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Clare, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 35052
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practice since 1985 with a wide general experience.
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My mum recently passed away. in her last will and testament,

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my mum recently passed away. in her last will and testament, some shares she had were to be given to my nephews once they reached the age of 25. My sister took it upon herself to instruct the solicitor to sell them which she did WITHOUT asking my nephews - both of whom are over 18. I have now instructed the solicitor once the remains of the estate is clear, my sister MUST pay to her sons - my nephews, the monies received from the sale of the shares.
I also have instructed the solicitor that even though the family home is in joint names - the leasehold belongs to the council. The buyer insists we purchase the freehold of the lease. I have told the solicitor that I will NOT pay any monies from the 50% share of the estate and it remains the costs to be borne by my sister. This is because she agreed to a price £30,000 under the asking price and bullied me to accept - I am adamant I do not pay for this and need to be 100% certain that I can not be forced to. Thank you
Thank you for your question.
My name is Clare
I will do my best to help you but I need some further information first.
Who were named as the Executors of the Will?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
originally it was my cousin but he declined and it was agreed the solicitor would be that - mum had put her down just in case
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
are you still there?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
hello, please can you reply to me
My apologies for the delay - we are all working lawyers and it is not always possible to reply immediately
If the Solicitor is the Executor why do you think it was your sister who made these decisions?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
OK, I just don't want to be left hanging so to speak - I live outside of the UK and can wait for days for our solicitor to respond to me which is frustrating. My sister told my nephew when he challenged her about why did she ask the solicitor to sell, she said she realised she had made a grave mistake and just because her other son asked to sell, she assumed he would want to sell too - so it was my sister who instructed the lawyer - and, the solicitor as mums executor she has not carried out mums instructions - Im sure this is illegal - and that's why my sister must pay my nephews the money from her 50% share of the estate. the other big problem/worry I have is regarding the purchase of the freehold - this is all happening as we speak
So one son did ask to sell?
What happened to the proceeds?
Why do you believe the costs arising from the sale are not a proper disbursement
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
correct the elder son asked to sell
the proceeds are still "with the lawyer" until the house is sold, all payments outstanding are made etc
since my sister bullied me into accepting the first offer we received even though I objected - you don't know how she is -
I do not wish to purchase the freehold since we reduced the price £30,000 - this is a massive reduction on the first negotiation and plenty enough for the buyer to purchase the freehold - my sister has just agreed everything with the estate agent - whatever he says - she is desperate for the money
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
my question am I in a position legally to refuse to pay 50% costs for the freehold, Can I forcibly ensure my sister via our solicitor, pays the monies for the shares to my nephews from her 50% of the estate?
Have the purchasers actually said they will not go ahead unless the Freehold issue is dealt with?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
This is the reply from our estate agent (whom I think works for the buyer sometimes the way he has behaved!)
The purchaser, will pay £XXXXXXX towards this cost in addition to the purchase price of £XXXXXXX. Mrs X is keen to exchange contracts with a deposit as soon as possible subject to the freehold being purchased. As far as the completion date goes, this will depend on the time scale for acquiring the freehold. Whilst Mrs X does not have to complete quickly, she is prepared to complete if there is a watertight agreement that the freehold can be bought and funds are in place to ensure that it is not costing her more than XXXXX.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
currently the house has a leasehold of 50 years - this was not an issue previously but now it is- after the new price was agreed - £30,000 less - this is why I do not agree
I can understand your concern
Was your understanding that the price agreed was based on the short length of the lease?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
yes since it was not an issue to begin with . Please I just need to know if I can enforce my request - I need to get back to the estate agent, solicitor etc today and Im in such a state
Do please try and not let this distress you - hard I know.
With regard to your nephews this is not a problem at all.
They will receive the monies paid for the Shares - it will not effect your financial position at all.
With regard to the house it is utterly reasonable for you to say
" The fact that the lease had only 50 years to run was reflected in the fact that the sale price was £30,000 less than the asking price and I am not prepared to agree a further reduction - nor to paying the costs of buying the freehold. If my sister chooses to pay from it from her share of the estate then she is welcome to do so"
If the solicitor is reluctant to accept this say that you do need a valuation from two other agents based on the length of the lease before you will reconsider
I hope that this is of assistance - please ask if you need further details
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
question: how can I be sure my nephews will receive the monies- is the solicitor legally bound and to take it from my sisters 50%?
on the latter - I have enquired with an estate agent what he would value the property at - he wanted to represent us initially - he is from the area - but my sister did not want his company - for whatever reason and so I we chose a third one - not my sisters first choice - much to her discontent
I have already put in my e mail exchanges what you have written - I just want to know LEGALLY can I stop the solicitor paying half the cost of the freehold from MY 50% of the estate?
The money from either your share or your sisters .
They will receive the monies that came form the sale of the shares - and they can sue the solicitor for their money if need be - it is nothing you need to worry about.
What did the Estate Agent of your choice say about the price (this is relevant to the issue you are concerned about)
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
my choice knew the details of the leasehold when he came in April but he was sure and 100% certain he could sell it at a price £15000 above the price now. and what makes me more mad is the estate agent we have now, said he has two other prospective buyers, very interested in case the sale does not go through but he will not show them the property as it may prevent Mrs X from completing. this is utter bullsh*t - I asked him to show them round anyway as they could offer a price nearer the asking price. I did ask who he was working for - my sister and I or mrs x - unbelievable
You cannot in fact prevent the sale and the cost of the freehold is a legitimate cost to the estate
However in view of the circumstances I suggest that you add this to your letter
" I woudl remind you that as executor you are liable to myself as beneficiary to ensure that the price paid for the property is the correct one - and at present the behaviour of the Estate Agent brings that into question"
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
well I shall do that - I really wish I had had my own lawyer for the property - but you would think if two sisters owned 50>% each, that it would be easier to have the same one - maybe the mistake was keeping the same lawyer as the executor as for the house sale. I don't want to prevent the sale - and its not even a money issue - I could buy the freehold myself, its the principle - we jointly own the property not the leasehold so it is not part of the estate - until the freehold is bought. Im exhausted - and still so upset about my mum, unlike my sister who just wants the money.
In fact the property IS part of the estate - it is just that without the Freehold it is harder to sell.
I do understand what you mean about the grief however - it makes even simple decisions difficult
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I know the property is part of the estate but the leasehold is NOT - Im correct aren't I?
It doesn't seem you can say whether I legally can refuse to pay 50% for the freehold :(
Oh well - thanks for trying
The property is a Leasehold property. The buyer wants it to be made into a Freehold one before buying it.
In fact the decision is not yours - it is up to the Executor alone.
Your only argument would be that the Executor did not act properly and the expense should not come form the estate
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
thank you - you have been helpful - Im just so exhausted
Im just trailing through all the e mail exchanges I havenothing more to ask right now
thank you
You are most welcome - do give yourself time to rest
Clare and other Law Specialists are ready to help you