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Joshua
Joshua, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 25358
Experience:  LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice
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Hi I live in the Republic of Ireland, my mum died last May

Resolved Question:

Hi
I live in the Republic of Ireland, my mum died last May (Belfast) 2013, leaving my mums house to be sold to me and my two sisters, one of them was the executor of the will which went through probate in Belfast, both of my sisters live in Belfast Northern Ireland. My sister contacted me by telephone and the figure she said I was to receive was considerably less than what I had roughly worked out. If after looking at all the expenses, funeral costs, incidentals, estate agent fees, misc., her expenses etc., (which I have yet to see) if I still think something does not add up is there anything I can do?
For example if I think she is claiming too much for her expenses, or can the executor claim a fee for the work she put in and if so how much? If the executor can take a fee from the will can you supply a link to the law stating this for Northern Ireland?
If I can do anything how do I go about it, what steps should I take? I take it I should refuse to take any money that she is offering me from the will until all is settled and not sign anything? Can I get all the proceeds of the will froze while this is resolved before the money is spent?
Also the will stated that each grandchild would receive a sum of money, to be given to them when they were 18 if they went to university or 21 if they did do not. My sister (the executor) mentioned that she wanted to put my son’s money in a trust fund in Belfast under her name. To my knowledge there is nothing in the will to state that the executor controls the grandchildren’s money. Again is there anything I can do to ensure that she provides my son’s money to me to be put in a trust fund that I will set up for in the republic of Ireland.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Joshua replied 3 years ago.

Joshua :

Hello and thank you for your question. I will be very pleased to assist you. I'm a practicing lawyer in England with over 10 years experience.

Joshua :

May I ask please what your entitlement is under your mothers will? Apart from legacies left to grandchildren and so on are you entitled to 1/3 share of the residue please?

Customer:

Am entitled to 1/3 as you have stated above.

Joshua :

Thanks. Do I understand correctly that you have requested to buy the other shares of the property from your sister or sisters or is it intended that the property will be sold on the market to a third party and the monies divided between you all?

Customer:

The house has already been sold, the money from same divided by 1/3 the figure quoted by sister is well below my rough estimate after expenses.

Joshua :

Thanks. As a residuary beneficiary you have significant number of rights respect of the estate. You have a right to see a full set of estate accounts upon request in order that you can check the figures in the same and from there, you can request further supporting evidence if you are not happy with any particular figures that are shown.

Joshua :

the executor or is to claim reasonable and necessary expenses incurred as a consequence of administering your mother's estate. This can include postage, fuel, out-of-pocket expenses such as paying for valuations and so on. You can also include funeral costs which form an estate liability. a nonprofessional executor cannot charge a fee for their own time in respect of administering the estate. an executor or can however employ a professional advisers such as a solicitor to assist with some or all of the administration of the estate and such costs could be claimed against the estate providing again such costs are reasonable and justifiable

Customer:

thanks am wondering if I see expenses which are too much and no aggrement can be met what can i do? Also can the executor take a fee for thier duties and how much can they take?

Joshua :

funeral costs should be proportionate to the size of the estate. For example, if an estate is worth less than £50,000, and inexpensive funeral would be appropriate. For in-state of your mother's size, assuming it was somewhere in the order of between two and £400,000, a funeral of up to anything around 4000 £5000 would not be out of keeping. If you will costs are higher than this, the estate would need to be of a significant size to justify such costs as being reasonable.

Joshua :

in terms of estate agents costs, and agency of anything up to 1.5% would usually be acceptable and anything higher than this would require justification by the executor

Joshua :

if you are not satisfied with the figures that you have been given in the estate accounts, you have the right to request further information and justification including invoices where appropriate and in the case of expenses, complete breakdown together with receipts from the executor.

Joshua :

If you find the executor as exaggerated claims in respect of expenses, she must repay the estate such exaggerated expenses and the beneficiaries would have a direct claim against the executor will personally in respect of any such exaggerated claims. the same goes for any other costs which have been applied to the estate which are unreasonable

Customer:

thanks am wondering if I see expenses which are too much and no aggrement can be met what can i do? Also can the executor take a fee for thier duties and how much can they take?

Joshua :

the executor or is not entitled to take a fee for their time acting as executor or unless the will specifically authorises this. for example, some Wills will state that any executor or who takes probate shall receive a sum of £5000. if your mother's will does not contain a provision which expressly authorises the executor or two receive a legacy or fee for their time is acting executor or, no feet be claimed.

Joshua :

If you dispute your sisters expenses having had sight of them, you have the right to required to repay such disputed expenses to the estate. If she refuses, you can issue a claim against her in the County Court personally in respect of your share of the expenses you claim to be repaid-i.e. one third of the disputed expenses

Customer:

if am not happy with for exampe an invoice and my sister is not helping out what can I do then?

Joshua :

ultimately, as above if you cannot reach agreement between you, your ultimate recourse is to the County Court in respect of a small claims action against your sister to recover your one third share of any disputed expenses or claims she has made. ideally of course you would be able to avoid such action and resolve the matter between you but if you cannot, this is your ultimate course of action against her

Joshua :

Is there anything above I can clarify for you any further?

Customer:

no thats great thank you for your time

Joshua, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 25358
Experience: LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice
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