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Alex J.
Alex J., Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 3613
Experience:  Solicitors 2 years plus PQE
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I set up a holiday let business elderly friend

Resolved Question:

Hello - I set up a holiday let business for an elderly friend - it was her property and I am running it as the agent. We were both signaturies on the co-op business account. She died three years ago and her son and his wife have been left the property. I have heard nothing with regard to the business account and what to do. The son asked me to send a change of signature from the Bank to him, which I did but he said that the bank wouldn't accept it and really didn't give me a reason why. I am not well aquainted with the son and his wife and now they want to sell the property. I would like to know where I stand. There is money in the business account and I am wondering can I just close the account and keep the money myself or have they got any hold on to the account even though I set the business up and have run it for 7 years.
I would appreciate any advice you can give.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Alex J. replied 1 year ago.
Hi,
Thank you for your question and welcome.
My name is ***** ***** I will assist you.
Did you and your friend agree to split the proceeds 50/50?
Kind regards
AJ
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Hello

No actually there was no agreement between us. I took a percentage of the lettings and also got paid for the cleaning. We always used any money to plough back into the property as it needed alot of upgrading. My elderly friend was pleased that the property was being used and wasn't too worried about getting an income from it.

Thanks

Karen

Expert:  Alex J. replied 1 year ago.
Hi,
Thank you.
Technically this money needs to go the executor of her estate - less any money you are entitled to take.
Whose name is ***** ***** in?
Kind regards
AJ
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

The account is in my elderly friends name and my name - so I am a signatury. I was wondering also why the executor hasn't asked for the account to be frozen or closed since the death of my friend.

Expert:  Alex J. replied 1 year ago.
Hi
Thank you.
You have a joint account your liability is joint and several for it. That means that you have authority for the account event though the other party has a personal representative. The fact that you are still alive means that there is no need or purpose to freeze the account.
I would say in absence of any written agreement you probably have grounds to claim at least half the money as your own. I would contact personal representative and ask them to confirm what should be done with the money.
Do you know if this person has an executor?
Kind regards
AJ
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Hello Alex

Thank you for that. So, it is fine for me to carry on with running the business as it is until it is sold?

Yes, I am fairly certain that the person who I am dealing with is the executor (owner of the property and friends son).

As I have set up the business from scratch and have gained a good client base, would I not be able to claim more than half the money. Does it come down to just an agreement between the parties concerned? What would be my best way to deal with the dividing of the money?

Thanks

Expert:  Alex J. replied 1 year ago.
Hi,
Thank you.
It really depends on what you can prove. If you can prove that it was always agreed you would be paid more money and the split was not 50/50 then it will be assumed you shared everything in the joint account equally.
You can only continue using the property with the permission of the owners personal representatives. Are they happy for you to continue running it? If so I would ensure that you reach an agreement with them in writing as to how all future proceeds are split before.
Do you have any dialogue with them?
Kind regards
AJ
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

THank you - Can you please confirm the question that I can still carry on the business as usual using my signatory all the time.

Yes I do speak very occasionally to the owner. They are happy for me to continue to run the business.The property is being sold so the account will then have to be closed so hopefully we can come to an amicable agreement.

Expert:  Alex J. replied 1 year ago.
Hi
Thank you.
You can carry on being a signatory and running the business but if that requires permission to use the property then you must obtain this permission.
When you have confirmed what to do with the balance of the monies I would change the account to your name.
Kind regards
AJ
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Hi Alex

Thank you for that - I have been continuing to use the property as a holiday let business since my elderly friend died with the permission of the son so I assume it is alright to carry on doing so until the property is sold.

I wasn't sure if I was supposed to close the account when she died but I thought that I would be informed as to what to do by the Executor/Solicitor of the deceased. I heard nothing so I carried on. Thank you for letting me know the information regarding this situation.

When the property is sold, I will either close the account or change it to my name only. I will also work out what I believe to be a fair divide of the money and hopefully they will agree.

Thank you for your help. I was slightly hesitant about using this on line service but have to say it has been very helpful - I will certainly be back if I need any more assistance.

Regards

Karen

Expert:  Alex J. replied 1 year ago.
Hi,
No problem.
I wish you the best of luck.
Please do not hesitate to contact me if I can assist any further.
Any feedback is gratefully received.
Kind regards
AJ
Alex J., Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 3613
Experience: Solicitors 2 years plus PQE
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Customer: replied 1 year ago.

I was slightly hesitant about using this on line service but have to say Alex has been very helpful - I will certainly be back if I need any more assistance.

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