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    • Crowdedhouse
    • By Crowdedhouse 16th Oct 16, 12:09 AM
    • 83Posts
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    Crowdedhouse
    Selling inherited house
    • #1
    • 16th Oct 16, 12:09 AM
    Selling inherited house 16th Oct 16 at 12:09 AM
    My aunt is selling my cousin's house following my cousin's death. Aunt was estranged from my cousin for many years due to cousin being an alcoholic.


    House was up for sale and advertised with an estate agent as needing complete renovation and this was reflected in the price. A buyer has now been found (a property developer).


    Aunt has just received from her solicitor a Law Society Property Information form for her to complete. The problem is aunt does not know the answer to any of the questions on the form. Aunt is now in her very late 80s and does not seem to understand that she cannot guess at the answers to put on the form. I have tried to explain numerous times that the answers must be truthful and accurate.


    She had not been to my cousin's house for over 20 years and before that had only been there once or twice in total back in the mid '90s. Similarly, myself and other family members had never been to the house prior to cousin's death.


    What can aunt do? Has anyone ever filled out one of these forms with 'don't know' as the answer to every question?


    Many thanks.
Page 1
    • PasturesNew
    • By PasturesNew 16th Oct 16, 12:11 AM
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    PasturesNew
    • #2
    • 16th Oct 16, 12:11 AM
    • #2
    • 16th Oct 16, 12:11 AM
    When you sell a house like that you can't know the answers. Just write a simple phrase of "probate sale, no idea" (well, better worded) to indicate that you've read the question and don't know the answer.

    I filled in one to the best of my knowledge and the estate agent said "they'll know you won't know all the answers as it wasn't your house"
    • Rain Shadow
    • By Rain Shadow 16th Oct 16, 12:20 AM
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    Rain Shadow
    • #3
    • 16th Oct 16, 12:20 AM
    • #3
    • 16th Oct 16, 12:20 AM
    If you genuinely don't know then, as above, put 'Not known'. This must happen regularly. It's up to the buyer to satisfy themselves on any points that are important to them.

    And, a professional buyer is much more likely to 'take a view' on these things.
    • Crowdedhouse
    • By Crowdedhouse 16th Oct 16, 12:31 AM
    • 83 Posts
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    Crowdedhouse
    • #4
    • 16th Oct 16, 12:31 AM
    • #4
    • 16th Oct 16, 12:31 AM
    Thank you for your replies.
    • G_M
    • By G_M 16th Oct 16, 1:37 AM
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    G_M
    • #5
    • 16th Oct 16, 1:37 AM
    • #5
    • 16th Oct 16, 1:37 AM
    Silly question but.... I assume aunt is Executer of the will? And Probate has been granted?

    As for the form, yes:

    "Not known".

    But why is she not getting advice from her solicitor?
    • csgohan4
    • By csgohan4 16th Oct 16, 8:18 AM
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    csgohan4
    • #6
    • 16th Oct 16, 8:18 AM
    • #6
    • 16th Oct 16, 8:18 AM
    Silly question but.... I assume aunt is Executer of the will? And Probate has been granted?

    As for the form, yes:

    "Not known".

    But why is she not getting advice from her solicitor?
    Originally posted by G_M


    I hope your aunt has a will herself, just in case things go wrong.
    • davidmcn
    • By davidmcn 16th Oct 16, 8:22 AM
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    davidmcn
    • #7
    • 16th Oct 16, 8:22 AM
    • #7
    • 16th Oct 16, 8:22 AM
    Has anyone ever filled out one of these forms with 'don't know' as the answer to every question?
    Originally posted by Crowdedhouse
    Yes, perfectly normal. Repossessions typically have that for every answer, even the ones they blatantly do know the answer to.
    • DigForVictory
    • By DigForVictory 16th Oct 16, 9:13 AM
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    DigForVictory
    • #8
    • 16th Oct 16, 9:13 AM
    • #8
    • 16th Oct 16, 9:13 AM
    All strength to you & Aunt!
    Yes, ignorance is acceptable & the property developer will not run away squealing - it's their business to know or be able to find out most of the answers.
    All best wishes for a smooth sale.
    • martindow
    • By martindow 16th Oct 16, 12:00 PM
    • 6,625 Posts
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    martindow
    • #9
    • 16th Oct 16, 12:00 PM
    • #9
    • 16th Oct 16, 12:00 PM
    All strength to you & Aunt!
    Originally posted by DigForVictory
    Assuming the answers are don't know.

    From the OP I got the idea that the aunt was inventing or guessing answers to questions which is definitely not a good idea.
    • Crowdedhouse
    • By Crowdedhouse 16th Oct 16, 2:45 PM
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    Crowdedhouse
    Thank you everyone for your replies.


    Yes, aunt is administrator as cousin left no will so she inherited everything as next of kin. The firm of solicitors dealing with the house sale are the same firm of solicitors dealing with the probate side of things, albeit a different solicitor for each matter.


    Most of the dealings with the probate solicitor have had to be via me as aunt is very deaf and following several falls recently where she had to be hospitalised is now practically immobile so rarely goes out.


    Probate was applied for back at the beginning of September and Inheritance Tax paid by bank transfer on the same day. However I don't know whether solicitor has received the letters of administration yet. She stated that it should be received in about 10-14 days! If the grant has been received the solicitor certainly hasn't informed aunt!


    Luckily, aunt managed to update her own will before she started having falls and becoming more housebound.


    When aunt was guessing the replies I only listened and didn't write anything down on the form. She only received the form on Friday so the form remains blank at the moment.


    I think I will try and make an appointment to see the solicitor dealing with the house sale side of things as neither myself nor aunt have had any contact at all with her apart from the form being sent to aunt. I will just get aunt to sign the form and armed with all your helpful information will tell her that the answers are all 'not known'. And see how it goes from there.


    Many, many thanks.
    • G_M
    • By G_M 16th Oct 16, 4:56 PM
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    G_M
    Since you seem to be acting on her behalf, perhaps she should rescind her grant of representation and you should apply?

    Getting her to sign blank legal dcuments and then filling them in yourself is....... dodgy! Granted, with the PIF, it's no big deal, but suppose you got her to sign the sale contract without the sale price? Or a blank cheque? In principal, it is not a good way to operate.

    And it might be wise for your aunt to also consider granting you, or some other trusted person, Power of attourney, given that she is struggling.

    If this is done while she still has mental capacity to appoint a POA, it is much simpler than waiting till dementia, old age, deafness or illness means she loses mental capacity.
    • Thrugelmir
    • By Thrugelmir 16th Oct 16, 5:01 PM
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    Thrugelmir
    I think I will try and make an appointment to see the solicitor dealing with the house sale side of things as neither myself nor aunt have had any contact at all with her apart from the form being sent to aunt.
    Originally posted by Crowdedhouse
    The solicitor isn't going to know the answers either. By answering not known. The purchaser will have to decide for themselves what action to take.
    “A man is rich who lives upon what he has. A man is poor who lives upon what is coming. A prudent man lives within his income, and saves against ‘a rainy day’.”
    • Crowdedhouse
    • By Crowdedhouse 16th Oct 16, 5:33 PM
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    Crowdedhouse
    Thanks for your replies. All points duly noted.


    With regard to signing blank cheques she's always happy to sign and then I fill in the details, under her watchful eye! Even though she's got mobility problems when it comes to money she's as sharp as a new pin!


    Regarding Power of Attorney, unfortunately that's something she is just not interested in. I've tried to broach the subject with her on several occasions but cannot force her to do something she does not want.


    On the rare occasion I have had to see the solicitor for the probate matter if aunt is feeling well she will insist on coming with me. She likes a little run out in the car occasionally.


    Solicitor did suggest I apply for the grant but aunt was having none of it. So all in all, aunt keeps a close eye on everything.
    • Crowdedhouse
    • By Crowdedhouse 17th Oct 16, 2:22 PM
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    Crowdedhouse
    UPDATE: Just spoke to the solicitor dealing with the house sale.


    She stated that I should just write on the first page of the property information form:- 'SOLD AS SEEN - PROBATE SALE' and then just get aunt to sign it.


    This will be done this afternoon when I go to aunt's house.


    However, one thing i overlooked when asking you all for advice yesterday was the Law Society Fittings and Contents form.


    Should I attempt to answer the questions or should I just write the same thing on that form as well i.e. 'SOLD AS SEEN - PROBATE SALE'?


    As cousin lived a couple of hours' journey away I am trying to avoid having to go back to her house to check all the necessary details.


    The solicitor didn't seem very friendly so I'm trying to avoid having to contact her again!


    Hope you don't mind me coming back on here again. Thank you.
    • G_M
    • By G_M 17th Oct 16, 4:09 PM
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    G_M
    Well IS it sold as seen?

    Will ANYthing be removed before Completion?

    Curtains? Furniture? Fittings? Cutlery?

    If it will literally be handed over exactly as it is today, with NOTHING removed, then yes: "'SOLD AS SEEN - PROBATE SALE' seems a fair and accurate response.

    However if anything is going to be removed, you need to say so. Otherwise how will the buyer know what they are going to get?
    • Crowdedhouse
    • By Crowdedhouse 17th Oct 16, 4:54 PM
    • 83 Posts
    • 5 Thanks
    Crowdedhouse
    Thanks for replying.


    House is exactly the same as it was on the day all viewings were done. Absolutely nothing has been removed and nothing will be removed.
    • AnotherJoe
    • By AnotherJoe 17th Oct 16, 5:43 PM
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    AnotherJoe
    Then your solicitor sounds eminently reasonable and I suggest you do that with the F&F form as well. A developer isn't going to give two hoots about them anyway !
    • xylophone
    • By xylophone 17th Oct 16, 6:06 PM
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    xylophone
    Regarding Power of Attorney, unfortunately that's something she is just not interested in. I've tried to broach the subject with her on several occasions but cannot force her to do something she does not want.
    Clearly you cannot force your aunt to do anything that she does not like, but do ask her to read up on PoA and consider granting it- ask her to imagine what would happen if she fell, broke her right wrist, (or worse) and found herself in hospital for eight weeks (or more) and at many miles distant from her nearest relative.....this happened to an elderly acquaintance of mine and it was a blessing that EPA had been in place for years, "just in case"......
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