Probate

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Hi Nikki, 

Once a Grant of Probate has been granted to the Executor or Administrator of the estate (possibly the owner), they will then have the authority to instuct works to commence. The Exec/Admin will usually be able to use the estate funds to pay for clearance works. That is assuming that the deceased has some funds in the bank to pay for it. If not, it may be the case that the property has to be sold in order to release funds and this may come too late to clear up the garden. You can check on this website to see if Probate has been granted and who is in charge of the estate. https://probatesearch.service.gov.uk/#wills

Kind regards, 

Richard

Anglia Research 

 

Hi Richard

Many thanks for your response. Would this still apply if the property is going through Probate and it has not been granted yet? I just wondered if this was a bit of a grey area when dealing with an empty property and overgrown gardens.

Kind regards

Nikki

Hi Nikki, 

In theory, an Executor of an estate could pay for things prior to probate being granted but it may have to come out of their own pocket. The issue with this is, would they get the money back if the Probate failed? If a Solicitor paid for a property to be cleared and then the Will failed or a closer beneficiary was found, there is no guarantee that the new Executor would honour the repayment of the bill to the Solicitor if they didn’t agree with it. For this reason, Executors/Solicitors are sometimes reluctant to do any works until Probate is granted as this gives them control of the estate funds. We have occasionally had to pay for things prior to Probate being granted. For example, a few weeks ago we had a property which was constantly being broken into by vandals and so, along with the beneficiaries, we took the decision to have the property boarded up. This was paid for by ourselves and we will look to reclaim this from the estate once Probate has been granted. I think that as long as the action is taken in good faith and in the interests of the estate, there should be no issues further down the line. In your case, I think that if the owner does not have the money to pay for the clearance up front then it may be something that the Council has to fund and then look to reclaim once Probate is granted. I would suggest getting an assurance from the owner/Executor then they will repay the bill. I realise this answer is little long-winded so if you want to have a chat about it further please feel free to contact me at my office 01473 384801. 

Kind regards,

Richard