Is an Assent permiitted?

I’m acting as executor on an estate (deceased left everything to his 3 x children (who don’t get on at all!), the only asset left to deal with now is the deceased’s former dwelling which has been on the market for almost a year but it is proving very difficult to sell (all offers hitherto received have fallen some way short of thei chilrdren’s expectations. My preference is now to assent this property to the three of them. It seems likely they will not want me to do this but will want me to continue to market it. The estate has been otherwise fully dealt with and all debts settled so I just want to wrap things up now. Am I permitted to assent it to them? (even if this might be against thier wishes)

I would be inclined to give them notice that if a sale of the property cannot be agreed and completer by, say, the end of June, legal title to the property will be transferred to them. You might also give them the option of nominating one r ore of them to hold the legal title for them all (although from what is said that is unlikely to receive a positive response).

Even if the will does not remove the requirement for consent to appropriation (s.41 Administration of Estates Act 1925), as the estate has in effect been administered other than dealing with the title to the property I suggest consent would now be superfluous. The only issue might be if the beneficiaries are required to be party to the AS1 transferring the title to them. The answer to that will depend upon the nature of the property title and a conveyancer will need to advise on that.

Paul Saunders FCIB TEP

Independent Trust Consultant

Providing support and advice to fellow professionals

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