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Clare, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 35214
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practice since 1985 with a wide general experience.
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My Dad lived with Judith (not my Mum) as man & wife for 30+

Customer Question

My Dad lived with Judith (not my Mum) as man & wife for 30+ years.

They never married & the house was in her name only … even though my Dad contributed more than 50% to their joint wealth.

Judith died unexpectedly 15 years ago.

Judith’s four brothers then came out of the woodwork & said that my Dad was just a lodger & they wanted the house.

Eventually we got a court order to allow him to live in the house until he died but it took years to get it & his partners brothers subjected him to totally unnecessary stress during his bereavement by fighting us all the way.

Fast forward to today … my Dad will likely die within the next few months.

The house in which he lives is crammed full of worthless rubbish & old furniture & it my intention (when the time comes) to inform Judith’s brothers that my Dad is no longer living in the house & they can get the keys from the next door neighbour.

I will not be clearing the house in any way.

It’s my belief that as next of kin I have no liability in law to clear the house where my Dad had been living. Am I correct? (after all, I might have had no involvement with my Dad for 60 years & be living abroad so I can’t see how I could suddenly have this liability).

Additionally, I will be sole executor & I believe I also do not have a legal liability to clear the house. Am I correct?

Kind Regards XXXXX
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Clare replied 4 years 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.
Just to check - do any of the contents date back to Judith's time?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

To be honest, yes & no but that is only because I have known the house over the past 30 years. To any third party / outsider or Judith's brothers, no one would be able to prove if an item had appeared since Judith died or whether it had been there before.


Apart from clearing my Dad's clothes & a few small mementos, my stance will be - anything that is in the house might have belonged to Judith & as such it would be inappropriate for me to remove anything that legally might belong to her brothers.


Bloody minded I know, but after what the brothers put my Dad through, I will not be paying a penny (of my own money as Dad has nothing) to make their life easier when they finally get their hands on the house.


Kind regards


Expert:  Clare replied 4 years ago.
Then that is fine
As you say it would be entirely inappropriate for you to remove anything that might belong to these gentlemen and there is no requirement upon you to do so
Unless the court order states that the property will be returned cleared (which I doubt)
Please ask if you need further details