Mother leaving home to kids and grandkids

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  • This topic has 9 replies, 2 voices, and was last updated 1 month ago by ron.
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  • Connie
    January 31, 2024 at 3:02 pm #1127965

    My mother is writing up her will and is wanting to leave the house and 2.5 acres to me, my daugher, my brother and his daughter. My daughter and I have lived in the house with my mother for several years. I have contributed financially past paying my portion of the bills. I have been the only one to help repair the home, tend to the land, help her with really anything she needed since she is disabled. My brother and niece rarely come to see her and have contributed nothing. I help take care of her and everything in and outside of the house itself. My brother is also very verbally abusive to me and has acted violently in the past. I resent my mother is doing this knowing all I have contributed and intend to live here unless other life circumstances come along which I don’t forsee at this time. My daughter has also known this as her home since she was born (she is 8 now) and goes to school nearby. I would hate to uproot her life and/or deal with my brother. Thoughts?

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    Anonymousse
    January 31, 2024 at 3:23 pm #1127966

    Well, you can sell her estate and split it. I’m sorry this bothers you, but she gets to choose what to do with her assets. I would suggest meeting with a counselor before you attempt to discuss this with your mother. It’s really none of your business, and you should proceed as usual. I feel bad for your daughter, too but kids adjust. You may find a better place, with more supportive people nearby.

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    LisforLeslie
    January 31, 2024 at 3:41 pm #1127967

    Have you talked to your mother? Have you explained the disappointment that you’ve invested your time and money into this home and she hasn’t taken that into account? Are you absolutely positive that your brother hasn’t sent any money (I’m sure you are, but worth asking the question of your mother).

    Tell her that if she’s going to split it 50/50 then you can’t put your money into it unless either your brother puts in the same amount or that you get IN WRITING that together you’ll keep an accounting and that will be reported to her lawyer or whomever on a monthly or quarterly basis and that amount is factored in to the inheritance. In short, if you put in $100, and the total inheritance is $1000 – then first you are made whole, you get your $100 back and share $900 or half of the cost is deducted from your brother’s half. You get $550 and he gets $450. It ends up the same in either direction.

    Now, this doesn’t take into account interest or loans and it shouldn’t cover things like food or utilities. Those are normal living expenses and you’re living there. But if you move out and you want to pay mom’s heating bill – then it’s an expense on top of your other expenses. This would be for things like plumbers and a new roof. General maintenance to keep the place livable. Not furniture, not pillows, nothing like that. Those you should just keep receipts that prove you own those items so they aren’t lumped in with your mom’s assets.

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    LisforLeslie
    January 31, 2024 at 3:42 pm #1127968

    Oh and whatever is done is already done. Whatever you paid for – I don’t think you can recover unless you have clear invoices/receipts for service. But, you did that with no expectation that you were going to inherit. I don’t think you can argue that you paid those things conditionally if the conditions were never discussed.

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    February 1, 2024 at 2:01 am #1127969

    Are you paying rent to live there, or is your helping your mum around the house, working the land and paying for the house upkeep in lieu of this? Your brother might think you have the better part of the deal if you’ve had a secure place to live for 8+ years. He sounds like an awful person but your mum likely loves him as much as you, even if he’s neglectful to her and cruel to you.

    Unfortunately it’s really up to your mum what she does with her assets, but I agree with the others that keeping a record of what is spent on the house is important and may change how she views things. Otherwise she needs to make it clear in the will that the house is to be sold and the money split between you. It’s not fair for her to leave you to negotiate with an abusive sibling.

    Contribute as much spare cash as you can to emergency savings in case circumstances change.

    One thought, if your brother is not left half of the property, would he make life difficult for you and your daughter? Sometimes it’s healthier to walk away with what is left and be able to cut him out of your lives for good when your mum passes.

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    Avatar photo
    February 1, 2024 at 9:44 am #1127970

    I agree with everything Tui says, especially this part: if you’ve been living with your mother rent-free in exchange to helping with maintenance and upkeep, then your brother (and possible your mother) probably already consider that a fair exchange with nothing owed to you to balance the mutual benefits.

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    ron
    February 1, 2024 at 8:08 pm #1127992

    It sounds like your mother helped you as much as you helped her. She has a right to split the inheritance equally between her children — probably the majority of parents do this, despite what some children see as strong reason to do otherwise. This seems the ‘default’ version of ‘fairness’. If you feel taken advantage of, you can move out and get your own house or apartment and your mother can get a home health aide. I doubt arguing your case to her has any chance of changing her mind.

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    Connie
    February 2, 2024 at 9:25 am #1127997

    For those saying I lived rent free, I never said that. I have paid at least half the bills, including home insurance, my own groceries and my own personal bills. I have helped my mother financially also and have helped with upkeep and maintenance. That’s where I am having some issue because I have been the ONLY ONE to do these things. My brother has contributed NOTHING. Thank you all for your input.

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    LisforLeslie
    February 2, 2024 at 11:08 am #1127998

    I was more of a question or rationalization for why your mom had set up things as she did. But of the expenses that you laid out – what are you considering upkeep and maintenance? Again, if we’re talking about upkeep like lawncare or cleaning or recaulking the tub, I would put that into the category of normal household costs and nothing that should require your mom to change her will to give you a larger share.

    However, if maintenance and upkeep includes things like buying a new garage door, having the roof repaired, or putting in new carpet or flooring, or dealing with a leak and all of the repairs, then yes, that should be counted as investing in the property and that should be discussed because you are putting money into someone else’s property (your mom) and your brother isn’t and when the house is sold, the value is directly related to the repairs or refurbishing you’ve paid for – so he would get the benefit with none of the cost.

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    ron
    February 2, 2024 at 4:04 pm #1127999

    Connie: Your update is further evidence that you are living rent free. If you were renting, you would still have to pay for heat and utilities in addition to actual rent to the owner of the property. If it were a smallish apartment, you’d pay about $1000/mo. around here, double that if you were renting a house. You would still have to pay your own expenses and, if you were wise, renter’s insurance on top of that. I did not mean to imply that your mother covers all of your living expenses, but rent, heat, and utilities are expenses which you don’t mention paying. Your mother may own the house outright, but if she rented to a third party she would be able to charge the sort of rent I cited. You don’t mention paying a share of taxes on the home. I don’t know how much maintenance you pay for, but around here the rent on half a house is about $12K/year, so if you are spending less than that, then your mother is giving you a great deal.

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Mother leaving home to kids and grandkids

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