Any experience or advice with a “dodgy” executor

Discussion in 'Legal and financial issues' started by Kikki21, Oct 15, 2019.

  1. Kikki21

    Kikki21 Registered User

    Feb 27, 2016
    2,082
    Female
    East Midlands
    Unfortunately it seems that the executor of my late mother’s will is displaying more & more questionable behaviour & I do not think he is fit to be executor.

    At the moment, he has not moved my mum’s bank account monies into a proper executor account. I told him this needed to be done months ago & the selling conveyancer has also told him several times that the bank account he has nominated for the house sale proceeds is a personal account which is not the right account to use in a probate sale.

    I have advised him that he needs to go into his bank with the grant of probate which was granted months ago for them to change it over & he has not done this. He forwarded me a letter that the selling conveyancer has sent him which confirmed all of this so i’m not sure how he expected me to react?!

    After grant of probate was granted, he has also failed to let the other beneficiaries know that they are in fact beneficiaries. I gave him all the contact numbers he would need to get in touch with people. I just can’t understand his actions.

    The worrying is that I just don’t trust him at all & now he is threatening to derail the entire house selling/buying chain as he was meant to confirm the completion date of the sales/purchases on Thursday & as of yesterday he had not done this despite me chasing him several times & urging him to get in contact.

    Being an executor I know is not an easy task but this guy works mainly in the evening delivering pizzas. So I know he has got time in the day to sort stuff out.

    I have had to seek legal advice & a probate solicitor I saw for a free half hr consultation was very perturbed about all the red flags he could see. He did suggest that I suggest to the executor that he takes over the rest of the duties but again this suggestion was ignored by the executor. I feel like I am in some sort of horrendous nightmare here that not only am
    I coming to terms with the fact that my mum is dead but now all this added trauma is just too much.
     
  2. Barney Brock

    Barney Brock New member

    Sep 30, 2019
    4
    Hi. If its any help perhaps you can ask the Executor if they are fully aware of their responsibilities? Remind him/her of their legal commitments and obligations? Also the danger they are in if acting unlawfully? For both sides to to secure resolution it may be that you approach and work through a third party both you and the Executor are confident in? It does appear that the Executor is outside of their comfort zone and that for them 'ignorance is bliss'?

    Have a read of the attached that is relevant to England and Wales. Its a cut and paste but the summary is useful to know and could be used to support the Executor?

    The executor’s duties are defined in what is called “The Executors Oath” and found at section 25 of the Administration of Estates Act 1925:
    1. to collect and get in the real and personal estate of the deceased and administer it according to law;
    2. when required to do so by the court, exhibit on oath in the court a full inventory of the estate and when so required render an account of the administration of the estate to the court; and
    3. when required to do so by the High Court, deliver up the grant of probate or administration to that court.”
    On the death of the testator, all property vests in his executor, even before he has taken probate of the will. However, the executor should generally not act until a grant of probate is obtained because he or she does not have official authority until then. Once the executor or executors have proved the will of the testator, they are entitled to administer the estate and their duties include the following:
    • Make funeral arrangements.
    • Arrange immediate funds for survivors.
    • Prepare a complete list of all the deceased’s assets and liabilities as well as their value at the time of death.
    • Protect all the assets of the estate against theft, fire, loss and any other destruction.
    • Advertise for creditors to avoid becoming personally liable for future claims.
    • Prepare and file income tax returns on behalf of the deceased.
    • Before distributing the estate to the beneficiaries, pay all outstanding debts including funeral expenses, estate administration expenses and taxes.
    • Arrange for the distribution of the estate.
    • Keep complete and accurate accounting records as the executor is accountable to the beneficiaries for the assets of the deceased.
     
  3. Kikki21

    Kikki21 Registered User

    Feb 27, 2016
    2,082
    Female
    East Midlands
    Thank you for all that. I have helped the executor every step of the way in dealing with the estate but he is due to get £1000 for administrating the Will & this he is not really doing. Because I have done it for him. I have read up on all the things he has to do & advised him accordingly but he is not only not taking my advice but the advice of others & just doing it his way. The probate solicitor I saw was very alarmed at what he was/wasn’t doing & said that if it was his mother's estate then he would be trying to safeguard it as much as possible because what is there to stop him running off with the house sale proceeds?
     
  4. Jaded'n'faded

    Jaded'n'faded Registered User

    Jan 23, 2019
    509
    Female
    High Peak
    @Kikki21 I don't know much about legal stuff but please, please don't allow the money from your mum's house to be paid into his personal account!

    I know the delay with the conveyancing is driving you bonkers but at least this dodgy executor doesn't have the money from the sale - yet. He mustn't have this money till he has set up a proper executor account.
     
  5. Kikki21

    Kikki21 Registered User

    Feb 27, 2016
    2,082
    Female
    East Midlands
    Thank you. He has been sent a legal letter via email & post advising him of his obligations in setting up a proper executor account. This was sent to him yesterday. It’s also something for his own protection as well because if it goes wrong then basically he is liable & it doesn’t wash him saying that his bank said he didn’t have to set up such an account. My legal advisor said that was hog wash. Although I have since read that some banks do make it difficult to open an account.
     
  6. mancmum

    mancmum Registered User

    Feb 6, 2012
    390
    As an estate agent - until recent redundo - we would not finally sell a property until we had proof of ownership. Obviously in this that would be Executorship. Has he used an estate agent,or a lawyer for the sale. They both need to act within the law. You may be able to contact them to try and make sure the proceeds are not paid to the executor personally but into an executors account.
     
  7. Palerider

    Palerider Registered User

    Aug 9, 2015
    912
    Male
    North West
    This is all very difficult, but essentially it comes down to what documented evidence you can gain from the current transactions and also responses by letter or email via the current executor of the will.

    @Barney Brock is right in his posting, however you have to prove that these items were not done or at least some of them not done, in order to bring the current executor to account.

    has there been any theft. Have you asked for seperate dated accounts before and after death and explored discrepancies to establish any missing monies and where they went to? etc etc

    Indeed have you asked for any bank statements to view as a starter?
     
  8. Kikki21

    Kikki21 Registered User

    Feb 27, 2016
    2,082
    Female
    East Midlands
    Thank you & yes he actually forwarded me an email from the selling conveyancers stating that they had done their due diligence & had advised him to open an executor bank account but he had been unable or unwilling to do so, so he was required to sign a statement making him liable etc.

    Since seeing that email, I sought legal advice & therefore a legal letter went out to him saying he needs to set an account up. However, there is now another solution & that is that the selling conveyancers can send the money directly to my purchasing conveyancers & although there is an extra charge for doing this - I would feel that the money is a lot safer that way & doesn’t pass into his hands although he does have to agree to this.

    Therefore the choice is his, set up the executor bank account or do the above. As per usual now, he is not communicating with me.
     
  9. Kikki21

    Kikki21 Registered User

    Feb 27, 2016
    2,082
    Female
    East Midlands
    I’m not accusing him of theft yet but I have not seen any bank statements - I am going to ask him
    for a bank statement today. He gave me a total of what was in the bank account in August & when I have requested payments out of the account then I have written everything down so I know how much should be left in there but the 2 figures, his & mine do not match up.

    I have also sent email receipts for every payment I have received.

    There have been interim payments made to me & also made for van hire, skip hire, waste removal & gardening from the estate to clear the bungalow & also to pay the reservation fee for the property I am buying ( modern auction method - it’s not a repossession etc)

    He has made mistakes in spreadsheets as in what to pay out to beneficiaries & then totally miscalculated saying he didn’t think I had enough to pay my house! That really worried me as there is more than enough - there is a surplus of over £15k!
     
  10. Palerider

    Palerider Registered User

    Aug 9, 2015
    912
    Male
    North West
    Difficult for you, do you think he is genuinely struggling with the task?
     
  11. Kikki21

    Kikki21 Registered User

    Feb 27, 2016
    2,082
    Female
    East Midlands
    He cannot be struggling with the task considering I have helped him do everything or explained stuff to him but he is taking things to the absolute letter & shooting himself in the foot.

    He has no reason not to let the solicitors handle the sale & purchase between them. It will cost me an extra £100 but my peace of mind would be worth it. Why else would he block this?
     
  12. Palerider

    Palerider Registered User

    Aug 9, 2015
    912
    Male
    North West
    Is there anyway he will hand the executor duties over to a solicitor and allow them to execute the will? The cost of this is around £1000, but if he is so uncertain of letters of law, it may be in his own best interests to pass it on
     
  13. Kikki21

    Kikki21 Registered User

    Feb 27, 2016
    2,082
    Female
    East Midlands
    Nope - we tried that one too. I said to him that if he was finding things too difficult or couldn’t find the time to carry out his duties then a solicitor could take over. He would still get his £1000 fee but be resolved of all other duties. This was ignored.
    I have explained in Polish to him that if my house sale does not complete then he will get sued but he just doesn’t seem to care.
     

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