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Aston Lawyer
Aston Lawyer, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10542
Experience:  Solicitor LLB (Hons) 23 years of experience in Conveyancing and Property Law
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I am co executor to my mothers will. The other executor refused

Resolved Question:

I am co executor to my mothers will. The other executor refused to communicate with me and supposedly any communication wold be done thru solicitor. When I noticed items removed from my mothers house I asked the solicitor to advise 2nd executor this could not be done without informing me because I was under the impression that it was a legal requirement for decisions to be agreed by both executors.

The solicitor did not inform me at that time that apart from issues needing both signatures, an executor may act alone.

Over the next few months I made several requests via the solicitor about house items disappearing and eventually the whole house was cleared without me or any of the beneficiaries being informed. At this point the solicitor did advise to my direct question that co executors can act alone.

If I had been advised earlier I would obviously have not needed to make the requests I did.

I have complained and the answer is that whilst it is advisable for co executors to cooperative this is not necessary and yes my requests would have caused the bill to be higher and offered£50.

The distress and anxiety over the months when I was trying to get information with no response at all was great.

Is this worth now taking up with the omnibus? The cost of the bill is relatively small especially as the total is to be divided between four beneficiaries but I feel the solicitor although always polite did not perform her duty of care to me by knowing I was under the impression that executors must legally cooperate but not advising otherwise.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Aston Lawyer replied 3 years ago.
Hello and thanks for using Just Answer. My name is ***** ***** am happy to assist you with your enquiry.

Well the answer is that executors can act jointly and severally but it is unwise to act severally (individually) on significant matters because if they do, that executor is responsible for that decision to the beneficiaries.

E.g if you are suggesting that your Co-Executor's actions have caused loss to the estate, the beneficiaries could sue your co-Executor for those actions providing they can prove loss. By contrast you would not be liable for those actions so your co-Executor bears liability on his own.

If no loss has been caused, I'm afraid there is little point in you pursuing this matter further, bearing in mind the costs reduction the Solicitor has offered.

I appreciate the anxiety and distress you may have been caused by the Solicitor not informing you of an Executor's right to act severally, but as there has been no financial loss, the Ombudsman won't make a further award to you, other than the offer the Solicitor has already made.

I am sorry this is not the answer you were looking for, but hope it answers your question.

Kind Regards
AL

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