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legal eagle 73
legal eagle 73, Solicitor
Category: UK Law
Satisfied Customers: 466
Experience:  10 year qualifified solicitor
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My mum died in May and her house has been left to us 4 children

Customer Question

My mum died in May and her house has been left to us 4 children equally.My brother,sister and myself live in mum's house.My brother,who lives with me, got the house valued for probate and the market value was 520K.My brother and myself went to our family solicitors on Tues and he openly admitted to the solicitor that he asked the valuation surveyor for a low value on the house so there would be no inheritance tax to pay(1/2 house was in a trust). He also told the solicitor that he wants to stay at mum's house with my sister and that if the value of mum's house was 800K he could not afford to stay there.We have agreed that mum's house be revalued.I want my 1/4 share from the house because I want to buy my brothers house,so both houses should be valued at the same time by the same estate agent.My brother asked the solicitor if she could arrange the valuation. What can I do if my brother asks the estate agent for another low value? if our solicitor is on my brother's side what can I do ?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: UK Law
Expert:  legal eagle 73 replied 4 years ago.

hi there

 

did your mother make a will and if so who were the executors? if she did not make a will, then who is intending to apply for probate?

 

thx

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Yes she made a will and all 4 of us are executors - we are signing an oath at the solicitors soon - could you clarify what that is also?

 

thanks

 

PS We have spoken previously about my mum's affairs

Expert:  legal eagle 73 replied 4 years ago.

the oath is a document reciting that your mother has died; where she lived; that the 4 of you are executors and the value of the estate. It has to be sworn on the bible or you can affirm if you are a non believer. the oath has to be sworn/affirmed in order to obtain a Grant of Probate.

 

the solicitor's clients are all 4 executors - the solicitor cannot favour one executor over another. if the executors cannot agree then the solicitor cannot act due to a conflict of interest.

 

the solicitor will instruct the agents to give a true value of the house. you should also be aware that HMRC have a valuation division. This means that if the house is undervalued or if they think it is undervalued, HMRC will refer the value of the house to their own valuers

 

please click on the green accept button if you feel i have answered your Q

 

thx

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

What happens if I sign the oath and then discover that there is a skeleton in the cupboard and I'm not entitled to something I thought I was? I'm certain this won't be the case and I'm entitled to a 1/4 as I've asked our solicitor plus lots of help on this site too!!

 

Our solicitor may favour my brother as in addition to being an executor, he was the trustee if the trust mum set up to avoid inheritance tax.

 

Also the solicitor said something about the trust (which was my dad's half of the house) that if the house was sold the money from the 1/2 of the house would come from the trust fund at the solicitors ie I would still get my 1/4 just the mechanics of it. I thought the trust was being wound up whether the house was sold or otherwise - could you clarify this? - would this affect getting my 1/4 from the house - our solicitor seem to say it was just the mechanics of it if the house was sold and paperwork otherwise - I don't really understand I'm afraid!!!

Expert:  legal eagle 73 replied 4 years ago.

hi there

 

ifyour parents made wills where they each gave the other a legal right to live in their share of the house, then although the trust ended when your mum died, the funds in the trust are tied up in your dad's half share of the house. This means that the money from the trust cannot be made available until the house is sold.

 

the signing of the oath does not affect your entitlement to the estate. it merely confirms who the executors are

 

thx

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
What if the house isn't sold but my brother and sister buy us out ie they stay in mum's house - do me and my eldest brother still get 1/4 value of the property ie 1/8 from dad's share?
Expert:  legal eagle 73 replied 4 years ago.

hi there

 

if your father's will says that his half share of the property ultimately passes to his children, then yes you are correct. if your sister and brother buy the house from the estate, then you will get 1/8 from your dad's share of the house and 1/8th from your mums share of the house so you end up with a 1/4 of the value

 

thx

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Yes my dad's will say's that, that's what our solicitor said.

 

Finally what am I supposed to do regarding the revaluation of the house; if we use our family solicitor to organise it all (which I think is better) but

our solicitor may favour my brother as in addition to being an executor, he was the trustee of the trust mum set up to avoid inheritance tax.

 

Thanks

Expert:  legal eagle 73 replied 4 years ago.

hi there

 

a low valuation will not work because when the paperwork is submitted to HMRC they will challenge the low valuation. they look very closely at estates where tax is payable

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

But when we get the houses revalued/valued for the purpose of paying me and my brother off do you advise us to use our family solicitor to arrange it all?

My point is our family solicitor may favour my brother if there is a disagreement when the valuations comes back? The solicitor may favour my brother as he is/was the trustee with the solicitor of the trust mum set up to reduce/avoid inheritance tax.

 

Thanks

Expert:  legal eagle 73 replied 4 years ago.

hi there

 

your solicitor is under a duty to act in the best interests of all the clients - otherwise the solicitor can get in trouble with the law society. it is normal practice to use the same solicitor to deal with it all.

 

but if you have doubts about using that solicitor, you are free to instruct your own solicitor

 

thx

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Last question, what happens once I've signed the oath and then discover a skeleton out of the cupboard ie something has ti be changed to make it equal 4 ways which mum always wanted - can you legally change things after the oath has been signed?
Expert:  legal eagle 73 replied 4 years ago.

yes you can change the distribution of the estate after the oath has been signed. the oath is a document that simply confirms who the executors are in the estate etc

thx

legal eagle 73, Solicitor
Category: UK Law
Satisfied Customers: 466
Experience: 10 year qualifified solicitor
legal eagle 73 and 4 other UK Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
And can you revalue the house after the oath has been signed which is what we are doing so that I and my brother can be payed off?
Expert:  legal eagle 73 replied 4 years ago.

yes you can

 

thx

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