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JGM, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 12071
Experience:  30 years as a practising solicitor.
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I am the executor of my late uncle's estate. When my uncle

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I am the executor of my late uncle's estate. When my uncle died a friend of his who was with him when he was hospitalised accessed his property and removed his will and bank books which she later passed to me. I have reason to believe that jewellery and money may have been removed from the property although I realise that this would be hard to prove. This friend was a joint account holder on one of my uncle's bank books as he was housebound and she withdrew money when he needed it. She handed this book to me to pass to the probate solicitor and when contacted by the solicitor verbally admitted that the money was my uncle's and that she was only a signatory as he was housebound. She agreed to go to the bank and have a cheque made out to the solicitor, however when advised that the money legally passed to her she then stated that my uncle had advised her that the money was hers should anything happen to him and has refused to hand it over. I understand that as my uncle was probably not aware of the legal implications of having this person as joint account holder there is now very little that I can do as the money legally passes to her. I wrote to her hoping that morally she would do the decent thing as a young niece and a charity are beneficiaries of the will and they are losing out because of her actions. As expected she refused to concede that the money formed part of the estate and replied with a particularly nasty letter. As stated I have reason to believe that jewellery and money are also missing but I have no proof. I would however like to know if this person was legally entitled to enter my uncle's property after his death without permission and if there is any action I can take against her for doing so. My email address is *****@******.***

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Thank you for your question.
Immediately upon someone's death the estate passes to the executor to deal with so she had no right to go anywhere near the estate after the death.
As far as the bank account is concerned, it may be banking law that a joint account passes to th survivor. However, ownership in the money in the account depends on who contributed it and the executor can pursue the joint account holder for the money due to the estate. There is a presumption that the money is owned equally between the account holders but that presumption can be displaced, particularly if the money was only put into joint names for convenience, ie, to enable one party to assist the other.
You can pursue for the money in the account and anything else that might be missing from the estate. See a solicitor.
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JGM, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 12071
Experience: 30 years as a practising solicitor.
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