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JGM
JGM, Solicitor
Category: Scots Law
Satisfied Customers: 13072
Experience:  30 years as a practising solicitor.
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After the death of an elderly Aunt who died intestate, my

Customer Question

After the death of an elderly Aunt who died intestate, my older brother has I believe been appointed executor of her estate. The death of this distant relative was approx 8 years ago and the only beneficiaries are myself and my other 5 siblings. I have today received a letter from a Solicitors for me to sign with the terms of the intestate distribution, together with a "Mandate" to make payment to outstanding debts prior to the distribution of the funds. The 3 "Debts" outstanding have no connection to the deceased Aunt but have been included in the settlement by the executor. The debts also have no costings and are open ended as far as expense is concerned, and the total value of the estate is not given. Is this the proper way of doing things?
Assistant: Since estate law varies from place to place, can you tell me where this is?
Customer: Scotland
Assistant: What documents or supporting evidence do you have?
Customer: Only the letter which arrived today. The older brother was doing things unknown to the rest of the family, and was heard to say he was hopping to collect a nice next egg for himself by claiming the estate for himself alone.
Assistant: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: No thank you
Submitted: 4 months ago.
Category: Scots Law
Customer: replied 4 months ago.
The letter from the Solicitors states "We understand from the executor that agreements have been made to make payment to outstanding debts prior to the distribution of the funds. As such , we have enclosed an authorising mandate" I have given no such agreement to my older brother.
If I refuse to sign will payments be withheld until agreement is reached?
Customer: replied 4 months ago.
I am going offline, will check my e-mails later
Kind regards
Expert:  JGM replied 4 months ago.

Thanks for your question. It has been passed to me as I am a solicitor in Scotland. Can you tell me what the debts are that your brother is seeking to pay and which don’t relate to the estate?

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
The outstanding "debts" and "Funeral Costs" which do not relate to the estate are:-
1. The payment of my mothers funeral of costs of 2 years ago
2. The purchase of a tombstone for my fathers grave (died 22 years ago)
3. Payment of all costs for my brother to travel abroad for the purpose of interring the ashes of our mother (died 2 years ago)These "Debts" and "Funeral Costs" have not been agreed, have no costings or estimates and do not relate to the estate of which I am a beneficiary. I am also advised in the paperwork from the Solicitor that the mandate is irrevocable when signed and dated. Further I have no idea as to the value of the estate of which I am a beneficiary in terms of the intestate distribution, and believe possibly other siblings have been advised by the executor to agree and sign the mandate or they are liable to receive nothing from the estate.
Expert:  JGM replied 4 months ago.

Why are you being asked to clean contribute to these historic costs? They have no bearing on your aunts estate unless they are a debt on the aunts estate. There is no way this can hold up finalising your aunts estate.