NSW Role of Trustees in maintaining property

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Maria Pickles

Active Member
4 April 2019
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I am the trustee for the estate of my late father.
The will states that beneficiaries may live in the property for 8 years and must keep the house in good order. maintain the housr and pay rates etc.
A sum of $10000 was set aside from the funds for repairs. However now other beneficiaries not living in the property are asking for these funds to be distributed and for those living in the house to pay all costs.
The house needs major pier repairs and levelling. this was discovered 12 months after probate and distribution of funds.

What is the role of the trustees to keep the house in good order?
can this responsibility be transferred to beneficiaries legally?
Can beneficiaries claim that it is the role of trustees to pay for repairs if there is major damage due to poor maintenance in the future?
 
Do you have a grant of Probate? If so, then, as executor you are entitled to administer the estate in whatever manner you decide provided that it is in the best interests of the beneficiaries and in line with the wishes of the deceased as set out in the Will. The beneficiaries are entitled to request an account of the estate. In other words, ask what monies have come into the estate and what expenses have been paid by the estate. If the beneficiaries are not happy with the way the estate is being administered, they can apply to the Court to have the executor removed, however, unless they can show that the executor has breached his or her duties, then the application is unlikely to exceed. In short, if you are the executor, you are within your rights to tell the complaining beneficiaries to 'butt out'.
 
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Tim W

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I agree with @Suzi above.

Further it can help to be sure of your position...
When you say "Trustee" - are you sure?
Did the will appoint you as "Executor and Trustee"?
(that is usual, but not automatic or universal)

Trustee functions normally only commence once the Executor functions are complete,
and there is still (either by design, or by accident...) assets "left over" that were not
(perhaps, were unable to be...) distributed, or something that remains to be done,
such as be the Trustee of a Testamentary Trust.

If this is you, then, yeah what Suzi said.
If not, or not formally, then it can be a little more complex.
 

Maria Pickles

Active Member
4 April 2019
7
0
31
I agree with @Suzi above.

Further it can help to be sure of your position...
When you say "Trustee" - are you sure?
Did the will appoint you as "Executor and Trustee"?
(that is usual, but not automatic or universal)

Trustee functions normally only commence once the Executor functions are complete,
and there is still (either by design, or by accident...) assets "left over" that were not
(perhaps, were unable to be...) distributed, or something that remains to be done,
such as be the Trustee of a Testamentary Trust.

If this is you, then, yeah what Suzi said.
If not, or not formally, then it can be a little more complex.
Thank you Tim

The will is rather clumsy I have attached a copy,
The wording is that I give my home....to my executors upon trust for those of my children who wish to live in the house.
Can we presume that we are the trustees?
 

Attachments

Unless another person(s) has been named as trustee, then the person(s) appointed as executors by grant of probate actually act as trustees of the estate until it is distributed. The Will names you and Paul as the executors. If you haven't already, you and Paul will need to apply for a grant of Probate which will give you the power to deal with the assets of Paul senior's estate. If Paul junior does not wish to apply jointly for the grant of Probate, then Paul junior will need to renounce that position.
 

Tim W

Lawyer
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28 April 2014
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Do you have a grant of Probate?
This is the first and most critical question.
Mere nomination in the will is not enough - there's a process to formally make the apppointment.
You've either done it, or you have not.
 

Maria Pickles

Active Member
4 April 2019
7
0
31
Hi Suzi

Thank you yes the grant of probate was made last June. thank you for your time and assistance is clarifying our roles.