Amy Collins, Solicitor at our firm, recently featured in The Irish Times Property Clinic. You can read the original article here and or read the full article below.
I wonder if you could help with a problem. My Mother died about 12 years ago and her will state that we sell the house and divide the proceeds. The will was eventually sorted out a few months ago and in the meantime, the executers daughter has decided to buy the house. She has been saving for it and has been able to borrow €180K for same. One of my sisters had an interest in renovating it 4 or 5 years ago, but there was no interest from my other siblings. Then last week, one of my other sisters phoned to say she had phoned the solicitor who had sorted the will and requested that he put the house on the market for a €100K. I have no idea why she would have done this. My query is, what effect will this have on my niece buying the house.
Unfortunately the query as presented raises a number of questions that need to be answered vis:-
Who is the executor of your mother’s Will?
Is the sister who “phoned the solicitor” and requested that they put the house on the market one of the executors?
What does “the Will was eventually sorted out” mean? Was your mother’s estate fully administered and her assets distributed?
Is the house still registered in the name of your mother and as such part of her estate? If so, then your mother’s estate has not been fully administered or “sorted out”.
A personal representative is a person who is appointed under the terms of your mother’s Will to administer your mother’s estate and as such is the party who should give the instructions to the solicitor.
The personal representative has legal responsibilities for administering the estate.
Whilst it is not absolutely essential for a personal representative to seek the views of the beneficiaries in a Will, it is generally prudent to do so for distributing or selling any assets of the estate.
All of the beneficiaries of an estate are entitled to receive an administration or distribution statement of account from the personal representative, particularly if their inheritance is likely to be affected by any actions taken by the personal representative.
Finally, your niece is entitled to buy the house at such price as may be agreed by the personal representative with her, provided none of the beneficiaries have their inheritance right affected by the sale.
The house should be sold for the open market price unless there is an agreement between the personal representative and all beneficiaries.
Amy Collins is a solicitor at P. O’Connor and Son, solicitors.