Beneficiary in prison refusing to cash cheque


(Ben Leach) #1

I am dealing with an estate which has been distributed save for one beneficiary who is in prison (which may or may not be relevant) and entitled to £21k. After some to-ing and fro-ing he agreed to accept his entitlement by way of cheque, but he had not presented it when it finally expired.

For reasons which I won’t go into (as they don’t make a lot of sense) he has suggested that he may be able to accept it in future, but will not at present. Our accounts department are concerned at the prospect of holding the money indefinitely. However, clearly he has not disclaimed as such - he is just refusing to accept it at the moment.

Any ideas please?

Ben Leach
Molesworths Bright Clegg


(Tim Gibbons) #2

If you continue to hold it in client account you are in some danger a) of providing the prisoner with a banking service, which however innocently intended, constitutes a breach of the Code and b) of attracting criticism from the prisoner disappointed at the lack of investment return. In view of the possibility that he wants to keep the money at arm’s length as protection against civil claims you may also find that the firm is drawn into a stakeholder dispute

There are a number of possibilities:

You could persuade the PRs to open an account and pay it in there. They should be advised to notify him in writing of the arrangements made.

You could also pay the money into court under sec 63 Trustee Act 1925. Or apply to the Court for directions. Either of these may well galvanise the beneficiary into a more cooperative attitude!

Tim Gibbons


(Paul Saunders) #3

My immediate thought is that he fears he will “lose” the money if he
accepts it now.

Is there a database held somewhere which could be checked to see if he
is subject to any orders to compensate the victims of his crimes, or for
the confiscation of his property?

Paul Saunders


(Julian Cohen) #4

Yes, get his bank details and transfer the money in.

Julian Cohen

Simons Rodkin


(John Cartlidge) #5

Pay to Court Funds Office.

John Cartlidge
Campion Solicitors


(Paul Saunders) #6

Have you done a credit check or a bankruptcy search?

Paul Saunders