Anonymous asked in Politics & GovernmentLaw & Ethics · 1 month ago

How long do people roughly have to wait to be contacted if their names are in someone's will?


I've got some questions about a will.

1) How long do people roughly have to wait to be contacted if their names are in someone's will? 

2) Who will contact the people that are mentioned in the will? The Executor or the Solicitor?

3) Can an Executor put anything in the estate up for sale if the Executor isn't on the will?

Thank you!

5 Answers

  • Clive
    Lv 7
    1 month ago
    Favourite answer

    It's impossible to say.  But a responsible executor should do it soon once they've actually found and read the will.  Actually getting probate and handing things over could take any amount of time.  Now as you mentioned a solicitor, I'm going to assume English law.

    It is the executor's job to contact people who need to be contacted.  But they may hand that job over to any solicitor they employ to handle the paperwork.  So I can't say who will do it.

    In English law, an executor is who is named in the will.  So your question about this makes no sense.  If there is no will, or the will didn't name anyone, the court will appoint an administrator or administrators, who will be the nearest relatives.  In Scottish law, an executor named in the will is an executor nominate and the equivalent of an administrator is an executor dative.  So you can see I really need to know where we're talking about to use the right words.

    In any case, the executor(s) or administrator(s) must do, as far as they can, whatever the will says.  Or what the law says if there is no will.  If that means selling things because everyone won't get their share otherwise, they have full power to sell.  If that's the house, they can't do it until the grant of probate has been obtained because the Land Registry will want to see it.

    Administrators have no power to act until probate has been obtained.  Executors do, but they can run into practical problems without the grant of probate.  So if you're an executor, you want the grant of probate and to get this, you need to submit a pack of forms including a valuation of everything the deceased owned.  Pay the fees, and inheritance tax if there is any, now you have this vital piece of paper and can give everything away to who should have it.

    So just to take the example of my Dad, he left a very simple will appointing me and my Mum as executors and leaving everything to her except for the contents of bank account X to go to me and bank account Y to go to my sister.  He'd been saving in those for us so I wrote that into the will (yes I actually wrote it for him, using the book he'd bought on the subject).

    Dad died, we had the funeral, now I had to get to work on this.  First thing, we want the grant of probate.  I had to do the inheritance tax return with a valuation of everything he owned, that meant telling all the banks he had accounts in that he'd died and asking how much is in the account at the date of death, getting a proper valuation of shares he owned, how much is the house worth, what would we get if we sold all his possessions second-hand... get a total and send it off with the probate application form.  You can see this is the hard work!

    I chose not to use a solicitor because the book told me how to do it.  Now to get the probate, the executors have to swear the truth of all this information.  Use a solicitor and you can swear the affidavit in front of them, and they'll do the rest.   If you don't use a solicitor, these days the Probate Registry will send the affidavit to a local solicitor so you can go there and swear the oath, but back then Mum and I had to go to the Probate Registry.  It gave us a day out in London.  Back in 1993, the Principal Probate Registry was in Somerset House, same building as the Courtauld Institute of Art, Mum paints, of course we had to see the gallery!

    OK, phew, hard part done, now wait for the grant of probate, got that in the post, now I could send it round to all the banks and say "gimme the money" so it can go to who's entitled to it.  And to the Land Registry so they could put our house in Mum's name only.

    So you can see you'd expect the executor(s) to tell people what's going on just from reading the will.  Actually getting what they're entitled to can take a few months.

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  • 1 month ago

    1. There is NO valid answer.

    2. If the executor hires a solicitor, contacting the heirs is generally part of what they hire them to do.

    3. It doesn't matter if the executor is an heir. If parts of the estate need to be sold to pay debts or otherwise satisfy the terms of the will, it is the executor's DUTY to do so.

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  • 1 month ago

    1.  Could take a while  2.  Either or  3.  depends on what the will says, but it would be the executor's job to do that.

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  • 1 month ago

    Roughly when the executor gets around to it.

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  • Edwena
    Lv 7
    1 month ago

    I would suggest that you take some action and get your answers instead of making the big mistake that someone is going to take care of you. Call the executor and get specific answers and follow through.  If you don't like his answers, get a lawyer to talk to the probate judge.   People can just sit around and be cheated out of everything.

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