A Conversation for Ask h2g2

Is there a solicitor in the house?

Post 1

Cheerful Dragon

My mother died intestate in October 2017. My sister, being the elder, is executor. The house was valued quite quickly, so I know how much I can expect from that. However, 17 months on and Mum's bank accounts are still open and nothing has been done about the contents of the house.

My problem is this. My sister wants to give me her share of Mum's money as a down payment against the value of the house, which she isn't planning to sell. She also intends to cash in her own pensions and give me that money. She reckons that she'll be able to cover about 60% of what I'm owed that way. Her partner has suggested that I put a charge on the house to prevent her selling it until I get the balance of what I'm owed. I mentioned this to my husband and he said that I was unlikely to ever see the balance if I did that. Knowing my sister, he's probably right. In fact, knowing her as I do, I'm unlikely to see the balance unless I tie her in legal knots. Unfortunately I don't have access to Citizen's Advice and solicitors are thin on the ground around here. Even if I could find a solicitor, I couldn't afford the fees.

Can anybody offer any advice on this situation?


Is there a solicitor in the house?

Post 2

Baron Grim

smiley - lurk


Is there a solicitor in the house?

Post 3

bobstafford

Did your mother have a solicitor, they should administer the will and make sure the estate is shared as your mother wanted.

Start there and become the solicitor's client (if your sister has not done it already) that will give you priority over other claims as he cant work for both parties. Any other claimants must find another solicitor if that is you find a solicitor and let them do the talking for you.

Good luck and keep a record and talk to her via your solicitors who will record all conversations and agreements.
What ever you do do it ASAP!
smiley - goodluck


Is there a solicitor in the house?

Post 4

bobstafford

PS The solicitors should be able to arrange payment of the fees from your share when the case is closed. You just ask before you start.


Is there a solicitor in the house?

Post 5

Cheerful Dragon

AFAIK mum didn't have a solicitor. She didn't make a will, despite knowing first-hand the problems that occur when someone dies intestate.

I've looked online at what local solicitors charge. As I said, right now I can't afford them. As for getting a solicitor involved and all communication with my sister being done by the solicitor, I know what will happen then. My sister will take it as an insult and a slur on her trustworthiness (which I don't rate highly, but that's another matter). It's going to be hard enough to get the money out of her without any additional friction.

Thanks for the advice. I may have to bite the bullet and contact someone as local as possible. They'll have to accept that their fees will be coming out of my inheritance.


Is there a solicitor in the house?

Post 6

Baron Grim

smiley - offtopic I finally read that correctly. I was baffled considering the ramifications of dying "interstate". I was thinking it involved a road trip. smiley - dohsmiley - laugh


Is there a solicitor in the house?

Post 7

bobstafford

"My sister will take it as an insult and a slur on her trustworthiness"
Its your inheritance People tend to do that if you want to do things fairly and properly when money is involved, just be careful.


Is there a solicitor in the house?

Post 8

Baron Grim

It's shameful, but all too common that family and friends can be completely and irrevocably divided by a death with unclear inheritance.

Before my father's father died, he made a will. He set up a trust fund to take care of his second wife for the rest of her days. Upon her death the property would be divided equally among his son and daughter and his second wife's two daughters. He omitted her two sons completely as it was expected that they were in no way dependent on either their mother or step father. Everyone named in the will at the time agreed and signed. Unfortunately, my grandfather never got his will properly... something... escrowed? Notarized.. something made it not as binding as we all expected. On her deathbed, one of my step-grandmother's sons convinced her to sign a will he likely wrote himself (he had a law degree but never passed the bar). She was functionally illiterate and I'm positive he coerced her into signing it. The new will kept her two daughters with their previous 1/4 share each, but took my father and aunt down to 1/8 splitting their shares with the two step sons. The worst of it was that one of my dad's stepsisters and her husband were my parents best friends until this. They no longer speak. (I wouldn't piss on either of them if they were on fire. smiley - cross)



A good friend of mine now suspects his step sister of not only stealing much of his inheritance, but also suspects his step mother of possibly poisoning his father.

Poorly planned dispensation of estates can really destroy friends and family relationships.


I have no direct descendants, but I do need to write my own will... SOON.


Is there a solicitor in the house?

Post 9

paulh. the world is a circus, but why d I have to work without a net?

I wrote the first draft of my will the other day, and have compiled a list of local lawyers who specialize in wills and estates. As far as anyone knowing what my intentions are, at least that first draft now exists.

More will need to be done.

My father recently died, and I will ultimately find out how much my own inheritance is. I will probably put that money into a safe account against my own needs for long term care when the time comes. If my old age turns out to be like that of my father, I will be independent for a very long time. If I'm like my mother, I will be very frail for at least ten years. Assisted living might be somewhere in the middle.

I think I can understand how important a house can be. That's the asset that people get emotional about, because it comes with memories of happier times. Stocks and bonds? Not so much.


Is there a solicitor in the house?

Post 10

Cheerful Dragon

Hubby and I know that whichever of us dies first, the other gets everything (no children). We each need to make a will to determine what happens when the other one dies. He has a brother with children, I have the already mentioned sister, who has children. I don't know how hubby feels about his brother or the brother's children inheriting, but I know that I don't want my sister to inherit. (There was already some friction between us and mum dying intestate isn't helping.)


Is there a solicitor in the house?

Post 11

Cheerful Dragon

As for the house, neither of us has any cherished memories associated with it. It's the home mum bought after dad died, so it's not where we grew up. My sister is keeping it to give her sons somewhere to live, probably rent free. I don't mind that except that a chunk of my inheritance is tied up in it.


Is there a solicitor in the house?

Post 12

paulh. the world is a circus, but why d I have to work without a net?

This does not sound like a good situation. smiley - sadface


Is there a solicitor in the house?

Post 13

Baron Grim

I have a nephew who has started his own family. He's my sister's son. She died when he was young. I'm sure a significant amount of my estate will go to him and his family.

But I also want to give, maybe as much as half, to a charity (maybe the ACLU, Planned Parenthood, COTA, NPR, maybe some or each of these and others, or maybe to the cult I belong to, the Church of the Subgenius. I'm sure they would spend it on an extravagant joke!)

Also important to me is what is done with my remains, or more to the point, what I DON'T want done with my remains. No preachers allowed to my funeral/wake/whatever. No preservatives (embalming) or cremation (too wasteful). After my usable organs are harvested, I'm considering donating the rest to my alma mater's "body farm" for study by future forensic scientists. Or possibly some new form of green burial, like liquifaction or freeze drying. Or simply toss me to the sea creatures.

Ideally, I'd like to be simply planted in the ground and have a fruit tree as my gravestone and let my friends come by on occasion, pick a peach or pear or loquat and say, "Rob sure is tasting good this year."

But I doubt I have any friends that would do so, so I'm leaning toward the sea creatures.
smiley - dolphinsmiley - fishsmiley - bluefishsmiley - orangefishsmiley - hsifsmiley - schooloffishsmiley - sharksmiley - dolphinsmiley - hsifsmiley - sharksmiley - orangefishsmiley - fishsmiley - dolphin
smiley - canofwormssmiley - bluefishsmiley - dolphinsmiley - fishsmiley - bluefishsmiley - orangefishsmiley - hsifsmiley - schooloffishsmiley - sharksmiley - dolphinsmiley - hsifsmiley - shark
smiley - orangefishsmiley - fishsmiley - dolphinsmiley - canofwormssmiley - bluefishsmiley - dolphinsmiley - fishsmiley - bluefishsmiley - orangefishsmiley - hsifsmiley - schooloffishsmiley - shark
smiley - dolphinsmiley - hsifsmiley - sharksmiley - orangefishsmiley - fishsmiley - dolphinsmiley - canofwormssmiley - bluefishsmiley - dolphinsmiley - fishsmiley - bluefishsmiley - orangefish
smiley - hsifsmiley - schooloffishsmiley - sharksmiley - dolphinsmiley - hsifsmiley - sharksmiley - orangefishsmiley - fishsmiley - dolphinsmiley - canofwormssmiley - bluefish


Is there a solicitor in the house?

Post 14

Cheerful Dragon

Whatever your post mortem wishes, make sure they are known well in advance. Don't put them in your will as it probably won't be read until after the funeral.

I've told hubby that I don't want anyone to wear black to my funeral (unless it's a colour they wear a lot). I'd rather people wore clothes they look and feel good in. I agree about no preaching or eulogies. Unfortunately I will have to be cremated. The family plot in the local cemetery is big enough for one coffin burial or four cremations. Hubby's parents are already in there and I want my remains to rest with his when the time comes.


Is there a solicitor in the house?

Post 15

Baron Grim

My mother gave my plot away years ago to a cousin when she died.

I definitely do not want my body rotting away in a cemetery. (Unless it's a Pet Semetary. Sure, sometimes dead is better, but that's the viewpoint of the living. I think I'd like to be undead. No job worries, no taxes, no relationship strife... the zombie life sounds good to me.)


Is there a solicitor in the house?

Post 16

paulh. the world is a circus, but why d I have to work without a net?

Here's an option that will, I hope, be used more as time goes by:
http://www.echoinggreen.org/fellows/katrina-spade


Is there a solicitor in the house?

Post 17

Still Incognitas, Still Chairthingy, Still lurking, Still invisible, unnoticeable, missable, unseen, just haunting h2g2

Always use a solicitor when making a will. It will spare a lot of expense for your heirs.


Is there a solicitor in the house?

Post 18

paulh. the world is a circus, but why d I have to work without a net?

MY nephew is married to a lawyer. She has helped my family deal with our wills.


Is there a solicitor in the house?

Post 19

You can call me TC

Perhaps you could stay on amicable terms with your sister by simply saying you think it would be an idea if a solicitor helped you sort it out. Rather than confronting her with a fait accompli and bringing the solicitor on board first. (Of course you can still contact the solicitor first, just don't tell her that.)


Is there a solicitor in the house?

Post 20

Orcus

Yes what TC just said - I was just about to post that myself. A Lawyer is the nuclear option, might be irrevocable fall-out doing that without any prior warning. At least if you're semi-nice about it first it might soften the blow.


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