To ask for my inheritance back?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

My Mother also charged me board.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

YANBU.

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

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

Does your mum have form for being selfish with money?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Trickydecision Sun 24-Aug-14 23:38:42

sandiacre and superwife are spot on. You need proper legal advice.

Sometimes household insurance offers free legal cover and advice, though what this actually entails is another matter. Worth checking your policy as a starting point however.

ClashCityRocker Sun 24-Aug-14 23:38:44

X-post.

It sounds to me like your mum was acting as trustee of a bare trust for you and your brother. In that case, you should have had the money at 18.

I wrote my post before I read your update.

Please ignore, it sounds now like the money was in your name and she had it paid into her own account, even after you were an adult, is that right?

If it is then she stole it, and you have every right to ask for it back.

jacks365 Sun 24-Aug-14 23:41:45

Annuities would normally pay out either for whole life or fixed term and there would be no lump sum at the end of it. In the case of a child with an annuity to last while in full time education then it would be paid to the guardian to spend as they saw fit and would end when you go to university. It does depend entirely on the wording of the will and the annuity but it is possible that you are not entitled to anything. You need to see a solicitor with a copy of the will.

Viviennemary Sun 24-Aug-14 23:42:19

I think it was very wrong that you did not get the money provided for your university education. You could see a solicitor if you think the money should have been paid to you. Not sure how that would stand in law. Your mother could be in trouble and could be ordered to make you a back payment if it was found the money should have gone to you.

ClashCityRocker Sun 24-Aug-14 23:42:43

Do you have a copy of the will?

I'm pretty sure you can request one. I think that's the starting point.

ClashCityRocker Sun 24-Aug-14 23:43:18

And of course, seeking legal advice,

WhatToDoNow123 Sun 24-Aug-14 23:47:16

Ok, copy of the will. I have no idea where it would be though - is there a public place where they're kept (clutching at straws, I know!)
Jacks I am 100% sure that there was a clause to say that the money would be paid throughout my education including uni; I specifically remember getting a special letter from the uni at the start of each semester to confirm I'd attended the previous semester and was still on my course. DM kept requesting them from uni to send off to dad's employer to make sure the annuity continued. I didn't understand this fully until it was too late sad

ClashCityRocker Sun 24-Aug-14 23:50:37

theprobatedepartment.co.uk/how-do-i-get-a-copy-of-a-will/

This may help - wills are public document,

PenisesAreNotPink Sun 24-Aug-14 23:50:52

I also x posted

I know you say you paid board since you were 16 but couldn't she just claim that it cost more to keep you ?

I have teenagers and they cost a lot.

I also think she owes you the money but if there is none left and she's having to move into rented then there's none to get .

You definitely need a solicitor

SurelyYoureJokingMrFeynman Sun 24-Aug-14 23:57:36

Anyone can get a copy of the will from the probate court.

The link above is to a private company - they'll probably charge you the earth for fuck all.

I've just tried to link to the really simple, well-explained site that gives you all the details and addresses to do it directly - and have got the modernised, crap, horrendously complicated govt one instead. <sighs>

I will dig out a suitable link eventually. Honestly, it's really easy - you send off your money (was £5 last time I did it): they send you a copy of the will.

SurelyYoureJokingMrFeynman Mon 25-Aug-14 00:02:43

OK, you need this form: hmctsformfinder.justice.gov.uk/courtfinder/forms/pa001s-eng.pdf

Tick "General Search", and ignore all the stuff about "within 6 months" - that's for Standing Searches.

If you don't know your father's exact date of death, give the best you can and state that it's approximate. The Probate Calendars are annual anyway, so they should be able to find him.

And it's a tenner now - doubled since a couple of years ago.

Good luck.

GnomeDePlume Mon 25-Aug-14 00:05:50

What will happen if you try to make a claim?

Has she got any money in reality?

IMO emotionally write off your inheritance. It is where it is. Sadly your DM comes across as feckless. Whatever money comes into her hands will fall out again.

I can understand your feelings. I was left a small legacy by my GM. Not a lot but at the time it would have made a difference. Another relative had control so that the legacy was not paid out for another 10 years meaning that it had no real value to me by that point (the legacy was a specific cash value).

In your case the problem is that the money is all gone. Pursuing it wont make the money magically appear.

What is your relationship like with your DM?

SurelyYoureJokingMrFeynman Mon 25-Aug-14 00:15:00

And I agree with what everyone says about getting legal advice - at least an initial consultation.

If she's planning to sell the house, if you move fast you may be able to get a charge on it so that the balance goes to paying you off, NOT a new sports car. (NB I am NOT a lawyer, you need proper advice).

As for your relationship with her... that's something only you can decide. It sounds like she's stolen from you, not just thousands of pounds but your sister's future and a good chunk of yours.

Oh, and nothing you've said suggests she's struggling - she has a salary and a salary-earning partner. So though I'm sure she will claim you're impoverishing her, that's just another taradiddle.

DamnBamboo Mon 25-Aug-14 00:18:54

OP, get a charge against the house.
She owes you money and she has sadly stolen from you and your DS.
I am so so sorry for you... how awful.
But you have a right to ask for it back and she should acknowledge what she has done.
Just be prepared for long-term fallout though.

I think you should go and see a solicitor and discuss it with him/her. When you have the necessary legal information, then you can decide how to proceed - and whether it's worth falling out with your mother. Firstly, you need to know whether or not she has actually defrauded you - which sounds possible (though I am not a lawyer, which is why I suggest you consult one). If she has, then you could take legal action against her.

If she hasn't actually defrauded you, as CCR suggests, then you could ask her for the money on the grounds that she said some would be coming your way, but it doesn't sound as though you have much chance of getting it. But it's important to know the actual legal position before you speak to her.

expatinscotland Mon 25-Aug-14 00:27:48

Wow, she let her kids live like that and took their money to live high off the hog?

Fuck it, I'd get legal on her and she could go get knotted as far as any relationship was concerned.

Anyone who does this to their own kids is toxic and untrustworthy.

gamescompendium Mon 25-Aug-14 00:35:37

Just because your mother got the money paid into her account doesn't mean it was hers to spend. Dad died a few years ago and left all his grandchildren a small inheritance, I was quite surprised to receive a single cheque that covered my inheritance and the kids, I'd expected us to get one each.

SierpinskiNumber Mon 25-Aug-14 00:39:57

What a terrible situation. I would try the pension fund managers again and find out as many facts as I can.

DontWorrryBaldrickHasACunningP Mon 25-Aug-14 00:40:06

You have been robbed, you needed to start looking at it from that view point. As PP have said go to a solicitor ASAP they will be able to advise you and get a copy of your Dads will there will be a copy somewhere.

wafflyversatile Mon 25-Aug-14 00:47:12

I think you should get legal advice. Maybe start a thread in the legal section for starters.

It sounds like she has stolen the money from you. She's behaved appallingly and I don't blame a tiny bit for being bitter.

BumpNGrind Mon 25-Aug-14 00:47:12

OP normally I am the first to say that you are not owed an inheritance and that children should only get something when both parents have passed. However your situation seems different and your df obviously thought long and hard about how to provide for his dd's and what they may need. If he cared about education so much to specify this money I would imagine he'd be very proud that you have achieved what he wanted for you.

How is your relationship with your mother? It seems that going down a claiming back path would be a point of no return, would you be ok with that?

I hope you get the answers you need.

wafflyversatile Mon 25-Aug-14 00:49:57

He may well have specified money for them precisely because he knew she'd be imprudent. Though I guess he didn't realise she would be downright dishonest.

gingercat2 Mon 25-Aug-14 01:21:31

It sounds like she has done the wrong thing by you. Definitely get legal advice and push for reimbursement of funds that should have been yours.

MrSheen Mon 25-Aug-14 01:54:50

I was in similar circumstances but my siblings and I all had the money paid monthly into out accounts once we turned 18 (or possibly the sept/academic year after we turned 18). Up until then DM got extra on her payments for us so technically she must have lost out when we went to uni.

The money came from my dad's pension fund and didn't go through DM at all. I remember vaguely that we had to prove we were in education but DM dealt with that. I imagine that she put our bank details on the form because the money definitely came into our accounts.(Eldest bro may have got cheques - it was a long time ago)

I think what you do about it depends on how much you are willing to gamble your relationship with her. Personally, I'd go for the money because your relationship is shot to ribbons anyway and she is going to piss the money up the wall if you don't get it.

The pension fund should be able to tell you the conditions of the scheme and tell you if putting into someone else's account (even if it was DM's rather than a random) was legal. Obviously they may be reluctant to confirm this as they did it.

AveryJessup Mon 25-Aug-14 04:07:05

Wow. Your mother has a brass neck, if what you say is true and money was specifically set aside for you and your sister's educations and she took it for herself while charging you both room & board! That takes some front. To lie to you on top of that and defy your father's wishes set out in his will is really horrible.

What is your relationship like with her generally? I guess the only upside is that you may get to choose her nursing home... and revenge is a dish best served cold...

Definitely get some legal advice on your situation and see if you can get a charge on the house to compensate you for your losses. Well done to you for having made it this far in life without support.

blueberryjeans Mon 25-Aug-14 04:14:02

That link to get a will is a dodgy one. This is the official one. Good luck.

Thumbwitch Mon 25-Aug-14 04:56:27

Gosh that's awful - your mother has stolen all your inheritance from your Dad and is now making sure you get none from her too - that's really quite evil. sad

Definitely get legal advice - but I don't know that you'll be able to retrieve any of the money, if she doesn't actually have it.

Do you know who the executor of the Will was/is? They may be liable for having failed to administer the terms of the Will properly, I don't know - legal advice will tell you that - if it was your Mum, then she almost certainly would be liable, but I don't know about anyone else.

The money should have been put in Trust for you, with someone other than your mother as a Trustee - I'm so sorry she's choused you out of your money. Foul woman.

nooka Mon 25-Aug-14 05:30:11

I don't think that getting the will is actually particularly key in this case, as the money that the OP is talking about is not inheritance. The funds that the OP is referring to is essentially a form of life insurance - I have something similar in my work benefits package and I don't even have a will (yet!). Dh's mother had something similar which paid off the mortgage for his father (dh and his siblings were all over 18).

As the administrator hasn't been very helpful I would be using a solicitor to go after them, to find out the terms and conditions of the annuity and ask why once the OP was over 18 and at university the funds were not sent to her directly. I suspect it's only those years that the OP could make some sort of claim for though as prior to that the OP lived at home so it would be seen as reasonable that the funds went to her mother.

Of course it is also possible that the OP's mother has also taken money due to her and her sister under the terms of her father's will, but it's fairly standard for wills to be made that give all funds to the living spouse, with funds for children often being locked in trust and so not easily accessible.

munchkinmaster Mon 25-Aug-14 05:39:43

By coincidence I was looking up the terms of my death in service the other day. There is a pension to my spouse and a pension for dependant children up until early 20s (or life if they are disabled). This is just the terms of the thing, rather than my choice. I suspect the same for the op? I wonder if there is a claim is against the pension/life insurance company for poorly administering if post the age of 18?

Delphiniumsblue Mon 25-Aug-14 07:25:44

I think that you need legal advice.
I was in a similar position to your mother.
I had a pension which was for me and my son - both came to me each month. However the moment he was 18 yrs it went directly to him - it was automatic and not a choice- that continued until he finished full time education or was 25yrs(whichever came first). There was no way I would have taken this money, but I couldn't have got hold of it anyway. I don't understand how your mother stole it, which is why you want legal advice.

CouldntGiveAMonkeysToss Mon 25-Aug-14 07:46:26

Yes op, get legal advice. Your mother sounds, at best, extremely selfish. I don't know how anyone can do that to their children.
YANBU.

Delphiniumsblue Mon 25-Aug-14 07:48:36

She is probably well meaning- just hopeless with money and got herself in a right mess. I don't understand how she was allowed to do it with your share.

LadyRabbit Mon 25-Aug-14 07:49:38

OP I'm furious on your behalf. I'm not sure what can be done though if she has spent it all and there is little equity left in the house. What on earth has she done with this money?! If she was mean enough to charge you board while claiming and spinning your annuity - this to her OWN child - I can't see what good confronting her about it will do. She clearly doesn't suffer from guilt - very few irresponsible people do.

LadyRabbit Mon 25-Aug-14 07:50:24

*spinning = spunking

hiccupgirl Mon 25-Aug-14 07:57:34

Get legal advice. From what you've said the annuities were paid to your mother to help her bring you and your DS up but she then used the money to fund her lifestyle instead. I could understand there being no money left if she had been struggling for money and had to spend it just to feed and clothe you but not for the circumstances you've described.

I've been ina similar situation. My mum died when I was 20 and my stepfather inherited everything and as the executor of her will he then choose to do the absolute bare minimum required for myself and my DB. Since then he has remarried, sold the house and used the equity to buy a bigger house and then disappeared - apparently he couldn't give me his new contact details because it was a new build house. Unfortunately some people are just very greedy by nature.

AllMimsyWereTheBorogoves Mon 25-Aug-14 07:59:43

It does sound like a pension issue rather than an inheritance issue. Presumably when you and your sister turned 18 the trustees sent your mother a form to complete to indicate where the money should be paid now that you were of age and she put her own bank account details in rather than yours. I've no idea how this affects the legal position but she has been at best massively greedy - she's taken your annuity and charged you rent at the same time, while working in a well-paid job, getting an annuity of her own and not having a huge mortgage! Not what your father would have wanted, as she must surely know.

I'd get legal advice if you can but you may have to accept that the money has gone and you won't see a penny of it. How this affects your relationship with your mother is of course the big thing now. sad

chunkythighs Mon 25-Aug-14 08:00:18

Situation may be more complicated. Did your dad leave an annuity for you or was it through life insurance. My sons is paid to me- it helps pay towards the cost of raising him.It is not 'his' but it's an extra payment that covers some of our bills.
In addition to this, it had nothing to do with inheritance- just a life insurance policy his employers took out.
What was it op?

HappyAgainOneDay Mon 25-Aug-14 08:06:52

Nooka

You don't have a Will? Suppose you were to be killed in a road accident? One's assets do not automatically go to next of kin. Get one written. Your DH and children will suffer if you don't.

LatteLoverLovesLattes Mon 25-Aug-14 08:11:19

I am so sorry that you lost your Dad when you were so small sad

Your Mum has behave atrociously and nastily and I'm sorry that having lost one parent, your other parent has been like this - it's not fair sad

You definitely need to go and speak to a solicitor. Don't hold back, she hasn't. It's a shame your Dad didn't tie the money up better for you, but it was obviously his intention that you were supported financially - not fleeced.

RandomMess Mon 25-Aug-14 08:11:41

You need proper legal advice and to put a charge against her existing house which will at least prevent the sale of it until the situation is resolved.

Surreyblah Mon 25-Aug-14 08:18:01

Before you see the solicitor, as well as the will try to get the full details of the annuity and payments made with the company providing it. Put everything in writing (email is fine). They might be reluctant to share this, but since it's in your name they presumably have to share full details, and if they refuse you could make a complaint to the relevant ombudsman/regulator.

olgaga Mon 25-Aug-14 08:25:53

You might want to have this thread moved to Legal Matters.

There is also a lawyer/will writer called Mumblechum who gives advice on Legal Matters & knows all about this stuff. Contact her through search - she also advertises in Classifieds.

I'd get a copy of the will first though.

AllMimsyWereTheBorogoves Mon 25-Aug-14 08:30:48

Sorry to be the voice of doom, but if the amount you have been cheated out of is £25k, and your mother has mortgaged her house up to the hilt, I really think there will be nothing left once she has sold the house and repaid the mortgages. If there was anything left the legal costs would swallow all of that up in no time at all.

Do you have any memory of signing papers that she shoved in front of you when you were 16 or 18? It may well be that you were unknowingly signing a form with her bank account details on it which would be taken as your agreement that the money could be paid directly to her rather than to you.

arethereanyleftatall Mon 25-Aug-14 08:37:12

Can you explain why you didn't question your mother for the money when you were at uni? And, if it was more to board with her than at uni halls, why didn't you stay in halls? Also, where did you gr the money from to pay her board?
I'm asking cos the situation and your mothers behaviour are so appalling, I'm not sure why it hasn't come up earlier.

ChickenFajitaAndNachos Mon 25-Aug-14 08:41:03

Was the money just for uni or to feed you?

Chunderella Mon 25-Aug-14 08:42:30

Obviously she's disgusting, and I wouldn't be bothered about messing up any relationship with her. But you need to think carefully about what assets she actually has. If there's fuck all, it might not actually be worth pursuing however much she deserves it. The poster upthread who talked about investigating a claim against the insurance company has an idea that might be worth pursuing- I've no idea whether this would be possible but one thing I do know is they'll have deeper pockets than your mother.

AllMimsyWereTheBorogoves Mon 25-Aug-14 08:47:31

This is an unusual situation. Annuities are not something your average 16 or 18yo would know anything about. To a large extent most of us accept what our parents do as normality. It can take a long time to grasp that other people do things differently. I remember in my teens being amazed to discover that other people's parents thought nothing of having an overdraft - for my Scottish Presbyterian parents debt was shameful and their top priority in managing our household finances was keeping out of the red and saving for the future.

Snog Mon 25-Aug-14 08:55:07

Morally your mother has treated you badly by not helping with the costs of university.
I think you need clarity as to whether she has acted legally next.

ChickenFajitaAndNachos Mon 25-Aug-14 08:58:09

She may argue that she used the money to feed you and house you before uni and then towards her household costs when you were at uni so you had a room to go back to during the holidays.

AllMimsyWereTheBorogoves Mon 25-Aug-14 09:02:56

Well, she could try. OP says that the mortgage was paid off and that from the age of 16 both daughters were paying their mother board and lodging to supplement the three annuities and her earnings and her partner's contributions to the household expenses. I think most households could have managed things so that there was something left out of that to pay to support the girls through university.

ChickenFajitaAndNachos Mon 25-Aug-14 09:13:41

Oh I agree, the mother sounds either selfish or really bad with money.

chumrun Mon 25-Aug-14 09:14:32

You are certainly not being unreasonable and I am appalled at your mother's behaviour. Disgraceful.

I hope it works out for you.

NotDavidTennant Mon 25-Aug-14 09:18:43

I think the best way to resolve this would be approach your mother and see what she says. Although it sounds like she has little in the way of assets left, she presumably still has her annuity coming in, and maybe you could propose she share some of it with you to compensate for what she has taken.

If she won't cooperate and you're determined to get the money back then you need to seek legal advice. But this sounds like a "death in service" benefit, so it will not be a case of trying to enforce a will as some people have suggested, the issue will be whether you father's pension company and your mother have acted legally. If you were living at home during the time you were at uni then your mother could argue that she was using the money for your upkeep and the emphasis might end up being on you to prove otherwise.

WhatToDoNow123 Mon 25-Aug-14 09:29:14

To answer the questions coming up - it was definitely an annuity as part of his death in service package.
AreThereAny - I didn't question the money at the time as I didn't know it existed in my name, I stayed at home thru uni as I went to the local one and wasn't entitled to live in halls until they'd housed all students who were priority (i.e. from out of the area). Was just my luck that the year I went was a bumper year, there were students living with lecturers until others dropped out of their courses and rooms came up in halls!
And the money I paid board from came from 2 part-time jobs that I had through uni.

LittleBearPad Mon 25-Aug-14 09:37:41

You need legal advice but you also need to write down everything you know and remember with any documentation you can get.

ChickenFajitaAndNachos Mon 25-Aug-14 09:58:33

I guess to an extent she did support you through uni by housing you and paying utilities etc. I know you paid board but you did not have to rent a room in a shared house and pay for it yourself.

SurelyYoureJokingMrFeynman Mon 25-Aug-14 10:05:03

Agree that it might come down to an insurance issue, not a will issue - but get the will anyway, and the grant [of probate] which will tell you who the executors are, so that you have full information.

And I second the suggestion of starting a thread in legal.

FuriouslyFrottingFerret Mon 25-Aug-14 10:12:02

I would see a solicitor.

If you say there is no equity left in the house is there any point in chasing this?

TheCraicDealer Mon 25-Aug-14 10:20:21

The fact that the firm who administered the annuity shut down all correspondence would suggest that they're aware someone has fucked up at their end, perhaps by not ensuring that the payees were changed after you turned 18. In which case (and I'm not a lawyer), they would surely have to reimburse you initially and then recover the funds from your mum?

I think if it were me I'd have to at least investigate the legal route, irregardless of the likelihood of getting anything off her what with the house and remortgages and all. I'd have to know that I at least tried and looked into it before really being able to "let go" if it's simply not realistic.

It goes without saying that it looks like one day, however this goes, she's going to come to your sister and you looking for money. Her lifestyle is unsustainable. You need to decide now what your 'policy' on that is going to be.

Pollywallywinkles Mon 25-Aug-14 10:22:10

The issue may well be with the administrator of the annuity. You need to know the terms of the annuity before you can go any further. If it was me I would write to them again asking for the terms and then take legal advice if they are not cooperative or the terms are not easily understood.

There will be an ombudsman who you can go to if you are not satisfied with any outcome.

Hopefully you will remember that you haven't signed the annuity over to your mother.

DeckSwabber Mon 25-Aug-14 10:22:35

I guess to an extent she did support you through uni by housing you and paying utilities etc. I know you paid board but you did not have to rent a room in a shared house and pay for it yourself

But that was hardly what the dad had in mind, was it? I'm sure he would have wanted his daughters to be better provided for.

OP this must be desperately hard for you.

arkestra Mon 25-Aug-14 10:41:11

Definitely worth pursuing the administrators as they sound more likely to be able to pony up than your mother. Their not responding to you sounds like a classic stonewalling tactic by people aware they have screwed up.

I once had similar from a legal firm who screwed up a charging order I was raising against a landlady who hadn't repaid me my deposit - they finally got back with a compensation offer 2 hours before my final deadline for reporting them to the Law Society angry

Obviously your mum sounds culpable too; just not sure you will practically get much out of her...

StackladysMorphicResonator Mon 25-Aug-14 10:50:12

Agree with PP that you need to get legal advice asap. The only snag is that solicitors cost a lot of money, possibly more than you're owed - forcing the sale of a house is not easy and costs a huge amount.

bedraggledmumoftwo Mon 25-Aug-14 11:15:17

Absolutely furious on your behalf. Does sound like its not an inheritance issue, but insurance company screwed up. I would try pursuing them, but also talk openly to your mum about it. Especially the next time she suggests a sports car.
as others have said you may have legal cover on your home insurance

whatever5 Mon 25-Aug-14 11:15:58

I think that your mother has behaved appallingly. However, if you lived with her during all your time in education, she will be argue that the money from your annuity was used for your board and lodging. I'm sure that she even tells herself this and will have conveniently forgotten that you were paying her for your board. Unless you can prove that you were giving her money for food and bills once you were 16 it may be hard to prove that she was spending your annuity on herself rather than you.

It may be worth finding out if the money should have been paid directly to you once you were 18 rather than your mother though as perhaps if there was a mistake she will have to pay the money back (and then they will pay you).

ChickenFajitaAndNachos Mon 25-Aug-14 11:17:27

Deck I totally agree with you. I was just trying to show if the mother was arguing her case then she may say that she did support her Daughter through university by housing her.

Singmetosleepzzz Mon 25-Aug-14 11:28:55

I am so sorry about what has happened. You must be furious. Where would you like to go from here? Are you prepared to go to court for this money?

arethereanyleftatall Mon 25-Aug-14 12:04:47

Thank you for your replies to my questions. This is really awful. Essentially your own mother has stolen from you. And at a time when she didn't need the money and you did. She has affected your sisters future earnings. Should the police be involved here, since it's theft? (Disclaimer, that might be silly, but just putting it put there)

arethereanyleftatall Mon 25-Aug-14 12:06:55

Or, if you like your mother and want to support her, possibly support her for help with this addiction?

DaisyFlowerChain Mon 25-Aug-14 12:10:40

Why couldn't your sister go to uni? You managed to and millions of others do without a "trust fund" as such.

Your mum is likely to argue she kept you all the way through uni as your dad wanted it so. You went to uni so the money was used. It's your sister that has lost out for some reason.

Suzannewithaplan Mon 25-Aug-14 12:20:59

She does sound feckless, I wonder who she will turn to when her chickens come home to roost and she is potless?

MrSheen Mon 25-Aug-14 12:29:50

Daisy maybe the sis was one of the many students caught in-between not being eligible for grants/loans due to parental income and not actually getting any parental support. I remember a boy on my course dropping out due to extreme poverty (no grant or loan at all) as the only way to access funding was for his parents to declare that they wouldn't support him, which they refused to do.

DeckSwabber Mon 25-Aug-14 12:33:11

Grants and loans for uni are dependent on parental income, so if the mother as on a high income the daughter might have been entitled to less support from other sources.

DeckSwabber Mon 25-Aug-14 12:34:11

Daisy that is so sad. Why are some people so shitty to their children?

oldgrandmama Mon 25-Aug-14 12:37:53

Just hauled my jaw off the floor! What a dreadful thing to do to your own kids. I receive an annuity, arranged by my late husband, who died 22 years ago. Your mother had no business to filch YOUR annuity for yourself. I know OP contacted the annuity provider but I get the impression they stonewalled her - she and her sister must have been named when the annuity arrangements were drawn up. I agree with those above who suggest seeing a solicitor as soon as possible. They will be the best people to put a rocket up the annuity provider, to obtain info. at exactly how much was paid and where it went.

I get a yearly statement concerning my annuity - how much paid, how much deducted in tax. Your mother must have received similar documents regarding your and your sister's annuities. She's acted, I reckon, in a very very dodgy and downright greedy way - I am so sorry. Please, see a solicitor as soon as possible. Get a copy of the Will first and if you can find any other documents pertaining to your inheritance, copy those too. Best of luck - I am outraged on your behalf - how could a mother do that to her children?

zipzap Mon 25-Aug-14 13:56:13

Ave you got legal insurance as part of your home or car insurance? Might be worth contacting them to ask for some free advice initially. Even if they don't cover it all the way to making a claim they would hopefully at least be able to start you off in the right direction without your needing to incur too many costs...

And this is an appalling case of financial abuse of children by your mum - and also so sad that you forked out so much to spend your time at uni with her and that your sis missed out on uni when she should have had enough money to go.

Do you think anyone at the financial firm was in cahoots with your mum to enable her to take all the money or to present you with forms to sign without making you/your sis aware that you would be much better off getting the money yourself - or indeed that you were allowed the choice?

Blimey, I felt bad the other day having to borrow a fiver from ds (9) from his birthday money as I needed it for the passport photobooth and didn't have any with me. He was happy to lend and got it back with interest (well, a comic!) a couple of days later. I just can't imagine wanting to steal from your children and watching them suffer both short term and long term hardship because of it! Definitely think she should suffer the consequences of her actions!

nooka Mon 25-Aug-14 16:05:10

The sister not going is a bit odd though, as I would have thought that the mum would have encouraged her so that she could claim the annuity monies for her too. These are funds that you get or don't get as a beneficiary, there would have been no benefit to the mother in the sister not going to university the payments wodul simply have stopped. Still it sounds as if the mother is possibly mostly stupid about money, and the OP and her sister too young to understand how it should have worked for them.

TartinaTiara Mon 25-Aug-14 17:15:00

OP, I agree that your mother has acted appallingly. I'm crap at emotional support, but in practical terms there are a couple of things you can do. First, get hold of the rules of the pension scheme your annuity was paid from - they may be online, but in any event the trustees are obliged to give you a copy if you ask. They should say whether your annuity was payable to you and your DSis, or whether it was an increase to the annuity payable to your mother. If it's the former, you may have a case for compensation from the trustees, but probably not if it's the latter.

If you have a case for compensation, get in touch with the trustees to find out their dispute resolution procedure - they have to have one of these by law. Try to get in touch with TPAS (pensions advisory service) to support you through this - it's a free service staffed by pensions experts who give their time voluntarily. If you don't get anywhere with the trustees, then consider contacting the Pensions Ombudsman - again, it's a free service, TPAS will help prepare your case for free, and the Ombudsman can order the trustees to pay compensation to you if they've acted wrongly in paying your pension to your mother's account. On the facts as you've given them, I'd say you've a pretty strong case for reclaiming everything paid to your mother after your 16th birthday.

WhatToDoNow123 Mon 25-Aug-14 18:34:09

Thank you for the useful replies - Tart I will make sure I get in touch with them - thanks.
Nooka she was not stupid - my DS went out and got a job at 18 and was then charged double the previous rate of board as she was earning money. So that covered the loss of the annuity money and then some. And yes it was the situation that a previous poster highlighted - DS couldn't get grants etc as the household income was too high but couldn't afford to fund it herself. I'd failed to fund mine with 2 part time jobs and had to drop out halfway through so I think that made her see that it really was impossible.

Hissy Mon 25-Aug-14 18:48:28

How terribly hurtful to realise all this. sad I think there's been some fab advice here, and I hope from the bottom of my heart that you can resolve this, and find a way to heal and recover from what she's done.

zipzap Mon 25-Aug-14 18:50:39

All of which means that if you do get to a point that you can start to claim the money back - from your mother, pension company or whoever - then don't just look at the money that you didn't receive that stopped when you dropped out of college/didn't start college - but look at what you would have had, had you had the money yourself to pay for your college. Work out if you had had your money, gone to live in halls and not pay any money to your mum for board etc how feasible it would have been to have gone to college without a grant - would your the money and your part time job money have been enough to have got you through without needing to drop out? Or for your sister to at least start college? And what about what courses you would have done - might you have gone on to do a masters course or phd for a year or two or three that would have been also covered by the money?

Because if the money had been explicitly left for the purpose of your further education and your mother's demands / misappropriation of the money have meant that you have missed out, then they ought to be looking at compensating your for what you should have had! Even if you get some and not all of that - then it's a good starting point and will help to make your mother (or her friends or those that know her) realise exactly what you and your sister have forfeited for her greed...

BitterAndOnlySlightlyTwisted Mon 25-Aug-14 18:55:26

I don't think there's any way to heal after the way both the OP and her DS have been so cynically exploited. And for so long, too.

The plain truth is that there is likely to be very little cash and assets left. Sounds like there's not that much equity in the property either and that's going to be sold to finance rent and a car.

She's going to be in a very, very difficult position once all the cash has gone. Two children and neither willing to subsidise or finance her in her old age. Maybe not even to visit her in her dotage. What a pity. Not.

Slutbucket Mon 25-Aug-14 19:14:23

Your dad's will is public record that is where you start.

whois Mon 25-Aug-14 19:45:57

I think you need to get legal advice and do it ASAP before the house is sold and money spent.

whois Mon 25-Aug-14 19:48:02

And your mum sounds like a nasty stupid irresponsible bitch who deserves a lonely and poor old age.

Hissy Mon 25-Aug-14 20:56:13

Sorry, by heal, I meant WhatToDo and her dsis. They will have to come to terms with what their dm has chosen to do to them.

The relationship will never be fixed/repaired sadly, but these sisters need to be able to find a place that doesn't hurt so much.

Hissy Mon 25-Aug-14 20:56:54

When you're ready WhatToDon come find Stately Homes? We'll look out for you! Xx

bedraggledmumoftwo Mon 25-Aug-14 21:10:16

Just had a look at my pension docs as this got me thinking! I am a civil servant and if i were to die in service, the scheme would pay out a lump sum, plus 37% of my pension to a dependant spouse for life, plus 30% each to two children up to 18, or 23 if in full time education. Obviously no idea what OPs father did, but sounds similar to the insurance/pension in question. So it isn't really a will issue, but your mother has defrauded you and/or the pension/insurance company by taking money meant for you.

nooka Tue 26-Aug-14 01:43:01

Sounds horribly painful. It's very difficult to understand how a parent could do that to their children, apart from the greed and deceit it's such a stupidly short term view. I assume that the OP's mother feels that the world owes her, perhaps becasue of the early death of the OP'd father, although perhaps she was just always incredibly selfish.

As TartinaTiara suggests TPAS does sound like the place to start accessing support in trying at least to understand what happened and what the rules were. Hopefully there is some case against the administers of the fund, as they probably have the financial means for redress, although proof of their wrongdoing might be difficult.

Inertia Tue 26-Aug-14 01:51:39

What an awful situation.

This sounds like something you do need specialist legal advice about- I wonder whether it actually counts as fraud, and whether the financial services company who administered the annuity have behaved negligently.

That annuity was, by the sounds of it, intended for you and your sister. It was never used for its intended purpose because your mother stole it to squander on her own wants. If she's struggling now that's he own fault. If she has actually committed a crime, which sounds entirely possible, then that's her responsibility too.

Darkandstormynight Tue 26-Aug-14 03:42:23

I understand how you feel but I agree...it was hers to make choices with and she made bad choices, and you got ripped off. But it was her money to do with as she pleased. I think it's a lost cause trying to get anything now unfortunately.

WhatToDoNow123 Tue 26-Aug-14 07:08:43

darkandstormy did you read past the OP? It WASN'T her money. She got a lump sum and her own annuity but then decided to take mine and my sister's annuities too. They were in our name and left to us. If mum wasted all her own money then yes, you're right, she can make whatever choices she wants with her money. I just want mine back sad

WhatToDoNow123 Tue 26-Aug-14 07:14:43

Although I think you're right about the lost cause bit sad

Delphiniumsblue Tue 26-Aug-14 07:37:17

It probably is a lost cause, but worth seeking legal advice because had DarkandStormy bothered to read beyond OP she would know it wasn't the mother's money to make choices with.

longjane Tue 26-Aug-14 07:47:36

I think while you might have a case .
How money and time are willing to lose pursuing it.

How much money does your mum have to give you .

You might end award the money and legal cost for mum not to either want or be able to pay you.

It would be be better case if sister came in with you.

The fact that you could not get government loan or grant cos you had too money is no body fault. You mum did not have surrport a college/uni.

You might have case against the trustees for not talking to eat of you when you turn 18.

ssd Tue 26-Aug-14 08:02:12

darkandstormy, read the thread!!

op, even if there isn't much money to recover, I'd contact citizens advice and see if they could help, even if it's just to send your mother a letter letting her know you and your sister have found out how she has stolen what was rightfully yours and how you feel she has let you and your dad down.

unfortunately, IME, people like her dont have a conscience so you won't get the heartfelt apology you certainly deserve, I just hope time allows you to treat her in the callous way she has treated you and leave her to grow old without your help and support

thanks for you.

CerealMom Tue 26-Aug-14 08:19:49

Plan of action.

1. Get a copy of your father's will. I would want to know if plans for the annuity are mentioned and any other monies/division of assets.

2. Contact the financial/pension provider. You are entitled to see the documentation for your annuity. Your DSis would have to contact them herself for hers.
If you cannot get the documentation from them try your DF old employer.

3. If you are stalled by the financial/pension company I would...
a. Ask for details of their complains/resolutions procedures.
b. Ask what reasons they are not providing you with your documentation.

4. When you get the information and depending on the wording of it (I am assuming you and DSis are named beneficiaries) then you have options.

5. If the company is delaying or stonewalling you you must follow their internal resolution procedure to the end. Only by following to the end can you go forward to the FINANCIAL SERVICES OMBUDSMAN.

Get the documentation, make an appointment with a solicitor. I imagine you have a case both against your dM and the company responsible for administering the annuity. A solicitor will best advise how to make the claim.

All contact make in writing/email and make notes of any phone conversations. Who you spoke to, time, date and nature of conversation.

WildFlowersAttractBees Tue 26-Aug-14 08:26:40

Sorry I have only skimmed through the thread.

I think you need to set the feelings of guilt aside, it appears your mother doesn't have the same guilt if she is planning to squander what is left on a sports car. It appears to me your DM is trying to keep up appearances.

HMCS (based in Leeds) will do a probate search for a £10 fee. All applications must be made in writing with the enclosed fee.
I think it is essential that you clarify the terms of the will/payout. If there is a clause regarding your upkeep then your mother would be within the terms of the will/payout - her underhand attitude and bleeding you dry through board aside.

maisie123 Tue 26-Aug-14 08:56:53

Hi, WhatToDoNow, really sorry to hear about what your mum has done. Nine years ago I was in your mum's situation when my husband died. I don't think requesting a will may help as everything was left to me. The children's annuities appeared when his pension provider contacted me after his death (hence nothing to do with will). It was similar to your mum in that I got an annuity for life and our two chn got a small one while in full time education. The money was paid into my account and as they were both at Uni at the time I set it up so it went into their account. There were no safeguards or checks to ensure I did this. Sorry, this is probably not much help.

Timetoask Tue 26-Aug-14 09:04:10

I am enraged on your behalf OP. What a selfish woman your mother is.
I cannot believe there are people like this out there. I am sorry you had such a tough time.
I have no words of wisdom but just wanted to send you lost of luck in pursuing what is yours. I hope you and your Dsis can work together in this.

PausingFlatly Tue 26-Aug-14 09:12:01

I hate to spell this out, and hope it isn't true but...

It is important to get the will, because as cerealmom says, it may mention the annuities.

But also, because there may be other bequests in the will.

Until you see it, you simply don't know what else your mother may have stolen.

Sorry.sad

Castlemilk Tue 26-Aug-14 09:16:32

I also think that your best bet would possibly be action against the financial/pension company, on the grounds that there were no safeguards in place to prevent your mother doing exactly this - basically, they gave YOUR money straight to someone else, while you were a minor, and had NO system of checks to make sure that it wasn't stolen by them.

Lots of good advice above on how to start off getting all the information you would need.

However, one thing I would add is - you also need to sit down and work through exactly what you feel you would be prepared to do about this with regard to your mother. Others are saying - take her to the cleaners, do whatever it takes to get your money back, etc. Now I agree completely - she is scum and has basically stolen a large part of you and your sister's futures, and the futures of your families. I would be cutting contact without a second thought. But if you KNOW that that isn't what you want or could cope with, at some point you are going to hit a wall - in your actions either against your mother or against the company. She is going to come to you whining and crying that she is going to be ruined/end up with nothing/all she did was try and take care of you/thought she acted for the best etc.- when you either a. try and put a charge on the house or b. get her into trouble with the pension company/police.

Here is my advice if you feel you will fall at this hurdle.

You need to think carefully here about the future. Your mother is a dead weight around the necks of her family, a ruiner, a loose cannon. If you let her get away with this, financially, you know what will happen? She will liquidate what money she has, run through it, and then expect to be bailed out by you for the rest of her life. She will bleed you dry, ruin your own home life and possibly marriage, and it still will never be enough.

So you need to tell yourself that by taking this action, you are doing what little you can here to prevent that. If you can secure money from her or the pension company, not only can you perhaps undo this injustice to you, your dad, sis and any future children, but you can at least STOP your mother from pulling you ALL down any further. If you can end up with control of what little money she has left, you can - without telling her - mentally put some of it aside to make her an allowance in her old age, or to fund care for her. If you don't, she will waste and waste and will STILL end up destitute - the only difference will be that you won't have that nest egg there to possibly help her.

Maybe that line of thought will make a difference to you when you need to be strong - because you will need to be. She will pressure you every way she can, I am sure, because she sounds thoroughly evil. I sincerely hope you will put her out of your lives once you have justice on this.

msrisotto Tue 26-Aug-14 09:29:04

Oh op I'm so saddened to read of your situation. I can't believe she did it and am disgusted that she did.

Have you confronted her or tried to talk to her about it before? What does she say?

heraldgerald Tue 26-Aug-14 09:29:13

I'm really shocked at your mothers behavior op. It sounds like you went through a lot of unnecessary hardship andI feel for you.

Frankly, what a bitch.

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