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Clare, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 34889
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practice since 1985 with a wide general experience.
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I am a beneficiary of my late mother~in~law's will.. Probate

Customer Question

Hi , I am a beneficiary of my late mother~in~law`s will.. Probate was granted almost a year ago.My husband died eight years ago so my mother~in~ law willed what would have been my husband`s share of her estate to myself and my two children. The other two beneficiaries are her other two sons, both of whom had financial power of Attorney for the 5 years that she was in residential care. They are now both Executors of her estate.
One brother~in ~law seems to have controlled everything, both during her life~time and after her death. He invests in buy~to~let properties in central London and, shortly after her death, changed the solicitors dealing with her estate to his own solicitor, who deals with his buy~to~let empire.
THe other brother~in~law doesn`t seem to have any dealings with any of this and, when I spoke to him yesterday,didn`t even know what a Grant of Probate was !
I down~loaded the Probate from the Government web~site.
I am now being told by the non~involved brother~in~law that the solicitor has all the money now but for some reason won`t make a distribution to beneficiries so the whole administration of the estate is being switched to yet another firm of solicitors !
When I look at the difference between the gross value of the estate and the net value after inheritance tax there is an un~explained difference of about £300,000 ! I suspect foul play and believe that the other brother~in~law may have raised an equity loan against the value of his mother`s house to invest in more properties ! Could he do this ?
Is there any redress after the event?
Am I as a beneficiary entitled to see all the forms supporting Probate ?
i am being told nothing and it s nearly 2 years since the lady died ¬
Susanne Muller
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for your question.
My name is Clare
I will do my best to help you but I need some further information first.
Do you get a share of the whole estate - or is it a specific legacy?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi Clare,

Thank you for your email.

It is not specified in her will that I am to receive a specific amount.
There are various small amounts for specific benefciiaries and then the remainder of the estate is split 3 ways~~my 2 brother~in ~laws and the third share is for myself and my children. We are talking about an estate with a gross value of £975,000 which got reduced to a net amount of £391,000 !

I cannot understand why the value of the estate is so reduced. She had no mortgage or debts and if you take out £325,000 and apply inheritance tax of 40% on the remainder it is still short by aout £322,000.

Hence my suspicion that he has taken out an equity loan against her house (sold for over six hundred thousand) to fund his property empire.

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
As a Residuary beneficiary you are entitled to set of the Estate Accounts prior to the final distribution.
This should allow you to understand the shortfall.
With regard to the delay the starting point is to write a polite but formal letter to both Executors and point out that since more than a year has passed since the death of your mother-in-law interest is now payable on your legacy and you wish to have an explanation for the delay.
If that does not bring a response then the next stage is to warn them that you will have to consider applying to replace them as Executors.
More details here
I hope that this is of assistance - please ask if you need further details