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late fathers estate, step brother involved

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  • late fathers estate, step brother involved

    background timeline:

    2003 my dad and his new wife bought a house to retire to for 162k, though the house is in my dads name.
    2005 new wife sold the house they lived in to my step brother for 60k.
    2006 he then sold the house for 165k and bought a place near where they retired for 145k.
    2009 new wife died leaving her estate to my dad. he did the probate.
    2012 my dad died. step brother empties accounts sells cars no probate done. moves into my dads home.
    2013 step brother sells his own house for 130k (15k loss).
    2015 i try and contact my dad, after about 10 year gap, to find he died in 2012 and no probate has been done and no solicitors in either area they lived has a will for my dad. step brother is not a blood relative. im next of kin as his son.

    ive applied for letters of administration. ive written 2 letters to step brother, one recorded delivery, no reply and not signed for. he is at my dads address as neighbour has confirmed.
    once i have LOA i will need some legal assitance to sort this mess out. anyone have any suggestions as to who i should contact? i dont have much money to spend on legal fees. sorry.
    Tags: None

  • #2
    Re: late fathers estate, step brother involved

    Hi and welcome to LB.
    Sorry to hear of your loss and ensuing problems.
    It sounds as if any relationship you had with your step brother has broken down.
    Was your step brother adopted by your father? I'm assuming not.

    You say he emptied the accounts.
    Do you know if he did this by presenting himself to the bank)s) as the administrator of the estate, or by possibly using your father's debit cards illegally or some other method?

    Regarding the bank accounts IMO you are best contacting the bank(s) to ascertain the balance(s) when your father passed away.
    Advise the bank(s) that if they released funds to an unauthorised person (your step brother), and if the estate cannot recover the missing funds the estate may proceed against them,
    When releasing the funds they will have obtained a letter of indemnity from your step brother and requested other information and proof of his standing.

    Regarding the house, although his wife left her share to your father, was their any provision for her son to inherit upon your father's passing?
    If not the house is part of your father's estate, and as your father apparently died intestate, it passes according to a strict order of priority.
    From what you have posted this would appear to be yourself.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: late fathers estate, step brother involved

      I have never seen or spoken to my step brother. I don't think he was adopted, he is now about 50. according to the bank he presented himself as executor and had a form witnessed by a solicitor, im guessing an indemnity form. he did this 9 days after his death.

      her will just says if my dad didn't survive her by 30 days her estate would goto the step brother.
      Last edited by adamk; 17th February 2015, 18:35:PM.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: late fathers estate, step brother involved

        Have you checked with Land Registry to make sure the house is in your late father's name? https://www.gov.uk/search-property-i...-land-registry

        You won't be able to do much until you get letters of administration.
        When you have them the bank's should release copies of the documentation and you'll be able to evict the squatter from your house.
        I doubt the form witnessed by the solicitor was a letter of indemnity. That is normally a form supplied by the bank and signed by the person to whom the bank transfers the funds.
        I'm guessing that it might have been an affidavit swearing that he had the right to deal with the estate. If it was he might be in deep doodoo.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: late fathers estate, step brother involved

          already checked house still in my dads name. could this just be a case of him being lazy?

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: late fathers estate, step brother involved

            Doubt it................. just hasn't got the letters of administration he needs to deal with it.
            You can fool the banks, but land registry won't move without the correct authority.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: late fathers estate, step brother involved

              I presume you have searched the Probate Registry.

              Given that you say you had no contact with your Dad for 7-8 years prior to his death, you don't really know whether he had a will or what his wishes were.

              This sounds like it will be an unholy mess to sort out.

              ETA: It is so sad how frequently this type of thread crops up.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: late fathers estate, step brother involved

                yes ive searched the probate registry online, phoned leeds ipswitch and Norwich, and all the solicitors near both there addresses. nothing. even the solicitor that sorted the wifes will has nothing. im wondering its worth me to asking them if they have a record of my dad making a will. maybe they are only telling me one answer to one question?

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: late fathers estate, step brother involved

                  Originally posted by stevemLS View Post
                  I presume you have searched the Probate Registry.

                  Given that you say you had no contact with your Dad for 7-8 years prior to his death, you don't really know whether he had a will or what his wishes were.

                  This sounds like it will be an unholy mess to sort out.

                  ETA: It is so sad how frequently this type of thread crops up.
                  I know from speaking to neighbours he did not get on with the step son, and as one friend of my dad put it "I don't think leaving it to him was your dads first choice".

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: late fathers estate, step brother involved

                    At this stage I wouldn't worry too much about the existence or not of a will.
                    You have asked local solicitors about a will and received negative replies. You can be sure the bank don't have it, as they would have produced it when the accounts were closed.
                    You presumably do not have access to your father's papers, if they still exist, so you cannot search those.
                    You say that "the solicitor that sorted the wifes will has nothing". It doesn't matter if they have a record of a will being drawn up, it is the actual will which is required.
                    If a will cannot be traced, what your father's wishes may or may not have been is rather academic as distribution of the estate is according to a strict order of priority.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: late fathers estate, step brother involved

                      update.

                      the second attempt at getting him to sign for the letter has failed. this time he refused to accept it.

                      is this looking good for my case or do you think hes that arrogant that he has a will and doesn't need to talk to me?

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: late fathers estate, step brother involved

                        It's not good in that one always tries to avoid family breakdowns and litigation!

                        I would be considering one more conciliatory approach to your step brother. Explain that your father's estate needs to be settled for everyone's sake.
                        Don't threaten legal action at the moment.
                        Don't mail the letter "signed for" but do get a certificate of posting. That way he won't refuse it as it will be delivered through the letter box, but your proof of posting is enough to assume delivery and will indicate you have tried to sort things.
                        When you receive letters of administration, and assuming you still have no contact with your step brother, you can write to him (again certificate of posting) telling him that if he doesn't
                        co operate you will be going to court to obtain an order instructing him to give a full accounting of what he has done with you father's effects, money taken from bank accounts and to deliver your father's house to you as personal representative .

                        If he fails to cooperate, as personal representative you can apply for a court order for the accounting, and a possession order for the property.

                        Others might have other advice for you.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: late fathers estate, step brother involved

                          I don't think hes the sort who is open to constructive discussion. more the sort who will fight tooth and nail.

                          spoke to a local solicitor, trainee, she said her fees are 120+vat and her boss 260+vat per hour. she said it could need to goto court if a possession order is needed, and this would cost maybe 1000.
                          in my present situation i dont have that sort of money. id have to save up for it. would a no win no fee solicitor be a better option?

                          just seeing what my options are, as im not sure how far down the road i can take this without getting legal people involved.

                          if i have an idea from the neighbours as to the personality of the step brother, he will probably make it extremely difficult to get him out.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: late fathers estate, step brother involved

                            Glad to see solicitor agrees with me re going to court for a possession order:tinysmile_twink_t2:
                            If it becomes necessary, why not do it yourself?
                            This is why I suggested the letters I did.
                            You need to show the court you have tried to resolve the matter by means other than court.
                            If your step brother is intransigent and doesn't co operate he is possibly shooting himself in the foot as the courts like to see a willingness from both parties to resolve disputes before court action.
                            It is not a process to be feared and you'll gets lots of advice and support from LB

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: late fathers estate, step brother involved

                              sorry to keep posting but this has become a slight obsession for me.

                              my Dad spent 3 months of the year, from what people have told me, in Australia with friends. im wondering if they had a property over there or savings? how would I go about tracing them.

                              also would overseas assets count towards any IHT?

                              Comment

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