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?

MoreThanChristmasCrackers Wed 01-Jan-14 20:03:49

My sister was written out of my dads will, mum had already died previous year.
She blamed me and other family members even though we pleaded with him not to do it.
We have never spoken since, this is 7 years ago now.
She knows my door is always open

NinjaBunny Wed 01-Jan-14 20:04:26

MiL's family have all fallen out over their mum's will.

Proper full on screaming matches and disowning each other.

Personally I think they're all doing it to distract them from the grief but I don't have the balls to suggest it to them. They've even said they can't grieve until they've dealt with the fallout.

Luckily DP stays well out of it..!

Adeleh Wed 01-Jan-14 20:06:20

My DM is unbelievably bitter about my aunt's behaviour ( whether this was or was not the case) at my grandmother's will. My grandmother died over 30 years ago.

Kewcumber Wed 01-Jan-14 20:07:16

family falling out at grandparents generation - has never resolved.

I suspect it will happen again in mine (sadly)

invicta Wed 01-Jan-14 20:09:09

My mum fell out with her brothers when their parents ( my grandparents) died. Also, my gran fell out with her brother when their parents died, so in our family, it has occurred over two generations.

HenriettaMaria Wed 01-Jan-14 20:18:18

My DH's sister tried everything that she could to prevent the sale of PIL's house after FIL died. MIL had only died about 4 months previously (that was a shock), he was already ill.

She was awkward and obstructive from the very first meeting after his death to discuss clearing the house and putting it on the market. It was horrendous; she falsely reported eldest SIL and her DH for tax evasion, accused DH of stealing from his parents' house and did various other unpleasant things.

It went to court several times. At one point she was ordered by a judge to pay each of her siblings compensation because she had held up the settlement for so long.

It was all finally sorted 12 years after FIL's death. To this day we don't know why she did all this.

greenfolder Wed 01-Jan-14 20:19:13

My dfil didn't speak to his brother for 35 years after his cow of a mother left him 90 per cent of the estate and dfil 10. Not because she did it because it was predictable. But because his brother did not do the honorable thing and share it.They made it up when elderly a few years before dfil died.
My friend and her dbro were in the same position 're a legacy from an aunt. They simply split it 50/50 between them as any sane person would.

joanofarchitrave Wed 01-Jan-14 20:27:58

Friend's parent died suddenly. Friend was child from first marriage. Friend had pleasant though not particularly close relationship with parent's current spouse. Spouse refused to accept that friend's legacy (house) from parent is legit. Spouse and friend end up going to court. They have never spoken since (about a decade later).

BohemianGirl Wed 01-Jan-14 20:31:06

Grand mother loved causing misery - she did so with her will - never resolved, caused early deaths through stress with he children.

On the other hand - why to people equate money to love?

I love my children equally but their financial needs will be very different. I would be an inept parent if I didnt recognise that. They should be secure in my love and accept I know best grin

CeliaLytton Wed 01-Jan-14 20:35:55

Everyone knows that a person is entitled to do what they like with their money and nobody is entitled to it. It is when favourites are played that people fall out, or when one person gets greedy.

I know of two cases where money, house etc were left equally between siblings and then siblings helped each other out, giving up shares when needed by another. This is what I hope will always happen in my family <idyllic>

Writerwannabe83 Wed 01-Jan-14 20:40:11

I find things get heated when Grandchildren are added into the mix of people who are named as having a share of the money. People start having mutterings that they are losing their "fair share" just because their sibling has had 5 children and they are all being left money too...

Both my parents have said their Wills (they are divorced, so obviously have a a Will each) are 50/50 split between me and my sister, no grandchildren have been mentioned and never will.

I'm sure there will still be things to argue about though when the time comes....

Mumoftwoyoungkids Wed 01-Jan-14 20:42:03

MIL was left a greater proportion of her parents' estate as she cared for her dad in her home for many years. Her dad died when my dh was about 16. Her brother still hasn't forgiven her. Dh is now 37.

Wevet Wed 01-Jan-14 20:43:01

DH has a wealthy unmarried and childless uncle who has been taking different family members to see his will altered in their favour for more than two decades. No one knows who the current 'heir' is, and opinion is divided between 'he's left everything to the RSPCA' and that DH and I are the secret beneficiaries! I think all hell will break lose when he dies.

On my side of the family, my grandmother left her house (her only asset) to my well-off uncle, with nothing left to my mother, despite the fact that said grandmother lived almost entirely with us for the last decade of her life, and my uncle hardly saw her. We really needed the money, and in my mother's shoes I would have challenged the will, but she thought family harmony more important.

twinkbat Wed 01-Jan-14 20:43:26

depends on the family I think. My friend lost her step dad and a will was invalid, luckily her step sis (who got everything) was lovely and just divied it up according to the invalid will

my family are a bunch of bastards and sue and fight for every last penny. Currently in month 6 of trying to sort out my Nannas estate after she passed. So far we've got to all agreeing shes dead sad

ToffeeOwnsTheSausage Wed 01-Jan-14 20:45:56

I was left £2000 in a relative's will. Their child was left £70,000. They moaned I was left 2K and their child got nothing hmm. Some people are just twatty.

Viviennemary Wed 01-Jan-14 20:50:14

This is far from uncommon. People fall out for decades over wills. And a lot never reconcile.

nilbyname Wed 01-Jan-14 20:54:42

I'm not really talking to my brother after his grasping behaviour at my dads will. It's very difficult though, as it is so not about the money for me (any assets did go as they should to my mum) but how I saw his true colours.

I'm dreading it when my mother passes as I know he will be after every Bean and my mum has specifically named certain items to come to me. This is despite me requesting for no assets, no heirlooms, nothing. Spend it now! We are co executors. It will be brutal.

It's a bloody nightmare, I wish all assets went to charity. I really do. People can be so entitled and greedy.

BraveMerida Wed 01-Jan-14 21:03:13

Agree with you nilby about it not so much about the money but seeing the true colours of a sibling's selfish and grabby behaviour in disputing the will....when we are not even talking about a huge amount of money....but to see my dh's sister being prepared to sour a blood relationship by not accepting and disputing the will for the sake of not a large sum of £££ sends a message about how his sister values her relationship with dh, her brother.

HenriettaMaria Wed 01-Jan-14 21:20:39

but to see my dh's sister being prepared to sour a blood relationship by not accepting and disputing the will for the sake of not a large sum of £££ sends a message about how his sister values her relationship with dh, her brother.

Absolutely. Neither DH nor 3 of his other sisters have spoken to their sister since all the trouble started. DH had never had a serious problem with her before all this stuff kicked off.

She doesn't seem bothered by the fact that she has alienated her family, though. She hasn't gained anything at all from the mess so far as I can see.

I hope your SIL has second thougts, OP. It's very hard to put families back together after a big falling out like that.

BraveMerida Wed 01-Jan-14 21:29:48

No, my SIL didn't have second's been nearly 3 years now since DFIL died...and it's all only recently come to a close, ironically near christmas time, time for family supposedly.

After thousands of £££ coming from the estate itself spent on solicitors and arbitrator's fees, her dispute was unsuccessful....dh has always been clear about the DFIL's intent in the will although it was not written as water tight as it could have been...even the arbitrator commented on her behaviour...she gained nothing and lost a brother in the process.

BraveMerida Wed 01-Jan-14 21:33:10

The sad thing is DH's mum (DFIL and Mil are divorced acronmoniously years ago) would not intervene and has her own opinions on how the will should have been and just does not get the concept that the will of the deceased should respected regardless of what anyone thinks should or should not be.

sykadelic15 Wed 01-Jan-14 21:34:35

It's something we worried about with my dad's Will (because of half-siblings) but was, thankfully, worried about nothing (everything went to my mum, his wife of 30+ years).

Now I'm worried about mum's Will. We have an estranged sister, and another sister who is pretty damn entitled... I certainly hope I'm wrong and honestly money isn't what I'm worried about. I'm worried about "stuff" that would remind me of my family... easiest way to avoid that is to be "gifted" the items before she passes.

torcat Wed 01-Jan-14 21:36:43

Already starting to happen in my family and the person isn't yet dead. My brother is due to be left an estate currently worth about £9 million, by a mad old great aunt, not a blood relative. Her husband, our blood great Uncle wanted everything split 5 ways between his nephews and nieces and all of it was his money, but he only put it as an expression of wishes in his will and has passed away with everything going to her and now she wants to leave it all to my brother. She tells all of us this every single time we see her and talks about the huge value of the things she has etc. My uncles and aunts are deeply unhappy as they all have kids and mortgages and this kind of cash is transformational. It will be a total nightmare and she is an evil old witch for doing this. I think lots goes wrong when people only leave an 'expression of wishes'.

SaucyJack Wed 01-Jan-14 21:40:05

I don't think it's just greed that makes families fall out.

It can be very unfair if one sibling provides the majority of the care for an aged parent (saving 1000s in the process) whilst others siblings do feck all yet still get the same amount in the will.

This is very likely to happen with my mum and her sisters, and it doesn't seem to right to me.

MoreThanChristmasCrackers Wed 01-Jan-14 21:44:53

I can't understand why so many people hold a grudge against somebody who had no say though.
A will is literally what it is, a persons will to do what they bloody well want to with their money.
I guess you can't take it out on the dead so you blame the alive.
Sometimes its not so easy to do the obvious and split the money with the person over looked.
Quite often, they may won't want to even talk to you, let alone take the money.
Why do people try to dispute wills? Unless the person wasn't of sound mind or it was made under duress the will stands iirc

WipsGlitter Wed 01-Jan-14 21:45:37

My aunt was miffed she didn't get more (anything?) her fathers will, she didn't get to see the will so went to the public records office to see it.

I suspect there will be a falling out because BiL is an arse over fils will when the time comes.

ConferencePear Wed 01-Jan-14 22:06:46

Sometimes it's more than just money. When DP's aunt died she left everything she owned to the RSPCA which sounds fair enough.
The trouble was it included some (not particularly valuable) jewellery which had belonged to DP's grandmother and which his sister would have liked as she could remember her grandmother wearing it.
In the end she had to buy it from the RSPCA. It was all legal, but it seemed a bit shabby.

Ememem84 Wed 01-Jan-14 22:15:57

Dh's fathers will is a traditional 'family' will where we are. Everything goes to the oldest son.

Dh is the oldest of 3 sons. So will inherit. But had always maintained he will split equally.

The problem we forsee is that dfil had a daughter from a previous marriage. She's 10years older than dh. But unless fil has specifically left her something legally she'll get nothing. I suspect dh would share 4 ways though. I hope he would. Anything for a quiet life.

ddubsgirl Wed 01-Jan-14 22:17:39

I lost £10,000 from my nans will sad I got £5,000 after she died and as my mum died the year before she left my dad my mums share then my eldest cousin abit more as she use to live with my nan then me & my bro and then my 2 other cousins I didnt know about the 10 grand as in her will it was stated to be held in trust for all grankids till 25 but for some reason the money was all released my dad ended up with more than my mums brother which they fell out over the 5 grand was sent to me but the rest was sent to my dad to look after till I was 18 never ever saw it didnt find out till I was 20 when my brother told me he had got 15 grand and he had asked our dad about it when I was 18 and he said he was sorting it but he passed away when I was 19 never found out where the money went dad never had a will so stepmum ended up with everything

WholeLottaRosie Wed 01-Jan-14 22:36:07

I know of two cases where the will has been contested, both times the person was given a share although not named in the will, so would never count on the deceased's wishes always being followed. In one case the deceased left everything to his child from his first marriage but his partner at the time of his death was able to prove he had supported her for nearly thirty years so was granted a sum of money.

Someone we know hasn't spoken to their sibling in about forty years because the eldest son got everything, daughter got nothing. She thought he should have shared with her, he didn't.

UptheChimney Wed 01-Jan-14 22:38:29

My brother is due to be left an estate currently worth about £9 million, by a mad old great aunt, not a blood relative. Her husband, our blood great Uncle wanted everything split 5 ways between his nephews and nieces

The only honourable thing for your brother to do in this situation is to split the inheritance between his uncles/aunts as his great-uncle wished. This is what happened in my father's family when one of his siblings was omitted from his fathers will (a substantial estate like your great-uncle's).

wonderstuff Wed 01-Jan-14 22:44:52

My greatgran died in the 80's, for reasons only known to herself my nan has decided recently that her sister didn't disclose properly what was in the will and they aren't talking, my nan is in her 80's, I've no idea why she is behaving like this, it's very sad.

Not really much money to pass on in my family really, mums family had very little, which makes my Nan's behaviour even more baffling, dad's family have up to now just hoarded all the assets, I've just helped clear a house that has been in the family for 70 years, so much junk!

We haven't fallen out, but when I helped my dad clear my other grandmothers house recently, I took a couple of things that I wanted to keep, the rest was sold, I made sure my db came up once, to see if he wanted anything, maybe china for his dd, something to remind him of dgp, he was so grabby, taking things because he thought he could sell them, stuff was getting sold anyway, so not a deal, just we didn't have the same intentions. I was sad he didn't have the same sentimental attachment.

bearleftmonkeyright Wed 01-Jan-14 22:46:53

My feeling is a will is just that. Your last will and testament. It is nigh on impossible to contest a will unless you are prepared to drag it out with solicitors and any settlement will probably be negotiated in mediation. Usually because one side wants it over with. The only people who win when wills are contested are solicitors. Best to accept the deceased persons wishes, unfairness does not come into it.

Purplepoodle Wed 01-Jan-14 22:51:19

Yep, brothers in family fell out, one brother (cause of the problems) is still not spoken of. It wasn't much money, it's what was said and accusations thrown. 10 years or so now

80sMum Wed 01-Jan-14 22:55:30

Oooh, if I found out that my beneficiaries were squabbling over who was getting what, I would change my will and leave the whole lot to charity!
I find disputes over a will very distasteful.

KitCat26 Wed 01-Jan-14 22:57:24

My grandpa's brother destroyed their newly deceased dad's will when he was asked to take it to the solicitors. It was a substantial inheritance in grandpa's favour. Effectively the old boy died intestate because of this, so his widow (whom he was about to divorce) inherited the lot and gave it to her favourite child. Grandpa never got a penny.

Thence ensued 30 years of hatred, lawyers fees and bitterness which only ended with the death of my great uncle.

Everyone else in my family is fairly normal (poor and split any inheritances equally) so there are no fights!

Gmil changed her will a couple of years before she died, leaving fil the majority of the estate. Fil and his brothers/sister have not spoken since (DH and I don't get involved, although if I did I'm afraid fil would be getting a few choice words from me).

Mil is also in the process of falling out with her brother and sister over dh's Nan's will. It wouldn't be so bad but his lovely, old, rather unwell and recently bereaved nan isn't dead yet hmm sad

Grennie Wed 01-Jan-14 23:36:05

Yes I have known this happening in friends and DP's family. But it has been when money has been left unequally to adult children, and it brings out long buried grievances about favouritism.

My family have no money, so we won't have any issues.

longingforsomesleep Thu 02-Jan-14 00:28:01

Fairest thing seems to be to leave everything to partner and then for everything to be shared equally between children - regardless of their situation.

I think once you get into leaving a bit more to one child because they're poorer than siblings or because they've cared for you more, that's when the trouble starts. It's bound to cause ill feeling.

My mum is leaving everything to be split equally between me and my sibling (or so she says!). DH's parents have decided they're going to skip a generation and leave everything to their grandkids!

mypavlova Thu 02-Jan-14 01:29:37

a last spiteful act my our dad actually brought my sister and I together. In life, he always sowed strife between us and played us against each other. In his will he split everything equally except that he left one thing, his pension fund, solely to her. Without any prompting she split it with me, and I made no objection. Because I expected it of him, but was not sure what to expect of her. It was so meaningful that she did the right thing by me, after allying with dad to bully me in earlier years.

The real problem is the executor, our uncle. He seems to think the definition of fiduciary has been switched in the dictionary with the definition of betrayal. There isn't a lot of money, it is mostly debt, but he seems determined to waste the money and find a way to stick the debt on the beneficiaries. It has been 5.5 years and still not resolved. Yet in a funny way, it is what my dad would have wanted, the scoundrel, not that he would have admitted it.

bragmatic Thu 02-Jan-14 02:59:55

It's very east to contest a will, bear. In fact those who have been left nothing contest without a second thought, because for the most part, they've got nothing to lose. Costs often come out of the estate.

It's a shitfull process for those left behind, for sure.

bragmatic Thu 02-Jan-14 03:02:11

Very easy, not east.

daisychain01 Thu 02-Jan-14 03:14:34

If I were ever to be left any money in a will, come what may, I will always ensure my brother receives a 50% split, no shadow of a doubt. I value him more than any money. In fact if he needs the money I would give him my share too. Not worth squabbling over and it means I sleep nights

Wills are probably the most divisive vehicle for dispensing of worldly goods, if only they didn't exist, they are rarely fair. Some of the sad stories on here show that.

bearleftmonkeyright Thu 02-Jan-14 07:26:12

Bragmatuc, you are right. What I meant was if it does end up in court from what I understand a court is very unlikely to change the will. My dp's mum went through this when she was left some money in a will. Solicitors just would keep throwing letters at each other. The deadlock was broken through mediation. From what I understand that is what the courts want to see. A shitfall process indeed. I could not believe how easily they could just say "not fair" and stop the distribution of a will so easily for years.

bearleftmonkeyright Thu 02-Jan-14 07:29:47

Also you can appoint a solicitor to do this on a no win no fee basis so yes, the person contesting has nothing to lose. It's extremely unfair and leaves those who have been left money in a will extremely vulnerable.

Moln Thu 02-Jan-14 07:34:08

My mother and her siblings have fallen out over their mother's will. Only cross words and mesness for just over two years now.

My nan isn't even dead.

flowery Thu 02-Jan-14 07:43:52

"Dh's fathers will is a traditional 'family' will where we are. Everything goes to the oldest son.

Dh is the oldest of 3 sons. So will inherit. But had always maintained he will split equally.

The problem we forsee is that dfil had a daughter from a previous marriage....unless fil has specifically left her something legally she'll get nothing."

Why is your DHs sister any different to his brothers in this scenario? Surely they would get nothing unless specifically left something also?

Ladyflip Thu 02-Jan-14 07:50:30

I'm a probate solicitor and sadly have to report that there are lots of fallings out over wills. It's very common. But I dispute that equality always equals fair. I deal with a lot of farming families and it is very difficult to judge those. The farm is sometimes worth millions, but often the son will have worked there for many years with a small income and splitting the farm makes it unviable as a business in the future.

But lots of people like falling out over wills. Of course, the first thing they always say is "it's not about the money". I wonder what the hell it is about then?

LadyIsabellasHollyWreath Thu 02-Jan-14 07:51:42

I disagree with the OP's claim that the will is completely binding and it's your duty to stick with it whether you like it or not. That sounds a lot like rationalisation by the beneficiary of an unfair position. People like Torcat's brother who find themselves the sole beneficiary of a truly unreasonable will have a very simple remedy in their hands - a Deed of Variation.

ceres Thu 02-Jan-14 08:01:15

"My dfil didn't speak to his brother for 35 years after his cow of a mother left him 90 per cent of the estate and dfil 10. Not because she did it because it was predictable. But because his brother did not do the honorable thing and share it."

why should he do the 'honourable thing'? it was left to him.

this is another thing I don't get on mn. in my family it has been quite usual down the years for one person to benefit from a will more than other siblings - a farm being left to an eldest child, family home being left to one child, estate being left to child who was main carer for years etc etc.

that's life. the purpose of a will is to ensure that people get to say what happens to their worldly goods once they have no need of them. fairness doesn't come into it. I would not accept anyone telling me what to do with my own money or possessions.

incidentally there has been no fallings out in my family relating to wills.

BohemianGirl Thu 02-Jan-14 08:03:54

Fairest thing seems to be to leave everything to partner and then for everything to be shared equally between children - regardless of their situation.

But there are very few solo marriages these days. Most people have had several goes at it and several children by different partners. It can be a mess to untangle.

My parents had mirror wills, everything equally divided between my brother and myself. Only by father remarried after my mother died. Quite rightly he provided for his new wife, as any decent husband would do. Whether step mother lives up to her side of the agreement remains to be seen, however I dont begrudge her, she made my father very happy.

BraveMerida Thu 02-Jan-14 08:04:57

Lady, in this case, it was not an unfair case of sole beneficiary.

LessMissAbs Thu 02-Jan-14 08:09:48

Happens in my DH's family every generation. You would think they would learn, but no. DH's mother is constantly on the phone to solicitors 5 years after her father died, as he left the farm and money to the feckless younger brother. Her brother and sister no longer speak and the family is totally fragmented. This is after her own grandfather did much the same thing. You would think they would learn from their mistakes, but DH's useless younger brother was bought a house and now looks down on DH for being independent.

SaucyJack the other side of the coin (perhaps not in your case) is I've seen people give up their jobs and independent lives to hang around waiting for an inheritance, doing everything in their power to be the one favoured in the will. And sometimes old people do have to go into specialised nursing homes, because its more beneficial for them.

80sMum Thu 02-Jan-14 08:13:07

I quite agree ceres. There is no rule that says siblings must be treated equally in a will. It's entirely up to the testator what s/he does with their assets.
Having said that, personally I do intend giving equal shares to my two if I am the one who is the survivor out of me and DH. If he's still around, then he gets the lot (and vice versa when he dies). Keeps it simple.
I will have (haven't done it yet, must sort it) a letter of wishes stating my intentions for a few minor gifts to people, charities etc, which I would hope my beneficiaries would implement. But they would be free to choose not to.

BraveMerida Thu 02-Jan-14 08:13:55

On my side, I inherited nothing when dfather died, nothing was transparent or communicated by my elder brothers. I have 4 older brothers, I'm the youngest and only girl, it was a very traditional chinese (plus dysfunctional in our case) thing that everything goes to the oldest son. I still see them as my brothers, i hold no resentment towards them.

bearleftmonkeyright Thu 02-Jan-14 08:14:40

In the case of leaving to children, sometimes those children have died. It is never cut and dried. A will has to be what you want to happen otherwise whats the point?

bearleftmonkeyright Thu 02-Jan-14 08:15:43

In my family the will got changed because of this. This was seen as unfair.

Jinty64 Thu 02-Jan-14 08:19:43

My fathers family fell out over my grandfathers will. It was before my time but there would have been very little money.

My mother split all money (not huge amounts) fairly between myself and my sister and we decided between ourselves re personal belongings. Neither of us would have wanted any bad feeling. I have been surprised at the number of people who have commented on our agreement and the stories of what has happened in their families Match what has been said on here.

Grennie Thu 02-Jan-14 08:37:10

ceres - Fairness does come into it when leaving money to children. Because if you are not fair as a parent, it sends the clear message that you love some children more than others.

My DP is the unfavoured child in the family. My FIL is quite blatant about it, although denies it if anyone confronts him. There won't be much money, but I know my DP will probably inherit a lesser share than some other siblings. It is wont be the money that will hurt, what will hurt my DP is once again being treated as the unfavoured child.

INeedALieIn Thu 02-Jan-14 08:37:26

Can you refuse inheritance? If you are left a property with a mortgage but only relatively small equity, located a long way away. It could easily be possible that by the time a buyer is found, the mortgage costs, travel costs and legal fees could result in the inheritance actually costing you money.

bragmatic Thu 02-Jan-14 08:39:16

Precisely, Grennie.

MothershipG Thu 02-Jan-14 08:40:03

ceres Some people are just mean and spiteful and enjoy sowing discord amongst their family and enjoy the power of continuing to do so after death through the medium of their will.

So sometimes it is much more healthy to ignore the will and come to a mutual agreement of a fairer distribution, this is what my DF and his siblings did.

bragmatic Thu 02-Jan-14 08:42:25

Yes, Bear. We went through something similar. We (my siblings and I) 'settled' at mediation against the person contesting the will (abusive stepfather who had left my mother 10 years before) because even though we'd have won in court, we had to consider the expense (emotional, and financial) of doing so, and cut our losses.

bragmatic Thu 02-Jan-14 08:46:13

I must say, I find the concept of being the sole beneficiary due to the luck of being both firstborn, AND a male, completely odd and am surprised it still goes on. I would struggle to judge a second born female who challenged such an antiquated custom that was born of the view that women are unworthy simply because they are women.

BraveMerida Thu 02-Jan-14 08:48:09

It goes on a lot....maybe not in this country now a days but certainly until not so long time ago.brag

ithaka Thu 02-Jan-14 08:53:05

In Scots law you cannot disinherit your spouse or children in a will. All your children are entitled to share a third of your movable estate – so, everything except land and buildings. Your widow/er is entitled to another third.

This is not contesting the will, as a child you have a legal claim & just need to provide proof that you are their child (birth certificate). My friend's mum did this when her vile mother left everything to charity.

It is difficult when parents remarry - it is hard when you don't inherit the family home & it goes to another family, but 'fairness' and 'legal rights' are 2 separate things.

I wouldn't contest a will, but I would assert any legal claim I had, which is different.

KittensoftPuppydog Thu 02-Jan-14 08:53:55

My siblings inherited large amounts of money from a rich relative who died before I was born. I got nothing, except that one sibling bought me a skirt when he came into his money.
When my mum died she left the bulk of her small estate to me. The others didn't like it.
I can truly say that inheritance has destroyed our family, but I see that as a good thing. At least I don't have to have anything to do with them anymore.

bragmatic Thu 02-Jan-14 08:57:12

There was a thread not so long ago when someone asked if she was being unreasonable because she was upset as her mother was leaving her rather large house to the son, not the daughter. Or perhaps allowing him to live in it for as long as he wanted. I can't quite remember. The son, was by all accounts a perfectly functioning adult who had lived independently but had moved back in after his divorce and had been back with his mother for some time and was showing no signs of moving out. So he potentially could live in the house for the rest of his life, and the sister may never receive what she had been bequeathed.

She was called horrible, greedy, and grabby by many posters. I thought her mother was being monumentally unfair.

Morloth Thu 02-Jan-14 10:20:30

My eldest brother will inherit our family's property almost entirely.

Quite right to, he has been there all his life first working with our Dad and he pretty much took over when Dad died and he was only 16.

We all know the plan and agree with it. I think my Mum will probably leave her house to my younger brother who still lives with her and looks after her now. Again no argument from me.

I only I asked that I get right of first refusal on home if my brother ever decides to sell.

BraveMerida Thu 02-Jan-14 10:22:34

Have not read that thread brag, but I hope the brother wasn't expected to be homeless so that the op could get her 50% share of the house.

DustBunnyFarmer Thu 02-Jan-14 10:23:17

In a moment of rare candour a couple of years ago, my father told me his/stepmother's will put their house in trust to her until she dies (he has serious life limiting illness so will no doubt go first), then splits 50% to stepsis with 'his half' split between me & blood sis. On a rational level, i know it's his/their money to do as they wish with. Although the current 50:25:25 split makes sense & I wouldn't want 1/6th if stepmum had had 4 kids for example, the way he's done it does hurt. We've definitely been pushed out by stepmum. My sister doesn't know about the will, but I know she will be very hurt by being treated as only 'worth' a smaller share. She is also an avaricious, vindictive sort of person, so will probably contest it & tie us up in court for years. I kind of wish they'd just split it equally 3 ways, as no-one would feel less favoured. In our case, the % split will be seen as signifying the lower esteem we are held in, even if that isn't what is intended.

bragmatic Thu 02-Jan-14 10:25:48

Well Brave, it was more a case of him being a perfectly capable, gainfully employed grown up of 35 who had moved back in with his mother after his marriage broke up, 5 years previously. The house was (according to the OP) large, expensive, and paid off.

bragmatic Thu 02-Jan-14 10:30:19

Well, that's how I saw it anyway! As I said, others saw it much differently.

AliceinWinterWonderland Thu 02-Jan-14 10:32:34

my parents decided a few years ago (after my sister got in trouble with the law a number of times and stole thousands from them) to put their grandchildren (as all of us siblings had children) into the will instead of us children, so that they could easily bypass my sister inheriting. I'm not really fussed, as any money I inherited would most likely have been used for the benefit of DCs anyway, but it has caused some bad feelings among my other siblings.

I don't know the legal ramifications of it all, but my parents (although my father is now deceased, so this will occur when my mother passes away) were very open about it, so it was common knowledge. Hopefully it won't kick off, but I have my suspicions that 2 of my siblings, plus my sister (so basically everyone but me) will fight it to get the money themselves. I imagine it'll be pretty ugly, so I'm glad I don't live near any of them. hmm

My mum's toxic family have done so many truly AWFUL things that I couldn't list them!

One thing that stands out is when Dgrandma died, she left a Will that shared everything equally among her children, but it didn't go into personal possessions.
DGM had four daughters and 4 gold rings. My mum would have loved to have one, and it seemed obvious that 4 rings went easily into 4 daughters!
However, the witches 3 decided in my mum's absence that "to save any falling out" all the rings would be buried with DGM (who was cremated despite her expressed wishes to be interred in the family plot because of one sister "not coping with seeing her Dmother being put underground")

My mum is convinced that those rings never got put in the urn and buried at all.

Ilovemydogandmydoglovesme Thu 02-Jan-14 11:04:43

I remember that thread brag and I agree with you!

My DFil fell out with his sisters when their mother died. He found out that not only had they both had power of attourney for years but they were both the executors of her estate. They'd frittered her money away, took stuff from the house that should have been left to DFil and sold the house away for next to nowt. He had to buy stuff back from auction that had been left to him! He took his time signing the papers that released the funds from the house sale.

My DM didn't make a will but left strict instruction that her house was to be left to my DB, as he still lived there and DSis and I were both married and had homes of our own. At the time we were perfectly happy but as the years passed the house fell into complete disrepair, DB borrowed against it, sold it for next to nowt and after the debts were paid off had a few grand left which he spent on a new car. Now he rents a room from a friend.

If the house had been sold when mum died we'd all have had a substantial sum each, which would have come in really handy, and he'd have had enough to buy his own little place. I love my DB but he squandered the house and now has nothing to show for it.

vj32 Thu 02-Jan-14 11:22:18

DM and her siblings have talked about what they will do when my grandparents die - they have made a will but done a DIY one which is unlikely to stand up to any sort of legal challenge. Any assets (there won't be a lot) will be split equally, even with the sister who is mostly estranged from the family. Its the easiest way to avoid more heart ache whenever it happens.

tinselledUp Thu 02-Jan-14 12:20:37

About 5 years and I think being in different countries helped keep it that small a time frame.

It wasn't the will as such - token amount to each GC then split equally between their two sons.

But Uncle was in different country - long distance - so didn't have the long term daily care issues to deal with though did get a lot of money that he'd always forgot to pay back.

So you'd think my parents would have been the problem demanding/expecting more money - but no. My dad accepted it and my mother, though bitter about their treatment of her and her having to do most of the care not pleasant at times and later including finding care homes - had the view it was their money.

It was my Uncle who was the problem because my Dad, younger sibling, had been made executor and not him. My Uncle lived in another country not at all close but he seemed to take it as a slight.

He cause problems at funeral, charges everything he could to the the probated estate including his accommodation costs and got nasty when Dad couldn't reimburse him immediately, got a key copied to their house and took things - which likely my Dad would have given him anyway despite their value.

I'm hoping my own parents have update the will since they asked me to be executor at 18 as they skipped an older sibling to do that. I'm hoping they've since picked my youngest sibling who is close by to them and has more daily contact - so I avoid the whole hassle of being executor and any bad feelings. They haven't said though so fuck knows if they have.

Pascha Thu 02-Jan-14 12:48:14

All hell is going to break loose when DH's grandad dies. He's changed his will to benefit only two of his five children because three of them don't bother with him much. They don't know apparently.

fiverabbits Fri 03-Jan-14 05:54:12

Sometimes it doesn't even get to the will stage. My DH's family fell out on the day of the funeral, the will was never put to probate. 24 years later my DH doesn't know who is talking to who or what money was involved.

MadIsTheNewNormal Fri 03-Jan-14 06:13:35

DH's DB and SIL are childless and reasonably well off. I have no doubt that when they die the lion's share of their money will go to the niece and nephew on her side of the family rather than shared equally between them and my children. She has always seen them more often, taken them out, had them to stay over at weekends etc. They are like her surrogate children whereas she has never bothered at all with mine, and other than the obligatory birthday and christmas presents they have had precious little attention from BIL and SIL, which would be fine if it were not in such stark contrast to they way they have treated her sisters kids.

They will no doubt use the excuse that we are better off that her sister, so our children will do fairly well when they inherit from us, whereas SIL's niece and nephew won't get all that much from their own parents. But that will just be a convenient excuse - really it will be because of blatant favouritism.

I'm expecting it, and I'll just shrug it off when it happens. I do hate unfairness and an lack of balance in these things without very good reason though.

fiverabbits Fri 03-Jan-14 06:14:52

My grandfather on my fathers side died when I was a young child but I grew up with half my aunts and uncles not talking to each other (eight in all) because of grandfathers will. My parents spoke to them all. On my mothers side it was exactly the same with my seven aunts and uncles.

When my Mum died my father made his will without telling anyone it's contents. Somehow he worked it out in percentages. He left more to my 2 sisters than me, and the same with my brother who got the family home even though he only paid one third to buy it but he did still live there. My brother was a millionaire at the time and he has never married or had children. I didn't fall out with any of them over the unequal share as I didn't want a repeat of the above saga. No idea if my brother has made a will or who will inherit but just hope it doesn't upset anyone.

fiverabbits Fri 03-Jan-14 06:23:34


We have a similar problem. We are leaving our house to childless DD because we do not want the child of our DS to have anything, long story ! We don't know what DD will do with the house, probably have to sell it to live as she wont be able to afford to live in it. Hopefully this will work out alright.

fiverabbits Fri 03-Jan-14 06:32:17

SEE MY ABOVE POST ABOUT DH'S FAMILY. I forgot to mention that DH's eldest sister took her mum's jewellery and other items from her mum's house on the day of her funeral even though her father still lived in the house. The jewellery was supposed to be shared amongst all the family.
THEN on the day of her fathers funeral she raided her sisters house as that was where her father was now living to take his jewellery and Building Society passbook because her sister could sign for the money but she couldn't. It was this that caused the family to fall out. My DH never spoke to her again as she has now died.

looknow Fri 03-Jan-14 07:16:01

Apparently my dgp, who brought me and my two siblings up following our parents death when we were children have left their estate to my two siblings. Db gets two thirds, ds gets one third.

This is to prevent me from frittering money on non essential items such as housing, food and heating.

Db will hand out sensible amounts as and when he sees fit. I care full time for dgp, am a lone parent and work part time. Ex husband beat the shit out of me and then sold our house to buy drugs and gamble.

This is my fault and I can't be trusted. So be it.

looknow Fri 03-Jan-14 07:18:13

Fiverabbits, why do you not want your ds children to inherit?

MadIsTheNewNormal Fri 03-Jan-14 07:33:36

looknow having known people who have had to make similar very tough decisions, I'm afraid to say that I suspect much to their utter despair and sadness you probably do have a history of frittering money away, not prioritising the essentials in life, making poor decision after poor decision, and then going with the begging bowl to be bailed out yet again without a backward glance, and leaving them at the end of their tether. Am I warm?

Parents do not come to decisons like that lightly, and I am sure it breaks their hearts to do it. If they have categorically said they fear you will 'fritter it' then that is surely what you would do, or previously have done.

MadIsTheNewNormal Fri 03-Jan-14 07:34:09

or in your case GPs

MadIsTheNewNormal Fri 03-Jan-14 07:37:06

Oh hang on, didn't see the second part of your post, I do apologise. blush

You care for them FT? confused

I suspect they don't trust you not to shack up with a similar loser in the future. They are not cutting you off though - just drip feeding it like pocket money to a child. Perhaps they have their reasons.

MadIsTheNewNormal Fri 03-Jan-14 07:38:37

do you live with them look?

Have they made arrangements to make sure you stay in their house or have a house provided out of the money from their estate?

Wossname Fri 03-Jan-14 07:41:37

That is such a shitty post to someone you nothing about. Fucking hell.

MadIsTheNewNormal Fri 03-Jan-14 07:44:37

Perhaps yes, and I did apologise for not reading the full post properly. I admit I am projecting based on what I know of people who have had to do this (with reluctance and sadness) to their own children. I can't imagine it's something anyone would do lightly.

MrsCampbellBlack Fri 03-Jan-14 07:49:30

Wills cause massive ructions.

Mad - I don't actually think your case is too bad - if they are much closer to the other nephews and nieces then that's life isn't it?

I think the main problem is when parents leave vastly differing amounts to their children unless there are massive extenuating circumstances like special needs or its a farm.

DeckSwabber Fri 03-Jan-14 07:56:40

I think problems arise when a potential beneficiary places too much reliance on an inheritance*.

Few people have a 'right' to inherit, though I think some situations create a moral obligation for people to be provided for, eg people who have made sacrifices to care for them.

*fair enough if its a family business/farm.

Badvoc Fri 03-Jan-14 08:09:21

I am going through this ATM with my mum.
She is thinking of buying Her council house with the express intention of leaving it to my brother.
My sister and I would recieve nothing.
He has been the favoured child all my life so in a way it's not surprising but it still hurts.
I have pointed out my father would not have approved but other than that have said nothing. It's her money to with as she will.
My brother has more or less abandoned my mother since she was widowed, whereas I am there every day.

shebird Fri 03-Jan-14 08:10:37

I never understand why people leave wills that they know are going to cause such awful trouble within a family. Why would you want your whole family to be torn apart by deliberately leaving someone out of a will or leaving unequal shares to children knowing what the fallout will be.
It is cruel and calculating when people use inheritance to have control over others using the threat of changing the will if they are upset by them for whatever reason. What a horrible legacy to leave your loved ones.

Badvoc Fri 03-Jan-14 08:12:10

Don't know.
Mum just loves my brother most.
Twas ever thus.

minifingers Fri 03-Jan-14 08:19:54

We have recently discussed my mum's will and agreed (db, dsis, me, mum) that dsis - who is unmarried and childless and lives with my mum, will get a bigger share, to reflect her needs (db and I are home owners) and the fact that she is caring for my mum. We hope there will be enough from the will to buy my sister a home outright. I think it's very sensible to have this discussion while the elderly parent is still well, as there is less emotion involved. I love my siblings and wouldn't want anything to come between us.

Polyethyl Fri 03-Jan-14 08:29:35

My great grandmother's first will was a straight split between her two daughters. In her final illness the two daughters took it in turns to nurse her. The week before she died, whilst my great aunt was nursing her, my great grandmother wrote another will cutting out my grandmother. The damage that did is still not resolved. 50 years later and another generation down - things are still edgy with the cousin who now owns that house.

My FIL cut my DH out of his will. We thought it was a three way split with some cousins - and that's what FIL led us to believe. But it wasn't. We don't know why he did this. The cousins knew and realised that they wouldn't persuade the stubborn old git so quietly agreed between themselves that when the moment came they would deed of variation it. So when FIL died my DH had the unpleasant surprise that he was disinherited followed by the pleasant surprise that his cousins were so decent and kind. How we love those cousins.

shebird Fri 03-Jan-14 08:30:34

I agree mini perhaps if things were discussed more before hand there would be less arguments and less misunderstanding.

bearleftmonkeyright Fri 03-Jan-14 09:13:32

Although discussions are healthy within the family, I still think this loses sight of the fact that its your will. Not the families. It really is up to the person making the will want they want to do. If you care for a person full time and then are the main beneficiary, that very fact can be thrown back in their face by the family "she was only caring for her for the money" etc. Everyone has the chance to make their own will. I really think its important to leave well alone and to not interfere. It is the reads final wishes. If those left behind see it as a slap in the face it is understandable. But it has to be this way otherwise there isi little point making a will.

bearleftmonkeyright Fri 03-Jan-14 09:14:39


NottinghamLass Fri 03-Jan-14 09:20:42

bear - Of course people can leave their money to whoever they want. But if they actually love their children, then they should seriously think about the impact emotionally of any unequal split.

bearleftmonkeyright Fri 03-Jan-14 09:23:49

Probate solicitors will advise that of any perceived inequality when a will is drawn up. There is still no need for anyone else to be involved.

NottinghamLass Fri 03-Jan-14 09:30:55

bear I suspect you have a will that treats your children differently. Please think of the heart ache this can cause and at least talk to them before you die.

Hoppinggreen Fri 03-Jan-14 09:36:36

My brother cut me off last year ( still see his wife and kids) because my mum dared to suggest to him that the piece of land he was bragging about selling on FB for hundreds of thousands of £ was legally half mine as it had been my Dads, who died without leaving a will.
Rather than share it with me ( which I hadn't asked for by the way) he sent me a series of abusive texts and didn't sell it at all. He then told me to stay away from him and his family. My poor sil knew nothing about it and when I told her( in response to a text from her offering to babysit) she said she wouldn't get involved but was going to carry on seeing us.
Our Dad was a total arsehole as well - he would have been very proud!

30SecondsToMarsBars Fri 03-Jan-14 09:38:43

If people behaved unfairly in life it's very unlikely they will behave fairly in death. Some people have enjoyed having power over their families and want to continue to hold that power after they are gone. I know someone who, when things aren't going her way, will tell her family "I'm changing my will", family have heard it so many times they don't actually give a shit.

It's usually outsiders looking on who can see it for what it is because the people involved will always put their own slant on it.

bearleftmonkeyright Fri 03-Jan-14 09:39:07

I asolutely do not have a will that treats my children differently! And if I did, well what business is it but mine? Can you really not see that unless your parents are especially vindictive that they will have given massive thought to how a will is drawn up. It's such an important document. I would advise anyone to leave well alone as the heartache among the living is not worth it. But its your will, your decision. It's a legally binding document.

hollyisalovelyname Fri 03-Jan-14 09:41:48

Badvoc that is awfully unfair to you. Can anybody get your mother to see sense?

Purplepoodle Fri 03-Jan-14 09:47:46

Unequal splits for the right reasons or not cause problems unless the person leaving the will has a family discussion. Having seen my own parents go through it over a stupidly small amount if money and the hurtful accusations/backstabbing I would hate this to happen again.

Another family member left house to first born son and split land between other sibling, some weren't overly happy BUT it was discussed when person made the will so there were many years for it all to settle so no issues when the person died.

If a person cares for someone they should be recognised more in the will but again it should be discussed will ALL the children.

For my own situation myself and oh have worked hard, brought a house (negative equity and struggling and not likely to pay off mortgage) but doing ok. Sil chooses to float about, spend her money and not buy somewhere. I can so see pil leaving their (large) house to her so she will have somewhere to live, really hoping they don't but she is daddy's little girl.

MrsSchadenfreude Fri 03-Jan-14 09:56:23

My father and his sister didn't speak to their other sister after my grandmother died, as she had altered the will in her favour. shock Thankfully, the "witnesses" denied ever having witnessed the will, and the estate was split three ways. Have not had anything to do with that side of the family since then.

My mother fell out with her cousin after the death of a great aunt, as she died intestate and he claimed that he was the only living relative. His brother found out, challenged it, and got half of the estate. I asked, some years later, why my grandmother had not received anything - it should have been split three ways, not two. Apparently it hadn't occurred to her that she had the same relationship to her aunt as her cousins. This happened YEARS ago, my mother is now 80 and her cousin 92. They have not spoken since - they recently met up at another family funeral and studiously ignored each other all day.

I am an only child, and I wouldn't put it past my mother to write me out of her will in a fit of spite, and give it all to my cousin. Her choice entirely, but I can categorically say that it would not be what my father wanted. And if she does that, well I won't be arranging her funeral, or attending it. Out of interest, what would happen if no-one wanted to arrange a funeral?

MothershipG Fri 03-Jan-14 10:13:06

bear unless your parents are especially vindictive

I think what you are missing is that a lot of the posters on here have experienced wills that are indeed vindictive.

MadIsTheNewNormal Fri 03-Jan-14 10:17:29

I could never foresee a circumstance when I would treat my children any differently to one another in this regard. One of them would have to do something spectacularly mind-blowingly awful for me to even begin to consider disinheriting them. And I would never give one of them more than the others on the basis that they 'need it' more. It's just so unfair, especially as (in my experience) the ones who 'need' it are often the architects of their own downfall. It's a kick in the gut to the siblings who have never given their parents any grief and have been more responsible throughout life.

The only thing I could foresee is adjusting the final amount to reflect any financial bailouts or leg-ups I might have given any of them while I were still alive. But again, unless it was a massive amount of money given in emergency circumstances I'd prefer to give them all equal help at the time, to keep it fair and balanced and to save any ill-feeling.

I know a couple who are very well off, and they have four DDs, one of whom is spoilt, lazy and spectacularly entitled. She lurched from one self-induced disaster to another her whole adult life, continually racking up debts and expecting her DPs to bail her out again and again. Nothing is ever her fault, she's always in complete denial and her partner's not much better.

They've bought her a house with cash TWICE (to save their own sanity and give her the security of not losing her home every time she lives too extravagantly and it catches up with her.) The first one she mortgaged to get to the equity, and then ceased to pay the mortgage so lost it. And they did it again because it was too traumatic to listen to her whine about how she couldn't possibly be expected to live on HB in a rented place. shock

She still sucks them dry and thinks nothing of manipulating them with guilt trips about how tough her life is, every time she wants expensive clothes for her kids, or a holiday that she and her partner can't afford without help.

But they've finally adjusted their will so that this is reflected when their estate is divided between her and her three sisters at the end. Her sisters (who are all sensible and live within their means) will get much, much more than her. I'm not sure she knows that though, so if she's still living it up expecting that a nice inheritance will be coming her way in the next ten years or so she's going to have a nasty and long overdue shock coming to her.

NottinghamLass Fri 03-Jan-14 10:18:30

Wills are used by some parents to say clearly who is the most favoured child/ren.

That is why if there is a good reason for an unequal split, you should explain that to your children.

My FIL I am sure will be very vindictive in his will. He seems to enjoy causing divisisions.

AliceinWinterWonderland Fri 03-Jan-14 10:18:53

Our wills treat our children differently, but for a very good reason. Both DSS and adult DD are left a small amount. DSS and DIL are financially fine and will be inheriting from other family members (grandparents and DIL's parents) and are fine with this. Adult DD and SIL are financially fine as well and will both be inheriting from other family members (grandparents and SIL's parents).

Our two youngest are still under 8 and living at home, and one is disabled. These two children will still need to be raised to adults and need more care and financial support so they will receive the bulk of any monies available.

We have, however, discussed this openly, so it's not a huge shock to anyone, and everyone agreed with the reasoning and felt it was fair under the circumstances.

Once the two youngest are over 18, then we will adjust the wills accordingly. DS1 will still have an extra amount, as he will need support throughout his lifetime and will have some additional needs. Again, it's all been discussed - not because we were asking "permission" to make the will this way, but to make our feelings known on it and make sure everyone understood WHY we did this.

NottinghamLass Fri 03-Jan-14 10:21:05

Alice - You sound like very loving parents.

MrsCampbellBlack Fri 03-Jan-14 10:22:16

Exactly mothership. Just because someone is making a will doesn't make them suddenly a kind and thoughtful person. And I think as this thread has shown when its one parent who survives, they may not carry out the wishes of their deceased spouse.

Wills are a total minefield. I think its best to be as fair as is possible and discuss with family so there are no nasty surprises.

MadIsTheNewNormal Fri 03-Jan-14 10:24:02

I understand that you need to make provision for a disabled child, but I do hope that once your other DD is over 18 that each of the three non-disabled children will be treated equally, irrespective of who will or won't be inheriting money from other relatives. That is besides the point.

AliceinWinterWonderland Fri 03-Jan-14 10:41:16

I understand that you need to make provision for a disabled child, but I do hope that once your other DD is over 18 that each of the three non-disabled children will be treated equally, irrespective of who will or won't be inheriting money from other relatives. That is besides the point.

I only have one DD, so not sure where you got "your other DD" from.

And it's NOT "besides the point." It's PRECISELY the point. Once DS2 reaches 18, it will be adjusted, with provisions made for university fees and such, and amounts altered accordingly, provided he plans on going to university. If not, then another adjustment will be made from there, based on our family situation at that time and the outlook for the future.

Our children realise that any money left is not "reward money" for being our children to be doled out equally, but money to make sure they all have the opportunity to be financially stable first and foremost, with money to help if needed and available.

A lot of things can change in 15 years, and we will make adjustments that are needed when we reach that point.

As I said previously, my parents have their wills stating that the money is to be distributed equally amongst their grandchildren, instead of to their children. This is because one of my siblings has stolen thousands from them and would not use any inheritance other than to blow through it with no benefit to her children. So to make things "fair" to everyone, they settled on the grandchildren directly, as most of us are financially okay anyway. Whilst there was a bit of annoyance that we were passed over because of the actions of my sister, that annoyance was dismissed pretty quickly on my part. My parents have a right to leave their money to whoever (whomever?) they want, without interference from me or my siblings. And to be honest, I'd have used any inheritance to directly benefit my children anyway, so this just cuts out the middleman. grin My siblings are not thrilled about it (understatement), however that's too bad. They wouldn't be happy no matter what as they're quite grabby and selfish - having all started demanding money and items from my mother right after my father died a few years ago. hmm

bearleftmonkeyright Fri 03-Jan-14 10:47:48

If you explain an unequal split then what good will it do? If you disagree with the split, insist on a change then whose will is it? You cannot unduly influence anyone when it comes to making a will. I realize that there are some people out there who will readily cause a family divide with a will.

A friend lost her dm. The df changed the will and spoke to her and her sister. An equal split between the two and a small percentage for each child. Sounds fair? Sister took issue because friend had more children. Father is still alive! I could give other examples. If you fall out before the person has died it risks upsetting the person making the will and you can end up pleasing noone.

AliceinWinterWonderland Fri 03-Jan-14 10:59:34

Exactly. We explained the unequal split, but had they not agreed, that's tough. We have to do what is best for everyone and make sure that the youngest are provided for. An adult child's wish for more money does not come before the younger child's needs at that point in his life.

I would never presume to tell my parents to change their will. It's their money, their decision.

Kewcumber Fri 03-Jan-14 11:11:12

*I could never foresee a circumstance when I would treat my children any differently to one another in this regard.*Just becasue you can;t foresee it doesn't mean it won;t happen.

My sister married a millionaire and even though she "deserves" her share of my mothers estate (if there is anything left) even she admits she'll hardly even notice it.

My brother has fallen out with my mother for no very clear reason - other than he's a dickwad and we haven't seen him for a year. To the point that he totally ignored Christmas and my 8 yr old's birthday. He has a pension (retired early) and hasn't worked in 15 years and spends any money he gets on himself.

I am a single parent who had to give up work when I became ill, was unable to contribute to a pension because money became so tight and I'm now building up a business in the hopes that it will be flexible enough to deal with my increasingly sick mother and a child. But still no pension provision. Despite the fact that I've consistently worked harder than my brother all my life.

My mother has been in hospital 5 times this year, its me who goes to see her when she's in, feeds her cat, takes her on holiday when we can (she is disabled), its me who rearranges client meetings where necessary.

And I do it because she's my mother and I love her and I do get just as much back form her in other ways. But she wants to change her will to leave the majority to me. My brother expects to inherit a third - if she contacts him to discuss it then it will look like she's trying to blackmail him into seeing her again.

What would you do if you were my mother?

CrapBag Fri 03-Jan-14 11:16:31

I am the only person in my family who knows the contents of a will.

I was brought up by relatives, I am thought of as their 'child' rather than their xxxx (don't want to give too much info away about what I actually am to them) and as such I am treated as a child in the will.

There is already a degree of jealousy and resentment towards me about my close relationship with the relatives that brought me up (thus saving me from a life of foster care) so I am anticipating problems. Plus my family can be petty and pathetic over the most trivial of things.

If and when it does all happen, I'll be glad they show their true colours and I just won't have anything to do with them again. I suspect other family members won't like it either, but again, they will just be showing their true colours and I won't be interested in trying to maintain a relationship with them.

QueenStromba Fri 03-Jan-14 14:39:25

My grandmother made my aunt and uncle (married) executors. After she died they decided to move into her house and that they were going to pay off the other beneficiaries when they sold their house. At the time the house was valued at 200k and since then house prices have risen by 10% so it should now be worth 220k. They got some valuations after they sold their house and offered us the median valuation of 187k. Basically they're trying to benefit from trashing the house to the value of ~33k. Wankstains.

It's not the money that is upsetting - my share of that 33k isn't an awful lot and my mum has decided to donate anything over x amount to charity. The upsetting thing is that my aunt and uncle are so happy to try and screw the rest of us over - they've really shown their true colours with all of this.

torcat Fri 03-Jan-14 15:02:47

The only honourable thing for your brother to do in this situation is to split the inheritance between his uncles/aunts as his great-uncle wished. This is what happened in my father's family when one of his siblings was omitted from his fathers will (a substantial estate like your great-uncle's).

Upthechimney you are totally right and one of the uncles has basically 'suggested' that I ask him to share some of the proceeds with the aunts/uncles, and still keep a large portion for himself and his family. The amount of money is so large that there really is enough for everyone and he can do the right thing! I very much doubt that he will do it though as he has 5 children and just wants to look after them. It is going to be horrible, it will split the family and will ruin our relationship too, as I feel it is grossly unfair that his kids will have everything they could possibly need and mine won't, just because he is the eldest son of the eldest son. My father also plans to split his estate equally between the two of us, even though my brother will have basically won the lottery overnight!

Rumplestinkskin Fri 03-Jan-14 16:47:52

When my great aunt died (a long time ago), the will split the cash 3 ways (my mum, her cousin and my great aunts partner), and her partner inherited the house.

My mums cousin contested the will on the basis that she was GA's sole remaining sister (she wasn't, but she had been raised as such and only found out her true parent when she was an adult) as she didn't think my mum knew. It lasted as far as the solicitor ringing my mum and being told the truth (the cousin had issues, which I can totally understand TBF).

However, she had form (she entered the house whilst GA was in hospital and took jewellery claiming it was hers, didn't contact my mum when GA was ill the year before and also when my Gran died, took a clock after the funeral as she had 'been promised it') very grabby person.

The amount of money my mum received wasn't a lot in the grand scheme of things but it was enough for my parents to put a deposit on their council house so was life changing for them whereas the cousin was much better off.

middleclassdystopia Fri 03-Jan-14 18:29:57

It's absolute bollocks all this protesting that your estate can be left to and divided how you please. That people should just suck it up, have no right to be hurt and that the assertion of it not being about the money is invalid.

Unless there are specific and moral reasons to not divide your estate equally amongst your children (and in a normal, loving family that will have been discussed and agreed amicably) then it is absolutely wrong to favour one sibling financially or disinherit.

This is often done to hurt and manipulate even from the grave. A way to get back at people, a way for others to benefit financially. To say 'well it's my right' is a bollocks defence.

Yes your money and estate are yours to bequeth how you please. But why upon why would you hurt and divide your children without good reason? It is about money to some degree but not wholly.

Siblings when they are innocent children seek to be treated equally. If my ds gets a treat, dd wants one too. If ds gets told off he expects dd to get a row too when she is naughty. It starts from birth, a desire to be loved equally.

Adults who haven't shared equality (and this does happen) as children still feel that hurt into adulthood. The money in a will isn't wholly literal but symbolic of past hurts.

Anyone who can't see that, or thinks it's okay to tear apart families without good cause is blind and ignorant.

BraveMerida Fri 03-Jan-14 19:04:41

While I agree in principle, i.e. split equally between children, things are often not as simple with remarriages and additional named beneficiaries such as charities and grand children. E.g. When the will states that things are to be split equally amongst the children, with DGC as additional beneficiaries of specific amounts, a child has no right IMO to contest based on his/her opinion that only the children ( i.e. not DGC, because some siblings have more children than others....unfair etc) should benefit and that DGC's share(s) should be put back into the estate to be divided.

peggyundercrackers Fri 03-Jan-14 19:45:42

ive told all my family not to leave me anything in their will - im not interested in their money or what belongings they have. they have all been told if they leave me anything I will give it away.

if someone wants to leave all their worldly belonging to one person I don't have a problem with that at all - that's their wishes and is what they wanted its got nothing to do with anyone else what that person wants to do with their belongings once they have left this world.

people get greedy when it comes to wills and they are unreasonable. I think its really bad manners and rude to contest wills and to fight over the property of a relative/friend who has died - cant stand the greed of these people. I cant believe there are people on here who are saying they should get x, y, z... I cant write what I think of these people as it would probably get pulled.

looknow Fri 03-Jan-14 19:46:45


No I don't fritter money. I had a house, fully paid for, my Ex beat me, police removed me and whilst living pregnant in a shelter my Ex remortgaged my house fraudently and gambled it away. He then died.

There is a huge back story to GPS favouritising my siblings, it is the way it is and has always been. I don't live with them but I care for them, cook, clean, shop and help them.

It is what it is. But please dont judge.

MrsCampbellBlack Fri 03-Jan-14 20:02:38

Peggy, so you've read this thread with stories like Badvocs and you don't get why people get upset when they're left out of wills? Golly, I'm quite surprised by that.

peggyundercrackers Fri 03-Jan-14 20:10:37

middleclass sorry I disagree with you completely. the reason people fall out if they are left out is purely and simply because they have lost out of the money which is left. your right when you say your children are loved equally but love does not equal money even in death - the reason I have told all my family I don't want anything is because I would rather have them here with me than have the money they have as a memory - money means absolutely nothing to me, the way i see it is easy come - easy go. Ive been absolutely skint and not had a bean - I made a ton of money about 10 years ago but then lost ever single penny of it and then some but I have managed to work my way back to having a comfortable living so I really do think its easy come easy go because I know how easy it is to loose it. my life isn't rich because of money but because of the people I have in my life.

Varya Fri 03-Jan-14 20:15:55

My sister persuaded my aunt to change her Will in my sister's favour so she got nearly £300K whilst the rest of us got peanuts. Originally the Will was in favour of my sister and me, equally. Made huge effort not to be jealous, but my sister died at the end of the same year my aunt died in and my bro in law got the large bequest. Then he got throat cancer and the way I look at it he would rather have his wife than any amount of money. End of.

BraveMerida Fri 03-Jan-14 20:26:06

From your post peggy, i Just had a flash back of a memory with my mum when I was about 13 when she offered to give me her gold necklace couple of times. I refused to accept it because in my young mind, I didn't want her to die and accepting the necklace would somehow mean that she was saying to me she would die soon. Dmother tried a few more times and finally gave up. I got the gold necklace when she died, I was 20, and have been wearing it everyday since.

Ilovemydogandmydoglovesme Fri 03-Jan-14 20:42:29

Kewcumber I don't think I'd be phoning your brother if it was me.

middleclassdystopia Fri 03-Jan-14 20:49:52

Of course people are more important but I see it as your last gift. And why cause hurt?

Your estate has to be left to someone. Why cause conflict?

I will leave my money equally between my children. It may help them or any grandchildren. I know my presence as mum is more important but I can't delay the inevitable i.e. death. I would rather go to my grave knowing that, as in life, I have been fair and equal to my beloved children.

Sadoldbag Fri 03-Jan-14 20:51:41

Very very common my step sisters mum fell out with her over her brothers will

My sister then proceeded to piss the money up the wall out of 100k she has 5k left that's over the space of 4 years her mu is biter that everything her brother worked for has been spent on holidays and nights out at nobu

My sister goes often cap in hand to her mum to help with bills and things for the children

Sadoldbag Fri 03-Jan-14 21:03:08

It's a difficult one though as a mum of two I can see why it may not be shared equally

I don't think I would be inclined to split money down the line of one of my children were a loafer say

Finding it difficult to May a go of things is difficult to just being a lazy git
And I do know a few people who are waiting for there parents to die and that's pretty much there plan for buying a house hmm

Or I can see why you wouldn't if one of your children were a criminal however all things being equal both children settled not to wild and working I can't see what you wouldn't

my inlaws already show blatant favouritism in terms of money and time so I think when when they pass I foresee the poo hitting the fan it terms of wills

It's there money of course but it's done nothing for my oh relationship with his siblings I don't think oh anger about it all comes from jealousy rather he feels his parents love him less

Worried3 Fri 03-Jan-14 21:05:09

I am another who thinks that a person is free to leave their money/property/possessions to whomever they so wish.

I agree that the way this is done is not always fair and can lead to bad feeling or feelings of one child being loved more than another- so ideally parents should want to share their assets equally between their children, unless there is a very good reason for this not to be the case.

As someone who inherited a sizeable sum from my childless great aunt (not the only beneficiary) where my brother inherited nothing, there are situations where it isn't "morally right" to share anything you inherit with your siblings- it depends on your relationship with each other and the person from whom the inheritance originates. I think there are times when it is perfectly acceptable to stick to the letter of the will (and it's spirit). I suppose it could be argued that I take this position from self interest, but I would have said this before that situation arrived.

My brother hadn't seen her in over 10 years- they weren't close. I and my aunt (who also inherited a substantial sum) did a lot to help her out over a number of years. Not because of the inheritance, but because she was a lovely lady and she was family, so we wanted to help her. Not only that, but my brother has done a lot of awful things in the past, is irresponsible and has a lot of debts. His wife is not a lot better. My aunt had little contact with him, other than the odd begging calls (he never paid back money he promised to), and she was not impressed by the way he had treated my DM, my DGM (her sister) and myself. Therefore, she did not want to leave him money as he a) wasn't very nice to her and b) would probably waste it.

middleclassdystopia Fri 03-Jan-14 21:08:18

'he feels his parents love him less'

That's it you see. Yes for some it's about greed but for others it's conformation of favourtism or a lack of love which has always been there.

ElfontheShelfIsWATCHINGYOUTOO Fri 03-Jan-14 21:12:14

bravemerdia the same thing happened to me, my DM used to offer me a bracelet and like you it felt wrong to take it, low and behold she passes away and my sister snatched took all her jewellery including that bracelet...

all very upsetting. unless you leave equally you are going to leave misery in some way or another.

middleclassdystopia Fri 03-Jan-14 21:19:48

'unless you leave equally you are going to leave misery'

So why do it without very good reason?

peggyundercrackers Fri 03-Jan-14 21:20:57

sadoldbag in that instance would it not make your OH want nothing to do with them rather than think money will make up of the injustice of being favoured less? to me it doesn't make sense he thinks money will make up for their favouritism, real or alleged, even if he gets the same amount as other he will still believe there was favouritism.

ElfontheShelfIsWATCHINGYOUTOO Fri 03-Jan-14 21:24:52


I agree...why leave that bitter legacy behind and create more cycles of doom and misery.

Badvoc Fri 03-Jan-14 21:28:18

Tbh I don't care.
I don't want her money.
I take care of her because a) she's my mother and b) it's what my dad would want.
I know my sister has also said she thinks it unfair, but whether mum has taken that on board I have no idea.
She may never do it, of course. It may be just wishful thinking, and as I said to her, my brother may not even want to live there...he certainly never goes to see her as "it's too upsetting since dad died".
Thing is I am my mums executrix so if she decides to do anything I will know about it, it won't come as a shock iyswim?

NeverKnowinglyUnderstood Fri 03-Jan-14 21:30:43

coming to this a bit late. posting before reading so not to be swayed (yet)

DH's family don't talk to each other.
Grandfather left all his money to his granddaughter, she was the only one who visited him, cared about him, read to him.
Her parents have disowned her
Her aunts and uncles have challenged the will in the courts.

and thankfully she has met a lovely chap, moved to a different country and is getting on with her life.

DH and I (and PiL) are agog at the behaviour of the other family members.

peggyundercrackers Fri 03-Jan-14 21:31:58

surely its only doom and misery if people value the money and want it(greed) - if they aren't interested in money then what money is left means nothing.

ive told my parents to spend all their money - don't leave anything - we (their children) are all adults and should be making our own way in life - not looking for money when the time comes. I always disagree with one of my friends, he always says that when the time comes he always thinks he who has the most toys/money wins - I always say no you've not won you have failed, life is about what you can give not what you can accumulate.

Badvoc Fri 03-Jan-14 21:32:51

I don't give a toss whether she buys the house, yes it would be a good investment but it's not necessary.
I would far rather she spent the money on things that gave her happiness and contentment. She has had precious little of that since my dad died sad

Puffinlover Fri 03-Jan-14 21:34:10

I work for a high street bank and have witnessed some shocking behaviour from relatives when someone has died. The situation really brings out the worst in some people.

minifingers Fri 03-Jan-14 21:41:08

Peggy - very noble, but I'm aware that my children are likely to have it much harder than I will in terms of retirement, healthcare and housing, and I want to leave money, if possible, to help them after my death rather than squandering it in my later years on things that I could happily do without.

Seriously - the thought of a wh

Badvoc Fri 03-Jan-14 21:41:56

Sod that.
I am going to squander til the cows come home smile

Sadoldbag Fri 03-Jan-14 21:46:23

peggy he likes to think there has been a intake or they don't really mean to leave him out I would imagine that when they pass and leave him nothing compared to his other siblings it will cement they really did love the others more.

To be honest we don't have much to do with them there choice to busy with the other siblings.

They live in another country and actually flew into the uk to baby sit for his sister for the weekend oh and didn't even let us know they were in the uk

We adopted a child a few months ago we Set announcement cards as yet in-laws have not even acknowledged the baby has arrived.

That's the level of favouritism we deal with

Also for Christmas in laws flew sister her oh and her 4 children out to Florida for Christmas we haven't even received a card off our in-laws despite us sending them one

minifingers Fri 03-Jan-14 21:51:47

Crap, posted too soon.

The reason many of my parents generation have money to leave isn't because of years of scrimping and hard work, but because of a huge increase in property values which have resulted in their children and their children's children ending up in precarious and unaffordable housing.

I will be devastated to lose my lovely mum when it happens and if there's any money left to me it won't make me grieve any the less. But it will reduce the chance of me ending up homeless or in poverty in later life, and I'm sure that it what she would have wanted.

minifingers Fri 03-Jan-14 21:53:45

Squandering money doesn't make me happy or give me satisfaction. Protecting my children does. No matter what their age or mine.

middleclassdystopia Fri 03-Jan-14 21:54:18

Well if only his granddaughter visited etc what does that say?

These scenarios aren't random and isolated. Sometimes a person is alone because they've treated their children badly.

bearleftmonkeyright Fri 03-Jan-14 22:00:20

Minifingers, that is true about equity left in housing with lots of equity means there can be a tidy sum left. The other thing is that if the relative has to go into a care home fees will be taken out of the estate as the house may be sold. I think the estate is reduced to £20k, so there may be little left at that point.

Badvoc Fri 03-Jan-14 22:00:37

My mother - and I - would give every penny we had for 5 more minutes with my dad.
I will always help my dc if I can but it is not my responsibility to leave an fact I would rather them have it whilst I was alive so I could enjoy seeing them benefit.

Aloneandnowwhat Fri 03-Jan-14 22:08:48

My mother left everything to my sister, apparently on the understanding that she 'see me right'. Have not seen a penny, live in rented housing struggling to save for a mortgage while sister lives mortgage free. It's incredibly hurtful to realise how little I was thought of by my mother, have a good relationship with my sister because it's not really her fault I suppose.

peggyundercrackers Fri 03-Jan-14 22:36:47

minifingers its nothing to do with being noble - they worked hard for their money so THEY should enjoy it. yes its hard out there but as I said I feel im an adult so I should look after me - I don't want my folks looking after me - im very independent. when I go, if I go before my OH, I will leave nothing to my DD - I think its called character building smile I guess its just the way I see it. I understand why others see it differently but I think they ABU - im sure they would think I ABU.

don't get me wrong whilst my folks are here we do lots of things together and my folks spoil all their GCs rotten, we cant go anywhere without them buying something and are really terrible for not letting you pay for anything when we are out

Aloneandnowwhat if your sis was a better person not a greedy bugger surely she would have given you half no matter what? I think your sis has stitched you up not your mum.

Sadoldbag Fri 03-Jan-14 22:42:24

I Agree I do sometimes think that it's a cop out for expel to leave one to one to "share" out why not leave it to all equally and just name them

Sometimes I wonder I people want to cause mischief or want to leave it to one but feel if they do and say oh sure it out they they won't be hated and the sibling will get the blame

Busyoldfool Fri 03-Jan-14 23:12:24

We will fall out I think. My DB is very secretive and controls my DM's money.

southerngirl25599 Sat 04-Jan-14 01:21:31

I can see this this happening with my family. DB and SIL fell out with my father and mother about 4 years ago, he then brought my youngest brother to court.

My DB and SIL didn't speak/visit them for about 3 years but still sent them birthday/christmas presents. Anyway my dad has tried so hard to put the family together and only started speaking to my parents, myself and my other brother, when dad about 6 months had a major operation, and subsequently died.

My mum doesn't want them to get much as they treated her horribly and we're talking big money here. I know SIL is going to get annoyed when I get all the jewellery and China which is all worth quite a lot (I'm the only daughter) but I'm going to offer some to my other SiL (my other brother's wife) as she's done heaps for my mum and dad and I could never repay her for what she's done and my two nieces will get some too.

Mum has just been put into a rest home and the house is on the market, so my two brothers and I going to pick what we want and all if my DB and SIL have the guts to show their faces they can get what they choose. All the paintings have names on the back who is getting what painting. SiL only married DB because of my family's money. Sad.

Apatite1 Sat 04-Jan-14 03:10:24

I don't have a relationship with either my brother or sister (no falling out, we are just very different and live on different continents) so I'm sure inheritance will be a tricky subject. My husband will inherit nothing and my parents will not leave anything to me unless I have children. Which I'm obviously not going to do on their say so. I expect my siblings will get everything. Might be unfair, but I'm mentally prepared for it. My parents' estate is in the millions so I will miss out on a lot, but we are capable of managing on our own and I won't contest the will.

Polynomial Sat 04-Jan-14 03:17:12

My neighbour told me that one of her relatives burnt her uncle's last will as soon as she heard that he had died, and had a copy of an earlier will that left everything to her - so got the lot.

I think the current system is too lax.

I think that once you have made a will it should go into a special will registry, as happens in some other countries.

Sadly, I don't think it will ever happen in England/Wales as so many MP's are lawyers. The legal system earn fees/court costs out of will disputes so it would not be in their interests to do so.

If a central will registry were to be set up, it would either be done on a shoe-string and be really crap and inefficient, or else the charges would be too excessive (as for making a POA).

AdoraBell Sat 04-Jan-14 03:29:14

My father's will devided my already broken family. That was because he didn't make the changes that he Spent years telling everyone he had.

At the time it was written it was fair but by the time he died all it achieved was that the one family member who was already set up for life got everything while the vulnerable person who we'd been told would inheret got zilch.

I always knew I wouldn't Get anything and never wanted anything, but I did expect it To at léast be shared. Especialy as everyone had heard him say many, many times, what his intención was.

Aloneandnowwhat Sat 04-Jan-14 08:08:48

Peggy you're probably right, easier to lay blame at the one who's not here I suppose. My other sister suffered even more, her childrens trust funds were raided and are now empty. My mother should have made sure they were protected, strangely the benefitting sister was the only one there when my mother had the will written.

DeckSwabber Sat 04-Jan-14 09:02:24

Southerngirl I am in the same situation re clearing my mums stuff because we've had to sell the house while she's moved somewhere more suitable. It's traumatic for lots of reasons.

My bro has taken lots of 'valuable' stuff but he's been open about it.

LadyKooKoo Sat 04-Jan-14 09:21:05

Dh and I have left everything to dd. If we outlive her then 50% goes to my niece and the other 50% is divided between his four nieces.

vipersnestling Sat 04-Jan-14 09:39:45

My Granny had several pictures that had to be hidden in the attic whenever her cousin visited grin

DeckSwabber Sat 04-Jan-14 09:42:55

I have benefited from money handed down by previous generations, and I feel I have a moral responsibility to keep at least that portion of my assets safe for the next generation. I find it odd when I see people blow it all.

I have it in mind to pass at least some of it on in my lifetime, so that they benefit from it when it will make the most difference to them.

Bertrude Sat 04-Jan-14 10:30:30

It will happen in husbands family.

There's been a major falling out which involves court cases etc. between 2 daughters (mil and aunt in law). Their brother sided with aunt in law. Nan-in-law sided with mil.

Will has been changed to be 100% to mil, because nan in law said that the court case has ruined mils life, lost fil his job, and therefore they deserve it and the others nothing. This will be contested. Bt there's already no way back for the relationship.

minifingers Sat 04-Jan-14 11:00:00

"minifingers its nothing to do with being noble - they worked hard for their money so THEY should enjoy it".

Ah well, that's the difference you see. My parents' adult life was miles easier than mine (they lived abroad and had servants, mum didn't work when we were children, had a comfortable home on one income - a reflection of property prices at the time they were buying). 90% of my mum's assets are the result in an increase in property prices, not a reflection of years of hard work.

"yes its hard out there but as I said I feel im an adult so I should look after me - I don't want my folks looking after me - im very independent"

Yes of course you shouldn't sit on your arse and wait for an inheritance. But there's something very self-indulgent and a bit depressing about the Saga generation frittering away loads of unearned money (which is what property equity is) while their children reap the disadvantages of the economic conditions which have transpired to make so many older people asset rich in their later years.

Levantine Sat 04-Jan-14 11:10:40

Minifingers I couldn't agree more. My dad will tell us all how is he going to spend all his money and a lot of his wealth is due to his having always owned property in London. Nothing to do with work at all. Anyway, I think it will all go on a care home in his case.

I know a family where the great grandmother left everything to her granddaughter, bypassing her daughter. When the daughter died, she too left everything to her granddaughter (my generation, ie in her 30s at the time). Not only that but she left her possessions to her step grandchildren, ie her daughters step DCs and the daughter had to buy them back from them. Everyone seemed to think that was totally fine. I thought it was really odd

Grennie Sat 04-Jan-14 12:46:06

This where the difference in backgrounds really shows on MN. My FIL does have some money. Him and my Mil (now sadly dead), worked very long hours to get that money. Even when their children were tiny, MIL set up and ran her own business from home so that they could afford to furnish all the rooms in their rented house.

I would have no problem with FIL spending all hsi money, he and MIL, did earn it.

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

No arguments 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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