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AIBU over Grandmother's will

(262 Posts)
namechangenoony Sat 08-Nov-14 12:21:55

Have name changed as this is a sensitive issue, my head is all over the place on this one and I'd be grateful to hear other people's perspectives, sorry it's quite long.

My grandmother died recently, in her will she has divided up her money between all her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren equally. Her estate was relatively big and this means that each share of the money is significant, not mega bucks but enough for a deposit on a first home or to pay a good chunk of Uni fees.

This is now causing a lot of friction in our family as some family members feel this is unfair on the grandchildren who do not have children, in their eyes this means the grandchildren who do have children are getting a bigger share because their children are also getting an inheritance and some feel they will have children in the future and their children will be disadvantaged compared to those who did inherit.

I do have children and my first thoughts were that it was my Grandmother's decision, she didn't have any dementia and as far as I am aware wasn't pressured into doing this, no-one in the family is arguing to the contrary. I also feel that there is a difference between those great-grandchildren who she has met, loved and had a real relationship with and those who may or may not be born in the future, DH and I are planning another btw.

This issue is causing a lot of bad feeling in our family and there is pressure to vary the distribution in the will so that all the children and the grandchildren get the same, in effect either cutting out or greatly reducing the inheritance of the great-grandchildren. I don't even know if this is legal and I'm very much opposed to making this decision on behalf of my children which will be giving away money which could be hugely beneficial to them. It's been so hard though and I keep thinking it's not worth the conflict and whether to suggest giving up my share to keep the peace but then I think why should I, this wasn't what my grandmother wants.

Thanks for reading.

Mintyy Sat 08-Nov-14 12:24:07

I think the grandchildren without children are being unreasonable! Totally. How shameful and grasping sad

PurpleSwift Sat 08-Nov-14 12:26:04

Stand your ground. It's her will, what she wanted. End of.

PiperIsOrangePumpkins Sat 08-Nov-14 12:26:14

I don't think anyone should question a will, this isn't what they want but what your grandmother wanted.

In some cases wills should be challenged but not in this case.

Sorry for your loss.

Username12345 Sat 08-Nov-14 12:26:31

This is now causing a lot of friction in our family as some family members feel this is unfair on the grandchildren who do not have children

They're being grabby.

It was your grandmothers money and her decision who gets what.

amy83firsttimer Sat 08-Nov-14 12:27:15

I'm pretty sure the executor has a legal obligation to do as the will says. Check on www.gov.uk
(I work in a bank branch and have some training in this area)

StillStayingClassySanDiego Sat 08-Nov-14 12:27:32

Don't be bulldozed into changing what your Gran stated in her will.

The bad feeling has already been caused, don't change your or your kids inheritance just to keep the peace.

Your relatives have displayed shocking behaviour.

ApocalypseThen Sat 08-Nov-14 12:28:17

Contrary to the express wishes of your grandmother. Her estate, her call. Nobody has the right to say that her decision regarding her legacy was wrong.

Spadequeen Sat 08-Nov-14 12:28:28

You gm has left money to the people she has met, it was her decision, as to those wanting more, they should be ashamed of themselves

hamptoncourt Sat 08-Nov-14 12:29:49

YANBU - It isn't anyones decision to make but your grandmothers and she has made it.

I would not get sucked into any drama. Who are the executors? Is it solicitors or family members?

If it's solicitors they will just distribute the money according to the will. If family members are actually threatening to withold money in contravention to the will then I would take legal advice yourself on it.

shellistar Sat 08-Nov-14 12:30:16

Very grabby of them. You say that you're planning another child so could take that into the equation.

It's disgusting what money does to rational people. Your childless relatives need to respect your Grandmothers wishes!

AlpacaLypse Sat 08-Nov-14 12:31:55

My grandfather left his estate in a similar way. After long discussion we did agree to vary the provision but only for the grandchild who was expected but not yet born (he had known about this pregnancy). The two grandchildren who were born a few years later did not benefit, but as far as I know no-one has ever sulked about this. How on earth can you work out how many children if any are going to be born in the years to come???

PrettyLittleMitty Sat 08-Nov-14 12:32:40

Yanbu. Your family sound grabby tbh. Your grandmother's wishes should be respected and carried out.

QuintsBombWithAWiew Sat 08-Nov-14 12:34:11

Stand your ground and follow what the will says.

When my beloved uncle passed away, me, my sister, and my sisters daughter, and my oldest son inherited equal amounts. (My uncle was my dads only brother, he was unmarried and had no kids.

Only people whom he knew and loved inherited, so this naturally means that my youngest son who was born a few years after my uncles passing inherited nothing. It is fair. My uncle did not know him.

It is up to ME to ensure that things are equal between my own two children, it is not up to other family members to give me any of their funds to do this.

formerbabe Sat 08-Nov-14 12:34:57

Surely no one can draw up a will giving consideration to potential relatives who have not yet been born!?

Me624 Sat 08-Nov-14 12:36:18

Minor beneficiaries cannot consent to the variation of a will so it can only be done with court approval.

ScrambledEggAndToast Sat 08-Nov-14 12:36:27

How can she pass on to people who haven't even been born fgs??!! I mean, how would these people know how many children they were going to have. How utterly ridiculous and grasping. They should be ashamed of themselves.

Agrestic Sat 08-Nov-14 12:37:50

When my grandfather died his will stated that x amount should be split 50/50 between his two children and that a separate x amount should go to the grandchildren.

Because of the way it was written meant that the cash would be split between my sister and I and my cousin 50/50. So my one cousin would get 50% and my sister and I would share 50%.

This was not what my grandfather would have wanted. He would have wanted it to be split equally but he hadn't picked it up when he made the will.

It got shared equally between the three of us in the end, as that's what he would have wanted.

If you are sure that it is what your grandmother wanted (I suspect it is) then it must be kept as it is. If there could have been an oversight somewhere then maybe it needs to be changed.

Sorry if this made no sense! And I'm sorry for your loss x

emotionsecho Sat 08-Nov-14 12:38:12

No don't give in, there is nothing here to mount a challenge on. The estate was divided equally amongst the people who were alive and known by your Grandmother. How can an estate be divisible amongst people who are not even born yet, the concept is quite ridiculous.

Wills and money bring out the worst in people.

tiggytape Sat 08-Nov-14 12:41:27

YANBU - your grandmother is entitled to divide the money however she sees fit and it is important that her wishes are respected. Nobody says wills have to be fair.

Assuming that the will was made when she was mentally capable and isn't a forgery, I don't see as they have any grounds to legally contest it let alone just decide to change it round to suit them.

Legally the will should be adhered to and morally I think you do have an obligation to make sure your children get the money that their great grandma expressly wanted them to have.
Even if you didn't want to fight this, you are the one who looks after their interests because they aren't old enough to look after themselves so (I think) you have a moral obligation not to let the rest of the family take away their inheritance.

MrSheen Sat 08-Nov-14 12:42:02

You certainly used to be able to count not born people in your will. My friend inherited half a million from her Grandfathers will when she turned 21. He died before she was born. She was the youngest in her family and iirc she had a cousin who benefited too.

I don't know how it worked but I do know all her sibs and older cousins had to wait for the youngest one to be 'of age'. God knows what would have happened if another baby had sprung up afterwards, and it was entirely possible given the 2 of the grandfathers children were boys.

QTPie Sat 08-Nov-14 12:46:05

Your grandmother's will should stand - she is leaving money to those that she knew. An inheritance isn't a right, it is a gift.

No-one can tell who will be born or won't be born in future: grand children, great grand children, great great grandchildren...

A will is the wishes at a snap shot in time (which is why it is important to keep it uptodate). I can understand a query if a will was outdated a excluded a great grandchild who had been born since the writing if the will but before your grandmother's death. But what your family are proposing is not reasonable.

catslife Sat 08-Nov-14 12:46:22

My understanding is that all beneficiaries have to agree for a "Deed of variation" to be made, as well as the situation that Me624 describes relating to minors.
The only variation that would be reasonable was if all beneficiaries were named and an additional great grandchild had been born between the time she made the will and the date of death (or if any of the named relatives had died in that time period).

tiggytape Sat 08-Nov-14 12:47:07

Agrestic - that sort of will can be contested because it was worded so badly that it doesn't accurately reflect the intentions. It is called rectification and means that the will can be contested to explain that the deceased intended an equal split.

Even then clear proof is needed that the will does not reflect the testator's intentions. They don't just change wills that seem a bit unfair unless it can be shown the deceased never meant it to end up being split like that.

In this case an equal split between everyone known to the deceased is pretty clear. There's no room to think she actually intended the great grandchildren to get less because she clearly asks for an equal split. So unless she was under pressure, of unsound mind or the will is a fake, it has to stand.

StarlingMurmuration Sat 08-Nov-14 12:47:14

I read this as, rather than the childless grandchildren wanting an extra amount for their hypothetical unborn, unconceived children per se, they think all the great grandchildren should be cut out. So say at the moment there is a pot of £1 million, and there are 2 children, 4 grandchildren and 4 great grandchildren (2 each for 2 of the grandchildren), it's split equally between all ten descendants: £100k each. But the childless grandchildren want it to be split between the six closer descendants, no great grandchildren included - so the 2 children and 4 grandchildren would get £166,666 each, and r great grand children nothing.

I can see why this might appear fairer, but a will isn't about being fair, it's about following the wishes of the deceased. So I think they can fuck off. They have no chance of challenging it anyway.

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