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Does the executor have to sell the house?(7 Posts)
Just that really. House was stated as being left to one specific person in the will. Executor says that they can't transfer it to them for sale but that they have to arrange sale and pass money on, since the beneficiary can't pay the remaining mortgage upfront or something. Is this true? Complicated situation where executor was granted 6 months to stay in aforementioned property (which is up in a few weeks) and was responsible for their bills. They have admitted they haven't paid the bills and have tried to stay in house longer than the will stated (rent free). Not sure whether this is a ploy to stay in the house longer as they will feel the need to be in charge of the house sale (always has to be in charge of everything and a very controlling person, likes to constantly remind everyone of how important they are). They have turned the house into a disgusting mess, which will need sorting before it can be sold. We just want this sorted as quickly as possible so we no longer need to be involved with this person.
You need to take legal advice. It may well be the case that the house has to be sold if the house has a mortgage on it. The house hasn't been left as such because there is a secured loan against the house, the equity in the house has been left. The house can only be passed on if the beneficiary has sufficient funds to discharge the loan against the house (i.e. the mortgage).
Legal advice is required.
It will depend on the wording of the Will. A house can be left "subject to mortgage" or "free of mortgage" - if left free of mortgage then any mortgage should be paid from the rest of the estate, like other debts.
It's important to get legal advice, especially given the actions of the executor.
Can the beneficiary pay off the mortgage without selling the property? If not, it may well be true unfortunately. If there is a mortgage on the property then the lender will have a charge on it (it's a note at the Land Registry) to prevent the sale or transfer of ownership on it. You can get a copy of the LR records if you need to. And the lender will want the mortgage repaid. Could the beneficiary contact the mortgage lender and sound out the possibilities? The lender will deal with the executor as they have the legal role of distributing the assets so they may not be prepared to speak to the beneficiary though. Only the executor would have the legal right to sign the sale papers IMO but it may be worth getting this point clarified by a solicitor.
Hope it is sorted out quickly for you. And find a way of charging them for the unpaid bills!
Once probate has been obtained the executor is responsible for dealing with the estate, namely both the legal estate (property) and the beneficial estate.
This may mean that the property has to be sold to clear any debts etc although I suspect this can be discussed with any beneficiary as there may be alternatives with regards clearing those debts whilst still retaining the property
If the property is still registered in the deceased's name then it would be the executor who would then deal with any sale by virtue of the probate.
If the executor does not deal with the estate in a proper and timely fashion then there may be action you can take but that is where the legal advice should come in. Some estates can take months/years to resolve and it can be the case that what is involved in proving a case against an executor means taking action against or trying to replace them is difficult.
I thought that you had to have insurance to pay of a mortgage in case of death Specific legal advice is definitely needed. Not sure this executor is quite good enough.
Back in the day when I worked in a solicitors, someone left a house specially to a person, but not enough funds to cover the debts and specific bequests to people, so this was side-stepped by the house person paying the bequests for the others. May have required a variation.
Definitely get legal advice.
You won't find a definitive answer here because, well, it depends.
However, the executor could well find themselves in a spot of legal bother, so get your ducks in a now, know exactly what your rights are, before you tell them what you are doing.
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