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Do you know if your husband's brother left a will please?
yes he did and we have a copy
Thanks. Who are the executors?
My husbands brother who he doesn't talk to and his sister who refuses to pass on any information
Thanks. When did his brother pass away?
he died in December 2011
Thank you. Finally do you know if probate has been applied for?
Not sure< assume so as his property was sold although no record of this appears to be registered, proceeds went to nephews and nieces, remainder of estate to be divided between 4 siblings
Thanks. there are a sequence of steps you will wish to consider taking in order to establish the position. with your permission, I will set the same out as follows:
the first stage, if the executors are refusing to provide information is to establish whether probate has been applied for and granted and if so to whom
Fine thank you
This is the form you will need:
once you have established whether probate has been granted, you can then decide how to pursue your husbands inheritance.
is your husband entitled to a fixed sum of money under the will or a percentage share of the estate to your knowledge?
A percentage, its to be divided equally between 4 siblings
how you proceed will depend principally as to whether the executors have taken probate or not which presumably will find they have. if you find they have not than the procedure is somewhat different but in the assumption that they have, the position is that the executors are legally responsible to all beneficiaries under the estate to preserve the estate for those beneficiaries and ensure distribution is made to them. If the executors have failed in this duty, they can be personally liable
as a residuary beneficiary your husband has a right to see estate accounts and can demand the same from the executors. if he has any queries with regards XXXXX XXXXX same or the executors refuse to provide them, he can consider a court order against the executors for production of the same, and further orders as necessary such as applications to remove the executors and a claim for monies due under the estate as necessary.
a beneficiary has wide rights and powers through the courts to exercise in respect of information from the executors and as against the executors if they are not administering the estate properly and in the interests of the beneficiaries.
Is there anything above I can clarify for you?
His brother has refused to supply ANY information/accounts and says my husband is not entitled to see them as a beneficiary. How would we go about a court order against them?
He is most mistaken. He will wish to familiarise himself with the provisions of the Administration of Estates Act.
A residuary beneficiary is entitled to see a copy of the estate accounts in full and such further information as necessary to satisfy himself.
If the executor refuses an application can be made for an order that he exhibit an inventory and account in respect of the administration under s25 Administration of Estates Act by applying to the Probate Registry for a summons supported by an affidavit
Is this difficult and expensive to do?
No you can contact your local probate registry who can let you have a form to complete your application. Remembering that your first step is the above search because you need to determine if the executors have taken probate before you proceed further.
You can find your nearest probate registry here:
I understand that, is there a time limit for applying for probate?
No. Probate can be applied for at any time.
However if they have dealt with property from the esate e.g. sold a house or closed bank accounts they will have needed it.
If he has instructed a solicitor to deal with the estate and he won't tell us, is there any way of finding out?
No there isn't but remember that it is the executor(s) that is liable and responsible to your husband not the solicitor so this is not a concern for you. If he has it is up to them to tell you or you will deal with them directly.
Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX try the avenues you have suggested!
If I can assist any further as the situation develops please do no hesitate to let me know.
Will do and thank you
It is easier if you break down the process step by step but be assured your husband has conclusive rights to his entitlement under the will.
If you have no further questions for now I should be very grateful if you would kindly take a moment to rate my service to you today. Your feedback is important to me. If there is anything else I can help with though please reply back to me though.
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