• Welcome to the LegalBeagles Consumer and Legal Forum. Please register to get the most out of the forum. Registration is free and only needs a username and email address.
  • LegalBeagles® is a free forum, founded in May 2007, providing legal guidance and support to consumers and SME's across a range of legal areas.

    Please do not post your full name, reference numbers or any identifiable details on the forum.

Refusing to sell property

Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Refusing to sell property

    If a property is left in a will between several beneficiaries, is it legal for one beneficiary to refuse to sell the house?
    In this instance it is actually two seperate wills, my mums and her partners. The son of her partner believes he is entitled to more than he legally is and is trying to coerce others into agreeing by saying he won't sell and the house can stand rotting forever more.
    Any advice will be appreciated.
    Than you
    Tags: None

  • #2
    Hi Hagalout,
    If there is more than 2 beneficiaries then the others who wish to sell can apply to the Court for an order to sell if he refuses to budge. Whose name is the property actually in at this time? What did the will of the first person to die state and what happened as far as property transfer was concerned at that time. Then what does the 2nd Will state and how far down the line are the executors with dealing with it at this point?
    It may be helpful to have the wordings regarding the property in respect of both wills to see what was actually stipulated together with clarification of what stage the distribution has reached following each death.
    I am a qualified solicitor employed by the LegalBeagles forum to provide guidance on a wide range of legal queries. I am happy to try and assist informally, where needed.

    Any posts I make on LegalBeagles are for information and discussion purposes only and shouldn't be seen as legal advice. Any practical advice I give is without liability. I do not represent people on the forum.

    If in doubt you should always seek professional face to face legal advice.

    Comment


    • #3
      Thank you, they owned the house as tenants in common, my mums partner died first, leaving his share of the property to his son and daughter in equal shares and the residue to my mother. His daughter predeceased him by 2 months but my elder mother who was in fact his executor, didnt actually apply for probate to deal with the house at that time, she closed his bank accounts etc without the need for probate and just lived in the house for four years till her death. I then found out that the daughters children had a applied a caveat against my probate, We initially assumed that there was enough ambiguity in his will to overturn section 33 but this has now proved not to be the case, they refuse to remove the caveat even though they have no claim against my mums estate, but their uncle refuses to allow them what would have been their mother's share of their grandfather's estate unless I agree to share the burden with him, even though the dispute has nothing to do with me or my mums estate. Hence he says if I don't agree the house will rot away.

      Comment


      • #4
        Hi again,

        So the property is still in the names of your mother and her partner then?

        Basically you need to go back to what should have been done in respect of your mother's partner's estate and deal with that then deal with your mother's estate, dealing with the half share of the property that was left to your mother's partner's children. The will wording remains relevant as to whether the 'grandchildren' inherit what would have been their mother's share (partner's daughter) or whether the wording stated something along the lines of 'my half share of the property x to be divided equally between those of my children who survive me' - in which case the son would have inherited the whole half share of the house. It would of course be up to him whether he wished to share his inheritance with his nieces/nephews.

        It will also be necessary to establish the value of the property on the first death to ensure no IHT has been missed for example. Were your mother and her partner married?

        The children of mum's partner may not have a claim over your mother's estate or her half share of the property but they are entitled to the other half of the property which appears to have been left to them under their father's Will. I would suggest this does come down to s33 and whether what their mother would have received should have been divided equally between them.

        I would also suggest that you do need some face to face advice on this one, if you haven't already and be open to the idea of mediation with a view that the half share of the property once sold may potentially be divided half (quarter share equivalent) to your mother's partner's son and the other half (quarter) be divided equally between the children of the deceased daughter.
        I am a qualified solicitor employed by the LegalBeagles forum to provide guidance on a wide range of legal queries. I am happy to try and assist informally, where needed.

        Any posts I make on LegalBeagles are for information and discussion purposes only and shouldn't be seen as legal advice. Any practical advice I give is without liability. I do not represent people on the forum.

        If in doubt you should always seek professional face to face legal advice.

        Comment


        • #5
          Unfortunately it has already cost me £10,000 in legal costs. The will was worded " to my son and daughter as shall survive me and if more than one in equal shares" hence the initial thoughts of over it riding the S33 but 'Hives v Machin' seems to have moved the goalposts. This is why the son isn't now happy to share his father's interest in the property with his niece and nephew. I am the only beneficiary of my mother estate and was told upon applying for my probate that it shouldn't be an issue now that probate wasn't obtained originally.
          IHT won't apply in this case

          Comment


          • #6
            Hi again,

            So as far as the inheritance of your mother's share is concerned this is not affected. The dispute is between the grandchildren and the son although I am assuming you are dealing with probate for both estates now. Is that correct? If not who is dealing with your mother's partner's estate?

            Are you in contact with the grandchildren? It is for them to bring a claim against the grandfather's estate. Has a warning been issued against the caveat and the grandchildren made an appearance yet? It seems that the Hives case (this may help those unaware of the case - https://www.lawskills.co.uk/articles...larified-last/ ) has clarified things, although if the estate had been dealt with at the time this may not be the same outcome, so I can probably understand the son's irritation but he isn't dealing with things in the best way maybe. Have you obtained a copy of the original will instructions if they were prepared by a solicitor. It may assist if there is an attendance note indicating they had discussed the issue and what your mother's partner's actual intention was.

            What has your solicitor suggested? What have they incurred the £10,000 costs on to date?
            I am a qualified solicitor employed by the LegalBeagles forum to provide guidance on a wide range of legal queries. I am happy to try and assist informally, where needed.

            Any posts I make on LegalBeagles are for information and discussion purposes only and shouldn't be seen as legal advice. Any practical advice I give is without liability. I do not represent people on the forum.

            If in doubt you should always seek professional face to face legal advice.

            Comment


            • #7
              As I said I was told probate shouldn't be an issue on the first estate, then the caveat was discovered and the litigation solicitors took over. The wills were prepared by a family acquaintance who had recently retired from the solicitors who I am still using as they had dealt with P of A etc. He had no original notes but prepared a statement of truth?? The grandson has abused the caveat system, putting caveats in his own name, his partners name and his daughters name, and lied about his relationship to my mother on the appearance not mentioning his grandfather at all. There was no appearance to the partners warning but his daughters appearance was word for word the same as his, he never served either appearance upon us and my solicitor presumed there had been no response and got affadavits prepared and sworn at a neutral solicitor incurring more costs on top of all correspondence of the last 20 months, a barrister is now on board instigating court proceedings.

              Comment


              • #8
                Hi again,
                I'm glad you have a barrister instructed. It sounds like the grandchild(ren) is just trying to cover all bases but not appropriately it seems!
                If the Court has accepted the appearance then the caveat remains. An application can be made to force the claim but I would wait to see what your barrister says and get the applications underway.

                What a nightmare for you. It does bring the worst out in people. I don't understand why they are going for your mother's estate unless they really have just made a mistake! It seems the problem lies with the son of your mother's partner who apparently refuses to budge believing he is entitled to the whole half share as his sister predeceased their father.

                A shame as with agreement it is pretty straightforward to deal with if everyone is reasonable.

                I'm afraid there is probably little we can add it seems there is little option but to make an application. What application is your barrister preparing currently?
                I am a qualified solicitor employed by the LegalBeagles forum to provide guidance on a wide range of legal queries. I am happy to try and assist informally, where needed.

                Any posts I make on LegalBeagles are for information and discussion purposes only and shouldn't be seen as legal advice. Any practical advice I give is without liability. I do not represent people on the forum.

                If in doubt you should always seek professional face to face legal advice.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Thank you Peridot, I was mainly exploring the legalities of the sons threat to refuse to sell the house, my solicitor tends to skirt around the lesser questions and sticks with the nitty gritty so to speak. It is good to get a different take on things too.
                  The Barrister has told the solicitor to give 14 days warning then an application will be made to court to remove the caveat along with costs application.
                  I also feel it should have been straight forward, but the grandson has been particularly awkward and he and his uncle have only recently made contact with each other despite me maintaining that it shouldn't have anything to do with me.
                  I have lost all faith in the probate system to be honest, I contacted the probate office initially to say that the grandson had no claim on my mums estate and that he sought inheritance from a totally different estate, also that it is unusual in the fact that my mum had not got probate originally, they said anyone can apply a caveat and warnings should be sent, I then contacted them again to tell them I had evidence that the great granddaughter had no knowledge of the caveat in her name, so it must be fraud, again they didn't want to know. Then when the caveats were made permanent they say they can only be removed by the court, yet they make them permanent in the first place without any sort of stringent checks in place to make sure of the caveators claims. I find the whole thing farcical, but the costs have spiralled out of control. And neither of the other parties involved have any legal representation in place so the solicitor finds it difficult to deal with them.
                  The son can't seem to understand the fact that there is only me on my mums side whereas his father's side was shared between him and his sister, hence its logical that I will get more inheritance.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    So who is dealing with your mum's partner's estate? Who will be appointed executor, I assume as your mum can no longer deal it would be the other residuary beneficiary so her partner's son. It is then for him to argue with the nieces/nephews about the distribution. I assume the property title hasn't been transferred to the son's name for the half share yet? In the event he refuses to sell you can apply to the Court for either an order to sell or that he buy out your half share based on the property value to release your inheritance.

                    Your barrister does seem to be suggesting the most sensible and at this stage most cost effective way to get the caveats removed and at least allow probate to be granted. Then the property can be sold and the proceeds held until the distribution is sorted. It would be for the executor/administrator to deal with the administration and distribution. Should any beneficiary disagree then they have to bring a claim themselves. It is of course only an issue for your mother's partners share of the property not your mother's share, as you rightly point out.


                    Do keep us posted on developments and if we can try and point you in the right direction of explain any aspects do pop back any time.
                    I am a qualified solicitor employed by the LegalBeagles forum to provide guidance on a wide range of legal queries. I am happy to try and assist informally, where needed.

                    Any posts I make on LegalBeagles are for information and discussion purposes only and shouldn't be seen as legal advice. Any practical advice I give is without liability. I do not represent people on the forum.

                    If in doubt you should always seek professional face to face legal advice.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      That's the thing, as I said before the original probate solicitor, before litigation took over said they didn't need it now, it wouldn't make any difference, or that's what I took her to mean. But the litigation solicitor looked into the possibility of me taking it on via "chain of representation" and the Barrister mentioned it too, but because my mum as his executor never actually started the process that is ruled out apparently? Not that I want to do it. My own has been bad enough.
                      I will keep you informed.
                      Thank you once again

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        There have been further developments now which make me think some kind of collusion is going on. As previously mentioned the shares in the property should be straight forward, my mums 50% to me and her partners 50% divided, into 25% to the son and 12.5% each to his niece and nephew, however the son has always tried to force me into contributing 12.5% to one of the grandchildren, which is completely wrong.
                        On Monday evening I received a Pm from the son stating that I am lucky to be left that amount and that I should agree a 6.5% good will payment to him and also sign something saying that I will not take any money back for the amounts that I have spent for the upkeep of the property. I have paid insurance, utilities, gardener etc for the past two years, and also made regular 200 mile round trips to check in the property, when he only lives 4 miles away and never goes near. I forwarded his message to my solicitor, who advised to ignore it, but also advised that the 14 day warnings to the caveats have not yet been sent. Last night I received a Pm from the grandson advising that he and his sister will now accept just 12.5% from their grandfather's estate leaving their uncle with 37.5%. A rather surprising backdown, but leaving me with far less chance of recovering my legal costs should I agree to it. And the sons attempts to coerce me into agreeing to his demands would leave me with less from the proper than he would get. I think they have got together and trying to claw back as much of the partners estate as they can, as they have never understood why I should have more, regardless of the fact my sister passed away childless 10 years before my mother and before any wills were written.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Hi again,
                          i would take your solicitors advice and ignore it. As you say they are no doubt discussing matters between themselves and trying to come up with weird and wonderful options. They should be responsible for half the costs of the upkeep so if those costs are deducted from the estate before distribution then that will be how it effectively is divided. They own half the property so should be responsible for half the costs in my mind. However it could be a good tactical tool for you to finalise the agreement, depending on how much we are talking about of course and the potential costs of this going to Court for final decisions.
                          Just my thoughts but they should be contacting your solicitor about offers and not you. I appreciate that costs more but it may reduce the emotional stress a little. Either way whether you are conveying the info to your solicitor or they are there will of course be fees to pay. Costs can be part of any settlement negotiation too of course.
                          I am a qualified solicitor employed by the LegalBeagles forum to provide guidance on a wide range of legal queries. I am happy to try and assist informally, where needed.

                          Any posts I make on LegalBeagles are for information and discussion purposes only and shouldn't be seen as legal advice. Any practical advice I give is without liability. I do not represent people on the forum.

                          If in doubt you should always seek professional face to face legal advice.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            The son has never contacted my solicitor but the grandson has sent all sorts of letters to the solicitor usually accompanied by a rather nasty message to me informing that me he has sent something. His message last night was to inform me that he had emailed the proposal to my solicitor, but it was quite pleasant by his standards

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I’d hold on to the fact it was less aggressive for a change then and await your solicitors recommendations.
                              Fingers crossed they are starting to see the light!
                              I am a qualified solicitor employed by the LegalBeagles forum to provide guidance on a wide range of legal queries. I am happy to try and assist informally, where needed.

                              Any posts I make on LegalBeagles are for information and discussion purposes only and shouldn't be seen as legal advice. Any practical advice I give is without liability. I do not represent people on the forum.

                              If in doubt you should always seek professional face to face legal advice.

                              Comment

                              View our Terms and Conditions

                              LegalBeagles Group uses cookies to enhance your browsing experience and to create a secure and effective website. By using this website, you are consenting to such use.To find out more and learn how to manage cookies please read our Cookie and Privacy Policy.

                              If you would like to opt in, or out, of receiving news and marketing from LegalBeagles Group Ltd you can amend your settings at any time here.


                              If you would like to cancel your registration please Contact Us. We will delete your user details on request, however, any previously posted user content will remain on the site with your username removed and 'Guest' inserted.

                              Announcement

                              Collapse

                              WILLS AND PROBATE HELP

                              See more
                              See less

                              Court Claim ?

                              Guides and Letters



                              Search and Compare fixed fee legal services and find a solicitor near you.

                              Find a Law Firm


                              Loading...
                              Working...
                              X