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I was named as joint trustee and executor of my uncles will along with his local solicitor. He left everything in trust and the interest was to go to my brother. the solicitor contacted my brother and said a mistake had been made in what had been paid to him and that he had to repay it. She has stopped the interest payments to him. I live overseas and I wrote to her expressing my surprise that I have not been informed. My brother has received a letter saying that I have been removed as executor and that the solicitors husband is now executor. It also appears (allegedly, that the total sum in trust has been reduced by some £80,000).
Not sure if you got my further info?
I am in Spain.
Currently I'm not in the position to confirm that the money has been 'misappropriated' in any way. I wrote to ask why I hadn't been informed, as joint executor, that payments of interest from the trust have stopped and asked for a full breakdown of the total sum and any deductions. I have received no reply. My brother has received a letter saying that I am no longer an executor and have been replaced by the husband of the solicitor. they included a brief summary of the sum in the trust which, according to my brother has reduced considerably. I feel that neither of us are in the position financially to get any further with this and would like to know if there is anything which can be done? If we take this up with the lady in question, any legal expenses required by the solicitor involved will be taken from the trust fund so its a no win situation.
Unless you are in the UK or unless you have would be a considerable amount of money to deal with the litigation, then what you can do about this is limited.
Under the circumstances the solicitor cannot simply replace an executor unless there is a provision in the will for them to be replaced.
I’m assuming you’ve seen a copy of the will and there is no provision for you to be replaced.
We don’t want to get involved in what could be extremely expensive litigation which could involve travelling to the UK, certainly for a court hearing, you are probably limited to firstly make a good complaint to the solicitors firms Complaints Partner (who could be the same solicitor!) If that will not bear fruit, making a complaint to the Legal Ombudsman.
The substance of your complaint would be the solicitor is doing things without your instruction and without your instruction he has removed you as an executor.
Can I clarify anything for you?
Many thanks, ***** ***** try doing as you say and making a complaint to the legal ombudsman.
Thank you for your advice.
Thanks Jo, I will take a note of that.
Hello again Jo,
I just wondered if you could look at this wording for me please? its the wording in the Will:
"I APPOINT ******* (name) Solicitor of *****address and Gillian Dawn Prickett (me) to be Executors of my Will (hereinafter referred to as my Trustees and the expression "my Trustees" shall mean any Trustee for the time being hereof where the context so permits)
I have asked this Solicitor (being the other Executor) why I have not been informed of any changes and she answered me:
'Firstly, I should explain that as power is reserved to you as an Executor, you are not legally a trustee of the ongoing Trust. The current trustees are myself, ****** (name of her husband) and our associate solicitor, (name). It was for this reason that we did not sonsult you prior to making the decision. However my fellow trustees and I are happy to discuss the matter with you at any stage.
Could it be correct that I am not a joint Executor and Trustee as stated in the Will? It doesn't make much sense to me.
“Power reserved” means that you are acknowledged as being an executor appointed in the will but that for whatever reason (don’t want to be involved at the moment can’t be involved at the moment or because of distance or practicalities or time or whatever reason), but “reserve the right” to be involved in the future if your circumstances change or if you change your mind.
It would be good practice and common courtesy to keep reserved executors advised of the up-to-date situation. Because they have now said that they’re willing to do so, it would appear to be an oversight rather than anything deliberate.
You are always at liberty to ask for your position to be appointed
Does this mean that I'm not a Trustee? They have never contacted me with regard to me not being involved. I understand that I am here in Spain, but easily contacted and accessible. I also don't understand how there are now other people acting as Trustees who were not mentioned in the Will?
It means that you are not a trustee but you can be if you wish. There is nothing to stop you telling them that you now wish to be involved.
It’s always possible toad another trustee because it’s never a good idea having one as a loan trustee cannot give a valid receipt for money
Many thanks Jo.