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    • Sjb650s
    • By Sjb650s 7th Mar 18, 1:20 PM
    • 2Posts
    • 0Thanks
    Refusal to sell inherited house
    • #1
    • 7th Mar 18, 1:20 PM
    Refusal to sell inherited house 7th Mar 18 at 1:20 PM
    Hi all. About 40 years ago my fathers parents died. The will stated for their estate to be equally divided between their three sons, one of whom is my father. The estate included a house which was fully paid for with no debt secured against it. My father and one of his brothers had moved out of this house many years before but one of the brothers still lived there at the time of my grandparents death (he was 38 at this time just to clarify). The brother who still lived there refused to sell the house and my father and his other brother eventually commenced court proceedings to force the sale, but backed out of this process at the last minute as they couldn't stand the thought of going to court against their own sibling. My father is executor of the will as the eldest brother and also has the deeds to the house in his safe at home.
    My father has not spoken or had any communication whatsoever with his brother since all this happened, but presumes that as he holds the deeds to the house it could not have been sold by the brother who lived there at any time in the intervening years.
    I am the sole inheritor of my parents will and so at some point in the not too distant future (my parents are now in their eighties) I will have to try and sort out their estate which will include a one third share of my grandparents house. How on earth am I going to sort this mess out? Is it possible that the house could have been sold without my fathers knowledge or agreement? I've looked on Zoopla and it isn't showing any sales against the address but is Zoopla 100% accurate? If the brother hasn't sold the house and still lives there how would I go about claiming a one third share of this house after all these years? Presumably the value of this one third share of my grandparents house will be added into my parents estate when calculating inheritance tax and so I may need to try and force a sale or a buyout of my share of this house.
    My father has no intention of trying to sort this mess out and just presumes I will be able to sort it after he passes away. I'm not even sure if the brother who refused to sell may have acquired some kind of squatters rights after living there for the last 40 years which would negate any claim I have on the house?
Page 1
    • caprikid1
    • By caprikid1 7th Mar 18, 2:02 PM
    • 589 Posts
    • 592 Thanks
    • #2
    • 7th Mar 18, 2:02 PM
    • #2
    • 7th Mar 18, 2:02 PM
    You need to speak to a specialist solicitor I think, cases of this nature are not really suited to internet lawyers IMHO.
    • pearl123
    • By pearl123 7th Mar 18, 2:15 PM
    • 1,376 Posts
    • 2,064 Thanks
    • #3
    • 7th Mar 18, 2:15 PM
    • #3
    • 7th Mar 18, 2:15 PM
    You need to speak to a specialist solicitor I think, cases of this nature are not really suited to internet lawyers IMHO.
    Originally posted by caprikid1
    100% agree with the above. I think the sooner you get advice the better.
    • clairesilverspar
    • By clairesilverspar 7th Mar 18, 2:32 PM
    • 78 Posts
    • 90 Thanks
    • #4
    • 7th Mar 18, 2:32 PM
    • #4
    • 7th Mar 18, 2:32 PM
    You need professional advice, I agree with previous posters. Many solicitors will offer a free half hour consultation which will allow you a quick discussion to figure out the appropriate action.

    In the meantime, the Land Registry will be able to tell you the owner of the property, I think it costs 3 for a copy of the registry entry.
    You can also set up property alerts for free for the address which will send you an e-mail if there is ever an update to the entry.
    Buy a copy of the title info:
    Property Alert:
    • Sjb650s
    • By Sjb650s 7th Mar 18, 8:10 PM
    • 2 Posts
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    • #5
    • 7th Mar 18, 8:10 PM
    • #5
    • 7th Mar 18, 8:10 PM
    I've checked on the land registry now and it says there are no records of any titles on this property so I presume that means it hasn't been sold. I guess a visit to a solicitor for a consultation is the next step, but I'll speak to my dad first to see how he feels about me starting down this route now.
    • unholyangel
    • By unholyangel 8th Mar 18, 2:25 AM
    • 12,286 Posts
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    • #6
    • 8th Mar 18, 2:25 AM
    • #6
    • 8th Mar 18, 2:25 AM
    I don't see the point of OP getting legal advice at this stage - at the moment OP has no legal standing to act in any capacity regarding it and even if he is explicitly named in a will by his parents as executor, that doesn't take effect until their death. There are also too many uncertainties. What if the brother passes before OP's parents (does he have any children?). What if OP passes before his parents. Perhaps his father will leave a life interest to the brother. Its been 40 years and he's clearly not willing to take action against his brother for whatever reason.

    The father on the other hand, should get legal advice and try and get this sorted rather than potentially leaving his own estate in a mess. But ultimately thats his choice - they are his assets so he is free to spend, loan or dispose of them as he sees fit, in life and upon death.

    Plus if your dads went 40 years (and counting) because he's so set against taking his brother to court, I wouldn't expect him to support you doing so in his name. Think about it for a second. It was such a massive falling out that they haven't spoken in 40 years......yet your father still hasn't taken action against him. If he wouldn't then, he's unlikely to support it now when his brother is (going off what you said) approaching his 80's also.
    Money doesn't solve creates it.
    • Savvy_Sue
    • By Savvy_Sue 8th Mar 18, 11:36 AM
    • 38,481 Posts
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    • #7
    • 8th Mar 18, 11:36 AM
    • #7
    • 8th Mar 18, 11:36 AM
    I don't know where the OP or this house are, but if it was possible I might swing by occasionally and just check it looked inhabited!

    Or there's Google Street View, although that only gives you a snapshot of some point in the not so distant past.
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    • buildersdaughter
    • By buildersdaughter 8th Mar 18, 4:11 PM
    • 163 Posts
    • 419 Thanks
    • #8
    • 8th Mar 18, 4:11 PM
    • #8
    • 8th Mar 18, 4:11 PM
    Although I take the point that at the moment you have no legal standing, I do see that you want to know how things stand.
    You say that your father assumes you'll be able to sort it all out after his death. How would he react if you said that you would like, for your own peace of mind, to get some legal advice, and would he help you to do so?
    If say, your uncle has died, or gone into care, and left no paperwork, the house may be neglected and / or empty.
    I would look on the electoral roll (often doesn't return much, but worth a little bit of time).
    And I agree with Savvy Sue - although I guess you have to be careful not to look as if you're stalking! And regarding Google Street View, I know ours is at least 7 years out of date!
    I'd also think about tentative approaches to other family members who might be in some sort of touch with your estranged uncle, just to find out if he's still there, still alive, moved anyone else in......That may be inappropriate, but you often find that an estranged family member sometimes sees another in the street, or knows a neighbour who tells them the news - or something.
    I do hope you can sort something out.
    Last edited by buildersdaughter; 08-03-2018 at 6:12 PM. Reason: missed a previous post
    • Judi
    • By Judi 8th Mar 18, 7:03 PM
    • 16,109 Posts
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    • #9
    • 8th Mar 18, 7:03 PM
    • #9
    • 8th Mar 18, 7:03 PM
    Would you really kick an elderly man out onto the streets? Whilst I do have sympathy for you the old guy can't have many years left and your Dad isn't exactly willing to take it further.
    'Holy crap on a cracker!'
    • buildersdaughter
    • By buildersdaughter 8th Mar 18, 9:57 PM
    • 163 Posts
    • 419 Thanks
    It's for OP to answer, but I think that their concern is to know where everyone stands legally and ensure that their grandmother's will is followed. Protecting their father's and their own assets does not mean 'kicking an elderly man out on the street'. They do not even have to charge him rent. They can simply ensure that 1/3 of the value of the house forms part of their father's estate.
    • Money maker
    • By Money maker 8th Mar 18, 10:06 PM
    • 4,982 Posts
    • 11,324 Thanks
    Money maker
    If he needs residential care then the situation may change as the house would need to be sold to pay for it. What if the brother has married and had offspring? Too many unknown scenarios.
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    • Spendless
    • By Spendless 9th Mar 18, 6:14 AM
    • 20,142 Posts
    • 33,332 Thanks
    It's not currently your issue to sort out. Both your parents are alive. If your Dad dies, your Mum may inherit. If your surviving parent needs to go in a Nursing home, they may be a need for fees to be paid from the sale of any property.

    Your father's other brother (the one who also initially was going to court) could also go and find out if their estranged brother still lives there and what happens on the event of their death.
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