Discretionary Trust - no action taken

I have been approached by a client wanting help with completing the administration of his late wife’s estate. She died in May 2012. She made a Will in 2005 with the usual form of nil-rate band discretionary trust. Executors include husband and adult children.

The relationship between Dad and children is not good. Dad has also since remarried.

Most assets held by H & W jointly, but one house as JT with son and left that house separately to son. H has effectively retained all the assets but no formalities have been dealt with; Probate has not been applied for.

H is anxious to try and sort estate out but having left it all for so long, and with some animosity in the family, would appreciate any words of wisdom as to how to start sorting this out!

Might help to know: Total value of W assets - £125,000.00. Liabilities iro £5k.

Jaki Fairbrother
Fairbrother & Darlow

My initial reaction is for Husband to get a Grant of Probate asap and then administer the estate in proper form, However if as you say the Executors are both Husband and kids, and there is bad blood, would it not be best to suggest to the kids that they take out the Grant with power reserved to Husband, and then the kids can administer the estate?
Also, if Husband (as the surviving JT) makes sure that the assets he has inherited go back into the Trust for the kids, the kids will then be sure in knowing they are going to inherit in due time time “their” rightful inheritance without interference from the new Wife.
This might not be practical if Husband needs the monies he has inherited on which to live, but he might be able to pour oil on troubled waters if he provides that after his death, his new Wife gets the income (but not capital) for life, and then on her death the monies go to the kids.

Peter Double / Probate Resealing Services