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F E Smith
F E Smith, Advocate
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 16493
Experience:  I have been practising for 30 years.
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A friend f mine has passed away and made me an executor of

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Good morning.
JA: Hi. How can I help?
Customer: A friend f mine has passed away and made me an executor of her will. Do I need to apply for Grant of Prodate, or can act using the will itself?
JA: Since estate law varies from place to place, can you tell me where this is?
Customer: Bristol, the UK.
JA: What documents or supporting evidence do you have?
Customer: I had and LPA (which I appreciate is now void) and her Will. what other types of documents would I need?
JA: Anything else you want the Lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: There were two executors listed on the Will, but I understand I can do what's necessary without the other?

Good morning. I will assist with your question - be aware this is an email not chat service therefore i maybe delayed in replying.

who are the other executors?

are you a beneficiary? are they?

is there a property/assets?

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
The executors are myself and one of my friends old work colleagues.
We are both benficiariess, the only ones. Jewellery goes to the other executor and everything else to myslef, after I have settled her accounts and made funeral arrangements etc.
There is a property, which is a 'Home for Life' arrangement (which I know nothing about, so will be investigating today).
Thank you.

It depends on the value of the estate. If there is a house/property or shares, then you will indeed need to apply for grant of probate.
The will itself is only proof of what needs to happen, it doesn’t give you the authority.
If on the other hand there is only money in the bank it can normally be dealt with under the smaller estate rules were you simply sign a statutory declaration at the bank that you will deal with the estate in accordance with the will or the rules of intestacy and that you have the authority to do so.

It depends really on the value of the assets but there is a property with a “lifetime mortgage” then you have no alternative but to apply for grant of probate. The mortgage will need to be repaid in addition before the property is sold although there may be very little equity in it depending on how long the mortgage has been in place for and whether the interest was being paid or was being rolled up.

Before instructing solicitors, if you don’t feel capable of dealing with it yourself, you need to ascertain the net value of the estate to make sure there is actually enough money to pay the solicitors bill.

Can I clarify anything else for you?

I am happy to answer any specific points arising from this.

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Thank you.

If you still need any points clarifying, I will still reply because the thread does not close.

Best wishes.


Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Just another question, if that's OK? I'm sure there may be more later as I work through the process!
As I am one of two executors on the will, can I carry out the required tasks/arrangements and the other 'take a back seat' and leave me to it? I would prefer not to have to deal with them regarding this, if possible.
There is no mortgage outstanding on the property, but as it's a lease that ends on death, the property will need to be sold and a 'safeguarded' amount, would be pid to my friends friends estate. This is a fixed figure.

Yes, provided the other person agrees, the other one can take a backseat.

They can have as much or as little involvement as they want.

You could have power reserved to the other executor which means that they could step in if they wanted or you could just get it granted to the two of you, you do all the work, and they nod and just sign on the dotted line where required.

I have never yet come across a lease that ends on death.

I have come across a lifetime interest which is not uncommon but not a lease that ends on death.

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Oh, OK. Have you come across the Home Wise - Home for Life scheme? It seems my friend purchased a lease from them that ends upon her death as the property reverts to Home Wise. It would seem she paid them a very large amount of money approximately 24 months ago, and gets nothing in return....
That's my last question - I just wondered if you've come across the scheme before.
Many thanks

It’s not a scheme that I am familiar with. The market leaders in Lifetime Mortgages are Aviva.

What normally happens is that you remortgage your house and get about 30% of the value in cash depending on your age.

You can then pay no interest which then rolls up and gobbles up the 70% equity to the point where there would actually eventually be non-left.

Or you can pay interest and when you eventually pass away your beneficiaries pay the outstanding loan.

With some schemes you will get a higher chunk of cash and if you live a long time it’s a good deal but if you die the day after it’s a bad deal because regardless of what happens it then goes to the lender which is potentially the system that your friend is in.

I can’t see why she would pay them a large amount of money, they would normally be paying her. They would give her the chunk of money and in this particular case grant her a lease.

I don’t think it’s actually going to be a lease because the lease has to be for a Term of Years Absolute and this is not absolute because it’s contingent on death. It’s therefore more likely to be a lifetime license.

If that’s the case, and you are satisfied that’s the case, then let them have the death certificate and let them deal with it.

F E Smith and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Thank you very much for your help. It seems to be getting more confusing as the afternoon has gone on.
I may be back to ask further questions, if that's OK?
Kind regards
Matt Catchlove