Siblings encouraged my mother to change her will

Discussion in 'Wills, inheritances and gifts' started by Rhodeboy, 23 Jan 2013.

  1. Rhodeboy

    Rhodeboy Registered User

    Posts:
    12
    I hope someone can possibly advise me re this mess. My recently deceased mothers will was altered by my brother and sister. My mother had Alzheimer's but a SC advised me to accept my one third share of family home as it was difficult to contest will due to brother & sister being sole executors. Also they are indemnified against costs. They are wealthy individuals and original will left family home to me.
    They have now divided all contents and valuables between each other and put the house for sale last year. It is still for sale but I can get no info re offers etc. The will stated that the house was left equally to all three of us. As I need the money and they don't can I force the auction of the house or get them to pay me off.
    Any advice please
     
  2. beffers

    beffers Frequent Poster

    Posts:
    205
    First of all, my sympathies on your situation. It must be a very difficult time for you. Your siblings do not sound like a nice couple at all. A few questions.

    1. What is a SC, a solicitor? If you have already consulted a solicitor about this mess, he/she is the one that you should be directing these questions towards also.

    2. How do you know that your brother and sister changed the Will themselves, as opposed to your mother changing her mind and doing it? The former is a crime for which they can be prosecuted. It is a very serious accusation. Who were the witnesses to this will? Can you prove that your mothers original will was altered? How do you know that the house was supposed to be left to you alone? You say your mother had Altzheimers. Did she write a new will when she was not of sound mind to do so? Can you prove it? Sadly, all of these questions will need to be answered if you contest the will.

    3. If you choose to leave everything as it is, and the house is up for sale, then the executors have the right to decide what offers to accept, or not accept for it. There is not much that you can do on that score. You can't exactly force them to pay you your 1/3 share of the house if no one has made an offer on it. The law does not take your individual financial circumstance into account. However, executors do have an obligation to discharge their responsibilities (i.e sell the house) within a reasonable time frame. In normal circumstances, the courts would not even consider you having a case as to their dragging their feet on the sale until at least a year has passed. However, these days with the property market being in the state that it is, you'll have your work cut out for you getting the courts to come down heavy on your siblings for any delays in the house selling.

    4. If the house was to be divided between the 3 of you, then its contents should have been too, unless they were left specifically to your brother and sister. Have you received your 1/3 share of these items? If not, you need to take to action, but again, a solicitor would be required or act for you unless you feel up to taking them on all by yourself. Best of luck to you. What a mess.
     
  3. Rhodeboy

    Rhodeboy Registered User

    Posts:
    12
    Hi thanks for reply.
    1. SC is a senior council that I got opinion from
    2 my mother left A copy of her original will with family solicitor. My sister got a friend who is also a solicitor, a retired doctor, ( parent of a friend of hers ) to visit and they altered the will in 2003. My mum was being treated for Alzheimer's since 1999.
    3 new will divided everything 3 ways despite brother & sister being looked after by my parents individually being sorted already, eg family business passed to brother.
    4 everything is gone , money, contents, jewelry etc. Nothing I can do about all of the above because technically they ticked all boxes on altering the will and to quote a solicitor they have much deeper pockets. Also they allowed me and my wife to give up good careers abroad and return to Irl thinking family home would be mine.

    The house is for sale 7 months but I believe from local knowledge they are not willing to negotiate on any offers as they wish to wait for markets to recover.
    This has shattered my belief in justice system in Ireland
     
  4. Guns N Roses

    Guns N Roses Frequent Poster

    Posts:
    551
    Is this just a suspicion or you have any proof to back up this claim?

    I find it hard to believe that they could change her will without her constent and that of her solictor.
     
  5. Guns N Roses

    Guns N Roses Frequent Poster

    Posts:
    551
    Looking from the outside, dividing it 3 ways seems to be the fairest solution regardless how wealthy or poor each party is?

    If I had two sibling who were weathier than me, I wouldn't expect anymore than a third of our parents property when they passed away.
     
  6. mercman

    mercman Guest

    Rhodeboy, have you asked your late mother's doctor concerning his condition when the new will was made ?? If she was not compos mentis at the time, you have a very simple case.

    They are indemnified for the costs as in cases of a will, all expenses are for the estate that is been dealt with.

    As already stated it is a very serious accusation to state that a will was doctored. What was the provision made for the contents, the jewelry and other items in the will. I do stand to be corrected but as a named beneficiary you could legally challenge the sale of the house. The appointment of an executor is to act in a fair and honest manner and to divide the will proceeds honestly and fairly. But be prepared to run up some serious costs in your pursuit of justice.
     
  7. Rhodeboy

    Rhodeboy Registered User

    Posts:
    12
    Definitely have proof as my Mom's solicitor of 20 years kept original will & showed it to me as he was concerned that my Mom was seeing a solicitor connected with my sister. Sad thing is when I asked my Mom about this she couldn't recollect even speaking to a solicitor
     
  8. Rhodeboy

    Rhodeboy Registered User

    Posts:
    12
    I have no beef with siblings being wealthier than me except as I pointed out the reason they are is because my parents provided for them. Brother given a business, sister well paid position in business and substantial amount of money. I emigrated in 1990's as both parents were retired and made my own way in life understanding my legacy was family home, whenever. My wife & I then resigned and returned to Ireland based on this only to have rug pulled from under us.
     
  9. Rhodeboy

    Rhodeboy Registered User

    Posts:
    12
    Her consultant confirmed her illness in a report but would not commit re her mental capacity. My point being that under present law in this place I would probably have to risk everything to gain my rightful inheritance whilst the other parties risked nothing as they were indemnified as executors, given good advice.
    They have now stripped house of contents of value and jewelry etc and gave me an old provisional driving licence belonging to my Mom. I have had to accept all that despite the will stating everything to be divided equally. Now they have house for sale but won't advertise it or negotiate on price as they do not need the money.
    I am trying to rebuild my life and perhaps leave Ireland for good. Does anyone know after a period of 1 year can I force them to perhaps auction the house or alternatively buy out my interest.
    Also they will give me no info or allow me on the property as it was made clear if I did not accept things they were disowning me and my family.
    Sad sad situation.
     
  10. mercman

    mercman Guest

    As a point of note a solicitor is not a doctor and vice versa. The longer the house is left unsold, the more it will cost in interest and fees. The doctor (GP) is the important witness in this instance IMO. If he is unwilling or unable to help you, then you are on a hiding to nothing.
     
  11. Rhodeboy

    Rhodeboy Registered User

    Posts:
    12
    Thanks Mercman. I should have pointed out that I have withdrawn my caveat against probate since last year as I knew that the burden of proof was firmly with me.
    I guess I have to wait like an obedient boy until they decide to settle the sale of house. Maybe I should insist that the house be placed in 3 names as per terms of will, then I would have a democratic say.
     
  12. mercman

    mercman Guest

    For what it's worth, have you tried talking with a solicitor ??
     
  13. Rhodeboy

    Rhodeboy Registered User

    Posts:
    12
    Yeah solicitor representing me said it was one of the worst cases he has seen but saying that it would be extremely difficult to get the will overturned.
    He advised that I do not raise the issue of contents/ money/ jewellery until I get a cheque from proceeds of house sale. Unfortunately they hold all the cards.
     
  14. Bronte

    Bronte Frequent Poster

    Posts:
    12,821
    I think you've got a good solicitor there and his advice is sound. You are going to have to let this go. That's easy to say and very hard to do.

    Maybe if you wrote each of them a letter outlining what they have done to you it will help to get it off your chest. Otherwise it may consume you and eat you up. People are what they are. Now you know what your siblings are. It is a terrible realisation late in life. But they will have to live with what they have done. Just try and walk away from it as best you can. Try and find happiness in that which you have. Life is too short.
     
  15. Rhodeboy

    Rhodeboy Registered User

    Posts:
    12
    Thanks guys for all replies, some good advice given.
     
  16. huskerdu

    huskerdu Frequent Poster

    Posts:
    2,089
    Sadly, this is probably the best advice you will get. The important thing at this point is to make sure that it does not affect your life or your memoryt of your mother.
     
  17. nediaaa

    nediaaa Frequent Poster

    Posts:
    175
    Are you on speaking terms with your brother and sister?
    Have you talked to them about the situation?
    Who was caring for your mother whie you were away?
     
  18. Rhodeboy

    Rhodeboy Registered User

    Posts:
    12
    No as said they disowned and cut all contact with me my wife and young son.
    My parents were lucky that they could afford to employ a lady up until my dad died. Then my sister took my Mom for 5 months then pit her in a nursing home.
     
  19. khairabar

    khairabar Registered User

    Posts:
    46
    While it may not be what you want to hear, I wonder was there an element of complacency in your living abroad during your mother's last years? Of taking not only her will for granted, but your mother herself ?

    None of this would have arisen, for example, had you yourself been looking after your mother on a daily basis during this time, rather than being abroad and to that extent leaving her care to fall to your sister as you relate, thereby giving both her and your brother, and indeed your mother too, a plausible basis for pursuing and enacting the changes to the will. There is also the question of who paid her care costs after going to the Nursing Home.

    These are just my thoughts. I have some experience of such a scenario.

    kb
     
  20. Bronco Lane

    Bronco Lane Frequent Poster

    Posts:
    328
    I really sympathise with your situation. Similar in ways to my own. My father in nursing home for past 18 months. Family home has been cleaned out of all valuable items over the past year. I noticed that over the Christmas, what you might call the secondary valuable items have also disappeared. A few shiny trinkets left for myself and my brother when the time comes to share out the remaining "junk".

    Before Christmas my sister had my father mentally assessed (She said that it was the nursing home that was having him assessed). Results not made available to my brother or myself. The next day after the test my sister calls to nursing home and attempts to get my father to change the will. (everything originally to be divided 3 ways). We don't know if her attempts have been successful. Her husband is the executor of my father's will.

    The relentless greed and grabbing of my sister is staggering.

    I know that this does not really help your case but if I might make a suggestion to others who might be heading in to a similar situation is to get your digital camera out and take as many photograps of items of value in the house. These items can disappear very quickly.