To ask how common it is for family siblings to fall out due to disputes over wills...

(188 Posts)
BraveMerida Wed 01-Jan-14 20:00:40

....for whatever reasons? And how long did it take for it to finally resolve?

MoreThanChristmasCrackers Wed 01-Jan-14 20:03:49

My sister was written out of my dads will, mum had already died previous year.
She blamed me and other family members even though we pleaded with him not to do it.
We have never spoken since, this is 7 years ago now.
She knows my door is always open

NinjaBunny Wed 01-Jan-14 20:04:26

MiL's family have all fallen out over their mum's will.

Proper full on screaming matches and disowning each other.

Personally I think they're all doing it to distract them from the grief but I don't have the balls to suggest it to them. They've even said they can't grieve until they've dealt with the fallout.

Luckily DP stays well out of it..!

Adeleh Wed 01-Jan-14 20:06:20

My DM is unbelievably bitter about my aunt's behaviour ( whether this was or was not the case) at my grandmother's will. My grandmother died over 30 years ago.

Kewcumber Wed 01-Jan-14 20:07:16

family falling out at grandparents generation - has never resolved.

I suspect it will happen again in mine (sadly)

invicta Wed 01-Jan-14 20:09:09

My mum fell out with her brothers when their parents ( my grandparents) died. Also, my gran fell out with her brother when their parents died, so in our family, it has occurred over two generations.

HenriettaMaria Wed 01-Jan-14 20:18:18

My DH's sister tried everything that she could to prevent the sale of PIL's house after FIL died. MIL had only died about 4 months previously (that was a shock), he was already ill.

She was awkward and obstructive from the very first meeting after his death to discuss clearing the house and putting it on the market. It was horrendous; she falsely reported eldest SIL and her DH for tax evasion, accused DH of stealing from his parents' house and did various other unpleasant things.

It went to court several times. At one point she was ordered by a judge to pay each of her siblings compensation because she had held up the settlement for so long.

It was all finally sorted 12 years after FIL's death. To this day we don't know why she did all this.

greenfolder Wed 01-Jan-14 20:19:13

My dfil didn't speak to his brother for 35 years after his cow of a mother left him 90 per cent of the estate and dfil 10. Not because she did it because it was predictable. But because his brother did not do the honorable thing and share it.They made it up when elderly a few years before dfil died.
My friend and her dbro were in the same position 're a legacy from an aunt. They simply split it 50/50 between them as any sane person would.

joanofarchitrave Wed 01-Jan-14 20:27:58

Friend's parent died suddenly. Friend was child from first marriage. Friend had pleasant though not particularly close relationship with parent's current spouse. Spouse refused to accept that friend's legacy (house) from parent is legit. Spouse and friend end up going to court. They have never spoken since (about a decade later).

BohemianGirl Wed 01-Jan-14 20:31:06

Grand mother loved causing misery - she did so with her will - never resolved, caused early deaths through stress with he children.

On the other hand - why to people equate money to love?

I love my children equally but their financial needs will be very different. I would be an inept parent if I didnt recognise that. They should be secure in my love and accept I know best grin

CeliaLytton Wed 01-Jan-14 20:35:55

Everyone knows that a person is entitled to do what they like with their money and nobody is entitled to it. It is when favourites are played that people fall out, or when one person gets greedy.

I know of two cases where money, house etc were left equally between siblings and then siblings helped each other out, giving up shares when needed by another. This is what I hope will always happen in my family <idyllic>

Writerwannabe83 Wed 01-Jan-14 20:40:11

I find things get heated when Grandchildren are added into the mix of people who are named as having a share of the money. People start having mutterings that they are losing their "fair share" just because their sibling has had 5 children and they are all being left money too...

Both my parents have said their Wills (they are divorced, so obviously have a a Will each) are 50/50 split between me and my sister, no grandchildren have been mentioned and never will.

I'm sure there will still be things to argue about though when the time comes....

Mumoftwoyoungkids Wed 01-Jan-14 20:42:03

MIL was left a greater proportion of her parents' estate as she cared for her dad in her home for many years. Her dad died when my dh was about 16. Her brother still hasn't forgiven her. Dh is now 37.

Wevet Wed 01-Jan-14 20:43:01

DH has a wealthy unmarried and childless uncle who has been taking different family members to see his will altered in their favour for more than two decades. No one knows who the current 'heir' is, and opinion is divided between 'he's left everything to the RSPCA' and that DH and I are the secret beneficiaries! I think all hell will break lose when he dies.

On my side of the family, my grandmother left her house (her only asset) to my well-off uncle, with nothing left to my mother, despite the fact that said grandmother lived almost entirely with us for the last decade of her life, and my uncle hardly saw her. We really needed the money, and in my mother's shoes I would have challenged the will, but she thought family harmony more important.

twinkbat Wed 01-Jan-14 20:43:26

depends on the family I think. My friend lost her step dad and a will was invalid, luckily her step sis (who got everything) was lovely and just divied it up according to the invalid will

my family are a bunch of bastards and sue and fight for every last penny. Currently in month 6 of trying to sort out my Nannas estate after she passed. So far we've got to all agreeing shes dead sad

ToffeeOwnsTheSausage Wed 01-Jan-14 20:45:56

I was left £2000 in a relative's will. Their child was left £70,000. They moaned I was left 2K and their child got nothing hmm. Some people are just twatty.

Viviennemary Wed 01-Jan-14 20:50:14

This is far from uncommon. People fall out for decades over wills. And a lot never reconcile.

nilbyname Wed 01-Jan-14 20:54:42

I'm not really talking to my brother after his grasping behaviour at my dads will. It's very difficult though, as it is so not about the money for me (any assets did go as they should to my mum) but how I saw his true colours.

I'm dreading it when my mother passes as I know he will be after every Bean and my mum has specifically named certain items to come to me. This is despite me requesting for no assets, no heirlooms, nothing. Spend it now! We are co executors. It will be brutal.

It's a bloody nightmare, I wish all assets went to charity. I really do. People can be so entitled and greedy.

BraveMerida Wed 01-Jan-14 21:03:13

Agree with you nilby about it not so much about the money but seeing the true colours of a sibling's selfish and grabby behaviour in disputing the will....when we are not even talking about a huge amount of money....but to see my dh's sister being prepared to sour a blood relationship by not accepting and disputing the will for the sake of not a large sum of £££ sends a message about how his sister values her relationship with dh, her brother.

HenriettaMaria Wed 01-Jan-14 21:20:39

but to see my dh's sister being prepared to sour a blood relationship by not accepting and disputing the will for the sake of not a large sum of £££ sends a message about how his sister values her relationship with dh, her brother.

Absolutely. Neither DH nor 3 of his other sisters have spoken to their sister since all the trouble started. DH had never had a serious problem with her before all this stuff kicked off.

She doesn't seem bothered by the fact that she has alienated her family, though. She hasn't gained anything at all from the mess so far as I can see.

I hope your SIL has second thougts, OP. It's very hard to put families back together after a big falling out like that.

BraveMerida Wed 01-Jan-14 21:29:48

No, my SIL didn't have second thoughts...it's been nearly 3 years now since DFIL died...and it's all only recently come to a close, ironically near christmas time, time for family supposedly.

After thousands of £££ coming from the estate itself spent on solicitors and arbitrator's fees, her dispute was unsuccessful....dh has always been clear about the DFIL's intent in the will although it was not written as water tight as it could have been...even the arbitrator commented on her behaviour...she gained nothing and lost a brother in the process.

BraveMerida Wed 01-Jan-14 21:33:10

The sad thing is DH's mum (DFIL and Mil are divorced acronmoniously years ago) would not intervene and has her own opinions on how the will should have been and just does not get the concept that the will of the deceased should respected regardless of what anyone thinks should or should not be.

sykadelic15 Wed 01-Jan-14 21:34:35

It's something we worried about with my dad's Will (because of half-siblings) but was, thankfully, worried about nothing (everything went to my mum, his wife of 30+ years).

Now I'm worried about mum's Will. We have an estranged sister, and another sister who is pretty damn entitled... I certainly hope I'm wrong and honestly money isn't what I'm worried about. I'm worried about "stuff" that would remind me of my family... easiest way to avoid that is to be "gifted" the items before she passes.

torcat Wed 01-Jan-14 21:36:43

Already starting to happen in my family and the person isn't yet dead. My brother is due to be left an estate currently worth about £9 million, by a mad old great aunt, not a blood relative. Her husband, our blood great Uncle wanted everything split 5 ways between his nephews and nieces and all of it was his money, but he only put it as an expression of wishes in his will and has passed away with everything going to her and now she wants to leave it all to my brother. She tells all of us this every single time we see her and talks about the huge value of the things she has etc. My uncles and aunts are deeply unhappy as they all have kids and mortgages and this kind of cash is transformational. It will be a total nightmare and she is an evil old witch for doing this. I think lots goes wrong when people only leave an 'expression of wishes'.

SaucyJack Wed 01-Jan-14 21:40:05

I don't think it's just greed that makes families fall out.

It can be very unfair if one sibling provides the majority of the care for an aged parent (saving 1000s in the process) whilst others siblings do feck all yet still get the same amount in the will.

This is very likely to happen with my mum and her sisters, and it doesn't seem to right to me.

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