Bereaved Estate

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    Bereaved Estate

    Hi,please can someone offer advise,

    I am joint executor of my mother in laws will.The other executor is her son who has been living in her house with my deceased mother in law for 4 years prior to her death.Does he have to pay rent whilst he is living there?The will stipulates that the esrtate is to be shared 50% to the son that still lives in her house and the remaining 50% to be split between her other 2 children.Also he has satted that he is unable to obtain enough funds to payout his brother and sister and he will not sell the house as he and his 2 children will have nowhere to live.Can i enforce the sale as he is joint executor or will it have to go to probate court?

    #2
    What other assets/debts did MiL have at time of death? Mortgage, savings a/c, shares, bookies tab etc.
    If her house was the only or majority asset, then the Executors can force sale, unless prevented by a clause in the Will, without recourse to any Court. Executors should act in a timely manner to distribute funds to ALL beneficiaries, usually within 1 year of Probate being granted. Ideally no beneficiary should be an Executor, as they may not be impartial in any dispute.
    Ideally if house was 50% of assets, then son could inherit house and forego any distribution of other assets, which would be divided equally between the other 2 children. If resident son cannot 'buy out' the other beneficiaries, then tough, he will inherit 50% from sale and other assets to fund alt accom.
    Of course all 3 beneficiaries could decide on an alt arrangemnt, which if legally documented & within terms of deceased's Will, would be binding on the joint Executors.
    Executors have to treat principle beneficiaries equally & fairly, without undue delay. If there is dispute between Execs & main bens, then an Ind prof Exec eg solic, can be appointed, paid for by the Estate. You could call a meeting of the 3 bens and hammer out a solution, with you acting as impartial chairperson/Executor seeking a solution. Whatever YOU decide make sure it is legal, as any ben could sue the joint executors.
    I assume you are married to one of the 3 bens, so be careful!

    As for son paying rent, if the property is to be sold asap then currently he appears to be a lodger (excluded occupier) with no T rights so accepting rent may establish an AST. Any market rent received by the Estate before distribution of assets, would have to be distributed 50% to son and 50% to other 2 bens after deduction of any tax due. IMO

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      #3
      As mariner suggests, if the house is the main asset it looks like a family conference is needed to work out a solution. If agreement cannot be reached the house will have to be sold. Demanding rent at this stage is not a good idea as it may lead to complications and whatever is decided it is reasonable that the son should be given a reasonable time either to sort out finance or to find alternative accommodation. If the son does buy out the others' shares an independent professional valuation is recommended.

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