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 Jo C. Your Own Question
Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71048
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
Type Your Law Question Here...
Jo C. is online now

I am executor of a friends will who has just passed away

This answer was rated:

I am executor of a friends will who has just passed away there was no immediate family, as they always portrayed that they had none. It came to light at his funeral (a niece attended as she saw his death in the paper). A brother phoned the nursing home asking questions about him, etc., The niece told me that all the family were estranged. Do I legally have to make contact with him?

Thank you question. My name is ***** ***** I will try to help with this.

Who has the deceased left his estate to in his will?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

He has left it to me, as I helped him and his wife (who passed away last year) with their day to day living past years.

Thank you.

If the will has left everything to you or to someone else and you are the executor, you are not under a duty to contact any relatives. If the brother wants to know what is in the will, he can get a copy from the probate registry once it is admitted to probate. The choice therefore is yours as to whether you contact the brother or not.

Can I clarify anything ?

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Once the will goes to probate he can then contest the will, as I am assuming he wants to know if they have left any monies?

He can contest the will if he thinks that his estranged brother did not have the mental capacity to do the will (which seems unlikely), if he was dependent on the brother (which he was not if he was estranged), if he thought the brother had been “got at” by you or by anybody else, (something called undue influence) and had been forced or coerced into doing something in the will which he didn’t want to do, and finally there is any suggestion of any fraud.

If the will was written by a solicitor and was written some time ago, he could well find it quite difficult to contest the will in any event

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

The will was written in 2008, and what I done and his wife was out of friendship and not to influence them into leaving me anything. They actually lived as if they didn't have a penny. I used to do their weekly shopping and sometime wouldn't take the money as I felt sorry ! I just find it really strange that he has now tried to make contact.

Absolutely right. Help isn’t undue influence at all

Jo C. and other Law Specialists are ready to help you