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?

ajandjjmum Sat 04-Jan-14 12:55:00

No arguments here....so far....but DM has lived with us since DF died, so she does spoil my family, especially the DC. I always make a point of telling DB what she has done, so that he knows I am being upfront.

DM wrote in her will that all of her jewellery was to be given to me, as her SIL took all of her DM's jewellery whilst DM and her sister were distraught at the loss of their Mum. She has said that she would like me to give something to certain other people, and I will do so.

DeckSwabber Sat 04-Jan-14 12:58:17

I agree Grennie.

I am looking forward to enjoying the money I earn when my kids are less dependent on me.

But I wouldn't feel comfortable squandering money I had been gifted. As it is tied up in the house, I am already enjoying the benefit of living in a property I could not otherwise afford. I would like my children to have the same support when the time comes.

30SecondsToMarsBars Sat 04-Jan-14 15:37:32

This where the difference in backgrounds really shows on MN

Absolutely. My family have never inherited anything because no one had anything to leave. Reading some of the threads on here you would think every pensioner in the UK bought their house for 5p and it's now worth £5m.

BraveMerida Sun 05-Jan-14 15:42:23

Not really, families fall out over thousands as well as millions.

bearleftmonkeyright Sun 05-Jan-14 15:53:46

Families will fall out over any amount of money as bravemerida says. No win no fee solicitors know there is constant business to be made from those smaller amounts, as the person who has been left the money will not have the financial clout to appoint their own solicitor to fight them off. It's a gravy train for them.

ProfPlumSpeaking Sun 05-Jan-14 16:11:03

Gosh, this is so tough, isn't it?

Logically, people can leave their money to anyone they want and nobody has any right to feel aggrieved. Personally, I would tax all inheritances at 90% as I don't see that passing on goods/assets down generations fosters a fair society.

BUT having said all that, I would be very hurt if my DM gave me less than she gave my siblings EVEN THOUGH I have no need whatsoever of the small amount of money she has (nor do my siblings, tbf, but my DB spends money like water and so is always short, and he has always been the favourite, so I suspect she will have made him the main beneficiary). I need to give myself a good talking to!!

ProfPlumSpeaking Sun 05-Jan-14 16:13:48

Oh, and we have recently inherited some family silver which we have been told by older family members that we must eventually pass on to our nephew as we only have daughters (and apparently girls don't count). I could (stupidly) fall out over that but that is more a feminist thing. I have already suggested shifting the stuff straight off to said 5 yo nephew as I don't particularly want to be a silver store for the rest of my life.
Sigh, I am turning into a cantankerous old cow!

HamletsSister Sun 05-Jan-14 16:14:02

This is not really about the money, but more about who has the power over final funeral arrangements. Both of these happened recently.

My MiL's 2nd husband died. They had been together 30 years, married 15. His daughter took over all the funeral arrangements without asking. Had the service in a church (he was atheist) and even gave instructions that MiL's flowers were not to be put on the coffin. We had to get there extra early to ensure she got a pew at the front and had to watch her, humiliatingly, being asked how she knew the deceased by the vicar. She was not mentioned in the eulogy. His daughter spent thousands on the service (.Cathedral) and reception (free bar) for all her friends. There weren't really any other family. She refused to put MiL (or even beloved husband) on the gravestone. Here wasn't much money but, as executor, she tied it up for 2 years and made sure MiL, who is severely depressed, had a rough time with lawyers.

Case 2 - friends. Grandpa remarried in his 80s to his career who was a member if a charmismatic West African church. He was Old Etonian, very old school CofE. She wanted, and got, his money. But that didin't bother them. It was arriving to find the church too full of her family and church members and having to stand outside even though there were 4 grown up children and several adult grandchildren who simply wanted to say goodbye to their loved one.

Sometimes it is not about the money but about taking away a chance to grieve the way you want to and remember someone the way you know they would want to be remembered.

HamletsSister Sun 05-Jan-14 16:15:22

Carer. Not career. He had been married to his career before he got too old for one and had a carer instead!

Soozle50 Fri 22-Aug-14 11:09:41

Hi does anyone have any advice to protect my elderly mum from my abusive , bullying, alcoholic brother as dad is terminally ill. I worry hat once dad isnt here my brother will bully mum into changing her will in his favour . Mum is in denial about his drink problem and blames herself, wondered if there was anyhting legally that can be done to protect her finances.

DeWee Fri 22-Aug-14 14:12:18

Personally I think parents should try and be fair, but as some people have pointed out, fair isn't always equal. And I'll put bets that some people can argue even when it is equal.

If you're not dividing it equally then I suspect it is often best to discuss it beforehand (eg if one family has inherited millions from the in laws, and won't notice the �5k that comes from the parents it may be appropriate to leave them less)/ However some people hate discussing money and things like that, and sometimes it may be more appropriate to leave a message explaining the reasoning.

One thing I do think is that wives and husbands shouldn't get involved, or feel they are "owed" things. I know when my grandparents died, one of the wives was very pushy to be at any discussions about dividing things up, and was also pushy about trying to aquire things.

Giving items away can also be seen as unfair-for example one war veteran I know caused bad feeling by giving (when he was alive) his medals to his youngest son. The reason was (and I can understand it) that his youngest son was the only one who had his own children, (and they were all old enough more coming along wasn't on the cards) and he wanted them to stay in the family. The oldest son was annoyed because he felt that he should have had them-but the veteran was pretty certain that they would then pass out of the family, either through being auctioned off, or going to his wife's family.

But when it comes to aunts/cousins/family friends then I think it is fair enough to give to one and not to another. There are perfectly good reasons why they might be closer to one than another. One of my uncles I would say that I'm probably closer to than my siblings, one of my great aunts had a special relationship with my dsis for a very good reason. If she had chosen to leave her something (as far as I'm aware she didn't but she might have done) I would feel it was fair enough.

I think another thing that I've noticed is often the better off, the more grabby they are. Not always. but often the person who is struggling accepts being given little, but the one who has plenty is terribly annoyed by not getting more.

KERALA1 Fri 22-Aug-14 15:13:26

The worst fallings out often in the wealthier families in my experience. That said dhs 2 aunts are utterly estranged over their parents small estate. Very sad they used to be close. Glad dhs granny not alive to see it she would be devastated. Wasn't the will that caused the problem but actions of an executor.

writtenguarantee Fri 22-Aug-14 21:11:51

i say common.

i agree fair doesn't always mean equal. And I don't think if it's "unfair", the heirs have an obligation to right it. i.e. if one sibling gets the whole lot, it's not necessarily the case that they should share. I would be unhappy with my parents if that happened, not my sibling.

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