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What are my son's rights to inheritance?

(48 Posts)
Toocleverbyhalf2 Mon 21-Nov-16 13:12:00

I have been separated from my ex husband for 7 years ( not divorced) and have a 10 year old son with him.
My FIL died in February and left me £5,000, which was a surprise and very much appreciated. There was other money from the estate, property and investments, that are about to be paid out. My ex and his sister are the beneficiaries. Initially there was about £50,00 each, but now it's about £35,000 as the property didn't sell for as much as they hoped. My ex said he would settle £15,000 on my son for when he's 21.

My ex is now saying he's settling nothing on our son & is using the money for a car and to live on. He's an alcoholic who doesn't work and is claiming benefits, as am I. In the past I've never had any regular maintenance but have had lump sums here and there as my ex has been given money by his dad. This'll be the last of any money from his dad and I'm really pissed off that he's keeping it all to himself and not maintaining my son in any way. I don't know what to, I don't want the money for myself, but for my son & I can't afford to take him to court.
Any advice on what to do?

UrethaFranklin Mon 21-Nov-16 13:15:06

As far as I know, your son has no rights to the inheritance, your FIL can leave his money to whoever he wants.

You can report him to CMS and attempt to get him to pay regular maintenance though: www.gov.uk/child-maintenance

Arfarfanarf Mon 21-Nov-16 13:19:04

Im not sure theres anything you can do.
Money left to your ex does not belong to your son. Your son has no rights. I believe. If you are in england. I might be wrong. You should maybe go to the cab.
The beneficiary was not your son.
Any idea you ex had about what he might want to do with his inheritance is not legally binding.

I assume you recieved the money that was willed to you? That you are entitled to.

Your son is not entitled to any portion of an inheritance given to his father.
Unless his father dies of course. Then he can recieve/ contest/ etc.

You could go to the csa or whatever they are called now and try to get maintenance for your son but i really dont think, sadly, that your son has any claim on what his dad inherited.

I think his dad is a selfish git but unfortunately that's not against the law.

Im not a lawyer, this is just my belief based on my understanding.

idontlikealdi Mon 21-Nov-16 13:21:19

Unfortunatley what he is doing is perfectly legal and your son has no right to the money.

He does have a right to child support htrough CSA though.

Lindy2 Mon 21-Nov-16 13:22:32

Where are you based? In England there is no requirement for a father to pass any inheritance to a child. Assuming this money is from your ex's father to your ex (via a will) it therefore belongs to your ex alone and he can spend it as he wishes. The same applies to the money you have inherited.

If your ex were to die, if he has a will in place, he does not need to name his child as a beneficiary. He would state his wishes in his will. If he dies with no will it would be different and there are set rules about who gets what.

Kidnapped Mon 21-Nov-16 13:39:58

I suspect that your FIL knew exactly what his son is like. And that's why FIL left 5K to you to make sure that his grandson would get something.

And yes, your ex is not obliged to gift anything of his inheritance to his son.

All of that said, the fact that you are still married to him might come into play. That £35K might be an asset of the marriage and if you were to divorce soon then I wonder if you would be entitled to anything. I suspect that, having been 7 years separated beforehand, you would not be entitled to much of it, if any. Maybe someone on here would know definitively.

In any event, your ex will have this money spent very soon anyway (even sooner if he thinks you are after some of it). And then even if you did get a small settlement, he would have no money left to hand over to you. So you'd get nothing in the end anyway.

Would you consider using just a small portion of the £5K to get a divorce?

Toocleverbyhalf2 Mon 21-Nov-16 13:45:43

Thank you for your replies, I had a feeling that was the case in law. I can't go to the CSA as he is receiving benefits and I would only get a nominal amount. He has set up a secret account that he's not telling the benefits agency about, so that he can carry on claiming benefits. Vile man!
It just grips me that my son and me are struggling while he's just going to drink the money away. Ah well, I can't change that angry

Toocleverbyhalf2 Mon 21-Nov-16 13:49:47

Kidnapped - you are right, he'll just waste it. When I got the £5k I put £2k in a savings account for my son, bought a new car and we went on holiday, so there's nothing left so I don't have the money to divorce him now. I wish I had confused

nilbyname Mon 21-Nov-16 13:50:21

Well unless your ex is some sort of banking mastermind I would push on with the CSA as I am sure they would be able to find his secret ££

Toocleverbyhalf2 Mon 21-Nov-16 13:57:58

Nilbyname - I never thought of that, thank you. He has no idea that keeping a child costs money - he once said that if he needs clothes, shoes etc then that's what I receive benefits for!
The money hasn't hit his bank account yet & he's told me about the secret account, don't know why, so I can point the CSA in that direction when he gets it.

Arfarfanarf Mon 21-Nov-16 14:13:02

Well you can certainly let them know that he's done that.
And even if he does only pay a nominal amount at least thats something. A fiver is a couple of school lunches and more than anything it says he has a financial obligation towards his child.

Sptownmama Mon 21-Nov-16 14:22:20

Just out of interest how did you receive your money before him? I'm waiting for a payout from an estate and was told everyone gets paid at the same time after probate time is elapsed.

Gingernaut Mon 21-Nov-16 14:26:38

Bequests like the £5k can be paid from bank accounts, but the major inheritance was probably dependent upon the sale of the house which can take some time once all creditors are taken into account.

Sptownmama Mon 21-Nov-16 15:42:18

Oh ok thanks ginger well a week away from completing the house sale so hopefully it will all be over soon. It feels like the grieving period has been very extended because of constant communication and decisions that we have had to make RE: the estate ect.

Toocleverbyhalf2 Mon 21-Nov-16 15:43:16

Sptownmamma. As the other poster said, the money I received was from his current account. It was allocated before he died and the bank paid it to me.

Sptownmama Mon 21-Nov-16 15:46:02

Ok thanks too sorry i just reread my question hope it didn't sound like i was questioning what you have stated iyswim.

Toocleverbyhalf2 Mon 21-Nov-16 16:10:50

No, not at all! It's all confusing lolwink

Fluffycloudland77 Mon 21-Nov-16 16:17:16

Report him to the benefits fraud line. You're not getting any cs off him so you can't lose anything.

CremeEggThief Mon 21-Nov-16 16:21:18

Even £5 a week is better than nothing, OP. Your son has a right to any maintenance, no matter how little it is.

Toocleverbyhalf2 Mon 21-Nov-16 16:29:15

Thanks for your replies everyone, you've been very helpful.
I'm going to go to the CSA re: maintenance & I certainly have no qualms about telling the benefits agency about this. My son deserves some maintenance, even though his father always says "I've given you thousands!" He hasn't given me money, his dad has! angry

CremeEggThief Mon 21-Nov-16 16:47:17

Good for you, Tooclever. He's been getting away with it too long.

GrabbyGrabby Tue 22-Nov-16 17:24:00

I think it would be better to report him to. I'm not sure if he would get away with trying to stash the inheritance. confused

IAmChewie Tue 22-Nov-16 17:43:28

He isn't entitled to benefits if he has over £16000 in savings. Report him before he gets he chance to hide it.

Toocleverbyhalf2 Tue 22-Nov-16 17:51:58

I bloody hope not grabbygrabby, his arrogant attitude really annoys me. He has been prosecuted 6 times for drinking and driving, the last time he went to prison, yet he's been sending me pictures of cars he wants to buy when he gets his licence back in January. I've blocked him now. He'll get picked up again for sure and, quite apart from the threat to the public, the car will be impounded and that'll be £15k up the spout. I've warned him that if he drinks and drives I will phone the police, but he's adamant he won't. Yeah, right!!
I suppose you can't educate pork lol

GrabbyGrabby Tue 22-Nov-16 19:18:38

He sounds like a truly awful person sad

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