equalisation of mother's estate

My mother died earlier this year and my brother and I are the equal beneficiaries. As I live abroad my brother suggested that he be the sole executor. Approximately one third of the estate was in bank and building societies and the remainder was my mother's house. The cash has been distributed. Since my mother went into care 2 years ago my brother's daughter has lived in the house and her rent went towards care fees. My brother would like to buy me out of my half of the house, so that his daughter can continue to live there, OK by me as I have no desire to be a long-distance landlord or pay tax on the rent. To buy me out however my brother must either have a mortgage on the house or re-mortgage his own, as his share of the cash estate will not cover the value of half the house. Some six months later we are no further forward. He does not update me on what is happening, but I know one mortgage on my mother's house has been refused. I received a letter from a solicitor saying that he had been asked to apply for Assent to change the deeds for my mother's house into the names of my brother and his wife and that equalisation of the estate was purely a matter for my brother and I. I explained to the solicitor that our agreement for me to sell my half of the house was verbal and therefore Assent shouldn't happen before equalisation had taken place. A second letter today says that documents for the Assent have proceeded and sent to my brother for signature (!).... Exactly what are my rights in pressing for equalisation now? How do I go about it? Am I able to insist that the house is sold as a last resort? As my niece has her rent paid by the local council I assume this has continued since my mother died but we certainly haven't had our half. Is this rent also an asset from the estate ? It seems tragic that we may be getting into a fight over what is clearly laid out in a will.    

The assent can only come from

The assent can only come from his role of executor. An executor can assent to a re registration in the name of new owners - without the house being registered in the executors name.

So if as executor he has assented to put the house in his and his wife's name he must still account to you for the value of half the  estate.

How he pays your half is up to him - but he should either have registered you as joint owner or paid the agreed sale price.

You probably need to enter a restriction on the property title to alert potential buyers as to your interest.

Is your brother trustworthy - this transaction smacks of fraud. I can't see any legitimate reason for registering the title in his wife's name as opposed to yours.

Housing benefit is not normally allowable if the LL is a close relative of the tenant. So it might be worthwhile mentioning this - just in case they omitted to tell the local authority.

Profile: retired barrister legal adviser with MOJ.

equalisation of mother's estate

Thanks for the quick response. I shall be contacting my brother tomorrow and will make it clear that I have had some expert opinion suggesting that what he's doing is unacceptable and worrying. Let's see what he has to say.

   

BEARcub010499

Profile: semi-retired in France and waiting for equalisation of my mother's estate

Following my previous post I

Following my previous post I have had no contact with my brother who now seems to be not answering the phone to me. I think that I must go to the UK and find a solicitor of my own, however in the meantime does it really "up the ante" if I place a restriction on the property title? I checked the Land Registry online service today and as yet no title information exists for the house. I don't really want to go to war with my brother but his behaviour is making me very nervous. 

BEARcub010499

Profile: semi-retired in France and waiting for equalisation of my mother's estate

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