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Legal & money

Probate company help/advice please

(18 Posts)
oliversnana Mon 08-Mar-21 22:12:30

My mum died at the end of January and my siblings and myself were named executors of the estate. As there is still some debt from my father it has to go to probate.
They drew up mirror wills and my dad died 4 years ago. The will company {co-op} have a service that will deal with it all for us for a price, I'm happy for this to happen but my brothers partner is named as contact on the paper work and I'm not totally sure I agree with this.
i thought that as executors we were responsible to sort the probate and estate so should it not be us that this account advisor deals with.
There is a house to sell and 2 charging orders to pay. They are estimating a year for this process. any advice would be gratefully received.

NellG Mon 08-Mar-21 23:47:05

If you're not comfortable with who is a named contact then I would get it changed before anything is signed or agreed.

NotSpaghetti Tue 09-Mar-21 01:01:14

I would have thought an executor would have been the point of contact.

Whitewavemark2 Tue 09-Mar-21 06:23:54

We went to the probate office, and dealt with it ourselves. My sister and I were executors and no one else was involved. So DHs DC etc had zero to do with it.

Katie59 Tue 09-Mar-21 08:39:13

If there is a house to sell, investments, debt and inheritance tax to be managed most would need a solicitor to get it all sorted out properly.

It is the Executors that are responsible and they can choose whatever professional help they need, it may well be the Co-op are capable of doing a good job, whoever does it don’t expect it to be quick there is a 2 yr time limit.

oliversnana Tue 09-Mar-21 09:32:54

Katie thank you I didn't know it was a 2 year limit.
I have no issue with using someone but as executors would have thought it would have to be us they contact not brother's partner. I gave permission for them to speak to him not her.

Witzend Tue 09-Mar-21 09:38:23

I would have thought you were right. A probate co. should surely be dealing with the executors, not just anybody. Personally I’d contact the Coop and say that as an executor you need to to be an officially named contact who will be kept fully informed.

Have you asked your brother why you weren’t consulted?

oliversnana Tue 09-Mar-21 14:37:56

We were asked to give permission to speak to my brother and in writing which I did but all the log in is in his partners email and date of birth. That's why I was suspicious

bikergran Tue 09-Mar-21 21:23:09

I seem to think that only one person can apply for probate.

Myself and brother are both executors to a will but only one of us can apply for probate. Not sure if that's any help.

oliversnana Wed 10-Mar-21 06:35:57

Up to four can apply for probate. The person the correspondence is addressed to is not an executor in our case.

M0nica Wed 10-Mar-21 07:18:55

It does seem very strange that a non-related partner of a sibling is named.

Why do you not ask your brother why this lady is the contact and then insist, unless the reason is very good, that her name be replaced as contact and that copies of all correspondance, emails etc must go to each sibling and anyone named as being responsible for anything in the will, must be a sibling.

If you can afford it, pay for a half-hour interview with a solicitor, any solicitor, as long as they specialise in wills and probate, and explain your concern.

You could also go to your local Citizens Advice office and they have people who may be able to help you.

But I do agree, with a will like this to have a non-family member as prime contact, sounds odd. A family member wanting a partner to deal with the issue on their behalf is one thing, prime contact is something else.

Katie59 Wed 10-Mar-21 07:48:16

Oliversnana don’t assume there is anything underhand, your mother could just have added the name on a whim, now you just need to be quite firm that it is the executors are the point of contact.
The executors provide the probate company with all the information, pay all debts and expenses and make sure the estate is distributed, it is a legal responsibility. Executors are able to claim reasonable expenses to cover the time it takes, if they wish to do so.
There are a lot of complicated rules about inheritance and taxation not to mention, tensions within the family over bequests. Unless it is straightforward as a “mirror will” or a very small estate would be, a professional will save you a lot of extra stress.

Grandma11 Wed 10-Mar-21 09:02:29

I recently become the Executor to my late Father, and as per his instructions in his will, appointed a Solicitor to help with the legal side of things, including dealing with HMRC, Probate, and the sale of his property. Previously, My step brother had dealt with his Mother’s side of the estate, and had unfortunately made a few mistakes in doing so which were time consuming and costly to put right.
I’m so Glad that we chose to use the Solicitor, his service was excellent, he knew all the local services from the Estate agents to the House clearence company, completely took on the responsibility for dealing with all the financial affairs such as paying out utility bills, and the costs of legal fees and tax’s directly from the estate. This is something that an out of town company, or someone inexperienced at being an executor may well struggle with, his costs were reasonable and deducted directly without the executors having to pay anything out of their own pocket, IMHO he was well worth the money we paid him.

oliversnana Wed 10-Mar-21 11:52:59

Thank you for your replies everyone. I do think it will be easier for a solicitor to help as there a couple of charging orders against the property from my dad. It is a mirror will and to be fair both my siblings work full time.
If my brother wishes his partner to be his contact that is fine but feel my DS and I should also be on the contacts. That is why i was concerned My DB partner knew more of the debt than mt siblings, I too knew there were financial problems but DM had paid most of it.

oliversnana Wed 10-Mar-21 11:57:39

I' ve messaged the account manager to get more details. thank you all

Katie59 Wed 10-Mar-21 12:42:42

It was a mirror will when father died, now it has all got to be wound up completely and gets complicated.

Visgir1 Wed 10-Mar-21 13:21:47

Mum passed away in July. She did have a mirror will with Dad but he died 6 years ago.
My sister and my husband were joint executors.
We filled in form in just in my husband name, sent via email, paid the fee it was acknowledged saying it can take up to 6 weeks , then believe it or not 15 mins later it will Granted!
So if its not too complicated do it yourself.

Abartle1969 Mon 29-Mar-21 15:09:38

I would try Kings Court Trust in Bristol to deal with the probate process. its a fixed fee like the Coop, but far cheaper. they are a specialist in probate