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Clare, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 35574
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practice since 1985 with a wide general experience.
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My friend's Will identified 2 executors. She later told me

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My friend's Will identified 2 executors. She later told me that she wanted me to be executor, which I agreed to. After she died (December last year) I found out that she had not changed her Will to name me as executor. One executor cannot fulfil her duties and wants to stand down. The other is willing to be an executor but cannot fulfil all the duties. We all three would like executor one to stand down and for me to take her place, but we have been given conflicting information as to whether this can be done.
HiThank you for your questionMy name is ***** ***** do my best to help you but I need some further information firstHow far has the Probate process reached?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Probate has not yet been applied for. At the moment I am working as acting executor under authority from the other two named executives. However, despite knowing this the solicitor we have appointed keeps sending information to one of the other executors, nothing to me and does not copy to the second executor. I only know what information she needs for Probate from the executor to whom she sends the letters, who copies them to me. I am the only one of the three of us who is in a position to do all this work. There is a possibility that the Will may be contested, which is why the two named executors do not want me to be "left on my own" to deal with that if it happens. Hope that helps.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
(Posted by JustAnswer at customer's request) Hello. I would like to request the following Expert Service(s) from you: Live Phone Call. Let me know if you need more information, or send me the service offer(s) so we can proceed.
Do you understand that the site charges more for a Phone Call.Have all the assets been identified?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
No, didn't know about the charges for a phone call. In that case will continue with messages.
I have most of the information regarding assets; am still awaiting info from a few I have written to (shares and insurance). I have sorted bank accounts, utilities, the car and house insurance. I am currently paying for gas, electricity and house insurance.
What is the extent of the Estate?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Bungalow worth approx. £120,000 (no mortgage), Bank accounts with approx. £1,500, cash £1,000, car worth £150. Contents of bungalow worth estimated below £500. Insurance policy to date approx. £1,000. Shares to date approx. £60. Funeral already paid for out of current bank account.
What is the possible contest about?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
My friend's son inherited her father's substantial estate on his 35th birthday. It was her decision as at the time she was financially secure and married. 9 years ago he fell out with her and refused to have any contact with her or call her mother. She was devastated and did not provide for him in her will because of his actions and because he had inherited already. She was divorced about the time of the split and he did not help her in any way. He may contest the Will although I think he knows he has not inherited. I have been in contact with him regularly since his mother's death and he has not mentioned the Will other than asking for a copy after Probate has been awarded. He says all he wants are some photos of his family for his son.
How much did he inherit?Who has the estate been left to?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I think £50,000 plus a house but I don't know the details. Beneficiaries are one executor who has 50%, myself 30% and a charity 20%. Her reasons for her son not to inherit is written into the Will.
Given that most of the work appears to have been done is there any reason why you need to be appointed as an executor rather than continuing as now?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
The problem we have is that our solicitor does not seem to understand/acknowledge that I am the person who should be contracted regarding the information she needs etc. She is contacting the executor who does not want to continue with her requests for information, does not copy in the other executor and totally ignores me! We are all three getting rather fed up of her inability to understand our different positions. When we first met we explained how we wanted to work. She told me she didn't think we could do the step down/exchange but she would find out. Also said she would send me a list of things I needed to do. Neither occurred. Suddenly she starts communicating with the executor who wants to stand down as if she is fulfilling the executor's role. We are all getting frustrated and can't get a straight answer from anyone to the question I originally asked you. Can this be done or not. She thinks the only way for me to be executor is for both named executors to stand down and for me then to take on that position. We want the second executor to remain as she has a law background as support for me. So my question remains - can one executor stand down and be replaced by me or not? You seemed to be our only hope of getting a straight answer.
The solicitor is not writing to you as ethically she cannot do so - you are not an Executor of the WillI agree that she should have explained this to you from the beginning.It is also common to save costs by only writing to ONE Executor unless there is a dispute between the Executors - but again this should have been explained.With regard to replacing an Executor that is more complex.The executor who does not wish to apply can certainly renounce the right to apply for a Grant - although in this case it could well be argued that the Executor has already "inter meddled" in the Estate and is therefore not entitled to do so.However it is still open to that Executor to have "power reserved" and not actually apply for the Grant.However this will NOT mean that you can then become an Executor.Even if both the Executors refused to act the next person entitled to claim is the Son.If he refuses to do so then the Probate Court could consider it - but in fact it is more likely that the Charity would (and could) insist that an independent professional executor is appointed.All of this will drive up the costs of administrating what is at best a modest estate.Frankly I would suggest that if Executor one really does not wish to act then power is reserved (meaning they can get involved later if need be) and you continue to support the Second executor by dealing with everything that needs to be dealt with and simply presenting the paperwork to Executor two for signature.I appreciate that this is not the news that you wanted to hear - but it is the legal position as it isPlease ask if you need further details
Clare and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hello Clare.
At last we have our answer and I am so grateful for that information. Yes, our solicitor should have explained all this to us and saved us a lot of frustration and angst. I have spoken to executive one and she is very happy to, at last, had it all explained to us. A big "Thank You" from us both. Joan.
You are most welcome I hope things go smoothly
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I am sure things will be easier from now on. Many thanks again. Kind regards, Joan.