Sister won’t sell the house, wants €50K extra from my half

Discussion in 'Wills, inheritances and gifts' started by mr grumpy, Oct 7, 2017.

  1. mr grumpy

    mr grumpy Registered User

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    Hi all, the probate has completed on the family home in July, and my sister who still lives in the house with her husband and child are making things really awkward.

    Myself and my sister who were made executors and also sole beneficiaries of our late mothers estate have hit a wall. My sister said to me that she doesn’t think the 50/50 split of the sale proceeds of the home is fair and has requested an extra €50k from my half.

    She feels she deserves this as she has lived in the family home and minded our mother up until she went into a nursing home 4 years ago. My sister had the gardens landscaped and generally maintained the house over the last 18 years.

    I had thought very hard about her request and said I would be willing to give her €10k towards the landscaping of the gardens etc.

    She’s been living there generally rent free apart from finishing off the parents mortgage which was for about 3 years of 300€ a month after the passing of our dad in 1999.

    She has refused the €10k and has said she’s staying put and is not moving.

    I’m peeved as my family are being punished because i had moved out of the family home before our dad passed and made a life. I’m married with 4 kids and times are tight for everyone. We could really do with the cash from the house sale.

    As my sister is not willing to talk now, what are my options, can I force her via solicitors to sell up?

    All advice welcome.

    Mr Grumpy.
     
  2. galwaypat

    galwaypat Frequent Poster

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    Thats a shame that this has happened. Its not uncommon thought that someone thinks they deserve more of the pot ,you will need a solicitor I would think and they will take a share of the sale but thats the road she is going down not what your poor mother would have wanted I am sure.
     
  3. bleary

    bleary Frequent Poster

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    So she paid 3 years of the mortgage spent 14 years looking after your mam and the house along with maintenance and upkeep and was left the exact same percentage as you? And now is losing her home ?
    You may think she paid very little of a mortgage compared to today (approximately 10,000) but average house price was 100k around 98 99 .
     
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  4. Vanessa

    Vanessa Frequent Poster

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    Firstly your mother made a will in which her wish was that each of you get 50% of her estate.
    You have a number of options.
    1. Come to an agreement with your sister. 50000 seems a lot but she has made a contribution to mortgage landscaping etc. There should be a negotiated sum in recognition of this contribution.

    2. If you cannot come to an agreement you have the legal option of taking a case to court to obtain your inheritance. This will take at least a year to come to court and you would win. Costs would be high.

    3. Your sister is being unreasonable in denying you your inheritance and disregarding your mothers wishes. Legal action will probably result in a family split but if she continues to deny you your entitlement she is not being very family minded anyway and you might be as well off not having any contact with her
     
  5. noproblem

    noproblem Frequent Poster

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    Is the house/property worth enough for you to go down the legal route?
     
  6. TheBigShort

    TheBigShort Frequent Poster

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    Last edited: Oct 8, 2017
    Without knowing the value of the property its hard to gauge.

    How much of the value of the property is reflected in the maintenance of the property, including landscape gardening?
    What would the value of the property be today if it had zero maintenance over the last 18yrs?

    The terms and conditions of the 'rental' agreement between your parents and your sister are not really any of your business. Would I be wrong in thinking that at some point you also lived there rent free?
    Your interest in the value of the property only really matters from the point that you inherited the property. Anything else before that is moot, unless you can show how you added value to the property yourself.
    Having paid €11000+ in mortgage, landscaped the garden, maintenance, I can see how your sister is adding things up.
    Had your sister not lived there, would your mother gone into a home earlier? If so, it may be worth considering how much saved in nursing home fees.

    Notwithstanding your own financial difficulties, but without knowing the value of the house, it is hard to empathize with your situation. If the house is valued €300,000, then perhaps €50,000 from your half is excessive, but if the house is €600,000 or even more then I would probably try negotiate your sister down to €30 - €35000 and take the hit.

    Finally, avoid all advice that recommends cutting off contact with your sister.
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2017
  7. llgon

    llgon Frequent Poster

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    If this is the case you would presumably say the same to his sister.
     
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  8. torblednam

    torblednam Frequent Poster

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    Just a brief arithmetic alert for anyone not spotting the blindingly obvious: if the sister gets an extra 50,000 from the brothers half of the sale this means she receives 100,000 more than him from the sale.

    I don't really see the point in the speculative replies here, trying to make a case for the sister. Her issue, if she has one, is with her late mother; the OP didn't write the will.
     
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  9. TheBigShort

    TheBigShort Frequent Poster

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    Absolutely, unless;

    House maintenance, garden landscape, paying off mortgage for three years...stuff like that.

    No one is making a case for the sister. Just responding to the request above;

    ...based on information provided.

    Perhaps so, but realistically, sister and brother have to deal with each other.
    He is legally entitled to pursue his 50% share. It is not clear if there is a legal entitlement, or requirement, to sell the property. If not, his sister, as a 50% shareholder will be well within her rights to continue living there. Perhaps that is her motive? Intention?

    Considering the info above and depending on the house value, my advice would be to cut a deal, provide yourself with some financial relief and move on to happier times.
     
  10. Sarenco

    Sarenco Frequent Poster

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    Whether or not the sister paid the mortgage for a period or added value to the property is completely irrelevant.

    The mother left each child a 50% share in her estate and the executors of the will have a legal obligation to apply the proceeds of the estate in accordance with her wishes.

    If the brother subsequently decides to make a gift to his sister (which would be taxable) that's his prerogative but it has nothing to do with the application of the mother's estate.
     
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  11. TheBigShort

    TheBigShort Frequent Poster

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    Absolutely spot on.

    One slight problem, "sister won't sell house" and he could really do with cash from house sale. This would indicate that the sister is under no obligation to sell.
    He could be waiting a long time for his 50%.
    Again, depending on the value of the house and how much his 50% is worth, it would be my advice to try cut a deal with sister.
    Notwithstanding his legal entitlement,
    50% of sale minus €x is better than 50% of nothing - especially if he could really use the money.
     
  12. llgon

    llgon Frequent Poster

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    If his sister is to use paying rent/mortgage as part of her justification to seek money from the OP's share of his mother's estate then how can it not be any of his business?
     
  13. Sarenco

    Sarenco Frequent Poster

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    BS

    The sister is obliged, as a co-executor, to administer the estate in accordance with the terms of the will.

    So, yes, she is under an obligation to facilitate the sale of the property - she has no discretion in this regard. The sister can be removed as a co-executor if necessary.
     
  14. torblednam

    torblednam Frequent Poster

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    I think BS is hanging his hat on the mother having left the house 50:50, rather than directing it be sold and the proceeds divided 50:50.

    Completely speculatively of course.
     
  15. TheBigShort

    TheBigShort Frequent Poster

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    Well if that's the case, I can't see what the problem is, can you?
     
  16. mr grumpy

    mr grumpy Registered User

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    Same properties around the estate which have had refurb €620k approx, our house €520k....
     
  17. TheBigShort

    TheBigShort Frequent Poster

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    I may have misunderstood the situation in the title "sister won't sell house", insofar as it implied that as a 50% holder, and perhaps occupant of the house, that the sister could prevent the sale.
    Also the poster asks "...can I force her to sell up..."
    I mistook this to mean that it wasn't straightforward.
     
  18. Gordon Gekko

    Gordon Gekko Frequent Poster

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    Sounds like you're between a rock and a hard place.

    Have you considered agreeing to her demand for €50k, selling the property, and then reneging on the agreement?

    Your sister is behaving appalling, but two wrongs don't make a right. If it was me, I'd negotiate the €50k downwards and try to settle for 20ish.
     
  19. TheBigShort

    TheBigShort Frequent Poster

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    I'd offer her €280 to your €240 if she agrees to put house for sale tomorrow.
    You lose €20k she gets an 'extra' €40k.
    The alternative is the legal route, which may take some time, but you will win and she knows it.
     
  20. torblednam

    torblednam Frequent Poster

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    Well none of us here knows the actual situation apart from the OP, but I thought the most telling phrase used in the OP was
    To me, this quite clearly implies that the will directs the property be sold and the proceeds split. If it didn't, the discussion / argument would in the first instance be about what's to be done with the house. It would also make no sense to leave a house to two children, as it could only result in a dispute, I'd expect even an incompetent solicitor could give the mother that much advice.