AIBU about this Will?

(67 Posts)
Rugbycomet Sat 17-Nov-12 10:10:01

Background info...

My parents divorced two years ago. My father has a new partner but she was not the cause of the break up. Although I am not fond of this lady, she has been around for my father over the last couple of years whilst he was ill and very nearly died. In fact he probably would have if she hadn't been there and for that I am very grateful.

My father mentioned to me about ten months ago that he would like to leave something in his will for this lady and how did i feel about it? I said that it was his money but it should be a stated amount and not a percentage and only should they still be together and if she were to die before him, her share should not go to her children so be aware of that.

I have just found out that his estate will be divided into six equal shares. My brother and I will have a sixth each and his three grandchildren will also receive a sixth each. To my horror, this lady will also receive a sixth too.

I feel sick about this. It feels wrong to me but I understand its his money at the end of the day.

He didn't tell me btw about this so as far as he's aware, I know nothing about it.

How would you feel?

TheFallenMadonna Sat 17-Nov-12 10:11:34

You gave him a lot of instructions about what to do with his money...

D0G Sat 17-Nov-12 10:12:01

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

BartletForTeamGB Sat 17-Nov-12 10:12:24

It's his money, not yours, and this woman has obviously been very precious to him.

squeakytoy Sat 17-Nov-12 10:12:34

absolutely none of your business.. inheritance is a gift, not a right

D0G Sat 17-Nov-12 10:13:10

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

80sMum Sat 17-Nov-12 10:15:35

Erm, it's your dad's money not yours.

AThingInYourLife Sat 17-Nov-12 10:15:37

Sounds pretty fair to me.

D0G Sat 17-Nov-12 10:16:25

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

DilysPrice Sat 17-Nov-12 10:17:12

YABU, just YABU.

a sixth isnt that much for someone he presumably loves? I dont see your problem. My dad has a new partner since my mum died and will leave everything to his new wife (who will then pass it on to her own daughter i suppose) It makes me annoyed but then Im assuming he knows it DOES affect our relationship and WILL affect what happend if his (35 year younger than him) girlfriend decides she doesn't want to be carer for an old man in the future.

Just get on with life - its too short to worry about things you never had in the first place.

Rugbycomet Sat 17-Nov-12 10:18:35

It isn't about the money and as I said, I understand why he should want to leave something for her. I think it's about the percentage as I feel why should this lady get the same percentage as his grandchildren when he's only known her for a very short time.

Obviously if he had died, then she wouldn't have received anything as he's only recently changed his will!

SoleSource Sat 17-Nov-12 10:19:01

Who do you think you are?

Otherworld Sat 17-Nov-12 10:19:06

Seems reasonable to me. YABU

Rugbycomet Sat 17-Nov-12 10:19:34

I am not worrying about it. As I said its his money.

Selim Sat 17-Nov-12 10:19:56

Why are you horrified? She is his partner, he could quite easily have left her the lot.

NotQuintAtAllOhNo Sat 17-Nov-12 10:20:27

Well, he is equaling a woman he has known for two years with children he has known their entire life. I can see where you are coming from.

You are as important to him as her. Not sure there is anything you can do though.

But lucky her!

SenoritaViva Sat 17-Nov-12 10:20:39

I am afraid there is nothing you can do. I always think it is unfortunate when people find out about a will when they aren't meant to. To be honest he is leaving 5/6 of his estate to your family and 1/6 to her who he obviously cares about very much.
I am afraid you will have to get over it.

Selim Sat 17-Nov-12 10:21:21

Lots of people don't leave their gcs anything. My dad left everything to my mum, my mum is spending it. I hope she is around long enough to leave us nothing.

DesperatelySeekingSedatives Sat 17-Nov-12 10:21:55

It isn't your money. It doesn't sound like he was asking your permission or advice even, just testing the water to see if you would have a massive huff. Which you seem to have done.

AThingInYourLife Sat 17-Nov-12 10:22:16

"Obviously if he had died, then she wouldn't have received anything as he's only recently changed his will!"

Good thing for her she saved his life then grin

41notTrendy Sat 17-Nov-12 10:22:27

I think it sounds fair. And as you acknowledge, you can't do anything about it so you have to put your feelings to one side.

sayithowitis Sat 17-Nov-12 10:22:52

Are you saying that you would rather your Dad had died so that you could have had a fifth of his estate? Really? because that is how it sounds to me.

You acknowledge that if she hadn't been around, he probably would have died. So clearly she is extremely important to him. Frankly, I think I would rather forego a small amount of my own inheritance if it meant I would have had my DD or DSD around for longer than I did.

Rugbycomet Sat 17-Nov-12 10:22:57

Gosh, I am surprised at the aggressiveness for some of you. I know it's his money and he can do whatever he likes and thank you Notquint to see where I am coming from.

Hulababy Sat 17-Nov-12 10:23:04

It is his partner. She means an awful lot to him and she has stood by him and loved him throughout his illness. It sounds like, from your OP, she has done an awful lot for him and has supported him when he almost died.

Why on earth would someone who obviously means a lot to your dad, who I assume he loves and cares for, not be in his will to this amount?

Rugbycomet Sat 17-Nov-12 10:24:45

Sayithowitis...I completely agree with you.

Narked Sat 17-Nov-12 10:25:30

Get a grip.

If he chose he could leave 100% to her. That's his right. She's his partner.

GhostShip Sat 17-Nov-12 10:25:32

YABU.

Why are you so bothered?

Squitten Sat 17-Nov-12 10:27:54

Whether you are bothered or not is entirely irrelevant

Selim Sat 17-Nov-12 10:28:20

It is perfectly possible for a 2 year relationship to be serious, lots of people get married within that time frame. If they had been together 5 years or ten or twenty years would that be ok?

Trills Sat 17-Nov-12 10:32:57

Are you being unreasonable what....?

Are you being unreasonable to be mildly put out? No.

Are you being unreasonable to think that he shouldn't have done it? Yes - it's his money and he can do as he likes.

You've basically sad that she saved his life.

catsrus Sat 17-Nov-12 10:33:01

a percentage is a far more sensible way to do it. think of this way, he makes his will now and has (for the same of argument) £120 K - at 1/6 each you all get £20K.

Lets say he decided to leave her £10 k and the rest to be divided between you. If he dies now you all get slightly more - but if he dies in a few years, after having been in a home - or having spent the money in some other way and there is only £40 left - then fixed bequests come first in the order of paying out - so she still gets £10 and the five of you get to divide £30 between you - only not £30k because you have to pay all the funeral costs out of the estate.

He has clearly taken sensible advice about leaving a percentage not a fixed amount - my solicitor strongly advised never to leave a fixed amount.

Hulababy Sat 17-Nov-12 10:33:14

"It isn't about the money"

What is it about?

Jux Sat 17-Nov-12 10:35:19

I can see how hurtful it is if you're thinking he's equating 2 years with a whole lifetime, of course.

On the other hand, which one of the six of you nursed him through his illness and kept him alive?

mumto2andnomore Sat 17-Nov-12 10:35:45

If he was leaving everything to her I can see why you would feel a bit put out but the way he's done it seems very fair to me

TempusFuckit Sat 17-Nov-12 10:36:50

OP, you're clearly upset about it, and I can see why. The split with your mum is fairly recent, and yes, his new partner has not been around for that long.

But, and it's a big but, it is a completely reasonable will for him to have made. Wills force people to allocate superficial values to their loved ones, but it's unhealthy to fixate on this as a literal value, as you seem to be doing.

(Plus, as everyone says, she did save his life!)

I'm a little [shocked] that you saw fit to dictate to him what the terms of his own will should be in such detail though. He was presumably sounding you out rather than asking for instructions. Now you've found out, best not to say how you feel to any of your family - you can see the typical reaction ...

I'm also curious as to how you found out?

sittinginthesun Sat 17-Nov-12 10:37:43

I'm a wills and probate lawyer - this is a common situation, and tbh, sounds like a good compromise.

It is, however, considered to be bad form to discuss wills when someone is still alive.

Rugbycomet Sat 17-Nov-12 10:40:43

Juke...I live in France but was over here for a lot of the time whilst he was ill because I was obviously very worried about him. She saved his life because she dialled 999 and I am very very grateful for that. He was in hospital for most of the time and I went in every day to visit him, sort out his bills and house as he had just moved. That really is neither here nor there. I would have done that anyway for him, he's my father and I love him.

fiftyval Sat 17-Nov-12 10:40:43

I agree that it is entirely up to parents how they leave their money but that doesn't mean one can't have an opinion as to what is fair. I personally believe that if parents have something to leave they should leave it to their children equally (unless there has been some major fall-out or if they have already financially helped out one sibling and not the others). I don't agree with splitting estates equally between children and grandchildren as this can lead to gretly reduced inheritances for the siblings who have fewer children - why should one sibling's lifestyle choice affect the inheritance of the others. I don't think it is the grandparents' responsibility to fund the generations further down the line. It is fine to remember your grandchildren with a token amount but not by equal splits with their parents.
If there are 2-3 children the estate from a house sale could give enough for each child to make a real difference to their lives - start splitting between grandchildren too and you end up with a much different scenario and the potential unfairness of one sibling's 'family' getting alot more money in total if siblings have had differing numbers of children themselves.

Narked Sat 17-Nov-12 10:41:43

How he splits his assets has nothing to do with how much he values you as his child or her in relation to you. It seems to matter a great deal to you that she get an amount rather than a percentage. Her having a sixth is not your father saying she has equal worth to you. It's a reflection of the nature of their relationship.

Most people, in his situation, would leave eg 30% to their DP with the remainder to be divided between their relatives. It's not because they love their DC less. It's because their DC have their own lives and their own partners and they want to leave their partner - who will have lost their companion - a little financial security.

Cahoots Sat 17-Nov-12 10:41:51

I can understand how this must feel strange to you as youDF's new partner has only been in his life for a couple of years but I, imagine, your DF is not planning on dying anytime soon and that he plans on being with his new partner for the rest of his life. I imagine he is trying to be as fair as possible and is trying to keep things simple. It is a pain having to keep updating wills and it would be awkward for your DF to keep having to adjust the will.
People readily get married after only knowing someone for two years. You may be underestimating how important your DF partners is to him. This doesn't mean the rest of the family is any less important.
I don't think it sounds unfair and ultimately it is up to your DF what he does with his money. I think you should have a rethink and try to accept what he has done.

Cahoots Sat 17-Nov-12 10:42:25

I can understand how this must feel strange to you as youDF's new partner has only been in his life for a couple of years but I, imagine, your DF is not planning on dying anytime soon and that he plans on being with his new partner for the rest of his life. I imagine he is trying to be as fair as possible and is trying to keep things simple. It is a pain having to keep updating wills and it would be awkward for your DF to keep having to adjust the will.
People readily get married after only knowing someone for two years. You may be underestimating how important your DF partners is to him. This doesn't mean the rest of the family is any less important.
I don't think it sounds unfair and ultimately it is up to your DF what he does with his money. I think you should have a rethink and try to accept what he has done.

Rugbycomet Sat 17-Nov-12 10:42:37

Sitting in the sun...I have only discussed the will on this forum. I would not do so in the real world, hence why I came on here!

Narked Sat 17-Nov-12 10:45:03

And Catsrus makes a very good point. By leaving a % rather than a set amount she will not end up getting any more than you.

TandB Sat 17-Nov-12 10:56:15

It seems like a perfectly normal and reasonable distribution to me.

There isn't much difference between a 1/5 share and a 1/6 share - but there is a big difference between nothing and a 1/6 share. So he has reduced your shares very slightly to give her something - he isn't proposing to leave her the lion's share of his estate - he is simply making the same provision for her as he is making for all of his loved-ones.

Dividing the estate into equal shares is a much less emotive statement than dividing it into 5 big shares and one tiny one. Equal shares doesn't necessarily say anything about people's relative worth to him, but giving someone a much smaller share than everyone else could easily be interpreted as a comment on that person's value to his life.

Presumably he is planning on spending a long time, possibly the rest of his life with this lady. So by the time this becomes relevant, she could be his wife or partner of twenty years or more. I'm guessing at that point equal shares will start looking like a pretty fair idea, given that people generally leave the larger part of their estate to their long-term partner or spouse. You may find yourself defending the equal shares provision at some point in the future!

You would not be unreasonable to feel agrieved if you were being cut out of the will, or having your provision substantially reduced in favour of this lady, but arguing that you should have more than her just makes you look greedy.

Vivalebeaver Sat 17-Nov-12 11:03:50

I'm in the same situation but my dad has left everything to his new partner in his new will. So I won't get a penny. I wouldn't dream of telling him who he can and can't leave his money to.

cbeebiesatemybrain Sat 17-Nov-12 11:06:44

Yabu, sorry. I won't be getting a penny when my selfish disinterested dad kicks the bucket. Be grateful yours is leaving you something!

OpheliaPayneAgain Sat 17-Nov-12 11:13:46

Its right he looks after his spouse. Morally and legally. She is first in his life and he has an obligation to look after her.

My father remarried after my mothers death. DSM got everything, rightly so. Anything she has left over when she dies is divided between myself, my DSSis, and her daughter. Now I think about it, that excludes my brother and my own children grin Thats the the way the cookie crumbles.

His money, his choice, and of course he was right to do so. Same as your father is right to leave money to his WIFE.

Show him this thread and let him see what a money grabbing offspring he's produced. See if he chnages his will then grin

MummytoKatie Sat 17-Nov-12 11:15:03

Agree with what the others said about the amount vs percentage. If he'd left her an amount then that would have come first even if it meant there was nothing left for any of you.

One thing to think about is what the law says if he decided to marry her - even if he died the day after the wedding. She would get the first £250k plus half the rest.this is because the law recognises spouses as having the most right to the money. This doesn't apply to partners but that is because it is very hard to define a partner. (As opposed to boyfriend or person you have gone to dinner with twice.)

Rugbycomet Sat 17-Nov-12 11:33:17

They are not married and do not live together!

pinotmonster Sat 17-Nov-12 11:40:32

Makes me so sad when I see people contemplating how much money they will be left.

It means nothing - my dh died 2.5 yrs ago and I was well provided for - I would give it all back and be millions debt if it meant he could still be here and our children still had their dad. They don't care about money - they just want their dad.

Some people don't have anything to leave. What if he gave it to the local cats home - trust me the only important thing is the loss of the person and all they mean to you, not what they left in monetary terms.

Kalisi Sat 17-Nov-12 11:42:14

Yabu and I think your DF is being extremely fair!
You are looking at it from the wrong angle. As you see it, your Father is giving the same amount to his children as to his new partner but that is not really the case.
It is quite unusual to leave money to Grandchildren so essentially,through them you and your brother will be receiving close to 85% of your Fathers estate. As his children are grown, his obligation is to support his partner/spouse. It sounds very odd to me that you gave conditions hmm

Narked Sat 17-Nov-12 11:44:05

They are not married and do not live together!

If they did she'd be getting a lot more than a sixth.

houseofpox Sat 17-Nov-12 11:45:33

I have much sympathy with you OP. My father has done similar, in fact he's leaving me 5%, my ne'erdowell but rather charming brother 10% and the rest goes to his wife and daughter that he had with her. It hurts but only because I know how he values money (screwed my mother over the divorce and does anything to protect his assets) and his current wife is one of the most deeply unpleasant people I know. She refuses to even live with my father and has ensconced herself in Surrey while he lives overseas. So i feel like he is rewarding her with (in his mind) his most important assets on a 'romantic notion' of what his wife should be.

He also seems to value his colleagues' babies over his grandchildren etc and it breaks my heart as my children adore him. They are all his blood, fun and nice to look at and well behaved. You know, traits grandparents should find reasonably positive.

Your children at least are valued, so you're ahead!

It has caused a massive impasse with my father as I feel unwanted and discarded for someone who doesn't even love him.

2rebecca Sat 17-Nov-12 12:13:57

You describe her as his "partner" so obviously see it as that sort of serious relationship even though they don't live together. I would have thought she may need the money more than your children who have their earning lives ahead of them and 2 parents to provide for them. 1/6 isn't much to leave a partner.

NoraGainesborough Sat 17-Nov-12 12:22:05

she has been around for my father over the last couple of years whilst he was ill and very nearly died.

^^ this implies she did more than call 999.
At the end of the day there isn't a massive difference between 1/6 and 1/5. So ot is not making a huge difference to you.

You may not like her and she may not have been around long. But she is his partner and has been around at a difficult time. Also they could be together another 10-20 years (depending on their age).

Also remember time doesn't always equate to how important someone is to us.

NoraGainesborough Sat 17-Nov-12 12:24:04

house I think your situation is different though. There is clearly an unfairness there.
In the ops situation its equal.

CelticPromise Sat 17-Nov-12 12:59:53

YABU. Especially by trying to dictate what she could do with any share left to her. Do people really think like this?

I hope I don't inherit anything. My dearest mum died recently and I've told my dad to spend the lot!

whois Sat 17-Nov-12 13:02:32

YABU

1/5 vs 1/6 isn't a massive difference, it's not like he's leaving her half! She's obviously been there for him in recent times. Get over yourself.

DontmindifIdo Sat 17-Nov-12 13:07:46

so she gets 1/6th of his estate and his children and their children get the rest? Seems fair to me. Would you think it sounded better if she got 1/6th and the rest was split between you and your DB so you got a bigger share with the assumption you will leave money to your DCs?

It's rather unusual to 'skip' a generation and give the money to DGC, not to your DCs, has your father explained why he doesn't trust you to give money to your own DCs???

You live away, she's there for everyday problems, he's probably very close to her, if you lived nearby you might see that.

ShipwreckedAndComatose Sat 17-Nov-12 13:14:55

Op, I can see why this is not about the money. It's a symptom rather than the cause of your pain.

It's about the importance that this woman has in your fathers life and the fact that he equates her with you and also your children.

I can understand why this is painful for you.

Try to focus on the idea that anyone who is making your dad happy is a good thing. You cannot control who your dad loves or how much...but you can try to celebrate it and that your father is not lonely or sad in his life.

"I said that it was his money but it should be a stated amount and not a percentage"
I was intrigued by this preference of yours, and had to ponder on it a bit. The only thing I could come up with was that a percentage, as suggested by ShipwreckedAndComatose indicates the relative importance in his life of those inheriting. A stated amount smacks more of a fee for services rendered (although as has been pointed out, a stated amount is paid first and could wipe out everyone else's inheritance).

Is it that their not living together allowed you to 'downgrade' (in your eyes) the importance of their relationship to your father; whilst the even-handedness of the inheritance distribution 'upgrades' it? Do you just not feel comfortable with him being with someone who is not your mother?

ShipwreckedAndComatose Sat 17-Nov-12 13:31:23

That exactly what I wondered where (and you have said it better!)

Merrin Sat 17-Nov-12 13:43:18

I think I understand, its about love isnt it? It must look like he loves her as much as you. Try not to think about it at all, you will feel better over time, and hopefully you wont have to think about it again for a long time.

moajab Sat 17-Nov-12 15:28:59

Is your Dad likely to die soon? Because if not then I don't understand why you're worrying. Circumstances may well change, for example the birth of another grandchild, or he might marry this woman. (and you'd get less) or they may split up and you'll get more. Or of course he might need care as he gets older and there may be no money left to leave.

If he is likely to die soon than frankly I find your stressing about your share in the booty very cold and callous.

DeckSwabber Sat 17-Nov-12 17:25:28

I like the idea of splitting between children and grandchildren. It means the next generation get an equal share regardless of the lifestyles and choices of the parents, but the parents get something too. What might buy a new car or pay off a bit of the mortgage for parents could give the grandchildren something towards a deposit on their first home or off university fees - everyone wins.

The only difficulty I see is if more GC come along later because they would miss out.

Wingedharpy Sat 17-Nov-12 18:01:51

And that, DeckSwabber, is why you should go through and update your will annualy, where needed.

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