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F E Smith
F E Smith, Advocate
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 16970
Experience:  I have been practising for 30 years.
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I need to get legal advice regarding a family inheritance

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I need to get legal advice regarding a family inheritance issue
JA: Where are you? It matters because laws vary by location.
Customer: London chiswick
JA: What steps have you taken so far?
Customer: nothing
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: I have became the career of my younger sister when she was 10 years old after my mum and nan passed away, i was 20 at the time, we was left a house by my nan we had money within the house in trust for my sister during the years of caring for her she spent a large amount and we put a large amount back in to the house, she is now threnting to take me to court as she wants the full amount owed to her, I would ;like to know where i stand as i have cared and paid for everything for her since she was 10 she is now 24 years old and wants to take me too court
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Thank you!
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I would like an answer

Good morning. I will assist with your question but need more info - be aware this is an email not chat service and i therefore maybe delayed in replying.

the house was left 50/50?

and was the money in trust left entirely for your sister and not you for caring for her?

what has she spent and what on?

what is she wanting back from you?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The house was left for myself brother and sister, I was 20 years old my brother 23 and my sister 10years, we had to remortgage the house as we was in debt after my nan passed, to pay to rebuilds part of the house to rent out and pay some debts, in that time about 5 years ago the house burnt down in a freak fire, was left empty for a while the insurance did out as there was a electrician who had done some work which was illegal and we had to take him to court, in the meantime we could not keep the house running and had to sell. as we could not afford to keep it going.we sold and my brother split the money three ways between us we took out the money moneys we had spent on the property all the mortgage payments as i had got out loans to keep it going etc during that time.In the mean time my sister had been taking out many loans and debts I had to pay back on her behalf, she has lived with me since was 10 years old i have paid for everything for her with no help, after she turns 18 she started making for money for holidays lots of extra stuff bank transfers etc. and in the mean time git out phone contracts on my name ran up very large bills, along with high percentage pay day loans etc, she did not pay these back and i would get bailiffs at the door so i would pay back on her behalf with the money that was hers.I have never used the money from the house to bring her up to care fr her i have taken her on many holidays given her the best life possible but she kept on asking for bank transfer and stealing money.She has now turned round and said she wants all the money from the house etc and wants tp take me to court i want to know what sort of position I'm in?

Thank you. You are not entitled to be paid anything for what is called gratuitous care. That is looking after your sister. I don’t think that’s what your asking for which I mention for completeness.

I cannot understand however what has happened financially.

The three of you inherited the house and from what you have said it was in a bit of a mess and you had to raise a mortgage to repair it.

You then say you sold the house and the money was split three ways. So far so good.

I’m not certain therefore what the problem is.

It would assist me if you were clearer with regard to exactly what your sister is claiming and exactly what you have to give her and what the problem is.

Have you had a letter from solicitors and if so, can you attach it please?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
No at present i haven't had a letter from a solicitor she has just said she will take us to court, the money that was given after the sale of the house went in to an account from that money i room out the money that had been spent on the house such as many mortgage payments and works that had been carried out on the house she then had left around d 38k which as mentioned she then ended up spending as she got out loads of loan, phone contracts etc asked for bank transfers etc which i paid for. (outside of any money i paid to bring her up) obviously over the years i paid for everything for her school, uniform food, holidays I'm not claiming this has come out of her money just the money she spent on payday loans money she asked for to be transferred over a number of years etc.She is now claiming she is owed 100k from the house has she says its should of been spilt three ways however she is not taking in to consideration all the money she has spent and the money that had to be put back in the house to run which i did single handily to keep it going for a number of years.
We have had a great relationship until now i have done everything for her since i was 20 years old, she has now just turned on me. saying she will be taking me to court for the full amount?I just want to gage where that leaves me as i do not have the money to pay her that? I had a business that i lost last year as i lost my premises and lost everything. if she takes me to court what would the worse case be? would the court look at all the money she has spent? that i had to pay off when i had bailiffs coming to the house for her debts? etc.As I'm self employed and trying to get another business off the ground is there a chance she can ask for me to be bankrupt?At this stage I'm more upset with the way she has turned on me after everything i have done for me the money i have spent on her over the last 14 yeas is 10 fold but as mentioned I'm not claiming for tat but would the court take that in to consideration?

I’m afraid I still don’t know what exactly happened with the sale proceeds of the house.

I think what you are saying is that the house sold for GBP300,000 but your sister was taking loans out and money for other things which has eaten into her share of GBP100,000 because all those were repaid from the sale proceeds of the house.

Is that it?

At some stage, you are going to need to do a full financial breakdown and now is the time to do that.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
when the house was sold its sold for 300k however there was outstanding mortgage and fees etc so we received £65k out of that after i had paid back what i had put back in the house etc she was left with about 42k out of that she has spent most of it on loans and large phone bills money she asked to be transferred etc, i have all the statements etc, however she is claiming she is owed a full 100k and we need to pay her that in full
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
if it went to court would the court take everything i have said in to consideration
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
what is worse case for me and my brother if she wants to turn quite nasty? as greed dose funny things to people. I'm 5 months pregnant at the moment and just want to try and know what the situation is in terms of legal judgements would i be left to declare bankruptcy or worse could we face criminal charges? I just don't know where i stand? can i get a lawyer to fight my side of things stating that i have done everything in my power for our best interests would i have a counter fight for example. she is still very young 25 years old she is only thinking of the money at this stage not what it will do to our family.

Thank you. We are getting there.

So the net proceeds of the house were GBP65,000 After the mortgage was repaid. You had paid money into the house which, presumably you can prove and must have been for improvements or suchlike and that reduced the share also because you would be entitled to be repaid that first. So she ends up with GBP42,000.

That is straightforward enough. She may have got a small amount of interest over the few years it was on deposit and she didn’t spend any of it but the amount is going to be so small as to hardly worth arguing over.

It would be a case of putting those mathematics down on paper for her showing exactly what was spent where and why even though the house sold for GBP300,000, you had paid for repairs and there was a mortgage which also had to be repaid meaning that she only got GBP42,000.

Depending on the mortgage was the one you took over from your grandmother or whether it was a mortgage that you took out, you would have to prove, in the latter case, how that money was spent on the house and you would have to have something to show for that amount of mortgage.

Sofar it’s a mathematical issue.

It appears that in the interim she went on a spending spree and you paid all the loans. Once again, that’s a mathematical issue which you need to put down to the nth degree.

It really is a mathematical exercise here but you need to be completely crystal-clear with everything that has come in everything that has gone out and everything that you have spent because in this dialogue between us it has been far from clear.

I cannot see any criminal issue here.

If you don’t have a house and you cannot pay whatever money she is asking for, whether that is being asked for as a result of a judgement or just her demands or solicitors letters, and you ultimately go bankrupt, it would obviously affect your credit history for at least five years but would only be problematical asset wise if you have a house because you could lose that.

It’s unlikely you would get a lawyer to deal with this on a no win no fee basis because if they win, there is nothing in it for them.

With respect, what this has to do with the family is irrelevant. She is entitled to whatever money she is entitled to. As I said, at this stage, it’s a mathematical exercise not a legal one.

Can I clarify anything else for you?

I am happy to answer any specific points arising from this.

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Thank you.

If you still need any points clarifying, I will still reply because the thread does not close.

Best wishes.


F E Smith, Advocate
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 16970
Experience: I have been practising for 30 years.
F E Smith and 2 other Law Specialists are ready to help you