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Should I tell my brother what is in Dad's will?

(42 Posts)
NormaSnorks Fri 14-Dec-12 22:03:21

Long story. Will try to keep it short.
Older brother (aged 50) and I don't get on, never have. He always got on better with my Mum than Dad, but sadly she died several years ago.

My Dad lives near me and has just recently had to go into a care home, which is costing over £40K a year shock. Dad has savings to cover a couple of years, and I am going to try to sell his flat, which is worth another £200K. But retirement flats aren't selling very fast around here.

Meanwhile, Dad still has a holiday house 300 miles away. He hasn't used it for over 15 years, but he has just left it, and paid the annual costs of about £1500.
My brother has lived there for short periods in the past 20 years, but in the last few years has just been about 5-6 weeks a year. HOWEVER, over the years he has filled it with all his stuff, and it is such a mess that a) we could never go there, and b) it couldn't be rented out.

Now Dad is in care I have said that we should sell it, as he can no longer afford to keep paying bills. But my brother keeps throwing a hissy fit, saying that it was 'promised' to him by Mum (it wasn't hers to promise - was bought with my father's inheritance from HIS mother) and he is refusing to discuss it, saying he will inherit it in Dad's will.

The thing is - Dad gave me Power of Attorney over all his affairs last year, and also a copy of his will. In it my brother will only receive one-fifth of my Dad's estate, as the rest is left to me (one fifth) and grandchildren.

Should I tell my brother/ send him a copy of the will, in the hope that he will see that there is no point in keeping the house?
The problem is, I'm sure it will spark a chain reaction of vitriolic e-mails to me accusing me of all sorts (this has happened in the past).
Incidently, my brother doesn't know that my Dad gave me POA, as he specifically didn't want him to know, as my brother has a history of semi-bullying/ aggravating my father.

Do executors have any right to see a will before a person dies?

PatriciaHolm Fri 14-Dec-12 22:11:12

I don't see the need? Just tell him that to keep your father in the care home, your father needs to liquidate all his assets; your Dad doesn't have a choice, he won't get any state aid with those assets, so he has no choice but to sell (even if the house was left in his will, your Dad needs to sell it anyway!). Your brother has no say, you don't need to ask his permission. Give him, say, a month to clear his stuff and then put it on the market. And change your email address ;-)

HECTheHallsWithRowsAndFolly Fri 14-Dec-12 22:15:24

You may have to write to him telling him the house must be sold in order to pay care home fees and he has until X date to clear his belongings and then a clearing company will be engaged to remove all items left in the house as you will consider them abandoned.

Bottom line - there is no such thing as an inheritance while the person is alive. At that point, it's traditionally known as their stuff and your brother needs to wind his neck in.

He's got no say here. And no rights.

SparkleSoiree Fri 14-Dec-12 22:17:05

Agree with PatriciaHolm.

Your father is still alive and whilst you hold POA it all still belongs to him. Therefore what your brother thinks about his entitlement and who promised what is completely irrelevant.

If you need to sell the property to allow your father a decent standard of care then the house needs to be emptied out and prepared for sale. Holding POA you don't need your brother's permission to do that.

I wouldn't be disclosing your father's will. It is still a private document and if your father requested that your brother not know about you receiving POA then it can be assumed he doesn't want your brother knowing the contents of his will.

People get very defensive and aggressive over money when they feel they are about to lose out so be prepared for some from your brother.

Blu Fri 14-Dec-12 22:28:12

Whatever is or is not in the will, the will does not determine what your Dad does NOW with HIS property. Even if he had left the house to your brother in the will he could sell it now if he so wished! And then change the will.

If your father is able enough to understand does he have any views on the sale of the house or how best to pay for the home?

As you have POA, you could just get on and sell it on your father's behalf, anyway, if he is not able to make his own decisions.

As far as I can see (and I have no legal experience, but I do have POA for an aunt) the will is pretty much irrelevant until your father passes away.

Your brother sounds incredibly selfish - once the savings run out how does he expect the care home to be paid for? I suppose he might cause less fuss about the sale of the house if he realises he isn't down to move in as Lord of the Manor. But then he will must harrass your father and upset him.

I would tell your brother that whatever is in the will will be for after your father dies. For now the home needs paying for, and you will be needing to sell the house in due course. His choice is to hang on and you will all sell the house at the last posible minute, in which case he should take over paying the £1500 charge as it is all for his benefit, or else sell now.

WeAreEternal Fri 14-Dec-12 22:36:25

What the PP have said is right.

Your brother has no say or rights. You dont have to discuss anything with him, you sont have to listen to his hissy fits and you don't have/need to show him the will, (while your father is still alive it means nothing anyway).
The house needs to be sold, it is of no use to your father, and the money is needed to pay his care costs. As you said, you are going to struggle to sell his home so selling the holiday home is a priority.

You have rights and say as the POA, tell your brother that your dad wants to sell the house, he really doesn't need to know anything else (especially if your father doesn't want to tell him).
Tell him he has one month to clear his junk things out of the house before you have a cleaning crew go into the property to sort it out in preparation for marketing it. Anything left there will be thrown away as you want the place gutted ready for sale.

Make it clear that whether or not he agrees this is happening, it is your fathers house and he need to sell it. So even if he refuses to comply you will still be sending in cleaners next month, so if he wants his things he needs to make arrangements to remove them from the house.

Give him a date and stick to it, then have cleaners/skip people gut the house and get the locks changed on that date (to avoid him pilling all of the stuff back in as soon as the cleaners have left)

TheSecondComing Fri 14-Dec-12 22:41:42

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

TheCraicDealer Fri 14-Dec-12 22:49:00

I read it as DB gets 1/5, OP 1/5 and then the rest to the grandchildren, Second? It's not surprising that OP's DF picked her to be POA if this is typical behaviour from her DB. I wouldn't let on about the will, the last thing your dad needs is your brother leaning on him to change bequests and whatnot. Having said that, just telling him you're sending cleaners in could exacerbate the problem- can imagine him changing the locks and all sorts. Be prepared!

OldLadyKnowsNothing Fri 14-Dec-12 22:49:49

Where does it say op gets "the lot"? I read it as db gets 20%, op gets the same, and the residual 60% goes direct to dgc.

HECTheHallsWithRowsAndFolly Fri 14-Dec-12 22:50:50

She has been allocated the same as her brother.

I think that is fair.

Blu Fri 14-Dec-12 22:50:51

The OP gets a fifth, too. The grandchildren get the rest.

TheSecondComing Fri 14-Dec-12 22:52:52

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

NormaSnorks Fri 14-Dec-12 23:00:45

TSC - I don't get 'the lot' - I get a fifth (same as my brother) and the rest goes to the grandchildren.

The house wasn't my Mum's to promise - was bought with my Dad's mother's estate . There is no record of my Mum promising it to bro - it's just a story he keeps repeating.

I just don't think we should keep paying bills for something lying there unused.
My brother can't/won't pay the bills (claims can't afford it).

My Dad has been 'avoiding' the issue for too many years - too scared of my brother to confront him, and now he's left me to do the dirty work sad.

The thing is, because I know the contents of the will, I KNOW that it won't be left to my brother - but he is holding out for it, and I can only convince him to co-operate by 'proving' to him that it's not going to be his anyway IYSWIM.

If I go the aggressive route it will all turn so nasty. And this house is 350 miles away, which makes it even more bloody difficult!

TheSecondComing Fri 14-Dec-12 23:03:15

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

NormaSnorks Fri 14-Dec-12 23:14:11

Sorry - second - by the time I wrote my long post, everyone else had waded in and explained! blush

HECTheHallsWithRowsAndFolly Sat 15-Dec-12 08:20:42

The problem with 'proving it' to him is that he may then decide to hassle your dad - and does your dad really need that?

It may cause problems between you and your dad as your dad will see it as a betrayal of him.

And your brother will not just go oh, ok then. He'll likely try to get it. Start yelling about rights and challenging the will and seeing a solicitor and all that, and it won't be the easier option. It will turn nasty no matter what you do. but one way it will turn nasty on your dad and possibly cause your dad to feel betrayed by you, and the other way it will turn nasty but there will be a way to say that it is out of your hands.

It honestly is far easier to say that your dad is required by law to sell his assets to pay for his care home because the law says that you must do that until you reach whatever £ it is now, when fees will begin to be paid for you. So the house must be sold and there is nothing anyone can do about that.

WeAreEternal Sat 15-Dec-12 09:04:49

I really don't think that you should show him the will, I honestly don't think it will prove anything to him, it is more likely to cause him to haste your father in an attempt to force him to give him the house, or involve solicitors. Neither of which is good for your father.

If you really don't want to tell him to get his things out in 30 days you have three possible options, you can tell him that your father has to sell the house, because his home is not getting any interest, and your DF needs the money to pay his care fees, there is not enough left in the savings to the house is the only thing of enough value to cover the costs.
I very much doubt that he is aware of what your DF has or how much the care costs are so you could easily tell him that the house has to be sold, end of discussion.

Option two would be best if your brother really will not listen to any reason, if he will not even listen to you, get a court order telling your brother that the house is being sold and that he has 30 days to remove his items from the property.
He can't really do much to fight it if there is a court order.

Your last option is really best if you want to avoid your brother trying to haste your father into changing things. Have your father sign the house over to you, with the intention to sell the property and give your father back the money.
Then your brother will have no reason to hold out for a house that your father has already 'given away' but with your father getting the money after the sale your brother will still stand to inherrate some of the proceeds of the sale so it will be in his best interests to slow you to sell it,because if he drags it out he risks the chance of your father passing away and him getting nothing from the house.

Personally I would choose option three as it seems the easiest way to get around your brother obvious sense of entitlement, plus it eliminates any reason for him to haste your father as you will be completely in control.

digerd Sat 15-Dec-12 15:36:10

To avoid any claims by DB regarding the holiday home, your DF should carry on paying it and not DB. He could say it was a nominal rent and cannot be evicted???

JustFabulous Sat 15-Dec-12 15:45:23

I don't think you can, or should, tell your brother anything at all without your father saying you can. You might have POA but while your father is still aboe you need to do as per his wishes.

Talk to your dad about the sale of the house. If your father doesn't want to tell your brother anything then maybe you could pay for someone to pack up the house and deliver all the stuff to your brother. He isn't going to clear it out while he thinks it is being willed to him.

FWIW people often promise things to people but if it isn't in the will then it means nothing.

NormaSnorks Sat 15-Dec-12 18:25:30

My brother isn't paying any of the bills, and it's all in my father's name, so there's no chance of my brother claiming he is being evicted.
He knows my Dad has some savings, Di he just keeps saying that the priority is to sell Dad's flat. I agree we should sell the flat, but I think we should put BOTH properties on the market and see which sells first. Also the house is costing Dad money - both in terms of the bills, and the 'opportunity cost' of not investing and getting a return on the cash.
Just to give you a flavour of how my bro operates - he has now sent me several nasty emails calling me evil and manipulative. He is also implying that I am not being honest with Dad's affairs, and saying that he is going to report me to social services... I'm not at all concerned about that bit - they would probably just laugh at him, and I detailed records of all Dad's financial decisions.
It's all do nasty and unnecessary though - I have enough stress as it is...
My Dad has lived here over 6 years, and my bro has visited once ( and my Dad had to pay his rail fare as heclawd he couldn't afford it)

MrsCampbellBlack Sat 15-Dec-12 18:32:08

I agree I wouldn't show your brother the will - are all the grandchildren your children? Because if so your brother is going to go ape.

Could you arrange for a company to go in and sort out the holiday home and then get it on the market. Presumably your dad still has keys . . .

MasterOfTheChristmasDisaster Sat 15-Dec-12 18:35:50

I hate families and wills.

I wouldn't tell him about the will.

He has no right to dictate which property goes on the market. It's in your DF's name, so it's his decision. I do agree with you, I would market both, it does make more sense.

I would move his belongings into a storage facility and let him deal with it. Oh and make sure you keep all of the nasty emails; he is bound to contest the will when the time comes sad

I hope you manage to get things sorted for your DF.

RandomMess Sat 15-Dec-12 18:36:31

Honestly, put it on the market and block your brother's email address. He is being nasty he will continue to try and bully you so just get on with it. If you don't do it now then it will happen midst the grief following your Dads death. You could perhaps pay a solicitor out of your Dad's money to deal with all of this.

NormaSnorks Sat 15-Dec-12 20:31:23

Thx for all these replies - I feel reassured that folk here feel like I'm being reasonable - my brother just tries to twist everything.
If he wasn't now so old and ill I'd probably be annoyed with Dad for putting me in this position. He should really have sold the house years ago, or transferred ownership, but he's been too scared/ unwilling to confront the issue with my brother.
I'm worried my bro will start phoning my Dad at the home and hassling him - think I will need to have a chat with the matron.
Honestly, sometimes I think he is a bit unhinged, the way he reacts with his vitriolic emails...

WeAreEternal Sun 16-Dec-12 00:07:26

It is easy to have your brother banned from the home and to have them refuse to put his calls through, just have a word and tell them that your brother is not a very nice person and has form for hassling your father when he wants his own way, I'm sure they will be more than happy to tell him where to go.

And you are not being unreasonable at all, your brother is a dick.
You are only doing what is best for your father, your brother is only doing what is best for him.

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