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Chris The Lawyer
Chris The Lawyer, Lawyer
Category: New Zealand Law
Satisfied Customers: 14943
Experience:  38 years qualified as a lawyer; LLB, MMgt and FAMINZ.
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We have just found out that my mother is going to sell her

Customer Question

We have just found out that my mother is going to sell her Hamilton house to one of my brothers at a price that is much lower than what she would get for it on the open market. It is worth approx 1.2 million (going off what other properties are selling for of similar type in her area). She is going to sell it to him for $700,000. He is is a 52 year old and unmarried and has no kids, but has a pushy fiancée who is the same age and she has one adult daughter to another marriage. Since my Dad died in 2004, he has been helping my mother organise alterations, painting, retaining walls, mowing her lawns etc. He visits her every odd weekend from Tauranga with his fiancee. My mother has been for years now wanting to sell up and get a smaller house, but my brother keeps telling her to keep it and he will buy it when he gets the money. My mother has 5 children altogether. We all have jobs and businesses and 3 children each, that have kept us busy over the years, so do'nt have as much free time to help our mother with lawns, gardens etc. But we do visit just as much. We are a very close family and have regular get togethers. When my mum told me she was selling her house to my brother for $700,000 I was concerned that she was being taken advantage of. She said that he was the only one that helped her over the years and he had paid for a lot of the things he did around the house because he thought he was going to own it one day. We don't mind him buying the property, and we don't mind if the value and his time is taken into consideration and taken off, which would be about $50,000 max. She wont get a valuation done on the property either, as she said she has made her mind up. I told her that she is short changing herself and that she has 4 other children that will be missing out on inheritance in the long run. She told me that my brother would put it in his will that we would get his share of the property when he died. But he has a ruthless fiancee, and of course she will get everything of his (living together for 4 years now). Please can you advise me on this matter.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: New Zealand Law
Expert:  Chris The Lawyer replied 1 year ago.

The only way you could intervene is if she lacks legal capacity to make a decision, because of dementia or other impairment. If that was the case then you could get a property manager appointed. If she is of sound mind, but you consider she has been subject to undue influence of considerable strength, you would need to intervene. But you would need to make an application to court.