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Help with Wills

Help with Wills

Old Mar 11th 2012, 9:55 pm
  #1  
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Default Help with Wills

My dad just recently passed. He has a total of 3 siblings - I was the only one that ever bothered with him - calling and visiting - they never did.

My dad gave me a Will and Testament when I was there last April 2011. It states that I give and bequeath to "my name" the whole of my money and personal belongings (which is basically junk) after my debts and funeral arrangements have been taken care off. Dated and signed by him.
He has one witness that he knew sign it. Do you think this is ligit this way or will it still have to go into probate?
I called the bank as he had given me his bank info and froze his assets so that nothing can be taken out or put in.
I know it sounds terrible that he doesn't want to split it but he was adamant that I get the $ for his grandson and I was the only one who ever bothered with him. Knowing his past I cannot completely blame them, but I made the effort always.
It's not much I think it is only about 3000 pounds. So what do you think? The bank told me to bring the will in to them with a certified copy of the death certificate and my id. My dad also told the funeral director as he did a very basic pre-paid funeral that I was next of kin and that he wanted his leftover money to go to me.
So does anyone know the protocol when he doesn't want to share it amongst siblings? Also he never filled in the executor name - which I presume he would have wanted me to do it.
I wish that I wasn't dealing with any of this stuff and that he was still around to ring and to talk to.
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Old Mar 11th 2012, 11:38 pm
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Default Re: Help with Wills

First thing you have to determine is whether or not the will that you have is valid. That depends on which state we are talking about (or, indeed, which country - you don't actually say whether or not he lived in the US).

If the total value of the estate is small it may not have to go through the full probate process - in California, for example, estates where the total value is less than $100,000 can go through a simplified process.

Since you aren't actually named as the executor in the will you may still have to apply to the probate court to get them to appoint you as executor.

A short consultation with a local attorney would be a good idea so that you can figure out whether or not this is a "do it yourself" case.

Last edited by md95065; Mar 11th 2012 at 11:48 pm.
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Old Mar 12th 2012, 12:58 am
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Default Re: Help with Wills

The ban will pay the Funeral Director. They will need a copy of the Death Certificate.

To open a Bank Account as an executor you will also need a copy of the will. Might have an issue if you no longer have a bank account in the UK.

The bits and pieces left, well many Hospice's etc run house clearance operations but there may be stuff they will not take.

Somebody should be able to put you in touch with a company that will clear everything else out for a fee.

Make sure you have plenty of certified copies of the death certificate.

You might find there is not a lot left, this may help http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/Governme...eath/index.htm
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Old Mar 12th 2012, 2:51 am
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Default Re: Help with Wills

My dad lives in Hull and always has - I live over here now in NJ.
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Old Mar 12th 2012, 2:52 am
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Default Re: Help with Wills

And he lived in a council house - so there is no property involved - just his junk hoarding belongings and he told me about 2 or 3 thousand pounds.
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Old Mar 12th 2012, 3:02 am
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Default Re: Help with Wills

Also would it have made sense if he had wrote my name down as "the executor" rather than leaving that space blank?
Or is that a conflict of interest seeing as he is wanting to leave his belongings and money to me?
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Old Mar 12th 2012, 1:34 pm
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Default Re: Help with Wills

Originally Posted by moi View Post
Also would it have made sense if he had wrote my name down as "the executor" rather than leaving that space blank?
Or is that a conflict of interest seeing as he is wanting to leave his belongings and money to me?
No, the executor is often the main beneficiary (for instance folks very often appoint their child or children as executors.) From the way you've described your father's estate, it sounds as if you should consult a solicitor in Hull. Between a local solicitor and the bank, they should be able to get you the powers you need. Good luck!
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Old Mar 15th 2012, 8:49 pm
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Default Re: Help with Wills

Hi there - sorry for your loss

Here are a few things you will have to do, get plenty of copies of the death certificate, everyone wants a copy.

Try to find out if your dad had a will with a solicitor - it may be newer than the one you have and everything could change

The bank might want a copy of the will - this really annoyed my mum when my dad died, you might also need a UK bank account for the funds to be put into - this may depend on the bank.

Did he have a private pension plan - there could be money coming from one.

Was your dad born in another country and get a pension from them - this may sound stupid but my dad was born in Ireland and was getting a small pension from the Irish government - when we informed them of his death they gave my mum 500 Euros to help with the burial costs

You will also have inform all the utilities and get final bills to be paid off - also don't forget the council tax.

The estate might have to go to probate - are your siblings likely to contes the will, it could be a problem - my dads estate went to probate (I can't remember the reason) but my mum and I were executors on the will and I think both of us would have had to go to the hearing - not sure on this you may want to check. It would have meant I would have needed to fly back to the UK just for that but luckily I just had to sign a form saying I was giving up this part - this actually made my mum make my brother the executor of her will not me. So if it goes to probate this might make things more complicated for you, here is a link to probate in the UK - it might help

http://probate1.com/


I hope some of this helps - its a very stressful time and you may not think of everything

Brendan
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