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Complicated estate etc

(5 Posts)
fartmeistergeneral Wed 02-Mar-16 19:58:55

Briefly. My parents separated 20 years ago, never divorced. My dad signed over half the house to me and my sister, so we own 1/4 each and my mum owns half. We have had no contact with her since they split (terrible relationship all round). Dad died in November and left a small estate consisting of some savings which we are entitled to a third each. The house of course is now not part of the estate, but now he has died, we obviously would like to sell it. Mum is not responding to any lawyers letters re all of this. We knew she wouldn't, she has undiagnosed mental health issues and when they were considering divorce all those years ago, she stopped responding to her own lawyer and it all fell through. This suited dad though, it meant he could stay in the house.

Our lawyer is saying if mum continues to ignore all letters (which she absolutely will), there is not much we can do. So, do we have to wait til she dies before we can sell the house and hope she doesn't have a will?? I don't want any contact with her, very long story, but I don't want to see her, so going round to the house is not an issue. My cousin tried to do this a couple of years ago about another matter, and she was in, but didn't answer the door.

So where does this leave us, does anyone know? There must be a way of forcing this sale through. I can't bear the idea of the house lying empty for years and years.

traviata Wed 02-Mar-16 20:50:30

Can't you & sister apply to court under TOLATA (the Trusts of Land and Appointment of Trustees Act)?

Even if your mum ignores all letters and never turns up to court, then as long as you can prove that she has been sent all the correspondence and court papers, you should still get an order for sale. Her half share of the sale proceeds can be paid into court if she refuses to provide bank details.

I don't understand why your solicitor hasn't discussed this (or why s/he has said you can't do it).

It would cost you some outlay in court fees & solicitor costs, but assuming you succeed, you would probably get an order that some or all of the costs comes out of your mum's share of the sale proceeds.

fartmeistergeneral Wed 02-Mar-16 21:30:57

Does this apply under Scottish law do you know?

Sootica Thu 03-Mar-16 07:23:08

No the law quoted above is not applicable to Scottish law - it's very different. Might be best to repost with Scottish law in the title.

Rangirl Thu 03-Mar-16 21:58:56

In Scotland you should be able to raise an action of division and sale to essentially sell the house and have the proceeds split If you mother won't engage in the process it will take longer but in the end that's what will happen This is on the basis that you and your sister are legal owners of your shares

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