Family inheritance squable

My mother is having an issue with her brother about who will get what when my grandfather dies.  His will states that everything is split 50/50 between his son and daughter.  However, this is complicated by the living situation.


When the property was bought, my grandfather invited his sons family to live in the adjoining property (which was bought as part of the estate) for a few months.  This was due to their financial situation.  Over 20 years on and they still live there.  They have not paid any rent during that time.  To complicate matters, he allowed his grandson to build on his land, a house for himself.  The house was built without planning and should not be there.


My mother supports her father in everyway she can:  cleaning, food, cooking, organising trips/visits to family and friends, doctors and hospital appointments.  Her brother can barely visit his father, even though he lives next door.


My grandfather is approaching 90, is of sound mind and fairly fit.  However, he does not want to upset the people he lives with, as he does not want the hassle.  My mother is worried by their actions, recently discovering that they are trying to switch bills and other documents to their name.  She is also worried that they are bullying him, but due to his mental state, she feels helpless.


Does she have any legal say over her father's estate whilst he is alive?  Is the will upheld after his death?  Does her brother have more entitlement than her?


Many thanks for anyones help.

Assuming the will remain the

Assuming the will remain the same then the split is 50 -50.

This gives rise to an interesting situation as it would seemingly include an equal share in the second house.

Its past the time the planners can do anything so presumably its within the land the grandfather owns without a seperate title of its own.

As the law of equity doesn't reward wrongdoing its likely the daughter will end up with a share.

If your grandfather is competent he could change his will. If not then there's not much to be done.

Profile: retired barrister legal adviser with MOJ.


Thanks for the reply.  Firstly, he is competent.  The problem is getting him to make decisions.  He updated his will last year and the solicitor made many notes outlining the situation.

The whole estate is owned by my grandfather, so yes, the second property and the land the third property has been built on, would be included in his will.  There is no seperate title.

So, the belief is the wishes of my grandfather being a 50/50 split would stand?  My mother has been advised that her brother might have more entitlement as his family has lived there for over 20 years.  Would this come into any appeals?

They may have a life interest

meaning that they can live there. But the beneficial interest will be split. I think that is the way of it, but the qualified contributors will advise on it.

Profile: Interested in the subject

Thank you, that is my

Thank you, that is my understanding also.  Maybe others can shed some light?

But he's lived there rent

But he's lived there rent free for 20 years - which will also be taken into account.

He's competent - he's got a solicitor.Surely its the time to get things sorted. 

Easier now than let relatives fight it out later.

Profile: retired barrister legal adviser with MOJ.

have a similar t.shirt

I have been in a very similar situation and my advice, hard as it seems, is not to do nothing but get this sorted legally while your dear Grandad is still alive because it will be a mud slinging nightmare once he goes and the gloves come off

Profile: businessman, property owner, executor of a family Will.

My advice isn't legal advice

My advice isn't legal advice but more to do with what I've witnessed before. I have seen a fist fight over a set of net curtains, so an estate like your grandfather has needs sorting before he's gone.

Profile: Don't believe anyone, not even me. And everything's ok so long as you do as your told

Thanks again.  You believe

Thanks again.  You believe that the fact my grandfather has extended his generosity for 20 years would be taken into account?

Sorting this out right now is

Sorting this out right now is easier said than done.  Things have progressed slowly and as I have mentioned previously, he has clarified his will and his solicitor has extensive notes of his worries and my mothers.  It is still a worry for her and she is expecting a large legal bill come the end of it all.


Her brother has no means of buying her out, my mother does, but believes he wouldn't sell.  He is under the impression that the estate is already his.

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