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VIC Deceased Estate - Selling Family Home

Discussion in 'Wills and Estate Planning Law Forum' started by Sofia, 27 March 2015.

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  1. Sofia

    Sofia Member

    27 March 2015
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    Our parents are now both deceased and we have a brother that is living in the childhood family home. Our parents wishes were that the house (of the deceased estate) be sold and proceeds divided between the 4 children. He wishes to purchase the house and doesnt want to leave. He has no means to purchase it and is making it difficult for us. He has not paid the rates,water or insured the property. I am the executor and I am now left with the debt. He does not pay rent and has been living there on his own now for 2 years after having to DadNap our father to look after him properly before he pased away. I have heard that the house must be sold at auction ...all in the name of fairness Im hoping it is true....IS IT?
  2. Tim W

    Tim W Lawyer

    28 April 2014
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    (I am assuming in this post that the house is fully paid for, and that all his other debts have been settled, and that the funeral etc has been paid for. I am also assuming that you are in NSW)

    1. As Executor, your duty to the beneficiaries is to get the best possible price for the house.
      If he wants to buy the house, and is willing and able to pay the "right" price, then,
      so far as the rest of you are concerned, cash is cash, isn't it?

      Ask yourself this - if you (as Executor) list the house with an agent, and
      your brother buys it on the open market, just like anyone could, then what's the difference?

    2. Often what's happening in the background in these situations is that the obstinate relative thinks that if they refuse to move, or refuse to agree to the sale, that the house can't be sold.
      That's not automatically or always correct.
      It seems, in this case, that the Executor is the legal owner of the house.
      Which does not mean you can automatically and always "sell it out from under him",
      but that's not off the table either.

    3. Has your brother ever lived anywhere else?
      For example, did he ever have his own home (no matter owned or rented)?
      Has he lived continuously in the house since childhood, or
      did he move (back) in with your dad at some point?
      (this may be relevant to arguments in equity about whether or not he could now live elsewhere)

    4. Re this:
      What sort of debt?

    5. Re this:
      Who says this?
      And why do they think so?

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