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Clare
Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: UK Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 28323
Experience:  25 years experience of all aspects of family law
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Five siblings own two paintings in England. One brother has

Customer Question

Five siblings own two paintings in England. One brother has possession of them and won't sell them in order to share the money between us all. They have been in his possession for several years.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: UK Family Law
Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
Hi
Thank you for your question.
I will do my best to assist you but I need further information first.
How did the siblings come to own the paintings?
Claire
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

We inherited paintings from parents and they were divided up. He ended with these extra two and keeps saying he will sell them for us to share the money but he's not doing it. It's been well over three years. They are not very valuable but do have value. He at one point said he would buy us out for a silly low price and we said no. Can I sue him for theft, or what would it cost to have a lawyer write to him with a threat of a law suit. I told him that if he could not show me that he had them for sale somewhere within two weeks, I would sue him for theft! Hope I didn't jump the gun. What should I do? Many thanks. Vanessa.


 


Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
Hi
What was the wording of the Will and who were the executors?
Claire
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

I don't know. He does not argue that they belong to the rest of us, he just isn't doing anything about it. Everything was just divided equally between us. He had them in his possession by chance, he didn't steal them but keeps not doing anything about it. He acknowledges that he does not own them alone.


Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
Hi
Who was named as Executor of the Will - this is important to what needs to be done next
Claire
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

I think my sister was but it was all very informal as we did not do anything through a lawyer. We just took all the paintings off the walls and took turns choosing - under the radar so to speak. What can I do? I don't want tax issues by revealing everything! He doesn't argue this, he just needs a letter I think from a lawyer to show him that I'm serious. He has lots to hide so he'd probably respond to a lawyer letter. Thanks Vanessa


Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Are you still there? I don't feel that I have any advise yet.


Thanks Vanessa


Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
Hi
I am afraid that the only person who can take action is the person who was named as Executor within the Wills who is in fact at present the nominal owner of the paintings.
She needs to write to him and say that unless he wishes to buy them at the market value she requires them to be returned to her for sale
I appreciate that this is not the news that you wanted but it is the law as it stands
Please ask if you need further clarification
Claire
Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: UK Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 28323
Experience: 25 years experience of all aspects of family law
Clare and other UK Family Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Ok Many thanks for your help. I do have one more quick question. The five of us own a house in Mallorca and he won't let us sell it. I can force an auction legally but would any member of the selling family be allowed to buy it at the botXXXXX XXXXXne auction price? E.G. If I force the sale by auction I don't want him to be able to buy it dirt cheap when he refused to let us sell it in the first place.


Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
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Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Ok - that's what I was afraid of. You've been great, thank you.


Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
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