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Reaction by my brother

(32 Posts)
Mamma66 Fri 28-May-21 07:35:47

Apologies for the long post. My Father died in October last year. The plan (which my Father fully supported) was that my husband and I buy out my brothers and live in the family home. This way we could keep the house in the family and one of Dad’s grandchildren could buy us out down the line (my niece has expressed this desire already). As my younger brother is not working (but lives nearby) he offered to clear Dad’s house. At first we were pleased with the offer, but as time went on it has become an utter nightmare. He has insisted that everything is done his way, will not allow any involvement and progress has been incredibly slow.

We realised that he was particularly struggling with Dad’s death and almost certainly suffering from depression and tried to be as supportive as possible, but this is growing increasingly hard.

The arrangement was that we would pay off the outstanding mortgage and make partial payment to my brothers (which we have done) and pay the remainder once ownership is transferred to us. We sold our house and moved in to Dad’s (or rather half of Dad’s house in April) as it was still full of Dad’s stuff. Any attempt we make to sort anything out is met with increasing hostility. We got a storage unit for three months and have suggested that we do this again so that we can take the pressure off us all and buy time and space to sort things out, but once again this has met with absolute refusal.

We are in the ridiculous situation of being in a large five bedroom house with only one bedroom and one reception room being usable. Every attempt we have made to decant the stuff into one place has resulted in my brother going off the deep end.

The day we moved in was a nightmare, there was so much stuff in Dad’s house that we only crammed our possessions in through my older brother and his family clearing the loft to give us some space and doing numerous tip runs and taking on a storage unit.

We ordered two sofas and an armchair for one of the reception rooms months ago and a fireplace to be fitted, assuming the house would be empty by then. The sofas are arriving today and there is nowhere for them to go. My husband rearranged a small amount of stuff in the dining room so that there would be space as he is on a late shift and didn’t want it to fall on me (I have some health issues). My younger brother turned up yesterday afternoon and went absolutely ballistic, literally screaming his head off at me as my husband had ‘ruined’ his system. He is quite intimidating to the extent that our dog was actually cowering and shaking with fear. He wouldn’t allow me to explain and moving the things to how they had been would take five minutes.

After he left, I messaged (nicely) and suggested that I box up the remainder of the stuff and take it round to him at a time which is convenient so he can sort things out at his own pace which would take the pressure off all of us. Once again this was met with point blank refusal. He insists on coming round again and doing it himself. I haven’t told my husband about yesterday as he would go mad and this would only make things worse.

As it stands now, the furniture is being delivered in a couple of hours, the only way we can fit it in will be to move everything around and this will almost certainly cause another meltdown.

My Dad absolutely loved the idea of us taking on the house and we were so excited and happy at keeping our childhood home in the family, but part of me wishes we had never done it now.

I feel very sad, part of the reason why we did this was so that we could carry on the tradition of spending time at Christmas, for example, together. My relationship with my older brother and his family is fine, but I doubt that the relationship with my younger brother will ever recover and at the moment I don’t particularly care.

MerylStreep Fri 28-May-21 07:59:27

Oh dear, Mamma66 this has been going on for a long time, hasn’t it. Time to toughen up I’m afraid.
I would be phoning and telling him that all the goods/stuff will be outside the house waiting for him to pick up.
He’s playing/ controlling you. Take control of the situation. Don’t keep asking him, tell him what’s going to happen.

wildswan16 Fri 28-May-21 08:05:45

This is a "family" home, so I think you need all the family to help you resolve this.

Can your older brother and family come over at the weekend and, together with you and your DH, do what has to be done. The relationship with your younger brother is already strained so it really isn't going to make much difference if you take control now.

I'm sure you can still be respectful of his needs - make sure he has memories of his father to keep etc.

This is part of him working through his grief - maybe he needs a bit of help with that from a professional?

Sago Fri 28-May-21 08:06:21

Mamma66 What is you legal position?
What is in the will,have you had the house valued, are there other beneficiaries?

Your brother is playing for time or feeling hard done to but why?

H1954 Fri 28-May-21 08:09:12

What a dreadful situation for you all. However, it is time to take back control of your own living arrangements. If the younger brother doesn't live with you at your late fathers home then the answer is simple......arrange a time to move all the brothers stuff out and out into storage and change all the locks.
It does sound like your brother does need some professional help too.

Daisymae Fri 28-May-21 08:09:43

Agree, you need to toughen up and let him go off at the deep end. Approach him with your elder brother for support and clear the things into storage. Alternatively seek legal advice but that likely to be protracted and costly.

Grammaretto Fri 28-May-21 08:17:30

This is such a complicated situation and probably your DB2 had not realised how hard it would hit him when the first decisions were made.

It is said that when someone dies you should wait at least a year if not more before selling a house so I guess this comes into that category.
Is there a 3rd party you could call in to mediate?

Certainly extend the storage facility and offer younger DB a sweetener to help him with his grief. send him away on a retreat

Your new furniture arriving is possibly the last straw for him.

travelsafar Fri 28-May-21 08:18:32

Isnt it strange how a family member who is clearly behaving in an unacceptable manner seems to'rule the roost' and has everyone at their bidding even though it is upsetting the rest of the family. Time to get tough i'm afraid, if the house is now your home get rid of his belongings and take back ownership.

Casdon Fri 28-May-21 08:19:24

If I’ve understood correctly Mamma66, it’s now your house, so your brother actually has no rights. I think I’d set a timetable for clearing the house room by room, (two weeks per room?) and put it in writing so both your brothers know that if the items they want aren’t removed by that date you will arrange clearance of the room. Your older brother will back you on that plan by the sounds of it, and it removes any control from your younger brother, while still giving him time to take anything he specifically wants. It will take a while, but will also give you time to plan and decorate the rooms as you go. Hope this helps a bit, I can imagine it must be a very stressful situation for you.

vampirequeen Fri 28-May-21 08:25:16

You say you think you're brother is depressed. Has he developed some form of OCD? I can become a bit OCD when my depression is bad and I feel as if the world is whirling out of control. The OCD gives me a sense of control over one small part of my world. The problem with OCD and depression (in my case but it may not be the same in anyone else) is that depression takes away my motivation to do the things I need to do but the OCD makes me want to do things in a certain way. Anyone who tries to help me then comes up against my OCD.

25Avalon Fri 28-May-21 08:31:00

It sounds as if your brother has some mental health issues. Is there any chance you could persuade him to see a counsellor as this is definitely not normal behaviour. The shouting and screaming is due to his compulsive disorder being aggravated by not being in control.

Shelflife Fri 28-May-21 08:38:09

You are having a very hard time. Your younger brother is clearly having problems dealing with the death of your father. He said you had ' ruined' his system.

BlueBelle Fri 28-May-21 08:42:14

Oh dear not so cut and dried as to how some are making it sound Your younger brother is obviously mentally unwell either was already or is through grief he is depressed and near the edge
I do think you have to act though or this will go on for ever with no improvement for him or you
Hire your storage unit and get your elder brother to help you get all the stuff boxed up carefully into it plus the surplus furniture then tell your younger brother he must work from there There will be a huge over reaction from him but you’re having them anyway The poor man is buried deep within grief on top of no job and as you say depression Is he married ? Or all alone now Dads gone ?
You ve bought the house which seemed a great idea at the time so it is yours and while you need to be tender and respectful you can’t live like this for months/years
Isn’t it funny how good ideas are often not good ideas

Shelflife Fri 28-May-21 08:44:50

Sorry went early!
Is this behavior something you have witnessed before ? He may need professional help. However that notion does not ease your situation. It must be a nightmare! Perhaps your other siblings can help the situation and reassure your younger brother?
Good luck ?

Mamma66 Fri 28-May-21 09:10:39

Thank you so much for taking the time to read and reply. In response to some of your questions, we did not have the luxury of time, Dad wanted to give us all some money prior to his death and released some equity on the house (hence the mortgage) and the interest rates on his death were eye watering so we had to pay off the mortgage ASAP. The legal position is fine, my older brother is a solicitor and I trust him implicitly. As for my younger brother’s mental health, he is clearly struggling which is why we have all tip toed around him. His behaviour is totally out of character. His fuse is non existent and he has been incredibly aggressive and short tempered. He is divorced but has a good relationship with his ex wife, but the fact he is on his own and not working is certainly not helping. He said something after Dad’s death about me being the favourite child (never once did my Father show any preference in my opinion) but if my brother ‘feels’ that was the case it could be part of the reason for his behaviour now?

nanna8 Fri 28-May-21 09:19:30

I think he is jealous that you are moving in and doing his level best to put obstacles in your way. You can’t go on with this,it is your house and you should call the shots. Hire a skip and start putting stuff in it. Who cares if he goes ballistic, he doesn’t have to live there. He’ll get over it. It may take some time but you have to take care of your own family first.

sodapop Fri 28-May-21 09:27:06

I seem to remember reading about this some time ago Mamma66 if so then it's gone on too long. Your brother's mental health is not improving at all so you need to set some time scales for clearing the house and stick with it. Talk to your GP / mental health team about getting help for your brother. There is no easy way through this I'm afraid but I don't think letting things drag on like this will help your brother.

Sago Fri 28-May-21 09:30:54

If your father released equity on the home to give you money then surely your brother ( the solicitor) must have advised.
Equity release is just a legal scam.

Jaxjacky Fri 28-May-21 09:44:38

I agree with comments above, it’s a situation out of control, unless you take control, it will just roll on and on. Two separate problems: clearing the house and making it liveable/yours and your brothers mental health.
If you can, get professional packers/movers for stuff that is not being discarded. Your brother will react, maybe better with professionals packing up. Then give him a fixed timeframe to remove, from storage, what he wants, then sell/dispose/auction what’s left.
Can you talk to his ex wife about his mental upset and your elder brother to get some help for him? As it stands a very sad situation is being prolonged to the detriment of all. It probably won’t be easy, but a plan you stick to would see an end in sight. Good luck.

eazybee Fri 28-May-21 10:51:40

I remember the previous post and I am astonished at the speed with which you have installed yourself in the house.
I agree with Sago that the Equity sounds suspicious.

I have no idea whether your younger brother has mental health problems but I do remember that he was recently divorced, and your father's carer for a time, and very upset by his death. His behaviour is possibly an expression of frustration at the way you and your older brother appear to be controlling things.

I suggest the three of you spend the forthcoming weekends together sorting the possessions in the family home, however difficult. A family home, which you lay such store by, is not simply bricks and mortar; family possessions count too.

Clearing a family home is very distressing; as an only child I had to do it during weekends whilst working full time, living 180 miles away.Clearing a house during covid is even more difficult with tips and dealers and charity shops closed.

It is to your advantage to get the house cleared, since you have gained possession and are living there, so work with both your brothers; show the youngest one some compassion and try to understand why he is finding it so hard. You should make joint decisions and if it takes longer, so be it. It is only eight months since your father died.

Luckygirl Fri 28-May-21 11:03:57

Gosh this wounds like a minefield, both now and in the future. Nothing like inheritance to undermine family relations!

Luckygirl Fri 28-May-21 11:04:16

I hope you have got stuff in writing!!

icanhandthemback Fri 28-May-21 11:14:33

I don't envy you this situation at all. Your younger brother is obviously struggling and needs help but I am not sure tip-toeing round the problem is going to assist. I think you need to have your older brother completely onside with whatever strategy you take. Will he support you with putting an end to this situation or is he happy to take a backseat and let you struggle?
I think that finding storage is probably the best way forward with your younger brother's input into what order things go in. It might be worth getting a man with a van to do the removals and letting him deal with your brother...some distance is probably the best way forward because he may not treat a stranger to his temper.

jaylucy Fri 28-May-21 11:17:31

I assume that this brother was involved in the discussions with your dad?
As you said, he is obviously having a problem dealing with his father's death and he may have other problems too.
The refusal to help you move in and take over "dad's house" or at least construct barriers - he needs help to let go.
Time though, to toughen up with him. The house is now your home, not his and it's time to tell him that the house will be emptied of your father's belongings and put in the storage unit by a certain date and he can help or not, his choice.
In the meantime, look into getting him some form of counselling -

Hithere Fri 28-May-21 12:36:10

I hope your brother was ok with the plan before your dad died, otherwise, this would be another complication

He also said that your father preferred you, so there could be a history of jealousy and sibling rivalry that adds another layer of background and history to this

I assume that the house is only in your name now?

Your brother clearly needs ME help, he is going through a rough time.
Tiptoeing around has made this situation worse and time has worsened it.

Would you be willing to evict him (if you have the legal right to)?
By your description, he is becoming dangerous and threatens your safery in your own home.