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F E Smith
F E Smith, Advocate
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 8966
Experience:  I have been practising for 30 years.
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I would like an answer to the following question: My mother

Resolved Question:

Dear Sir/Madam,
I would like an answer to the following question:
My mother is elderly and suffers from a progressive heart condition. She was given three months to live in June 2015 but is thankfully still with us. Her house is in her sole name and she has not made a will and has refused to do so. She is now no longer in a state to make a will as she has lost her short-term memory and cannot remember anything that occurred even a few minutes ago.
I am her son. I am 50 years old and employed full-time. I have been living in her house for the last 40 years with the exception of one period of about a year which occurred about 10 years ago. Up to about 2 years ago, I contributed £300 per month to my mum for household expenses but stopped this payment at her explicit request. I made these payments for about 10 years but since I stopped making them, I have been living in her house rent free.
I have 4 siblings but only have any kind of relationship with one of them. She is one of my sisters, lives in London and visits the house daily to look after both my mum and the house. She does a fantastic job I freely admit. However, she is in regular contact with my other siblings who have made strenuous efforts in the past to gain control of my mother's property. For this reason, my relationship with my sister is polite but not close.
I simply want to know if I have any rights at all to stop my other siblings gaining access to the property after my mother passes away. I am afraid that my sister will allow them in and, given the history of bad blood between them and my mother, it would pain me enormously to see them enjoying the property even temporarily after her death.
I realise that the house will have to be sold and my mother's assets shared among her children and I have no problem at all with the law running its course. However, please can you advise me if I will be compelled to tolerate my siblings having access to my mother's house after she passes. Also, I would like to know if my rights vis a vis my mother's estate would be affected if I decided to move out after her death.
Thank you.
Shafiq Fakir
Submitted: 7 months ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  F E Smith replied 7 months ago.

With no spouse and only her children, under the rules of intestacy, the house and all the assets would be divided equally between the children.

You would have extra claim on house if you had contributed to the fabric of the house, not just the bills. It’s not an easy claim to bring would be difficult to prove.

The fact that you may have lived in the house for the last 40 years does not give you any more right to exclude your siblings than it does for them to exclude you.

Someone has to take control of the estate and the property and apply for probate to allow the property to be sold.

Your rights regarding the estate remain the same whether you move out of the property or remain in it. However from the date of your mother’s death you would be liable to pay an occupational rent of 1/5 of the market rent in respect of your occupation of your occupation of your 4 siblings share.

Can I clarify anything for you?

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
your last paragraph is unclear. You have repeated a phrase and I do not understand what you mean by 'of your 4 siblings share'.Please clarify.S
Expert:  F E Smith replied 7 months ago.

No problem.

There are 5 children of which you are 1.

You own the house between you 1/5th each on your mother’s death.

Hence, if you remain in the property, you cannot only live in your 1/5 of the property, you have to occupy the whole and hence, whatever a market rent for the whole property would be you would have to pay 4/5 of that, 1/5 to each of your siblings in respect of your occupation of each of their shares of the property.

F E Smith, Advocate
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 8966
Experience: I have been practising for 30 years.
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