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Who were the executors appointed in the will?
Who instructed the solicitors?
Who deinstructed the solicitor and why?
I can tell you that if you refuse to care for your mother and they took it upon themselves to do that, they are not entitled to be paid for that except out-of-pocket expenses and they are not entitled to deduct anything from you in respect of care they provided and care which you did not provide. They may be annoyed about it but that’s the situation.
You are correct that the solicitor could give you very little information without breaching client confidentiality. You may be a beneficiary of the will you are not a client. In fact, beneficiaries do not have the right to see the will although they can get a copy from the probate registry once it has been admitted to probate.
You would not therefore be able to instruct that solicitor on a feepaying basis but what you might want to do is go and see another solicitor. There appear to be 4 beneficiaries who don’t know what’s going on and hence, if you divide those costs between you it will not hurt quite so much. I’m suggesting that because clearly, your brother is taking no notice of you.
The solicitor can write to the executors threatening an application to court to remove them for failing to act in the best interest of the beneficiaries and failing to administer and distribute the estate. With regard to removing them, it’s not an easy job and courts do not remove executors lightly because they have been slow. You would have to prove that they had done something untoward failed to do something which they are under a duty to do. Hopefully, the threat of the application to remove them and the threat of substantial court costs against them will be enough to spur them into getting rid of this and distributing the estate.
Can I clarify anything for you?
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Surprisingly as it may seem, no there are no timetables for distributing the deceased’s estate. The executors have to be reasonable in the timescale and reasonable has no definition. Complicated estates can take months or even years whereas more simple ones can be done and dusted in 6 months.
There are strict time scales for contesting wills and probate but not for the distribution. However if the property completed on 15 January the money would have come in on 15 January and even if there are other assets, the details of which have yet to come in (not that unusual) there was no reason why the executors could not do an interim distribution (part distribution) so that the beneficiaries have some money while they wait for the final reckoning up.
For arguments sake there is £200,000 in the estate and they don’t know the extent of the liabilities, they could perhaps distribute £100,000 or even more, keeping the rest back to pay liabilities.
To be honest, it should be quicker if the executors are doing a do-it-yourself job than of solicitors are doing it quite simply because solicitors have other jobs to do whereas this is the only thing the executors of got to do with regard to the estate and they will be keen to get the money. What you will very often find is that executors also beneficiaries and who don’t need the money themselves, will be slower.
With the majority of properties which get sold subject to probate, there is usually someone champing at the bit to get it and hence, soon as probate is granted they usually complete very quickly. It’s the gathering in of other assets which usually takes longer.
I’m glad to help.