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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 32086
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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can an executor impose conditions before distribution?

Customer Question

My sister was loaned a sum of money by my father which she repaid and was noted in my father's will. She then loaned another sum which was not repaid and which she now says he gifted to her, something my brother and I have disputed. We have jointly written to her several times about returning the sum to the estate but she has ignored our requests. In fact she asked us to forward her medical evidence as to his mental state (he was 93). As he was not diagnosed with any mental deterioration, etc, and therefore evidence would not be forthcoming she decided that the loan was a 'gift'. My father's will was proved invalid due to inadequate signature. We had all seen the will but didn't realise the mistake. My sister, as executor, found out during closing of an account and took it upon herself to apply for Grant of Administration without informing or discussing the position with my brother or myself. The original will had her and her husband as executors but not sure what the Grant says - I have applied for a copy. She informed us after 4 months the position re invalidity of the will and said as we couldn't prove the loan wasn't a gift she had gone ahead with obtaining the Grant. I am presuming she added the 'gift' into the application form for the Grant as would be the normal case with obtaining probate. She has now written to us saying that if we do not give written objection to the 'gift' within 7 days she will presume that we accept it is a gift and move to distributing the funds of the estate. Legally does she have any right to impose conditions on the beneficiaries before distributing the funds? Is she legally able to do that as administrator/executor? Many thanks for your help.

Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Nicola-mod replied 3 years ago.
I've been working hard to find a Professional to assist you with your question, but sometimes finding the right Professional can take a little longer than expected.
I wonder whether you're ok with continuing to wait for an answer. If you are, please let me know and I will continue my search. If not, feel free to let me know and I will cancel this question for you.
Thank you!
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hello Nicola

Thanks for your message. Yes, please continue to find someone who has some experience in this field as it is something I would like more info on.

I think she has no legal right to impose conditions as an Administrator of a Grant but need clarification. Not sure if it also seen as a criminal offence as there are such strict laws covering administrators/executors.

Also would a lawyer advise her that we, the beneficiaries, need to provide proof, medical or otherwise, that our father didn't gift the loan to her. Surely the onus is on her to provide proof as we have written proof in his will?

Questions, questions!


Expert:  Nicola-mod replied 3 years ago.
We will continue to look for a Professional to assist you.
Thank you for your patience,