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Clare, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 34895
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practice since 1985 with a wide general experience.
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probate being held up by my estranged sister following the

Customer Question

probate being held up by my estranged sister following the passing of my mum in February. assetts left equally and Solicitor is executor. Everything was going straight forward until my sister started questioning where the contents of the house were and wanted them returned together with dress jewellry divided between my mums sisters and grand daughters. She has had no contact with my mother for over 12months since my mum refused to give her any more money, previously having bailed her out to the tune of about 28K. She never came to see my mun in hospital or even to her funeral....but now she seems to be instructing the solicitor and worse he seems to be acting in her interests instead of my mum,s. Today the solicotors informed me that they had the locks changed on my mums home as there is a dispute. My sister has refused a meeting with me and the Solicitor to resolve anything that she has raised. I have provided all info requested of me and most all the items from the home have been distributed on the day of the funeral as keepsakes or gone to the charity shop. Nothing was of any monetary value. Does the Solicito have a right to change the locks and should I get my own Solicitor to help sort this out. We arre getting nowhere and the house is now overgrown and will fall into direpair if left much longer especially with winter approaching.
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Clare replied 4 years ago.
Thank you for your question
My name is Claire and I shall do my best to help you but I need some further information first.
Has the house in fact been cleared and had you agreed that with the Executor before it was done?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

We had started to clear the house as agreed with mums solicitor as there was nothing of any value just a lifetime of bits and bobs and the usual every day contents. As the house is an hour and half away from where I live we were just doing what we could on spare weekends. We never completely cleared it as my sister Tracy complained to the Solicitor that she had been to the house and items had been removed . The Solicitor then said not to remove anything else which we haven,t . You need to understand that my sister has a mental problem and is prone to drink. Most of her text messages threatening me are sent in the middle of the night. This is not an attack on her personality but her manner over many years has been one without empathy to anyone and she is entirely money driven, this would be confirmed by all members of my mums family.

Expert:  Clare replied 4 years ago.
In what way is the Probate actually being help up - is the property going to be sold and if so has it been placed on the market yet?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

House not on market yet as probate not applied for. My sister believes she was to have the jewelry and to give it out as she decided however this was not in the will and certainly not the belief of other family members. i was made power of attorney as my mum did not trust Tracy. Because she has made such a fuss the Solicitor is insisting that all the jewelry be returned to him for valuation. I have offered an Independent Valuation but he will not accept this and my mums sisters are not willing to hand back their keepsakes. These items are of sentimental value and have very little monetary value and were distributed in the first place with the knowledge of the solicitor. Can my sister dictate this and can the Solicitor insist on all items returning for valuation.??? Family members are all over the country and not just able to pop round with them. The property cannot be sold until probate is granted and I am trying to uphold a business and could well do with my inheritance but primarily I am worried that it is deteriorating and so to the value

Expert:  Clare replied 4 years ago.
Yes your sister is indeed causing a problem - but the Solicitor is in fact protecting himself and not your sister.
He accepted your assurance that the assets were of nominal value and authorised an interim distribution
Your sister has now told him they had considerable value - and accordingly his only choice is to recover the items get them valued so that their value (if any) can be included in the Inheritance Tax calculations. He does not have a choice in the matter.
He cannot obtain Probate until this is done
In the mean time he is indeed entitled to change the locks - and no you do not need a solicitor of your own to deal with this.
You need to work with the Executor - discuss what is needed to weather proof the house and if possible provide a list of what was given to who
I appreciate that this is not the news that you wanted - but it is the position as it is - do please ask for further details