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JGM
JGM, Solicitor
Category: Scots Law
Satisfied Customers: 10085
Experience:  30 years as a practising solicitor.
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This is Scots law. My uncle is the executor of his widowed

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This is Scots law.

My uncle is the executor of his widowed father's will. My own father died over 10 years ago and I have a brother. There are no other children.

My Grandfather died in 2006 and owned his house outright. There were also collections of worth in the property.

I have visited a solicitor 2 years ago, as we heard nothing regarding my father's share of the property - there was a will with the beneficiaries being my father and his brother or their successors.

At first my uncle said he was the sole beneficiary as my father was dead, but the solicitor I visited wrote to him and told him that this was not the case.

My uncle then said he couldn't prepare the house for sale as my brother had stored a three piece suite in it and a few boxes. In the same letter he said we had no right of access to the house to remove these items. My solicitor wrote to my uncle pointing out he had only to (a) allow access or (b)indicate he was disposing of the items - which we have no interest in anyhow as they have been damaged due to the damp.

It is now 6 years since my grandfather died and my uncle has also allowed the house to deteriorate due to not repairing a leaking roof and gutter.

Can you advise me and my brother on how to resolve this situation.

I had written to him suggest that my brother apply to become the executor, but that is when he said he told us he was the sole beneficiary (wrongly).
Thank you for your question.

You need to go back to see a solicitor. The solicitor has to write to your uncle in his capacity as executor and demand an accounting of the estate.

From your narrative it is unlikely that you will get a satisfactory reply as your uncle clearly thinks that he should inherit the whole estate because your own father predeceased your grandfather.

Your remedy, therefore, is to take your uncle to court in an action called count, reckoning and payment. Your uncle would be made by the court to produce an accounting of his intromissions as executor and the court can make him take certain steps so as to ensure that your entitlement is paid to you. If he doesn't obey the court he can be found in contempt.

I hope this helps. Please leave a positive response so that I am credited for my time.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thanks for the answer, my brother and I suspected that you would refer us to a solicitor again, however I was going to write to my uncle once more today as a "last chance".

As the house has been damaged over the 6 years, due to his neglect, and house prices have dramatically dropped, wold our share not be at 2007 valuation?

I am a student and my brother doesn't work, so we are concerned about lawyers fees. That's why we joined together to pay for this initial advice. Would we be able to recover lawyers fees etc from the estate?

Stephanie

Thank you for your reply.

As far as the house is concerned and the distribution of the estate, your share is at current value although you might have a claim for damages against your uncle for losses arising due his neglect in timeously dealing with the estate.

If you did sue your uncle you would seek expenses from the estate in the event that the litigation was successful.

It is likely, however, that the case would be funded by legal aid in the first instance given your financial circumstances. You should not, therefore be hesitant in seeking out a lawyer who could handle this for you under legal aid. Assuming you made a recovery, the costs would be paid from the sums recovered but legal aid would at least give you the comfort that your lawyer's fees were covered.
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