Caveats & Executors Year

Hi All.

I wonder whether anyone I can help?

I am an executor of a will of someone who has died. I am the main beneficiary, but there are also other beneficiaries with smaller amounts.

One of these beneficiaries decided to contest the will resulting in 2 caveats placed upon the house. These took over a year when probate couldn’t be granted, house not sold, estate distributed etc. Probate was only granted at the end of 2020, and I now have the other beneficiaries claiming that because the executors year has passed, they can claim interest on their amounts due.

My point is, caveats have stopped me doing anything within that executors year, so I hardly feel this is fair, reasonable or just. I have only had 6 months since probate has been granted, not a year and half as the timeline would otherwise suggest.

Does anyone know of any protections that exist for executors in these circumstances, and for any lawyers, is there any case law / statutes or regulations that protect executors?

Many Thanks,

P.S. Just to confirm, I was a carer for the person who died, hence asking here.

Unfortunately I doubt that any of us here will be able to answer your question and think that you really do need to get advice from a solicitor.

Definitely go to the solicitor.

I had a difficult brother who thought he deserved more! Solicitor sent him a letter, telling him there was no hope!

You should definitely see a solicitor about this, as Susie and Bowlingbun have said. I believe that dissatisfied beneficiaries can take action against you, and then the court will consider whether you were negligent, and presumably you would be OK as you were not negligent and had a justification for delay - but it would be good to avoid this stress. Perhaps a solicitor’s letter could stop them taking legal action against you. But this is just me guessing, it doesn’t necessarily help you.

The money will be taken out of the estate in any case, so there are no winners, all losers.
Maybe the other beneficiaries could talk to the troublemaker, because if there is legal action, everyone loses!!!???

I looked after both my parents in our family home since 2000. My mum passed in 2003, she needed constant care which I shared with my dad. He passed in 2017 and two years before he died I approached my sister who was dealing with his will because I was anxious about what would happen when he died. He wanted to change his will because he wanted to safeguard my tenancy at home and stop my sister throwing me out once he had gone.

I took him to the doctor’s to get his OK to write a new will as per solicitor’s instructions but because of his dementia the doctor refused.

I have since had trouble with my sister threatening to evict me unless I pay her her share of the property even though she lives in a £2m house in the Surrey Hills with a swimming pool inside! I cannot afford to do this as I had promised mum to gift her grandchildren money once dad passed and don’t have the funds to stay here. It is a small bungalow where I lived with them and was born here. She won’t accept any less than what she is entitled to having written my parent’s wills herself with the collusion of a solicitor.

Solicitors have tried certain tacks, Inheritance Law Provision and Estoppel but these are low success strategies without going to court which would take all my money. My sister has been particularly intimidating through her solicitor saying I was only a freeloader here and never really cared for my parents etc etc even though I was able to claim Carer’s Allowance for most of this time because of their delicate conditions.

I also worked part-time when I could to help with our joint income and cashed in my small pension to help with the day to day expenses.

My sister wants to send me off with my tail between my legs so I will agree to what she wrote in their wills. They were unhappy with this. I have naturally put Caveats on dad’s will because he wanted to leave the property to me but was unable to make this legal. Once probate is completed only nine months is allowed to contest the will.

During lockdown I had to isolate away from home because of a long-running health issue and I had caught Covid myself. During this period my sister entered my home and took documents and proof that I had spent money working to improve the property and a solicitor’s letter stating his reservations with their wills because they were done for Inheritance Tax purposes only without any other provisions.

I have until January when the Caveat expires to make a decision legally but don’t see leaving here an option because I do not have the finances to do this and live anything but a minimum life.

I am nearly 71, have limited income opportunities and health issues myself.

I replied to you in the other thread.