the house

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Deaths, Funerals & Probate
15 replies 1.9K views
edsjadedsjad Forumite
194 Posts
edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Deaths, Funerals & Probate
hi - i feel in a really difficult situation. my dad died in jan. He left his estate to me and sis and £10,000 to his grandson and £1,000 each to executors. WHat's hard for me is that my sister's partner is executor, as is my sister and my dad's friend. SO four adults involved in essence but I live approx 100 miles away but had been down for xmas (thank goodness). I was around there before and after funeral doing bits and pieces with sis and was going to stay on for meeting with solicitor to discuss probate but was told by exec (sister's partner) that I wasn't allowed to be there and at the time i was too upset to even protest. Anyway, not saying my sis's partner as exec is doing a bad job - he has cleared out garage and secured house but I am confused as to where I stand. I think sis and i are gradually feeling more able to deal with house and we are all agreed we have to sell house. A couple of weeks ago i went down to take my own stuff out and to hopefully make a start on getting it ready to sell. I was surprised to see that I couldn't get in (additional key used and sis said she had one and her partner had the other), heating still on (automatic twice a day) and phone. WHile i was there I turned it off and made tentative suggestion to sis that maybe phone needed to go off. All this is with background of sis talking about being broke and found out that £5000 left in dad's account. SIs said she wants to decorate, using dad's money to get as much for house as possible. I suggested turfing garden. My view is to sell this summer as leaving it another winter unlived in isnt a good idea. I planned to go down in a week or so and stay at dad's for week or so to do as much as poss to get house ready, including selling stuff (proceeds to the estate, obvioulsy). Sis's partner phoned and said i wasn't allowed to stay in house cos it was illegal cos not paying council tax. He also told sis to tell me that turfing the back couldn't be done. I phoned up approp council and they said it was fine - also found out have to pay council tax anyway from july. Sis's partner is very busy works overtime etc doesn't have a lot of time, House is still in dad's name. Can you sell the house still in deceased name? Do i have a role here at all in getting house ready? Do I have a say in when and how to sell the house? Have I a right to ask for key to house or not? Does the house now 'belong' to execs and therefore I can only go there with their permission? I want to be involved, especially to help get things moving cos i know my sis is finding it hard and ultimately, the paperwork stuff is and will be left up to her but I get feeling from sis that partner feels that it's all down to executors and I should leave them all to it. ANy advice? SOrry this is so long.
Aiming to take control of my life:A

£10 per day in JUNE
So far: £18 ebay; £20 cash for clothes; £50 flea market
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Replies

  • RASRAS Forumite
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    Hi

    Sorry for you situation. Can I ask how old you might be?

    The executors can prevent you going into the house legally, but they do not have to prevent you going there. It is entirely up them whether they give you a key or no. However if they have a solicitor doing the probate (sounds like they have) then the solicitor may have told them to secure the property.

    As a beneficiary you would not entitled to be involved in anything, other than to receive your share of the residual estate and a copy of the estate accounts. Your sister may feel that she is happy to involve you or may be advised by the other executors that it is not necessary.

    You have no responsibility to do anything at all towards the house sale although you might want to offer to help.
    The person who has not made a mistake, has made nothing
  • edsjadedsjad Forumite
    194 Posts
    RAS wrote: »
    Hi

    Sorry for you situation. Can I ask how old you might be?

    The executors can prevent you going into the house legally, but they do not have to prevent you going there. It is entirely up them whether they give you a key or no. However if they have a solicitor doing the probate (sounds like they have) then the solicitor may have told them to secure the property.

    As a beneficiary you would not entitled to be involved in anything, other than to receive your share of the residual estate and a copy of the estate accounts. Your sister may feel that she is happy to involve you or may be advised by the other executors that it is not necessary.

    You have no responsibility to do anything at all towards the house sale although you might want to offer to help.
    thanks ras - must say that is really hard to hear. I certainly don't feel it would have been my dad's intention. My sis has dual role as principal beneficiary with me and executor - so in the former role we are being treated unequally and in the latter not. grrr.Appreciate you reading and responding.
    Aiming to take control of my life:A

    £10 per day in JUNE
    So far: £18 ebay; £20 cash for clothes; £50 flea market
  • edsjadedsjad Forumite
    194 Posts
    forgot to say, probate has been granted - that's done and they've done their swearing in procedure. They just went to solicitor for initial meeting. I am in my fifties.
    Aiming to take control of my life:A

    £10 per day in JUNE
    So far: £18 ebay; £20 cash for clothes; £50 flea market
  • RASRAS Forumite
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    Glad probate is sorted; far too many people put the house on the market before sorting it out and then lose buyers when they realise how long it will take to sort out.

    Yes, you are treated equally as beneficiaries but since you are not an executor, your role is very reduced. It may well be that dad was persuaded that he should appoint executors who lived close by rather than family who lived some distance away.

    I would send a nice letter saying that you think you have removed everything that was yours, but if they find anything, please let you know and you will be happy to sort it out. And offer to help empty and clear the house. They cannot then say later you left it all to them to sort out. But recognise that you have no legal right to be included.
    The person who has not made a mistake, has made nothing
  • edsjadedsjad Forumite
    194 Posts
    yes thanks - i was also feeling devil if i do and devil if i don't - so thanks for logical advice.
    I am concerned they will, if not acting soon, be wasting dad's money by a) spending bank money on expensive insurance, poll tax etc and b) more house is left empty more it will deteriorate and therefore when eventually put up for sale will achieve much less. I thought i would have some say in that as that is about 'protecting beneficiaries interest' which i thought was execs' role. Maybe not.
    Everything has such an emotional overtone - even five months after. It is the house we grew up in too - maybe that's why. As you say, sounds like all i can do is offer help and try to keep my mouth shut. I would never have thought me and sis would fall out but this situation ultimately seems to be doing it or coming close to it.
    thanks for your post.
    Aiming to take control of my life:A

    £10 per day in JUNE
    So far: £18 ebay; £20 cash for clothes; £50 flea market
  • getmore4lessgetmore4less Forumite
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    edsjad wrote: »
    hi - i feel in a really difficult situation. my dad died in jan.

    He left his estate to me and sis and £10,000 to his grandson and £1,000 each to executors.

    WHat's hard for me is that my sister's partner is executor, as is my sister and my dad's friend. SO four adults involved in essence but I live approx 100 miles away but had been down for xmas (thank goodness).

    I was around there before and after funeral doing bits and pieces with sis and was going to stay on for meeting with solicitor to discuss probate but was told by exec (sister's partner) that I wasn't allowed to be there and at the time i was too upset to even protest.

    Anyway, not saying my sis's partner as exec is doing a bad job - he has cleared out garage and secured house but I am confused as to where I stand. I think sis and i are gradually feeling more able to deal with house and we are all agreed we have to sell house.

    A couple of weeks ago i went down to take my own stuff out and to hopefully make a start on getting it ready to sell. I was surprised to see that I couldn't get in (additional key used and sis said she had one and her partner had the other), heating still on (automatic twice a day) and phone.

    WHile i was there I turned it off and made tentative suggestion to sis that maybe phone needed to go off. All this is with background of sis talking about being broke and found out that £5000 left in dad's account. SIs said she wants to decorate, using dad's money to get as much for house as possible. I suggested turfing garden.

    My view is to sell this summer as leaving it another winter unlived in isnt a good idea. I planned to go down in a week or so and stay at dad's for week or so to do as much as poss to get house ready, including selling stuff (proceeds to the estate, obvioulsy). Sis's partner phoned and said i wasn't allowed to stay in house cos it was illegal cos not paying council tax. He also told sis to tell me that turfing the back couldn't be done. I phoned up approp council and they said it was fine - also found out have to pay council tax anyway from july.

    Sis's partner is very busy works overtime etc doesn't have a lot of time, House is still in dad's name. Can you sell the house still in deceased name? Do i have a role here at all in getting house ready? Do I have a say in when and how to sell the house? Have I a right to ask for key to house or not? Does the house now 'belong' to execs and therefore I can only go there with their permission? I want to be involved, especially to help get things moving cos i know my sis is finding it hard and ultimately, the paperwork stuff is and will be left up to her but I get feeling from sis that partner feels that it's all down to executors and I should leave them all to it. ANy advice? SOrry this is so long.

    I had to break up the post to help me read it. not perfect but might help others.

    One thing I will say before reading the rest, there is no reason for you not to be involved if you want and sis is in agreement(she needs to put her partner in his place).
  • getmore4lessgetmore4less Forumite
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    As has been said the legal side has been covered. but many solicitor executors will let the benificiaries get on with the job of dealing with property if they want so it does not have to be exclusion, but you need sis to co-operate as join benificiary it is your interests that need to be met.

    if the best place for you to sty when you come up is the house thn that should not be an issue.

    Talk to sis and find out where she stands.

    What is the other exec doing?

    One solution is to have the house transfered to the benificiaries and get the executors out of the loop if that is where the problem is.
  • edited 31 May 2013 at 9:27PM
    edsjadedsjad Forumite
    194 Posts
    edited 31 May 2013 at 9:27PM
    Thank you for your responses. Although my sis is recovering, she is still struggling, esp cos she saw my dad most days as lives round corner. I did ask her where she stands because her views are most important to me (not her partner's) eg when did she want to sell house - didn't know; did she want to hold onto it - she answers i know it has to be sold (for the £10,000 for grandson), happy for me to help she says and anything else she either answers 'it's not up to me/us' or 'I don't know anything'. Me asking her her views on me helping came after her partner phoned and told me I couldn't stay. I phoned her for that reason, wanted to know her views. She wants to get the place cleaned/decorated she has said that but the only cleaning that has been done at all in the house since jan, apart from garage, was when i was there 2/3 weeks ago. I want to help, want to support her in coming to terms with this.

    So it feels to me that she's not in a place to move things on, partner is too busy - that's two execs, the other one is pretty distant - old drinking buddy of dad's. But both male execs are not paperwork/organisational kind of people so i know my sister will be left with it as she has been with most things up to now. Sorry keep being long winded about responding. No solicitor involved - probate granted.

    Just rambling now, sorry.

    Thank you for your responses. SIster's partner seems to be the 'lead' - not sure why I gather that from examples i've given - I didn't want to open up the can of worms about changing the ownership of the house until i knew if you could sell it still in deceased person's name. One of my millions of questions.
    Aiming to take control of my life:A

    £10 per day in JUNE
    So far: £18 ebay; £20 cash for clothes; £50 flea market
  • edited 1 June 2013 at 9:59AM
    getmore4lessgetmore4less Forumite
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    edited 1 June 2013 at 9:59AM
    I woud check the will carefully and even consider getting advice.
    What does it actualy say about the house.
    It may be if there is no cash in the estate or it is being used up the gransons legacy may not get paid very much depends on the wording and if the house is left to you or as the residue.

    if the legacies are OK, and the residual is to you two and you want to keep the house then that can be done by injecting the cash to pay them if you have it.

    Any reason either of you could find a use for the house? if not it my be best to let it go, I know this can be hard but if the place is not suitable why keep it.

    Maybe if you and sis can both find the time together

    Suggest to sis that you both move in for a week to get the back of the job done, clear,clean, then consider decoration, realy does not make that big a difference unless really bad.

    Get the place on the market you need to try to avoid another winter empty, council tax will kick in they are clamping down on this.

    One issue is the sis OH does not seem to know what he is doing and is just letting things drag perhaps you and sis need to just get on with things. The other executor probably should have taken power reserved if they are taking a back seat just a pin having to get their signature on things.

    edit: forgot to answer the question.

    The house can be sold from the estate but actualy needs the exec or someone to initite the process.

    We had solicitors as exec and we did all the house stuff ourselves including instructing the Estate agents, the execs just sign the agreements.
  • edited 1 June 2013 at 10:15AM
    John_PierpointJohn_Pierpoint Forumite
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    edited 1 June 2013 at 10:15AM
    Can I assume that this estate is definitely below the starting point for InHeritance Tax (IHT) £325 - £650 ? So HMRC not really interested in the methods used to value the contents and the house ? The speed with which probate has been obtained, suggests that it was possible to get the paperwork nodded through.

    Presumably the deceased was paying income tax and one of the executors needs to settle that account ?
    http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/sa/behalf-who-has-died.htm

    Assuming that the house only requires a small amount of redecoration internally (have we all seen the programmes where less than 3 person weeks of work and about £3k of capital increases the value of a house by at least £15k ?)
    I agree with your brother in law that it makes sense to concentrate on the front of the house. Research suggests that the curb appeal of the house during 60 seconds outside in the car, makes the difference to the majority of the buyers.

    Keeping the house and especially the front garden looking spic and span is important - depending where this is geographically, the executors can expect to get "offers" from speculators, probably pretending to be normal family buyers. The estate agent knows such people, he also knows their credit is good but also that he would get to sell the house for the executors and then again for the speculators in 6 months time.

    Did the executors legally cover their liabilities by advertising for creditors ?

    What arrangements have been made to "clear the house" (probably between exchange and completion as empty houses do not sell as well as simplistically furnished ones, though there is a risk of a break in, as soon as the agent's board goes up outside, with the little extra notice saying viewing strictly by appointment).

    I would have thought that there is a mass of work to do and the three executors must be nuts to turn down your offers of help. Can you offer to prepare the accounts, sell some things that would obtain their best price on Ebay, offer to help at a boot sale to get rid of the junk ?

    Though you as as beneficiary have no real standing in law for at least the first 12 months after the death, the executors are trustees from the moment of death.
    This legal role requires to take advice if needed and maximise the value of the estate, even if it is to their personal disadvantage.

    http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=527459&highlight=boot+sale

    Even the simplest of situations may throw up unexpected legal situations, I have found these three books cover most of the possibilities; but beware of out of date editions.

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Giving-Inheriting-Which-Essential-Guides/dp/1844901181
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