My client has a 1/3 share in an estate (Residual Beneficiary . Probate was completed 11 ½ years ago in Sept 2009. There are 2 Executors (the 2 sisters of my client). My client is not an executor or trustee, only a residual beneficiary. The daughter of one of the executors (client’s nice) moved into the sole residential property under the control of the executors some 9 years ago. The understanding (no written agreement) was that she would pay rent to my client. She paid one or two payments, in cash, but has not paid any rent to my client, or to the best of his knowledge, to anyone since. The property has not been maintained by the executors or by the nice in occupation.
The Will includes a clause allowing the executors to delay the sale, calling in and conversion as they think fit.
My client does not want all out war, so we have sent a polite letter, some months ago, asking the executors to get on with the distribution, but that has made no difference to the situation.
Can my client make a claim against the executors for the unpaid rent and dilapidations to the property, when the estate is eventually distributed, and can he force the executors to now get on with the distribution?
Any comments or pointers gratefully received.
The devil is in the detail, so you need to carefully consider the will as a whole. Your reference to “delay … sale etc …” was a standard administrative provision, but does not normally affect the intended distribution.
It rather sounds as though some beneficiaries may have more immediate rights than others, specialist advice on the specific wording used would be preferable to seeking general advice on this forum.
Thank you for the reply, Mullenky.
The Will is very simple. It’s only one page. It leaves the entire estate to be distributed to the three children in equal shares. There are no other provisions that are unusual or which give any beneficiary a right over any other.
I just wondered what thoughts there were on the executor’s liability to account for the actions they have taken, which are not in the best interests of all the beneficiaries, given a non-beneficiary has been in occupation of the estate property (house) for free for 9 years, failing to keep that property in a good state of repair, and failing to distribute the estate in accordance with the proven Will.
You answer yourself. You claim that the executors have not acted properly - if so then you/your clients should be taking action.
Why have you not done so? I suggested that you seek specialist advice- why are you reluctant to do so?
Thanks for the reply. Of course, it’s not for me to take action, it’s for the client to decide he wants to take action. As I said, at this point he does not wish to start an all-out war with his sisters.
The question was "Can my client make a claim against the executors for the unpaid rent and dilapidations to the property, when the estate is eventually distributed, and can he force the executors to now get on with the distribution?
I believe he can, but I wondered what others thought and any points to precedents or statutes would be helpful.