VIC Property Inheritance - responsibility for Outgoings of Estate

Discussion in 'Wills and Estate Planning Law Forum' started by Merri Hunter, 7 November 2018.

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  1. Merri Hunter

    Merri Hunter Member

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    Hi,
    I'm hoping to get some general advice on a property inheritance.

    1 My estranged mother and sister are executors (they are also estranged from each other)

    The Estate Lawyer has verbally informed me that he has written to my sister's Lawyer months ago to request that she: Act, or Renounce, to date she has done none.
    Can my sister be removed as an executor?
    Can my mother act alone?

    2 Probate has not been granted, but the last advice was that probate was ready to be applied for.

    Am I to be formally notified when it is approved?
    Once Probate is approved, how long is a reasonable period to wait and can the Executors be forced to wind up the estate (this involves cash, property into trusts and property directly to me)

    3 The Estate Lawyer has provided no updates and has not responded to my last two phone calls regarding estate progress.

    Is it ok to write to the Estate Lawyer and request a written update? Can this request include a statement of accounts re disbursements to date?

    4 I was paying council rates on the property under a legal agreement prior to the Testator passing in March 17, and have continued to pay council rates up until now to the Executor.

    Should I continue paying the rates (next quarter is due shortly) or should previous payments be refunded back to DOD?
    There is now rental income to consider, who should be receiving this?
    Are there Estate disbursements and are they back dated to DOD?

    I found references but they seem to conflict -

    ** Extract : "A beneficiary does not own the property until the executor distributes the estate. Before distribution, the executor is regarded as the 'owner' of the assets in so far as the executor holds the estate in trust for the beneficiaries." Rights of beneficiaries

    * Extract: "A gift of income-earning property, such as rented land or shares, carries with it the income earned from the date of death. The beneficiaries will also have to bear all costs of maintaining the asset after the date of death.
    Wills and Estates - Law Institute of Victoria


    Any help on any of the points would be appreciated.

    Thanks in advance
    Merri Hunter

     
  2. AdValorem

    AdValorem Well-Known Member

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    Hi Maria

    1
    My estranged mother and sister are executors (they are also estranged from each other)

    The Estate Lawyer has verbally informed me that he has written to my sister's Lawyer months ago to request that she: Act, or Renounce, to date she has done none.
    Can my sister be removed as an executor? Once appointed it is difficult to remove an executor. An executor can renounce executorship before the application for the probate grant is lodged.
    Can my mother act alone? Yes, a jointly appointed executor can act alone if the other executors have renounced before the grant issues.

    2 Probate has not been granted, but the last advice was that probate was ready to be applied for.

    Am I to be formally notified when it is approved? No, you are not an executor.
    Once Probate is approved, how long is a reasonable period to wait and can the Executors be forced to wind up the estate (this involves cash, property into trusts and property directly to me). 12 months is reasonable but it may take longer.

    3 The Estate Lawyer has provided no updates and has not responded to my last two phone calls regarding estate progress.

    Is it ok to write to the Estate Lawyer and request a written update? Yes as you will be paying the costs for your lawyer.

    Can this request include a statement of accounts re disbursements to date? Yes as you will be paying the costs for your lawyer.

    4 I was paying council rates on the property under a legal agreement prior to the Testator passing in March 17, and have continued to pay council rates up until now to the Executor.

    Should I continue paying the rates (next quarter is due shortly) or should previous payments be refunded back to DOD? It is the responsibility of the executor to pay for all costs associated with the deceased estate from the date of death until the assets are transferred to the beneficiaries or sold and the proceeds distributed to the beneficiaries.
    There is now rental income to consider, who should be receiving this? The rental income will accumulate and will form part of that property. The beneficiary/ies of the property will receive the rent.
    Are there Estate disbursements and are they back dated to DOD? Yes and yes.

    I found references but they seem to conflict - It is the responsibility of the executor the maintain and preserve the estate assets until they are distributed to the beneficiaries.

    ** Extract : "A beneficiary does not own the property until the executor distributes the estate. Before distribution, the executor is regarded as the 'owner' of the assets in so far as the executor holds the estate in trust for the beneficiaries." Rights of beneficiaries

    * Extract: "A gift of income-earning property, such as rented land or shares, carries with it the income earned from the date of death. The beneficiaries will also have to bear all costs of maintaining the asset after the date of death.
    Wills and Estates - Law Institute of Victoria
     
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