The other executor is my ex brother-in-law. my mother left me as the mainbeneficiary of her estate and neither of my two half siters are mentioned.this brother-in-law is a retired GP articulate and wants to meet with mealone but will not go and sign the papers at the solicitors. I want himremoved from the process but as my mother died on 1st Feb the solicitorsare saying we haven't enough evidence to make that happen. He thinks hisex-wife should have some of the monies
Sorry I made a mistake my sisters are NOT mentioned. I think his ex wife islooking to contest the Will
Thesolicitor is correct that six weeks after death is too soon to make a courtapplication to remove the executor. In any event, it cannot be done by thecurrent solicitors because that is a conflict of interest and you would befaced personally with finding another firm of solicitors. Some details of theprocess are here, but it is most certainly not a do it yourself job. Here issome reading for you http://www.wrighthassall.co.uk/articles/2010/04/13/removing-and-substituting-executors/
whetherthe ex-wife has a claim or not depends on a whole variety of factors such aswhether she was dependent on him and indeed, whether they were still legallymarried. There are strict timescales for contesting probate and administrationof an estate.
Meanwhile,there is no reason why the current solicitor cannot write to the executor,saying that give the current executor does not deal with the necessarypaperwork, there is a possibility that you (the other executor) would make anapplication to court to have this one removed and replaced and he would beliable for the court costs and in that letter, urge him to reply to any enquiries in a timelymanner.
Wills and estate admin can be contested on various grounds
1If a person doesn't provide for dependents, children incl adopted children ofall ages and a spouse (but not step children unless they have been treated asthe deceased's own childeren) in a will it can contested by making a claim under the THE INHERITANCE (PROVISIONFOR FAMILY AND DEPENDANTS) ACT 1975.
Details are here
2Undue influence if it is thought that the person making the will had been "gotat" when drafting the will.
3Or if, when drafting the will the person lacked mental capacity/didn't knowwhat he/she was doing
There are strict time limitsfor contesting will under 1 above of 6 months from death.
Claims under 2 or 3 above 12months.
Claims under 4, no time limit.
Promissory Estoppell. This is atechnical legal doctrine not used very often. It says that if anyone has beenpromised something during the lifetime of a person and they relied on that promise to theirdetriment then they are entitledto have whatever was promised. The classic case is indeed the young man on thefarm, who is told by the old man "don't go off to seek your fortune son, butstick with me and work on the farm and I will leave it to you when I die,".
So the young man doesn't go offto seek his fortune and stays and works on the farm and it turns out that whenthe old man dies he leaves everything in his estate to the prize cow, Daisy orhis new girlfriend, who is 30 years younger than he is. In that case, the youngman having given up a future (to his detriment) on the basis that one day (hewas promised) the farm would be his and he believed it and relied on it, he canget a court order that the farm is transferred to him. Such claims are notcheap or quick to bring in do require a large burden of proof of the promiseand reliance to detriment.
Anyone can get a copy of a willonce it has been admitted to probate from HM probate registry, upon the paymentof five pounds.Anyone can also hold up the granting of probate by entering a caveat at theprobate registry. At least, they will then find out if there is a will. Theentering of a caveat will certainly wake up any executors. Some explanatorydetails are here;http://www.anthonygold.co.uk/site/ang_articles/ang_articles_filing_a_caveat_first_step_in_contesting_a_willIfthere is no will the estate is distributed under terms of the rules ofintestacyhttp://www.adviceguide.org.uk/england/relationships_e/relationships_death_and_wills_e/who_can_inherit_if_there_is_no_will___the_rules_of_intestacy.htm
CanI help further?
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Under the Meanwhile paragraph, how long should I wait before instructing the solicitor to make this type of court application?
What are the time limits for applying for probate? as the other executor could hold things up indefinitely?
How long have we got to apply for probate as The other executor will keep me wainting indefinitely?
Idon't know whether the other executor has done absolutely nothing whatsoeverand is ignoring correspondence or just being dilatory
Iwould tell him that unless he responds with another two weeks. You will thenmake a court application to having removed as an executor on the basis that heis not acting in the best interest of the beneficiaries and you will asked thecourt to award costs against him. By that stage, it will be two months and Ithink that's not unreasonable
Thereis no timescale for applying for probate. However, you will not get probate withoutpaying inheritance tax, if any, is due.
Thereis a strict timescale for paying inheritance tax after probate is granted, which is six months.If the estate is over £325,000 it would would be worthwhile bringing that tohis attention because the beneficiaries can hold him personally liable for anypenalties imposed by the revenue. http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/payinghmrc/inheritance.htm