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Is my Mum or her Stepmum being unreasonable RE inheritance

(75 Posts)
Nurserytastic Sat 09-Aug-14 12:22:26

Looking for some help with regards to an inheritance issue in Scotland.

My mums father passed away recently and he had been married to his last wife for a long time. My mum assumed any inheritance would be passed to her step mum and to be honest wasn't really thinking that way, more upset about her father passing away.

A few weeks ago her step mum came to visit and told her that her father had not drawn the will up 'properly' and that herself, my mum and her brother would all receive a third of his moveable assets. The house was her step mums as it was paid off. Her step mum then proceeded to ask my mum to relinquish her third and give it to her as should she take the money 'her standard of living would decrease' she said it was what my mums father would have wanted. This was not asked of my mums brother as 'he would take the money anyway'. So as not to drip feed or to indicate a 'poor old woman' , her step mother has her own business which earns well, a fully paid off house and car.

She told my mum that a letter would follow from the lawyers and this would offer my mum the undisclosed sum and she would really appreciate it if my mum gave her her third of the moveable assets.

My mum was shock at her asking at all. Who is being unreasonable? And as an aside could her step mum tell the lawyers that my mum doesn't want her third without my mum stating this?

Grateful for any advice and help!!

gobbynorthernbird Sat 09-Aug-14 12:25:48

The step-mum is ultra U. How dare she ask that of your mother?

SwedishEdith Sat 09-Aug-14 12:26:25

What did she mean about not drawing up a will properly? Is there an actual will? I would wait to see what this letter suggests and take it to a solicitor.

ThinkIveBeenHacked Sat 09-Aug-14 12:26:37

Your mums step mum is being beyond unreasonable.

That money has been left to your mum by her own father.

TheCraicDealer Sat 09-Aug-14 12:28:37

Not a lawyer, but surely the only way for your Mum's Stepmother to prevent her getting her share of the assets is to contest the validity of the will? And the fact the she's approached your Mum directly would suggest that she doesn't want to take this avenue for whatever reason. She sounds like she has some brass neck.

WooWooOwl Sat 09-Aug-14 12:30:04

Step mum is being unreasonable to ask something of your mum that she isn't prepared to ask of her brother, but I don't think it's completely unreasonable for her to ask that they both defer recieveing their inheritance until her death. Many older couples won't leave an inheritance to their adult children until they have both gone, but it can be complicated in step family situations.

Was it in the will that each of them should receive a third upon your Grandads death? If so, that's what should be followed. What's she on about with this will not being drawn up properly?

minibmw2010 Sat 09-Aug-14 12:30:20

In other words he drew up a perfectly valid will according to his wishes, but the step mum doesn't like it and so is trying to bully your Mum into handing over her share, but not bothering with your uncle as she knows she'll get nowhere !!! Your Mum needs to tell her to go away and leave her alone and that she will take her inheritance as her father wanted her to, thanks very much !!!!' smile

Nerf Sat 09-Aug-14 12:30:56

If there was no will I think the stepmother is being unreasonable . My family are Scottish and know the default position without a will, let's assume your dad did too.
In which case his daughter benefits from his will.
If however he did attempt to leave it all to his wife and there was an error, I'm not sure what I would do.

Terrierterror Sat 09-Aug-14 12:31:20

'Movable assets' include money and shares but also jewellery and furniture! A third to a child is a default in Scottish law and means that her father didn't choose to leave your mother this amount but rather didn't sort out his will so the law kicks in.

Nurserytastic Sat 09-Aug-14 12:31:25

As far as I know the will that her father made stating everything should pass to his wife was not valid for one reason or another and made it null and void and now everything has to be split. Obviously I am painfully aware that we only have step grans side of this story and it could be inaccurate.

So she couldn't tell the lawyer that my mum relinquishes her third unless my mum states this in writing??

MoominMama2 Sat 09-Aug-14 12:33:06

My mum recently had this identical situation. Unknown to her, under Scots law children apparently cannot be fully disinherited by a subsequent marriage. It is her choice whether to take the money or sign with the solicitor to reject it and allow it back into the estate. Each child has to choose for them self through the solicitor, your step mum is unable to do it for anyone else. Hope that makes sense

SwedishEdith Sat 09-Aug-14 12:36:57

So, assuming she's not just making stuff up, your granddad intended everything to go to his wife? But there was some sort of cock up with the will itself? I think that might change things but I would need to see this problem will before making a decision - I mean your mum will

Terrierterror Sat 09-Aug-14 12:37:19

It sounds like he should have asked your mother to sign a waiver when he organised the will.

Your mother needs to contact whoever is dealing with this directly (solicitors?) to get the full details. What she chooses to do then is up to her.

cocobongo Sat 09-Aug-14 12:37:31

Not lawyer, but I thought in Scotland the children were entitled to 1/3 of moveable assets between them, regardless of there being a will. So your mum and her brother should get 1/6 each.

SaucyJack Sat 09-Aug-14 12:40:21

Tell the step-mum to jog on.

Especially as she sounds exactly like the sort of money grubbing cow who would spend all the money/leave it to her own family should your mum "agree" to defer her inheritance.

Terrierterror Sat 09-Aug-14 12:42:37

I think it's a third to the surviving spouse, a third to the children collectively then the last third, in this case, goes to the children too.

Nydj Sat 09-Aug-14 12:43:03

Who knows what your grandfather intended? Perhaps he was being harangued by his wife to draw up a will leaving everything to her and rather than refuse, he chose to draw up a will which he knew would be found to be null and void after his death. Maybe he made an unintentional mistake. No one really knows so I think if your mum would rather keep her share then she should do just that and not feel pressured by anyone else.

Terrierterror Sat 09-Aug-14 12:43:22

MuttonCadet Sat 09-Aug-14 12:45:30

I think your mum should do what she thinks were her fathers wishes.

prettybird Sat 09-Aug-14 12:46:19

Even if he did make a will leaving everything to his new wife, under Scots Law it is impossible to disinherit your kids. The 1/3 of the moveable estate is (I think - but I'm not a lawyer and haven't re-looked it up) what the law states.

Your mum is entitled to her share of the 1/3 (so a 1/6), so should only sign away her right if she is happy to do so. She shouldn't be guilted into doing so because of the frankly misleading implication that her dad hasn't meant her to have it.

If he was that worried about it, he should've converted more of his estate into "immovable" assets (which can go direct to his spouse/whoever he wants) or talked to her about it beforehand hmm.

Pobblewhohasnotoes Sat 09-Aug-14 13:20:03

Your mum needs to get a solicitor and not be bullied into giving up any money. It's up to her what she does with it.

MissWimpyDimple Sat 09-Aug-14 13:25:43

No, I think in this case your mum should take the money. I do think it would unreasonable to expect a third of the "jewellery furniture" etc, but the money should go to her. Specially as it sounds like her brother will take his share!

SaucyJack Sat 09-Aug-14 13:33:31

It might be worthwhile for your mum to consider what her reaction would've been if the step-mum had turned up at her door and asked her to just give her a large chunk of money from her (your mum's) savings to spend on "maintaining her lifestyle". Because it really isn't any different. That money is your mum's.

The only thing your mum should consider giving her is a tin of Brasso for her neck. Who the Jeff asks someone to give them their inheritance from their own father just because they fancy lots of money?!

Viviennemary Sat 09-Aug-14 13:35:03

She asked. Your Mum should just say no. If your Mum's dad wanted x y or z he would have written it in his will. Especially as the brother hasn't been asked to give up his share. Ithink somebody told me once under Scots law children get a third of money and assets but not property and the surviving spouse gets two thirds. But sometimes it has to go to court if there is a dispute.

SweetsForMySweet Sat 09-Aug-14 14:02:52

Why was the latest will classed null and void? Who is the executer and solicitor of the will? Tell your mjm not to sign any document or verbLly agree to anything without independent legal advice.

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