View Full Version : Accessing deceased's accounts and estate


owl68
08-09-2009, 07:57
My dad died recently and i think my brother is trying to cheat me out of my inheritance. My dad died in hospital after a long illness and the first i heard of it was when i got a phonecall from my brother saying he had died and telling me where and when the funeral was. After the funeral my brother told me there was barely enough money to cover the bills and funeral expenses and not to expect much. He said he would contact me when he had dealt with the estate. I was suspicious because dad had spent at least a year out of the last three years in hospital and he could hardly walk. He was 84 and i couldn't see how he had spent his pension of £900 per month + the money he had been left when my mum died. I went to his bank and asked to see statements, they were very helpful and gave me a printout showing a final balance of only £2000 but they said he had a habit of saving for a few months then writing cheques to himself and paying them into another bank(Barclays) I followed the trail to Barclays but they would only tell me that he had an account which my brother had closed and withdrawn everything. They refused to say how much was in there. My brother told me the will left everything to my mum, but she died ten years ago.

The next thing is the house. It was an ex council house which i had always been told my brother had bought. But when i checked with the land registry i found my dad is listed as the owner. If my brother told the truth about the will then surely i am entitled to half the house?

As you can see my brother has completely taken over and arranged everything. I urgently need to know how much was in the Barclays account and if there are any more accounts that i don't know about. My brother refuses to discuss it. Before the funeral i had not seen or heard from him for five years, we have never got on and i don't trust him at all. I get the feeling he knows everything and i know nothing. Can anyone offer any advice?

Thanks

sTaGeWaLkEr
08-09-2009, 08:19
I'd suggest that you get yourself a solicitor. Immediately.

SpikeyHead
08-09-2009, 08:30
When my dad dies i hope the last thing im worried about is money.
Sorry to be blunt but youve just lost your dad, let the scroat have the money.
Karma will catch up with him in the end.

kenny.gray
08-09-2009, 09:52
what a pathetic reply,get a death certificate and your proof of identity make an appointment to see the person in charge at barclays of deceased persons accounts.you have a right to this information.your brother must be the executor of this estate if there is no will and he should act on your behalf in a fair and even manner.you should get legal help A.S.A.P.he as no rights to deny you any inheritance whatever the cicumstances.

HeadingNorth
08-09-2009, 10:48
your brother must be the executor of this estate if there is no will and he should act on your behalf in a fair and even manner.


The second half, absolutely; but if there is no will, does not the OP have at least equal right to be an executor? I don't know on what grounds his brother can justify having taken any action at all, without consultation.

Certainly, a solicitor is needed, and the sooner the better. The longer it takes to confront the problem, the more likely it is that the money will have vanished, and it won't matter what legal decision is made.

kmurray_uk
08-09-2009, 11:01
I echo everyone - get a solicitor. I use Ashton Morton Slack for all my clients probate stuff - I can get you a free consultation with someone there, just ask.
If there is no will, then your father's estate should go through the laws of intestacy. No money should ijn theory be passed to your brother without a grant of probate, although banks don't always follow this. However he would be breaking the law were he to keep any monies to himself & not follow the intestacy laws which would give you equal entitlement to your brother if your both fully blood related. I am not a legal expert though - so speak to a solicitor you trust.
My step mother passed away recently & unfortunately probate & funeral expenses etc do take up a few grand so he may not be trying it on. However, I would not leave it to chance. Good luck!

owl68
08-09-2009, 11:24
Thanks everyone. I never expected so many replies in such a short time. I have made an appointment to see a solicitor and i will try a different branch of Barclays. My brother closed the accounts and arranged the funeral within a week of my dads death. I heard this probate stuff takes up to eight weeks so i don't know how he did everything so quickly. When i phoned the probate office they said if no executor is named in a will either me or my brother can apply to be the administrator, he just happened to get there first. But i don't understand how it got it so fast. Hopefully the solicitor can clarify the situation.

Dozy
08-09-2009, 11:33
Thanks everyone. I never expected so many replies in such a short time. I have made an appointment to see a solicitor and i will try a different branch of Barclays. My brother closed the accounts and arranged the funeral within a week of my dads death. I heard this probate stuff takes up to eight weeks so i don't know how he did everything so quickly. When i phoned the probate office they said if no executor is named in a will either me or my brother can apply to be the administrator, he just happened to get there first. But i don't understand how it got it so fast. Hopefully the solicitor can clarify the situation.

If the estate is under a certain value (£125,000, possibly) you don't need to get probate.

owl68
08-09-2009, 12:02
The house is valued at £220,000

SpikeyHead
08-09-2009, 13:23
what a pathetic reply,get a death certificate and your proof of identity make an appointment to see the person in charge at barclays of deceased persons accounts.you have a right to this information.your brother must be the executor of this estate if there is no will and he should act on your behalf in a fair and even manner.you should get legal help A.S.A.P.he as no rights to deny you any inheritance whatever the cicumstances.

Then read it until you understand it:rolleyes:

GrannyGranny
08-09-2009, 15:51
If your brother has transferred the funds there will be a trail.

If the will is out of date your Dad's estate will go equally to you and your brother.

Did your Dad sign a power of attorney?

I don't understand that you hadn't seen your brother in 5 years yet he told you that your Dad had died. Had you visited your Dad recently?

I'm sure your solicitor will give you the correct advice.

Max Power
08-09-2009, 16:04
Everything Granny said and ignore spikeyhead, he's a dick.

kenny.gray
08-09-2009, 17:32
it does not matter if you have never seen your dad the fact is you are entitled to a share of his estate,under no circumstance let him get away with anything he is not entitled to.also check no money as been taken out of your dads account after his death unless he as power of attorney even if he as the money taken would come out of his share when all debts are paid.to many people are not paid the share of an estate they are entitled to and if no one claims it goes to the government.

natjack
08-09-2009, 17:40
It sounds a bit like one of those where someone never does anything for or even sees the parents or the family, and then comes out of obscurity looking for their 'fair share' when there's a clinking of coin.

It's happened in my extended family in the past. The thought of money does strange things to people.

owl68
08-09-2009, 19:30
I don't know if my dad signed a power of attorney. He had been ill for a long time and his health deteriorated very badly towards the end. The last time i saw him was five days before he died. The hospital contacted my brother because he lives a lot nearer and they had his contact details from my dads previous stay, he was in hospital on and off for about ten months in the last three years. My brother got my phone number from my dads mobile and only called me after he had arranged the funeral and had a good look through dads paperwork. I have spent most of today phoning round trying to find out if there are any more accounts/insurance policies/investments etc. Some places have been helpful, some told me to put my request in writing and some refused to discuss it, but i have uncovered a savings account that my brother tried to close and withdraw the money. Luckily the bank didn't give him the money because there was more than £3000 and he didn't have sufficient proof that he was entitled to it. I am now 100% sure my brother is up to something and i desperately want to see the will and find out how many more accounts are yet to be discovered. Hopefully the solicitor will know a quicker way to see the will instead of waiting for probate and do some sort of multi search of all financial institutions.

RonJeremy
08-09-2009, 20:13
it does not matter if you have never seen your dad the fact is you are entitled to a share of his estate,under no circumstance let him get away with anything he is not entitled to.also check no money as been taken out of your dads account after his death unless he as power of attorney even if he as the money taken would come out of his share when all debts are paid.to many people are not paid the share of an estate they are entitled to and if no one claims it goes to the government.

Sorry for your loss.
Even if your brother has (had) power of attorney, he doesn't have the right to withdraw any money from the account (except to pay reasonable funeral expenses). The power of attorney ceases at the moment your father passed away. Get a solicitor to sort things out, or better still see the solicitor that yourbrother is using to sell the house/ get probate and make them aware of your existence. If you can avoid two solicitors fighting each other through the courts, you will save yourself a LOT of money.

SILLY
08-09-2009, 20:47
Your Brother would have to notify your Dads Banks to let them know that he had died straight away then they freeze the accounts. He has obviously notified the registrar about your Dads death and if he has got the probate forms that you can get online might have filled them in, on them it asks about other relatives. There is no way he will have got the letters of probate yet so the banks wont release any money.Barclays were right in not telling you as you need letters of probate or have power of attorney. Also your Dad would not have received full pension while he was in hospital as you or your brother should have notified the Pension office that he was in hospital and he is only allowed about 8 weeks before is pension is stopped. You definitely need to see a solicitor as it sounds to me that your brother is not to be trusted.

owl68
08-09-2009, 21:14
This is another problem, i haven't got any money. I am about £2000 in debt. My brother owns two houses and earns about £5000 a month as a computer genius. If it gets too messy i will have to apply for legal aid.

GrannyGranny
09-09-2009, 07:29
Your brother sounds like a a scheming money grabber with zero conscience and even less family loyalty. The fact that he isn't struggling for money and you are in debt and the money from your father's estate will help you clear that debt makes it even worse. If your brother has only been on the scene post death then all is not lost. The house is in your Dad's name, he can't do anything about that ditto the bank accounts/savings with larger amounts in. All will hopefully become clearer after the solicitors appointment. Do you know which solicitor your brother is using? Your solicitor may want to know this. The best thing that can happen is all the assets get split evenly, you start afresh and your brother acquires a conscience (I was joking about the last bit :) )

SpikeyHead
09-09-2009, 10:06
Everything Granny said and ignore spikeyhead, he's a dick.

And your a muppet.
Some people really cant read very well cant they so for the retards here ill explain.

When my dad dies i hope the last thing im worried about is money.
Sorry to be blunt but youve just lost your dad, let the scroat have the money.
Karma will catch up with him in the end.

Dealing with death is bad ebough without havinhg to deal with the vultures after his money. Whgen a relative of mine died all the scum came out of the woodwork trying to get their hands on her cash and house. It ended up with solicitors getting involved and it got very, very messy.
Youll find it hard enough dealing with the loss of your dad without all this added hassle. Unless you have money to burn following all this up with legal help then you may as well let the thief have the money because hell get whats coming in the end.
Those type always do.
Its called karma.


Lets hope this helps the goons weho didnt read wht i put correctly in the first place.

owl68
09-09-2009, 10:49
I have no idea who my brothers solicitor is, or even if he has one. So far i have given him no reason to believe i am suspicious. I want to get as much information as possible before i let him know i am onto him. He covered himself by telling me he will deal with the estate and contact me when it is done. If i tell him i have found more accounts he will just say he was waiting until everything has been dealt with before telling me. I am sure he has been through all the paperwork and knows absolutely everything. The only small advantage i have is that while he thinks he is not under suspicion he might get careless and make a mistake.

GrannyGranny
09-09-2009, 10:53
Ignore Skikeyheads advice. You may be able to get help with the legal costs. Or, the solicitor will assess your situation, decide if you have a good case to claim 1/2 your Father's assets including the house (which I'm sure you have) and deduct their costs from the final settlement. It then works in their favour.
Keep us informed.

masbrolass
09-09-2009, 11:21
Don't get a solicitor. They will take your dads hard earned money. Your brother will have to applied for probate. Start there at the probate office (the number is on line). The banks will not give him anything without probate unless your brother is named on your dad's bank accounts or property. If he is on the accounts then I'm afraid it belongs to your brother. Ring probate now and see if it has been registered. They will then tell you what to do next if you have a problem with it.

GrannyGranny
09-09-2009, 11:33
More bad advice.

You need good legal advice.

Most firms do a free consultation to see if its worth going ahead with the case.

It will make the difference between obtaining 1/2 of the estate or nothing at all.

It sounds like you are determined to fight for what you are entitled to.

You will be at a disadvantage without good legal advice.

masbrolass
09-09-2009, 11:48
Its not bad advice. Its all on the internet for free. I've been executor on three estates and everyone is so helpful. Wills are public documents so why give money to a solicitor when its already available to you.

hockers666
09-09-2009, 11:55
The house is valued at £220,000

ex council house? that must be in a really nice area, as well as being as near to a mansion your going to get from the council not being nosey but sounds quite a pad

Dozy
09-09-2009, 12:16
Its not bad advice. Its all on the internet for free. I've been executor on three estates and everyone is so helpful. Wills are public documents so why give money to a solicitor when its already available to you. My bold

Really? So where, exactly, are all these public documents kept so the OP can go and have a look at it??

Anyway, if you read the whole of the thread, you'll see that the OP's dad left everything to his wife - who is also deceased. This means, in effect, that he died intestate, so looking at the will is not going to achieve anything.

I've been executor for 2 estates and, yes, it was straightforward and easy - but there was a valid will in each case, the OP definitely needs legal advice, because this case is not straightforward and easy.

masbrolass
09-09-2009, 12:54
My bold

Really? So where, exactly, are all these public documents kept so the OP can go and have a look at it??

Anyway, if you read the whole of the thread, you'll see that the OP's dad left everything to his wife - who is also deceased. This means, in effect, that he died intestate, so looking at the will is not going to achieve anything.

I've been executor for 2 estates and, yes, it was straightforward and easy - but there was a valid will in each case, the OP definitely needs legal advice, because this case is not straightforward and easy.

Simple, go to the Probate sub registry office at West Bar. There will be a will attached to the probate document. Take ID and state your interest. On a will there is usually a provison that if the wife goes before me then I leave my estate to.......all in legal language. If not it goes down the official route of siblings etc.
I was an executor that didn't go to a solicitor and everything was done with speed and honesty. The bodies of power are so helpful you just have to look on the web as the information is all there. But if you don't want to put the work in pay the hundreds and hundreds of pounds to a solicitor. It is so easy.
Don't stab me in the back for trying to save people money, its hard enough these days.

owl68
09-09-2009, 14:27
masbrolass...... I had a good look on the internet about probate and as far as i can see the will only becomes a public document after probate has been granted. By that time my brother could have withdrawn everything and it might be too late to do anything about it. I suppose i should have asked him to show me it but when he said everything was left to my mum i assumed it would pass down to the next of kin to be split equally between us. I am anxious to see it because there must be a reason why he didn't show me it. My appointment with the solicitor is a free consultation so i will see him and decide what to do depending on what he says. I have been told there is something called a caveat which is basically a hold on the probate that i can demand but if i do that my brother will know i am onto him and he will make it even harder to trace accounts.

masbrolass
09-09-2009, 16:31
Don't worry owl68, your brother has to swear on oath that he is the sole benefactor to claim the house. It does look like he may have already got the money and your dad may well have signed the cheque to him. He will not be able to sell the house and pocket the money without a probate document. It will stay intestate until he has got the document. If he has sworn on oath then it is a criminal matter. After your free interview with a solicitor think carefully as they take a lot of the money and all they do is what you can do very easily.

Max Power
13-09-2009, 18:04
And your a muppet.
Sorry. My brain was saying "troll" but my fingers typed "dick". :suspect:

owl68
16-09-2009, 07:53
Update

I saw the solicitor yesterday and he said it looks like my brother definitely has something to hide. But nothing can be done until the will is seen. As a beneficiary i have a right to see it but if i ask my brother to show me it he will know i am onto him and make it even harder to trace missing assets. The alternative is to wait until probate is dealt with and see what he offers me. He will need to sign a form which is like swearing on oath in court to withdraw any money over £1000, a record of everything he signs is kept with the power of attorney papers which i can check later. If he cheats me out of anything he can get a five year prison sentence. If there are accounts with less than £1000 he can withdraw the money at the banks discretion with only basic identity but if he is caught at any time in the future he can still go to prison so it is very risky. The solicitor was very eager to take the case so it looks good. The only thing that can go wrong is if i have been left out of the will, but that seems very unlikely.

GrannyGranny
16-09-2009, 08:02
Sounds encouraging. You said originally that your Dad's will hadn't been updated since your Mum's death and left everything to your Mum. Did your brother relay this information? It doesn't sound like you've seen the will yet. I'm just wondering if you should tell him that you've seen a solicitor. It may stop him trying to do anything further with your Dad's accounts and demonstrate that you are no pushover. If you mention five year prison sentences it might focus his mind!

owl68
16-09-2009, 09:05
No i have not seen the will. As the only named beneficiary is dead everything will be split equally between me and my brother which is what i expected so i didn't question it at the time. But now it seems a bit odd that he didn't show me it and refused my offer of help to deal with it. The best thing i can do is wait until probate has been dealt with. I am assuming he applied for it but i will check today.

masbrolass
16-09-2009, 15:01
GrannyGranny advised you to ignore my advice but I was right and my advice is free and acurate. Next advice is to warn you that the solicitor's free first meeting is a sales pitch when you may have a case. Ask yourself, if you lose will he still want paying. Now, how could you lose when the estate should be divided equally. Your brother had power of attourney which means your father gave him full responsibility for his money. Tread carefully here, it's sound's like he could have been his carer. And you? Beware that the house may have been put into an equity scheme which could mean that on your father's death an insurance company may have claimed it. Remember, it's free to ask your brother and he should tell you freely. Solicitors cost's? £120.00 per hour plus......adds up. As I said before probate office are very helpful.

GrannyGranny
16-09-2009, 15:12
Its already been established that the brother is not trustworthy so why should he answer freely. Its obvious he's willing to withold information to get his hands on the estate. owl68 can always take the information from the free consultation together with information from the Probate Office and ask her brother whats happening. This might help him remember things.
I think it was still valid advice to see a solicitor. Some people are not as confident as yourself in these situations.

owl68
16-09-2009, 17:14
Another surprise today, i found probate has not been applied for and i can't apply for it as i don't have the will or any information about specific accounts. I managed to contact my brother and demanded to see the will, he now denies it exists.

masbrolass
16-09-2009, 17:30
It looks to me that there will be no cash left with your brother having power of attourney where he should have a legal document confirming that. Ask to see it.
But the house is now in testate and you both should be executors of that. Tell him you are prepared to apply with him and if he refuses you apply. Move into it, its half yours now anyway.
Grannygranny, his brother had to reply freely and be open if there had been a will. He faces a prison sentence if not and has done some dodgy deals. It didn't hurt to take legal advice but you never see a poor solicitor. I suppose I have got confidence here but its because I did it all myself. The information is out there and I hope no one is put off by asking relevant bodies questions. They are public servants afterall and when you've lost someone they are exceptionally helpful. Its also good to talk like this without all the slanging matches that go off on here and then owl68 can get an all round view. Good luck.

owl68
16-09-2009, 20:38
I don't think he has power of attorney. So far it looks like he had the advantage of being alone in the house to go through all the paperwork so he knows all the savings accounts/investments/policies etc and the contents of the will which i am 99% sure exists.

GrannyGranny
17-09-2009, 09:27
owl68 - Your brother is digging himself into a hole he'll soon be unable to get out of. If there is no will then the state just gets divided between you and your brother. There doesn't seem to be any advantage in denying there is a will. If it was out of date the result will just be the same. Looking at the website http://www.hmcourts-service.gov.uk/infoabout/civil/probate/index.htm it looks like you will need a letter of Administation from the probate office if there is no valid will. Obviously they can give you all the advice.

masbrolass - sorry, didn't want to get into any slanging matches, I try not to do that on here epsecially when its in these circumstances. I was just making the point that her brother hasn't exactly acted correctly so far but he may now realise that legally he has to go through the correct channels.

owl68
25-09-2009, 16:05
I have seen four solicitors and they are all very keen to take the case on a commission basis which seems to suggest i have a very strong case. Most people think my brother has either destroyed the will or been stealing my dads money over a number of years (possibly both). I don't want to be responsible for sending him to prison but i want my full share of the inheritance so I have written to him giving him one last chance to come clean and give me my share. I will give him a week to decide what to do then i will instruct a solicitor to start legal action. Does anyone know how much commission i can expect to pay?

GrannyGranny
25-09-2009, 16:10
Before you give the go ahead get a figure in writing on how much commision they want. Do not instruct them without this. I would have thought they might have given you a figure when you contacted them initially.

owl68
25-09-2009, 18:32
No. None of them mentioned a price. They all said we can agree a percentage if i give them the job. I hoped it wouldn't get this far so i didn't think about it much.

masbrolass
26-09-2009, 11:06
WATCH OUT! You must read the small print on any commission based agreement. There will be clauses i.e if our time exceeds the amount of the claim then we will be entitled to recover all of the money. They will base this on an hourly charge say £150.00 per hour, letters £50ish each and it soon adds up. If you lose you could end up paying the whole of the solicitors fees because there will be a clause there that says they are working on the information you have given them and if anything is incorrect then...whoops!

owl68
26-09-2009, 20:27
I would prefer not to deal with solicitors. But i can't see any other way. If the banks would provide the information i need maybe i could get the proof i need but they won't help. My brother seems to be relying on me not doing anything. I can't see any reason why he has not applied for probate as he can't get the house or any more money without it. I know he is hiding something and all this is making me ill. I just want it settled. My dad would be so ashamed of my brother for treating me like this.

masbrolass
27-09-2009, 08:21
Simple. You apply for probate. Get down to the office now and they will advise you and give you the necessary forms.

katy1981
27-09-2009, 08:46
sorry for your loss, i lost my dad a couple of months ago and I'm soo glad he didn't have any money after reading this. my inheritance was a darts club t shirt, a couple of trophies and some old coins.

id say you really need a solicitor or do the probate route either way you have to do one of them and unfortunately it isnt going to be a nice time for either you or your brother. but if you want the ininheritance then this is whats needed.

good luck

SILLY
27-09-2009, 10:35
Look on line at direct.gov.com they tell you what to do and you can even print the forms off to do probate yourself that is what I did. If your Dad did have a will he must surely have left it with a solicitor and only had a copy at home can you think who he might have used ? Did you ask the banks if your dads accounts had been frozen and had they been informed of his death? I found them very helpful when my Mum died but had to get letters of administration before getting the money out of them.

masbrolass
27-09-2009, 10:55
Thank goodness SILLY has supported what I've been saying.
Again, once you get probate the banks will show you your dad's bank statements and any other organisation that he may have dealt with.Then you will find the proof you are looking for because the probate document is the highest of high of documents and no one argues with them unless lies have been told. Tell your brother you are applying then he will respond. Remember you are equal in this now so take the lead. What are you waiting for.

Dozy
27-09-2009, 11:03
Thank goodness SILLY has supported what I've been saying.
Again, once you get probate the banks will show you your dad's bank statements and any other organisation that he may have dealt with.Then you will find the proof you are looking for because the probate document is the highest of high of documents and no one argues with them unless lies have been told. Tell your brother you are applying then he will respond. Remember you are equal in this now so take the lead. What are you waiting for.

A quick search of the appropriate website (http://www.hmcourts-service.gov.uk/infoabout/civil/probate/index.htm) comes up with this:

"What is the Probate Service?

The Probate Service forms part of the Family Division of the High Court. It deals with ‘non-contentious’ probate business (where there is no dispute about the validity of a will or entitlement to take a grant), and issues grants of representation, either:

* Probate (when the deceased person left a valid will and an executor is acting)
* Letters of administration with will (when a person has left a valid will but no executor is acting)

or

* Letters of administration (usually when there is no valid will)." My bold

I think the situation the OP is in definitely counts as contentious, since his brother is being totally unco-operative.

SILLY
27-09-2009, 11:06
http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/Governmentcitizensandrights/index.htm

I have never done a link up before so not sure if this will work but this is the page you want.

SILLY
27-09-2009, 11:11
Wow it works thats something new I can do!!. Give it a go don't waste good money I have done 4 myself 1 without a will and 3 with luckily I had my brothers support but I did it all on my own and it is not hard.

masbrolass
27-09-2009, 13:36
A quick search of the appropriate website (http://www.hmcourts-service.gov.uk/infoabout/civil/probate/index.htm) comes up with this:

"What is the Probate Service?

The Probate Service forms part of the Family Division of the High Court. It deals with ‘non-contentious’ probate business (where there is no dispute about the validity of a will or entitlement to take a grant), and issues grants of representation, either:

* Probate (when the deceased person left a valid will and an executor is acting)
* Letters of administration with will (when a person has left a valid will but no executor is acting)

or

* Letters of administration (usually when there is no valid will)." My bold

I think the situation the OP is in definitely counts as contentious, since his brother is being totally unco-operative.




Don't let this put you off going to see about probate. Take the lead and ask your brother to join you. If he refuses ask him if he minds if you sort it out and assure him you will do it properly. The house remains in testate, can't be sold until its sorted so it would best if it was done together.

owl68
27-09-2009, 20:22
Unfortunately i can't apply for probate as i don't have enough information. I would need the original will and details of all bank accounts/investments/shares/insurance policies and any other assets such as jewellery and anything of value. My brother has all these things so he is the only one who can do it. I sent him an e-mail offering to go with him but he didn't reply. He knows he can't get the house or any money until he does it so i can't understand why he is delaying it. I am sure he has something to hide but i can't think what. Can anyone think of a reason why he would delay it?

masbrolass
27-09-2009, 21:16
You are having a laugh arn't you....no matter what anyone says you can't do it.
Over and out.

saxondale
27-09-2009, 21:18
. Can anyone think of a reason why he would delay it?

grief? .............