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Siblings are aggressively trying to get me out of my late fathers house despite his written Will for me to stay

(111 Posts)
Tryingtosurvive Thu 21-Mar-13 13:13:03

I am a disabled mum with two children under 10 years old and have recently spit up from my partner of 20 years - that was traumatic. My only place of refuge is the house which my late father left to all of us (tenants in common). I moved back into the house a few months ago with my children explaining to my siblings that my relationship had broken down and I had no where else to live except this house.

Now two of my siblings have put me under immense pressure to put the house up for sale despite my father putting a specific clause in his Will which says to the effect that my siblings shall allow me to live in the house for as long as I want to and that the house shall not exercise any trust for the sale of the property without my written consent. My father also said that if cease to reside in the house (other than through temporary absence) then the property can be sold.

Everyone else in my family has regular work/income and a secure place to live. I am self employed and work is very difficult to secure the moment though I am not claiming benefits yet. When my father died we (siblings) allowed one of my aggressive siblings to live in this house, rent-free for four years when she became divorced until she decided she was ready to buy a property abroad. She is furious with me because she has put money into her foreign property expecting the sale of this house to go ahead, but never discussed any of this with me.

There has been a lot of nasty conversations and bickering, and one sibling even trying to get the others to side with her to force the sale of the house if I don't put it on the market by the end of the month. She has threatened me with grave consequenses if I don't do what she wants.

This is an extremely stressful time for me and as a result am suffering depression and other signs of stress whic is taking a toll on my health and my business.

Does anyone have any suggestions what I could do to live securely as my father's Will intended until I'm in a position to buy out the main aggressive sister? I'm short on cash at the moment. The same sister has said that if I intend to buy her out now when the property market is low and then sell the house at a profit when/if the market picks up I have another thing coming.

freddiemisagreatshag Thu 21-Mar-13 14:41:50

Your father died 6 years ago. You weren't living in the house then. You were elsewhere.

That's not a temporary absence. Not by any stretch of the imagination.

Sorry. I have every sympathy for your plight, but you can't claim that's a temporary absence.

TooExtraImmatureCheddar Thu 21-Mar-13 14:43:32

And they aren't kicking you out to be destitute. You'll have a quarter of a house's worth of cash.

Writehand Thu 21-Mar-13 14:54:40

You are the vulnerable one among your siblings: a disabled mum, responsible for 2 DCs with a low and irregular income. The others are all much better off and more secure. Your father's awareness of the situation and his concern for your future security are no doubt why he wrote the will he did. His intentions are what matter, and he clearly intended you to have a place of refuge if you needed it. And you do need it.

From what you say, they can't get you out without your consent. Write formally to each of your siblings requesting that they stop trying to pressure you, pointing out that is unacceptable both legally & morally, and stressing that you will not give consent to the sale of the house until it suits you. It might help to add that you plan to consent once your DCs are at secondary school. Three years is not a long time.

I don't understand how you let them get access to hassle you. If they're being that unpleasant I wouldn't let them into the house, and if they're being nasty to you on the phone you can just hang up on them.

If they do keep pestering you I'd tell them you are keeping a diary of these incidents to show to the police (even if you don't). smile If they do anything more than argue -- make threats or damage something -- then call the police.

It's always true that if someone allows others to intimidate them, the bullies will keep it up. Some people don't get bullied, because they don't react in a way that encourages the bullies. You seem to be very vulnerable to this sort of pressure, probably because your circumstances make you pretty fragile already, and I can't imagine that confronting them in person will help. You need to keep away from them as much as possible, That's why I suggest a letter.

I agree with other posters that a close family is more important than a house, but sadly the OP doesn't seem to have a close family. If one of my siblings was so much worse pff than the rest of them we'd want to help, not coerce. In fact I am much worse off than my siblings. One of them is extremely wealthy and, when we go to parties at his house, he pays for a car home rather than let us leave early to catch the last train, which is always full of drunks. We live more than 35 miles from him, and I hate to think how much a taxi costs. He does other little things to make our lives easier, but he's so tactful about it that I feel cherished rather than a poor relation.

The bit you don't mention is your ex-DP. Where is he in all this? Is he paying anything for his DCs? And if not, why not?

FasterStronger Thu 21-Mar-13 14:56:23

trying - why don't you want the money?

maddening Thu 21-Mar-13 14:57:34

Well if you do have to move out then make sure aggressive sister has 4 years rent taken off her share - funny how she gets compassion from everyone when she was in need yet when the shoe is on the other foot she's leading everyone against you.

lainiekazan Thu 21-Mar-13 15:01:42

If I were Judge Judge, I would go with some of the others here who say that it's an inheritance to be divided four ways. The OP's absence was not a "temporary" one; had she stayed with her DP she presumably would not have moved back.

I have read many articles which say that parents should never try to play "God" or try to even up financial situations between their offspring via a will. It just leads to resentment and messy situations.

lainiekazan Thu 21-Mar-13 15:02:14

Judge Judge?! Judge Judy , I meant.

OneLieIn Thu 21-Mar-13 15:03:43

What I'm uncomfortable with is how you started with a "poor me" statement that somehow entitles you to stay?

If you want to stay, you will need legal advice and be prepared to fall out with your family over this. You might be in need, others might be too. This might be irrecoverable family relationship wise.

If you want to go, do so on your terms and to your timing.

I have to say it makes me sick when I hear this kind of thing, it's only money, surely the family relationship is more important?

Floggingmolly Thu 21-Mar-13 15:07:04

I can see why moving back in seems like the answer to your problems at the moment, op, but you are massively in breach of the clause in your fathers will, you must see that?
Your family seem to be going about things in a needlessly aggressive manner, but they are actually in the right here. I can't see any solicitor deeming a 10 year absence "temporary" in the legal sense.

Chattymummyhere Thu 21-Mar-13 15:07:40

That is not temporary by any stretch of the imagination Infact the sister living there for 4 year is even by pirate lets long long term.. Long term in private is a year so 6 months really is what I would class as temporary..

You need to move out and sell the house if I was your sister I would be seeking legal advise to prove you where gone more than temporary and therefore have given up your right to live there for free and to gorse the sale though.

Chattymummyhere Thu 21-Mar-13 15:08:26

Force not gorse

flowery Thu 21-Mar-13 15:08:45

I feel for you but 10 years living in a permanent home elsewhere is not by any stretch of the imagination a temporary absence. Keep your dignity, allow the house to be sold, save your relationships with your siblings and use your share of the cash to set up in your own home.

DomesticCEO Thu 21-Mar-13 15:15:10

I'm always intrigued by the enormous sense of entitlement demonstrated by so many in threads on inheritance - none of us are "entitled" to a penny of our parents money, they can do what they like with it!

TooExtraImmatureCheddar Thu 21-Mar-13 15:21:25

Domestic, but this is a discussion about a parent who DID leave money (well, a valuable asset) to the 4 children. confused So they are each entitled to their share.

DomesticCEO Thu 21-Mar-13 15:27:21

It wasn't specifically about this post, just a general observation!

HugeLaurie Thu 21-Mar-13 15:27:32

You can't get legal aid for private client work (which is what this is). You basically have an occupational right under the terms of the Will.

Who are the Executors of the Will?
Has the Will been proved at the Probate Registry?

Without actually seeing the Will itself I can't tell you what your rights are and neither can anyone on here.

The moral issue is completely separate from any legal position so it doesn't matter what is fair or reasonable. It only matters what the Will says and what the law is.

Do not, under any circumstances, move out of that house without seeing a solicitor.

The firm I work for charges £75.00 plus VAT for a 90 minute consult. Money well spent in a situation such as this one.

Thumbwitch Thu 21-Mar-13 15:27:44

I imagine that the father included the clause about the OP having the right to reside in the house as long as she needed it in part because of her disability? And perhaps because he wanted to safeguard her from the acquisitiveness of her siblings, worrying that they wouldn't look after her if she needed it.

Speculating of course.

My Dad wants to leave the family home to the 3 of us as tenants-in-common - I've told him that he's not allowed to. We're dealing with a family situation that has been ongoing for years now, as a result of this type of thing and it's costing everyone a fortune, apart from the sitting tenants, who had NO such right-of-accommodation as the OP, and will culminate in legal action against them. The fall-out is dreadful - I can't bear the thought of going through it all again whenever my poor Dad shuffles off his mortal coil.

ENormaSnob Thu 21-Mar-13 15:29:40

I think you are taking the piss.

HugeLaurie Thu 21-Mar-13 15:33:07

Thumbwitch - The choice of how you own the house between you will be yours to make when he dies, not his. When the house is transferred under a form AS1 there is a provision as to how you wish to hold the house. Be aware that if you hold as joint tenants rather than tenants in common then if you or your siblings die then their share will pass to the surviving owners, rather than to your husband or children. Tenancy in common between siblings is the usual position, particularly when they have their own families.

HoldMeCloserTonyDanza Thu 21-Mar-13 15:36:19

I think it's a bit off to criticise your sister for asking your dad to change the terms of his will when all she wanted was the same protection he'd given you.

Especially considering she was presumably living there at the time?

Thumbwitch Thu 21-Mar-13 15:41:11

Thanks HugeLaurie - it's all a bit dutch to me at the moment, and am hoping it's never going to be an issue but he's made dark mutterings about letting my sister live there and paying rent to the rest of us; or us all keeping it in perpetuity as some kind of family shrine hmm - I'm really hoping he's joking about that.

As we already don't all get on, it could get extremely acrimonious - so ideally selling it straight away and splitting the money would be the best way forward for us, but I hope it's a long way in the future!

AnneEyhtMeyer Thu 21-Mar-13 15:41:42

Whatever your rights are or are not to live in this house I think if you want to have any further relationship with your siblings you need to move out now and allow the sale.

Talkinpeace Thu 21-Mar-13 15:46:42

Your siblings are being arses
the property market is as flat as a watery pancake at the moment.
If you live in the house, maintain it and keep it warm and then sell it when you are ready, all of you will make more money in the long run.

freddiemisagreatshag Thu 21-Mar-13 15:54:42

If you were with your partner for 20 years then surely you'd be out of the house for a lifetime?

Filibear Thu 21-Mar-13 15:56:43

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