Beneficiary In The Dark

Enquiry: Hello. I am writing this from the United States. I am in need of help as I was informed that I am to inherit a flat from my Granny, in Tunbridge Wells, and there are some concerns. I’m not sure where to turn or what to do. She passed away over 2 years ago and I just found out about the inheritance 7 weeks ago, or so. I’m being backed into a corner and being pressured to just sell without any sort of documentation of anything or any sort of counsel and it’s all feeling suspicious. There is also a large debt against the estate. Please help!

Thank you in advance! Email will be the best method of communication, I believe.

Our response:

We’re not a Government Department, just in case you think we are!

You can obtain a copy of the Will and Grant online,  as I assume probate has been granted, and that at least will give you some idea of the situation.

I guess the biggest concern is the value of the property and why there is the pressure to sell.

This could be entirely legitimate – perhaps a Home Income Plan debt against the property with interest piling up, but they could certainly explain that to you.

You can get a rough value of the property from and basic details of any charges on the property from the Land Registry website.

I appreciate that may not be easy from abroad, so I can certainly refer you to a firm that will do up to 2 hours of investigating for £200 (or less if it doesn’t take that long – their current rate is £99 an hour in June 2021). Let me know if you would like me to do that.

You will probably get a copy of the estate accounts at the end, and if you don’t you should ask for them: people are often satisfied with that, but explaining the reasoning behind things is not much to ask, though British Lawyers are not used to being questioned, and would argue that it puts up costs (which it does as they will charge for the time in dealing with your enquiry).  They also generally don’t keep beneficiaries up to date, because it costs more, so less money for the beneficiaries in the end!

Best wishes,