Awful situation over inheritance-who is BU?

(401 Posts)
whoisright Tue 13-Nov-12 08:22:54

I have namechanged as this is such a volatile subject in my family....despite the fact that nobody has even died yet confused

It is a long story and it is bothering me every day because I do not know what to do or say and it is causing no end of upset and stress within the family.

I am the eldest of 3, our parents divorced years ago. My mum lives in family home (big-ish house in good area) with my younger sister who is planning on moving out soon with her dp so they can live together.

HOWEVER dsis has some health issues (epilepsy) and our mum wants to provide for her so the house will (when our parents have died) go to her, if she has moved out she will just move straight back in again and take it over (no mortgage so she wont have to worry about paying as she has no job).

I have accepted this, but my brother is livid. absolutely livid and has said there is no way he will accept this, he wants the house sold and the money split 3 ways. He has said that yes, she is ill but that we all have problems in our lives and it shouldnt be just one child that is provided for.
He himself has a good job, 2 children but a lot of debt and is renting so sees the money as possibly a deposit for a house and he has mentioned to me that my circumstances are not great (we live in a council house, have 4 dcs with a genetic condition and debts too) but really after living with my sister and seeing her every day I know she will never really be able to work so will not get a chance to get a house like that-she is currently waiting for a council flat to move in with her dp temporarily untill time comes that hey get the family home.

I think my brother should really give this up now, stop going on about it and just accept it like I have. The last thing I want in a few years time is to be caught up in a horrible battle over a house. Yes, that amount of money would be life changing but at the end of the day it is my mums house and it is her choice which of her children she leaves it to.

It is causing a lot of tension between my brother and sister they are both gearing up towards a huge fight over this at some point and I dont know what to say. What do i do?

BlueberryHill Tue 13-Nov-12 09:00:22

ihavenofuckingclue and LauriesFairyonthetreeeatsCake are spot on. There are likes and needs, she doesn't need to be in that house and is being reallly selfish. My sympathy for your brother is growing. Your sister, whilst I can see the reasons for her 'needing' more, it doesn't mean that she should have everything.

If your mother doesn't want your DB and DS to have a relationship after she is dead, remember there will just be the three of you as close family, she is going the right way about it.

abitcoldupnorth Tue 13-Nov-12 09:01:14

Never wait for dead-man's money, as one friend with a very rich but long-lived family put it.

And yes, what about care-home fees?

whoisright Tue 13-Nov-12 09:01:31

yes it could last 35 years and I cant cope now being stuck in middle of this horrible argument sad

Dozer Tue 13-Nov-12 09:01:41

It's the 60yo DM who has raised the issue I think? Even if only in theory - and as others say, care costs could easily eat up all of the money - it is still hurtful, because it demonstrates the DM's priorities and favouritism over her DC.

If the mum persists in this plan, which is her right to do so, the the sister's DP is going to gain at the expense of the OP and her brother.

valiumredhead Tue 13-Nov-12 09:02:35

I would just removed myself and refuse to discuss it - this an awful situation.

How old is your sister?
What if your mum lives until she's 90? If your sister is say 20, she wouldn't get the house until she was 50 at which point she may have her own family home. Or is your mum planning on giving it her before she dies?

Dozer Tue 13-Nov-12 09:03:46

You may be able to set it aside and maintain OK relationships with your DM and DSis, but if your brother can't or won't that's his choice, best to stay out of it.

Dozer Tue 13-Nov-12 09:05:07

Not sure of the legalities, but if the DM wants to be sure one child gets the house, and money not used for care, she might sign it over while still alive.

bamboobutton Tue 13-Nov-12 09:05:33

as others have said - how is your non working sister going to pay the, probably huge, inheritance tax on this house?

Bogeyface Tue 13-Nov-12 09:06:00

How old is your sister btw? She sounds incredibly immature. "Just" moving back in may not be an option, as has been explained above. Her bills will go through the roof and her inheritance may mean that she doesnt have the money to pay them if her benefits are stopped, assuming your mum doesnt also have a fat insurance policy that will go to her as well.

You really do need to sit down with your mum and go through the fine detail of this, as she doesnt seem to have considered the fact of inheritance tax, benefit entitlement, care home fees etc. And thats leaving aside the crashing unfairness of her plan.

DontmindifIdo Tue 13-Nov-12 09:06:01

Your mum is only 60, and her youngest child is still sharing this house. Your mum could quite easily live another 30 years, have you sat her down and explained the expectation that your DSis will get this particular house (not just the estate) means she's forcing herself to live in this same house for possibly 30+ years, maintain it, and live in it alone when it's too big for her. Will she be able to run it on a pension? Point out that many older people go from large houses to a care home when actually if they'd gone into a smaller flat without stairs they could easily have coped for longer in the community.

Also ask her if she's also going to be leaving enough money to cover the inheritance tax otherwise Dsis will find she has to sell the house anyway, or at least have a mortgage on it, and all this will be at the expense of her relationship with her son, who of course will see this as a slight.

Point out if Dsis is really waiting to inherit the house before she starts a family has anyone pointed out to her that your mum might live another 30 years and it be too late by the time she inherits it to have DCs. That her DP could get a good job and be able to provide for his family.

Surely the most pratical thing for your mum to do is to think about selling the house once your Dsis has moved out now, buying herself a small flat that would suit her for her old age and if she wants to gift some of the money to her DCs now to help your Dsis and DBro with the deposits for a house you're prepared to step back and allow your "share" to be shared between the other two.

It's your mother that has created this situation, not your brother

ihavenofuckingclue Tue 13-Nov-12 09:08:27

I just want a quiet life and the 3 of us to all get on as when our parents ARE actually gone it will be such a shame for everybody to be arguing.

That's not something you can control.

Bogeyface Tue 13-Nov-12 09:08:48

Oh and signing it over while she is still alive may not work. There are rules in place to stop people doing that if the government believe that it was to avoid paying care fees, especially if the DC concerned has moved out of the family home.

lamename Tue 13-Nov-12 09:09:42

I would make it clear to your mum that she has to rely now on care from the favourite child, and said favourite's current boyfriend. That is only fair. It might make Mommy Dearest think again, to boot.

I'm with your brother - I suspect he can spot stirring a mile off, and he can't have failed to notice the toxic favouritism going on.

ValentineWiggins Tue 13-Nov-12 09:10:33

There's a couple of things here that jump out. The first is that you/your brother have no legal right to anything - so he wouldn't be able to go to court when your DM dies and claim on the estate. He's not currently a dependant of your DM and that's all that counts. But your DSis IS. So if your DM did divide things 3 ways a lawyer could go to court and say that she has an expectation to be supported by the estate the same way as she is currently (ie housed and not have to work). But I don't think they could argue it has to be in the family home.

So the way it stands is (I am not a lawyer tho) that if 1/3 of estate won't buy her a property and enough income to not have to work then she could potentially overturn any will that didn't leave her enough to carry on as she is doing now anyway. It's about dependency.

This is not a comment on what she might do - I don't know her or the rest of you...but I think it is possible.

The best thing you can do is sit down with your DM and ask what she is trying to do. Is she trying to ensure your DSis is housed/supported? If so, can you make her think about whether it has to be in the family house? Because if nothing else if she gets all of that and then ends up single, neither you nor your DB are likely to be helping her when her illness is a problem...

Inheritances (particularly with favouritism) bring out the worst in people - if you can live without the money (and with the emotional fallout of not getting anything) then the best thing you can do for YOU is to stay out of it. Refuse to talk to your brother about it at all.

Good luck and stay strong!

oohlaalaa Tue 13-Nov-12 09:11:18

He that waits for a dead man's shoes may long go barefoot.

My Grandad always looked forward to his rich spinster great aunt's inheritance. She lived to 98 Grandad, my Grandad died at 70. He never did get to enjoy an inheritance, as she outlived him.

I'd keep out of any arguments, your mum's will could change a dozen times yet.

whoisright Tue 13-Nov-12 09:12:01

sister is 25.

Has always been the favourite and I have learnt (horribly)from past ex not to argue with her.

It is in the interest of my own mental health to just let it go.dh not happy though he has a v hard physical job and is unwell he says the time will come one day when he cant work and I am wrong to just leave this situation but I cant argue my sister has been realy unwell sometimes.

ihavenofuckingclue Tue 13-Nov-12 09:12:11

I want to know how the dsis proposes to run the house (council tax, utilities etc) with no money. As I think her benefits would be reduced/stopped (not dla) should she have a a house worth a couple of hundred grand with no mortgage?

DontmindifIdo Tue 13-Nov-12 09:12:21

oh and raise the care home question - my Grandmother recently died, she had lived with my parents for 6 years then 7 in a care home, at the time she moved in with my parents they sold her large 3 bed house in a 'posh' area and she also had signficiant savings - on her death there was £21k left. It took just 7 years to eat through it all, if she'd had to go in a care home rather spend the first 6 years living with my parents, it'd have all gone a lot sooner.

Which of her DCs does she think will take her in and be able to care for her in her old age? Your Dsis might want to, but if she's not able to hold down a job because of her illness, she couldn't care for an elderly person, if your mother pursits in this plan she'll have alienated your Dbro so there's no way she can rely on him to take her in, if she's expecting you too, she'll have to accept you won't do it if you're also going to be cut out of the will.

Say it now, let her plan her old age. Her house is her major asset. She can't assume she won't need to use it.

ValentineWiggins Tue 13-Nov-12 09:13:20

Oh and it might be worth suggesting to your mum that rather than leaving it all to DSis it goes into trust for all 3 of you with the proviso that it can't be sold against DSis's wishes. Then at least however many years down the line when DSis dies/moves you will have 1/3 of the house? It might not help you but it might become an inheritance for your kids instead? Not a perfect solution but better than her getting it all? And it would almost certainly stop any future XP of hers getting it!

valiumredhead Tue 13-Nov-12 09:15:05

How long does your sister think she will be fertile for if she is 25 and you mum is only 60? confused Parents could live for another 40 years!

BeatTheClock Tue 13-Nov-12 09:15:26

I agree with your brother. It should be a 3 way share.

Your mother has lit the touchpaper on this one and I think she is responsible for the bad feeling.

ratspeaker Tue 13-Nov-12 09:15:35

Ultimately it doesn't really matter what people on this thread think is fair or just it is up to your parents what they do with the property.
Does they have other assets and how are they to be divided?
They need to get legal advise and have a will.

There are many things that can happen between now and when your parents die.
What if one dies before the other then the survivor remarries?
What if they decide to sell up and live in the sun?
Remortgage then spend everything on toyboys/chocolate/model railways/bread and milk/heating.

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