No More, What If....

First off, My apologies to forum admin for starting a new thread.
Just seems like more sense given that we will now be discussing facts rather than guesses....

I am the sole executor of a will.
I am his grandsons father.....
The grand parents divorced 10 years ago but both still lived in the property ( tenants in common) until the death at Christmas of the grandfather..

I now have the death certs 
And have just picked up the will

He has left his half of the property equally between his 2 daughters (one of whom lives in America)
The remainder of his estate, after funeral costs etc, is to be left in trust to my son until his 21st birthday (currently 17)

I estimate his half of the property is worth less than £100K
I also estimate is assets savings etc to be worth approx £60K - £70K

My questions are:-
Given that I have never done a probate before....  

1.  What are the potential pit falls in doing the probate myself?
2.  Would there be a problem with one of the daughter living in America (may even be an American citizen now)?
3.  The money left in trust to my son.... Can I as the executor just hold that in an account until he is 21, or,  do I have to set up a legal trust fund?

Any suggestion or comments would be very gratefully received.. 




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  • Keep_pedallingKeep_pedalling Forumite
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    As for the trust, what is the exact wording used? Very often age clauses are not enforceable as gifts left absolutely to a minor beneficiary have to be held in a bare trust which they are entitled to from their 18th birthday (16th in Scotland).

    The house is the difficult one as it is tricky to deal with 1/2 a house especially with the other owner in residence. If the two beneficiaries are happy to wait until the other owner dies or wants to sell up then you can simply transfer ownership to them, but if either want to cash in it will require the agreement of the occupant to sell or buy out the share.
  • SeniorSamSeniorSam Forumite
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    So sorry for your loss.

    First of all, if the Trusts has been set up correctly, the property will not be free until the death of the grandmother, but please confirm that the Trust gives her the right to remain in the property until she dies.

    If so, then this is an Interest In Possession Trust. If not, please explain if you can.

    No problem with a beneficiary living abroad, as your eventual duty will be to ensure that she receives the 25% of the property value when sold.  At that time, the residue of the estate needs to be held in Trust until your son reaches the age of 21, but it is your duty to maintain that investment to the best of your ability when the time comes and to keep executor accounts to show how it is invested and/or maintained for your son.

    More information can no doubt be forthcoming when you have clarified the questions you have received about this.
    I'm a retired IFA who specialised for many years in Inheritance Tax, Wills and Trusts. I cannot offer advice now, but my comments here and on Legal Beagles as Sam101 are just meant to be helpful. Do ask questions from the Members who are here to help.
  • sgx2000sgx2000 Forumite
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    As for the trust, what is the exact wording used? Very often age clauses are not enforceable as gifts left absolutely to a minor beneficiary have to be held in a bare trust which they are entitled to from their 18th birthday (16th in Scotland).

    The house is the difficult one as it is tricky to deal with 1/2 a house especially with the other owner in residence. If the two beneficiaries are happy to wait until the other owner dies or wants to sell up then you can simply transfer ownership to them, but if either want to cash in it will require the agreement of the occupant to sell or buy out the share.
    Many thanks for the reply....

    Below are some of the pertinent sections.....

    "I give my interest in my property at ******* to my daughters in equal shares" 

    (I took this to mean, after probate, I just register their ownership with the land registry???)


    "My executor shall hold the residue of my estate on trust either to retain or sell it and to pay
    1. debts and executorship expenses
    2  tax and duty payable as a result of my death on property comprised in my estate, and
    3  tax or duty payable as a result of my death on any gift which I made during my life
    to pay the residue to my grandson ***** upon him reaching the age of 21 years"

    (this I took to mean I pay his debts, then hold the residue plus interest until my sons 21st birthday... although is mentions trust I dont think  'trust fund' was the idea)( from above - on trust to retain???? )

    But,  next paragraph....

    The standard provisions of the society of Trust & Estate Practioners (1st edition) shall apply with the deletion of paragraph 5 section 11 Trusts of Land and Appointment of Trustees Act 1996  (consultation with beneficiaries) shall not apply
    (this section I am going to have to find the meaning off)

    Any help is again very very welcome




  • p00hsticksp00hsticks Forumite
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    So the will does not specifically give the grandmother the right to carry on living in the property ?
    Is there any mention of the grandmother in the will at all ?
    And if so, was the will made before or after they got divorced ?
  • Keep_pedallingKeep_pedalling Forumite
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    It looks like your son is the residual beneficiary and unless there are any other clauses in there, such as one that diverts his bequest to someone ease if he fails to reach the age of 21, then holding back the inheritance until he reaches 21 it going to be problematic. 
  • edited 12 January at 7:18PM
    doodlingdoodling Forumite
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    edited 12 January at 7:18PM
    Hi,

    From what has been said already, if no trust is established to protect Grandmother, then the OP needs to arrange for the land registry to be updated to place Grandfather's share in the ownership of the daughters.  Whether the daughters subsequently want to kick Grandmother out of the house is not his concern as executor.

    You need to check how the house was owned (£3) from the Land Registry.  If still owned as Joint Tenants then the daughters are going to be somewhat disappointed, although that scenario is unlikely if the divorce had lawyers involved.  If owned as tenants in common then was a trust deed was created to detail the ownership of the house?  Without such a deed then ownership would be assumed to be 50/50 between Grandfather and Grandmother but if such a deed does exist then it might change things.

    With respect to the trust for the child then you need to look after the money at least until the child reaches 18.  Once the child reaches 18 then they are likely to be able to break the trust and insist on it immediately.  From an executor perspective, it is convenient for the trust to disappear as soon as the child reaches 18 as that is the end of your work, but there may be other reasons why you would want to the trust to persist until the child reached 21.

    I would make an appointment with a solicitor, show them the will, copy of the land registry entry and any trust deed and get them to confirm:
    1. That there is no protection for Grandmother and therefore the daughters could force the sale of the house once they own 50% of it.  (From what has been said so for there doesn't appear to be).
    2. Whether the daughters can force you, as executor, to sell the house or whether all you need to do is get ownership transferred to them (25% each).  (From what has been said I think that all you need to do is transfer ownership to them, they can't insist on the cash equivalent, so you won't need to worry about evicting Grandmother).
    3. What needs to be done to manage the trust for the 17 year old Grandson.
    4. Whether you as trustee can choose to break the trust and give the Grandson the money when they reach 18 or whether you need to wait until they ask you to do it (or they reach 21) to do so.
    5. What you need to do from a tax perspective for the trust.
    As alluded to by other posters, I would also check when the will was made in relation to the divorce.  If the will was made before the divorce then it should be read as if Grandmother is dead.
  • Grumpy_chapGrumpy_chap Forumite
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    sgx2000 said:
    First off, My apologies to forum admin for starting a new thread.
    Just seems like more sense given that we will now be discussing facts rather than guesses....

    I am the sole executor of a will.
    I am his grandsons father.....
    The grand parents divorced 10 years ago but both still lived in the property ( tenants in common) until the death at Christmas of the grandfather..

    I now have the death certs 
    And have just picked up the will

    He has left his half of the property equally between his 2 daughters (one of whom lives in America)
    The remainder of his estate, after funeral costs etc, is to be left in trust to my son until his 21st birthday (currently 17)

    I estimate his half of the property is worth less than £100K
    I also estimate is assets savings etc to be worth approx £60K - £70K

    My questions are:-
    Given that I have never done a probate before....  

    1.  What are the potential pit falls in doing the probate myself?
    2.  Would there be a problem with one of the daughter living in America (may even be an American citizen now)?
    3.  The money left in trust to my son.... Can I as the executor just hold that in an account until he is 21, or,  do I have to set up a legal trust fund?

    Any suggestion or comments would be very gratefully received.. 




    Sorry for your loss.

    Am I the only one reading this to think the will is unusual in that it makes provision for the two daughters, but not the son (noting the son's son does inherit in the son's place)?
  • Keep_pedallingKeep_pedalling Forumite
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    sgx2000 said:
    First off, My apologies to forum admin for starting a new thread.
    Just seems like more sense given that we will now be discussing facts rather than guesses....

    I am the sole executor of a will.
    I am his grandsons father.....
    The grand parents divorced 10 years ago but both still lived in the property ( tenants in common) until the death at Christmas of the grandfather..

    I now have the death certs 
    And have just picked up the will

    He has left his half of the property equally between his 2 daughters (one of whom lives in America)
    The remainder of his estate, after funeral costs etc, is to be left in trust to my son until his 21st birthday (currently 17)

    I estimate his half of the property is worth less than £100K
    I also estimate is assets savings etc to be worth approx £60K - £70K

    My questions are:-
    Given that I have never done a probate before....  

    1.  What are the potential pit falls in doing the probate myself?
    2.  Would there be a problem with one of the daughter living in America (may even be an American citizen now)?
    3.  The money left in trust to my son.... Can I as the executor just hold that in an account until he is 21, or,  do I have to set up a legal trust fund?

    Any suggestion or comments would be very gratefully received.. 




    Sorry for your loss.

    Am I the only one reading this to think the will is unusual in that it makes provision for the two daughters, but not the son (noting the son's son does inherit in the son's place)?
    Not really, there does not seem to be a family rift involved, maybe the OP,s estate is already in IHT territory and he asked his father to bypass a generation. Like the OP I was executor but not a beneficiary in my mothers will, it was split between my brother and her grand children. 
  • FlugelhornFlugelhorn Forumite
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    I took it he was son-in-law, the previous thread noted that the property was TiC. I think if I was the exec, after all the initial stuff  was done, I would change the names on the LR to the 2 daughters and then leave them to it as far as the property is concerned 
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