Being left out of a will, feeling blue and confused

(187 Posts)
Newbizmum Tue 24-Jul-12 01:18:17

Our mother died some months ago and it appears there was a change to the will a couple of months before she died, leaving around 98% of the estate (£300k) to my brother and his child with my children and I receiving just a few thousand. Previously the wills of both our parents and then my mother left it 50/50 to my brother and me.

I'll be honest and say that since the somewhat unexpected death of our mother, there have been occasions when the mind has wandered down the road of thinking what we would do with any inheritance. I certainly have not been mentally allocating it for things but rather like a daydream about how you would spend a reasonable but not jackpot lottery win, things like private schooling, perhaps a larger house and so forth.

My brother was initially very communicative but then changed and now doesn't want to discuss it, simply pointing me in the direction of the solicitors. I obtained a copy of the will only after searching the Probate Registry as neither he nor the solicitor would give me a copy.

It had always been an equal split, even before any wills were written but I didn't really consider what would happen because I enjoyed my parents being alive. Reading the will the other day made me feel sick, like I have not felt since I cannot remember when. I feel somehow less loved, second rate, if that makes sense ?

Aside from the mismatch, it worries me that this change, via a codicil, is full of typing errors, spelling and grammatical mistakes and is simply printed on blank A4 paper. All the other wills and codicils were written by the solicitor.

Perhaps because I feel this way I have come to thinking that perhaps this codicil is not real or worse, has been concocted. It appears signed with a reasonable signature (not the clearest photocopy) but the witnesses were just people down the street. I do not even know if this was ever given over to the solicitor but I somehow doubt it as there is no sign of a receipt stamp, which it would surely have.

Do I feel cheated ? yes, in a way. I didn't think this situation would arise for at least another decade but I also always assumed everything was as it had been discussed.

I can't think how the family could be mended after this. If my brother takes it all then it will leave a bitter pill and yes, some pangs of jealousy, which I know to be bad but I can't deny it. I certainly don't feel like going cap in hand. Yet if the feelings surrounding this strange codicil do not diminish, am I prepared to take it further and ask my own solicitor to investigate ? I simply do not know.

I think I could have taken it, albeit it with a little disappointment, if my mother had said she wanted to leave everything to my brother but this seems totally out of character. Even sidestepping the inheritance percentages, I "know" my mother would not make up this codicil at home, she was far too particular to leave anything like that to chance and I cannot envisage her signing something so full of errors, she being a school teacher after all. She certainly could not have made it herself as she didn't know how to type and didn't have a computer or printer.

Sorry for the long post but I don't really know where to turn as my brother has seemingly cut me out of his life. Yet if it has been done without my mother's knowledge or intention, the repercussions would be terrible.

How do I get over this and get back to feeling how I did before ?

tribpot Wed 15-Oct-14 12:11:44

You probably need your own thread to discuss this, nettehere. If you post in Legal Matters someone should be able to advise.

Newbizmum, sorry to hear that your long battle goes on. Still hoping you will get a resolution at some point.

nettehere Fri 03-Oct-14 09:36:33

yes and its not the first time he has done it, but he plans so far ahead, they think he is such a lovely man who has cared for my mom for 10 years or more, when in fact he convinced her that we-me and my other brother didnt want her in our lives and then moved her up north we didnt see her again until she was ill, he had poisoned her mind, she was dependent on him and very vunerable, he should pay for what he has done.

AndIFeedEmGunpowder Fri 03-Oct-14 09:22:34

Goodness. Really hope you gain some resolution OP. What a horrible situation to be in.

nettehere Fri 03-Oct-14 09:01:57

Hi I have a solicitor, police wont get original documents as they havent got funding and frightened of getting into trouble, i need to go to court to get the original documents released to sent them to a hand writing expert just to prove to police (and do their job for them ) before they will take the crime seriously, makes you feel like giving up but why should i it is fraud

ChaffinchOfMegalolz Thu 02-Oct-14 20:40:42

think you need a solicitor? or advice from CAB?

god these rotten thieving siblings, unbelievable.

nettehere Thu 02-Oct-14 12:20:03

newbizmum i wonder how did you get hold of the original will, my brother wont sign a consent form to release it, i am not sure what the next step is, i would like to get the nurses to confirm they didnt go on the ward during their shifts

nettehere Thu 02-Oct-14 12:18:16

whats worse it that the police say we both have witnesses we have to discredit witnesses as well

Beastofburden Thu 02-Oct-14 12:14:31

wow. so strange that there isnt a national registration system for wills, where any changes get doublechecked.

nettehere Thu 02-Oct-14 12:06:12

Hi I am new to this site, but my brother has also forged my moms will, how di you get the original will released from probate, i am struggling to get it as he has made himself the executor of the new will,help

ColdCottage Mon 15-Sep-14 20:54:52

Half way through reading but have to go for now. Just want to wish you luck in gaining justice.

brainfidget Thu 11-Sep-14 13:00:19

Just read this entire thread, and shocked and saddened that you have had to go through this. I have considerable empathy as someone attempted to defraud my (relatively young, and single) brother's estate when he died nearly 10 years ago. They also used forged documents, (though not a codicil); and a tissue of lies and fabrications, with collusion from neighbours. While our situation was quite different (intestate), it was also similar in some ways.

Legal work is not cheap, and like you, we also relied on our own abilities to reduce costs and case-build where possible.

The costs hurt, but the pain of not being able to grieve in a simple manner for someone you loved without all the stress of the legal mess always taking over your thoughts, is terrible. You get used to it being there all the time, it's so pervasive.

I wish you good lawyers, continued strength, and a successful outcome, so that you can move on with your life when the time comes.

Best, best of luck. And yeah, agreed, the police are useless in these types of scenarios.

tobiasfunke Mon 08-Sep-14 11:54:22

Ye gods I remember this thread when you first started it. It struck a chord with me as my uncle attempted to trick my GM into signing a POA (he was a solicitor). Luckily she realised something was up and got her solictor to cancel it and drew up another one in favour of 2 of her other children. He cotinued to hector her for years after. This could well have been us.
I hope it all works out for you in the end- it sounds very promising. Your brother is a piece of work.

tribpot Sun 07-Sep-14 22:32:23

Keep going, newbizmum. What a truly dreadful situation.

ScarlettSahara Sun 07-Sep-14 22:19:11

Hi New Biz,
I don't have anything useful to add really. Just been watching and hoping you could reach resolution. Similar happened to me but not as bad. Will not forged. Money shared equally but chattels were supposed to be shared but 1 sibling (of 3) had emptied all valuable items and claimed they had been gifted and were no longer part of estate.
Anyway wondered if you can cover any of your court costs through house insurance? A friend managed to cover employment dispute costs this way.
Please persevere and do not settle for shabby treatment. I think it is the betrayal that feels worse. Do not lose heart.thanks

plumnc Sat 06-Sep-14 15:32:37

Delurking, to say good luck and hang in there flowers

I think about you often. Stay strong!

TypicaLibra Sat 06-Sep-14 12:42:57

Wow Newbizmum, thanks for updating. This is the only thread in my 'threads I'm watching' list ... and for some reason I thought about it yesterday and checked it. Then by coincidence you updated today! I wish you lots of strength and the best of luck going forward. You are absolutely doing the right thing. I really admire your resoluteness.

Newbizmum Sat 06-Sep-14 12:36:50

Back again and humbled by the masses of supporting comments. Thank you all so much.

To cover a little ground for those asking questions.

I do have a solicitor, barrister, experts, investigators etc. which is why the bills are so high. I have however managed to mitigate these wherever possible with my taking on work, doing my own investigations, letter writing, pushing for documents etc. Without that mitigation, we would never have been able to come so far.

Why has it taken so long ? Well, to reduce costs somewhat really.

Is it too late / will all the money have gone ? The fraud and deceit from the outset meant that we'd be fighting an uphill battle but he is not going to just squander it, so even if it has been consumed by the family home, we'll simply have to take that at the end of the day.

We have suggested mediation, which has been rejected. At least the judge will see we tried.

So off to court we go. I'm wholly confident but I suspect the end result could be financially devastating for my brother. The costs once you hit court can run £50,000 plus per day.

One point upon which I have become absolutely resolute, where my feelings have previously swayed one way and then another, is that at the end of all this, I am not prepared to forget, in now way will I ever forgive and if it takes to my last breath, I will have him locked up for this. I want him prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law, to have him publicly shamed and to hell with the consequences because he certainly never considered me or my children.

ChaffinchOfDoom Wed 06-Aug-14 12:07:19

read thread with horror. hope you're ok OP

riskit4abiskit Wed 06-Aug-14 11:52:35

I was wondering about you op, any news?

RustyParker Mon 04-Aug-14 21:23:48

I'm shocked at the statistic quoted up thread about the amount of proven fraud in relation to wills. Horrible what money does to some people and what they are prepared to do to family members to increase their share.

I think you are right op, it's the principle of your mother's memory and wishes being followed through which is most important. I have suffered a close bereavement at the end of last year and the money isn't important to me, I just want what my DSis wanted to happen with her money, for her memory. Whatever happens, you can hold your head up high and did the right thing for your Mum and your DC.

The expert reports sound promising and I hope it puts the shits up your brother.

Viviennemary Mon 04-Aug-14 20:09:17

I think you should challenge it by getting your own solicitor. It sounds as if it could very well be dodgy. Very odd the solicitor being reluctant to let you see a copy of the will. Is your brother in lots of debt.

WhatsGoingOnEh Mon 04-Aug-14 20:03:11

I realise these things take time to pursue, but two years? Surely all the money is long gone by now?

OP I do wish you luck but would beg you to get a move on!

hellymelly Sat 02-Aug-14 14:49:09

Maybe someone will buy the film rights of your story! I felt from the off that your brother had acted fraudulently, nothing added up about the codicil, and it seemed extremely suspicious. I am so glad for you that you are on the way to resolution, I wish you the best of luck, as it must have been a horrendous shock to look at the will and think that your brother would defraud you. However, I do think that is a less painful option than that your DM would have treated you so shabbily, so I hope there is some small comfort in that. So sorry you are going through this.

Cosima3 Sat 02-Aug-14 14:19:21

Hi newbiz, I wonder if you got all this sorted out in the end.
I'm going through a similar saga. I can now see that my siblings had acted rather too interested in my dad's 'welfare' once they knew he had a terminal illness.

I suspect large amounts of cash and bank account money has been taken and not declared for probate.

I lived with my dad during 2007-09 and saw him regularly until 2011. He had talked to me about what he wanted to do with his estate, and mentioned he had a number of bank accounts. He always had large amounts of cash at home too.

My siblings behaviour, from forcing dad into a care home under threat and being so very busy busy busy fussing over him and visiting everyday and being there everytime I visited struck me as odd, seeing as they had declared how much they hated him, and he even knew this himself.

When he died in 2013 they were aggressive towards me, I suspect with the intention of scaring me off making any enquiries.

Nonetheless I AM making enquiries and seeking advice on how to find out about dad's accounts in the months leading up to his death.

Not because I'm money-grabbing.....rather I want to just let them know that I'm aware of their shenanigans and am no longer the 'stupid' sister they bullied in childhood.

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