How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Clare Your Own Question
Clare, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 35574
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practice since 1985 with a wide general experience.
Type Your Law Question Here...
Clare is online now

We have a dispute with the executors of a will who made an

This answer was rated:

We have a dispute with the executors of a will who made an ex gratia payment of about £1200 to the carer of the testatrix without asking for the beneficiaries' permission. They are now offering mediation to be done pro bono by an acquaintance who is known to us and them. However he is a criminal QC and is much more involved on a personal level with the executors than with us so we are disinclined to accept. What would you advise?

My name is Clare

I shall do my best to help you but I need some further information first

What is the relationship between the Executors and the Beneficiaries?

How many residuary beneficiaries are there?

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
The estate was divided into 6 equal parts. One share to each of the testatrix's 5 children and the sixth share to be given equally in share to 5 charities. One of the beneficiaries, a daughter of the testatrix, is an executor. The other executor is a friend of the testatrix.

How many beneficiaries are objecting?

What is the size of the estate?

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
2 beneficiaries are objecting. The estate is £1.4 million before tax and expenses. The carer was paid 3 months salary on the death of the testatrix (This had been set up by the attorneys previously with an employment contract in November 2016). However, when the testatrix died 7 months later, the ex gratia payment was added to the balloon payment. The fact only came to light since at first , the executors said the contact was confidential. Then after several obfuscating emails they admitted it was paid but said they were only being good employers. We are not sure if the other beneficiaries are aware that the ex gratia payment was lumped together with the 3 month's salary.

Just to check - not all the residuary beneficiaries are aware of the gift?

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
I'll find out.

That is important.

The fact is that the Executors had no right to do this and cannot claim the money from the Estate.

If they wish to give this gift that is fine - but it comes from their share - or the shares of all those who agree.

There is no need for any mediation - it simply needs to be allocated correctly in the Estate accounts

I hope that this is of assistance - please ask if you need further details

Clare and other Law Specialists are ready to help you