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UKSolicitorJA, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 4312
Experience:  English solicitor with over 12 years experience
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I am administrator of my mother in

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I am administrator of my mother in law's estate who died intestate a year ago leaving an estate of approx £150k. She had 3 children (my wife and her brother and sister) unfortunately the sister died 6 weeks after her mother but before the estate could be liquidated and distributed. This meant that her share of her mother's estate should become part of her estate. However the widower of Kay (the sister) refuses to apply for letters of administration and probate and is of the opinion that i should just hand over the money straight to him, I have refused to do this until Probate has been granted and then only to the executor/administrator. My question,please, is is there a time limit on the widower applying for probate and what should I do with Kay's share if Probate is not applied for - do I submit it to the Treasury as an unclaimed estate? Hoping you can offer me some guidance. Richard XXXX

Did your mother in law have a spouse? If not, did Kay leave behind any children?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

My mother in law did not have a spouse. Kay left one son aged 34.

Thank you.
As Kay was alive at the time her mother passed away, she should have inherited her one third share of your mother in law's estate.
As she has a husband, he is entitled to apply grant of probate if Kay had made a valid Will or letters of administration to receive her one third share. This will be part of Kay's estate.
You may give Kay's share to her husband, there is no requirement for her husband to apply for grant of representation.
Hope this helps
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Dear Expert,

My problem is that Kay's husband refuses to apply for probate or letters of administration. Surely I would have to have sight of the courts granting authority to pay over the £50000 inheritance to Kay's estate. Are you suggesting that I can pay the money to her husband without any evidence that he is entitled to it and bypassing the process that would ensure that any debts she may have left on her death have been discharged?

Kay was entitled to the money by law. As she is no longer alive, her husband would be the administrator of her estate assuming she did not leave behind a will and he would be entitled to Kay's inheritance by law.
He does not need to apply for anything as he is not the personal representative of your mother in laws estate, you are.
All the best
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Well I am surprised ! I would have thought that whoever was to administer Kay's estate would require the authority of the Probate Court to deal with her individual assets such as bank accounts and debts just as I did for her mother.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Relist: Incomplete answer. I feel the Expert has missed my point. Why is it not necessary for the widower of Kay to apply for probate to deal with her estate?

Not all heirs have to apply for grant of letters of administration in an intestate succession matter, and Kay would have been entitled to inherit her share under the Rules of Intestacy as she died after 6 weeks following her mother, see here
UKSolicitorJA and 2 other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Then why does the UK Gov web site say that it is necessary to apply for grant -

it clearly states that a grant of representation should be applied for to enable the "executor" to deal with the estate? If there is no will then the next of kin should apply to be the administrator. I am of course referring to Kay's husband dealing with her estate, not that of her mother.

Kay's inheritance goes to Kay's estate and I did not realise that you are referring to Kay's husband applying for grant over Kay's estate, I thought you were asking about him applying for grant over Kay's mothers estate.
Anyway,,whether or not he applies for grant over her estate is really not your concern, the fact is that Kay's estate is entitled to the money so you should distribute it as such and let him worry about distribution of Kay's estate.
Hope this clarifies
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I think we are pretty much in agreement!

I can only issue the cheque to "The Exectors of Kay ...... decd" and send it to her address, her husband will not be able to bank it as he has not applied for grant so I will still be left with the money in the bank!

To get back to my original question, what do I do with the money if the husband continues to refuse to apply for grant?

There will be no executors if Kay did not make a Will.
If Kay had a bank account before she passed away, you may transfer the money into that account by online banking of CHAPS.
Hope this helps
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

This exercise has been a waste of time, the "expert" failed to grasp the point of my question until it had been repeated several times. The final answer is so inane as to be laughable - she is dead her bank accounts are frozen.

A rubbish service.