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Stuart J
Stuart J, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 26470
Experience:  Senior Partner at Berkson Wallace
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My Mum changed her will last year in April under the free

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My Mum changed her will last year in April under the free will scheme. Her previous will had stated that my 2 brothers & myself (their sister: I am the youngest) to be executors.
JA: Where are they? It matters because laws vary by location.
Customer: I have now been made sole executor. My brothers are now demanding that I release all Mum’s financial information to them.
JA: What steps have they taken so far?
Customer: To be blunt, and this is not to say that they are horrible people - however: they are constantly pressuring me, shouting and being disrespectful & making me feel incredibly anxious. I understand their surprise at the change but they keep giving me “deadlines” which I have’ been able to meet because I have been caring 24/7 for my mother for the past year. I have been my Mums cater for 9 years in July. I just don’t know how legal it is to divulge this financial information.
JA: Is there anything else the Lawyer should know before I connect you? Rest assured that they'll be able to help you.
Customer: I don’t know how to answer that to be honest. There’s so much going on & I have been given a final deadline for tomorrow. I have been very unwell recently & my Mum is in hospital

Hello. Thank you for the question. It is my pleasure to assist your with this today.
I have been in the legal profession, in high street practice, for 30 years so I have wide range of experience in a great many different aspects of law.
Please bear with me and I will be online and off-line from time to time and therefore, may be delayed getting back to you. You will receive an email when I reply.

Do you also have POA for your mother's financial affairs?

and why were you made sole executor and has anything changed in the Will?

Is there any reason why you don’t want to give your siblings the information they’re asking for. I’m not saying they’re entitled to it and I’m not saying they are not, I’m just wondering why you just don’t give it to them to get rid of them?

Are they alleging that you spirited money away or that you got your mother’s change her will to get them out of the equation?

Customer: replied 17 days ago.
I do not have power of attorney, although that was the next box to tick. I realise that must seem strange but our mother did write a permissions letter & has given all relevant parties her spoken permission for me to speak for/&with her (I ALWAYS make sure that she knows what is going on) Mum wanted to get her will changed for some years & she did speak about this with my brother.it was a chance email(Martin Lewis) that revealed their was a free will service in April & October..They believe that they should have been notified about the will change, and I agree. The problem has been that since that will was signed & witnessed, my Mum developed a devastating condition called Hemiballismus, and was admitted to hospital last year 3 times, the third resulting in us both having COVID on Fast Track discharge.
I also had a heart attack 28th August, and as it has been an intense struggle to keep going.
My priority has always been Mum’s care & these financial details seemed to be the next on the list. My elder brother thought that I could do so in my “downtime “ - which hasn’t existed. Any downtime Iwould be used to get some sleep. This last year has been relentless & Mums analgesia was causing more problems than not.
They have not & are not consulting my Mum about this, which I believe is the correct course of action? My Mum is due to be discharged to her home, under my care & hopefully some extra support via Continuing Healthcare.
Changes to the will include leaving me a small parcel of land that is not attached to the house ( the house is under a lifetime mortgage which my eldest brother persuaded Mum to undertake - it really is complex, as I believe (as does my other brother) she was rushed & not given any impartial advice, this back in 2008. Me & my other brother didn’t know about it until after the contracts were signed. This brother needed £20,000 to pay his employees as it turned out, which he has paid back but we myself & other brother only found out about that by sheer chance e. My Mum is a very loyal person.
The Lawyer who drew up the new will spoke with Mum over “Teams” FaceTime about why she wanted to change the executorship - Mum’s response was that she felt she knew that I would be fairer.
I had no idea that she was going to do this change of executor until that call. It does hand down to my brothers if I am not capable.
Unfortunately, the way my brothers have been talking/shouting & harassing at me hasn’t exactly helped. Especially given the fact that my priority has been the care of Mum who has been reacting to the heavy medication- suffice to say I needed to /need to keep her spirits up which is v. difficult if you’ve just been shouted at & demeaned over the phone.
I have felt/feelcompletely bullied.
In response to your question about me allegedly spiriting money away - that has come up as a threat in the past 4 weeks
My brother found some correspondence from NewDay Credit, which he has photographed. This correspondence from NewDay was as a result of a conversation that Mum had with them in person over the telephone. Said brother has raised it as a point of contention, which to my mind is ridiculous- the fact being that he has taken financial information that doesn’t belong to him without permission.
I am really worn out with this constant pressure to give out Mum’s confidential information & I simply don’t know how to do the right thing.
Our Mother lives in West Yorkshire, where we all grew up.
My brothers live in Essex & St. Albans respectively.
I also live in Essex with my son(26 years old) but I have been “working away from home” for the past 9 years in order to care fo our Mum.
There is so many nuances to this situation that I can’t express properly at this moment.
I am typing this out on my phone, which is why this chat session has been so long winded. My sincere apologies for the time taken, I do hope you have been able to get on with other work whilst I have attempted this explanation.

Whilst you may believe that they should have been notified about the will change, your mother is not actually under a duty to do that. Ethically, you may wish to tell them but there is no legal reason.

If your mother is still alive and has mental capacity, then this is nothing to do with your brother. He is entitled to nothing. She is entitled to have her affairs private and disclose them with whom she wishes.

So it comes down to whether your mother wants this information to be divulged or not and if she doesn’t have mental capacity, why you are concerned about giving the information out because if that gets rid of him and shuts him up, so much the better.

If your mum doesn’t have mental capacity, but she is still alive when you don’t actually have the right to do with her affairs unless you have either power-of-attorney or have been appointed as her deputy.

Customer: replied 17 days ago.
Thank you Stuart J - you have reassured me that I had probably been thinking in the right direction.
Mum is currently in hospital, the main problem being the amount of serious medication prescribed for her: recommendation for such made through palliative care consultant to GP (FastTrack discharge 13 November but still here!)
She is so much back in herself & can actually write again .
But the main point here is that she is due to be discharged home, as per her RESPECT form. They wouldn’t do that unless she had capacity.
I talked to Mum about this “financial reveal” yesterday, and I really felt bad having to do so - but these are *her* affairs & I truly believe she deserves to know what’s happening.
The reason for my concern is they want passwords & complete access to all her accounts. I apologise for not making that much clearer at the start.
With most everything being digital & with being literally housebound with Mum since November last year ,we have had no choice but to deal with financial matters etc using the internet.
Am I correct in saying then that as long as Mum has capacity & understanding, then nothing should be done without her permission?
May I also ask you if there’s a chance that my brothers are attempting to gain control after realising they will not have the position of executors when Mum is no longer with us?
For my part, I haven’t understood why they have been so very insistent when, to my mind the priority was the here & now if Mum’s care.
I realise that may be a subjective question that isn’t one you could answer, please forgive me if I have overreached.
May I ask also - being appointed as “Deputy”. I am presuming this is the same thing that’s been done when, for instance, dealing with Home Insurance company, Waterboard, etc?
Can someone be appointed as Deputy for Bank Accounts though? I realise that POA is the proper way to go & we had drawn up the documents at the same time but we’re not able to get them witnessed.
I am extremely worried that my brothers are going to make my Mum’s last days /months (I still hope years but..) incredibly stressful by trying to accuse me of Misappropriation.
I had no idea that was even in their minds until just recently, and whilst I would obviously find that hurtful - I can understand that I might feel the same if the boot was on the other foot.
I am going on , apologies.
In my mind, I feel they are welcome to factual & up to date figures, but NOT to passwords and access to internal bank & credit accounts.
Am I correct in this?

Here are all the details on the donor making the application to appoint a Attorney under a Lasting Power

https://www.gov.uk/power-of-attorney

if however the person who would normally be making the appointment does not have the mental capacity to grant the power-of-attorney to someone else, then whoever wishes to look after that person’s affairs will have to make an application to court to become a deputy. Here are the details on that:

https://www.gov.uk/become-deputy

please note that the latter process is a lot longer than just applying for to appoint a Attorney under a Lasting Power. It could easily take six months.

Solicitors will charge about GBP500 for making the first Attorney -type application and about GBP1500/2000 to appoint a Deputy, plus the court fee.

There is no legal aid.

This is very much a do it yourself job,if you want to of course, it’s just a case of going through the paperwork slowly and methodically. There is a lot of it and far more in the deputy application.

Please note that in either case the person who is going to look after the affairs can be appointed to deal with finances only or health and welfare only or both, so finances would include bank accounts.

Because of the potentially protracted timescale and because there is sometimes some urgency, it is possible to make an emergency application for an interim order:

https://www.gov.uk/emergency-court-of-protection

I would let them have the bank statements if that’s what they want but I would NOT be letting them have access passwords logins or anything else.

It's my pleasure to help. I’m glad that I was able to help so far. Thank you for trusting Just Answer with your legal problem. Can I help you any further with this? I'm happy to clarify anything which is outstanding. Please don't hesitate to ask. Kind regards Stuart

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Customer: replied 15 days ago.
Hello again, apologies for late response. Thank you for your message and advice - it is very much appreciated.
I

I am glad to help

By the way, if you would like to ask me a new question in the future, (not just clarification on this thread, then please just type @ (the at sign) followed by my name and you’ll be able to select my username to tag me in the question. If you like, you can also put “For Stuart J only” in the question thread and then the other experts will know that it’s for me. You can also tag me as one of your favourite experts. Thank you Kind regards. Stuart