Was Auntie bu over the will?

(113 Posts)
stairbears Mon 18-Jan-16 12:46:58

Not sure what to think about this.

Our Dad died unexpectedly and horribly 18 months ago.

Our Aunt (his sister), arranged with our still surviving Grandfather, for his will to be re-written a few weeks after our Dad died, otherwise my sister and I would have been in line to receive our late Dad's largeish inheritance.

Grandfather died, Aunt receives v.large sum, her daughter (our cousin) also substantial sum. My sister and I, the other two grandchildren, a comparatively very small sum each.

I only know this from obtaining a copy of the will, which is a public record.

I do not begrudge getting much less than my aunt and cousin. They were much closer and took care of him sometimes too. We live hundreds of miles away.

However, was my Aunt being unreasonable when she didn't send us a copy of the will, when we were named in it, and was she unreasonable saying to our faces after the funeral "there will be a little something for you, he didn't have a lot I'm afraid".

She doesn't know I applied for a copy myself... I think our late father would say she was "on the make again", but unsure how I should feel?

samG76 Mon 18-Jan-16 12:51:18

Sounds a bit odd - why did your Dad leave his money to his father rather than to you? And if he died intestate you would have got a portion in any event.

ChairoftheBored Mon 18-Jan-16 12:51:26

Sorry for your losses OP, it can be hard to have two so close together.

In terms of wills, while you may have feelings that she has been a bit underhand (and based on your post, I may agree!) I think in my experience of these things, which sadly is too much experience of late, it's best to view all wills and legacies as being someone else's money , thereby any little you do get is a bonus.

You can't help how you feel, and it would not be U in my opinion to feel a little aggrieved at the behaviour, rather than it's outcome if you se what I mean?

Please don't let this cloud how you feel about your late GF (it doesn't sound like it will) it's not a measure of your relationship or the strength of any love, it's just well, stuff.

CaptainMerryWeather Mon 18-Jan-16 12:54:15

You could contest it if you'd like - seek legal advice. If it's substantially different from the previous Will that is.

With regard to her providing you with a copy - she would have no right to do that. Only executors and residuary beneficiaries are entitled to see the Will. Percuniary legatees are not - you just get a letter and cheque in the post.

I'm not sure what the connection is between the estates of your father and grandfather.

If it is bothering you /that/ much - get legal advice before it's too late.

Katenka Mon 18-Jan-16 12:55:47

If they cared for him, then it's not unusual for them to get more.

She seems to have been a bit underhanded telling you there wasn't much. But, why does it matter?

Do you think your grandfather didn't want this?

QueenofallIsee Mon 18-Jan-16 13:01:41

I read that the OPs inherited from her father and the Aunt and Grandfather rewrote his will in order to pass their fathers 'share' of the granddads estate to his surviving daughter rather than them? Underhand and nasty but we can't be certain that your Grandad didn't want that himself can we?

ComposHatComesBack Mon 18-Jan-16 13:02:23

Sorry not sure if I understand, let me check.

A)

You inherited from your father when he died.

However because your father predeceased his own father, what would have been your father's share of his father's estate would have passed to you and your sister as his heirs before your aunt intervened.

Or

B) Your father left his estate to his father and your aunt pressured your grandfather to change the will in her favour.

annielouisa Mon 18-Jan-16 13:02:34

Wills always cause issues but I cannot see why your dad did not provide for you in his will if he wished to.

stairbears Mon 18-Jan-16 13:04:58

Thanks for replies - will address queries, yes it's the A scenario above.

annielouisa Mon 18-Jan-16 13:07:02

Sorry I think I misunderstood. I think if your DA cared for her DF perhaps that is why the will was altered and maybe he wanted to leave the bulk of his estate to those who made his life easier his own DD and DN.

MaidOfStars Mon 18-Jan-16 13:07:49

You inherited from your Dad and your grandfather therefore gave more money from his own estate to your aunt to "even it up"?

stairbears Mon 18-Jan-16 13:08:09

Captain - I don't know what the difference is for beneficiaries - aunt and uncle were executors. Aunt, cousin, sister and I were named beneficiaries. Shouldn't everyone named in a will ideally be sent a copy by the executor?

AuntMabel Mon 18-Jan-16 13:09:56

I understand the OP to be talking about her Grandfather's will, and what would have been her Father's (equal?) share of the inheritance being redistributed in favour of surviving Aunt and other Grandchild?

OP do you know for a fact that your Aunt arranged for the will to be re-written and not your Grandfather himself?

Does your Aunt have form for this kind of thing? Reading into the "on the make" comment I'm guessing she might...

stairbears Mon 18-Jan-16 13:11:02

Katenka - I'm pretty sure my GF was happy with the newly revised will (as am I - it's my aunt's behaviour about it I feel funny about), but I think my aunt was present as the solicitor is listed as a witness along with my aunt and uncle I think

stairbears Mon 18-Jan-16 13:14:09

AuntMabel, yes - she's noted on the newly revised will as a witness to it (or is it my uncle actually - her husband - will go have a look).

RaspberryOverload Mon 18-Jan-16 13:14:56

I didn't think beneficiaries could be witnesses to a will.

CaptainMerryWeather Mon 18-Jan-16 13:16:43

There are two types of legacy - percuniary ie "£1,000" or a particular chair/bracelet etc and residuary ie a share of what's left when everything else is paid.

So sounds like your aunt changed to Will from having your DF and herself as residuary beneficiaries to being her as residuary and then only percuniary legacies for you and your sister.

Only the executors of the Will and residuary beneficiaries are sent copies of the Will and even if residuary beneficiaries are not executors they will be corresponded with throughout the administration to make sure they are happy with how things are going (ie not too much being spent to lower their share).

Percuniary beneficies (those left a fixed amount) only get letters to say "you've been left a legacy, confirm your address" and then again later with a cheque.

RaspberryOverload Mon 18-Jan-16 13:18:05

OP, even if your uncle witnessed the will, it could make things a problem if he's the spouse to your aunt:

Who can witness a will?

A will can be witnessed by anyone over the age of 18, although a blind person or a person of unsound mind are not normally capable of witnessing a will. If you have appointed a solicitor or an executor for your will, they can act as a witness.

If the will is witnessed by:

~ a creditor
~ the spouse or civil partner of the ‘testator’ (a person who has made a will or given a legacy)
~ a beneficiary or the spouse or civil partner of a beneficiary

Due to the principle that a beneficiary cannot legally benefit from a will they have witnessed, in each of these circumstances, any gift made in a will to such a person will be void. However, this will not affect the validity of the rest of the will.

toucantoucan Mon 18-Jan-16 13:18:14

As previous poster has said, beneficiaries surely should not be witnesses to a will?

Peregrina Mon 18-Jan-16 13:18:25

I thought witnesses or the spouse of a witness could not be beneficiaries? That's why if your will is drawn up a a solicitor they will usually call in a couple of office staff to be witnesses.

CaptainMerryWeather Mon 18-Jan-16 13:18:36

Raspberry - They can't. Witnesses have to be independent - so not a relative or an executor/beneficiary.

"Who can witness a will?

A will can be witnessed by anyone over the age of 18, although a blind person or a person of unsound mind are not normally capable of witnessing a will. If you have appointed a solicitor or an executor for your will, they can act as a witness.

If the will is witnessed by:

a creditor
the spouse or civil partner of the ‘testator’ (a person who has made a will or given a legacy)
a beneficiary or the spouse or civil partner of a beneficiary

Due to the principle that a beneficiary cannot legally benefit from a will they have witnessed, in each of these circumstances, any gift made in a will to such a person will be void. However, this will not affect the validity of the rest of the will."

Taken from Findlaw.co.uk

TotalConfucius Mon 18-Jan-16 13:18:40

There's not much to be done with it, I think you have to put it to bed, I think she probably has been a wily one.
In much the same situation in my family we took the opposite route - 'contested' the will in order to give an equal share to the deceased sibling's children (even though the assets didn't exist at the time of the sibling's death). I say 'contested' but we were all in absolute agreement that the intention was there, it just hadn't translated onto paper!
But we all like sleeping soundly at night!

Peregrina Mon 18-Jan-16 13:19:06

Sorry, cross posted - took too long to type!

TotalConfucius Mon 18-Jan-16 13:21:24

Cross posted with info about the executor/beneficiary aspects.
Blimey!

stairbears Mon 18-Jan-16 13:24:37

Thanks all, I'm going to double check the witnessing.

Though sad to think Aunt was concerned enough about herself getting more inheritance due to her brother's death, than being completely transparent with my sister and I sad Though maybe she was embarrassed about it and wanted to spare any difficult feelings...

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