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Mum left half her house to me but brother wont budge

(22 Posts)
Fyoggy Sat 15-Jan-11 15:38:34

Our mum died last march - 2010. Up until her death she lived in her house with my younger brother.

She made her will on the last minute, literally her death bed, and it said that the house was to be split 50/50 between me and my brother. When she died, he stayed in the house and we said we'd talk about what we were going to do a little later.

12 months on and now I'm just getting grant of probate. I'm the executor so want to divide the assets and it lead me to talk about mum's house with my brother.

He says "it was his house with our mum" - it wasn't his house at all, it was our mums and he lived there. If this is the case, it was our house with our mum and i just happened to move out a little sooner. Her wish was for it to be split 50/50. He says he shouldn't be pressured to move, I am older and have my own home and what do I need the money for anyway?

He says he doesn't want to live in the house long term, but doesn't want to buy me out and doesn't want to rent because he and g/f are trying to save?? If we sold and divided 50/50 he would have a very sizeable deposit so would not need to save. He says that doesn't matter, they can't get a mortgage because he doesn't want to say he gets paid anything from business because he doesn't want to pay maintenance to ex gf for his children. he also says that g/f only takes 5.5K out of the business each year so she cannot get mortgage either?? How is this my problem?

The will says my brother can live in the house, but it does not say for how long. It says he has to take care of all the bills, but he expects me to pay half of the house insurance. He says it is in my interests to dso?? But i don't want the house and I don't want to be tied to my brother financially in any way shape or form. I want a clean break.

I have plans for the money to use as an offset mortgage for my own home with hubby and 2 children. I have plans for the money in general as my share of what our mum wanted me to have, yet feel I am powerless as brother residing in the house means he will only move when he's good and ready.

I'm hoping his sense of fairness will prevail and he will realise that not buying me out or selling would be so unfair to me, but know he is stubborn and difficult when he wants to be and as my mum carried him financially all his life, he is feckless and is enjoying living mortgage/rent free. Friends have suggested he pay me a rental income, but he wont if he doesn't want to and I don't want to go down the route of solicitors.

I am so hurt by his attitude, and also angry with my mum that even after her death she is still enabling him to make me feel we are treated so differently. I feel penalised for moving out of home at 17 and working my socks off to buy my own home and be mortgage free in the next 10 years.

It is none of his business what I intend to do with the money, it is rightfully mine and its about time he stood on his own two feet. if he doesn't give it to me, I shall have to leave my baby son to go back working full time and kiss my little business I've built up goodbye because I could not find the time when working full time to concentrate on it.

I feel sick with worry and cannot bear the thought of arguing with my brother over the pproperty. Does anybody know how I stand legally in terms of a reasonable amount of time he can live in the house before he is expected to make a decision.

Our grandma died the year before and had 6 kids, but she stated in her will that the elder son who lived with her would have 6 months after her death to find alternative housing and then the house was to be sold and divided between her children. Thankfully her elder son passed away a year before her so this didn't happen. Our mum made her will literally on her deathbed 4 days before she died and the solicitor specifically asked her how long my brother could live in the house and I wanted to say 18 months but didn't feel I could do to the circumstances.

I am demented with worry about it all.

Can anybody help?
Many thanks

3littlefrogs Sat 15-Jan-11 15:41:05

I think you have to go and speak to your mum's solicitor.

LilRedWG Sat 15-Jan-11 15:44:23

Definitely talk to your mum's solicitor. As executor alone you need legal advice.

I'm sorry that you are in this horrible position.

You really do need to talk to the solicitors about all this - it will depen on the wording of the will, and also any other evidence about what her intentions were at the time of writing it up. So if the solicitor specifically asked her how long yur brother coul live there, ans she didn't answer, then that might count as a fact, different than if nobody had raised the question.

Yousay you don't want to go to solicitors, but your brother clearly has no intention of being helpful about this, so you either have to do everything the legal route, or put up with it for as long as he stays there.

OopsDoneItAgain Sat 15-Jan-11 15:48:24

Im not a legal type but Im not sure your brother has much choice if the will states you have 50% each. He WILL have to either sell or buy you out. You need legal advice as to how to force the issue. He is being a spoilt brat (albeit a grieving one.)

Try not to blame your mum over this one - she was clear it was to be 50/50 and so has been fair on this occasion, its your brother who is the problem.

eaglewings Sat 15-Jan-11 15:58:13

IMO - If you are paying half the insurance, which I believe you should, then he should be paying you half the market rental value to you until he agrees to move out or the house is sold.

Because he is not being upfront with his earnings he is actually in a dodgy position. He's not paying the tax he should etc, its not just about child m.

ValiumSilverTongue Sat 15-Jan-11 16:01:14

Wow. I don't think you're being unreasonable. IF he and his gf walk away with half the price of a house, they'll be doing very nicely.

I don't think you can wait to "appeal to his sense of fairness" as clearly he feels that he owns the house more than you own it. He clearly feels that he has some superior moral claim on it, or that you are being 'greedy' and you should just shrug and let him have it!!!!

If the will doesn't specify how long your brother can remain in the property then you may have a problem ( although I'm no lawyer )

I'd get legal advice ASAP.

Good luck.

Snorbs Sat 15-Jan-11 16:10:29

I'm really sorry you're having to deal with this. You need to get professional advice.

But I would strongly recommend you don't rely on him suddenly growing a sense of fairness. If he's understating his earnings just to get out of paying maintenance for his own children shock the man's clearly a selfish cock.

ValiumSilverTongue Sat 15-Jan-11 16:10:53

If you can't get him to move out, I'd call his selfish arse-chancing bluff by moving in.

Although I hope it doesn't come to that.

clam Sat 15-Jan-11 16:11:43

But he wasn't a dependant of your mother, nor a spouse. If you were talking about a stepfather in residence, then I would think there might be a problem, but an adult son?

Anyway, we can speculate all we like, but you really will need proper advice from a solicitor.

You poor thing. What a horrible position to be in.

Earlybird Sat 15-Jan-11 16:11:58

Can I ask - was this your Mum's only will, or did it replace an existing will?

How long has your brother lived in the house? Did he pay rent or contribute to expenses/maintenance/repairs in any way while he has lived there?

Your brother is being very unreasonable. He wants things to stay as they were before your Mum died - but things are different now.

He has had almost a year to consider other options or make other arrangements - and appears to have done nothing other than be obstructive.

He cannot have it all on his terms. What you intend to do with your half of the house money is none of his business and he cannot use the 'you don't need it' excuse.

Definitely see a solicitor. Thank goodness you are the executor, so have more legal leverage behind you.

If at all possible, do not to get into a protracted legal battle (obviously), as both you and your brother could pay out a great deal in solicitor fees.

Xenia Sat 15-Jan-11 18:56:12

Could you type here the words from the will about the hosue, exactly as they are - about his right to stay.

ivykaty44 Sat 15-Jan-11 19:04:42

I would seek another solicitor and get their advise about the will, the wording and what you can do about it. I am not sure whether your mothers solicitor can advice you on all of that as they are acting for your mother and not you so they may be a conflict of interests

plinkduet Mon 17-Jan-11 02:30:34

Experience of identical situation.

It's important you do get the grant of Probate. This means you can have your brother evicted from the property and property sold with monies split fairly as per the will.

Unfortunately, like my experience, no matter how close to your sibling you thought you were, you too can end up exiling them forever.

Eviction was a straightforward process, but I really have to recommend working this out between you first, particularly with professional Mediation.

Is it not possible though you can just rent the house to him indefinately? At a market rate perhaps, that way he keeps his home and you get your income.

Doingmybestmum Mon 07-May-12 16:24:11

I am in a similar situation. My brother lived with my parents for years, similar waster - not paying for kids etc, with a violent temper when he drinks. Shortly before he died my dad was "encouraged" by my brother to take out a £100k debt against the house, while the brother’s youngest child was funded through a major public school.
My dad died three years ago, leaving me his half of the house and making me his executor, along with my mother. My brother remained in the house. After my dad’s death my mother had a stroke and was hospitalised for some months. She was discharged into a home as she could not cope alone, and was not allowed to return home as my brother was there and there were some questions about his behaviour towards her.
This was a very stressful time, as I was also being made redundant. Sorry, this is not a sob story, just context. My brother refused to see my mother until he could “free” her from the care home. She was extremely distressed. Eventually she made a far better recovery than we had anticipated and he blackmailed her into returning home, persuading the local council that he was an appropriate person to “care” for her. The cash strapped council saw that they would not have to pay the fees and agreed, putting in place a care package which means my brother does very little to help her. After that he refused to allow me into the house. After being made redundant we had to sell our house and move to a very cramped flat. I was unemployed for 6 months, my daughter had anorexia and I have only just managed to get a full time job (on half the salary I had previously).
I only visit my mum once a year as my brother is so threatening and she does exactly as he tells her. The house is filthy and the heating is never on, my mother is nervous and he is only there if I am alone.
Things have changed now, he is now marrying his long term girlfriend and moving some of her children into the house. My daughter is improving and I am now in a position to focus on my children’s future – both are university material, but we have no savings to help them. I am now going to apply for probate and would like us to sell the house, for her to move somewhere more appropriate (she has a stair lift but evidently can’t afford the upkeep) and my family can access the money meant for us.
Does anyone know a good lawyer? Will I seem heartless – which is how he will depict me – wanting my mum safe and my brother out, as well as giving us some financial security?

babybarrister Tue 08-May-12 07:15:49

Presumably your mother owns the other half of the house? If so you are unlikely to get an order for sale whilst she is alive ...depends on what the wills say and how the house was originally held - tenants inn common or joint tenants. You need to get some good legal advice. There is a specialist association called STEP - these lawyers deal with probate matters - have a google!

titchy Tue 08-May-12 17:24:12

Does your mum want to sell the house? Assuming she does and you and she are co-owners then surely you can just sell it ?

Lizcat Tue 08-May-12 18:04:44

Ladies the OP said right at the start of her post that her mother died about 2 years ago.

titchy Tue 08-May-12 18:10:07

I was replying to domybest, not the op lizcat smile

Givingupmyjob Tue 08-May-12 18:10:41

As Xenia said post the wording of the will. If your brother has been given the right to remain in the property then you cannot sell the house whilst he wants to remain. You will own half of the property but this is subject to his right to live there and so it may be that you cannot access the money until he wishes to go, whenever that happens to be.

RandomMess Tue 08-May-12 18:10:55

Doingmybestmum is the person they are now responding to as she's bumped up the thread.

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