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Awful situation over inheritance-who is BU?

(401 Posts)
whoisright Tue 13-Nov-12 08:22:54

I have namechanged as this is such a volatile subject in my family....despite the fact that nobody has even died yet confused

It is a long story and it is bothering me every day because I do not know what to do or say and it is causing no end of upset and stress within the family.

I am the eldest of 3, our parents divorced years ago. My mum lives in family home (big-ish house in good area) with my younger sister who is planning on moving out soon with her dp so they can live together.

HOWEVER dsis has some health issues (epilepsy) and our mum wants to provide for her so the house will (when our parents have died) go to her, if she has moved out she will just move straight back in again and take it over (no mortgage so she wont have to worry about paying as she has no job).

I have accepted this, but my brother is livid. absolutely livid and has said there is no way he will accept this, he wants the house sold and the money split 3 ways. He has said that yes, she is ill but that we all have problems in our lives and it shouldnt be just one child that is provided for.
He himself has a good job, 2 children but a lot of debt and is renting so sees the money as possibly a deposit for a house and he has mentioned to me that my circumstances are not great (we live in a council house, have 4 dcs with a genetic condition and debts too) but really after living with my sister and seeing her every day I know she will never really be able to work so will not get a chance to get a house like that-she is currently waiting for a council flat to move in with her dp temporarily untill time comes that hey get the family home.

I think my brother should really give this up now, stop going on about it and just accept it like I have. The last thing I want in a few years time is to be caught up in a horrible battle over a house. Yes, that amount of money would be life changing but at the end of the day it is my mums house and it is her choice which of her children she leaves it to.

It is causing a lot of tension between my brother and sister they are both gearing up towards a huge fight over this at some point and I dont know what to say. What do i do?

whoisright Tue 13-Nov-12 08:39:21

Tbh before my sister got unwell she was always the 'favourite' but I always assumed it was just because shes the youngest. Since she became unwell my mum has been even more protective but having unwell dcs myself i can understand.

My sister has a lot of absense seizures, occasionally has big 'proper' ones.she sleeps a lot (think its her medication).She doesnt like unfamiliar places and only wants to eventually live/raise a family in the house she grew up in.

Who cares what she wants?

I think your brother or you could approach your mum and say that you would be hurt if she got what she wanted and not what her (and you) needed.

carabos Tue 13-Nov-12 08:40:37

As a parent, I find it difficult to imagine putting one of my children ahead of the other. I get that your sister has health issues and that this is driving your DM's decision-making, and could understand it if those difficulties were such that your Dsis couldn't live independently, but that doesn't appear to be the case.

Why does your Dsis epilepsy trump your own health problems and those of your 4DCs?

goingupinsmoke Tue 13-Nov-12 08:41:27

How will your sister pay the tax that will be due on the inheritance? or are you all going to have to chip in on that?

Cahoots Tue 13-Nov-12 08:42:34

I'm also with your brother. It is the only way to go in most cases. Especially is your DSis does end up with a council house. It is not as though she is destitute. It is possible that your brother has less cash than you think.

GlesgaRocket Tue 13-Nov-12 08:42:47

If i were your sister then i wouldn't be able to live with myself if i done my siblings out of an inheritance.
And that's basically what's happening here.

I can understand your mum wanting to ensure her daughter is provided for, but she should be doing that equally for all of her children.
Your mum is being very unfair to her other kids, in my opinion. And your sister is sounding very selfish.

FrillyMilly Tue 13-Nov-12 08:42:55

I agree with your brother. It's very unfair of your mother to give the house to your sister. Your sister is also setting herself up for a lot of disappointment if she is insistant that she wants to raise a family in her family home. If she cannot work and her dp is low paid how will they pay the utilities etc on a large home. What if your mother goes in to a care home and the house is taken to pay for that. There's also the issue of a possibly very large inheritance tax bill depending on the value of the house.

MikeLitoris Tue 13-Nov-12 08:43:07

If she is not well enough to work is she going to be able to have a family? (not shit stirring, genuine question)

Imho your mum is wrong.

What if (god forbid) you or your db get ill or have an accident. Will she leave it to two of you and just leave the third out?

What does your sister think should happen to the house?

CaptainDennyisDead Tue 13-Nov-12 08:43:49

Your sister and mother are BU. Sell the house, divide into 4 and she gets two portions.

If she was dating someone who wasn't such a loser had a better job, would you mother feel differently?

Bogeyface Tue 13-Nov-12 08:43:57

Is your mum ill? How old is she?

Seems that your sister is waiting on your mum to die for her life to start, which is horrible! If she cant hold down a job because she is so ill then surely she cant just assume she can manage children with her condition. Btw, thats not to say people with epilepsy cant have kids, I know most can, but it all just smells of an excuse not to work to me, and your mum is facilitating it.

I know someone with severe epilepsy who works, she manages it, its hard but she manages it. I wonder if your mum has created a situation where rather than your sister not being able to work, she has been told that she will never have to. Is she your mums favourite or was her illness always an excuse for her?

Tbh, while I know that legally your mum can do what she likes, I am with your brother.

Nonnus Tue 13-Nov-12 08:51:04

Just to clarify what some have said up-thread about claiming under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act. Your brother won't simply be able to claim because your mum hasn't provided for him. He will only be able to claim if he can show that he had a reasonable expectation that she would provide for him, and that usually involves showing that during her lifetime she supported him financially regularly.

It is quite open to anyone of capacity (i.e. mental health unimpaired) to leave their entire estate to only one child, or indeed to leave all their children out and leave everything to a charity. It happens all the time.

As another poster had said though? It is possible for your sister to divide the estate if she wishes. You do this usually by a deed of variation, which can be a fairly simple matter for a solicitor to deal with. I'd imagine your brother would have a better chance of seeing some money if he works with your sister rather than railing against her.

lamename Tue 13-Nov-12 08:52:52

While it's not illegal to disinherit your children, it's extremely, er, challenging behaviour. Your DM has, in my view, been thoroughly unpleasant - not least because this row could split the family before and after she's gone. Hey ho.

Well, you might be better off raising the practical aspects of her decision with her to try and make her behave a bit better.

Who is going to care for her in her old age? She can hardly ask children and grandchildren she's disinherited to drop everything to look after her. They'll be too busy working, for a start. And the favoured child and her DP have already said they'll be moving out....

What if DSis and DP split up? Does she really want to give half her wealth to an ex-partner of one of her children? Will she explain that to the GCs please, because you're not going to - as it is, she's giving half her possessions to a boyfriend of a child at the expense of her own children.

What if someone else gets ill? Hardly unlikely. Does she really want people to remember her as 'the woman who left us nothing but an inherited illness' or otherwise.

I feel for your DB in this - he works hard but hasn't got a secure home. That's a mean position to be in, and to have your nearest and dearest take his only chance of security is cruel. Altho one would wish otherwise, I don't blame him if he wanted to ease away from a family like that.

Bilbobagginstummy Tue 13-Nov-12 08:52:54

Your parents might live to over 100!

Whatever is done about inheritance (and a 3-way split is fairest especially if plenty), your sister must not put off having a family until your parents are dead. She might die before them!

Bilbobagginstummy Tue 13-Nov-12 08:53:33

For parents read mum, sorry. Same point though.

hazleweatherfieldgirldetective Tue 13-Nov-12 08:53:51

I don't profess to be an expert on benefit law, it's not my area, but if your sister came into such a substantial inheritence, wouldn't all of her benefits aside from any disability related ones come to a grinding halt? I could be wrong, but I would imagine she would be expected to sell the house to fund herself until the proceeds ran out, wouldn't she?

She would also probably be liable for a pretty hefty chunk of inheritence tax on top, not to mention the fact that the house may have to be sold before your DM passes away, should she ever need to fund a care home. I don't think your DM has thought this through particularly well, and, bless you, you're being far more generous than I think most people would be.

I can see your DB's point, why should your sister receive such a huge benefit? We'd all like to own the house we grew up in, mortgage free, but sadly that just isn't a realistic prospect. If the house is large there will be large council tax bills and large utility bills to go along with it. If she's strapped for cash now, how will her situation be any different when your DM dies?

tallwivglasses Tue 13-Nov-12 08:54:03

Is your mum's death imminent? She could live into her 90s, need to sell up for sheltered accommodation, all sorts could happen.

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Tue 13-Nov-12 08:55:04

I think it's unfair of you to think your brother should accept it. It's not right, it's not fair, and I can fully understand why he can't accept it.

If your sister was alone, you might have a point. But she isn't, she has a dp who can help support her. Why should he get a free home when your brother and you get nothing?

And it's it like the sister would get nothing. She could keep the house and her dp could get a mortgage to buy you and your brother out.

I think you need to talk to your mum and ask her if she realises what a rift she is likely to create. This won't just go away after her death, the resentment will continue, and maybe even grow as circumstances change. Surely your Mum wants your sister to have her brothers love and support more than she wants her to have a house?

FryOneFatManic Tue 13-Nov-12 08:55:26

Many people would love to have the house they grew up in, but reality took over and it's frequently not an option.

I know several epileptics and they all work. In order to enable the working they tried a few different drug regimes to get the best situation possible. My exSIL is epileptic, quite severely and the only thing she can't do right now is drive. She has a demanding full time job in a care home.

And she now has a DP who works full time also.

So if I were the mum here, I'd be splitting the estate 3 ways. I would not be putting one child above others.

whoisright Tue 13-Nov-12 08:55:39

no, mum not ill, she is 60.

Yes, sister was always favourite long before diagnosis but I had to just stop feeling jealous it nearly destroyed me when I was younger so I decided not to care anymore or get involved, my brother cant just let it go, he wants assurance he will get his money and she wants a nice house.

I just want a quiet life and the 3 of us to all get on as when our parents ARE actually gone it will be such a shame for everybody to be arguing.

Iam not fully aware of all the ins and outs of this working/not working thing I am not with her 24/7 so I cannot make a judgement based on what I see.She is sometimes v poorly, other times can be fine for days its very unpredictable.

hazleweatherfieldgirldetective Tue 13-Nov-12 08:58:36

Your DM is not ill, only 60, and your DSis is laying out her life plans around your DM's death?! Your DSis sounds VILE!

FryOneFatManic Tue 13-Nov-12 08:59:17

The sister may not be able to have a family anyway. I know quite a few of the epilepsy drugs can affect pregnancies badly, my exSIL was told she'd have to try out a new drug regime if she wanted children, she was very careful to ensure she didn't get pregnant at that time.

Tailtwister Tue 13-Nov-12 08:59:18

Your mum is being extremely unfair. Your sister has a partner and there's no good reason why she should inherit the family home in it's entirety. The house should be sold and the proceeds split 3 ways.

I don't blame your brother at all. What your mum is doing is really cruel.

lamename Tue 13-Nov-12 08:59:30

60?? So this row could last 30 or 35 years??

valiumredhead Tue 13-Nov-12 09:00:16

God God, you sister is going to wait how long to start a family? confused

Dozer Tue 13-Nov-12 09:00:18

Your DM is being unfair and favouring your sister, as she has always done, and your sister is allowing this because it benefits her (to the detriment of her siblings), no wonder your DB is pissed off with them both. Their fault if there's a rift as a result now or in the future, not his. And not your job to keep the peace!

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