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Ask Clare Your Own Question

Clare
Clare, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 33281
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practice since 1985 with a wide general experience.
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my father and mother had a house... when my sister got married

Customer Question

my father and mother had a house... when my sister got married she moved in with my brother -in-law. This was going to be a short term arrangement. My father had an agreement drawn up so that my father owned 5/7th shares in the house and my brother in law 2/7. The property had a mortgage and they owned it as tenants in common. My father died so his shares went to my mother. My sister and her husband PLUS their children aged 41 and 39 all live in the house. My mother now has cancer. She needs to sell the house to realise some capital to pay for treatment. They wont sell. Now what? Also.. if Mummy dies will I get anything or not? I dont live there...have paid for my own house .. My mother seems to be scared of my sister who seems to be bullying her more and more. Would like her to sell her part of the house and move here with me but I dont think my sister will have that. My sister is now pressurising my mother to sign the house over to her so that my nieces will be financially secure.. I am not financially secure and my father would have wanted my sister and me to have half each of his estate. The wish of my mother also.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
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 is the house worth?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

About £600 .. give or take. Sorry forgot to tell you that!

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
Does your mother definitely want to sell the property?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

The problem is that my mother has bladder cancer and the operations are quite expensive... she would like to free up some cash and move to somewhere smaller and not have any money worries. My sister seems to bully her quite a lot and sends her to 'her room' which is a bit rich since she owns the lion's share of the house! Does things to the house without asking my mother and expects her to help foot the bill.... all a bit worrying. My mother has her jewellery 'in the loft' and keeps asking for it... they seem reluctant to do anything. My sister says that she sign the house over to her.. but I don't think my mother quite trusts my sister. My sister has seen a solicitor who has told her that 'they' are allowed a bigger share of the house... Mummy worried...can this be so? Meanwhile can she force them to sell...( dont think she would ) or cant they raise a mortgage and buy her out..? They are four working adults and she is an 81 year old pensioner. She pays 25 per week towards bills and Ive told to start writing things down...

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
Yes as a joint owner of the property your mother can force the sale of the property whenever she wishes - if she does actually wish to do so
If you believe that this is truly what she wishes then you need to arrange for her to have independent legal advice so that she can start the process - which may mean that your sister and her family decide to "buy out" your mother's share
I hope that this is of assistance - please ask if you need further details
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

So... can my sister take more than 2/7th of the house because the family have now lived there for years or is my mother safe in the knowledge that she still legally has 5/7th of the house..? Could this be contested?

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
If the Declaration of Trust says 5/7ths then that is what she owns.
However if your sister has paid for improvements that have increased the value of the property that could allow her to claim a larger share
Clare

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