Being left out of a will, feeling blue and confused

(169 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 ?

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.

fukkigucci Wed 18-Jun-14 03:02:25

Hi Newbizmum,

I'm just wondering how you're doing.
Well done for pursuing this.
Similar has happened in my family, and it still makes me furious.

Wishing you luck

docket Thu 15-May-14 12:15:58

Best wishes to you OP, what a horrible situation you are in. I hope it ends as well as it possibly can for you.

Toohonourable Thu 15-May-14 12:13:38

Sorry.......My post does not make sense because I forgot to mention that it is my 93 year old mother who has fallen under abusive control. She was a very honourable, well educated woman however her failing memory has enabled my elder brother and his wife to disregard her personality. POA is meant to support the donor's needs when they become vulnerable. It is far too easy to become the reverse and in the wrong hands becomes a terrible and tyrannical abuse.

The reason I relate this to Newbizmum's case, is that I deduce that her will must have been altered; yet my mother still has a remarkable awareness despite her failing memory. I am deeply ashamed of my elder brother for being so utterly callous and preventing visits from two of her three children when it makes her so happy. It is ironic that a few years ago that he tried to leave his wife and are now bonded by avarice.

My mother, other brother, myself and other family members are deeply distressed. The betrayal of a close family couple who have had lifelong kindness and support from all three of us is like a living nightmare. I wish I could wake up and find that it is not real.

UncleT Thu 15-May-14 03:09:29

Very best of luck to you - I hope that the truth wins out.

mrsbrownsgirls Wed 07-May-14 22:32:44

OP why are the legal costs so high?

Toohonourable Wed 07-May-14 22:26:01

Sorry about nickname. It is in rage on behalf of Newbizmum who is obviously a decent honourable person.

I have also been, decent ,honest and getting on with life and as a result never saw this coming -my brother and his wife has managed to prevent me and my other brother from visiting her care home on protection grounds! The reason is that because despite every attempt to distress her and defame us she still has enough capacity to be overjoyed when she sees us. So that is now prevented. We cannot clear our names as Social Services seems to support anyone with POA without any evidence for their accusations! I am haunted by not being allowed to see her as we were always such close friends.

He deceived her into giving Power of Attorney some time ago without us realising but now seems therefore to have total control. I have worked out some of how they managed to create this situation but it is so long term, devious and heinous that it cannot be published on here as there is nothing in place to prevent the unscrupulous from copying it.

I am also really struggling in the middle of an injustice and your very sensitive account Newbizmum has enraged and saddened me. More than that though, I am encouraged that because of you and your supporters I am reassured that there are still other decent people out there. The psychological damage does the most harm. Such behaviour is deeply shocking, literally.

You are obviously an honest person and may have thought that the truth will triumph. It seems the authorities are not interested in anything short of a clearly proveable crime. Every success we may make reveals failings on someone's part which then gives them a personal interest in preventing our success. eg your brother's solicitor and my local social services.

Anyway Newbizmum you are a star and, however this turns out, your children are very lucky because they live with someone of courage and principal. Look after your health and let us all know how you are getting on.

Good luck Newbiz
often think of you

riskit4abiskit Mon 21-Apr-14 17:35:38

Keep going the truth is out there!

tribpot Tue 15-Apr-14 17:45:19

Keep going, Newbiz. I'm assuming at some point soon there will be nothing left but at least you will have the truth.

Pennies Tue 15-Apr-14 15:09:40

Blimey Newbizmum - well done for going for it. What a terrible thing to happen. Shame on your brother.

Cerisier Sun 13-Apr-14 04:09:26

I have just read your story Newbizmum- what a nightmare. Thinking of you and wishing you luck.

BillyBanter Sun 13-Apr-14 01:12:38

Just seen this thread for the first time.

Does your brother know you are investigating?

Good luck.

trixymalixy Sun 13-Apr-14 00:51:17

Good luck. Sorry you're having to go through all of this sad

Doristhecamel Sun 13-Apr-14 00:42:54

Just wanted to add my support to you.
This must have been a horrendous ordeal for you and I admire your strength and perseverence.
I wish you the very best of luck and really hope you get the conclusion that you want and deserve.

Pancakeflipper Sun 13-Apr-14 00:40:35

Keep on going. I wish you all the best.

piscivorous Sun 13-Apr-14 00:37:34

Just wanted to send you some support Newbiz This must be so hard for you but you have right on your side. Keep going. I hope you get things sorted properly and your brother gets his just desserts

EverythingCounts Sun 13-Apr-14 00:30:13

Good grief. Put your head down and keep going and hopefully it will all be put to rights in the summer. No decent brother would act this way, sadly, and his actions have caused it all. Sad but I think you are doing the right thing.

Newbizmum Sun 13-Apr-14 00:16:28

Hi again,

Well, after a hiatus of sorts with lots of going back and forth, we have the final report.

Without going into too much detail, it should put the fear of god into those reading it but to close out this part of the evidence, we are going to take another expert's advice. Why ? well, there are only so many top level experts in this field and two reports are far better than one. It also means the experts we have engaged would not be able to act for the defence. A bit like a football team buying a player not necessarily because they need him but because they don't want anyone else to have him. Sort of like that in any case.

So roll on summer and with it perhaps a proposition. With two expert reports, masses of incriminating evidence and the flimsiest of a potential defence, we should be in a position to enter the final chapters, if not quite the final chapter.

At the moment, I am trying to get every bank in the country to open up their books or state categorically that they never held an account in my mother's name. After this, we will consider whether to sue not only the brother but also the solicitor who acted for him. It is likely at this point that we will also involve the police and formally register a fraud.

Costs continue to accrue. At this time, we are past the point of no return in many respects. Having put so much into it, at such great financial and emotional cost, I cannot let it go without a conclusion.

Thanks again for the continued support and best wishes. You don't know how much I value that some nights when feeling blue.

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