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WWYD. Letter from lawyer about signing over (dads) property to sister

(41 Posts)
QuintessentialOHara Mon 08-Apr-13 14:27:34

This is in Relationships, and not Aibu, I dont want any Flaming or Burn the Witch.

I have been looking after my parents paperwork for them for the last 5 years at least. I am doing their tax returns and helping with any legal issues. I am the youngest sister. I have two children. I spent 3 years living nearby to help my parents get the help they needed, carehome for mum and care package for dad. I know their affairs very well. I have continued looking after everything including banking after moving away.

Last winter I sent an email to the family lawyer asking him to get in touch with my dad as he was keen to make a will. He had said he just wanted it to be fair and equal, but like I said to the lawyer, the will was an issue I did not want to meddle in, so thought it best that father dealt with lawyer himself. We were concerned about mum inheriting as she has dementia and lives in a home, so just wanted to make sure there was a will in place to not cause any problems.

My sister had asked for lawyers email address as she had a question. I gave it to her, naturally. I did not know the details of her query. Not my business.

Today, as I was helping dad with his tax returns I found a letter from Lawyer. He mentioned the issues brought up when he met with dad, but also email correspondence with sister. He said "Bearing in mind no prenuptials and common ownership of all assets it may be difficult to sign over the family home (dads house) to elder sister due to mums dementia and not being able to sign" (Rough translation the way I understand legal speak)

I am not quite sure what to think. But it seems that my sister has enquired with the family lawyer about the possibility of having dads house signed over to HER as "advance inheritance".

Sugarice Mon 08-Apr-13 14:29:55

Phone her and ask, you've seen the letter and want to know what she is planning.

Poledra Mon 08-Apr-13 14:29:55

Well, I think you need to reply to the lawyer asking him to clarify in plain language exactly what he means. Then you can think about what to do next.

Viviennemary Mon 08-Apr-13 14:31:28

I would get in touch with the lawyer immediately. I could be wrong but do you think your sister is doing this to avoid any possible care home fees in the future. How strange not to have discussed it with you. This sounds very strange.

Alibabaandthe40nappies Mon 08-Apr-13 14:33:57

Quint - you need to e-mail the lawyer and ask for clarification.

What possible basis could there be for your sister to ask for this?

Poledra Mon 08-Apr-13 14:38:08

Actually, on re-reading your post, it seems this was correspondence from the lawyer to your father, rather than to you. So, I'd ask your father in the first instance what the hell is going on.

ImTooHecsyForYourParty Mon 08-Apr-13 14:40:23

I agree. Ask your father if this is what he wants to happen.

If it is, then fair enough.

If it is not, then he can contact his solicitor and make sure it doesn't happen.

Really all you need to do is establish that your dad isn't being taken advantage of.

QuintessentialOHara Mon 08-Apr-13 15:12:20

I asked him, as the letter arrived today and we were looking at the letter together. He was surprised and had now knowledge of this, it is not what he wanted to happen.

Poledra Mon 08-Apr-13 15:15:04

Right then, next move is for your father to ask the lawyer for clarification in plan language of what your sister has discussed with him (the lawyer) so he knows exactly what has been said before either of you contact your sister.

Poledra Mon 08-Apr-13 15:15:20

*plain language

ImTooHecsyForYourParty Mon 08-Apr-13 15:38:44

Then he needs to contact his solicitor and make that very clear that that is never going to happen and ask what the hell is going on.

LadyMountbatten Mon 08-Apr-13 15:41:53

Blimey, this sounds very odd

LadyMountbatten Mon 08-Apr-13 15:43:11

Blimey, this sounds very odd

LadyMountbatten Mon 08-Apr-13 15:43:23

oh not that odd though. SOrry!

Alibabaandthe40nappies Mon 08-Apr-13 15:44:49

Oh well that sounds very odd then - but I'm pleased that your Dad isn't planning to pull the rug from under you!

You and he need to e-mail his solicitor and ask him WTF is going on. Frankly I find it bizarre, and unprofessional that he has had that conversation with your sister. He is your father's lawyer, and should be acting in his interests and on his wishes - and that alone.

Isabeller Mon 08-Apr-13 15:51:33

Lawyers do make mistakes ie about who is older/younger, possibly even about how many sisters there are. If you get on ok with your sister and your dad it might be worth putting embarrassment aside and trying to have a 3 way conversation to make sure you, as a family, get what you want from the lawyer and your Dad gets the will he wants.

I have a tendency to think up ways to assume the best (sometimes misguided I admit) but what if your sister was concerned about your Dad having to sell his home to pay care fees and so thought having the house transferred might get round that? Or she might have been thinking about efficient tax planning rather than trying to specifically disinherit you.

Hope it all works out.

fubbsy Mon 08-Apr-13 15:53:10

I agree that your father needs to contact the lawyer himself and 1) ask for details of email contact with sister 2) tell lawyer explicity that he does not want family home signed over to sister, and possibly 3) tell lawyer he does not want him to have any further direct communication with sister.

Sorry that this shows your sister in a bad light. Must be a shock for you.

Lonecatwithkitten Mon 08-Apr-13 15:58:03

Your father needs to contact the solicitor and clarify the situation. Really they can only act for either your father or your sister in this instance not both as there seems that there is a massive conflict of interest.

Artyjools Mon 08-Apr-13 16:01:41

If your father's solicitor has been discussing his affairs with your sister without your father's clear instructions, then your father should be getting himself a new solicitor, as his current one does not have a clear understanding of basic conduct issues!!

starfishmummy Mon 08-Apr-13 16:05:39

I don't think any reputable solicitor would have discussed your fathers affairs with another person unless your father had either given explicit permission or your sister has poa.
Do you think your father has done this and is either not yelling you or has forgotten??

starfishmummy Mon 08-Apr-13 16:06:04


QuintessentialOHara Mon 08-Apr-13 16:06:37

" He is your father's lawyer, and should be acting in his interests and on his wishes - and that alone."

I suspect this is why he phrased it as advise based on both conversation with my dad and further to email correspondence with sister, so as to make my dad aware. We would otherwise not known anything about my sisters plans to get the house.

SoupDragon Mon 08-Apr-13 16:09:42

Did you post a little while ago about your sister being after the house? if so, it sounds like she's stepped things up a bit.

If not, ignore me.

QuintessentialOHara Mon 08-Apr-13 16:11:40

I dont think my sister has POA.

I have met the lawyer several times, I had to act on my fathers behalf in court recently (another property issue where his consent was needed for some development of agrigultural land), he has been my dads lawyer for over 20 years, both business and personal matters.

My dad actually said "I think we both underestimate how conniving she may be".

Maybe I should send lawyer an email, and ask him to clarify any issues relating to signing over the property as inheritance in advance as this was not dads intention, from my dad, with his signature. Or a letter.

Alibabaandthe40nappies Mon 08-Apr-13 16:13:57

I think you should definitely do that Quint.

What on earth does she think she is playing at?

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