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Clare, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 35313
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practice since 1985 with a wide general experience.
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I was appointed sole executor of my mothers will, when she

Customer Question

I was appointed sole executor of my mothers will, when she passed away, among other things, I discovered the family bible was missing. Because I learned certain information about the family history, I endevoured to locate it.
In the last two weeks I have discovered that it is in the possession of one of my nephews who bears a different family name. Because of this and the fact that I have two sons and grandsons, I asked my nephew to return it to me for safe keeping and the fact that there is further information that needs to added for future generations. His reply was, If I asked him nicely he would think about it but he would not give in to demands.
I would like to know where I stand legally because to my mind, he is preventing me from carrying out my executors duties.
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Clare replied 4 years ago.
Thank you for your question.
My name is Clare and I will do my best to help you but I need some further information first.
When was the Bible last in your mother's possession?
How did it come to be with your nephew
Who has it been left to (if anyone)
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I have no idea when it was last in my mothers possession, I do know that my eldest sister had it for a time.


My nephew say's his mother gave it to him.


It was not left to anyone in particular and by tradition it has been passed on down to the eldest male of the line, the last one being my father who died intestate in 1958.


The first recorded date in it was around the 1850s as far as I can recall.

Expert:  Clare replied 4 years ago.
Did your mother give it to your sister?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I do not know how she came by it, neither do my other two sisters.

If I knew the answers to these daft questions your asking, I would not have spent the eleven years since my mother died trying to discover it's whereabouts

My mother told me when I married in 1955 that it would become my responsibility when she passed on, but there is nothing in writing to that effect. however, what is in writing is my appointment as sole executor and if she knew of the whereabouts of the FAMILY BIBLE, it was her duty to inform me.

Expert:  Clare replied 4 years ago.
Unfortunately all these questions are directly relevant to the Legal (as opposed to the moral emotional or ethical) position.
legally your position as Executor under your mother's Will has no relevance to the issue unless you can prove that it was in your mother's possession at the time of her death.
This need not mean her physical possession (which clearly it was not) but it does mean you need to prove that she had only loaned it to your sister - and not given it.
Unless you can do that conclusively then your sister is entitled to keep the Bible - and give it to whomsoever she chooses
Unfortunately what was said to you in 1955 is unlikely to amount to evidence that no such gift was made - and any court action you might feel minded to undertake is likely to be costly and - unless you have that conclusive evidence - fail
I am sorry I cannot give you the answer that you wish - but sadly the law is not as strongly in your favour as you hoped I am afraid
Please ask if you need further details
Expert:  Clare replied 4 years ago.
Hi Donald
I hope you have found this page again now