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Joshua
Joshua, Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 25358
Experience:  LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice
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My family have held mineral rights etc to a number of properties

Resolved Question:

My family have held mineral rights etc to a number of properties since the 1930s for which they have received minor rents ie between £2.00 and £4.00 per property a year these in some cases have been collected by an agent who receives half of the monies collected. In 2000 my uncle who was receiving these payments died he was the last of the brothers and sister to whom they were originally left(my father having died in 1992)At that time i became the last of my blood line, however the payments were then made to my step mother and my uncles friends mentioned in his will, however these rents were not specified in the will . My step mother died last year.I am now unable to get any information from the agent or the solicitor who receives the rents for my uncles friends. i want to know where i stand.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Joshua replied 3 years ago.

Joshua :

Hello and thank you for your question. I will be very pleased to assist you. I'm a practicing lawyer in England with over 10 years experience.

Joshua :

may I clarify that the original beneficiaries of mineral rights were your father uncle and aunt please?

Joshua :

If so, do you know if they have held such rights as joint tenants or tenants in common?

Joshua :

Did your father or uncle leave a will? if so, do you know who the executors of either will were?

Joshua :

Were you a beneficiary of either your step mothers will? Do you know who the Executor or executors are of your stepmother's will?

Customer:

The original beneficiaries were my 2 uncles, aunt and father all of whom are now deceased with no children apart from me. None were tenants of the properties. the rights come from a great uncles trust estate.

Joshua :

Thank you. My apologies for any confusion relating to my reference to joint tenants or tenants in common. This is not a reference to a tenancy but rather a form of ownership. If one pays property as joint tenants together with other people, the benefit of that ownership passes to the survivors on death automatically. If one out as tenants in common, the benefits passes under the terms of the deceased persons will. Do you happen to know how the four of them owned the rights? It would often be as tenants in common but not necessarily?

Customer:

I do not know but ithink they were passed down from oldest to youngest who would have been my father IMy uncle left a will leaving everything to his old landlady, his estate,ie probate was dealt with by a solicitor, Mr Watson the same Mr watson now receives 25% of the rents presumably on behalf of the landlady.However my father, the last of the siblings, had already died when my uncle had passed away yet my step mother received 25% of the rents, the other 50% going to the agent. I remember my father saying that the great uncles trust was all about blood line and that if he had died before the trust had been finalised it would have come to me. I had no problems with my step mother or her family and although l received nothing from her Will, her beneficiary, my step sister wants me to have the rents and rights, as this was my father and stepmother wishes Sorry its complicated but i dont understand why any was passed to my stepmother.

Joshua :

Thats fine. So from what you say it sounds to me as if my suspicion that the entitlement passes to the children of the original beneficiaries after their death may probably be correct?

Customer:

That how i understood it from my father

Joshua :

Thanks. Finally did your father leave a will? If so who was his appointed executor?

Customer:

Yes me and my step sister. He left me 25% of the house he and my step mother owned upon her death or the sale of the house. The rights were not mentioned in his will.

Joshua :

thank you. if you have been appointed as executor of your fathers will then legal authority in respect of control and administration of his assets have all passed to you and your coexecutor or by virtue of section 1 administration of the Estates act.

Joshua :

accordingly, acting as your father's executor or, you have full legal right and authority to interrogate the agent in respect of monies owed to your father's estate and you may consider referring the agent to section 1 of the administration of Estates act and requiring him to disclose all relevant documentation and information relating to payments made to your father's estate and the beneficiary of those payments after your father's passing.

Joshua :

if the agent refuses to disclose information to you, you can if necessary apply for a court order for disclosure of the information you require together with costs however once the agent has read the above provision of the ministration of Estates act, this would hopefully be sufficient to persuade him to disclose voluntarily

Joshua :

it would also be extremely worthwhile if you can obtain a copy of the trust deed you refer to which may or may not be in the agents possession

Customer:

Ok got that. What about the solicitor Mr Watson who dealt with my uncles Will he hasnt even answered the letter i sent together with a copy of my stepmother death certificate, can you explain why he is receiving any part of the rents.

Joshua :

Was you stepmother receiving payments from your uncles estate or straight from the trust do you know?

Customer:

I dont know. i do have a copy of the accounts of my great uncles trust dated 1971 which shows payments to the issue of deceased great uncles and aunts

Joshua :

That is excellent. Would it be possible to ask you to type out the wording of the relevant provision you refer to above?

Customer:

Ithink the payments were from the trust because niether my father or stepmother were mentioned in my uncle Will.

Customer:

One quarter shares equally to Issue of Henry Shellard(the younger) deceased it then lists my father uncles and aunt, it the lists two properties and specifies rentcharges.

Joshua :

Is it possible to trouble you for the exact wording word for word as I would hope this would enable me to clarify precisely your entitlement.

Customer:

The document is titled Estate and distribution accounts For the estate of Henry Shellards Will Trust One Quarter share to Issue Of Henry Shellard (the younger) deceased it then lists the 3 brothers(including my father) and 1 aunt. properties at valuationXXXXX£850, 515 Wellsway £575, Rentcharges £592. plus a lot of cash each.

Joshua :

Oh ok this sounds like the estate accounts rather than the Trust deed itseld unfortunately.

Joshua :

Accordingly, as above, you may wish to attempt to obtain a copy of the trust deed in order to establish entitlement. you do not have any specific right to obtain information in respect of your uncles will all the administration of his wealth from the solicitor that is dealing with his estate however as far as any matters which relate to your fathers affairs, you have an absolute right to obtain information as discussed above and can require the agent to disclose information relating to your father's entitlement under the trust. If you believe the solicitor who has information relating to your father's affairs, you have a similar right and in general terms can make a complaint in respect of the solicitor does not respond to correspondence under the solicitors conduct code.


Joshua :
www.sra.org.uk/complaints
Joshua :

if you believe you personally have a direct entitlement under the trust, you wish to consider contacting the trustees of the trust, details of which the agent should hold, in order to establish your entitlement under the same. alternatively, if you can obtain a copy of the trust deed itself, then it should be possible to determine your entitlement if any under the trust

Joshua :

is there anything above I can clarify for you?

Customer:

I did contact the solictors who dealt withtrust, all i got from them was the trust had been finalised in 1971, no information.I will try to obtain a copy of the orginal trust first and see what that says. thank for your help i may come back when i have more information, at least i have somwhere to start now, thank you

Joshua :

Yes of course. Please do. from what you say, the agent will at least be required to disclose information about what further payments he has been an may still be receiving in respect of your fathers interest in the trust and what payments are still being collected and who by. it may also be worth obtaining a copy of the relevant titles for the land concerned in order that you can see what entitlements are ongoing. this can be done through the land Registry for relatively nominal costs

Joshua :

If I can assist any further as the situation develops please do not hesitate to revert to me

Customer:

Yes im in touch with land resistry, the rents were part of the deeds written in 1939.

Joshua :

The title covenants should enable you to determine whether they are still payable - assuming they are, this would suggest somebody is still receiving payments and whether this is the case, it follows that somebody is entitled to them which of course maybe you in part at least

Joshua :

If you have no further questions for now I should be very grateful if you would kindly take a moment to rate my service to you today. Your feedback is important to me. If there is anything else I can help with please reply back to me though

Customer:

Thanks you

Joshua :

Best wishes and do come back if I can assist further once you have carried out some further investigation

Customer:

Ok will do your rating will be excellent thanks

Joshua :

Thats very kind - many thanks

Joshua, Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 25358
Experience: LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice
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