executors duties

Ryanair apologises for no refund after death saga

Airline Ryanair has apologised to a man for refusing to give a refund after the death of his mother.

Doug Parsons had booked for his family and his mother to fly to Fuerteventura with Ryanair, in October. They had stayed there some years previously and had had a wonderful time.

In April this year, the late Mrs Parsons had a tumour removed from her womb and was still looking forward to her holiday. Unfortunately, only two months later, she was then informed that the cancer had in fact spread and that her condition was terminal.

Three weeks after receiving the news, Mrs Parsons passed away and in addition to his duties as executor, her son contacted the airline and asked for a refund of £230 – the cost of his mother’s flight ticket.

The airline refused, offering its condolences but stating that the deceased had breached its terms and conditions.

Mr Parsons was understandably upset at Ryanair’s response and refused to accept that he could not receive a refund. Finally, the airline backed down only after the gentleman threatened to take his mother’s ashes on the flight in an urn and the press became involved, saying that Mr Parsons had received an “incorrect” letter and offering a full refund.

Beneficiaries who live abroad

The world is getting smaller so they say, and with the advent of the internet, Skype, mobile phones and social media, it certainly does seem to be that way.

With so many of us travelling and even choosing to live abroad or marry someone from a different part of the world, it is becoming common for beneficiaries of an estate to not only live in the UK, but absolutely anywhere across the globe.

The first thing you must note as an executor planning to distribute funds to an individual overseas is that you must, by law, carry out an international bankruptcy search on that individual.

Once you’ve been given the all clear, you’re advised to make a direct transfer from the deceased’s dedicated bank account, to the individual’s bank account or send a cheque by recorded delivery.  Be sure to keep records of this transaction so you can refer to them later, if necessary.

Inherited land – what to do next



If you have  inherited land after the death of a loved one, it is vital that you act instantly and appropriately.


By completing an assent document, you are formally requesting that the land that has been left to you is to be legally transferred and documented; in effect making you the new owner.


If you are not the executor of the deceased’s estate, then the executor will need to be a party to the assent after probate has been granted, and they have been given the go-ahead to distribute any remaining assets, as instructed by the will.


You must ensure that these legal formalities take place and are carried out correctly, particularly if it is your intention to sell the plot of land in the future, when ownership must be proven.


A professional probate expert will be able to advise you and the executor if necessary, on how to carry out all aspects of asset distribution in a legal manner.


What will happen to my Facebook page after I die?

Currently, when a person dies, Facebook’s policy states that it will in effect take over that person’s page as soon as the death is reported to the organisation.   It blocks the account so that although the page remains, it cannot be added to or amended by anyone else.
Designated individuals are only able to gain access to the relevant Facebook account data (including photographs) if the deceased gave specific written instructions to this effect before they died or if police officials request it.
These restrictions have angered many individuals who are currently campaigning for specific guidelines to be introduced whereby a friend or relative of the deceased is able to act as “social media representative”, taking over and running or closing down their social media accounts including Facebook and Twitter as they see fit. In this way, vital memories in the form of photographs and records of personal thoughts can be preserved, which could help loved ones during this difficult and emotional period. Social media can act as a tool to immortalise those who have left us and as such, these keepsakes should never be lost.

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