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... to "decline" a bequest?

(53 Posts)
FallenArchesBrokenDreams Tue 10-Jan-17 13:29:20

My father is dying.
He's got end stage dementia so really I lost him years ago so I've done my grieving.
His small estate is divided between myself and my 2 siblings equally.

Myself and Dh are comfortably off, the inheritance will make a small but not signifcant difference to our financial status.
However even a third of the small estate will be very useful to my youngest sister whois not well off at all. She has no debts but has no money spare for luxuries. She is very proud and has always refused offers of help unless they are very small and disguiysed as a birthday present.

Can I decline the bequest? and if so does the estate just get divided between sister 1 and sister 2 equally?
Are there tax implications for doing this (if it is even possible)
Obviously my father can change his will.

I feel she not only needs the money more, I feel she has earned it as she lived closest to Dad so did most of the "things" he needed

lucy101101 Tue 10-Jan-17 13:34:04

I don't know the legalities of this but just wanted to say that that is such a kind and generous thought and so few people think like you! I am sorry about your father.

SadTrombone Tue 10-Jan-17 13:36:25

Echoing PP really - sorry about your father, and what a lovely sister you are star

DoItTooJulia Tue 10-Jan-17 13:37:05

Can you accept it and transfer it to her as a gift? To keep it simple?

flowers

JennyOnAPlate Tue 10-Jan-17 13:37:38

I don't know the legalities either but it would probably be easier to accept the bequest and then just gift it to your sister afterwards.

I'm very sorry about your dad flowers

Blossomdeary Tue 10-Jan-17 13:39:56

When my parents died, they had left a sum to each grandchild, and the rest of the estate was divided between us 3 siblings. I then chose to give each of my children £20K so that I could see them comfortably on the housing ladder and have the pleasure of seeing them settled during my lifetime. You could simply do this when the time comes.

So sorry about your Dad - I went through this long drawn out loss with my Mum and it is a huge strain. flowers

OdinsLoveChild Tue 10-Jan-17 13:40:01

I think it would be easier to accept it and then pass it to your sisters.

Sorry about your Dad. Its a wonderful thing you are considering doing.

CommunionHelp Tue 10-Jan-17 13:41:09

I feel she has earned it as she lived closest to Dad so did most of the "things" he needed

Gift it to her on this basis? It might get around her pride then. Lovely of you, OP.

Luckystar1 Tue 10-Jan-17 13:44:44

Yes you can do a deed of variation and transfer it to your sister.

Very kind of you!

HardofCleaning Tue 10-Jan-17 13:46:40

flowers. Who has power of attorney? Would your other not hard up sister agree that the extra goes to your less well off sister. YOU sound lovely.

Fueledwithfairydustandgin Tue 10-Jan-17 13:47:38

I'm guessing she feels her sister is too proud and won't accept it? Just wanted to echo how lovely the thought is

AmeliaJack Tue 10-Jan-17 13:49:57

When the times comes you can ask for legal advice on the best way to proceed. It's not that uncommon.

My Dad and his siblings signed over their inheritance from an Aunt to another relative who needed it more.

There are tax implications so get legal advice to work out the most efficient method.

FallenArchesBrokenDreams Tue 10-Jan-17 13:50:08

I don't know if she would accept it as a gift from me. She's very proud.
I know it's technically the same thing, but I would prefer if somehow the money came "direct" from Dad, if there is some way of doing this.
The only thing I want from Dad is my late mother's wedding ring which he wears on his little finger

FallenArchesBrokenDreams Tue 10-Jan-17 13:53:58

Myself (daughter 1) and Daughter 3 (potential recipient) have POA along with another relative.
Daughter 2 does not have POA as she was very unwell when it was drafted and did not want to get involved. D2 is in goodish health again.

D3 is in poor health.
I (cross fingers) am reasonably likely to survive the relevant 7 years for a gift.
D3 might not.

SpermThroughASashWindow Tue 10-Jan-17 13:58:04

Would it cause your sister to pay more inheritance tax? Sorry, I know nothing about these things, but I assume there are limits. If inheritaing your share would push herover the threshold, maybe you could gift it afterwards. Might be worth seeking advice.

livingthegoodlife Tue 10-Jan-17 13:58:17

Who are the exceutors? You can decline your bequest and as long as it's a residuary gift then the estate will just be divided between the remaining beneficiaries. You will need to do a deed of variation. If you accept the gift and then give it to her there could be tax implications (PET) etc.

Seek legal advice.

Jenny70 Tue 10-Jan-17 14:01:12

I don't think you have to accept any bequest, the amount is split without you in the mix - so if it was 3 ways between the sisters, it would now be 2 ways - so both sisters benefit, rather than giving your share to one sister.

Think about which you would prefer and act accordingly - I would think tax wise better to refuse bequest, than accept and regift... but might need legal advise on that.

wibblywobblywoo Tue 10-Jan-17 14:02:57

Could you tell DSis a little white lie afterwards and say that your DF had told you how appreciative he was of all that DSis did for him and he wished he could leave her more so here's the rest of it......

Luckystar1 Tue 10-Jan-17 14:05:34

Inheritance tax is paid on the value of the estate, only bequests to spouses will make a difference in relation to IHT.

If you accept the gift and regift it forms part of your 'estate' if you die within the next 7 years. And IHT would be payable on it on a sliding scale.

Just do the deed of variation to the will as then you can specifically designate where it goes to rather than refusing it and it then going back into the estate to be split as per the will (minus you)

rightsofwomen Tue 10-Jan-17 14:05:51

fallen you sound lovely.

One question. Do you have children yourself?

Figment1234 Tue 10-Jan-17 14:06:41

Firstly, of course, sorry about your father. I hope he is as comfortable as he can be.

I would seek proper advice from a private client lawyer, but as I recall from my law school days, as others have said above, you can do a deed of variation which essentially changes the will after the individual has died. I think you have a two year window to do this following the death.

This is probably a good place to start:
www.gov.uk/alter-a-will-after-a-death

You may want to get the advice now though, as there may be other ways to get the same result e.g. altering the will now (doesn't sound like your father has capacity to make a new will but perhaps it can be done as some of you have Lasting Powers of Attorney.

hungryhippo90 Tue 10-Jan-17 14:08:18

How thoughtful of you. I have no advice, but I did want to say that it's really nice of you to have thought of doing this!

gillybeanz Tue 10-Jan-17 14:08:26

What a lovely thing to do thanks you are really kind and thoughtful.

I'm not an authority but I think you have to accept and then gift the money if you don't want it split between other sister too.

It will be your money and you will be entitled to do what you want with it.
Does your sister have children? could you put the money in trust and then it isn't money your dsis has to worry about in the future.

Enigmatic101 Tue 10-Jan-17 14:09:35

Obviously my father can change his will

It depends whether he has Testementary Capacity and if he is end stage Dementia that's unlikely?

The solicitor probably would have to make that decision after medical advice and you already know it wouldn't be good to bother your father with something like a Will if he is so ill so hope you can find a solution that's best in the end

DJBaggySmalls Tue 10-Jan-17 14:09:43

What a lovely thought.
I think you need to get legal advice as there are other options. If she is in poor health and her future is uncertain you could put it into a trust in both your names, which will pay out to her every 6 months.

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