Husband and Wife - married for 30 years - each previously widowed with adult children.
H & W have always lived in property owned solely by H, whilst W’s property has been let. Always agreed that when H died or went into nursing care W would vacate his property. H died and W vacated some 6 weeks later. As H was not sole occupant at time of death a Class F exemption was not available.
W is not an Executor or Beneficiary of H’s Estate. She paid outgoings including Council Tax for the period of her sole occupation. H’s Executors have asked that she pay Council Tax for the full 6 months from death saying that they have a duty to do so. Would other readers agree?
C Coles, Waughs
I believe the Council Tax regulations make the occupier liable for the charge and if the property is unoccupied then the immediate owner. On what basis can the Executors ask the widow to pay the charge? She’s not an occupier and neither is she an Executor. They appear to be liable for the charge.
I am not sure where the executors are coming from. If on the facts the Class F exemption was not available at the date of death, the on going liability (after the wife vacated) falls to the executors to pay as an estate/administration expense (unless they can show there was an agreement between H&W to the contrary)? It seems that the wife upheld her end of the agreement to vacate and the executors are now trying to penalise her for doing so!
I am also not sure where the figure of 6 months comes from - are they referring to the 6 month exemption that applies once a Grant has been obtained?