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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 70419
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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My sister does not agree with the wording on the headstone

Resolved Question:

Hi
My sister does not agree with the wording on the headstone and will not attend a meeting to discuss. She wants it all changed apart from date of birth & death.She had nothing to do with our dad for the last 10 years and has done nothing since his death.
She has said she does not want to be contacted anymore regarding this. Surely I have rights as to what goes on there also?
Also can the estate be distributed between us if I do not sign any papers
Thankyou Mrs Wright
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Hi.
Thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will try to help with this.
Who is the executor of the will please?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Both of us I think

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Do you have a copy of the will?

Are solicitors acting on this?

Who instructed them?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

There is no will.

The solicitors I am using say that they can not ask her or put forward any suggestions as she does not want to discuss anymore. I know she is being awkward so the money does not come out of her "pot"

She said she would rather give the money to charity which i said is fine and even then the solicitors said they could not make her? I said she has agreed!

I instructed them.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
So is it paying that she objects to or the wording?

Do you want the money to come from the estate or are you willing to ay for it all?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

She objects to both the paying and the wording.

I want the money to come out of the estate as my dad has worked all his life and deserves a headstone. He has left plenty of money to pay for it.

I

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.

You are obviously at an impasse if you cannot agree between you what’s going to happen and are both executors.

I suggest that avoid solicitors arguing over this because a headstone costs in the region of £1500, your sister share is £750, and the solicitor will charge you probably £200 per hour with vat or perhaps slightly more to deal with the correspondence.

You can soon end up spending more in solicitors costs then you are actually arguing over which is only £750.

If you were to take this to court the loser could face legal costs which could be as much as £10,000. If you simply go ahead regardless and use your own wording and pay for the cost of the memorial yourself, your sister is then faced with a court action to get the wording changed and that is going to have the same kind of costs. She is unlikely to get that order particularly if she has been so obstructive meanwhile.

You cannot insist that she agrees that the estate pays for the headstone and more than she can insist that it does not. In cases like this, it went to court but would usually happen is that the court would simply maintain the status quo and there would be no memorial at all.

Can I clarify anything for you?

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

The headstone is £3,000.

If she does not agree to a meeting to sort out how comes she stills get a right?

She does not have a solicitor, she lied she did to start with.

Can the estate be shared between us if I do not sign any paperwork?

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.

She does have solicitors, you both have solicitors, the same solicitors who are dealing with the estate.

The problem here is that you are both executors you say and if you are both executors then you each have equal say in what happens. In the event that you cannot come to an agreement (she doesn’t have to go to a meeting together this ends in court, she would be seen to be unreasonable), the court is not going to the parties to spend money on a headstone unless there is something in your father’s will (there is no will) which expressed exactly what he wanted.

If you were the Sole executor, there would be no problem doing what you propose.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Right

What about the estate, will that be shared even if I do not sign anything?

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.

If you refuse to distribute the estate she can apply to court to have you removed. Also costly and risky and time consuming and very complicated.

You cannot hold her to ransom by suggesting that either she does what you want or she doesn’t get her share

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I am not holding her to ransom I just do not think is is fair that she refuses to compromise and why should I agree with what she wants on the headstone, where is my rights?

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
She has as much right to have no headstone as you do to have one. She will argue the same. Where are her rights and why doesshe have to pay £1500
Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
No, I understand.
But unfortunately the law is unfair sometimes. Ultimately she can complain to court if you do not distribute the estate.
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