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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71030
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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I paid for a shower to be fitted into a friends house on the

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I paid for a shower to be fitted into a friends house on the strength of her promising to pay me back as soon as she came out of hospital. It cost £2,700. She came out of hospital and gave me a cheque for the full amount, this was declined at the bank as her signature was not recognised, her illness had caused her to have problems with writing. Her family are aware that she owed me the money, I have the receipts and the returned cheque from my bank. She has now died intestate and I do not know how to recover my money.
Thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will try to help with this.
Did she leave any money?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Yes there was about £30,000 in her bank accounts, £7,500 in insurances on her death and a property worth in the region of £120K. She had discussed with me about making a will and making me her executor which is why I know this, but never got around to doing anything about it. Her family will now have to apply for probate presumably? She never married, had no children and her parents are still alive so they are her heirs as I understand it.

This is relatively easy to deal with provided the executor does not dispute that this money is owed. If they do, then it's going to have to go to court

Basically, you pursue the estate through the executors and send them a copy of the cheque and the returned notes from the bank and asking them to pay.

If they do not pay, you issue Small Claims Court proceedings against the executors on behalf of the estate.

The court will then decide whether you are entitled to this money or not although in most cases, the executors would pay up without going to court particularly if they can see that this is likely to have been the deceased ladies cheque and provided they can see the shower in situ.

Unfortunately, they cannot pay the debts until probate is granted but nonetheless, keep pressing them for this. Even if you issue legal proceedings now, they could be between six months and 12 months before they got court and that is plenty of time for them to get probate.

Put everything in writing and do not rely on telephone calls to the executor.

You can issue Small Claims Court proceedings by following this link

Can I clarify anything for you?

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Will the probate service appoint an executor if there is no will?

No. Someone (usually next of kin) applies for letters of administration (probate) allowing them to deal with the estate.
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