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Ask Clare Your Own Question
Clare, Solicitor
Category: UK Law
Satisfied Customers: 34121
Experience:  family solictor with 25 years experience
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My sister and I are joint executors of my fathers will. We

Customer Question

My sister and I are joint executors of my fathers will. We have grant of probate and all assets are held in a solicitors account. My sister is under a mental health act and is not allowed, by social services, to see my four chIldren however she is named as a trustee. The will is divided into three with a third for her, a third for me anD a third for my children who are all under 18. My other sister has been excluded from the will and despite a couple of letters from a solicitor I'm Malta, she has not officially contested the will. The grant of probate was gained in June 2015 and my sister who is joint executor is constantly phoning and emailing the solicitor appointed to oversee the estate which is seriously diminishing the estate funds. What should I do?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: UK Law
Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.


Thank you for your question

My name is Clare

I shall do my best to help you but I need some further information first

What is the hold up in distribution of the estate?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
My sister, who is the other executor is refusing to distribute the estate until she knows the other sister will not contest the will. The reason for this is that both sisters were excluded from the previous will and I was the sole beneficiary
Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.

How often does she contact the solicitor?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
In a recent letter to me the solicitor said she had been contacted by her on numerous occasions and she has threatened to try to remove me as executor and sends me threatening texts every week
Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.

When in June was the probate granted?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
25th June
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Sorry the 19th June
Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.

What is your major concern at this point?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I don't want the sister who is joint executor to be a trustee for my children's money, for obvious reasons and I am concerned she will diminish the estate with this behaviour. I also am very concerned that she is not agreeing to distribute any money until the middle of next year. I currently have one child doing A levels and one doing GCSE and he constant malicious phone calls are greatly affecting my children and I would like to bring this to a speedy conclusion so that it doesn't affect their exams next summer.
Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.

There are a number of different ways that you need to approach this

You do not have to speak to your sister at all - so I suggest that you make it clear that if she contacts you directly again you will report the matter to the police - and then do it if she does. It would be a kindness to warn the solicitor !

The third sister only has until 6 months after Probate is Granted to challenge the Will so there is no reason why it cannot be distributed next month

If your sister will not agree to this then you can in fact apply to have her removed as Executor

Her ongoing role as Trustee is limited once the money is safely invested - but if she does try and cause further problems this woudl give you a reason to take action to remove her as Trustee

I hope that this is of assistance - please ask if you need further details


Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Should I contact the solicitor to arrange this as my sister is refusing to agree to distribution until next year? The solicitor said the third sister could still contest after 6 months - is that the case?
Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.

It would depend on the basis of any claim she made - but she would struggle - you can read a summary here

Write to the solicitor and say that you expect distribution to occur next month after the six month anniversary has passed

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for the link. It looks like the only grounds my sister would have to contest would be under the inheritance act which, as you say, expires after 6 months. If my joint executor and current solicitor refuse to agree, would I need to engage another solicitor?
Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.

You would need to have a meeting with the solicitor to discuss the options and get a clearer understanding of the reasons for any delay before taking any other action - reminding your sister that as executor she owes a duty to you to distribute the estate promptly

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you very much. That's made things a lot clearer
Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.

You are most welcome - I hope it goes well