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Buachaill
Buachaill, Barrister
Category: Law
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Experience:  Barrister 17 years experience
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I am sole executor and am a 50% beneficiary of my mother's

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I am sole executor and am a 50% beneficiary of my mother's will. My sister is trying to bully me into doing what she wants and is being difficult saying that she will seek legal advice. What's my best course of action?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Buachaill replied 2 years ago.
Buachaill :

1. At the outset, you need to realise that because you are the executor to the estate you hold the whip hand so far as the estate is concerned. Your sister is in a much weaker position. So I would advise you simply to go ahead and administer the estate in accordance with your mother's will. No one can stop you. So long as you follow the terms of the will, no one else, such as your sister can interfere with what you do. Realise that your sister's attempt to bully you is merely an indication of the weak position in which she finds herself as you have absolute power when it comes to administering the estate. Ultimately, if your sister gets legal advice this fact will be pointed out to her and she will have to leave you at it. so don't let the threat of legal advice deter you. The law is on your side. So just give your sister the deaf ear and move things forward by administering your late mother's estate.

Customer:

Thank you for your response. Can she do anything to have me removed as Executor as she has been emailing me with threats about me having to get her agreement with everything I do and says that I am personally liable for costs. The will says that I will not incur costs in any event.

Customer:

This is an email she sent me this evening:

Customer:

Peter. Your last email at 2.15pm in reply to mine today leaves me very puzzled and worried. I said nothing about form filling or legal matters just advice that could have been helpful and as usual you chose to ignore the content of that email. I sent an URL http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/inheritancetax/intro/basics.htm. This is the official HRMC government website and yet you go on about Wikipedia and Google. Don't insult my intelligence. The figure you mentioned of £250,000 threshold is clearly wrong. I am beginning to wonder if you really know what you are doing and while I am at it I do not want you to spend any money on the house the garden, unnecessary valuations or house clearances without my agreement; you have no right to use any part of my share of the estate without consulting me; if you use money from the estate without my agreement then you will by law have to stand the cost yourself. I have to agree to any expenditure that will be taken from my share of the inheritance. I am not saying that I will be obstructive but I will want to be given the opportunity to either agree or disagree. You do not have the right to do what you like. I think it only fair to warn you that I am so concerned about your unreasonable behaviour that I am going to consult a solicitor. I have copies of all your emails. They show a distinct lack of civility and a great deal of hostility and are irrational to the extreme. And by the way putting all sorts of strange covert posts on Facebook could get you into serious trouble. It is just as well that you removed them. I suggest you read up on what an executor is supposed to do. You will see that an executor has to act in the best interest of the beneficiaries of the will of which I am one, not act in a way that is both insulting and obstructive. Suzanne

Customer:

I hope you can comment on the above please?

Buachaill :

2. Dear *****, I would advise you to hire a solicitor to carry out the probate process, even if you wish to do it yourself. Given that your sister is looking at the possibility of having you removed as executor, you would be better off seek a quote from a solicitor and get them to handle the legal aspects of probate. This is because you need to know what you are doing when you act as executor. This person, Suzanne, whom I take it is your sister, is essentially querying your knowledge of the probate process and whether you are sufficiently familiar with the legal rubric surrounding probate, such as the allowable exemptions from Inheritance Tax for the estate. Should you get these matters wrong, you can be sued personally as executor. So to avoid this possibility, I would advise you to get a solicitor to do the probate. Any legal costs incurred in hiring a solicitor will be directly recoverable from the estate. So you don't need to worry personally about the legal costs involved. However, you are better off avoid doing things incorrectly, as your sister has already flagged your potential personal liability should something be done incorrectly. So to avoid you having some personal liability, I would advise you to leave it to a professional who is familiar with the process. This avoids any possibility of personal liability or being removed as executor or having a row with your sister which ultimately will diminish the value of the estate for everybody, much more that any costs associated with a solicitor doing the probate work.

Buachaill :

3. Be aware that your figure of a threshold of £250,000 is wrong, as your sister describes in her email. However, her assertion of needing her assent for everything is wrong.

Customer:

Thanks for your reply. the £250,000 I referred to was the CGT threshold that a separate HMRC form was referring to. Your advice regarding a solicitor is appreciated thank you. How should I approach a solicitor?

Buachaill :

3. Go into the solicitor's office and ask for an appointment.

Customer:

I tried to rate you but the webpage would not accept my selection.

Customer:

I shall try again.

Customer:

Thanks for your assistance.

Customer:

How many more questions can I put to you after I have rated you?

Buachaill, Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10457
Experience: Barrister 17 years experience
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