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lovelyhead

Stalemate

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I was hoping that a few knowledgable minds here could give me a little advice.

My Wife's Grandfather died a year and a half ago. He owned a house which he left in his will to my Wife and 6 other people. One of those people actually owns a 50% share of the house. This person is the deceased Sister. She doesn't live at the house in question.

The executor of the will put the house up for sale over a year ago. This is where the problem lies. There has been a few offers put in that the deceased's sister is refusing to accept but the rest of the benefactors would be happy to accept. The sister is holding out for the full asking price and won't accept less. The executor of the will has been paying council tax for the house for the last 6 months but can no longer afford it and has stopped paying it.

None of the parties are in a position to buy the other parties out.

Is there anything that can be done to resolve this stalemate.

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Could the 5 of you afford 10% each to buy the sister out?

Then sell immediately and take 20% each. You'll 'lose' 20% of the difference between asking and selling price, but it would breal the deadlock and you'd still come out ahead.

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Could the 5 of you afford 10% each to buy the sister out?

Then sell immediately and take 20% each. You'll 'lose' 20% of the difference between asking and selling price, but it would breal the deadlock and you'd still come out ahead.

We could probably just about afford it but 3 of the others are quite young and we would be talking about £30,000 each to buy her out.

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Or sell for the price you've been offered and agree to each pay 20% of the difference to the sister. It would really stick in the craw, but the deadlock would be broken.

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Or sell for the price you've been offered and agree to each pay 20% of the difference to the sister. It would really stick in the craw, but the deadlock would be broken.

That would work but there is no way that everyone would agree to it. We wouldn't agree to it.

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The executor of the will is allowed to claim resonable expenses/costs for time spent administering a will (Hence why you should avoid naming a solicitor as an executor.).

The executor is therefore legally allowed to claim back all the council tax payments he or she has personally made - why he or she has personally made such payments is beyond me - when the house is sold and before any money is handed over to the beneficiaries of the will.

Executors can also legally bill a fee for the amount of time they have spent administering the will - usually this does not happen if it is family.

The executor should have seen that all funrniture was removed from the house as most councils do not charge any council tax for a house that is devoid of ALL furniture - how individual councils determine that a house is empty would be something you would need to enquire about.

I would go the sister - as executor - and explain that I was now going to be billing for my time, expenses and the council tax that I had paid. I would explain that it was in her interest to now sell up before the charges became more.

I would tell her that I was now going to return to the court of probate and ask for a judge at a tribunnal to rule on what should be done - explain to her that this will involve additional cost as solicitors probably would need to be called in. Any legal costs, for either side, would therefore come out of the estate.

In other words, quite simply, her intransigent has now reached the point where legal matters have to take their course and it is going to cost loads of money - all which will come out of the estate - and hence when a judge rules that the house is sold she will end up with even less cash than if she agreed to the sale now.

Of course she may just be plain stubborn and not want anyone else to get any money. She may prefer to see it all p*ssed up against the wall in legal costs.

One last point - have you considered the emotional aspects. The house might be of more emotional significance to her than you realise. Perhaps she is holding on to her brother... and indeed to her family... by holding on to the house. Is she the last of her family - i.e. the last sibling of her parents?

I am not a solicitor. DYOR.

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The executor of the will is allowed to claim resonable expenses/costs for time spent administering a will (Hence why you should avoid naming a solicitor as an executor.).

The executor is therefore legally allowed to claim back all the council tax payments he or she has personally made - why he or she has personally made such payments is beyond me - when the house is sold and before any money is handed over to the beneficiaries of the will.

Executors can also legally bill a fee for the amount of time they have spent administering the will - usually this does not happen if it is family.

The executor should have seen that all funrniture was removed from the house as most councils do not charge any council tax for a house that is devoid of ALL furniture - how individual councils determine that a house is empty would be something you would need to enquire about.

I would go the sister - as executor - and explain that I was now going to be billing for my time, expenses and the council tax that I had paid. I would explain that it was in her interest to now sell up before the charges became more.

I would tell her that I was now going to return to the court of probate and ask for a judge at a tribunnal to rule on what should be done - explain to her that this will involve additional cost as solicitors probably would need to be called in. Any legal costs, for either side, would therefore come out of the estate.

In other words, quite simply, her intransigent has now reached the point where legal matters have to take their course and it is going to cost loads of money - all which will come out of the estate - and hence when a judge rules that the house is sold she will end up with even less cash than if she agreed to the sale now.

Of course she may just be plain stubborn and not want anyone else to get any money. She may prefer to see it all p*ssed up against the wall in legal costs.

One last point - have you considered the emotional aspects. The house might be of more emotional significance to her than you realise. Perhaps she is holding on to her brother... and indeed to her family... by holding on to the house. Is she the last of her family - i.e. the last sibling of her parents?

I am not a solicitor. DYOR.

Thanks Tulip.

The executor thought that they were responsible for paying the council tax. They intended to reclaim the payments once the house was sold. The house was classed as empty but after 6 months council tax was liable. I didn't realise that you didn't need to actually pay council tax and could just wait until the house sold to repay any due tax. The executor has stopped paying now anyway as they couldn't afford it any more.

It sounds like going to the court of probate will be the next step. I think she is the type of person that would happily see the rest of us get nothing. She wasn't particularly fond of her brother. She is just nasty.

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Tricky one.

Is she in need of the money?

No she is comfortably well off.

Four out of the 5 benefactors are below 30 years old, looking to buy their first homes if that puts some perspective on the type of person she is.

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there's nothing better than a little bit of money to ensure that nobody in the family will talk to each other again:(

We are all friendly with each other. It is just the Sister that is the outcast. The very first time we were introduced she thought that I was the family dog. She told me that to my face. (My name was on xmas cards that were sent to her before we met.)

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No she is comfortably well off.

Four out of the 5 benefactors are below 30 years old, looking to buy their first homes if that puts some perspective on the type of person she is.

Just tell her your going to turn it into a brothel as everyone else is agreed you aren't going to get the asking price so your renting it instead.

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Thanks Tulip.

The executor thought that they were responsible for paying the council tax. They intended to reclaim the payments once the house was sold. The house was classed as empty but after 6 months council tax was liable. I didn't realise that you didn't need to actually pay council tax and could just wait until the house sold to repay any due tax. The executor has stopped paying now anyway as they couldn't afford it any more.

You have to pay council tax if it is due - and judging by what you wrote then in your council they start charging the council tax after 6 months. However, it may be possible to empty the house completely and not be liable for any if that is how your council operates.

It sounds like going to the court of probate will be the next step. I think she is the type of person that would happily see the rest of us get nothing. She wasn't particularly fond of her brother. She is just nasty.

Well, you can point out to her that if it does indeed go back to the court of probate and ends up in front of a judge... and if a judge rules in favour of the estate/executor, then she could then be liable for all the costs or at least her own costs - all depends on how the judge rules.

Judges in the court of probate have seen and heard it all before. They don't like people messing about with wills. They really don't.

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No she is comfortably well off.

Then, as I just posted, she could end up with some hefty legal costs. As I said, judges at the probate court don't like people messing around with wills as will are seen as the last request/behest of the deceased.

The judges have seen all the tricks and heard all the excuses. They don't like people holding up wills for no real reason.

I would go and have a chat with her - re what I said above - and if she agreeable then sell the house. If in the meeting she plays up then I - the executor - would put it in writing that I now intend to return to the court of probate for a judge to resolve the matter. Pop it in an eveloped, send it recorded delivery and give her 30 days from its arrival for her reply.

In the meantime, go and see a solicitor.

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Then, as I just posted, she could end up with some hefty legal costs. As I said, judges at the probate court don't like people messing around with wills as will are seen as the last request/behest of the deceased.

The judges have seen all the tricks and heard all the excuses. They don't like people holding up wills for no real reason.

I would go and have a chat with her - re what I said above - and if she agreeable then sell the house. If in the meeting she plays up then I - the executor - would put it in writing that I now intend to return to the court of probate for a judge to resolve the matter. Pop it in an eveloped, send it recorded delivery and give her 30 days from its arrival for her reply.

In the meantime, go and see a solicitor.

Thanks again for the helpful advice.

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All good advice from TMT.

I would add that it might help to get independent valuation(s) from a reputable surveyor - not one with a VI - especially if the asking price is unrealistic in current market conditions.

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