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Buachaill, Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10978
Experience:  Barrister 17 years experience
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I am the executor of a will, and have distributed the

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I am the executor of a will, and have distributed the estate. One beneficiary has still not cashed in the cheque after 1 month. What do I now do, and who would receive this share if the person either rejects the money, or just does not reply to any letters.

1. A cheque is valid for six months. So, the issue as to whether the gift is going to be accepted or not has not been reached yet. Additionally, you don't need to ensure, as executor, that a beneficiary accepts a gift. You merely have the job of distributing the estate in accordance with the will. That is where your duty ends.

2. Accordingly, if the cheque is not encashed after the six months, you can then get the solicitor for the estate, to formally write to the beneficiary and see what the attitude is. A personal meeting should also be arranged. At that point the issue of whether the gift will be accepted will be reached. However, be aware that renunciation of a gift requires a positive act. So, not accepting a gift does not mean that the gift fails. So wait and see how things pan out.

3. Please Rate the answer as unless you Rate the answer your Expert will receive no payment for answering your question.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I wait for 6 months, and then see what the person wants to do with the inheritance. If there is no contact, then a letter needs to be written asking what is to be done. Would the letter need to ask if the inheritance is to be renounced, or can it say that no reply indicates that she does not want the inheritance?
If she does not reply, or renounces the inheritance, then who would the money go to?

4. You cannot seek to state in a letter that no reply indicates the person does not want the inheritance. That is totally unlawful and breaches every duty owed by the executor to the estate. You simply get the solicitor to write and ask what the position is. You can ask if they renounce their inheritance. But the normal course of events is to simply send a fresh cheque with the letter and ask if they wish to renounce to indicate a desire to do so.

Buachaill and 5 other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
How long can this go on for, and can the cost of the solicitor be taken from the inheritance?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
How long can this go on for, and can the cost of the solicitor be taken from the inheritance.

5. There is a two year time limit after which all claims against an estate cease. So, you can use the statute of limitations to end any claim by this beneficiary against the estate. Secondly, it is only if it is a general bequest, such as a share in something that you can take the costs of the solicitor from it. If it is a specific bequest, such as GBP 2,000, you cannot take the solicitor's costs from it.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
It is a general bequest, where all the children are to receive an equal share. If she does not take the money after 2 years, or renounces the claim, then who receives the money.

6. Dear *****, the money goes back into the estate and forms part of the residue of the estate. It is then divided amongst the people who are entitled to the residue.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your help

7. Dear *****, you are welcome. However, would you rate the answer in the other question you asked, please, as this is necessary in order that your Expert gets paid by the website (not by you).

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I am not getting a rating section. I have rated you as 5.

8. Try accepting the answer.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
How do I do this?

9. Normally, there should be a Button which suggests you Rate the Answer or Accept the Question. You can click on the Question and it should appear. It is normally at the top of the page.