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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.

Thumbwitch Thu 21-Mar-13 13:16:08

Are you too short on cash to see a solicitor? because that's what you need to do.
If the house cannot be put on the market without your signed consent, then don't consent or sign anything, problem solved!
Ignore the aggression - they're trying to browbeat you.

What "grave consequences" is she able to inflict upon you anyway?

claudedebussy Thu 21-Mar-13 13:20:46

how horrible.

well in my view you don't have to do anything they want. your father expressly wanted you to be able to do what you're doing.

your sister has assumed rather too much about the sale of your house, and you can't be made to be responsible for something that you knew nothing about. if she assumed that she'd get money that wasn't actually in her bank that's her problem.

i do urge you to see a solicitor. that will be money well spent.

Tryingtosurvive Thu 21-Mar-13 13:22:44

Thanks Thumbwith, I'm trying to get legal aid, which is ending in April and am living off my savings, but would consider a solicitor if the fees were not too exorbitant.

It's hard to ignore the browbeating, but am feeling so vulnerable at the moment that my fighting spirit has flown - hence the depression.

The grave consequenses I think she's referring to is that she will want to enter into mediation with a view to forcing the sale of the house. She argues that because I lived with my partner for 10 years it is not a temporary absence.

OTTMummA Thu 21-Mar-13 13:23:03

Tell her to read the will and then tell her any threats made will be reported to the police.

Oh and I would tell her to go swivel as well, but you sound too nice.

GingerBlondecat Thu 21-Mar-13 13:23:46

Stay put sweetie (((((((((((Hugs))))))))))) on the loss of your Father.

Your siblings can't force you out.
Stay Put.

msrisotto Thu 21-Mar-13 13:26:28

Surely it is a temporary absence seeing as you have now returned?

Callisto Thu 21-Mar-13 13:26:50

Well I can see your siblings point of view - you have been hugely favoured over them and that must hurt. And tbf, it isn't really about who is earning what but about fair division of your late father's estate. IMO any inheritance should be divided equally. Obviously you're not in a particularly financially stable place right now, but how long are you planning on staying in the house?

No sale would go through without your consent unless your siblings could find a dodgy solicitor who would go along with fraud (or one stupid enough not to realise that's what they're doing). The buyer's solicitor would expect to see your name on the sale agreement and transfer.

claudedebussy Thu 21-Mar-13 13:27:49

'She argues that because I lived with my partner for 10 years it is not a temporary absence.' i don't understand that.

is she saying that because you haven't lived continuously in the house since his death you're not entitled to live there anymore?

Thumbwitch Thu 21-Mar-13 13:28:31

"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."

But she's quite happy for you to sell the whole house now while the property market is low so that she can get the cash she needs? Daft.

Well, if you can buy her out, you can always get a solicitor to draw up an agreement to the effect that she will get an additional pay out if the house sells for rather more than it was valued at when you bought her out. That's if you want to. I wouldn't want to, personally, but it might solve a few problems so I'd probably do it anyway.

I hate shared family houses. They cause so much bloody grief...

badtime Thu 21-Mar-13 13:28:53

If your sister is harrassing you, you should keep records and tell her you will report any incidents of harrassment to the police. And if she doesn't back off, you should report it to the police.

She is going against your father's wishes. She should be ashamed, particularly since she was happy to liv in the house when it suited her.

AndBingoWasHisNameOh Thu 21-Mar-13 13:32:27

You really really need to spend the money on seeing a solicitor if you can't get legal aid. You don't need to rack up a huge bill but you need to understand
a - whether you life interest is correctly drafted and enforceable
b - whether your 10 year absence was "temporary" (which I suspect may be difficult to argue but will depend on the facts)
c- whether your siblings have any legal options to force you out

Then at a minimum you are clear on your legal position and whether there is any legal risk that you'll be made to leave. You could also get the solicitor to send a snotty letter to your siblings saying (s)he has advised you (assuming they do) that you are entitled to remain in the property, if you think this would get them off your backs.

Miggsie Thu 21-Mar-13 13:32:31

Stay put
sign nothing
Tell her you will only communicate via a solicitor

Tryingtosurvive Thu 21-Mar-13 13:32:39

I hope to be able to stay for until at least my two children are ready to go to secondary school - which would be about two to three years. I'm really offended that the good grace I allowed her of four years or possibly longer to sort herself out has not been extended to me.

If I could I'd buy her out, but she doesn't want that, and it's not practical at the moment as I'm in survival mode as my partner and I did not marry.

SirChenjin Thu 21-Mar-13 13:32:49

I can see it from your siblings POV too. Have you given them any indication of how long you plan to stay? They may all have jobs (I think you said you were self employed, so also earning an income of sorts) and a place to live - so presumably they are paying rent or a mortgage and could benefit financially from the sale of your family home.

I agree with the previous poster - all inheritance should be divided equally, unless your siblings were absolutely vile to their father, but it doesn't sound like that was the case.

This is one of these threads where I would like to hear the other side of the story.

Naysa Thu 21-Mar-13 13:34:49

Am I reading this right?

You haven't lived in the house for ten years and now your marriage is over you have moved back?
When did your father die?

I'm reading this as your father died a long time ago and you lived there 10 years ago and now you are living back there?

If I have read this right then I can understand why your siblings presumed that you had moved out but they don't have any right to hound you out of the house.

Correct me if I'm wrong though. blush

MuchBrighterNow Thu 21-Mar-13 13:34:59

I think long term relations with family are more important than a house. By living in the house with no time limit you are effectively denying your siblings a fair share of their inheritance.

Can you suggest to them a time limit which you need to get yourself on your feet after your divorce and then either....

take your share of the house sale and find somewhere else to live....

buy them out or

Offer them either some rent now or a % gain more than you of the profit when the house is eventually sold to recompense them for the time you have had sole use of the house.

I understand it was your father's wish that you stay in the house as long as you had need... but from a detached viewpoint this is not entirely fair on your siblings.

You need to come to a compromise which recognises their inheritence rights as well as your need for a home right now.

If you and your sister both dig your heels in it's only going to cause a huge rift and misery.

fuzzywuzzy Thu 21-Mar-13 13:35:46

Calisto did you miss the bit where one of the other siblings lived rent free in this house for four years following her divorce after their father passsed away.

Stay put and get legal advice.

MrsTerryPratchett Thu 21-Mar-13 13:36:49

How long is it since your DF died?

Tryingtosurvive Thu 21-Mar-13 13:38:24

I like the idea of asking the property solicitor to send them a letter to back off and if it's money well invested at least I could sleep properly at nights.

I thought my family were so close, but I have caught my one sister doing several irregular things like trying to change my father's Will to give her the security I have whilst he was dying in hospital - she bawled at me and wouldn't speak to me for months. Maybe the best way forward would be to engage a solicitor for future communications as the though of confronting her give me palpitations!

Callisto Thu 21-Mar-13 13:38:50

Erm, sorry but what has that got to do with anything? Or should all of the siblings get to spend 4 years there rent free? It sounds like a train crash to me, and I doubt very much the OP is the innocent she is making herself out to be.

Tryingtosurvive Thu 21-Mar-13 13:39:53

My Dad died in 2007, that 's when we let the aggressive sibling stayed put and we didn't have the heart to tell her to get out of the house as she had no where else to live.

Callisto Thu 21-Mar-13 13:42:31

So you haven't lived in the house since 2007 but you're claiming that your absence was temporary? confused

MrsTerryPratchett Thu 21-Mar-13 13:43:42

So, the DS moved in, moved out, expecting that now the house was empty it would be sold. This may be why she moved out... Then you moved in (did you ask/tell them?) after not having been there for 10 years.

I understand why you are annoyed with the sibling that moved in and didn't move. Sorry but I can also understand why the others don't want to wait a total of almost 10 years for their inheritance.

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