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To ask for my inheritance back?(130 Posts)
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!
I'm really shocked at your mothers behavior op. It sounds like you went through a lot of unnecessary hardship andI feel for you.
Frankly, what a bitch.
Oh op I'm so saddened to read of your situation. I can't believe she did it and am disgusted that she did.
Have you confronted her or tried to talk to her about it before? What does she say?
I also think that your best bet would possibly be action against the financial/pension company, on the grounds that there were no safeguards in place to prevent your mother doing exactly this - basically, they gave YOUR money straight to someone else, while you were a minor, and had NO system of checks to make sure that it wasn't stolen by them.
Lots of good advice above on how to start off getting all the information you would need.
However, one thing I would add is - you also need to sit down and work through exactly what you feel you would be prepared to do about this with regard to your mother. Others are saying - take her to the cleaners, do whatever it takes to get your money back, etc. Now I agree completely - she is scum and has basically stolen a large part of you and your sister's futures, and the futures of your families. I would be cutting contact without a second thought. But if you KNOW that that isn't what you want or could cope with, at some point you are going to hit a wall - in your actions either against your mother or against the company. She is going to come to you whining and crying that she is going to be ruined/end up with nothing/all she did was try and take care of you/thought she acted for the best etc.- when you either a. try and put a charge on the house or b. get her into trouble with the pension company/police.
Here is my advice if you feel you will fall at this hurdle.
You need to think carefully here about the future. Your mother is a dead weight around the necks of her family, a ruiner, a loose cannon. If you let her get away with this, financially, you know what will happen? She will liquidate what money she has, run through it, and then expect to be bailed out by you for the rest of her life. She will bleed you dry, ruin your own home life and possibly marriage, and it still will never be enough.
So you need to tell yourself that by taking this action, you are doing what little you can here to prevent that. If you can secure money from her or the pension company, not only can you perhaps undo this injustice to you, your dad, sis and any future children, but you can at least STOP your mother from pulling you ALL down any further. If you can end up with control of what little money she has left, you can - without telling her - mentally put some of it aside to make her an allowance in her old age, or to fund care for her. If you don't, she will waste and waste and will STILL end up destitute - the only difference will be that you won't have that nest egg there to possibly help her.
Maybe that line of thought will make a difference to you when you need to be strong - because you will need to be. She will pressure you every way she can, I am sure, because she sounds thoroughly evil. I sincerely hope you will put her out of your lives once you have justice on this.
I hate to spell this out, and hope it isn't true but...
It is important to get the will, because as cerealmom says, it may mention the annuities.
But also, because there may be other bequests in the will.
Until you see it, you simply don't know what else your mother may have stolen.
I am enraged on your behalf OP. What a selfish woman your mother is.
I cannot believe there are people like this out there. I am sorry you had such a tough time.
I have no words of wisdom but just wanted to send you lost of luck in pursuing what is yours. I hope you and your Dsis can work together in this.
Hi, WhatToDoNow, really sorry to hear about what your mum has done. Nine years ago I was in your mum's situation when my husband died. I don't think requesting a will may help as everything was left to me. The children's annuities appeared when his pension provider contacted me after his death (hence nothing to do with will). It was similar to your mum in that I got an annuity for life and our two chn got a small one while in full time education. The money was paid into my account and as they were both at Uni at the time I set it up so it went into their account. There were no safeguards or checks to ensure I did this. Sorry, this is probably not much help.
Sorry I have only skimmed through the thread.
I think you need to set the feelings of guilt aside, it appears your mother doesn't have the same guilt if she is planning to squander what is left on a sports car. It appears to me your DM is trying to keep up appearances.
HMCS (based in Leeds) will do a probate search for a £10 fee. All applications must be made in writing with the enclosed fee.
I think it is essential that you clarify the terms of the will/payout. If there is a clause regarding your upkeep then your mother would be within the terms of the will/payout - her underhand attitude and bleeding you dry through board aside.
Plan of action.
1. Get a copy of your father's will. I would want to know if plans for the annuity are mentioned and any other monies/division of assets.
2. Contact the financial/pension provider. You are entitled to see the documentation for your annuity. Your DSis would have to contact them herself for hers.
If you cannot get the documentation from them try your DF old employer.
3. If you are stalled by the financial/pension company I would...
a. Ask for details of their complains/resolutions procedures.
b. Ask what reasons they are not providing you with your documentation.
4. When you get the information and depending on the wording of it (I am assuming you and DSis are named beneficiaries) then you have options.
5. If the company is delaying or stonewalling you you must follow their internal resolution procedure to the end. Only by following to the end can you go forward to the FINANCIAL SERVICES OMBUDSMAN.
Get the documentation, make an appointment with a solicitor. I imagine you have a case both against your dM and the company responsible for administering the annuity. A solicitor will best advise how to make the claim.
All contact make in writing/email and make notes of any phone conversations. Who you spoke to, time, date and nature of conversation.
darkandstormy, read the thread!!
op, even if there isn't much money to recover, I'd contact citizens advice and see if they could help, even if it's just to send your mother a letter letting her know you and your sister have found out how she has stolen what was rightfully yours and how you feel she has let you and your dad down.
unfortunately, IME, people like her dont have a conscience so you won't get the heartfelt apology you certainly deserve, I just hope time allows you to treat her in the callous way she has treated you and leave her to grow old without your help and support
I think while you might have a case .
How money and time are willing to lose pursuing it.
How much money does your mum have to give you .
You might end award the money and legal cost for mum not to either want or be able to pay you.
It would be be better case if sister came in with you.
The fact that you could not get government loan or grant cos you had too money is no body fault. You mum did not have surrport a college/uni.
You might have case against the trustees for not talking to eat of you when you turn 18.
It probably is a lost cause, but worth seeking legal advice because had DarkandStormy bothered to read beyond OP she would know it wasn't the mother's money to make choices with.
Although I think you're right about the lost cause bit
darkandstormy did you read past the OP? It WASN'T her money. She got a lump sum and her own annuity but then decided to take mine and my sister's annuities too. They were in our name and left to us. If mum wasted all her own money then yes, you're right, she can make whatever choices she wants with her money. I just want mine back
I understand how you feel but I agree...it was hers to make choices with and she made bad choices, and you got ripped off. But it was her money to do with as she pleased. I think it's a lost cause trying to get anything now unfortunately.
What an awful situation.
This sounds like something you do need specialist legal advice about- I wonder whether it actually counts as fraud, and whether the financial services company who administered the annuity have behaved negligently.
That annuity was, by the sounds of it, intended for you and your sister. It was never used for its intended purpose because your mother stole it to squander on her own wants. If she's struggling now that's he own fault. If she has actually committed a crime, which sounds entirely possible, then that's her responsibility too.
Sounds horribly painful. It's very difficult to understand how a parent could do that to their children, apart from the greed and deceit it's such a stupidly short term view. I assume that the OP's mother feels that the world owes her, perhaps becasue of the early death of the OP'd father, although perhaps she was just always incredibly selfish.
As TartinaTiara suggests TPAS does sound like the place to start accessing support in trying at least to understand what happened and what the rules were. Hopefully there is some case against the administers of the fund, as they probably have the financial means for redress, although proof of their wrongdoing might be difficult.
Just had a look at my pension docs as this got me thinking! I am a civil servant and if i were to die in service, the scheme would pay out a lump sum, plus 37% of my pension to a dependant spouse for life, plus 30% each to two children up to 18, or 23 if in full time education. Obviously no idea what OPs father did, but sounds similar to the insurance/pension in question. So it isn't really a will issue, but your mother has defrauded you and/or the pension/insurance company by taking money meant for you.
When you're ready WhatToDon come find Stately Homes? We'll look out for you! Xx
Sorry, by heal, I meant WhatToDo and her dsis. They will have to come to terms with what their dm has chosen to do to them.
The relationship will never be fixed/repaired sadly, but these sisters need to be able to find a place that doesn't hurt so much.
And your mum sounds like a nasty stupid irresponsible bitch who deserves a lonely and poor old age.
I think you need to get legal advice and do it ASAP before the house is sold and money spent.
Your dad's will is public record that is where you start.
I don't think there's any way to heal after the way both the OP and her DS have been so cynically exploited. And for so long, too.
The plain truth is that there is likely to be very little cash and assets left. Sounds like there's not that much equity in the property either and that's going to be sold to finance rent and a car.
She's going to be in a very, very difficult position once all the cash has gone. Two children and neither willing to subsidise or finance her in her old age. Maybe not even to visit her in her dotage. What a pity. Not.
All of which means that if you do get to a point that you can start to claim the money back - from your mother, pension company or whoever - then don't just look at the money that you didn't receive that stopped when you dropped out of college/didn't start college - but look at what you would have had, had you had the money yourself to pay for your college. Work out if you had had your money, gone to live in halls and not pay any money to your mum for board etc how feasible it would have been to have gone to college without a grant - would your the money and your part time job money have been enough to have got you through without needing to drop out? Or for your sister to at least start college? And what about what courses you would have done - might you have gone on to do a masters course or phd for a year or two or three that would have been also covered by the money?
Because if the money had been explicitly left for the purpose of your further education and your mother's demands / misappropriation of the money have meant that you have missed out, then they ought to be looking at compensating your for what you should have had! Even if you get some and not all of that - then it's a good starting point and will help to make your mother (or her friends or those that know her) realise exactly what you and your sister have forfeited for her greed...
How terribly hurtful to realise all this. I think there's been some fab advice here, and I hope from the bottom of my heart that you can resolve this, and find a way to heal and recover from what she's done.
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