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    Left The House In My Late Mum's Will But My Sisters Refuse To Sell It-HELP!
    • #1
    • 16th Feb 16, 4:55 PM
    Left The House In My Late Mum's Will But My Sisters Refuse To Sell It-HELP! 16th Feb 16 at 4:55 PM
    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.
    Last edited by annbarbs; 16-02-2016 at 5:17 PM.
Page 12
    • Keeping Motivated
    • By Keeping Motivated 3rd Mar 16, 5:36 PM
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    Keeping Motivated
    Who would be wanting to rush out of their home where they feel safe and secure straight after a bereavement? Not many. For most it would be a traumatic experience having to move/lose your home at the same time as a bereavement.
    Personally I think it was insensitive to instruct solicitors so soon and not allow some time for adjustment and acceptance of what ultimately (quite rightly as its the mum wishes and the law) had to happen but I believe the sister living there could have been treated with more time at the very least.
    • Yorkshireman99
    • By Yorkshireman99 3rd Mar 16, 6:12 PM
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    Yorkshireman99
    Yorkshireman99 - have you ever been involved in executing the will of a parent? and have you been carer living in what was your family home ? and facing what is effectively eviction?

    I've only had to do the first and that was for a home that my parents retired to - I never lived there. Even so that was was quite painful.

    I have a lot of sympathy for the two executor sisters - they have the grieving to do, go through the household contents and all the memories that brings, and the legalities of winding up the estate and deal with a sister is solely driven by the pot of gold (which in reality is quite small and isn't going to do her much good but the time she looses benefits and pays a completely unnecessary solicitors bill)
    Originally posted by Robin9
    Yes I have dealt with a similar situation. It is not easy but the reality has to be faced. The OP has every right to expect the estate to be dealt with in a proper and timely manner. Th executors seem to have had no problem in obtaining probate quickly but, if the OP is to be believed, show no signs of dealing with the estate as they are legally obliged to do. What if the OP does nothing and is six months time the situation is the same? What if the executors have not insured the house and it burns to the ground? The apparent failure of the executors to engage with their sister is not the way executors are supposed to behave.
    • jouef
    • By jouef 3rd Mar 16, 11:25 PM
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    jouef
    Personally I think it was insensitive to instruct solicitors so soon and not allow some time for adjustment and acceptance of what ultimately (quite rightly as its the mum wishes and the law) had to happen but I believe the sister living there could have been treated with more time at the very least.
    Originally posted by Keeping Motivated
    As already pointed out, the reason for the OP instructing a solicitor was that the sister who lives in the house told her she is not leaving, not that she was taking too long to sell it. The executors had already instructed a solicitor for probate, who seems to have first contacted the OP as beneficiary with the question about disposal of the house, it apparently being clear from the start that the sisters could not buy the OP out.

    So the OP was not first to instruct solicitors, she did so because the sister in the house refused to sell, and the OP is still concerned that the sisters might deliberately not progress the sale.

    This information is covered by the OP in posts 1 and 167 of this thread.
    • jouef
    • By jouef 3rd Mar 16, 11:29 PM
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    jouef
    What if the OP does nothing and is six months time the situation is the same? What if the executors have not insured the house and it burns to the ground? The apparent failure of the executors to engage with their sister is not the way executors are supposed to behave.
    Originally posted by Yorkshireman99
    Precisely. The OP's prime concern is that the executors may not administer the estate correctly, not the time they are taking to do it.
    • FreeBear
    • By FreeBear 3rd Mar 16, 11:39 PM
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    FreeBear
    Personally I think it was insensitive to instruct solicitors so soon and not allow some time for adjustment and acceptance of what ultimately (quite rightly as its the mum wishes and the law) had to happen but I believe the sister living there could have been treated with more time at the very least.
    Originally posted by Keeping Motivated
    Therein lies one very important question - What exactly does the will say about the house ?

    Does the will specify that the property is to be sold and each receive an equal share of the proceeds, or is the property left to the three in equal shares ?

    If the former, then the property should be marketed at the appropriate time after it has been cleared and possibly tarted up.

    If the latter, then all three need to agree to a sale when the time is right.
    Her courage will change the world.

    Treasure the moments that you have. Savour them for as long as you can for they will never come back again.
    • jouef
    • By jouef 3rd Mar 16, 11:54 PM
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    jouef
    Does the will specify that the property is to be sold and each receive an equal share of the proceeds, or is the property left to the three in equal shares ?
    Originally posted by FreeBear
    The difference is academic; from what the OP says it sounds as if the will is residual in nature, simply leaving everything in three equal shares. It would be unusual for a will to instruct a sale or, conversely, to prohibit it. In practical terms, the executors have to divide the house in three without any continuing interdependent interests (a 'clean break'), which would be achieved by selling it and dividing the proceeds.
    • getmore4less
    • By getmore4less 4th Mar 16, 6:30 AM
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    getmore4less
    To repeat, the issue is not the timescale. The OP stated that one sister refused to leave the house, and (without re-reading the entire thread in detail) I don't think that sister is ever reported to have conceded, although the other sister did accept that she must. The OP's solicitor has been told that the sisters are preparing to instruct estate agents, but the OP is not yet convinced they are being truthful. The OP puts it concisely: "If my sisters are telling the truth and are in the process of putting the house up for sale and they do. Then there is no need for us to take them to court. I just wait until someone buys the house which could take a few months or more but it will be sold."
    Originally posted by jouef
    What was reported by the OP from what we can asume is the only conversation they had was.

    But my sisters phoned me and tried to talk me into changing my mind but I said NO Sister A cannot live in the house it must be sold.
    And I did explain to my sisters why and I also told them in my emails to them.

    The sister that is living in the house was nasty to me and said she is not leaving the house. But the other sisters did not seem to upset and just said she had hoped I would let my sisters stay but if not she will help my sister find somewhere else to live but she does not want to sell only because she has to
    .

    http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showpost.php?p=70232416&postcount=167

    It's a timescale issue.
    • jouef
    • By jouef 4th Mar 16, 7:20 AM
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    jouef
    What was reported by the OP from what we can asume is the only conversation they had was.

    But my sisters phoned me and tried to talk me into changing my mind but I said NO Sister A cannot live in the house it must be sold.
    And I did explain to my sisters why and I also told them in my emails to them.

    The sister that is living in the house was nasty to me and said she is not leaving the house. But the other sisters did not seem to upset and just said she had hoped I would let my sisters stay but if not she will help my sister find somewhere else to live but she does not want to sell only because she has to
    .

    http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showpost.php?p=70232416&postcount=167

    It's a timescale issue.
    Originally posted by getmore4less
    The post you refer to reports that one sister said she is not leaving the house while the other said she does not want to sell but will if she has to (it is not 100% clear which of them she is referring to in that sentence). The missing piece of the jigsaw is that thus far only one of the sisters had personally confirmed their own agreement to sell. You appear to have assumed the other sister's comment is sufficient confirmation they will both sell, but without the first sister retracting her own refusal the OP seems to have felt insufficiently reassured. Without both sisters' clear agreement, the sale might require legal enforcement and more time in itself would not make any difference.
    • betty1234
    • By betty1234 4th Mar 16, 8:09 AM
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    betty1234
    Yes I know my dad had a will that left everything to my mum. But it also said that in the event of mums death if mum had died before dad, then everything would then go to me and my sisters. But that would only have been if mum died first before dad.

    My mothers house is valued at 364,000 which is a lot less than that.
    The old house that she lived in before she moved to this was worth less than that in 2003 when my dad died.
    So maybe that does not apply to us.

    If it does then the Solicitor will take it off of mine and my sisters house sale money before they give it to us.The same as when you get interest from your bank account savings every year it says how much tax is taken off in your bank book. But the bank does that for you.
    Originally posted by annbarbs
    No that's not what my solicitor told me.
    He has looked at my mothers will and we have a copy of it to hand. Mums will clearly states that she has left her house to me and my 2 sisters as well as her assets. Which is the money from her bank account.

    The terms of mums will also state that the house estate and any monies be divided equally between myself and my 2 sisters. Meaning that we each own and get a third of all of mums assets including the house and any money from the sale of the house.

    All 3 of us have inherited the house and now also own the house including me. But my sisters are the executives of the will and also are beneficiary and I am also a beneficiary.

    My solicitor said as beneficiary it is my right to receive the estate and to decide if or not I want my sister to live there or if I want the house to be sold. As I have decided I want the house sold it is my right to make sure that the executors(my Sisters) deal with the property in the right manner and in a reasonable amount of time.

    If they don't and continue to refuse to sell the house after a certain amount of time I can take legal action against them.
    And if it does come to that I do have to take them to court a judge can both order my sisters to sell the house or he could remove my sisters from the will as executors and executor rights would probably be passed over to me if that happens.
    Since there is no one else in our family who is close or would get involved with the will.

    But that is only if my sisters after being given a reasonable amount of time refuse to sell.
    My solicitor says we cannot take court action against my sisters now because it is only 5 weeks since they were granted probate.So we would not have a case.

    My solicitor said we have to first give my sisters time to put the house on the market for sale. And my solicitor is at this moment writing to my sisters solicitors asking them to confirm if they have received instructions from my sisters to deal with my mothers estate,or not.

    If not my solicitor will try to find out if my sisters are dealing with the estate themselves or if they have hired another solicitor to do it for them.

    If my sisters are dealing with the property themselves without a solicitor my solicitor will then write to my sisters to remind them of their obligations as executors of the will.

    And it does turn out that my sisters continue to ignore their obligations and don't sell the house. Meaning that my solicitor will write to my sisters or their solicitor on my behalf(if my sisters still have one.) But if say 6 months pass and we find that my sisters have not done anything to sell the house.
    My solicitor will then take court action against them.

    And he has told me that the judge cannot order that my sisters can live in the house. The only way my sister can continue to live in the house is if she buys her way out.
    And my sister has not got that kind of money and neither has my other sister.

    And I am not going to change my mind and let my sister live there because I want it sold.
    So my sisters will be forced to sell the house by the judge there is nothing they can do about it.

    Because by the law of Probate(UK Law))and terms of mums will I am entitled to my third of capital from the house. My solicitor said. Which I can only get if it is sold, since nether sister has the money to buy me out of my share.
    The house will have to be sold.
    Then each sister including me will get a thirds of whatever the house gets sold for or money from the sale.

    No my solicitor said it won't take 3 years. He says we should give my sisters 3 to 6 months to get the house on the markets. If they don't do anything after that time then we can take them to court but not now.
    But it won't take 3 years to sort out that's not what I have been told.

    My sister who is still living in the house also gets her 25k from my mother 77k of her bank account. My sister is single with no children and no mental health problems.
    So she is perfectly capable of going back to work and finding a place of her own.
    So she won't be out on the street if the house is sold.
    Then when it is she will have the money from the house as well the same as I and my other sister will.

    I don't think the GP or the CMHT can help with this since they don't know much about the law of wills. And they cannot talk to my sisters as they told me they are not allowed to do that.
    That's why I got a solicitor for that.
    Originally posted by annbarbs


    Would the benefits dwp not stop her means tested benefits after a certain time if property was not up for sale?. I read they disregard capital only if house up for sale then after w6 weeks your benefits stop???.
    • betty1234
    • By betty1234 4th Mar 16, 8:10 AM
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    betty1234
    *week 26* sorry
    • betty1234
    • By betty1234 4th Mar 16, 8:23 AM
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    betty1234
    But would her benefits not stop if she now has a share in a property??.
    • betty1234
    • By betty1234 4th Mar 16, 8:38 AM
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    betty1234
    But will her benefits not stop if she doesnt gave property up for sale. Ive read you have to inform dwp as soon as probate is granted, then house goes up for sale straight away and you get 26 weeks grace from dwp then they stop your benefits??. Its only what ive read on other posts so note sure???
    • brewerdave
    • By brewerdave 4th Mar 16, 10:02 AM
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    brewerdave
    Post 225 does raise an interesting point ( at least to me as a layperson) - if a property is left in a will as 3 equal shares DOES a sale have to be carried out ? eg if 2 of the beneficiaries see it as an appreciating asset for the future, doesn't a simple majority hold sway ?? Or are the two obliged to buy the third person's share out ??
    • jouef
    • By jouef 4th Mar 16, 10:39 AM
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    jouef
    But will her benefits not stop if she doesnt gave property up for sale. Ive read you have to inform dwp as soon as probate is granted, then house goes up for sale straight away and you get 26 weeks grace from dwp then they stop your benefits??. Its only what ive read on other posts so note sure???
    Originally posted by betty1234
    Post 225 does raise an interesting point ( at least to me as a layperson) - if a property is left in a will as 3 equal shares DOES a sale have to be carried out ? eg if 2 of the beneficiaries see it as an appreciating asset for the future, doesn't a simple majority hold sway ?? Or are the two obliged to buy the third person's share out ??
    Originally posted by brewerdave
    Two crucial points, which are beyond my area of knowledge but which can hopefully guide the OP towards what specialist advice they need. This highlights the risks of simply advising the OP to wait and cut her sister some slack as she might be upset.
    • getmore4less
    • By getmore4less 4th Mar 16, 11:03 AM
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    getmore4less
    Post 225 does raise an interesting point ( at least to me as a layperson) - if a property is left in a will as 3 equal shares DOES a sale have to be carried out ? eg if 2 of the beneficiaries see it as an appreciating asset for the future, doesn't a simple majority hold sway ?? Or are the two obliged to buy the third person's share out ??
    Originally posted by brewerdave
    Will depend on the exact wording which routes are available.

    The will may allow the executors to assent the property to the benificiaries thus wiping their hands of the issue(as executors)

    Then it becomes a forced sale situation just like any other property dispute with more than one owner(eg divorce).
    • jouef
    • By jouef 4th Mar 16, 12:11 PM
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    jouef
    Will depend on the exact wording which routes are available.
    The will may allow the executors to assent the property to the benificiaries thus wiping their hands of the issue(as executors)
    Then it becomes a forced sale situation just like any other property dispute with more than one owner(eg divorce).
    Originally posted by getmore4less
    So not just a timescale issue then ...
    • getmore4less
    • By getmore4less 4th Mar 16, 12:47 PM
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    getmore4less
    As far as a sale is concerned yes just a timescale issue, the ability to assent if the will allows just offers another delay tactic options.
    • jouef
    • By jouef 4th Mar 16, 1:47 PM
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    jouef
    As far as a sale is concerned yes just a timescale issue, the ability to assent if the will allows just offers another delay tactic options.
    Originally posted by getmore4less
    The OP has been advised by several posters to step back and wait; if there is a question of assent or disposal to be resolved, waiting could invoke detrimental consequences. Of course there is a timescale to any course of action, but in this case the time taken is not the material issue.
    • Gigervamp
    • By Gigervamp 4th Mar 16, 2:36 PM
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    Gigervamp
    But will her benefits not stop if she doesnt gave property up for sale. Ive read you have to inform dwp as soon as probate is granted, then house goes up for sale straight away and you get 26 weeks grace from dwp then they stop your benefits??. Its only what ive read on other posts so note sure???
    Originally posted by betty1234
    This is a good point. OP could lose her benefits if there's too much of a delay.
    • nom de plume
    • By nom de plume 4th Mar 16, 2:59 PM
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    nom de plume
    No actual knowledge but how can this be so when the OP is not an executor and thus has no direct control over the sale, etc.

    Also on a more personal note to this thread; from what I have read between the lines, the OP does not need any more to worry about. Speculation will only further add to the stresses the situation she finds herself in have already created.
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