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Probate - help with a claim please

(13 Posts)
kittylester Tue 11-Jul-17 09:38:25

How do we find out who is handling probate for someone who has been paid for work which remains undone and who has subsequently died?

The background:

DD1 has had a kitchen extension done - well almost done. There were hand made units which were successfully incorporated in the new kitchen but they decided they wanted an island unit made to 'go with' the existing units.

Following recommendations from friends, and looking at his work, they commissioned a local man to make the unit, 4 stools and to fit a sink and shelving in the new utility room.

Sadly, work was held up as his baby granddaughter was born with health issues and died.

There was then catalogue of disasters, the top warped, the stools were wrong the sink unit didn't fit rhe wall etc. The man kept promising to redo and dd was very patient, bearing in mind the sad circumstances.

Eventually, they started to push to get the job done only to be told that the chap had had a stroke but that they had arranged for another man to come and put it right.

He didnt turn up on the appointed day so DD rang the first man to find he had had a heart attack and died!

The widow said everything was in the hands of the accountant who was sorting out probate.

Whilst being very sad for the family, dd now has an island unit with no electrics, a droopy breakfast bar, the wrong stools and a freestanding sink in the utility room. This all began last November.

Sorry for the long post.

RedheadedMommy Tue 11-Jul-17 09:44:55

If its any help. My nan passed away and has left her house to me, we are going through probate atm and the solicitor is dealing with everything. Its basically to get everything signed over to me in my name. It can take months and months.
We cant do anything untill probate is complete.

I'd speak to CAB.

harrigran Tue 11-Jul-17 09:52:22

Thirty years ago I sorted probate for my mother and it took nine months. Last week the financial advisor told me to expect anything up to two years for probate, despite computers the time taken has not improved.

annsixty Tue 11-Jul-17 10:02:08

Your D may have a long wait to get her money back kitty so commiserations but while on the subject of probate, how does one get to see the contents of a will once it is in the public domain?
I assume probate has to be granted first.

kittylester Tue 11-Jul-17 10:22:14

But how does dd know who to send a claim to?

We see public notices in the local paper asking for claimants but have no idea who to apply to in thiscase. The widow is being less than helpful and dd doesn't want to nag her under the circumstances.

grumppa Tue 11-Jul-17 10:50:43

How about a solicitor's letter addressed to the executors of the estate of the late Mr. X at his address, setting out what DD is claiming as a creditor? A solicitor costs money, but is less likely to be ignored.

kittylester Tue 11-Jul-17 10:57:54

Thanks grumppa - we'd suggested that but dd and DSiL are a bit anti 'harassing' the widow if they can bypass her. They are very conscious that the family have been through an awful time but they do want their kitchen finished!

Primrose65 Tue 11-Jul-17 11:20:35

I think it will depend on whether the trader was working as a sole trader/partnership/limited company as to how the probate would proceed.
Did you pay directly to the trader or to a company? I would address your claim to the address on the invoices you have for the work. Your claim is with the business element of the estate.

PamelaJ1 Tue 11-Jul-17 12:25:26

I think Primrose is right. If he was a sole trader then it will probably be more difficult. Have you tried asking at a citizens advice bureau?

M0nica Tue 11-Jul-17 14:09:20

Annesixty. Here is the link you need to obtain copies of wills

annsixty Tue 11-Jul-17 14:17:28

Thankyou M0nica.

Rigby46 Tue 11-Jul-17 14:33:38

When the form is filled in for probate, all debts should be included. As kind as your dd is being, I really think she does need to send a letter outlining the debt and what she is claiming from the estate - can she get an estimate or two from local tradesmen about how much it would cost to get the kitchen into the state it should be? If she waits too long, the state can be distributed and I guess claiming would be much more difficult.

grannyticktock Thu 20-Jul-17 17:02:24

I'm currently an executor for an estate so I'm right in the thick of it. If it's a simple estate, probate can be granted in a matter of weeks, but if there is inheritance tax to pay it takes longer. We've managed to get probate in 4 months by working hard at a complicated estate with IHT.

Until probate is granted, it's all confidential, but even at this stage, there should be a business address where the executor should be picking up and dealing with outstanding debts. Debts are high up the priority list when the assets are paid out. These liabilities should be included in the probate accounts, although they won't be paid out until after probate is granted.
Once this happens, the estate is in the public domain. To get a copy of the will and the Grant of Probate (which gives an estimate of the value of the estate), just put "Find a Will" into a search engine and go to the government website. It costs £10, and you will need to know some details of the deceased - full name, address, date of death, place of death. You don't need all of those, but as much detail as possible. When you have found it, you pay and wait a few days, then you can download it. If you don't know whether probate has been granted, I suppose you just have to keep looking.

The Will and the Grant both show the name and address of the executor(s), so if there is an outstanding debt, you can then chase it up with them.