My brother and I are executors of my aunt's will as is her solicitor whose firm is doing the admin of her estate. My brother and I, my two cousins and two charities are all beneficiaries. My brother is being very difficult, demanding a very high level of detail from the solicitor, which involves letters several pages long being exchanged. He is also demanding that I relinquish my rights to any of my aunt's personal effects (which he wants to sell off himself because he says the valuation is too low) . Each time the solicitor answers one of his queries he asks another and the process is just going on and on. I have checked the accounts and in my view everything is in order. But at this rate, I'm concerned that we'll never make confirmation. My question is, in Scotland, do all three executors need to be in agreement for things to go forward? Can my brother be outvoted? Im just afraid things are going to turn very nasty and/or very expensive if we're not careful.
Thank you for your question.You are right to be concerned especially as executry estates are charged on a time basis and the more letters and meetings and telephone calls, the more expensive the solicitor's account will be. I wonder if your brother knows that?As far as Confirmation is concerned, the executor named first in the will generally signs the will and inventory and application for Confirmation. If any disputes arise between the executors then a meeting may have to held and the matter discussed and voted upon.My own executry partner, when faced with such issues generally summonses both executors to his office and lays it squarely on the line what the consequences are of one or other of them acting like you describe.Generally delay, expense and worry for all concerned. There is no easy way to get rid of an executor so a talking to in this manner is usually what has to be done.I hope this helps. Please leave a positive response so that I am credited for my time.
I think that you should ask the solicitor to get the estate inventory drawn up and you sign it and get it lodged as quickly as possible.There is a certain advantage in your brother being abroad in that from what you say it could be ten times worse if he was actually around!Your brother can be told that you have approved the inventory. Technically he can be outvoted although a solicitor executor would have to take into account the views of both. He is not bound to take instructions which are unreasonable, however. At the end of the day it is probably going to be you who has to call your brother and tell him the expense he is running up to the detriment of the estate.
Yes you can, although I could understand if the solicitor was uncomfortable about this. It is not easy acting in an estate as solicitor executor when the other parties can't agree but at the end of the day the primary function of the executors is to get the estate wound up.You should sign the inventory and get it lodged.
Ok thanks. I think my brother has annoyed the solicitor sufficiently with all his accusations of unprofessional conduct etc etc etc that the solicitor will be quite happy to go ahead.
No problem. Please leave positive feedback so that I am credited for my time.
27 years as a practising solicitor.
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