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If a large percentage of a house is held in trust, can the trustees charge rent?

(9 Posts)
Haggertyjane Tue 29-Dec-20 12:36:00

Husbands wife died recently. House deeds all in her name, but husband (her 3rd) is likely to obtain a beneficial interest, and reasonable financial provision, but this isn't agreed yet because of the holiday period. Solicitors appt made for 4 Jan.

The bulk of the house has been left to the 2 daughters (2nd marriage) to sell 'if necessary'. They have indicated they want it sold. Husband has insufficient funds from his share to buy anywhere else.

He wants to mediate and have their share in trust until he dies. He is 65.

Can they charge him rent on their share?

OP’s posts: |
prh47bridge Tue 29-Dec-20 13:41:44

If he makes an Inheritance Act claim he should get at least what he would have received if the marriage had ended in divorce on the date of his wife's death. That is likely to be a lot more than the small proportion of the property she has left him.

If his wife had been sensible, she would have left him a life interest in the house. This would mean it was held in trust for her daughters until he died. In that situation they would not have been able to charge rent. Indeed, he would be entitled to any income generated by the property if he chose to rent some or all of it out. If mediation is possible, that is the kind of deal he should be looking for.

I have to say that, given the behaviour of the daughters so far (refusing to leave, wanting to sell the house immediately, removing documents and cash, etc.) I am not sure mediation will work. I hope they seek legal advice before mediation as that should wake them up to the strength of your relative's claim and, hopefully, make them more reasonable.

MichelleScarn Tue 29-Dec-20 13:53:01

Were they married long with any children? Would that have any affect?

Haggertyjane Tue 29-Dec-20 14:12:05

@prh47bridge Thank you. Yes the wife should have treated them all fairly and done as you say, as this has resulted in what seemed to be good relationships all round, being annihilated.

He will absolutely go for mediation, and is looking to offer that they keep their 80% and he has the life interest with their share in trust but no rent. He thinks that is fair and if they learn they will have a reduced share, that may be the quid pro quo they would be happy with. He has told them to get legal advice like him.

They have all left but took the new cars documents with them saying it was part of the estate as all in 'mummy's' name, but the wife took the money from the joint account, which only has the husbands salary paid into it, transferred it to hers, and paid the balance of £12K from her account. I'm pretty sure it is joint property and not part of the estate?

If the wife is up there looking down, I hope she's happy with what she's done to someone who was devoted to her.

OP’s posts: |
Haggertyjane Tue 29-Dec-20 14:13:43

This is the one and only funeral I'll go to and won't shed a single tear.

OP’s posts: |
ivfbeenbusy Tue 29-Dec-20 14:21:42

If this was a 3rd marriage unlikely they'd been married long so he wouldn't have got much in a divorce anyway so why doesn't he have sufficient funds to house himself at 65?

Haggertyjane Tue 29-Dec-20 14:34:33

@ivfbeenbusy It was an 8 year marriage, together 10. He poured all his money (over £150K) into enlarging and improving the property, including paying most of the bills for 8 years. The house was bought before he met her by the wife. She repeatedly said she would put him on the deeds but never did it.

OP’s posts: |
prh47bridge Tue 29-Dec-20 14:45:31

They have all left but took the new cars documents with them saying it was part of the estate as all in 'mummy's' name, but the wife took the money from the joint account, which only has the husbands salary paid into it, transferred it to hers, and paid the balance of £12K from her account. I'm pretty sure it is joint property and not part of the estate?

He needs legal advice, but it may have been joint property, in which case it now belongs to him and his stepdaughters have no claim on it at all. They may well be going off what the V5C says but that only shows the registered keeper. It is not proof of ownership. What matters is who would have got the money if the car was sold. If it would have been her money, the car was hers. If it would have been his money the car was his. If it would have been joint money the car was jointly owned.

If this was a 3rd marriage unlikely they'd been married long

Your conclusion does not follow. Many third marriages last a long time (my own is coming up to 14 years). We know from the OP's previous thread that this marriage lasted 8 years as she told us the will was made 5 years into the marriage and 3 years before death. If they cohabited prior to marriage that would be added to the length of the marriage but, even without that, it was not a short marriage as far as the courts are concerned. He may well have been entitled to 50% of the equity in the house on divorce.

MarieG10 Wed 30-Dec-20 17:19:44

It is a good case of the necessity to have legal advice when making a will...of course the deceased may have done and chosen to ignore it but the upset coming from wills such as this are significant, especially. Considering the how the husband now feels about his wife

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