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Sale of property

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Deaths, Funerals & Probate
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suki1964suki1964 Forumite
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edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Deaths, Funerals & Probate
MIL passed away at christmas and most of the estate has been divided as per her wishes.

Question is regarding the house

Her will stated that it was sold as soon as possible and the proceeds divided amongst all five children equally


Two of the children were named executors

Now they have split from the other three children saying that all decisions are down to them and nothing to do with the other three ( big rift happening :( ) and have yet not sold the house. The rest of the family are aware there's a good offer on the property that that are all willing to accept but the executers are refusing to accept the offer

Do the remaining three benificeries have any say in the matter as the offer price is only £5k less then valuation and its costing a lot more in maintenance and in these times in NI = its a fair price
if you lend someone £20 and never see that person again, it was probably worth it
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  • edited 4 September 2012 at 11:28AM
    daskadaska Forumite
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    edited 4 September 2012 at 11:28AM
    No, you don't get a say because you aren't executors, but...

    Have the running/maint costs been added up properly - it's all very well saying it's costing more but writing it out long hand demonstrates it. And has the discrepancy between shortfall and costs been pointed out to the executors?

    The executors have a duty to maximise the estate but they, surely, are the ones dealing with the estate agent - are you sure there isn't another potential offer in the pipeline?

    If all else fails tell them that if they don't accept the offer you'll expect them to make good any unnecessary shortfall (i.e. due to extended running costs) out of their personal share.
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  • meritatenmeritaten
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    daska is right - if the executors refuse an offer on the house and it then incurrs costs and the eventual sale is for substantially lower than the offer - then the executors become liable (in essence) for the shortfall. I would point this out to them and tell them that the beneficiaries would not look kindly on this happening.
    The job of the executors is to get the best value from the estate - and if they are beneficiaries themselves then they usually do that. I wonder why this hasnt happened? does an executor have a relative who is waiting for the price to go down on the property?
  • suki1964suki1964 Forumite
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    The executors are just two of the five siblings. To be honest one of them is none too stable and feels she's the only one who feels the lose of mum and has just taken the executors role to the extreme,not even discussing with the rest of the siblings what's occurring or what they are at. Mum left the house to all five siblings to be shared equally when sold, and the will sates clearly this is to be done ASAP.

    This is NI. House prices are still in free fall with the bottom of the market not yet hit. The house was valued for probate at 100k and there was one offer of 95k against it within the month- and no serious viewers since ( now empty 11 months)

    Hands oh heart the three siblings who are not executors are not strapped for money or are waiting on it. One of the executors was homeless and renting after needing to sell all their assets after the banking crash wiped them out. All three siblings are asking is do they not have any say when the house was clearly left to be shared equally? As I said before, there is now a family rift and the executors are refusing calls and insist on any queries to be via solicitors which I can only see making this rift unmenadble
    if you lend someone £20 and never see that person again, it was probably worth it
  • GoldenyearsGoldenyears Forumite
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    I am not making excuses for the executors, but I am just speculating that where executors are known to be selling a property in this market, an offer may not be all it seems. Based on my own experience contracts may be signed, certificates etc obtained, all purchaser's questions answered, then the purchaser sits back and does nothing for 4 weeks and puts in a lower offer. This is accepted, then purchaser does nothing for 4 weeks and puts in another lower offer etc etc. Sooner or later you have to break off due to bad faith.
  • troubleinparadisetroubleinparadise Forumite
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    Whilst it does depend on the wording of the will, there may be a sentence which gives the executors a power of decision about certain matters which overrides arguments (say when there is to be a distribution of contents but where it requires agreement between beneficiaries rather than named items).

    It may be that your Executors have that power, and as such have decided not to discuss this with the three non-executor beneficiaries.

    However, the Executor is charged with achieving the best prices or values for the estate, and to allow a sale to fall through, or incur further charges which deplete the estate, then they would be failing in their duties to the testator, and the beneficiaries.

    An Executor can be removed from their position by the High Court if they are proving to be unsuitable because they are wasting or mismanaging the estate. Obviously it is not a step to be taken lightly, nor will it be easy to pursue, but it is possible.

    Families and money!!! :eek::eek::eek:
  • edited 5 September 2012 at 3:16PM
    pearl123pearl123 Forumite
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    edited 5 September 2012 at 3:16PM
    I understand your frustration suki1964 but in my opinion 9 months is not long to sell a house and sort out probate.
  • edited 6 September 2012 at 1:11PM
    insurinsur Forumite
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    edited 6 September 2012 at 1:11PM
    I am not trying to unduly worry you but I do think you should be made aware of the follwing issues:

    Is this a DIY probate or being dealt with by a solicitors office?

    When the property has been sold where will the funds be deposited. Will they be deposited into an account belonging to the executors? If so, while they are leagally obliged to pay all beneficiaries their share, there have been cases where this has not happened.

    I do think your MIL was badly advised. Either all five should have been named as executors or the property should have been transfered into the beneficiaries names, they would then be responsible for its sale jointly.

    In this situation you are largely dependant on the honesty of the executors to be faithful in the distribution of funds. Many will come on here and say the law protects the beneficiaries and therefore there is nothing to worry about. However, to enforce the law is a costly process and there are ways around making good any payment enforced by the courts.

    Do all the siblings get on with the executors and are there any reasons for any of the executors to feel they are more worthy of the money than the others?
  • pearl123pearl123 Forumite
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    insur wrote: »
    I am not trying to unduly worry you but I do think you should be made aware of the follwing issues:

    Is this a DIY probate or being dealt with by a solicitors office?

    When the property has been sold where will the funds be deposited. Will they be deposited into an account belonging to the executors? If so, while they are leagally obliged to pay all beneficiaries their share, there have been cases where this has not happened.

    I do think your MIL was badly advised. Either all five should have been named as executors or the property should have been transfered into the beneficiaries names, they would then be responsible for its sale jointly.

    In this situation you are largely dependant on the honesty of the executors to be faithful in the distribution of funds. Many will come on here and say the law protects the beneficiaries and therefore there is nothing to worry about. However, to enforce the law is a costly process and there are ways around making good any payment enforced by the courts.

    Do all the siblings get on with the executors and are there any reasons for any of the executors to feel they are more worthy of the money than the others?

    The maximum number of excutors you can have is four, although the norm is two. Please see both links below which clarity this. I'm presuming this is the same for NI.
    I see no evidence that the MIL was poorly adviced.

    http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/Governmentcitizensandrights/Death/Preparation/DG_10029716

    http://www.ageuk.org.uk/Global/Age-Cymru/Factsheets%20and%20information%20guides/AgeUKIL8_How_to_be_an_executor_July%2011.pdf
  • suki1964suki1964 Forumite
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    pearl123 wrote: »
    I understand your frustration suki1964 but in my opinion 9 months is not long to sell a house and sort out probate.


    Probate was sorted months ago. Mother had all her papers in order and was very precise about what she wanted

    The three non executer siblings are just now wondering, apart from the legal route is their any other way of getting the two executors to actually even discuss what is happening as they are being so totally secretive? Or do the non executor siblings have no say in anything even if the will states " House to be sold as soon as possible and proceeds to be divided equally between all five of my children"


    This was a close knit family who got on so well - and now there is this huge split which is being made because of one loose cannon - who has even decreed that only one bunch of flowers can be left on the grave at any one time - and seeing as she lives in the same twon as the grave - only her flowers are in place - if we visit the grave and leave flowers they are removed :(

    Like I say, hand on heart - it isnt about the money - Im asking is there is any way other then getting solicitors involved,that we can get the executors to talk to us and do we actually have any say about what we want to accept for the house?
    if you lend someone £20 and never see that person again, it was probably worth it
  • suki1964suki1964 Forumite
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    insur wrote: »
    I am not trying to unduly worry you but I do think you should be made aware of the follwing issues:

    Is this a DIY probate or being dealt with by a solicitors office?

    When the property has been sold where will the funds be deposited. Will they be deposited into an account belonging to the executors? If so, while they are leagally obliged to pay all beneficiaries their share, there have been cases where this has not happened.

    I do think your MIL was badly advised. Either all five should have been named as executors or the property should have been transfered into the beneficiaries names, they would then be responsible for its sale jointly.

    In this situation you are largely dependant on the honesty of the executors to be faithful in the distribution of funds. Many will come on here and say the law protects the beneficiaries and therefore there is nothing to worry about. However, to enforce the law is a costly process and there are ways around making good any payment enforced by the courts.

    Do all the siblings get on with the executors and are there any reasons for any of the executors to feel they are more worthy of the money than the others?


    I call the deceased Mum - she is infact MIL

    The five beneficiaries are the five siblings - two of whom were made executors.

    All five have equal shares

    As soon as mum was in the hospital last year one of the siblings/executors took up residence in the property - and stayed on living there for at least 4 months after MILs death. During this time she refused entry to any of the other siblings unless invited in to collect personal belongings - only allowing free access to the other executor

    When asked for keys so as lawns could be cut - general maintenance taken care off etc when she vacated the property - were told - "no - you arent allowed - only us two as we are executors". This was to her siblings who were all named beneficiaries

    The distress of all this is beyond belief. All five siblings got along just grand and all five siblings were involved in the care of MIL and her late husband all their lives.

    Letters have come from the executors saying that any more discussion about the estate has to be via solicitors and obviously thats left a 3 against 2 situation - three siblings wondering !!!!!! has gone on and how did it come to this :(


    All I was asking was do the three non executors actually allowed any say when they are the beneficeries? Without going the legal route which I fear will cause a rift that will never be healed



    Seeing whats happened to this family has made me more and more determined that I leave nothing when I pass. MIL saw the mess her hubby left in his will and was determined to make sure that never happened again by sharing out equally - and still there is trouble :(
    if you lend someone £20 and never see that person again, it was probably worth it
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