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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.

scarlettsmummy2 Sat 23-Mar-13 09:59:30

I would sell and use the money as a deposit. There may come a day when you need your siblings and you are behaving unethically.

ZolaBuddleia Sat 23-Mar-13 09:33:43

I've lost track, how many siblings are there? Which sister went to the solicitor with you?

Domjolly Fri 22-Mar-13 19:37:59

Legal aid has now changed unless you sell the house you are very likey to loose the house anyway in terms of legal fees fighting the siblings

Sell the house divide move on

DrHolmes Fri 22-Mar-13 19:06:28

As others have said, sell and use your share to put down as a deposit.

morethanpotatoprints Fri 22-Mar-13 18:45:09

I haven't read the whole thread but this is what my solicitor said.

He asked me and my sister if anybody may turn up out of the woodwork to contest the Will.

There was somebody, but not to give details here.

Unless somebody can prove that the will was made under juress, (e.g gunpoint) or has a certificate from doctor saying the deceased was not of sound mind, then the will is valid and will stand.

PureQuintessence Fri 22-Mar-13 18:16:20

Maybe all of them should have 4 years each in it, how about that?

Yfronts Fri 22-Mar-13 15:44:22

I think you should highlight that sis had 4 years and you want 4 years too.

moominmarvellous Fri 22-Mar-13 13:59:55

Sorry if this has been said, but could you just allow the sale of the house and use your inheritance for a deposit or rent on a new place?

Cut ties with the old family home and move on with a fresh start and your relationship with your siblings in tact. I have a large family and threads like these make me absolutely dread the death of our Mum (on top of the fact that I love her and will miss her obviously) as it causes so much crap. Parents sometimes think that they are doing what's best with clauses like these but in reality, anything favouring one over another will always end in bad feeling.

MrsTerryPratchett Fri 22-Mar-13 13:48:35

I suspect the OP has decided not to come back to this thread.

quesadilla Fri 22-Mar-13 12:51:15

I have a lot of sympathy as well and the siblings do sound aggressive but like other posters here I can't see how you get around the fundamental fact that your absence was not temporary.
Why would you not want to simply take your share of the proceeds of the sale of the house and use them for a deposit on a property (or even on buying a property outright if there's enough money.)

lainiekazan Fri 22-Mar-13 11:21:47

This is an interesting thread, but more information is needed. Agree with others that very material is who has been paying for upkeep and council tax etc. And I don't think you can make a will that decrees you house shall be kept in perpetuity in case any of your heirs need to have it as a bolt hole. It's like those people who think they can ask to be stuffed and kept in a corner of the living room, or frozen.

Catchingmockingbirds Thu 21-Mar-13 23:38:32

Are you paying rent to anyone at the moment for living there?

MrsTerryPratchett Thu 21-Mar-13 23:09:19

The CAB appointment was hours ago.

SirChenjin Thu 21-Mar-13 22:12:47

Any update?

WafflyVersatile Thu 21-Mar-13 21:59:16

I can understand your point of view. your sister quite happily made everyone wait 4 whole years while she got her life together and saved money for a new house while living rent free. And now she won't afford you the same courtesy when you need to get your life together. It's all urgent now because she's built castles in the sky on money she didn't have yet. I do think she is cheeky to think that it was ok for her to take advantage of free rent to the detriment of her siblings but not ok for you. Will she be taking rental out of her share when she gets it? I think that would be fair.

But lots of people leave marriages even though they don't have a parent's house to move into so I'm not sure the 'I couldn't leave my marriage because she was living in the house' stands up. Although I too would be a bit aggrieved that I couldn't take advantage of the same refuge that she had for those 4 years.

Contrary to what some have said I have the impression that the father's will had the other sister in mind (if anyone) when he wrote that clause as she had separated and moved in prior to his death.

I expect if your father was able to communicate his wishes and he favoured his children equally he would want you to be able to stay in the same way your sister did.

I imagine 'temporary absence' would mean a holiday or having to live somewhere for work for 6 months or summat. to stop siblings selling up while the resident was paddling in the sea at Scarborough for a long weekend.

What was the legal advice?

Xales Thu 21-Mar-13 20:51:06

I agree with others that you didn't move out temporarily.

If you put the house on the market now you can stay in it until it sells? It could take months to get a buyer and then months after that before completion.

Then when it sells you would have 1/4 of the share of the proceeds as a deposit for some where else.

PureQuintessence Thu 21-Mar-13 18:24:38

You are only back in the house because your relationship broke down.

Otherwise you would still be living with your EX.

Hence your absence was NOT temporary.

Your dad died more than 6 years ago, you moved out over 10 years ago, and your sister has lived there since. You pounced on the house the moment she left. She needed the money to buy a property. You are now denying all the siblings their inheritance.

I can see why they are mad at you. I dont think you are doing the right thing in this.

expatinscotland Thu 21-Mar-13 18:14:46

'You know what your father wanted and he had the good sense to state it in the Will, so the Law is on your side. There is probably nothing they can do legally hence the strong-arm tactics - but do see a solicitor and get restraining orders taken out against them if necessary.'

Not necessarily at all. And it's doubtful a restraining order will be granted in such a position if the siblings have not threatened violence or been violent.

This is why it is truly best to seek legal advice because this is not cut and dried given that the OP moved out and then moved back in and the length of time the owner has been dead.

SnotMeReally Thu 21-Mar-13 18:10:36

I'd also like to know how the siblings all got on before the death of their father (I can see why they would have the humop if OP had alwasy been the favoured one, for example)
and how the upkeep of the house has been paid for in the meantime - joint opwners surely means jointly liable for eg council tax and repairs

lainiekazan Thu 21-Mar-13 18:08:10

Something similar-ish happened with my sister's in-laws in Italy. Family home was left between sibling offspring with life interest for the unmarried one. However the unmarried one sold it, against the terms of the will. Thirty years later the only winners have been the lawyers. The case is still going on.

SnotMeReally Thu 21-Mar-13 18:07:44

Gawd, this is all rather jeremy Kyle.

but I dont see how it was ever meant to work - what if they all wanted to move in becuase they are co-owners, or is it like musical chairs where the first one the baggsies it and hard luck the rest?

My ILs have told us similar re their house they have 2 DS and 1 DD the DSs are both married with good jobs and families and are homeowners, but the DD is sinlge and renting and not in a good job - the house is theirs jointly when the IL die and can be sold and the fuinds divided equally, unless the DD had moved back in by then & needed to live there

Pandemoniaa Thu 21-Mar-13 17:50:59

It would be worth knowing when the OP's father made his will. Because I can't see why she, alone of all the siblings, would be granted permission to live ad-infinitum in a house that was left to all the siblings. Which makes me wonder whether the will was made long before the moved out the first time. Only while not being legally qualified, I'd find it hard to see how she can establish a right to live in a house that she had left years earlier and has only recently re-occupied.

I can sympathise with the difficult position she is in but also see things from the point of view of her siblings. They may well have very pertinent reasons to want to realise the assets that they have tied up in the house and since the father died back in 2007, they've waited a long time already.

FatimaLovesBread Thu 21-Mar-13 17:44:19

Was your dad expecting you to be moving home? Because from what I can grasp from your posts, when he died you had lived with your partner of fifteen years and your two children for around five years already? So why would you need a clause to say you can live in the house when you presumably had your own house. Unless he knew your relationship wouldn't last or the will was made Pre-2002 before you moved out in the first place confused

Floggingmolly Thu 21-Mar-13 17:36:53

Restraining orders, ukatlast? Op sounds like she could well have broken the terms of the will by choosing to live elsewhere for ten years.
See a solicitor by all means, but I doubt there is "nothing they can do, legally" very much.

kungfupannda Thu 21-Mar-13 17:33:47

Huge sympathy for your situation, OP.

BUT, and I am not a civil/probate lawyer, my gut feeling is that if you take legal advice you will be told that your right to live in the house is no longer in place because your father died several years ago and you have only just returned to the house. If the will states that if you cease to reside in the house, the house can then be sold, I don't see how you can rely on it. I would strongly suspect that the "temporary absence" clause is to prevent the other beneficiaries trying to force a sale because you've gone on holiday for a week - I'd be surprised if an absence of several years in your own family home counts as a temporary absence.

As I say, not my area of law and I don't know what the process is for some beneficiaries to force another to realise the inheritance by selling an asset, but in terms of your right to reside there, I think that boat has probably sailed, unfortunately.

I would strongly suggest that you check the exact legal position and then, if it is as I suspect, try to come to some sort of arrangement with your siblings before they stop talking to you and just crack on through legal channels. Perhaps set a date in a few months time by which you will be out. Otherwise you may find yourself with no control whatsoever over the timescale and manner of your leaving the house.

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