January 26, 2018 at 11:02 am #324needhelp2 Posts
Ok I appreciate that this enquiry may sound like I am an ungrateful, self entitled brat but I am honestly stuck.
I grew up abroad but my father wanted me to know the UK as he figured (correctly) that I may end up here. So in the 1970s he bought a holiday house where I have holidayed every summer and a few Easters and Christmasses ever since.
My dad never did make it back to England and as he got older he stopped using the house for more than a few days a year.
My dad is very wealthy and the house is maintained to a very high standard. He is also very generous and the house is open-access free of charge to friends and family from all over the world. However we use it more than anyone else.
My father has decided that as I used the house most, he is going to gift it to me and hand over all the running costs to me. Which makes perfect sense. Apart from the fact that current running costs are about £8-10K per year which I don’t have. Not a question of priorities, I truly don’t have it. Plus my dad has added a long list of stipulations to the gift. Not legally enforceable of course but would cause any amount of hassle if I broke the rules.. These include: never letting it, continuing to allow free and open access and maintaining it to the same standard and never selling it but leaving it to next generation. He has made it clear he would consider it a ‘betrayal’ if I disobey.
I have explained in words of one syllable that financially I cannot afford it. That I understand the principle but financial realities make his plans totally unworkable. I CAN’T DO IT. So if he gives me the house I will need to find a way to make it pay for itself. That conversation appears to have fallen on totally dead ears. His view is if I can afford horses I can afford to keep the house nicely! Which is true enough but I have chosen horses and I am not about to sell them to fund a bloody holiday house.
I can refuse to sign the deed of transfer but if I do that WW3 will break out in terms of our relationship which is not good anyway. My brother and sister (who live abroad and therefore do not use the house) have said just take it and let it and sod him! He can’t hand the responsibility on without giving me the freedom to actually run the place in a way I can afford. But he won’t see sense in advance so just do it and it will all blow over. But that feels dishonest. Arrrgghhh.
Incidentally he has told us we are not named in his will which is fair enough. He has remarried and his entire estate is going to his new wife. He can do what he wants with his money but it means I can’t just rack up debt in the hope of a nice inheritance one day!
Re-reading this I make him sound like a control freak. But he’s not – he is just not on this planet. He has been so rich for so long that he has no idea that bills are sometimes hard to pay. And in his head the house is a family home for everyone to enjoy and to be preserved in trust for the next generation. Plus he knows I have a good job and he massively over-estimates my net worth!
So WWYD???January 26, 2018 at 11:02 am #325karen17 Posts
You don’t sound self entitled, it sounds like your dad is putting you in an awkward position. You can’t accept the gift and adhere to his stipulations. If you accept and make it pay for itself it will cause ill feeling. Is your dad of sound mind (not meant to sound rude) – it’s just odd that he can’t understand your reasons.
If you take your brothers advice then you have an asset which could benefit your children in the future.
Could you write to him stating that if he was to give you the property you would only be able to accept on the understanding that you would be obliged to rent it out to make it pay for itself? Then if he still offers it to you he can’t say you were dishonest. It sound like whatever you do there will be ructions – he has made that inevitable.
Ps I don’t know if there would be a way to rent it out for say 2/3 of the year as a holiday home and leave it available for friends/family for 1/3 (or however long) – probably a hassleJanuary 26, 2018 at 11:03 am #326kaz9 Posts
I’d do what your brother and sister suggest. Obviously I don’t know everything about your family but it sounds like your dad is being unreasonable by not listening to your concerns. And yes, get some legal advice. If he’s left everything to his new wife I’d have no qualms about selling it one day either…and I say that as a second wife! There’s no way I’d allow my husband to cut his children out in my favour. Our little boy splits everything 3 ways with his 2 grown up half sisters and I get a little too but they are the main beneficiaries and rightly so. Sorry if that’s too much opinion! But it would help make up my mind about the house.January 26, 2018 at 11:03 am #327mel4 Posts
8-10k a year is a hell of a running cost. What sort of value would it have as a holiday rental? Could you make the figures balance and still let friends and family use it.
A really depressing thing but would you be liable for death duties if your dad passed on.January 26, 2018 at 11:04 am #328ritchy6 Posts
So in short, there is absolutely no advantage to you, either now or in the future, in this “gift”.
Your dad must have had some sort of business acumen in the past to be as financially solid as he is. I am afraid I would just say a very polite “no thank you very much” and then accept the fall-out, whatever it may be.January 26, 2018 at 11:04 am #329summo4 Posts
Unless you can let the house out to make it pay for itself, then you Dad is asking you to take on £8-£10k of cost per year with no real benefit.
Put it in horsey terms, would you be happy to be gifted a retired, poor doer horse with a list of medications as long as your arm (but you can’t ride it , sell it or put it to sleep)January 26, 2018 at 11:05 am #330blurty14 Posts
Are your brother and sister getting anything from your father?
If not, once transferred to you, could you split the ownership and running costs 3 ways? Look at it as a future family investment property which you could eventually either rent out commercially or sell.January 26, 2018 at 11:08 am #331bella5 Posts
Sound slike he’s trying to avoid death duty on the house hence gifting it to you, but actually doesn’t really want to relinquish control over it.
Legal advice ASAP.
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