Both my parents died in 2019. Both my brother and me are joint executors. Because he’s an unreliable person, he wants to have complete control.

He refused to allow me any input in the funerals of our parents, even though we were both jointly executors.

He failed to shut off the water supply and the ceiling in my parents’ house collapsed last year. The property was also not insured by him.

Inheritance dispute: My brother is blocking the sale of the home our late parents left to us both (Stock image)

Inheritance dispute – My brother blocks the sale of the house our parents have left us (Stock photo)

Because he had my bank details and all financial information, I didn’t know there wasn’t insurance.

After having insured the property, I cleared it and made arrangements for the auction and value. Agents felt that this was the best option due to water damage.

As his solicitor had called mine, he asked that I take over the leading role because he was sick. My solicitor informed me that I was ready to accept the role.

As soon as I was ready to view the item for auction, he called the agent. He was extremely abusive and said that he wouldn’t agree to sell it and would never permit me to probate.

My sole surname has been granted probate since August. However, my solicitor told me that I can’t sell the property because my brother still needs to consent.

Although I can’t settle the issue personally, my children have also been beneficiaries of very modest gifts.

How can I contact my solicitor if he isn’t responding to emails?

My brother and I have shared the main portion of my inheritance.

In my 60s, I’m selling my house to be near my family.

My brother would probably agree to let me buy him out, but it wouldn’t make much sense. He is currently dependent on benefits and will be without money if he dies.

He is not aware of my income and I believe he believes he can make my financial life difficult by making it appear as though he has.

Do you allow me to move into the home of my parents and be in possession? If my property is sold, then I have no place. I might still be able buy his house.

My solicitor has told me it’s impossible for him to be removed as executor.

As my partner has been diagnosed with rare, incurable cancer in recent years, I need to resolve this issue.

Tanya Jefferies of This is Money replies: After losing your parents, this is an awful situation to find yourself in.

It is difficult to sympathize with you.

We asked an expert lawyer below to help us sort out your options and possibly find a solution.

Gary Rycroft, partner at law firm Joseph A Jones & Co, replies: It is difficult to believe that this has happened after a double tragedy.

It is really awful that your brother didn’t involve you in your parent’s end-of-life care and funerals.

Gary Rycroft:  Whilst the Grant of Probate is in your sole name, you can in effect ‘call the shots’

Gary Rycroft:  Whilst the Grant of Probate is in your sole name, you can in effect ‘call the shots’

In the context of your current legal situation, it is of paramount importance that you obtain the Grant of Probate in solemn name. This will enable you to progress.

Your brother and you were named executors. However, he refused to execute the Grant of Probate. He asked for you to assume the leadership.

They can either “renounce”, meaning they leave the position of executor completely and cannot revert back, or “have power reserved,” which simply means they stand aside. However they will be allowed to request to take over in the future.

It sounds as though your brother had “power reserved”. This is because my solicitor believes that he has some sort of standing which you should consider.

However, even though the Grant of Probate remains in your sole name you have the ability to ‘call it quits’ and make decisions about how the assets should be handled.

You must make sure that all beneficiaries are treated fairly and you don’t take advantage of them. You have legal power to make the next decision.

You should close the bank accounts if they are not closed. If so, pay the final balance to an executors account. This account can be held in the client account of your solicitor or one in your name.

You should pay any legacies (such as your children’s) that are not yet paid.

You are legally responsible for insuring and maintaining the property as executor. The estate will reimburse you if the cash cannot be found.

You must decide whether to either sell the property and divide the proceeds equally between yourself and your brother or move in with the intention of paying him back.

You are the sole executor of the Grant of Probate. If you do something that is not in your best interest or contrary to the will of his brother, then you would have cause for complaint.



You should be completely transparent with your executor role to reduce the chance of your brother filing a valid complaint.

It could be that you tell the seller in writing (to ensure there is a record of it) that you must sell your house in order to clear the debts and/or preserve the estate’s value by getting rid of any unused assets.

You could also tell him to buy you out by writing, based on at least three valuations.

You are the Executor on the Grant of Probate and you can sign legal documents for the sale or transfer of the house. His signature is not necessary

Your lawyer may have stated otherwise. However, based upon the facts that you provided in your question, however, I find it difficult to disagree with your assertion.

You have a duty to your brother to keep him informed and to take his wishes into consideration (if reasonable), but not to do any damage to the estate.

The easiest way to get rid of the house is by selling it on the open marketplace. This will determine the real value and eliminate any possibility of arguing that he was bought at a lower price.

Your brother tried to stop the sale by calling the estate agents.

This is unacceptable behavior.

Estate agents don’t shrink from the task and you should be up for the challenge.

While your solicitor may be correct in stating that the removal of executors isn’t an easy process, it seems that this is an academic question since your brother didn’t apply for the Grant of Probate.

Also, that is something I won’t do if it costs me too much.

Some of the suggestions your solicitor gave you seem to frustrate.

Although it would be rude of me not to comment on the complete correspondence file without first seeing it, I believe that if the client/lawyer relationship isn’t working, terminating the services and paying any reasonable costs up-to-date, as well as seeking out alternative legal advice, is a smart move.

Your brother’s motive for making this difficult is what I find most puzzling.

He mentions that he receives benefits. I believe this is what is key. It is possible that he doesn’t want the estate administered because once the estate is wind up, he will need to declare what capital he has.

There may be mutual agreements that could alleviate his concerns if you are able to communicate with each other.

Your brother may use his share of the sale of your parent’s house to buy a place for yourself. This could preserve income from benefits. In this case, his capital balance in his bank/building societies accounts might not grow as much as what he is afraid.

While he might lose his housing benefit, he wouldn’t have to pay any direct costs to the state. His roof would still be covered and it would also be his own property.

Your brother and I may not be able collaborate. If so, my response will explain that his permission to administer the estate best is not necessary. However, as executor of the Grant of Probate, it’s your responsibility to ensure that this role is fulfilled with integrity.

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