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Ask Clare Your Own Question
Clare
Clare, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 34276
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practice since 1985 with a wide general experience.
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Passed away in March this year and left his

Customer Question

Hello ***** passed away in March this year and left his house equally to me and my brother, and the residuary estate to me and my wife. My brother has lived in the house without contribution for over twenty years. My Father stated in his will that he could stay in the house for twelve months after his death provided he maintained it and paid the bills, after which it would be sold.
My brother changed the locks, but agreed to allow me limited access to clear its contents.This has now stopped happening and he does not respond to requests for access.
Where to I stand with regards ***** ***** my property and its contents?
With thanks
A
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
HiThank you for your questionMy name is ***** ***** do my best to help you but I need some further information firsthas Probate been obtained and who are the named executors?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi Clare
Probate has been obtained and the Executors are a firm of Solicitors
Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
Hi
Has the property been transferred into the names of yourself and your brother?
Clare
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi
As far as I'm aware it has. In any case we held an equal share of the house after my Mothers death i.e. half her share went to my Father and the other half to my brother and I.
Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
Did you brother pay for any of the contents?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
No, only for his own possesions which are mainly contained in his bedroom. He did not contribute to any bills or pay any rent. He may have paid to have the washing machine repaired a few years ago while my father was in hospital. I have no wish to take anything he may say is his and have put things that are his in a living room for him to do with whatever he wishes.
Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
What rooms had you actually worked on?
Who were the contents left to?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I had cleared my own former rooms of rubbish and rubbish from my parents bedroom, a sitting room and a dining room. By rubbish it was mainly accumulated paperwork and newspapers and magazines and contaiminated clothing (there was once a mouse infestation).
The Executors, who wrote the will, intimated that by "residuary estate" my father meant everything left in the house. He did not wish to leave my brother anything other than half the house. He did leave a lump sum to him which I think was my fathers estimate of a years worth of bills.
Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
What remains to be done in the house?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
More clearing of rubbish and outhouses, then valuation and sale of furniture, ornaments etc., removal of my personal effects and anything I may wish to keep.
Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
I have to ask - is there anything which cannot wait until March?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
At the moment I'm able to go round pretty much on a daily basis, this maybe not be the case in March. I'm also concerned about any valuables being removed from the house.
Where do I stand on gaining access to the house?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Where do I stand on gaining access to the house?
What is my course of action if he doesn't leave the house in March?
Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
As a joint owner of the property you are entitled to enter the property when you wish - breaking in if necessary.
However the wording of the Will could be said to have created a right for your brother to live in the property undisturbed until March next year
On balance however the fact that you are already a joint owner shoudl suffice to protect your right of entry UNLESS your mother's will contains a similar clause
I hope that this is of assistance please ask if you need further details
Clare
Clare and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The will doesn't mention "undisturbed" or any other such words, do you mean undisturbed could be implied by simply saying he can occupy the house? Or would it have state it. What do you mean by "UNLESS your mother's will contains a similar clause"?
I was regularly at the house prior to my Fathers death with or without an invitation.
What area of Law is this covered by?
Thank you for your help.
Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
Saying that he can remain in the house could indeed imply the word "undisturbed"
Unless your mother's Will did also give your brother the right to remain in the property then there shoudl be no problem.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thanks for your help. He is refusing access, where do we go from here? Do we need a specialist property solicitor or will any be able to help?
Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
You are entitled to break into the property if need be - and provided he is not in the house at the time.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I was thinking more on the legal side, how can we force him to allow access, i.e. give me a key!
Is it worth getting a solicitors letter or going to court.
Breaking in will not really get me anywhere and probably just antagonise him.
Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
Hi
You can certainly get a solicitor to send a letter - only you know if that is likely to make your brother co-operate.
There is little point in taking any court action until March when you can force a sale