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Left The House In My Late Mum's Will But My Sisters Refuse To Sell It-HELP!

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Left The House In My Late Mum's Will But My Sisters Refuse To Sell It-HELP!

edited 16 February 2016 at 6:17PM in Deaths, Funerals & Probate
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edited 16 February 2016 at 6:17PM in Deaths, Funerals & Probate
My mother died 2 months ago in November 2015 and she has left both her house and a small sum of money to myself and my 2 younger sisters in her will.

My 2 sisters are both the executives of the will, but I am not. But my mum has included me in her will and left the house to the 3 of us and we each get a third of everything.

That is if my late mums house is sold, the money from the house sale will be divided between myself and my 2 sisters.

And my late mother also left us money which is her savings from her bank account which is also to be divided between myself and my sisters as is the terms of mums will.

I want to sell the house but the problem is that my sisters don't want to sell it because the other sister who used to be my late mum's carer does not want to move out.

My other sister is married with a house of her own and I have my own flat. But I want to sell the house because I am on benefits and need the money for myself.


My situation is that my sisters do not want any contact with me and it was like this even when mum was alive.

So I have gone to a wills and Probate solicitor who has taken my case. Because of my family situation,my sisters won't see me or talk to me, there is no way I can sort this out on my own. And my sisters solicitor won't have any conversations with me, since she is my sisters solicitor not mine.

So I have had to get a solicitor of my own which I have done. But I have found out that it won't be covered by Legal Aid but my solicitor has said I will be billed the fees at the end of administration after my mums house is sold as I will have the money from the house sale.Which is an agreement I am happy with.

What has happened so far is that my sisters solicitors applied for probate on behalf of my sisters who are executives of the will.
My late mother left her house to me and my sisters.


My sisters solicitors applied for and my sisters and I were granted Probate by the high Court on the 29th December 2015.
Which means that my mums house is both mine and my sisters and can be sold.

My solicitor who is acting for me has so far been contacting my sisters though their solicitor.


But now my sisters solicitors have told my solicitor that their role was limited applying for the grant of probate and my sisters are not ready to sell the house.
And I am not happy with this at all as it seems that my sisters are trying to get out of selling the house.


I would sell the house myself but my solicitor has told me that because I don't have the automatic right to do this since I am only a benefactor of my late moms will but not the executive.
My 2 sisters are the executives but not me.

I don't understand this because mum has left her house to me and my sisters in her Will. So the house now belongs to me as well as my sisters.

So why can't I sell it?

But my solicitor said that as a benefactor I have the right to receive my late mothers estate and make sure that my sisters who are the executives of the will deal with the property correctly and sell it in a reasonable amount of time.

And if they don't I can take legal action against the executives who are in this case my sisters.

So I told my solicitor to do it, but my solicitor said we cannot take it before a judge now because it has only been 5 weeks that we have been granted probate. And I have got to give my sisters(the executives of the will) more time to get the house on the market.


But my sisters are doing nothing about this.

So where do I go from here?

And is my solicitor telling me correctly or can more be done about this?

Please can someone advise since I don't know much about the laws of probate.
I am in England, well London actually and my mum died in London so the will is subject to English law. Just to let you know.
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Replies

  • MojisolaMojisola Forumite
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    annbarbs wrote: »
    My mother died 2 months ago in November 2015 and she has left both her house and a small sum of money to myself and my 2 younger sisters in her will.

    My 2 sisters are both the executives of the will, but I am not. But my mum has included me in her will and left the house to the 3 of us and we each get a third of everything.

    Your sisters are executors of the will, not executives.

    My sisters solicitors applied for and my sisters and I were granted Probate by the high Court on the 29th December 2015.
    Which means that my mums house is both mine and my sisters and can be sold.

    Probate wasn't granted to you because you are not an executor.


    But now my sisters solicitors have told my solicitor that their role was limited applying for the grant of probate and my sisters are not ready to sell the house.

    And I am not happy with this at all as it seems that my sisters are trying to get out of selling the house.


    I would sell the house myself but my solicitor has told me that because I don't have the automatic right to do this since I am only a benefactor of my late moms will but not the executive.

    You are a beneficiary of the will.

    The executors will need time to wind up the estate. They have a legal obligation to make sure that all debts are paid before they start to distribute the estate. This can take many months.

    If one of your sisters wants to stay in the house, she will need to buy you out. If she won't, you can force a sale but it will be expensive and you'll have to make sure that your inheritance isn't going to be used up in legal fees.

    If there is money as well as the house, you could suggest to your sisters that they have the house 50/50 and you get paid your share from other money.
  • bouicca21bouicca21 Forumite
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    If your sister was a live in carer then I don't think it is at all surprising that she does not want to leave the house, she may even feel you are trying to kick her out. Have you talked to her about her options for housing?

    I suspect it is worth asking your solicitor whether your sister has acquired a right to continue living in the house.
  • edited 16 February 2016 at 8:30PM
    SystemSystem
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    edited 16 February 2016 at 8:30PM
    Thanks Mojisola.What you have said is pretty much the same thing as what my solicitor told me.

    Probate was granted by the High Court on 29th December 2015 to my sisters who are the executors of the will and was executed by my sisters solicitors.

    So my sisters used their own solicitor to aply for probate on their behalf.

    My solicitor has sent me the letter from the court which says that my mother died on 5th November 2015 and is buried in England and Wales.

    The High Court has also valued my mothers house as £364,000 if sold.

    And the terms of my late mum's will is that each sister gets a third of the sale of the house(if sold) which is about £114,00 for each of us.

    So if the house is sold I could get £114,000 and my 2 sisters will also get £114,000 if the house is sold for that amount.


    Your sisters are executors of the will, not executives.

    Yes that is what my Solicitor has told me and it also says that in the copy of my late mothers will that I have.
    Sorry I mean't to say executors.
    Probate wasn't granted to you because you are not an executor.
    Yes my solicitor told me that but that now means that the house has now been handed over to us, that is me and my 2 sisters but they are the executors.
    You are a beneficiary of the will.
    Yes and according to the terms of mum's will I inherit a thirds of everything as does my 2 other sisters.
    Meaning that if the house is sold me and my sisters get a third of whatever the house is sold for and a thirds of my mothers savings she left us.
    The executors will need time to wind up the estate. They have a legal obligation to make sure that all debts are paid before they start to distribute the estate. This can take many months.


    There are no debts documents sent to me and my solicitor via my sisters solicitor state that mum did not have any debts.
    So that's not a problem.
    If one of your sisters wants to stay in the house, she will need to buy you out. If she won't, you can force a sale but it will be expensive and you'll have to make sure that your inheritance isn't going to be used up in legal fees.

    My solicitor told me the same thing.
    That my sister can only stay in the house if she buys her way out by giving me my share of the sale of the house.
    But that is not going to happen became my sister do not have that kind of money.

    And even if they did I don't think they are going to give me £114,00,so the house will have to be sold my solicitor said.

    And the each of us, that is myself and my sisters will have to both pay the Estate Agents fess for selling the house and the legal costs involved out of our money from the sale of the house.

    And I will of course have to pay my solicitor his fees for whatever work he has done for me, as this is not covered by Legal Aid.
    But I know that, as I was told this by the CAB who said that wills and probate is not covered by Legal Aid.
    If there is money as well as the house, you could suggest to your sisters that they have the house 50/50 and you get paid your share from other money.

    My mother has left £77,000 which is what she had in her savings and is to be divided between the 3 of us.
    So we each get £25,000 but that is not enough for either of my sister to buy out my share of the sale of the house.

    And that money won't be paid to either me or my sisters until the end of the solicitors administration after the house is sold.
    So we won't get that money now.

    And sisters do not want any contact with me so I cannot talk to my sisters because they do not want to see me and won't even let me in the house if I try to visit them.

    So there is no way I can talk to them.
    That is why I have gone to a solicitor because of this because my sisters don't want anything to do with me
    So there is no way I can go to my sisters or talk to them.
    My solicitor will have to do it. There is no other option for me but to go though my solicitor because I cannot contact my sisters myself, they don't want any contact with me.


    So far my solicitor has been dealing with this by writing to my sisters solicitors. But we had a letter from my sisters solicitors to say that their role was only to get the grant of probate, not sell the house.

    So my solicitor has told me that he is now trying to find out if my sisters solicitors are still dealing with the property.

    If they are not then we need to find out if my sisters have got another solicitor or are dealing with it themselves.
    That's what my solicitor is now trying to find out.

    If my sisters are dealing with the property themselves my solicitor said he will write to both of them and advise them their legal position as executors which is what he told me.

    My solicitor also told me if my sisters refuse to sell then I may have to take legal action against them.
    But we(me and my solicitor) have to give my sisters a certain amount of time before we do this and I cannot take my sisters to court now not at this point in time because it is only 5 weeks since they were granted probate, so not enough time.

    I also told my solicitor that I would sell the house myself if I could but he would have to help me since I don't know how to do this myself or what to do.

    But he said I cannot because I am not the executor.
    I don't know if that would change if my sisters refuse to sell and I do have to go to court.
    Maybe the court would then grant me that right?
    But I think that would only be if my sisters never sold the house or refused to sell.

    If your sister was a live in carer then I don't think it is at all surprising that she does not want to leave the house, she may even feel you are trying to kick her out. Have you talked to her about her options for housing?
    I suspect it is worth asking your solicitor whether your sister has acquired a right to continue living in the house.

    My sisters have cut me off so I cannot talk to them as I explained.

    I don't think my sister has gone to court to ask to stay in the house and
    I am not sure if she could do that or not.

    But I will ask my solicitor. Or get him to find out as that's something we would have to fight if that is the case.
  • edited 16 February 2016 at 9:07PM
    SystemSystem
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    edited 16 February 2016 at 9:07PM
    I was told by both my sisters solicitor who contacted me after my mother had died regarding the will.
    And my own solicitor that if I do not want to allow my sister to live in my mothers house.

    That it will have to be sold or my sister will have to buy her way out to continue to live there.

    Since my sisters do not have that money to give me my solicitor said the house will have to be sold unless I give my sister permission to carry on living there.
    Which I don't want to do.

    Because I am on benefits and I have been advised by both CAB and my solicitor that selling the house is the only way. Because if I just took my mums 25k and let my sister live in the house.
    Benefits would be stopped because my savings would be over £16,000 as we know. That's fair enough.

    But when the 25k ran out and I tried to claim benefits again, I would not be entitled to any and I would be disqualified from claiming benefits again because by refusing to sell the house I would be deliberately or intentionally depriving myself of capital I could have had to live on.

    So I have been advised by both my solicitor and the CAB that the only course of action is to sell the house, unless my sister can buy her way out which she cannot.

    Also as my benefits will. be stopped anyway as they will be once mums will is distributed, then I might as well claim my full entitlement to the will which is my share I will get after the house is sold.

    And anyway there is no other choice for the reasons explained above.
  • MojisolaMojisola Forumite
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    annbarbs wrote: »
    The High Court has also valued my mothers house as £364,000 if sold.

    So if the house is sold I could get £114,000 and my 2 sisters will also get £114,000 if the house is sold for that amount.

    My mother has left £77,000 which is what she had in her savings and is to be divided between the 3 of us.

    So we each get £25,000 but that is not enough for either of my sister to buy out my share of the sale of the house.

    You could suggest that the will is varied so that you are given the £77,000 cash and your sisters take a larger percentage of the value of the house.
  • edited 16 February 2016 at 10:26PM
    SystemSystem
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    edited 16 February 2016 at 10:26PM
    Mojisola wrote: »
    You could suggest that the will is varied so that you are given the £77,000 cash and your sisters take a larger percentage of the value of the house.
    The £77,000 is the savings from my mothers bank account and that is to be divided among the 3 of us so we each get £25,000.

    My late mother will is that we each get a third of everything. My mum left the house to the 3 of us.

    If the house is sold each sister including me can only claim a third of whatever the house is sold for. And the same is true of my mums savings.

    My mum left the £77k of her savings to the 3 of us. So that money is divided into 3 and we each get 25k and so 25k is all I will get from mums savings as the other 2 thirds go to my 2 other sisters.
    That is the will.


    As I have said before, because I am on welfare benefits, it is the law that if your savings get to 16k and over the benefits stop. Because I have to tell the DWP.
    So as I am to loose my benefits even if I chose not to sell the house, since if I just took the 25k my savings will then be over 16k and my benefits will stop.

    So I might as well sell the house and claim my full entitlement or inheritnce to the will my mum left me.

    I have mental health problems so I will never be able to work. So If I sell the house and claim the money I will have enough to live on for the next 20 years or so and won't have to claim benefits for a very long time.

    Where as if I just take the 25k and not sell the house that will only last a year then I will be back on benefits again. And I don't want that.
  • MojisolaMojisola Forumite
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    annbarbs wrote: »
    The £77,000 is the savings from my mothers bank account and that is to be divided among the 3 of us so we each get £25,000.

    But this can be changed if your sisters agree to it - then you could have the £77,000 and a smaller percentage of the house.
  • TBagpussTBagpuss Forumite
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    You've said several times that your sister doesn't have the money to buy you out, but she might be able to get a mortgage to do so.

    It sounds as though it's very early days, in terms of the estate. It may eventually come to you having to force a sale but it's early for that.

    The point people are making about agreeing a reduced sum is this.

    Your mum left a house worth £364,000 and savings of £77,000, so a total of £441,000. (less any liabilities such as funeral expenses, costs of sale, solicitors fees etc) So you are entitled to 1/3 of that, or a total of £147,000. That could be £25K from savings and £122K from the house, or it could be £77K from savings and £70K from the house, if your sisters decides that they didn't want the house to be sold yet, and they could borrow £70,000 against the house.

    Or if you were willing to do so, you could agree with your sisters that you would accept £77K (effectively gifting them the rest) or that you would agree to have £77K now and for the house to be sold later, so you would get a further lump sum in a few years time.

    But at this stage, you don't have any reason to think that your sisters are not going to sell the house, it's very early days.

    You could write to your sisters and ask them if they can let you know what they are planning and when they expect to put the house on the market.
    All posts are my personal opinion, not formal advice Always get proper, professional advice (particularly about anything legal!)
  • securityguysecurityguy Forumite
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    Mojisola wrote: »
    You could suggest that the will is varied so that you are given the £77,000 cash and your sisters take a larger percentage of the value of the house.

    Clear deprivation of assets.
  • konarkkonark Forumite
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    Clear deprivation of assets.

    How? She has the same assets as before, only more in cash and less in property equity.
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