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Ask Clare Your Own Question

Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 33283
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practise since 1985 and have specialised in Family Law for the last 10 years
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Please could you give me some advice. My father

Customer Question

Please could you give me some advice.
My father owned a property in my name and my brothers name. He brought the property when he was over 50 and therefore could not get a mortgage. He paid all the deposits and mortgage and council tax. As children we never paid any money.
When my dad wanted to live abroad the house was mortgage and it was agreed that I buy out my brother and own the house and paid my dad the money so he could buy his house aboard.
At the time I was married and my brother was not happy that I would own the house so there was a lot of arguments and they wanted my dad to verbally agreed to put aside some money from the house for my younger brother and sister so that if anything happened my husband would not benefit from the sale of the property.
At the time the arguments got very heated and my father would not agree to pay or set aside anything verbally or agreed to the demands of my brother. My dad really needed the house to be sold so he could have his money but my brother was standing in the way. So I wrote a letter stating I would pay my younger brother and sister something not exceeding £4000 when the property sold. The next day i rewrote the letter to read i would give them a sum according to the sale of the property as I thought I had been hasty and by putting a figure i was not being wise. I mentioned the letter to my brother however, this second copy was not signed by my dad. This was solely to get my brother to agreed to the sale and sign the paper. My dad signed although he made no demands on me to do what I did.
After this everything was signed and my brother demanded my dad pay him £7,500. Which he got once the money was transferred into his account.
Subsequent to that I had the property just short of 3 years and spend a considerable amount on new doors, double glazing, fixing the roof, garden, front garden and other expenses including mortgaged and council tax. I sold the house 3 months before my dad passed away whilst visiting us in the UK.
Due to family disputes about my dad's body, his funeral and other family issues, upsets and arguments and i was planning his funeral and sending his body home and arranging everything i did not give my younger brother or sister anything. I felt that their behaviour was disrespectful and i was blamed for everything. I felt that I could not give them anything because of their behaviour and knowing that my dad did not ever request me to make sure an offer or any offer. Before he went away my younger brother and sister asked him about the house and any money I owed them and he told them both I was not responsible to give them any money and when he was ready he would give them what he thought they should get.
The problem is I have allowed family dispute to hold onto what every I was going to give them and its turned very nasty.
They will not accept the other letter with no amount and are expecting me to pay them both £4000 each.
I calculated I spend over £50,000 on everything in 3 years and only made £25,000 profit as I got 75,000. Just before my dad passed I went throughout the figures with him. This includes £15,000 cash I gave to him when he sold the property to me. He still had a large mortgage of 65,000 and so he got £100,000
My problem is I would like to give them £500.00 each in accordance with the not exceeding £4000.00 and or on whatever profit i make which was the second proposal which was not signed. My brother who has a copy of the signed paper I typed up and got my dad to sign with the not exceeding £4,0000 is holding me to ransome and they are all expecting me to pay out this amount.
I have been foolish to let this extend so far as this was never my intention. But I know my dad's back was against the wall when I came up with the proposal and he signed it to get my brother offer his back, however i know that the amount I would give will not be accepted so the question is am I in my right to offer £500.00 where do i legally stand.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your question.
My name is Clare
I will do my best to help you but I need some further information first.
How much was the house worth and how much was outstanding on the mortgage?
When was your brother released form the mortgage?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.


The house was remortgaged In my name only

There was 65,000 owing and pay to the bank

My brother received 100,000 in his bank which was transferred to his i account and given to dad

I had a mortgage to pay and s

ole owner with the mortgage of £170,000

My brother was release from the mortage march 2010

I sold the property march 2013

My dad passed June 2013

Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
how much was the property sold for?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.


For £250, 000

Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
For clarity.
You promised to pay each of two siblings £4,000
One of them actually received £7,500 from your father anyway, is that correct?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

I promised to pay two younger siblings a sum not to exceed 4000

Not my brother whose name along with mine brought the house.

My question is with the statement not yo exceed £4000 I can give any amount up to £4000.

I want to give a gift of £500 in light of expediture on the property.

Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
Thank you that is clearer.
How have you reached £500 as being the appropriate figure given the profit that you actually made?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Because I have deducted from 75,000

Expediture over 3 years.

I never lived in the property and so i have deducted


Council tax

New double glazing throughout

New front door

Roof leaking work

Clearing of rubbish old furniture

New front garden wall and patio

Fencing, patio and garden work

Plus 15,000 cash given to my dad includes expediture and reduce profit gain.

As well as purchasing the house solely it was with a view to making some profit

Plus repay 170,000 back on interest only

Plus 6000 for selling.

Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
Who lived in the property?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

For some months another sibling not any previously mentioned.

He paid £350 per month

My mortgage repayment was £480

And then £580.00 per month

For the 12 months he lived in property he did not pay council tax at £146.00 per month so i paid the council tax.

When my father resided at the property tjis particular sibling had livef with him. He refuse to move out and he refused to pay council tac.

This is one of the main reason for selling. He did move out eventually he moved without informing me and the property was empty for several months.

Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
For clarity - was that the only point at which you received rent for the property?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.


Thk you

Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
Even the first letter only said "not to exceed £4,000" it does not say you will actually pay £4,000
Accordingly you can pay £500 to each of them and it will then be up to your siblings if they try to take the matter further
You appear to have clear arguments as to the reasoning behind the figure so it will then be up to the court to decide whether or not you were justified!
Please ask if you need further details

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