Sold house problems months later.

Hi all.
Just a bit of back ground first. My Father was a freedom fighter in 1956 and was brought over by the red-cross, my mother is English and after some years they bought a property near Kaposvar Hungary, to spend the summer months there. My Father sadly passed away 4 years ago and my Mother has been trying to sell the property. She finally sold it about 4 months ago after reducing the price considerably.
Before she sold the property, the buyer asked some questions such as how the heating works, but my Mother told them that she never uses the heating, it is drained and switched off. The buyers have moved in and now the winter is here, they have discovered the heating leaks, they tell my Mother she is responsible for fixing this and for paying for rent whilst this is being done. Over £6,000 so far!
Can anyone tell me if this is true and how long can she be held responsible for the property?
My Mother is very upset over this and feels she has no one to turn to for advice, especially as her Hungarian language skills are not too good.
Any help would be much appreciated please, thank you in advance for at least reading.

Hi and welcome to the Forum.

I've asked the Moderators to move your post to our Hungary forum, you'll probably get a quicker/better response there.

Hope this helps.

Cynic
Expat Team

Thanks Cynic, I wasn't too sure where it was posted lol

Wkov60 :

Hi all.
Just a bit of back ground first. My Father was a freedom fighter in 1956 and was brought over by the red-cross, my mother is English and after some years they bought a property near Kaposvar Hungary, to spend the summer months there. My Father sadly passed away 4 years ago and my Mother has been trying to sell the property. She finally sold it about 4 months ago after reducing the price considerably.
Before she sold the property, the buyer asked some questions such as how the heating works, but my Mother told them that she never uses the heating, it is drained and switched off. The buyers have moved in and now the winter is here, they have discovered the heating leaks, they tell my Mother she is responsible for fixing this and for paying for rent whilst this is being done. Over £6,000 so far!
Can anyone tell me if this is true and how long can she be held responsible for the property?
My Mother is very upset over this and feels she has no one to turn to for advice, especially as her Hungarian language skills are not too good.
Any help would be much appreciated please, thank you in advance for at least reading.

You have to look at the contract.  Maybe she agreed in the contract that the house was free of defects or maybe it was sold as seen.   The lawyer should have taken care of that.

In some countries (Austria), it could be true she has to pay.  Just depends on what was agreed.

On the other hand if she doesn't live in Hungary and she has no assets there, no wish to visit, she's got the money out of the country, she could just say, write me a letter setting out your demands including a technical report on the defects of the house. Don't forget the EU mandated house sale documentation will describe much about the house so it's not like the buyers were not aware. But in other words, prevaricate and delay and make them work really really hard and see if they blink.  To mount a case against her in the UK cross border from Hungary would cost a lot more than they would receive.  Think tactically, don't discuss anything over the phone.  They should set out their positions in writing. 

They could possibly get a judgement against her in Hungary and attempt to have it enforced in the UK.  But again, cost a lot more than they want to get.

We also had problems with our house over the boundaries but while we could sue the previous owners we decided we'd rather have the land back.  It's been 4 years at least.  Any case like that in Hungary will take years to resolve.  You could see who was the last one standing.

I'm not a lawyer so best to see one but even then think carefully they aren't also milking it for money.  Some lawyers in Hungary are absolute charlatans and the legal system just rolls a dice sometimes and produces irrational decisions.

Hi Fluffy
Thanks for your response. No where in the contract does it say anything is guaranteed, but it does say something along the lines of other parts covered by Hungarian civil law.
A new piece of information I just found out is that they had the boiler replaced before contacting my Mother. I would think this would void any guarantees?

Wkov60 :

No where in the contract does it say anything is guaranteed, but it does say something along the lines of other parts covered by Hungarian civil law.

Contact the lawyer that did the sale to verify what this law entails and inform that person of the issues and how to proceed.

I hope this was "her" lawyer, not the buyer's lawyer. If it was the buyers lawyer, then don't contact that person (and never sell with a buyer's lawyer only).

Also, you must consider what your mother said verbally, and who was there as witnesses. As that may also matter.

Wkov60 :

A new piece of information I just found out is that they had the boiler replaced before contacting my Mother. I would think this would void any guarantees?

Quite frankly, your Mother erred in not having either a more explicit contract or checking that all parts of the house were fit and ready (or not, and listing those issues in the contract).

The buyer may have a legitimate complaint. Or they may be trying to scam a new heating system. And it may not stop there.

But, they can also not just "claim" damages. They have to prove all costs. And that such costs were reasonable. For example, they may have to prove why they simply could not buy a few electric heaters till the replacement system was installed, rather than claim expenses of moving out and living somewhere else. A clever lawyer can attack such issues easily.

Also, replacing the boiler themselves may work against them, but it is not so simple as a simple "voiding". Rather, your mother can demand they provide proof from a professional that inspected the boiler that is was so defective that it needed immediate replacement (i.e. now, not in the spring). And include in such a demand that the person making the certification may need to repeat this in court. The new owners, just replacing a boiler on their own opinion may mean nothing in Hungarian law and may then loose. Courts like expert testimony, not personal opinions what is a good boiler or what works or does not work. And do mention court, as there are many scammers here who will claim something is no good, to get a sale on a replacement, but then get nervous if court is mentioned (especially if you can find out who sold the new boiler and what recommendations they actually had before confronting the new owners)

In other words.... it is really complicated. And a good (i.e. attack dog) lawyer may be needed.

Yes, lawyers here run the range from competent to incompetent. Scammers and not scammers, So, you will need to shop around. But I do recommend getting one if you simply don't "ignore" the issue as already stated (which is one gambit people play here).

I have already posts where one can look to fine lawyers in Hungary, and I but can again suggest this:

https://www.expat.com/forum/viewtopic.p … 93#4417977

And did she have an agent or other intermediary acting on her behalf? If so, she might be bound by statements her representative made to the buyer.

Wkov60 :

Hi Fluffy
Thanks for your response. No where in the contract does it say anything is guaranteed, but it does say something along the lines of other parts covered by Hungarian civil law.
A new piece of information I just found out is that they had the boiler replaced before contacting my Mother. I would think this would void any guarantees?

I'd also agree that boiler was after the fact.  You can see how to tie them up in knots. For example, who is to determine what the state of the boiler was before it was replaced and that it was simply  their choice?  They would have to get a competent report acceptable to both parties.  Presumably the boiler has long gone to recycling or landfill heaven and could not be inspected.

Do you have a copy of the EU mandated house inspection report?  This is absolutely a legal requirement all over the EU and the buyer and seller would have been given a copy.  So they should have been aware of any material defects in the house.  On the other hand, the heating could be considered a fitting.   That's more of a long shot as an argument as it's built in.

But as the others say, best to get your own lawyer to look at it.  All of us here are speculating.  Be aware the only certain winners in court cases are lawyers - they get paid regardless. I don't know of anyone in HU doing "no-win, no fee" and the international aspect would more than likely kill it on cost grounds. HU lawyers would need to instruct UK lawyers. Already £££.

My own opinion is that there's often a lot of hot air with these kind of arguments and to brazen it out and see what they do.   I had an argument with my landlord once and he threatened to sue me. As we were leaving and moving out (we'd already removed our stuff) and I told him, sure bring it on.  In the end I let him keep the deposit of EUR 1000.  I already knew it was cheaper to let him keep it than bother arguing with him.

Hi Ksallee
Thank you for your response. The boiler was replaced on the recommendation of a plumber and my mother did not have a solicitor, she relied on the buyers solicitor, unfortunately. But she did state to the buyer that she did not know if the heating system worked at all, this was witnessed by my sister and other family members, but also the buyer has agreed that she said this. They are threatening my mother with court proceedings and the solicitor in Hungary, who my Mother has found in Hungary, first said my mother should forget about it as she has nothing to be liable for, but now tells us she should pay them. The buyer is now hassling my mother over messenger and the phone.

Wkov60 :

Hi Ksallee
Thank you for your response. The boiler was replaced on the recommendation of a plumber and my mother did not have a solicitor, she relied on the buyers solicitor, unfortunately. But she did state to the buyer that she did not know if the heating system worked at all, this was witnessed by my sister and other family members, but also the buyer has agreed that she said this. They are threatening my mother with court proceedings and the solicitor in Hungary, who my Mother has found in Hungary, first said my mother should forget about it as she has nothing to be liable for, but now tells us she should pay them. The buyer is now hassling my mother over messenger and the phone.

Things said at the moment do not hold much weight.   My take is that they are trying it on.  Their lawyer is acting for them, not your mother. 

As a short cut, selling a house needs an EPC (Energy Performance Certificate).  This is a compulsory document and no house sale can be made without it.  That's the same all over the EU including the UK.

This covers the fabric of the building as regards energy and the heating system and is carried out by an independent assessor. In Hungary, these are detailed assessments, room by room.   If the lawyer didn't get one and it was signed off without one, then a fine can be levied. It's the seller's responsibility (i.e. your mother) to arrange it although perhaps the lawyer did it and did not share.  So if you don't have it, ask for it as it belongs to your mother (it's valid 10 years).

It might tell you the state of the heating system in objective terms.  If it had material defects which were described, you can just refer the buyer to that since it could be argued they would have partially made their decision on that basis. And therefore they were fully informed and bought the house as-is.

Don't bother answering the phone or messenger to them.  That's not helpful and has no paper trail.

I spend a lot of my time dealing tactically with contract negotiations and wrangling with legal issues in contracts even though I am not a lawyer. 

When the chips are down, you have to be utterly formal and not make any commitments verbally - do not agree to anything and certain do not agree any liability.

In other words, remain ice cold calm, get very quiet and get very very bureaucratic. The other side should only send things formally, by registered (signed for) letter.  It is normal in Hungary for formal communications to be by registered letter.

As the amount is about £6K the chances are they will give up.  If it was £60K, it'd be another matter. Oh, and BTW, I've got a brand new fancy Bosch boiler and it cost about EUR 2K so why they think they should have £6K is also a question.

That sounds a bit like illegal harassment for the buyer to be contacting your mother and not contacting her by mail through an attorney.

She should inform them to stop calling and sending messages but do all correspondence in written legal form.

I really am not 100% sure about this but my HU speaking husband did mention awhile ago that Hungary had started a new thing where a property seller must pay to have a home/property inspection through a  licenced business that goes through the property to inspect major things like plumbing, heating, how well the windows seal etc.
All to be dis closed to any buyers before the final sale.
Just noticed another poster mentioned this too, EPC.
He mentioned this because we are thinking of selling our flat and we were interested to know how much this would cost and what to expect before getting into anything too far.
If this is true and a new law then the real estate co. that helped with the sale and perhaps even any lawyers involved did something tricky and should also be held as  defendants  as well if this has to go to court.
Someone it seems didn't do their jobs properly and are dumping it all on your mother.
Best of luck, sorry  Hungary , not sure what to say, easy to buy but hard to break away without getting bit it seems.
Believe me even though my husband is Hungarian we also have always and I mean always had issues with doing any sort of business with other Hungarians, somehow for some reason they just love to make life hard on everyone even themselves.
I do hope they are just trying to see if you will take the bait and give them money without do cause. Don't allow your mother to give them anything without doing it legally and in writing. I get a sick feeling they are trying to scam an old  widow so the calls and messages will just go away. People can be evil and sadly it seems your mom might of run into a scammer.If the have a legit claim then it should all be handled legally and not with text messages and midnight phone calls.

Marilyn Tassy :

She should inform them to stop calling and sending messages but do all correspondence in written legal form.

She should not do that herself. She should ignore them personally and have no more personal and direct contact.

But she should, rather must, contact a lawyer, who then sends the buyer a notice to tell them to stop the harassment.

And ideally also file a police report against them for this harassment (for sure, they will probably file one against her -- surprising how scammers do that here to their victims as there seems no penalty on filing a false police report).

fluffy2560 :

It's the seller's responsibility (i.e. your mother) to arrange it although perhaps the lawyer did it and did not share.  So if you don't have it, ask for it as it belongs to your mother (it's valid 10 years).

The lawyer of course was obliged to inform the seller of this requirement, even if the lawyer arranged it, and the cost of the inspection should be in the contract.

I bet there is even deeper scam going on here.

Again, this is why one never uses the buyer's lawyer. Every case that I personally know of where the buyer wanted to buy and use their own lawyer only, they were trying to do some type of scam. And expats (especially elderly ones) are a good target, not knowing the language or the laws, and often want to "just sell". Amazing when the seller requires their own lawyer to review the sale, suddenly these people find something wrong with the property and are not interested in buying anymore. Strange....

Wkov60 :

They are threatening my mother with court proceedings

People who threaten in non-official ways here are almost always scammers. Those who have a case immediately process it. There is actually a very simple collection system here and the state reviews the complaint, and takes care of collecting on the demanded amount automatically if found to have merit. Real people, with real claims don't need to threaten going to court at the first go.

As you said, this sounds now like they are harassing her, and she needs to find a competent lawyer to deal with it.

Wkov60 :

and the solicitor in Hungary, who my Mother has found in Hungary, first said my mother should forget about it as she has nothing to be liable for, but now tells us she should pay them. The buyer is now hassling my mother over messenger and the phone.

1) Fire that lawyer.

2) No on knows the specifics of the case or the minute details. A lawyer here may need to know all those details. As it seems your mother is not in Hungary, you need to prepare a detailed report of the issues, including if the proper inspection was not done or not given to your mother, and the harassment, etc.

3) Be aware your mother made many mistakes it seems. She may have to either :

a) pay a lot to her lawyer (and get the legal costs back from the buyers if she goes to court and wins),

or

b) pay a lot to her lawyer and loose that money and have to pay the buyers and pay their legal fees if she looses.

or

c) negotiate a settlement with the buyers. This should only be done via a lawyer with a complete and proper paper trail. It will cost, but has the least risks.


I think getting a copy of the inspection paperwork may indeed help. If it exists --- it may be legally mandatory but I am often surprised how many "ways around" if you "know a guy" here. Of course, if there was none, they may try to claim fraud on your mother, saying they as buyers had no idea this was a required document ... but then you can (try) to go after the lawyer then, as that lawyer certainly was required to know. But I am sure the lawyer will have some excuse that he thought your mother had it done and gave a copy to the buyers... etc etc. etc.

Basically, she did get herself into a pickle.

P.S. Just curious.... What nationality were the buyers?

klsallee :
Marilyn Tassy :

She should inform them to stop calling and sending messages but do all correspondence in written legal form.

She should not do that herself. She should ignore them personally and have no more personal and direct contact.

But she should, rather must, contact a lawyer, who then sends the buyer a notice to tell them to stop the harassment.

And ideally also file a police report against them for this harassment (for sure, they will probably file one against her -- surprising how scammers do that here to their victims as there seems no penalty on filing a false police report).

True, I forgot to mention to get it all done legally, hassle to get a lawyer for this though if it is just a scam and not going to lead to court etc.
If you do shut them down by stating on the phone that they must contact you through legal means from now on, be sure to record the conversation
The poster is correct that it would be best to hire a lawyer but then again what an extra expense if it is just a fishing expedition from the new buyer to see if they can get a little more out of your mom.
After letting them know you will no longer take any calls etc. from them, if they continue then you may just need some legal grounds to force them to hire a legal team on their own.
If they are just seeing if your mom will go for it out of fear etc. they may just stop when they know they may be the ones getting sued.
I have in the past told over the phone in the US for a billing co. to put it in writing, they stopped all contact since there was nothing behind their claim.

klsallee :
Wkov60 :

They are threatening my mother with court proceedings

People who threaten in non-official ways here are almost always scammers. Those who have a case immediately process it. There is actually a very simple collection system here and the state reviews the complaint, and takes care of collecting on the demanded amount automatically if found to have merit. Real people, with real claims don't need to threaten going to court at the first go.

As you said, this sounds now like they are harassing her, and she needs to find a competent lawyer to deal with it.

Wkov60 :

and the solicitor in Hungary, who my Mother has found in Hungary, first said my mother should forget about it as she has nothing to be liable for, but now tells us she should pay them. The buyer is now hassling my mother over messenger and the phone.

1) Fire that lawyer.

2) No on knows the specifics of the case or the minute details. A lawyer here may need to know all those details. As it seems your mother is not in Hungary, you need to prepare a detailed report of the issues, including if the proper inspection was not done or not given to your mother, and the harassment, etc.

3) Be aware your mother made many mistakes it seems. She may have to either :

a) pay a lot to her lawyer (and get the legal costs back from the buyers if she goes to court and wins),

or

b) pay a lot to her lawyer and loose that money and have to pay the buyers and pay their legal fees if she looses.

or

c) negotiate a settlement with the buyers. This should only be done via a lawyer with a complete and proper paper trail. It will cost, but has the least risks.


I think getting a copy of the inspection paperwork may indeed help. If it exists --- it may be legally mandatory but I am often surprised how many "ways around" if you "know a guy" here. Of course, if there was none, they may try to claim fraud on your mother, saying they as buyers had no idea this was a required document ... but then you can (try) to go after the lawyer then, as that lawyer certainly was required to know. But I am sure the lawyer will have some excuse that he thought your mother had it done and gave a copy to the buyers... etc etc. etc.

Basically, she did get herself into a pickle.

P.S. Just curious.... What nationality were the buyers?

I also was going to ask what nationality the buyers were but I am sort of thinking they are Hungarians since they seem to be crossing the line,
Almost like they got a good deal on the buy and are trying too see if the golden goose will lay yet another egg.
Some people seem to try to scam seniors thinking they are not going to fight back for whatever reason.
It could also be a case were the lawyer is in on the scam. Nothing that happens in HU surprises me any longer.
It's like they have nothing to loose by trying.Your mom is probably a honest person and they may see that as a signal to try and twist her around and confuse her with laws that she doesn't fully understand.
It is disgusting but it happens.

In any case the buyer should of taken the time to inspect the heating system before buying, seems they were careless and may of actually known better but thought they could pull  a scam later for more money.
When we bought our first house in 1986 in S. Ca. we had the house inspected before getting the bank to carry a loan, had to do that.
The inspector didn't do a great job and we were far too trusting as well.
we only saw the house 2 times before moving in, when we bought it and in what is called a walk through before signing the final paper work.
When we saw the house the seller always said they had just watered the front grass since the yard was very wet all the time.
The grass was well cared for and green so we didn't think anything of it.
The very day we moved in my husband discovered the water main was broken.
We had to hire a plumber on moving day.
It cost at the time around $800. to fix the pipe in the ground.
We let it go, didn't bother suing the seller or even telling them about it.
We felt dumb and also the seller was a lawyer who was handling 2 law suits for us for auto accidents.
He cut us a good break on his legal fees so we though we had about broken even. Didn't wish to tell him about the plumbing so not to mess with his work on our 2 law cases.
He knew the pipe was broken since they always covered themselves with the just watering lie.
Can't even trust your own attorney at times.

klsallee :

....


I think getting a copy of the inspection paperwork may indeed help. If it exists --- it may be legally mandatory but I am often surprised how many "ways around" if you "know a guy" here. Of course, if there was none, they may try to claim fraud on your mother, saying they as buyers had no idea this was a required document ... but then you can (try) to go after the lawyer then, as that lawyer certainly was required to know. But I am sure the lawyer will have some excuse that he thought your mother had it done and gave a copy to the buyers... etc etc. etc.

Basically, she did get herself into a pickle.

P.S. Just curious.... What nationality were the buyers?

As I said, the SELLER prepares the EPC and provides it to the BUYER. 

In fact, the EPCs are individually numbered and I believe centrally controlled (Chamber of Architects perhaps and Ministries of Housing, Economy etc) so they are available to look up as reference material.  They are valid for 10 years. There are cases elsewhere where EPCs are not required - temporary buildings or places occupied for less than 4 months a year. But in Hungary, not sure.   I believe Hungary was thinking of "short form" certificates to cut the costs. Can be about 300 EUR for an EPC.

In my own purchase contract (which I just looked at) it says quite clearly in the very first article of the conditions of sale, "The Sellers provided the energy certificate number XYZ to the buyers".   

Since all parties sign the sales contract, the Buyer has therefore acknowledged they have it.  That's good enough, even if they haven't read it, it's enough to assume they did and if they didn't, they shouldn't have signed the contract.   

Others might like to look at their own house contracts to see if they also have EPCs mentioned.  I think it's been required since 2009.

If it doesn't say EPC provided in the contract, the lawyer is an incompetent and should be reported to the HU lawyers association.  If I was really cynical there's a possibility the buyers and lawyer are in cahoots.  I wouldn't put it past them.

As others say, all in writing, nothing verbal, block their calls, collect but ignore their e-mails, tell 'em to send registered letters from now on.  Stick the boot in and say communicate only in English.

I am pretty sure they will eventually go away.

fluffy2560 :

If it doesn't say EPC provided in the contract, the lawyer is an incompetent

Or part of a scam.

fluffy2560 :

and should be reported to the HU lawyers association.

Giggles... Yeah. Right. That will surely do something..... Where anyone may have the right "connections" and "know a guy" to make the complaint not only go away, but use against the complainant...... And I don't just mean knowing someone "official"..... if you get my drift......

Been there. Done that. Is often a waste of time. Or worse.

Oh, sure, the complaint might hit home. But probably won't. And then you have "outed" yourself. Did you know someone (anonymous) once sent my wife a box of candy with a needle in one of the candies? Be careful "reporting people".

Best defense here is a good offense. Stay out of trouble by not getting into trouble.

klsallee :
fluffy2560 :

If it doesn't say EPC provided in the contract, the lawyer is an incompetent

Or part of a scam.

fluffy2560 :

and should be reported to the HU lawyers association.

Giggles... Yeah. Right. That will surely do something..... Where anyone may have the right "connections" and "know a guy" to make the complaint not only go away, but use against the complainant...... And I don't just mean knowing someone "official"..... if you get my drift......

Been there. Done that. Is often a waste of time. Or worse.

Oh, sure, the complaint might hit home. But probably won't. And then you have "outed" yourself. Did you know someone (anonymous) once sent my wife a box of candy with a needle in one of the candies? Be careful "reporting people".

Best defense here is a good offense. Stay out of trouble by not getting into trouble.

Oh I wish I could say you are just being cynical but yes, you're absolutely right unfortunately.  All of us long term foreigners  know that it's all dodgy but being a deluded wannabe innocent, I still live in hope. Reporting someone might do something. 

If no-one does anything, then it will do nothing for sure.  And they think or fool themselves, everything is OK in Hungary-town.

A much liked HU relative was effectively killed by incompetent surgeons in HU. Professor Doctor TooBigForHisBoots was supposed to do the operation but stayed at home watching TV or something and left his inexperienced juniors to do it.  They did not put enough stitches when connecting two major blood vessels in the heart. They ruptured a few days after the operation when the patient exerted themselves a small amount.  Bled to death internally and very quickly too - minutes.

Criminal negligence in reality.  But get anywhere reporting it?  Nope. All closed ranks.

Hi Fluffy

Thats a good point about the EPC, I'm sure she mentioned it before, I will aske her to show me it and get it translated. Thanks for that.

Thanks Marilyn
I must admit the Hungarians do have a strange way of treating Widows, we siblings had to sign the house over to my mother when my dad passed away.

Hi Ksallee

You've given us a lot to think about, thanks. The buyers are Hungarian, so they know the scams lol

P.S. that's "thanks" in a good way.

Wkov60 :

Hi Fluffy

Thats a good point about the EPC, I'm sure she mentioned it before, I will aske her to show me it and get it translated. Thanks for that.

If it's in there it might be named as certificate HET-XXXXX where XXXXX is the number.   

You wouldn't need to translate it, only the section on the heating and recommendations.  Google Translate would give you a higher level of confidence what you are looking at is correct.   I don't have an electronic copy of my own one but you can easily find examples from the UK which give you the overall idea. 

Tactically, depending on what the EPC says (hardly matters really what it says, you can bluff them by bureaucracy),  you can always respond with something like "....the EPC - as mandated by Hungarian and EU law - and provided to you as buyers and as described in the sale contract explains the condition of the heating system.  Therefore as buyers, you were fully informed as to the nature and condition of the heating system.  Therefore we cannot accept,  and therefore, reject all and any claims.  We now consider the matter now closed". 

Try it on and see if they go away.  And let us know if it works out!  And if it does,  enjoy your Xmas in peace!

Wkov60 :

Thanks Marilyn
I must admit the Hungarians do have a strange way of treating Widows, we siblings had to sign the house over to my mother when my dad passed away.

Yes, it's odd the way they handle the spouse of a deceased person in Hungary as far as property goes.
The children get half on the spot unless there is a legal contract that hands over all property rights to the spouse.
Weird since most marriages required two people working together to buy anything, the kids never did a thing  just got in line at the receiving end.
The spouse only has the right to stay in the property until they die if they so chose to.
The children could if they wanted to actually sell off their share of the property under the nose of the living spouse, even have someone move in with them !
Insane rules and laws.
I'm sure there must of been a good reason behind this law at one time but it needs to be updated for the modern world. Sounds like a law from the days when a husband "owned" his wife and all her properties.

"Yes, it's odd the way they handle the spouse of a deceased person in Hungary as far as property goes. The children get half on the spot unless there is a legal contract that hands over all property rights to the spouse."

Actually, not so odd or uncommon internationally. It provides some protection to the children, especially if the widow remarries.

In California, for example, while community property goes to the surviving spouse, the children get a share of the separate property. Similarly in New York, which is not a community property state: the surviving spouse gets $50,000, and the remainder is split 50-50 between the surviving spouse and the children. Of course these are the rules that apply where there's no will.

Marilyn Tassy :
Wkov60 :

Thanks Marilyn
I must admit the Hungarians do have a strange way of treating Widows, we siblings had to sign the house over to my mother when my dad passed away.

Yes, it's odd the way they handle the spouse of a deceased person in Hungary as far as property goes.
The children get half on the spot unless there is a legal contract that hands over all property rights to the spouse.
Weird since most marriages required two people working together to buy anything, the kids never did a thing  just got in line at the receiving end.
The spouse only has the right to stay in the property until they die if they so chose to.
The children could if they wanted to actually sell off their share of the property under the nose of the living spouse, even have someone move in with them !
Insane rules and laws.
I'm sure there must of been a good reason behind this law at one time but it needs to be updated for the modern world. Sounds like a law from the days when a husband "owned" his wife and all her properties.

Good points and an excellent reminder Marilyn. 

What one really wants (or should want) is to leave everything to your other half.  So if one pops off the other gets it all.   

Worst case scenario is the kids get nothing unless both parents are gone with caveats on being mentally impaired or otherwise incapable. 

You never know if your kids will go off the rails, take drugs, get involve with cults, go bonkers, disabled or get institutionalised and so on.  Parent then needs access to all funds.     

If everyone pops off, the dog gets it.

ATM I am waiting to hear news from my BFF in S.Ca.
Her mother passed away 3 years ago at age 93.
Before she got too ill she signed over most everything she had in the bank( was living in a old folks home when she passed, my friend was her only child to even visit her for years).
My BFF was left almost everything in a living trust will.
Well, since then her 2 older brothers have come together, hired a lawyer and let my friend know of their law suit against her just one day before she would of received her funds.
Now money has been spent on attorney fees, court costs and lost time and stress.
Suppose to settle any day now, she must pay her bros a bit after all.
She now feels she has zero family left and will never speak to any of her family again, only has one niece she can count on.
It wasn't so much that her bro's went against their own mothers wishes but that they dragged my friends relationship with her mother through the mud in open court.
Years back when her mom still had her home, was in her 70's at the time and my friend was in her mid 30's they had a few beers together in her mom's kitchen.
That was even made into something dirty in court, like she was plying her mom with booze to get her to sign papers.
Not true.
I wish people were not so greedy, it is disgusting at times.
Sad used to think my friends older bro's were nice.
My friend and her mom hadn't seen hide or hair of her bro's for years, they only came sniffing around after they found out there was money involved.
When my friends mom died in the home, my friend was the only one of her 4 surviving children to be there holding her hand.
The only child to give her a farewell by driving out to the desert to scatter her mother's ashes along with their father's ashes.
My friend saved his ashes for years so she could mix them together in the end.
I know her mother knew exactly who she wanted to leave her worldly wealth  too and it wasn't her 2 no show sons.
Her other child a daughter didn't go to court she had received already what their mother had intended for her to get.
Sad stuff to see the dark ugly greedy side to people.

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