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Ask Clare Your Own Question

Clare
Clare, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 33293
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practice since 1985 with a wide general experience.
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Recently received inheritance went through probate firm now

Customer Question

recently received inheritance went through probate firm now taken to court as overpayment received in his bank a/c back in 2011 where do I stand?
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Buachaill replied 9 months ago.
1 Dear E, can you better explain the situation. Who received the overpayment? You, or the deceased? Has someone asked you for your inheritance back? What have the probate firm said to you? What did the overpayment relate to? What inheritance is at issue?
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
the deceased was a parent who passed in dec 2011 was contacted approx. 1 year later through Anglia research as he passed intestate had not been in contact since late 80's he had 5 children the estate was shared between us. I was contacted via letter last year stating there had been an overpayment into his bank account from 2011 until 2013 they are now claiming the overpayment and interest via court proceedings the company is weightmans and there client is cabinet office the deceased had approx. 13,000 pounds to be shared between all siblings they are claiming for1164 pounds and 49pence per recipient now with interest added on top of this. is this legal after such a long period of time and surely it would of been picked up by the probate team prior to settlement of the estate? weightmans claim that there client wasn't aware until march 2013 the letter didn't state that it was a solicitor firm rather that they were collecting it on there behalf the firm Anglian research or probate office has not been in contact since sending the last letter with cheque for my share of inheritance
Expert:  Buachaill replied 9 months ago.
1. The first thing is that the estate of the deceased would have a defence of change of positionin relation to the overpayment. This basically holds that if there is detrimental reliance by the recipient upon the receipt of the monies, such that it is unconscionable to order repayment, then repayment of the monies will not be ordered. Essentially the estate has been administered and it would be unfair to now order repayment. Secondly, any order against the estate is now ineffective to force you to return the monies. You can also raise a defence of change of position to any potential action for repayment. In both situations Anglian have no method of enforcing repayment if the executor refuses to act.
Expert:  Buachaill replied 9 months ago.
2. Please Rate the answer as unless you Rate the Answer your expert receives no payment for answering your Question.
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
so to clarify as Anglian research have not been in touch regarding this alleged oversight they are the company who initially contacted myself and I then used to make my claim with regards ***** ***** inheritance and it was them who dealt with all legalities . I should then dispute the claim , that the claimant represented by weightmans who contacted me and sent the court claim form . so on the grounds that the estate has been settled and some time ago is there a time limit that they have or any reason under which they can ask for repayment from the estate would the executor have been Anglian research who I used to make my claim to the estate or would it be the probate service neither of which have made contact
Expert:  Buachaill replied 9 months ago.
3. There is a time limit of three years within which to make a claim. However, Anglian can be met with a good defence to repayment. This defence is known as change of position. Secondly, the executor of the estate would then have to pursue you for the money. If this happens, you should dispute payment. Again there is a good defence of change of position. Thirdly. Anglian cannot sue you directly for the money. So ignore this claim form sent to you. Anglian need to get judgment against the estate first before they can pursue you.
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
so the time limit is 3 yrs to make a claim is this from date of death or date of settlement of estate. how would I know if a judgement has been made against the estate would I have been notified should I notify Anglican research with regards ***** ***** claim made by weightmans on behalf of the cabinet and the claim form that weightmans have sent from the courts for repayment with interest alleged overpayment into the deceased bank account as far as I am aware anglian research has nothing to do with weightmans weightmans is the one who wants repayment via court claim sent
Expert:  Buachaill replied 9 months ago.
4. Time limit is three years from date of overpayment. So this claim is most likely statute barred. You should also speak with Anglian as to whether they have heard from Weightmans. However, be aware that weightmans are in a bad situation and they cannot sue you directly for the money.
Expert:  Clare replied 9 months ago.
HiThank you for your questionThere are exceptions to the aboveFor clarity - what was the overpayment of as if it was of benefits it is not statute barred
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
as far as I am aware weightmans client is the cabinet office and according to the court claim it is in regards ***** ***** service pensions what ever that means the deceased died dec 2011 they claim they were not made aware until march 2012 but weightmans only contacted in nov 2015 and the firm which tracked me and my siblings was Anglian research which then made a claim on my behalf for the deceased estate which has been settled already prior to any contact from weightmans and there alleged claim
Expert:  Clare replied 9 months ago.
RightSo the claim is in respect of overpaid pensionDo you have a copy of the Estate Accounts?Who actually obtained the Grant of Letters of Administration?
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
yes I have a copy of the estates accounts the probate firm dealt with this and sent me a copy of the estate accounts and a copy of interest and tax paid on the deceased estate. the company was wosley probate a division of Anglian research who made the initial contact informing me of the deceased death .the letter from wosley probate was in august 2013 and the probate officer who signed this was diane yarrow-smith .
Expert:  Clare replied 9 months ago.
Looking at the accounts and the bill - does it have any disbursement saying "statutory adverts" on it
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
no the only payments are swear fee treasury solicitor divorce search wosley probate invoice then distribution what was left of the estate between siblings the estate only consisted of a bank account
Expert:  Clare replied 9 months ago.
Who is named on the Letters of Administration?
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
letters of administration ? do you mean probate officer or the contact person from Anglian research or from the firm who is making a claim for the overpayment into the deceased account.on the letter sent in august 2013 they state concluded the administration of the estate this letter is signed by a probate officer which I mentioned beforethis is the only letter received by myself from probate firm wolsey probate as Anglian research dealt with my claim on the deceased estate
Expert:  Clare replied 9 months ago.
Is there any chance I can see that - make it easier to see if what I need is there
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
the letter from wolsey probate Ipswich is written as follows dated22 august 2013 I have left names and amounts outdear .........
re the estate of ................deceasedwe have now concluded the administration of the estate of the above named deceased .I have pleasure in enclosing a cheque in the sum of .......being the net sum due to you . together with a copy of the estate accounts for your information.
I also enclose a statement showing the tax paid on interest earned by the estate which you may be requires to include in your tax return for the year april 2014
yours sincerely
diane yarrow-smith
probate officer
there is a registered no registered in England no(###) ###-####the probate company that iswolsey probate is a division of the company Anglian research who tracked the relatives and signed them all up to make a claim on the estate
does this make a difference?
Expert:  Clare replied 9 months ago.
Just to get an idea - was in fact ALL the money in the Estate from this overpayment?
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
no not all the money in his bank account was due to the alleged overpayment approx. 1/3 I have emailed wosley probate enquiring if they had any knowledge of the alleged claim and if they had received any enquiries from weightmans. trying to cover all the bases and get a time line of events.
Expert:  Clare replied 9 months ago.
This is a case where there are a number of factors which are - to say the least - odd.It would appear that the Pension was paid for at least a year prior to the pension provider being aware of the death.Equally it would seem that the person dealing with the Estate failed to Notice the payments still going into the Bank Account and accordingly just distributed the Estate WITHOUT publishing what are called the "statutory Notices" which would have meant that the Pension Providers would no longer be able to pursue the matter.You need a great deal more information before any decision can be taken about your potential liability and whether or not you might have to pay.At this stage - to be frank - it is looking like errors by the Administrator which strengthens your argument that it is not appropriate for them to look to recover the fundsPlease ask if you need further details
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
what additional information do I need and where would I begin to find it? should I raise a defence against the court claim on the basis of time lapse and the way the estate was dealt with or I wait to see if I get a response from wolsey probate
Expert:  Clare replied 9 months ago.
Who has the court application actually been served on?
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
the court application was sent to me direct naming myself for the share of alleged overpayment I received a response from wolsey probate they say this matter had been dealt with via mediation and have requested copies of correspondence from weightmans therefore does this change matters do weightmans have a leg to stand on or are they pushing there luck
Expert:  Clare replied 9 months ago.
I suspect that they do - it is the Probate Company who may well be responsible for the mess.

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