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Inherited house and family


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Apologies for the long post and the ramblings but trying to include details and I’m nervous about posting!

My mother passed away 9 years ago and her house was left to my sister and I. My parents divorced when I was late teens and we are both in our thirties now. Her death happened suddenly so there was no will but I applied for probate so the paperwork has my name and there was a small balance remaining on the mortgage which I paid off. My mother always said the house would go to both of us. My sister, who was still living with my mother when she died, continued to live in the house with her partner.

At first I gave her the option of whether she wanted to stay there and buy out my half or move out and we would sell it. She went back and forth on this and obviously at the time it was difficult as they had lived there together so I didn’t want to force her into a decision. This rolled on and she ended up getting pregnant and after that baby, 2 more children followed in the first few years.

Throughout that time, I was constantly telling her that it needed to be sorted but it was always something, for example when she was pregnant it was when she has the baby she would look at moving out, then she was at home with a newborn etc etc. I looked into her getting a mortgage but she doesn’t work (only her partner does) and their credit is so bad that even with her owning half of the house, they were unable to get a mortgage for my half.

As the house is paid for they were basically living their rent free. My biggest regret in life is that I let it go on. It got to a time where I realised it was in her best interest to not resolve it and she was taking advantage of the situation. She didn’t want to move out but wasn’t making any attempt to pay anything to stay there. Meanwhile I have always rented and been at the mercy of either a landlord or a letting agent. 

I listed with a real estate agent and within a week there was a buyer. My family completely sided with my sister because she didn't want to move and I was accused of selling it out from under her and “kicking her and her children out on the street” (my fathers words)  Like I am responsible for her children. I was basically emotionally blackmailed into pulling out and agreeing to try to let her buy me out privately so she should stay in the house with the children. So she was getting an interest free mortgage here to pay less than 50k.

Her partner’s brother took out a loan of 10k as an initial lump sum and she started making payments to me to buy out the rest of my share For the first 18 months or so this worked ok not great but ok. She missed payments which eventually resulted in my father saying he would collect it from her.

I have lived away for a couple of years now so I don’t always get back home for a few months. I returned home last year where my father told me that (most of) her payments to me were missing. Which resulted in an argument between me and him because he had obviously been telling me that she was sticking to it. I have nothing from her for a year now. I assume she must still be paying the loan back to the brother as it’s a bank loan.

I just want a clean break because she and I do not speak anymore and I think she knows exactly what she’s doing. I don’t get any support about this from my father or anyone else from my family. He gets involved if it’s for her benefit or to keep them in the house because he treats her like a baby, he won’t get involved for me to say it’s unfair for her to live there for nothing. I didn’t even get a message on my birthday because of the tension this causes.

For the past 2 years my father has been living with my grandmother since he separated from his wife and my grandfather passed. In fall he told me that his intention is now for him to move into the house. It’s become too small for my sister (it’s 2 bedroom, she has 4 children and her and partner) so when she moves out he can move in and will pay off me the balance she owes me.

Being separated from his wife I think he is revisiting that he came away from the divorce without it and feels he is entitled to it because he put down the deposit and paid towards it while they were married (it was bought 36 years ago and he has been divorced for 20 years) 

This was supposed to be happening end of last month/beginning of this month and nothing has been mentioned. He has contacted me via message about something else and when I brought up the subject I got no response. This was completely expected because he is exactly like my sister in that they never do what they will say they will by the time they say. 

I didn’t think the situation could get worse from just my sister. Now I’m waiting around for my father before this house is separated? I don’t like the idea of pushing through with selling it for him to not have anywhere to live but meanwhile my sister and her boyfriend continue to live there for however long.

The pandemic is obviously a factor in it now because my father isn't working consistently and I know he has been depressed and if I do push forward with selling I will be blamed again for forcing my sister out in the middle of a quarantine.

Whenever I bring it up to my father I can pick up that he is sick of me talking about it and would prefer if i just left her alone with the house until she is ready to move out, if ever. I’m even doubting that I’m entitled to it because she’s been there for so long. Because I work and I’ve always worked I’m seen as self sufficient and I don’t have kids to look after. Relatives have told me I don’t need the money. Which is not true and completely irrelevant. I am in my late thirties and actually the money would greatly help my partner and I buy our own home. 

Honestly I’m on the verge of going insane. Am I ever gonna make a break from this situation. 

p.s I created this username a long time ago - the irony has not gone unnoticed!

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Settle your mother's estate with the attorney. When someone dies intestate, thier estate is equally divided among heirs. 

Did you volunteer to be the executor? If so check the laws about reimbursement from the estate.

Whatever issues are between you and your sister are different from whatever the laws are regarding settling the estate.

It makes no difference what someone said. No will means you'll have to follow the laws regarding that.

Sell the house and split the proceeds.

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47 minutes ago, Wiseman2 said:

Settle your mother's estate with the attorney. When someone dies intestate, thier estate is equally divided among heirs. 

Did you volunteer to be the executor? If so check the laws about reimbursement from the estate.

Whatever issues are between you and your sister are different from whatever the laws are regarding settling the estate.

It makes no difference what someone said. No will means you'll have to follow the laws regarding that.

Sell the house and split the proceeds.

Thank you for your response. Sorry I have not been explained this part well. I applied for probate and was issued with the letters of administration and therefore already have the power to split the estate. The issue has been that my sister will not move out and especially now she a family there. And when I tried to do this I was emotionally blackmailed into letting her buy me out. Which she has made some payment towards. But has gone months without paying anything. And now my father is wanting to move in there but doesn’t appear to be organising this. I completely regret letting it get this far because I have only made a rod for my own back. 

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I completely agree with Lambert. So what if your family has something to say about it? They have had no problem using the situation to their advantage and leaving you in the cold for YEARS. I don’t know why you’d have any trouble moving forward with what you know is fair. They are adults, and they are not your responsibility. They caught a break, you allowed it to last for years, now it’s coming to an end and they need to figure out how to support themselves. You are not putting them on the street, they’ve had PLENTY of time to make a plan, and if they haven’t got a plan that’s on them. I wouldn’t bring up talking about it anymore, there’s no point. They don’t see how they’ve taken advantage and it’s not likely you’ll be able to show them. All you need to say about it is the date by which they need to be out and when the locks will be changed. 

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You need lawyer and your need to stop being such a pushover.  Your sister needs to move out and then the house should be sold and the money divided fairly, a lawyer will help with that.

You should never have let this continue so long, but I'm sure you know that now.  Sis has taken major advantage of you and the situation because you let her.

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I can’t tell you what a breath of fresh air it is for people to see my point of view. Thank you all so much.

If I could go back in time I would have pushed through with selling the house back when my mother passed. I really regret that. My sister and I don’t even speak at this point so selling it and her moving out after her behaviour I can push through that.  Her partner and their 4 children are their own responsibility even though I’m told otherwise. But I will now also be pushing through the backlash from my father who has now decided that he is entitled to live there when she moves to somewhere bigger. I feel like the only person in my family who lives in the real world.

Edited by sweethome22
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Yup, I agree.. turn to legal alternative now.  Is not your problem on what your sister or father's issue's are 😞 .. Is sad, this has happened the way it has.

I tried to make 'some' payments to my parents, when they put $ into a house for us (and my ex).. But, in time, we split and I couldn't do it- and I knew that.

Eventually, they were retiring and explained to me that that house was causing a negative effect on them and they could not keep it up, so we did have to move out, so they could sell.

Yes, we found a place.  a 3 bdrm apt.  But was really all I needed, as one kid had moved on.

She could have and should have been more considerate since this all began - but caused way too much commotion 😞 

And your dad's actions, are just as bad.

YOU paid into that house long ago & gave her alternatives, so things should have been dealt with by now... right?

Sad, it had to cause such a mess for so long.

 

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3 hours ago, sweethome22 said:

I can’t tell you what a breath of fresh air it is for people to see my point of view. Thank you all so much.

If I could go back in time I would have pushed through with selling the house back when my mother passed. I really regret that. My sister and I don’t even speak at this point so selling it and her moving out after her behaviour I can push through that.  Her partner and their 4 children are their own responsibility even though I’m told otherwise. But I will now also be pushing through the backlash from my father who has now decided that he is entitled to live there when she moves to somewhere bigger. I feel like the only person in my family who lives in the real world.

I hope that when you start the legal process they see you mean business. 

As you know, too well, family can and will take advantage and never see or admit what they do.

You are actually the harmed party here.  And sadly, you might need to just turn your back on them. 

It's better to focus on the family you create (not just kids) but the people in your life, you choose to have in your life because they think and act like you! 

The way your actual family acts, you're better off without them. 

Good luck. 

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3 hours ago, sweethome22 said:

I can’t tell you what a breath of fresh air it is for people to see my point of view. Thank you all so much.

 I will now also be pushing through the backlash from my father who has now decided that he is entitled to live there 

 Absolutely. You're not a mortgage company and people can not live in a house you finance for free. Don't worry about your father. he as well will have to make is own plans.

Talk to an attorney and start the eviction process as well as putting the house on the market or have the mortgage transferred in their names so their credit goes in the toilet. Don't be bank of family blackmail. They'll get over it. 

Letters from lawyers may be more effective than trying to negotiate with them personally. 

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Some softer part of me feels sorry for my father because I honestly don’t know what he will do. But then the other part of me is infuriated by him. We are both grown women obviously but as a parent I couldn’t imagine having 2 children and not only can you see but you are actually enabling a situation where one is taking advantage of the other (not trying to  get the violins out here!) But as you guys have said, sometimes people don’t get it or wouldn't admit it anyway.  Moving forward with selling it will almost certainly end our relationship because I live away and he spends every weekend with her children so he is completely biased and i don’t doubt he would chose her family over me. *shrugs*

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I'm sorry this is happening to you.

I'm the black sheep of the family too, because I dont let them use or abuse me either.

Stand up for yourself & do what is needed to get your Sister out of the house & for it to be sold.

Your Father can stay where he is, its not your responsibility to look after him.

Dont let them upset you, and dont feel guilty. They bought these issue on themselves & are only cranky now because they will have to move & disrupt their free accommodation.

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1 hour ago, sweethome22 said:

Some softer part of me feels sorry for my father because I honestly don’t know what he will do. But then the other part of me is infuriated by him. We are both grown women obviously but as a parent I couldn’t imagine having 2 children and not only can you see but you are actually enabling a situation where one is taking advantage of the other (not trying to  get the violins out here!) But as you guys have said, sometimes people don’t get it or wouldn't admit it anyway.  Moving forward with selling it will almost certainly end our relationship because I live away and he spends every weekend with her children so he is completely biased and i don’t doubt he would chose her family over me. *shrugs*

I don't like saying this but they've written themselves out of your life already. Unfortunately I think this sounds like a case of survival and they can't survive without that house if they lack integrity, can't make payments, bad credit or... perhaps worse, always looked forward to the free ride living in that home and planned for it even when your mother was alive? 

The sooner this is dealt with the better so that it doesn't remain a thorn in your side forever. Don't waste your energies.. get this done. Wishing you lots of luck and motivation to go through with it. 

 

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8 hours ago, Lambert said:

I think you need to talk to an attorney and take your sister to court for the back payment. Change the locks and sell the house.  

Do not let your father move in. 

Ouch. . .this is really messy.

As unfortunate as this all is, your relationship with these family members appears to be irrevoquotely broken anyway.  Not sure why you are still trying to spare them any discomfort.  They certainly aren't concerned about you and what's fair, are they?

The alternative? You walk away and turn your back on all of this.  What does that get you?  Does it spare your relationships and will you ever look at them the same?

Talk to an attorney and get this over with. No matter what, you are made out to be the bad guy anyway.  It isn't about the money anymore. 

 

Edited by reinventmyself
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I agree with everyone advising to talk to an attorney.  There is no way this will be solved by talking to your sister/father again and again.  They clearly have no intention of selling and splitting the money.  And your father will never take your side as he intends taking over the house himself.

It's time for legal advice and let the attorney take over.

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35 minutes ago, reinventmyself said:

As unfortunate as this all is, your relationship with these family members appears to be irrevoquotely broken anyway.  Not sure why you are still trying to spare them any discomfort.  They certainly aren't concerned about you and what's fair, are they?

The alternative? You walk away and turn your back on all of this.  What does that get you?  Does it spare your relationships and will you ever look at them the same?

Talk to an attorney and get this over with. No matter what, you are made out to be the bad guy anyway.  It isn't about the money anymore. 

 

I second the above.  Great post.

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Thanks all for your opinions. It’s really made me feel so much better knowing that it’s not just me that thinks this way and outside of my family in the real world (!) people don’t act like this. Since I moved away I have lost touch with close friends and other than my partner there isn’t really anyone who I could help give an outside perspective. 

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I had to settle my moms estate most recently.   Luckily my brother and I worked pretty well together. 

I will admit, being the executor the bulk of the responsibility was on me and even two years after her death I just now finalized the trustee taxes.  I would be lying if I didn't grumble under my breath at times. All the paper work and responsibility was a part time job.   But I love my brother and what mattered most was my parents wishes be honored.  It wasn't about me.

Even with that, it's just an incredibly sensitive thing go through and money brings out the absolute worst in people.  

Being of a certain age, my friends alike who have lost their parents have stories (much like these) that make my short hairs stand up. 

You really learn a lot about your family when stuff like this is on the table.

I feel for you.

Edited by reinventmyself
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I am so sorry you are going through this.

Your family sounds real messed up. They have kept this up for so long and it is completely wrong to keep lying to you and hope you just shut up about it.

You need to talk to an attorney right away like others have advised. 

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