

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  • Blocked Application for Letters of Administration Goes on and on . . . .

    Hi

    I'd welcome anyone's comment/suggestions/help on this. I'm sorry this isn't brief!

    After 3 years in a care home our mother died intestate, the will although obviously sighted had not been signed. There are 3 siblings: sister who had POA, prior to our mother's death and who has done virtually everything to assist our mother, the only brother, who did very little and expected payment for what he did do and me living overseas trying to do what I can to help and support my mother and sister.

    Brother wouldn't come to the solicitor with us to start the ball rolling regarding the estate, although he and sister were named as joint executors in the unsigned will. Brother had been told by us not to bully our mother for money (he still has a number of outstanding loans that we know will never be repaid to the estate as they are now deemed as gifts) and my sister as POA decided the estate couldn't afford to pay his charges for the renovation work to the house he wanted to "help" with. He assaulted her. Brother now has blocked my sister's application for letters of administration and intends letting the decision of who should be an administrator be decided by a hearing unless he can be satisfied that money isn't missing. He has made outrageous allegations that she while POA she has misappropriated assets from the estate, has renovated our mother's house for the sole purpose of installing her daughter in there rent free. My sister made an agreement with the local council to allow her to keep the house and rent it out. Luckily her daughter asked to rent it and she and now her husband have been model tenants paying market rent. The value of the estate has increased, the house now in a saleable state in a much better market. My sister has done very well by us all. Bank accounts show money coming in and going out again to pay care home fees. Brother wants all his (now considerable)costs met by the estate.

    So what's the problem? Ten months since our mother died and we are no further forward. Letters ping-pong back and forth between solicitors and brother keeps repeating old and inventing new allegations. It's as if he's in so deep he can't let go. We politely deliver all the documentation that we have to show him no wrongdoing has taken place, there was a face-to-face meeting where he accepted that all was well but then reneged and embarked on further allegations. We have no confidence in him and although there is another meeting planned we can't see if anything will change. What can we do to break the deadlock??
    Tags: None

  • #2
    Re: Blocked Application for Letters of Administration Goes on and on . . . .

    As a Caveat has been lodged by your brother, and presumably backed by an appearance the next step, if matters cannot be resolved must be an application to probate registry for a direction hearing or to commence formal contested probate proceedings.
    To continue letter tennis between your brother and your solicitor will only enrich the solicitor at the expense of the estate.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Blocked Application for Letters of Administration Goes on and on . . . .

      Originally posted by des8 View Post
      As a Caveat has been lodged by your brother, and presumably backed by an appearance the next step, if matters cannot be resolved must be an application to probate registry for a direction hearing or to commence formal contested probate proceedings.
      To continue letter tennis between your brother and your solicitor will only enrich the solicitor at the expense of the estate.
      Thanks for the reply.

      I suppose we were trying to be reasonable and have tried to avoid a direction hearing as we do not have experience of what this could mean and what further costs it may incur. We went on to agree to a joint administration for him and sister as that was obviously what our mother intended to happen (recognizing this could be tricky since he assaulted his sister). Now he says he declines because he cannot approve her wrongful actions as POA.

      Questions - what's involved in a direction hearing? If his sister was sole POA and was authorised to manage the estate why can he object as he does? Is this a vexatious action?

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Blocked Application for Letters of Administration Goes on and on . . . .

        Has your brother actually lodged a caveat, and if so when, as it is only valid for 6 months? If it has expired and not been renewed your sister could apply for letters of administration.
        What reasons were given for issuing the caveat?
        Or has he just declined to apply for the pair of them to be administrators?

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Blocked Application for Letters of Administration Goes on and on . . . .

          Originally posted by des8 View Post
          Has your brother actually lodged a caveat, and if so when, as it is only valid for 6 months? If it has expired and not been renewed your sister could apply for letters of administration.
          What reasons were given for issuing the caveat?
          Or has he just declined to apply for the pair of them to be administrators?
          Thanks for replying.

          He lodged a caveat after our mother's death in January, it appears he had things in place for when she died. We were told not to worry because it could be unblocked which it was then he put it in place again, I think. He gave us no warning of any of this. We had no reasons why, we were told he didn't have to say, however, eventually a letter received in June stated his objections were (but I don't know what his caveat application stated):
          Jewellery has been concealed by me and my sister
          Money misappropriated prior to mother's death
          The true value of the deceased estate has been concealed

          From a copy of his invoice that we received by mistake it shows that at least at the beginning he wanted to be sole administrator, a caveat had been entered, he was trying to get enough information together to lodge a IHT205 (although one had already been completed), had prepared an affidavit and fresh application to Oxford but was advised that Oxford District Probate Registry could not deal with it until specific issues were addressed, requested more documentation under pre-action protocol. Recently has declined being administrator either alone of jointly with my sister.

          It appears he believes that our mother had significant savings, he quoted a figure far and above what was found but insists that he was told this amount by his sister, which she denies. He states that the jewellery is worth 35 thousand pounds but after valuation that came much lower than this. Then he went on to say that jewellery had been stolen away. We have supplied all bank books, valuations and anything that could be relevant but he still requests more items that we do not have ie bank books for our mother's lifetime.
          Last edited by rainbowkiwi; 29th October 2014, 02:45:AM.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Blocked Application for Letters of Administration Goes on and on . . . .

            Do you think your brother has any supporting evidence for these allegations he is making?
            It seems from your description that he is being obstructive and does not intend to come to an amicable compromise.
            The constant exchange of correspondence is only costing with no apparent sign of resolution.
            Have you asked your solicitor about progressing to the courts, or are you considering doing it yourselves.
            A Directions hearing is a hearing where the Judge gives instructions about what needs to be done to get the case ready.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Blocked Application for Letters of Administration Goes on and on . . . .

              Originally posted by des8 View Post
              Do you think your brother has any supporting evidence for these allegations he is making?
              It seems from your description that he is being obstructive and does not intend to come to an amicable compromise.
              The constant exchange of correspondence is only costing with no apparent sign of resolution.
              Have you asked your solicitor about progressing to the courts, or are you considering doing it yourselves.
              A Directions hearing is a hearing where the Judge gives instructions about what needs to be done to get the case ready.
              Hello again

              He has no evidence of any wrongdoing (also I trust my sister implicitly and don’t believe she acted wrongly). He is asking for all documentation from my sister for her time when she was POA and then searches to find fault with them. She has supplied all documentation and bank books that he has requested and more. Fortunately she kept a note book detailing most activities and transactions.

              All he has is his insistence that my sister told him what our mother was worth (an inflated figure that we can’t understand). My sister denies saying anything to him about the worth of our mother’s savings. We know that he has snooped through her papers and we feel he may have seen something outdated that has led him to this.

              Our mother left a plethora of bank books old and new and various papers in a mess. My sister combined these accounts and has been accused of hiding money. I can understand him being confused by it all – it was a muddle!

              Our brother wasn’t involved with our mother’s care – he’ll only help if he’s paid – so I think he’s suspicious of our sister’s motives.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Blocked Application for Letters of Administration Goes on and on . . . .

                What has your solicitor advised?
                The dilemma financially is that if you proceed to court there are costs involved.
                If you DIY (to reduce costs) and your brother uses a solicitor and wins, you could be liable for his co

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Blocked Application for Letters of Administration Goes on and on . . . .

                  Originally posted by des8 View Post
                  What has your solicitor advised?
                  The dilemma financially is that if you proceed to court there are costs involved.
                  If you DIY (to reduce costs) and your brother uses a solicitor and wins, you could be liable for his co

                  Hi Again
                  Our solicitor has advised us to try to avoid a hearing to decide who should be administrator and to continue giving our brother the information he requires, presumably until he accepts that there has been no wrongdoing and allows our sister to administrate. We are planning on another face-to-face meeting soon, our brother has agreed to it if he has the latest demand for documents met. Our solicitor suggests that the outcome of a Probate hearing cannot be certain. In our brother's solicitor's last letter he declined the joint administration with his sister and I am unsure if he wishes it to be him alone or carried out by another agent.

                  How can actions carried out with POA be subject to this scrutiny?

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Blocked Application for Letters of Administration Goes on and on . . . .

                    I can appreciate your solicitor's concern regarding the lottery that's called court.
                    It will be much better if you can allay your brother's concerns and come to an amicable agreement over the administration of the estate.

                    Although I would normally support the idea of joint administration, in view of the problems encountered already, it might be worth considering the appointment of a third party to avoid the problems that will almost inevitably arise through the existing mistrust. That of course has cost implications
                    Also the estate might not be straight forward to settle, bearing in mind the "gifts" to your brother, the improvements to the house subsequent to your mother passing on, etc

                    My understanding (and I am open to correction) is that the attorney is responsible only to the donor and the court.
                    This would mean your brother has no right to question her but should report his concerns to the Office of the Public Guardian.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Blocked Application for Letters of Administration Goes on and on . . . .

                      Hi Rainbowkiwi,

                      My condolences for your loss.

                      Just to add to Des' customary wise counsel above, 10 months isn't a huge time for the weird behaviour that accompanies grief to take its course and it may be that your brother will come to his senses in view of the utterly reasonable responses he is receiving from you and your sister.

                      I'm also impressed by the advice of your solicitor - which to me implies a certain wisdom rather than the financial grabbiness that often characterises the advice given by legal professionals in these circumstances.

                      Be aware, as Des states above, that engaging a professional executor will take a hefty chunk from your inheritance - especially if your brother continues with his challenges.

                      I wish you luck and hope that, by bending over backwards to be supportive and transparent, you will convince your brother that all is as it seems.

                      HTH x
                      “Find a place inside where there's joy, and the joy will burn out the pain.” Joseph Campbell

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Blocked Application for Letters of Administration Goes on and on . . . .

                        Originally posted by des8 View Post
                        I can appreciate your solicitor's concern regarding the lottery that's called court.
                        It will be much better if you can allay your brother's concerns and come to an amicable agreement over the administration of the estate.

                        Although I would normally support the idea of joint administration, in view of the problems encountered already, it might be worth considering the appointment of a third party to avoid the problems that will almost inevitably arise through the existing mistrust. That of course has cost implications
                        Also the estate might not be straight forward to settle, bearing in mind the "gifts" to your brother, the improvements to the house subsequent to your mother passing on, etc

                        My understanding (and I am open to correction) is that the attorney is responsible only to the donor and the court.
                        This would mean your brother has no right to question her but should report his concerns to the Office of the Public Guardian.
                        Hi again and thanks for your continued help
                        It is very helpful to know that we are on the right track and let's hope that the next meeting finally allays our brother's concerns.

                        We believe that the estate will be straightforward to settle. We have accepted (as annoying as it is!) that the loans advanced to our brother are now classed as "gifts". As the house was renovated in our mother's lifetime to enable it to bring in a rental income to contribute to her care home fees and that this has subsequently increased the value of the estate, we are pretty confident on that - in any case the numbers do the talking. Thank you for your help.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Blocked Application for Letters of Administration Goes on and on . . . .

                          Originally posted by MissFM View Post
                          Hi Rainbowkiwi,

                          My condolences for your loss.

                          Just to add to Des' customary wise counsel above, 10 months isn't a huge time for the weird behaviour that accompanies grief to take its course and it may be that your brother will come to his senses in view of the utterly reasonable responses he is receiving from you and your sister.

                          I'm also impressed by the advice of your solicitor - which to me implies a certain wisdom rather than the financial grabbiness that often characterises the advice given by legal professionals in these circumstances.

                          Be aware, as Des states above, that engaging a professional executor will take a hefty chunk from your inheritance - especially if your brother continues with his challenges.

                          I wish you luck and hope that, by bending over backwards to be supportive and transparent, you will convince your brother that all is as it seems.

                          HTH x
                          Thanks for your posting and it's kind words. It is very reassuring to know that we are on the right track. It has been a very long, frustrating experience and the damaging to the family. We hope that the next meeting can bring a stop to the allegations and dirt digging so the estate can be distributed. Fingers crossed!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Blocked Application for Letters of Administration Goes on and on . . . .

                            We wish you all well.
                            Good luck

                            Comment

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