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Joshua, Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 28991
Experience:  LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice
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I'm detector for my mums estate, this included my mums house

Customer Question

I'm detector for my mums estate, this included my mums house my nephew has decided to live there, my issue is he said he's looking for somewhere else but if be dosn't what do I do?
JA: Where are you? It matters because laws vary by location.
Customer: Also he's saying he lived there for 10 years from age 16 to 26 and saying he is going to take me to court and claim as a dependent When left a valid WILL
JA: What steps have you taken so far?
Customer: None yet
JA: Is there anything else the Lawyer should know before I connect you? Rest assured that they'll be able to help you.
Customer: I'm in UK
Submitted: 16 days ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Joshua replied 16 days ago.

Hello and thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will be very pleased to assist you. I'm a practising lawyer in England with over 15 years’ experience. Please be aware that although I will endeavour to reply to you promptly, I am also in full time private practice and so I may not be available to respond immediately and it may also take me a few minutes to prepare a reply. The site will notify you as soon as I respond. I look forward to working with you to answer your question fully.

I am very sorry to read of the above and please accept my condolences for your loss.. I will certainly try to clarify your options.

may I clarify what I think may be a typo in your original post - are you an executor of your mother's estate please? If not - what is a "detector" please?

Customer: replied 16 days ago.
Customer: replied 16 days ago.
I can't take a call im working
Expert:  Joshua replied 16 days ago.
  1. thank you. May I confirm if you are the sole executor please?
  2. have you obtained probate in your mother's estate and if so, approximately when please?
  3. Did your nephew live with your mother as he claims? in particular, did he live with her in the 12 months prior to her passing?
  4. You mention he lived at the property between 16 and 26 years of age. It is not clear to me whether he then moved out and subsequently moved back in or whether he has lived there for the last 10 years continuously?
  5. Has he paid any rent?
  6. if he did move out, at what point did he move back in? Was this before or after your mother passed away and in the case of the latter was this with your consent?
Customer: replied 16 days ago.
No there's me and another person as executor
Grant of probate has been issued just waiting for it to arrive in post
He lived with her on and off over the last 12 months
He didn't live there the day she died he moved out a few weeks prior he moved back in last week
He lived with her continually for around 10 years, he didn't pay any rent as far as I know
I consented for him to stay one night, I've asked him nicely to leave so we can proceed with selling the properly but he's saying he needs 2 months to sort somewhere else
Mum had a valid signed WILL where he gets 7k along side his brother then the rest is divided between me and my sister
Expert:  Joshua replied 16 days ago.

Thank you. If he does not pay rent then he is an excluded occupier and can be evicted without a court order. Ideally, you would also not have given any kind of exclusive occupation - e.g. you continue to come and go as you please and out of the property to carry out for example your administrative duties.

To remove him from the property, you need only give him notice which as I understand that you have already done, and then you can simply attend with a locksmith to change the locks whilst he is out if you wish. You would need to act in concert with your co-executor as you must act jointly in such matters. You cannot remove him with force.

in terms of a potential claim he may have against the estate, there is the possibility of a claim under the Inheritance Act. This provides that a person

"who immediately before the death of the deceased was being maintained, either wholly or partly, by the deceased" may make a claim for reasonable financial provision. However, what is key here is the words "immediately before". Accordingly, he would need to be able to show that he was being maintained which could include living rent free in your mother's home or been paid money by your mother in the immediate period before her passing. Unless she was paying him money at this time, the fact that he had moved out with on the face of it appeared to make such a claim difficult. In any event, any such claim would need to be made within six months of grant of probate.

Customer: replied 16 days ago.
Brilliant thanks
What do I do if the other executor don't agree to evict him and just change the locks, could we agree a date that he has to be out by
For instance giving him 6 weeks to find somewhere then he needs to be out. Can I just then go and change the locks after this date
We don't agree on this matter as you can see
Expert:  Joshua replied 16 days ago.

executors must act jointly so if the other executor is obstructive in this respect, strictly speaking, you cannot proceed on your own against their wishes. However, if the other executor is obstructive, they must be reminded that executors are carrying out duties in relation to the estate and legal authority in respect of estate property is not the same as the property being their own for them to make whatever decisions they like in relation to the same. In executors duties is to preserve and collect in the assets of the estate and then distribute them to the beneficiaries which in the case of a house may involve the sale of the property. Allowing an occupier into a house rent free is outside of the scope of an executors obligations, and an executor that acts in such a way can become liable financially to the beneficiaries if their decisions in particular cause any loss to the estate.

Customer: replied 16 days ago.
Wow thanks
Expert:  Joshua replied 16 days ago.

I hope the above answers all your questions. If there is anything else I can help with please reply back to me otherwise thank you very much for visiting JustAnswer and I hope we will see you again in the future.

Customer: replied 16 days ago.
What do you mean by excluded occupier there isn't a landlord involved I don't like there, it was a empty property when he moved back in but he had a key to the house
Expert:  Joshua replied 16 days ago.

An excluded occupier is an individual that does not have any tenancy rights nor statutory tenancy protection. They are just occupying a property but are "excluded" from any above rights.

Customer: replied 15 days ago.
If I give him a date to leave and he don't leave then he has no rights?
Also if I inspect the property and he hasn't kept it to a reasonable standard can I just change the locks and get him out before the date agreed ?
Expert:  Joshua replied 12 days ago.

My apologies for the delay in reverting to you over the long weekend. In terms of options, as above you should first consider giving him a written notice to quit providing a short period of notice to leave. Ideally you should continue to exercise a right to enter the property in the meantime as and when required. You cannot use force to make him leave but following the above could then simply change the locks whilst he is out and arrange to return his belongings.

Customer: replied 12 days ago.
Great thanks
Expert:  Joshua replied 12 days ago.

My pleasure.