Executor Disputes

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Arrods | 06:10 Mon 09th Jun 2014 | Civil
9 Answers
OH disagrees with one co-executor about the need to hand over everything to a solicitor to deal with probate and administration of estate. OH feels that the estate is not that complicated and that probate can be done by the executors (4 in total), taking advice on any specific queries with either the Probate Registry or, if necessary, solicitors.

Co-executor will have none of it and has essentially bullied the other two into agreeing with him. I was under the impression that all the executors had to agree on a course of action failing which efforts should be made to resolve such disputes by mediation or even by the court.

It won't come to that as OH will accept bully-boy's decision. But, as a matter of interest, has bully-boy breached any legislation surrounding probate etc by acting in such a manner?


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I agree that solicitors are generally not needed- executors can usually do it themselves unless they have little or no free time.
Has it been suggested to this executor that he could stand down as executor if he wishes, or that the others could take some of his burden?
But if 3 out of 4 have now agreed to it maybe OH should just go along with it. Is his concern the high costs to the Estate of using a solicitor
Question Author
Thanks factor-fiction. They're all retired and have 'all the time in the world'! OH is not that worried about the costs - it's more about wasting money on solicitors when it could be done relatively easily by themselves.

Other executors have offered to do the work (not that there is much work if it's handed to solicitors) but he's just not interested. I'm afraid asking the executor to stand down is out of the question. (Remember I did refer to him as 'bully-boy'!!!!!!)

But I'd still be interested to know if he has 'done anything wrong'.

Happy days!

Thanks again.
he's done nothing legally wrong

It would be worth pointing out to him that a solicitor is unlikely to complete the job in much less than a year and (a bit tongue in cheek) suggest that the solicitor's fees come out of his share
Question Author
Thanks dzug2. There's no property to sell so it should be much less than a year - even for a solicitor. There is a property, but bully-boy owns half and has a life interest in it. The other executors have never had any problem with that.

Perhaps you could suggest to bully-boy that he pays the solicitor's fees - and I'll happily pay for top ring-side seats to watch the ensuing reaction from bully-boy!
OH is right of course.
I did my mothers with 4 beneficiaries, £625k
I mean basically every asset was divided by four.

Bully boy sounds as tho he wished to make sure that his interests are protected and how better than to do it with a lawyer that someone else pays for ?
Question Author
Thanks PeterP. I think there's a lot of truth in that. It could have been worse. Originally, OH thought there was barely enough in the estate to pay the funeral costs. How galling would that have been if bully-boy asked for a contribution from OH to meet the lawyers' fees to protect his own interest. Fortunately there will be enough - at least OH hopes there will be!
Maybe bully boy isn't actually confident of his own ability to handle the estate? t would then be a reasonable decision

xx There's no property to sell so it should be much less than a year - even for a solicitor. There is a property, but bully-boy owns half and has a life interest in it. xx

I would suspect six months plus - and whilst there is no property to sell there's a trust to deal with which will take time

No solicitor will pay anything out for 6 months
Question Author
I accept that bully-boy would be out of his depth on such matters but there is plenty of expertise in the family. He even took umbrage when OH filled in some of the answers on the probate forms to save time/cost at the solicitors. He wants the solicitors to do all that at face-to-face meetings.

I guess OH's main gripe is that he is not involving his co-executors in decision-making. He has decided to go to solicitors; he has decided which one; and he has already decided that a specific piece of jewellery - not mentioned in the will - should go to one of the other executors. (OH and that executor have no problem with that. In fact they were arguing between themselves no you have it, ping-pong style!). It's just another example of his failure to even consider others' views.

It'll be interesting to see if the value of the item of jewellery is included in the estate. If it isn't he'll need reminding that he and the executors will be swearing an oath as to the truthfulness of the information provided.

Isn't amazing? Most arguments are about how estates are divided. There is absolutely no such argument in this case. Everyone is perfectly happy with how the estate is divided. This is all about it has to be bull-boy's way and no other way.

Rant over. Thanks for listening ABers!
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The 4 executors have just returned from the solicitors after their initial meeting. Bully-boy wanted to use solicitors so that it 'would be done properly'. Would you believe the solicitors have already given two pieces of advice about the valuation of the estate which are illegal! I'll have to remind the executors about the oath they'll be giving i.d.c.

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