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Stuart J
Stuart J, Solicitor
Category: UK Law
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Experience:  PGD Law. 20 years legal profession, 6 as partner in High Street practice
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How long after probate has been granted can one prove fraud

Customer Question

How long after probate has been granted can one prove fraud by an executor because all information was with held from a co executor other than the figures entered on the probate form ? No bank accounts or other information were provided & one executor tried to de fraud the other by advising to exempt themselves as executor which would have meant the assets left in trust would have gone into their sole name thus excluding the other beneficiary/executor ? Is there a period of time after probate is granted after which one can not bring a case of fraud in the administering of the estate by one executor who withheld all information ?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: UK Law
Expert:  Stuart J replied 2 years ago.
-Could you explain your situation a little more?

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
My half sister & I were appointed joint executors of my step fathers will,she failed to inform me of this,did all the figures herself to submit to probate but probate told her they needed my signature to exempt myself, She tried to mislead me to exempt myself stating in writing that it was usual for only one executor to act & writing my signature was just a formality that meant if she went mad or died I would act! I was left a share of my parents property in trust & the probate advised me if I signed any assets he had left me would go in her name only! 2 solicitors advised me it was fraudulent especially as she was trying to put money left to mother in her name also. The solicitor I engaged admitted it was fraud but I had no money to go to court. He said he would ask for sight of all documents and bank accounts, she did not provide them only the probate form filled in by her. She drove a wedge between me and mother telling mother I was making trouble!My mother did not speak to me for 9 months although I was safeguarding her interests!The solicitor did not have sight of what she had based her probate figures on (their were many bank accounts,only she knew where. In the end he advised me to sign and agree her figures but I was ubeasy about agreeing without having seen on what they were based! he has since left the firm. It was 3 years ago is there a time limit after which I can not act ?
Expert:  Stuart J replied 2 years ago.

There is no time limit for fraud as it is a criminal offence this but it is only fraud if she has had money she isnt entitled to.

Can you prove that?

LD

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
A lawyer friend who no longer practises but administers huge estates around here said it was clear that she was trying to steal from me and my Mother.She co erced my Mother into believing I was making trouble because I would not exempt myself as executor. The solicitor wrote to my mother saying my sister "had misinterpreted the terms of fathers will".I was relying on the solicitor to do the right thing,but having asked my sister for bank account details & relevant documents on which she had based the figures submitted to probate,he just gave in after a telephone conversation with her & advised me to sign. I thought the figures very "light" & have since discovered his sister left him £300,000 only 2 years before & my parents made no major purchases before he died, in addition he had considerable life savings of his own & yet according to the figure she submitted to probate he only left Mother £250,000. I believe a great deal of money is missing,I do not know what happened to his £30,000 of premium bonds,but my sister now has that amount in premium bonds!Although he left us only £5,000 each.I do know he was scrupulously fair & as Chester city treasurer was meticulous about figures. I think she may have co erced my Mother into removing me as executor from her will after I didnt do what she wanted & prevented her fraud. My Mother is frail,but I can not do anything until after she has died because my sister will drive a wedge again & ruin any chance of a relationship with my Mother. I have no savings or funds to do anything now. It is some comfort that there is no time limit. Her behaviour was fraudulent & confirmed as such by probate & 2 solicitors so that may help me launch an investigation later & there is definately money missing somewhere!Please how long do banks keep records of the deceased,he had many bank accounts and only my sister knew where! Would the tax man help if they thought funds had disappeared ?
Expert:  Stuart J replied 2 years ago.

I am near Chester. I hope she never came to see me!

You need to gather as much info as possible and go to the police. They will not investigate unless you present some concrete evidence.

If you are thinking of sueing her, in a civil claim, you can ask her for full disclosure of bank accounts, assets etc and if she doesnt volunteer them, get the court ot order her to do it.

This is a Police matter. The threat of police may focus her mind.BUT you must go with some proof to them, not just suspicion. They will then look at the bigger picture.

If she has stolen money, you need to act before she spends it because a jail sentence for her wont get the money back for you necessarily.

Please dont forget to press accept.

Thnaks

LD

 

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I can do nothing until Mother has died because I wish to continue to vist her & my sister would manipulate Mum saying I am making trouble again. I couldnt bear my Mother to be upset by this.My sister did not come to see you!She refused to go together to Dads solicitor and act jointly as executors as he would have wished.
One last question,if I may.The solicitor who acted for me I believe was negligent when he had a clear case of fraud in writing,asked twice for the documents on which she based her figures submitted to probate, she did not send them & then he suddenly advises me to agree those figures when I had no idea on what they were based! Does this not appear negligent to you ? he has since left the law firm.I will promise to accept & pay if you can give me your opinion on his strange behaviour
Expert:  Stuart J replied 2 years ago.

You can ask the solicitors firm who acted to send you the file. Dont pay for it and dont accept a copy. You want the original. Then you can see if he was negligent.

They dont have to release the file if any money is owing or if they were instructed by two people (u and sister) and they dont have both signatures.

They will only release it with a court order in that case.

Please dont forget to press accept. Thanks

LD

 

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