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Thread: Complicated - mom in care-home house sold - haven't seen any will by brother- HELP

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    Default Complicated - mom in care-home house sold - haven't seen any will by brother- HELP

    Some background-My father died two years ago, mother went into a care home. house was sold (according to my brother the house had to be sold to pay for moms care - she was put into a care home after the funeral as she was a stroke victim) my two brothers were joint executor of my fathers will. The funeral was wholly arranged by my two brothers, with major animosity caused due to them allowing me and my sister no input into this or any other important details based around these tragic circumstances.
    My oldest brother dealt and deals to this day with my motherís (now extremely ill in a nursing home) issues day to day and also has (since my fatherís death) power of attorney over her.
    My other brother arranged the details of the funeral which caused even more animosity culminating in a fight at said funeral. To such an extent that it fractured the family completely. This funeral was almost two years ago and my sister does not speak to either of my brothers at all. I do not speak to the younger one and the older one rarely so.
    At the time of the funeral basic details of the sale of the house were given out by my older brother without any paperwork being given, although that didnít bother me at that time.

    Most important perhaps was we had (and still donít) have any details of the will. This caused major problems at the time and has since. There was no reading of the will 9at least for me and my sister) with the reason given (by older brother) was that it was a mirror will and my mother was still alive hence no one sees the will until she dies. It must be understood that i usually felt i had to press my older brother for information. Because my sister didnít communicate with him i would also ask questions on her behalf also. My understanding since has been that an executer of the will has a duty to be transparent to all siblings?
    me and my sister have unanswered questions that need to be answered with more than just words. And we would like help and advice to go about how we can get evidence of the truth -whatever that may be!
    I must state that neither my sister nor I care about money. We are not gold-diggers, yet we have always been made to feel that we are unjust and dishonest in our attempts to establish what the facts are. IT is THIS mentality of non-transparency that has continually raised our suspicions and indeed our anger. We feel this way because regardless of what the truth is, my brothers have not been transparent, no-communicative and grudging with the information given.
    We both feel we have been treated as though all of this was really none of our business which according to our information is exactly what Ďexecutors of the willí have a Ďduty of careí to exercise. I have only my (older brothers) word for the reason why he and his younger brother have fell out)
    I have told the whole sad state of affairs to place everything in its proper context, but the main things me and my sister are concerned about are as follows:-

    QUESTIONS
    1 is my brother telling the truth when he states that Ďhe hasnít seen the will as itís a mirror will?í
    2 does the (mirror) will only get read when my mother dies? Is there any other type of will thatís gets read and is available?
    3 if my brother is telling the truth how can the house be sold without the will without him having seen any will? (if so is it because as my dad is dead and my older brother had power of attorney he could act on behalf of my mom and sell the house)
    4 we have been told that the house had to be sold to pay for moms care (house was in dads name at time of death) is this true even if itís a mirror will as it has been suggested to us that that mirror wills are sometimes used in a way so siblings will be able to inherit their parents money/property?
    5 why is there no actual will on the government web-site for public knowledge; is this because itís a mirror will and my momís is still alive?

    6 Assuming my brother have been as difficult as Ive stated in offering information has he (they) failed/ been negligent in their duty as executors of the will? And is there any recourse for me and my sister? at this late stage?

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    Default Re: Complicated - mom in care-home house sold - haven't seen any will by brother- HEL

    Welcome to LB @selfless ... I'll tag @enaid @des8 @Peridot for you to see if they can help

    In the meantime, you should be able to get a copy of the will on the Gov.UK site here - https://www.gov.uk/search-will-probate

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    Default Re: Complicated - mom in care-home house sold - haven't seen any will by brother- HEL

    Hi, hope this answers question 1 & 2

    What does a mirror will mean?
    A mirror will is when a husband, wife or partner make almost identical wills leaving for example everything to each other respectively should one partner die, and if both die together then direct to children. If there are no children then to a named beneficiary.

    3. The person who has power of attorney can sell the property.
    4.The house would have gone to your mum.
    5. It wont be on record if probate was not needed.
    6. They do not become executors until your mum has passed, so you won't know yet if they haven't followed instructions

    Hope this helps someone else may be along to offer other advice x




    Last edited by enaid; 11th April 2017 at 14:19:PM.


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    Default Re: Complicated - mom in care-home house sold - haven't seen any will by brother- HEL

    Re point 4.. to protect the house for the children it would have been necessary to change ownership from "joint tenancy" to "tenants in common". Each testator then bequeaths their share to the children, with a trust to safeguard the surviving spouses right to continue living in the property. If the survivor then has to go into a care home, the LA can only assess the value of the survivor's share of the house. This will be low as it will be market value of half a house.

    From your post I assume this step was not taken.

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    Default Re: Complicated - mom in care-home house sold - haven't seen any will by brother- HEL

    Hi Selfless,

    I would agree with everyone's comments so far.

    The only Will that you could have sight of would be your father's at this stage. The only way to get hold of a copy of that would be if probate has been granted. If the house was owned jointly by mum and dad it can pass without the need for a Grant of Probate and if any of your father's bank accounts were below the level requiring a Grant (usually about £20,000 but this depends on the individual bank), then again a Grant may not have been needed.

    If the property was in your father's sole name then a Grant would have been required to transfer the property to your mother's name to then be sold.

    If a Grant was required then you can apply for a copy with the Will from the Probate Registry, which think Kati gave you the link for.

    If your brother has Power of Attorney for your mother then he can deal with her assets. Everything he does must of course be in mum's best interest and if possible with her agreement but this would depend on her mental capacity of course.

    As executors to your father's Will there is no duty on them to disclose any information other than to any beneficiaries, so if your father left everything to your mother in the first instance there would be no need to let others know, even if they are children. It is sad that relations have not allowed all of you to discuss this openly, but unless you were to receive anything there is no duty on them to disclose anything. Unless your mother wishes all of you to see her Will then you can not force this and it would only become 'public' after she has passed.

    It may be worth checking if a Grant was ever needed following your father's passing. If you need any further advice once you have a copy of the Will then do pop back into the forum.
    I am a fully qualified solicitor employed by the LegalBeagles forum to assist you with a wide range of legal questions. I would be happy to try and assist informally where needed. Any posts I make on LegalBeagles are for information and discussion purposes only and shouldn't be seen as legal advice. Any advice I provide is without liability. I do not represent clients off forum. If in doubt seek professional face to face legal advice.

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    Default Re: THANKS FRIENDS MORE INFO COME TO LIGHT PLEASE HELP

    Thanks for your time. if you remember you recently responded to a post i placed. I really appreciate your help. it would seem there has been some information found out by my brother-in-law (sisters partner) whose a decent guy.

    He did a lot for my mom and dad before my dad died and my mom went into the home. Once he died my brothers more or less took over. here is what hes found out.

    there was no probate as its a mirror will and my mom is still alive. therefore it is assumed that my eldest brother through power of attorney must have sold the house that way.

    My brother-in-law (sisters partner) used the gov land-registry site and found (I'm assuming the buyer) current owner of the house. I have seen the pdf of this.

    Where it seems to get slightly more sinister is that the current owner of the house is a 'face-book' friend of my eldest brother. I have been told that a face-book friend is not exactly proof of being an actual friend and could be a business connection. But my sister is convinced foul play is at work and i am grasping for any reasonable explanation to explain away this new information.

    1 Can you or anyone suggest ALL fair& reasonable explanations for the house being sold to a person that just happens to be a Facebook friend on my brothers Facebook page, and him NOT TELLING US of this?

    2 Can you or anyone suggest ALL sinister/bad/opportunistic reasons the house being sold by my brother to a person that happens to be a Facebook friend on my brothers Facebook page and him NOT TELLING US of this?

    It must be stated that my brother is a controlling person and has never give us much input regarding the funeral and incidents on-wards. In other words I cannot just assume that just because he hasn't told us he has hidden stuff.

    We await your answers with a heavy heart

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    Default Re: Complicated - mom in care-home house sold - haven't seen any will by brother- HEL

    You really seem to think something is not right here, as is often the case in this situation where families no longer get on.
    For your brother to sell the house and act for your mum the LPA would have to be registered with the OPG, to try put your mind at rest, you can check if that is the case HERE
    If your brother sold the house for a fair price I can't see there is a problem with whom he sold it to. Maybe your brother actually saved on agents fees etc by selling to someone he is acquainted with. Your brother having POA has a legal duty to act in the best interest of his mum.
    You may find out what the house was sold for on HERE then you will see if it was a fair price.
    If you think your brothr is not acting in your mums best interest there are measures you can take, but one step at a time.


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    Default Re: Complicated - mom in care-home house sold - haven't seen any will by brother- HEL

    Hi Selfless,
    In answer to your PM I think @enaid has said it all.
    Things might seem to have been done inappropriately, but that follows the actions of controlling people who often tend to keep things secret and close to their chests.

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    Default Re: Complicated - mom in care-home house sold - haven't seen any will by brother- HEL

    to put in into context, i am not longer much in contact with my brother as much. but i personally was in much more contact with him when the house was being sold which was over a year ago. we were in phone contact and contact at my moms care home and i also at times went to his house. during this time he mentioned the problems with the house surveyors and suchlike and the difficulties etc. He eventually told me that the house was being sold. but at no time did he mention it was someone that he knew. I'm just wondering why he neglected to tell me that information considering i was aware of all the rest.

    I think there is a suspicion that there has been some kind of 'you scratch my back and I'll scratch yours' underhandedness gone on. My brother is an extremely successful businessman. if anyone can offer up any more SPECIFIC suggestions or something that could put minds at rest it would be good? thanks

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    Default Re: Complicated - mom in care-home house sold - haven't seen any will by brother- HEL



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    Default Re: Complicated - mom in care-home house sold - haven't seen any will by brother- HEL

    Hi Selfless,
    I would agree with Enaid's comments. If you really have serious concerns that your brother is not acting in your mother's best interest as her Attorney, not just that he is being secretive, then I would suggest you have a look at the power of attorney information here:- https://www.gov.uk/report-concern-about-attorney-deputy
    But I would suggest checking the house prices and also whether your brother is acting under a registered power of attorney whether that is an enduring or lasting power of attorney, before contacting the Office of the Public Guardian with any concerns.
    I am a fully qualified solicitor employed by the LegalBeagles forum to assist you with a wide range of legal questions. I would be happy to try and assist informally where needed. Any posts I make on LegalBeagles are for information and discussion purposes only and shouldn't be seen as legal advice. Any advice I provide is without liability. I do not represent clients off forum. If in doubt seek professional face to face legal advice.

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    Default Re: Complicated - mom in care-home house sold - haven't seen any will by brother- HEL

    Thanks Peridot, did you see the links on my post @selfless they may help


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    Default Re: Complicated - mom in care-home house sold - haven't seen any will by brother- HEL

    one final question, in your opinion, should he (or should he have) shown the will to the rest of the siblings in the family,from a moral, sensitive standpoint? even though its a mirror will and mother is still alive or not?


    he actually told me personally that he had NOT seen the will as it was a mirror will and mom was still alive - can someone confirm is this a fact? would he have seen the will?

    thanks guys

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    Default Re: Complicated - mom in care-home house sold - haven't seen any will by brother- HEL

    No one has a right to see a will while the writer of the will is still alive, as your mum is still alive then I would think he's telling the truth


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    Default Re: Complicated - mom in care-home house sold - haven't seen any will by brother- HEL

    The stronger moral standpoint would be that no one has the right to see the will until that person has passed away. Once a Grant of Probate is obtained the Will actually becomes a public document, that anyone can view. Anyone who has capacity can change their will at anytime.
    Personally I think families should discuss their wills to ensure everyone knows what is happening, HOWEVER it is for the person who wrote the will to decide whether they wish to tell anyone the content of the Will, not for those who believe they may be beneficiaries to make the decision for them. Your brother is doing the right thing with regards to your mother's will in not letting anyone see it, if he knows it's location. It is your mother's decision.
    I am a fully qualified solicitor employed by the LegalBeagles forum to assist you with a wide range of legal questions. I would be happy to try and assist informally where needed. Any posts I make on LegalBeagles are for information and discussion purposes only and shouldn't be seen as legal advice. Any advice I provide is without liability. I do not represent clients off forum. If in doubt seek professional face to face legal advice.

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