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Formaleins

How To Enforce A Will In The UK From Thailand?

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Posted (edited)

Any legal bods here? Current situation is as follows,

Recently my mother died and left a will, for simplicity lets just say it is split 50 /50 between my brother and me.

 

There is some cash, but not a lot,  but there is a house.

 

Now that the monetary divisions are  split 50 /50 I would have thought that when my mother died, it would have drawn a line in the sand so to speak. then everything would have been split as per the will.

 

Problem now is, my brother has decided on his own, to keep up the gas, electric, and even her internet and telephone connections to the empty house.

 

So every month the savings that were supposed to be allocated to her benefactors are being eaten away to pay for pointless utilities.

 

Anyone have any ideas as how to prevent the frittering away of her cash on useless utilities and force the executors of her will yo simply do the right thing? If it continues to go on like this her beneficiaries will end up with nothing.

 

It almost looks like he is trying to drain the cash and equity to eventually force me to lose my share, simply by draining her savings to maintain the house which once he gets control (which he has always wanted) then sell it off and keep the balance.

Edited by Formaleins

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It sounds like probate has no been implemented.

Your mother's will will specify an executor.

The executor has the responsibility  to ensure that the wishes of the deceased are satisfied.

Has probate been implemented?

 

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My brother did the same to maintain the sales value of the house especially as it all takes at least I year

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Anyone who is a beneficiary can apply for probate, but you need to know all your mothers finances and details. Not easy from overseas and with someone else controlling the main asset.

 

If you think an application for probate is going to be made and you will lose out on your entitlement you can apply for a caveat. If you want to stop an application for probate you make a Caveat application on this form or look around can be done online:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/form-pa8a-caveat-application-form
Note: Easy to apply for, cost of £20 but if applied for wrongly you are liable for all legal costs involved. Valid from the day after the form is supplied for 6 months. Must make application before probate is granted.
 

If anyone misuses inheritance money, spending it wrong, giving to the wrong person etc they are personally liable, but better to stop any distribution before it happens than try to get money back later.

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Posted (edited)

if the House is located in the UK , it is advisable to keep the heating on at a low level depending unless you want frozen pipes

So the gas or electric depending on what heating was used wouldn't be pointless utilities

Likewise if the house ie empty its worth have lights on a timer coming on for various periods during the evening and night

Can't see any reason why internet and phone is kept going unless contracts were recently signed as the service provider will want paying if you cancel early.

if you have a copy of the will then you should know the executor also it is normal for either the will or a letter of wishes attached to the will to specify the distribution to beneficiaries and the percentages to each  beneficiaries

The executor is required to produce a set of accounts

There will be the gross value of the estate sent to HMRC for inheritance tax the only deductions allowed by HMRC are funeral costs and any outstanding debts repayment of overpayment of pensions

If a solictor is handing the probate expect costs between 2-4% of the gross value of the estate 

What is left after funeral costs, probate fees solictor fees, estate agents fees that is the amount that is available for distribution to beneficiaries

 

 

Edited by vinny41
additional info
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17 hours ago, RichCor said:

Who was appointed the executor of the estate?

 

If the brother is not the executor, and does not have the approval of the executor, but is making financial decisions concerning assets of the estate then normally his share of the estate would be reduced to cover those costs.

 

Depending on the value of the estate, you may wish to contract with a solicitor to represent your interest in the estate on your behalf.

If you don't trust your brother get a solicitor pronto given you are not in the UK. Use one local to your Mum's house who specialises in wills, probate and estates. The English Law Society has lists if you don't know of one. What your brother is doing may be reasonable as another has commented, but you should find out. A competent solicitor in this area of the law will know whether a caveat is appropriate.

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19 hours ago, Formaleins said:

So every month the savings that were supposed to be allocated to her benefactors are being eaten away to pay for pointless utilities.

If there's nobody living there, these will be trivial amounts.

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2 hours ago, Kalasin Jo said:

If you don't trust your brother get a solicitor pronto given you are not in the UK. Use one local to your Mum's house who specialises in wills, probate and estates. The English Law Society has lists if you don't know of one. What your brother is doing may be reasonable as another has commented, but you should find out. A competent solicitor in this area of the law will know whether a caveat is appropriate.

I was going to suggest OP to take contact to a solicitor, Kalasin Jo said it very well...👍

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If the utilities are cut off for non-payment, the costs of reconnection can be not insubstantial. a buyer may well require that the reconnection costs are deducted from the purchase price as usually only derelict properties are disconnected

 

equally, if you are trying to sell the property and someone turns on the taps and no water is coming out, or they turn on the lights, and nothing works, and walk into a freezing cold house (in winter), it makes it harder to sell, and/or less likely to get a full market value so the utilities are far from 'pointless'.

 

you should also be aware that many insurance policies require occupancy of the property, so you need to check the policy, and should inform the insurance company of the circumstances to prevent them voiding any claim you might need to make. you should also make sure that regular inspections of the property take place e.g. by the estate agent appointed

 

the Will provides the names of the executors. if the executors named are not available or don't wish to act, then it is possible that a beneficiary can step forward and apply for letters of administration. if your brother is the named executor and you don't agree with what he is doing, then there are steps that you can take, but you really would be best off trying to resolve matters amicably (and sensibly - and in fairness, it does seem that your brother hasn't actually done anything wrong or senseless so far) rather than act through a solicitor, although that is always an option of course

 

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17 minutes ago, roath said:

If the utilities are cut off for non-payment, the costs of reconnection can be not insubstantial. a buyer may well require that the reconnection costs are deducted from the purchase price as usually only derelict properties are disconnected

 

equally, if you are trying to sell the property and someone turns on the taps and no water is coming out, or they turn on the lights, and nothing works, and walk into a freezing cold house (in winter), it makes it harder to sell, and/or less likely to get a full market value so the utilities are far from 'pointless'.

 

you should also be aware that many insurance policies require occupancy of the property, so you need to check the policy, and should inform the insurance company of the circumstances to prevent them voiding any claim you might need to make. you should also make sure that regular inspections of the property take place e.g. by the estate agent appointed

 

the Will provides the names of the executors. if the executors named are not available or don't wish to act, then it is possible that a beneficiary can step forward and apply for letters of administration. if your brother is the named executor and you don't agree with what he is doing, then there are steps that you can take, but you really would be best off trying to resolve matters amicably (and sensibly - and in fairness, it does seem that your brother hasn't actually done anything wrong or senseless so far) rather than act through a solicitor, although that is always an option of course

 

If I looked at a property I check water pressure for sure. Do you have home inspections

for home loans over there? Checking all the outlets and breaker box require electrical.

No need to keep the phone and internet.

 

Maybe the OPs brother wants to save on motels when he takes his gik out?

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You & your sister need to appoint a soliciter/lawyer pronto

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I respect the others on this thread that are suggesting that you contact a solicitor and obviously that is an option.

 

I personally would not do this since it might escalate the situation especially if your brother then does the same - this then goes to different level.

 

The bottom line is you have a simple issue to resolve and it makes most sense to keep it simple and the more people involved will create more complexity. Keep this between you and your brother.

 

I know that its difficult leaving Thailand right now, but a cheap flight for 4/6 weeks is going to be more effective and less cost than anything else now - If communications has actually broken down beyond repair.

 

Stay in the house and talk with you brother - You have the legal right to do this and your brother will understand the symbolism.

 

I just went through a similar, but not identical situation after a death with a property in dispute. The other side went the solicitor route and they now have legal bills completely disproportionate to the  value of the property. 

 

I came back from Thailand and took possession of the empty property and this has been the single most effective action and probably the only reason a solution was eventually found.

 

You are not having a property problem, but rather a communication problem and it is not going to get solved without being a player in the game, willing to talk and doing it with honesty and fairness to both you and your brother.

 

Its not easy however and hence - Good Luck!

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If it was one of my relatives I would be surprised if there was someone living in the house. Try to go back to find out what is going on. 

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