To ask for my inheritance back?

(130 Posts)
WhatToDoNow123 Sun 24-Aug-14 23:08:36

NC, am regular user but don't want this to be linked with previous threads as it'll out me!
Will try and keep this brief but feel free to ask questions to clarify as it's confusing and complicated!
My dad died when I was a child (under 10), leaving me, mum and sister. At the time he had a well-paid job with good pension etc and DM didn't work. His death resulted in a lump sum being paid which paid off the balance of our house plus an annuity for life for my mum which was/is the equivalent of a good salary (think well over 4 figures net per month) and also a smaller annuity for me and DS while we were in full-time education (including uni).
To cut a long story short my mum spent all that money and more. We moved into a bigger house and didn't have to pay a mortgage as the lump sum plus equity from the last one covered that. So life improved that way. But we got no money to help us through uni (I had to self-fund and ended up taking over 10 years to complete a degree due to lack of funds) and DS didn't even try to go as she couldn't afford it. We are now both married with DC and although we are ok financially, we are both saving up to move to a bigger house.
However, mum's house has tripled in value. Unfortunately in order to have an extravagant lifestyle, she has borrowed so much against the house so now despite the rise in value there is very little equity in it. She has now decided to move out of the house into a rented place in a different area and is also making plans about buying things like a sports car with what's left after the sale of the house, so there will be nothing left. My DS and I have spoken to DM over the years about her money problems and she would not admit to anything being an issue and maintained that although the house was an expensive commitment to maintain, she was doing it to pay the mortgage off and then split the money 3 ways when it was eventually sold so that DS and I could finally get our inheritance.
I don't know what to do - do I just let the sale go through and she wastes the last of our dad's money or do I say something and come across as greedy whilst she's struggling? Or something else completely? Please help!

WhatToDoNow123 Sun 24-Aug-14 23:11:27

Over the years DM has received a lot of money - not only does she have a job which matches her annuity payments, she has a partner who contributes to the household and she always charged us board when we lived there, even though she was getting money for us anyway from the annuity fund. So her income has been massive over the years - it's just that she's created huge outgoings as well. So I don't know whether that's clouding my judgment on whether or not to feel guilty for asking sad

AnneEyhtMeyer Sun 24-Aug-14 23:17:06

I don't think it is your money to ask for.

Your DM was presumably left a young widow with two children to bring up. How she spent her inheritance is her business.

SlatternLovesLots Sun 24-Aug-14 23:19:03

Sorry but I don't see how you are entitled to anything. If a person dies it is normal for their spouse to inherit the lot. The annuity your mother received for you and your sister was presumably to rear you and wasn't to be paid directly to you.

I think the issue here is that your mother is not fiscally responsible. That is something you may want to help her with, but by the sound of it she won't listen.

Otherwise I don't see how you are owed anything. You didn't inherit directly from you father's death. You mother did and what she did with that inheritance is up to her.

Trickydecision Sun 24-Aug-14 23:20:07

You certainly do not come across as greedy, just very hard done by. How did your mum actually get her hands on your annuity to the extent that you were struggling to pay for your university course? Do the administrators of your father's pension and annuity benefits know that this happened?

Sandiacre Sun 24-Aug-14 23:20:32

I'm sorry you suffered the death of your Father as a child but the money was your mothers to do what she wanted with even if she has wasted it in your eyes.

My Mother also charged me board.

SaucyJack Sun 24-Aug-14 23:20:41

Did your father leave you any money directly in his will?

MotherBluestocking Sun 24-Aug-14 23:20:56

What happened to the annuity which should have seen you through university?

WhatToDoNow123 Sun 24-Aug-14 23:22:17

The money I'm thinking of was the annuity left to DS and I specifically in our names and was meant to be protected as money to be used for uni fees and board etc. It was paid into DM's account as we were minors for the majority of the time but there was a 3 figure sum per month for 14 years. The lump sum and her annuity were hers but there was money especially for us which has disappeared into the house. The splitting the house 3 ways comment was what she suggested when we challenged her on that money previously. We only found out about the money and the specific orders attached to it after we'd both left full-time education and it had already stopped being paid and had all been ploughed into the house in order to re-mortgage and cover debts from high spending.

WhatToDoNow123 Sun 24-Aug-14 23:23:44

So in total there was a lump sum plus 3 annuities, a big one for DM and a smaller one each for DS and I.

SaucyJack Sun 24-Aug-14 23:24:30

YANBU then. Your mother has stolen from you. Asking for it back must be the least worst you can do.

SuperWifeANDMum Sun 24-Aug-14 23:24:39

YANBU.

You both need to broach this subject with your mum now.

I am sure your father would be appalled that your mum was living frivolously while your sister couldn't afford to attend university while you waited 10 years to finish a degree due to lack of money.

Does your mum have form for being selfish with money?

WhatToDoNow123 Sun 24-Aug-14 23:24:54

Just added it up - mine comes to over 25k, DS is a bit less as she spent less time in education.

WineWineWine Sun 24-Aug-14 23:26:54

Was any money left in trust directly for you?
If it was all left to your mum, then you are not entitled to anything.

MotherBluestocking Sun 24-Aug-14 23:26:55

In that case (though I'm no expert), might there be a way of realising that money from the proceeds of the sale of the house? I suspect, though, that it may well turn out that the legal costs of doing so, plus the inevitable family ill-feeling, would cancel out the benefit.

WhatToDoNow123 Sun 24-Aug-14 23:29:58

Yes Super. The worst moment was what prompted me to move out. I was struggling to pay uni fees and was living at home, paying board which was more than what it would've cost to live in halls. DM asked me one day for an advance on next month's money as apparently the mortgage payment was about to bounce, so I gave her all the money I had left that month bar a few pounds. For the remaining 3 weeks of the month I then had to cycle to uni which was a 3 hour round trip and survive on 1 meal per day (an all you can eat breakfast for £1.40, I used to smuggle toast out to eat later for dinner).
The day after I gave her that money she came home with a new digital radio and tv for her study - she'd lied about the mortgage and I was left with no money.
She has spent so much money over the years on cars, holidays, clothes, you name it. I'm probably coming across as really bitter and I'm sorry about that. I just don't know what to think.

Trickydecision Sun 24-Aug-14 23:30:07

If your annuity was meant to be protected, surely whoever was in charge of paying it was remiss in not ensuring it was maintained for your benefit. At the very least you should tot up how much this amounted to and put it to your mother that it is money you are owed. I would also be inclined to contact whoever payed it out and ask for an explanation of their policy and practice over this sort of thing.

Am I right in thinking your mum cashed in your annuity to fund the larger house?

I think that's pretty shitty tbh, but maybe it must have seemed like something that would benefit you at the time?

I don't think there's anything you can do now, your dad chose to leave the money in such a way that your mum was able to make those financial decisions.

I can see why it's hurtful, maybe ot would be better to try to stop seeing it as your inheritance. It's pretty normal for all money to pass on to a spouse and for the kids to get what's left over when both parents have died.

I think it's pretty poor that your mum hasn't protected your interests better, though.

Am I right in thinking your mum cashed in your annuity to fund the larger house?

I think that's pretty shitty tbh, but maybe it must have seemed like something that would benefit you at the time?

I don't think there's anything you can do now, your dad chose to leave the money in such a way that your mum was able to make those financial decisions.

I can see why it's hurtful, maybe ot would be better to try to stop seeing it as your inheritance. It's pretty normal for all money to pass on to a spouse and for the kids to get what's left over when both parents have died.

I think it's pretty poor that your mum hasn't protected your interests better, though.

PenisesAreNotPink Sun 24-Aug-14 23:31:34

Won't she just say that money was spent providing for you to stay at home during uni or holiday time?

She is clearly awful with money and has spunked thousands away but I'm guessing she may have been allowed to deduct reasonable expenses for you to stay?

Unless you went to uni at 18 and never went back or stayed there?

Sandiacre Sun 24-Aug-14 23:33:16

Is the 25k the sum of the specific annuity in your name only?

If something was specifically in your name then I suppose she has nicked it. I think you need proper legal advice before you think about doing anything at all.

WhatToDoNow123 Sun 24-Aug-14 23:33:35

Wine I don't know - it's all been covered up. The money was definitely in mine and DS' names but paid into DM's account so I don't know how that works legally? Years ago I queried it with my dad's employer who also administered the annuities as they are a financial services company and I think they were shocked that I'd not had the money. I asked them for a letter to confirm which account it had gone into and they were initially helpful but then once they realised I'd not seen a penny of it they just said they couldn't discuss it with me as the account the money had been paid into wasn't mine - so I hit a dead end with them. Not sure where to go now if I were to pursue it?

SuperWifeANDMum Sun 24-Aug-14 23:33:48

That is disgusting. I would never do that to my children. I'm appalled for your sister and you.

You really must speak to your mum about this. If she refuses to give you the 25k then you really must seek legal advice.mI know that sounds ridiculous as it is your mum but her behaviour towards her children is disgusting.

ClashCityRocker Sun 24-Aug-14 23:35:00

It depends on the wording of the will. Usually, with annuities where you can leave an amount for dependants in case you die, there is a section which you fill in where you state how the money is to be split in the event of death.

This is not legally binding, more a notification of the deceased's wishes, and as far as I am aware may be overridden if there is a will that states otherwise - or if there was no will at all.

You could try appealing to your mums better nature, however legal recourse would be costly and would undoubtedly destroy any relationship with your mother. It might be worth having a word with a solicitor and getting a copy of the will if you have one.

But YANBU to feel aggrieved. It's appalling behaviour on your mothers part.

WhatToDoNow123 Sun 24-Aug-14 23:37:33

Penises I paid board from the minute I turned 16 so that covered my expenses - it was a lot of money sad and now I realise she was claiming my annuity on top of that.
Sandi - yes, the 25k is the amount that was in my name.
And attheend the money was released monthly rather than a lump sum and was specifically for uni/education hence the rule about having to be in education to claim it otherwise it'd expire. There was other annuities and a lump sum which covered living expenses and the house.

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