How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Clare Your Own Question
Clare, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 34905
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practice since 1985 with a wide general experience.
Type Your Law Question Here...
Clare is online now

My Mother died on 12th December 2013. It is hard enough to

Customer Question

My Mother died on 12th December 2013. It is hard enough to cope without what I am going to add. My mother remarried about 8/9 years ago. She left three children, a son and two daughters. There had been problems with my sister towards me due to me leaving my husband nine years ago. The reason I believe was down to jealousy, however, over the years she has also turned my brother and her family against me. This is not the problem only a narrow build-up of the situation. Unfortunately my mother named her son as the only executor of the will so my hands are totally tied. At the end of my mother’s days my brother and sister had also fallen out with mom’s husband and he never wanted anything more to do with them. So when mom died I was the only person that could portray information to them both and I did this out of dignity and respect for my mother.
I kept in touch with mom’s husband every day even though we live a 147 miles away from each other. I promised my mother I would because she loved him so much, so much that she wanted to be buried with him and not my father. My brother has had a meeting with mom’s solicitor, who also by the way represents her husband, which I feel is a conflict of interest. I have repeatedly asked my brother questions about probate and have received very little information from him. To date probate as far as I know has not yet been applied for. I understand from my brother that mom made a very rogue will and according to her solicitor she left her assets to her children but gave her husband access to the interest on these assets for life. I fully understand this. After moms demise her husband spent money after money on a new car, golf clubs, TVs and bailing his son out of his debts. I got concerned about this because just prior to my mom’s death he told me that he had no money, he was practically crying about it to me. I informed my brother about this otherwise he would have never known. I believe that he has cashed in moms ISA’s and accounts but don’t have evidence or access to evidence.
My brother asked me to keep an eye on him and inform him about further activities which I did and continue to do so. Seven weeks after mom died my partner and I went up to visit her husband. He was fully aware and in agreement to our visit. We met in a pub because we arrived late and before he had even put his coat on the back of a chair he started to tell me that he met another women three weeks before and that he was going to Gretna Green to marry her. I was devastated by this news because my mother’s ashes still remained in the funeral home by his request. Now because he paid for the funeral costs, even though he used my mother’s money, I again have no rights to know the where about of her ashes. He has not and won’t tell us if he has interned mom or not. He has totally moved on from my mother and has betrayed her legacy to him. Prior to our visit to see him my brother asked me to get a copy of the death certificate because he couldn’t do anything without it. He also asked me to get photos of the house and moms jewellery. I did this for him without hesitation.
This weekend my brother asked me to list everything in the house which I have also done for him. It took me hours only for him to tell me that he cannot use this information therefore I am not sure what the point of this exercise was all about. I have repeatedly offered my help to him only to be told that pressure is his middle name and he doesn’t need help. When I ask him what he has done about the outstanding issues he treats me like a nuisance and he will not return my calls, however, I have received an email from him today which basically is pushing me aside and telling me I need to trust him, with again no information of what he has done. I feel that I am rapped by him because he is not pro-active. In the meantime my mother’s husband is having a field day with her assets and I remain in the dark.
As a beneficiary in my mother’s will, I need to know if I can I become an executor of the will at this stage, if not, what are my legal rights standing independently in this utter mess and how do I get the answers I require from the Executor without reprisal?
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
I do understand how distressing all this is
However it is early days in terms of your brother obtaining probate - on average it can take between six and nine months - sometimes longer
You cannot be added as an Executor I am afraid, and there is no basis at present to challenge your brother's actions.
If there has been no progress after a year then you can indeed seek an explanation for the delay
You may however be reassured that as Executor your brother may be able to retrieve your mother's ashes
I am sorry not to be able to give you the news that you wanted - please ask if you need further details
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

What will my options be in 12 months time

Expert:  Clare replied 4 years ago.
If no action at all has been taken by then you can consider applying to have your brother replaced as Executor by an independent person
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thank you very much

Expert:  Clare replied 4 years ago.
You are welcome - please ask if you need further details