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Published On: May 18, 2020 | Blog | 0 comments

The executor/administrator is refusing to pay me my inheritance during the pandemic. Can they do this?

If an executor/administrator is refusing to pay you your inheritance, you may have grounds to have them removed or replaced. 

However, there may very well be legitimate reasons for the delay.  Particularly, during the ongoing Covid-19 crisis.  If this is the case, any Court application to have them removed/replaced is very unlikely to succeed and you may then be ordered to pay all the legal costs.  It is therefore always best to proceed with caution, to seek advice and to gather as much information as possible before taking any action. 

An executor is appointed by the will of an individual who has passed away (the deceased). An administrator is appointed where the deceased has failed to leave a valid will.  Collectively, they are known as “Personal Representatives”.

The primary role of a Personal Representative is to collect the assets of the deceased, pay off their liabilities and properly distribute the estate according to the terms of the will or rules of intestacy (if there is no valid will).  Once all the assets are collected and the final figures in the estate accounts are agreed upon, payment should then be made as quickly as reasonably possible.

However, this process can take time and there are often legitimate reasons for the delay.  For example, if the primary asset in the estate is a property it can often take a number of months (at the best of times) for a sale to take place.  Until that time, there might be no money at all in the estate to pay out.  During the ongoing pandemic, nearly all property sales are paused meaning that delay in these circumstances is unavoidable. Other examples of legitimate delays might be when confirmation of the tax position is being sought from HMRC or some of the other beneficiaries disagree with certain figures in the estate accounts.  

If there is a delay in your case, you should therefore always ask the Personal Representative(s) for the reason in the first instance.  

If they refuse to tell you or have no valid reason for the delay, you may have grounds to have them replaced or removed from their role. The replacement (or remaining)  Personal Representative(s) can then take the necessary steps to finalise the administration.  Such an application would need to be made to the Court under Section 50 of the Administration of Justice Act 1985. The key consideration of the Court in such cases is whether the Personal Representative(s) in question can properly administer the estate.  

We would recommend that you seek legal advice before commencing any Court proceedings to remove or replace a Personal Representative.  It is always desirable to try and resolve disputes at an early stage to save stress, time and legal costs.

If you want advice on removing a Personal Representative, please do not hesitate to contact a member of our contentious probate team.

*Disclaimer: The information on the Anthony Gold website is for general information only and reflects the position at the date of publication. It does not constitute legal advice and should not be treated as such. It is provided without any representations or warranties, express or implied.*

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16 thoughts on “The executor/administrator is refusing to pay me my inheritance during the pandemic. Can they do this?

  1. My aunt has been holding my inheritance for no reason. It’s been almost seven years and she refuses to communicate with mr

    1. My daughter and son are beneficiaries in their grandparents will. My daughter received her inheritance rather quickly because she was 31 years old. The will as we understand it states they cannot receive it until age 30. My son is 29 and will be turning 30 April 29tu this year. He is looking forward to this as it is a large sum of money and he wants to invest and build a nice nest egg. Now the executor is saying he won’t be getting it then, that it’s up to her discretion. We have not seen the will, can he get a copy of it and does he have any recourse?

      1. Dear Pamela,
        Thank you for taking the time to comment, a member of the team will be in contact with you shortly via email.
        Kind Regards

  2. Hi, I have a problem with an EU country, in Malta. Myself, my brother and my sister are still waiting for almost a year now for our inheritance payments.
    We are 3 of 40 beneficiaries, other members of our family received their payments in March 2021.
    All correspondence is by email. I was told that the money would be in my account by the end of January 2022.
    But since then, they are no longer replying to my emails.
    Please can I ask you for some advice, in getting help with this.
    Or if you know where I could get help.
    Thank you

  3. My mother passed in July 2021 , probate has been granted so i requested the insurance company pay us 3 sons equally , the reply was the the executor will get the funds to do as he pleases and he has already mention to us that he will be keeping the funds even though we signed as claimants , in this day and age can someone actually get away with this ? My Mother was paying premiums to leave the 3 of us something not just to 1 of us .

    1. Dear Paul,
      Thanks for your comment. A member of the team will get in touch with you shortly. Kind Regards

  4. My brother died of cancer aged 65 in Feb. 2021, he was a very wealthy person, he had a wife whom he divorced some 15 years ago with whom he had 3 children.
    He has a partner, ‘Ann’, which caused the split. She informed me that he had left a Legacy of £100,000 for me not long after the funeral. In his will he left everything to Ann even though they never married, and she obtained Probate through the will.
    It’s over a year now since the funeral yet I have not received a penny of it yet. I email her from time to time but try not to be pushy & keep things respectful. Where do I stand in this situation ? Thank You.

    1. Dear John,
      Thanks for your comment. A member of the team will get in touch with you shortly. Kind Regards

  5. My Dad passed away a year ago in Australia. I don’t know if there was a will, but he said in the past that there was inheritance for myself and my sister. He has been married for approx 30 years, and I have asked his wife twice about our inheritance, but have been completely ignored. They also have a child together. She has mentioned that she wants to make sure she never has to work again (she is in her mid 50’s) and takes regular foreign holidays, several a year, including Disneyland whilst myself and my sister struggle month to month – we have 4 kids of our own. There is definitely something there for us, but I don’t know legally what if anything I can do.

    1. Dear Trevor,
      Thanks for your comment. A member of the team will get in touch with you shortly. Kind Regards

  6. My father passed away without leaving a will. We were not close, and still are not a close family. My sister’s husband was given power of attorney and was the executor of his estate. He has told me there are funds due to me but won’t tell me how much and how this figure has evolved from his estate.
    He asked for my bank details to deposit the monies into, but months down the line, he has not responded to my texts or emails. I still have not received any communication from him at all, and have not received a penny! What can I do? My father passed away in 2018.

  7. my uncle is admin to my grandmother estate which probate is already closed but the estate recently got money from my great grandmother estate which went in to probate and i am a heir to my grandmothers estate and my uncle (admin) is keeping 10k that Iam suppose to get claiming its for damanges done to my grandma house that he sold three years ago is there anything I can do about this because never not once was anything mention about this I asked for a invoice or anything and he ignores me

    1. Hi Lavena, thanks for your comment. A member of the team will get in touch with you shortly to see if we are able to help. Kind Regards

  8. I’m a beneficiary of a trust, the trustee was my client financial advisor and power of attorney, he gave me part of my inheritance but not what my client said she left me. She was worth 3 million. I found out while my client was still alive this individual owns his financial company, and added his wife has beneficiary to one of my client’s annuity without my client knowing, Jackson national and the wife received a half a million dollars in that annuity, which was supposed to be my inheritance. My client didn’t know his wife and didn’t know he had done that. Is that legal for a financial advisor and power of attorney and trustee to do that? And what can i do to get the rest of my inheritance back? I did get a lawyer but he did absolutely nothing in my case to help me, i think he was paid off by this trustee because they were both Mormons. I’m sorry but i just don’t trust these people anymore. Can you give me some advise has to where to go on this problem. Thank you. Liz u.

    1. Hi Elizabeth, thank you for your comment. A member of the team will get in touch with you shortly to see if we are able to help.

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