Australia's leading provider of affordable DIY legal kits
Call our Customer Care Specialists on 1300 728 200
   

Legal Forum

Welcome to the FREE AussieLegal Forum

This FREE legal forum is supported by participating lawfirms in your local area.
The information contained in this public forum, and any comments made by the administrators, it's appointed mediators, or members of the public are of a general nature and may not be regarded as financial or legal advice in any way. We recommend that you seek formal advice from a practicing solicitor or licensed financial advisor regarding your particular situation. By registering to use this forum you meet the above criteria and agree to abide by all of the above rules and policies.

To be sure we provide you with the most relevant information to your state, please let us know which state you your legal matter resides in:

ACT  NSW  NT  QLD  SA  TAS  VIC  WA  

AussieLegal recommends this law firm:

  FAQ FAQ  Forum Search   Register Register  Login Login

Executor demanding proof of debt owed to retailer

 Post Reply Post Reply
Author
  Topic Search Topic Search  Topic Options Topic Options
flipch View Drop Down
Newbie
Newbie
Avatar

Joined: 09/March/2015
Location: Australia
Posts: 3
  Quote flipch Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Executor demanding proof of debt owed to retailer
    Posted: 12/March/2018 at 09:36
Hi,

I am a small retailer who had a good relationship over the years with an older client who died a year ago.   I supplied goods and services over the years to the deceased and was owed for an item I supplied some months before they died.   

The estranged son is the executor of the the estate.   He has demanded proof of the sale.   I sent a photo of the item plus and invoice and an explanation of the ongoing help I had with his parent.   He will not accept what I have provided, and demands,

1. A copy of a signed contract
2. A signed record of monies paid to me
3. Signed evidence from the deceased re sums outstanding.

1. I haven’t been able to find any satisfactory evidence to suggest that there was a finance arrangement for the computer.
 
2. I believe that I have already requested a signed copy of;
 
3. a statutory declaration, signed & witnessed by a JP describing the claim. keep this factual, date specific and also be fully versed in the responsibilities of making a statutory declaration (and the consequences for making an incorrect declaration) "and then I will consider your correspondence further."

Some months ago after finally tracking down the executor, I sent him a detailed invoice, a copy of an email from the deceased asking for an extension of time to pay (no details of the item or amount referenced), and a photo of the item.

The amount owed is under $500 and I have never asked for or been requested to provide a signed contract for the work or the items I sell, and so have none in this case. I have always worked on word of mouth, and only asked for payment when service work or the supply of items was complete.   In cases like this with a pensioner I knew any progressive payments were agreed to verbally.

Are the executor's demands appropriate? As I do not have the evidence demanded where does that leave me?

Many thanks for any general advice supplied that has bearing on this.

Luisa View Drop Down
Senior Member
Senior Member


Joined: 08/June/2010
Location: Australia
Posts: 220
  Quote Luisa Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27/March/2018 at 12:19
I'm sorry no-one has replied til now. I can't help you either.
Sounds like this person is being unreasonable but I don't know what remedies there are. Is it worth throwing more money after it? I would suggest a lawyer's letter asking for payment but that will cost you $$. Pretty much anything will cost you $$. I don't know if Small Claims could help but it would cost you $$ too.
How desperate are you for the $500?
Maybe you should spend the $$ on an ad in the local paper commemorating the client? I'll bet the son won't waste a dime on his late father.

flipch View Drop Down
Newbie
Newbie
Avatar

Joined: 09/March/2015
Location: Australia
Posts: 3
  Quote flipch Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27/March/2018 at 13:00
Thanks for your response. Much appreciated.

I am trying to find out what is considered as reasonable evidence for a claim such as mine in normal practice in such circumstances.

It seems to me that there is always a level of trust and good faith required with invoices and other financial transactions.   If we all had to sign stat decs for every sale that didn't have a signed contract it would be a difficult economy to work in. But in this case I can see that the son is not trusting, and understand why he might wants more evidence. The existence of the computer at his parent's home and the evidence I have provided should surely be sufficient without a stat dec.   

Eddy View Drop Down
Senior Member
Senior Member


Joined: 14/December/2012
Location: Australia
Posts: 157
  Quote Eddy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27/March/2018 at 13:58
I don't think that they are being unreasonable at all. As an executor they are responsible for proper settlement/distribution of the assets, and need solid proof of any claims.

I would have thought that a standard invoice and receipt system would have sufficed for evidence of the sale and partial payment of the computer, even for a small business. Not using this basic transaction system is a risk for both parties - buyer may have issues with warranty and seller with complete payment (as per this case). It would be wise to put together a written document (terms and conditions) in future for deferred payments - unfortunately trust and good faith alone can't provide protection. Verbal contracts are very hard to prove when things go pearshaped.

flipch View Drop Down
Newbie
Newbie
Avatar

Joined: 09/March/2015
Location: Australia
Posts: 3
  Quote flipch Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28/March/2018 at 22:17
Thanks for your input. Yes, certainly they have serious responsibilities that need to be carried our diligently and correctly.

An invoice was the first thing I provided, but it was not accepted. Though I suppose they are easy enough to "create" after the fact. But even with a stat dec. I am told it will then be "considered."   Time will tell.

Eddy View Drop Down
Senior Member
Senior Member


Joined: 14/December/2012
Location: Australia
Posts: 157
  Quote Eddy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29/March/2018 at 11:54
Unless they have evidence that the invoice is fraudulent then I don't think that can dismiss it on the suspicion alone that it may be. I would have thought that the invoice and receipt of initial payment would be all the evidence you need to supply. They would need to provide evidence of payments made. No evidence then (legally) it didn't happen.

 Post Reply Post Reply

Forum Jump Forum Permissions View Drop Down

Want to save money?

Check out our list of do-it-yourself legal kits.

Need formal advice?

Let us help you find a lawyer who specializes in your particular area of law.

Need further information?

Visit our legal forum where you can ask questions and search for similar topics.