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Inheritance (or lack of). I know. Risky.

(138 Posts)
brokeandsad Fri 25-May-18 20:10:25

I've name changed for this as potentially outing and, well, a bit vulgar.

I know being hacked off at a lack of inheritance or parental help is generally frowned upon and broadly I agree. I'm wondering if it's ever right to feel like there has been an injustice in these matters and, more importantly, if there's anything one can do about it.

This concerns DHs family rather than mine. Which makes it feel extra awkward.

MIL was given a house at a very young age by her parents. It was a wreck and over time she's worked hard to make it amazing. Credit to her. Her house in now worth upwards of 500k. She has a very small mortgage that they used to extend/renovate. Neither she or her partner of 20 years work. They're not yet state retirement age (one is a long way off).

MIL is set to inherit an awful lot from the house sale of two older relatives, both in their late 90s.

One of these relatives has extensively talked to DH about how, when he dies, his money will help us with the deposit for our first house. He's very keen that we buy because he thinks renting is insecure and a waste of money. All his money + house sale will be left to MIL and he fully expects her to use it to help herself and help out her three children, all of them in their 30s and only one of them a home owner already.

MIL has told us in no uncertain terms that any money she inherits will be used to pay off her mortgage and the rest invested to cover any future care costs for her. DH has been told that he will have to wait "his turn" like she did.

I'm a bit bummed at again being faced with the reality that we probably won't ever be able to afford our own house, mostly because we have children and renting brings it's complications re schools etc.

Mostly I feel really uncomfortable that elderly relative and MIL seem to have very different ideas on what any inheritance will be used for. I can only think that she has lied to him, or at least been economical with the truth. I feel really awkward whenever either of them talk about money as it all seems so disingenuous and sad.

DH is similarly frustrated by our own financial circumstances (which, incidentally, we are both working very hard to turn around) but actually quite upset that his elderly relative has wishes that he thinks will be honoured but won't, and his mother is lying to everyone.

Am I BU for being frustrated by the awkwardness of it all, sad about DPs relationship with his family and cross that an old person is possibly being a bit deceived? Am I being incredibly selfish? What can we do to make the whole situation ok (it being OK isn't dependant on us getting any money, but people being honest with us and each other).

I'm awaiting a bit of a bashing but want genuine opinions please.

Coolaschmoola Fri 25-May-18 20:12:47

If the relative wants DH to have it they should bequeath it to him in the will. If not then it's DMIL's choice, like it or not.

cadburyegg Fri 25-May-18 20:16:02

I think it is shocking that your MIL is aware that elderly relative wants your DH to have some of their money but is still happy to keep it to herself.

That being said, the relative needs to put everything formally in a will, not just officially leave it to MIL and expect her to divvy it out as she sees fit.

ilovesooty Fri 25-May-18 20:18:46

Agreed. If the elderly relative wants to help your husband onto the property ladder he needs to be left the money in his own right.

Glumglowworm Fri 25-May-18 20:19:13

if the relative wants DH and his siblings to have some of the inheritance then they need to specify that in their will.

Yes it would be nice for MIL to honour their wishes (and I think that she should), but if she doesn’t want to, there’s nothing you and DH can do about it.

Efferlunt Fri 25-May-18 20:19:40

It could be that elderly relative has made assumptions about mil rather than her misleading him. Could you drop into conversation that there might tax implications/complications with one person gifting another a large amount of money. We don’t need pils money so have suggested they bypass us and leave our ‘share’ to the children If he wants a certain thing to happen he should reflect that in his will

Witchend Fri 25-May-18 20:20:04

In this circumstance I think it would be perfectly reasonable if the elderly relative brings it up then say "we do thank you very much for the thought, but mil has been very clear to us that she is planning on using it for <>and she won't be passing any on to us."

He can then choose what to do with the information and alter the will if he wants to.

Cherrysherbet Fri 25-May-18 20:20:31

I think you have the right to feel frustrated by this, I would be the same. I can't imagine planning to keep money for myself that was meant for my children. I think your mil is being incredibly selfish. I'm not sure what you can do though. Talking to mil or elderly relative could open a can of worms.

CPtart Fri 25-May-18 20:20:52

If the relatives' wishes re you benefitting are that important to him/her, they would put it in writing. Seemingly they haven't.
It might seem harsh but I think your MIL is being extremely responsible saving for care for her old age. If we had this mindset more as an ageing population, we may not be in the mess we're in.

violettttt Fri 25-May-18 20:22:07

Why doesn't the relative just leave money to your husband?

Plans like his never work. When my grandma died she left it it all to her husband , and told us he would help us with x and y with her money. Did he fuck.

But there's nothing any of us could say or do. It was his money and she put nothing in her will that said she wanted the money to help us, it was only verbal.

Your MIL does sound selfish but she may think she really needs that money. There's nothing you can do except talk to the relative.

Prawnofthepatriarchy Fri 25-May-18 20:28:37

I suggest that the next time your DH's elderly relative mentions the will your DH explains that his DM has her own plans for the money. If ERel wants your DH to get a third he's going to have to change his Will. Frankness is healthy in such matters.

CressyBessy Fri 25-May-18 20:41:27

I would get DH to tell the relative what his mum is planning and see if he can be named directly.

FizzyGreenWater Fri 25-May-18 20:42:55

Tell the relative!!!

'Aunty Bunty, you've talked a lot about your will otherwise I wouldn't bring this up. Mum has made it clear that when she inherits she won't be passing on any funds to us to use as a house deposit as you seem to think, she will be using the money for X.'

RideOn Fri 25-May-18 20:44:35

In this circumstance I think it would be perfectly reasonable if the elderly relative brings it up then say "we do thank you very much for the thought, but mil has been very clear to us that she is planning on using it for <>and she won't be passing any on to us."

He can then choose what to do with the information and alter the will if he wants to.

Exactly this ^^

Shiftymake Fri 25-May-18 20:46:34

Discrete honesty may be in order here when talking with the ER, if she is going to disrespect his wishes then he has the right to know and either keep the will or change it to reflect his wishes.

FizzyGreenWater Fri 25-May-18 20:47:59

The other thing you can do of course is start making comments about how it's so much cheaper to buy houses in Malta/Southern Spain/the arse end of New Zealand, and you're seriously thinking of starting a new life there as you can't see you'll ever be able to afford a house in the UK. Of course, it will be sad when MIL is so far from her grandchildren. But hey, she will have soooooo much inheritance she can fly out to see them ooh, probably a dozen times before they turn 18.

43percentburnt Fri 25-May-18 20:51:21

Agree with others. Let the relative know you appreciate the gesture but Mil has clearly told you that she will use the money to pay off her money and save the rest to pay her care home fees. Then it’s up to him or her to change their will if they want to.

Roussette Fri 25-May-18 21:02:45


If your DH's relative had wanted to leave your DH money should would do.

You cannot take any notice whatsoever of rambling ideas of what very elderly people might do with their money. If it's not in the Will forget it.

If he has talked extensively with your DH about leaving him money, why hasn't he stated that in his Will?

Roussette Fri 25-May-18 21:03:44

'If your DH's relative had wanted to leave your DH money should would do'

That should read...

if your DH's elderly relative had wanted to leave your DH money, he would have specified that

brokeandsad Fri 25-May-18 21:04:35

Ive thought of mentionig to ER what MIL has told us. It qould put the cat amongst the pigeons to say the least. The whole family avoid confrontation at all costs and this feels like quite a confrontational thing to do.

Also Im just really hacked off that MIL is prepared to do this and is just lying to ERs face. Every time I see her she's super chummy. Does she think we don't know what ER wants? It all seems so cloak and daggers.

I'd like to think I wouldn't lie to my parents and sit on half a million quids worth of capital and a bunch of savings and investments while my son struggled to raise his family in damp rented accommodation in an over inflated rental market, but maybe I would.

brokeandsad Fri 25-May-18 21:09:13

I haven't seen a will. ER could be leaving it all to cats protection for all i know. Fair enough. It's just weird and tricky that what ER and MIL say are so wildly different.

ER is old but not in the least bit rambling and in full possession of faculties. Favourite pass time Telegraph cryptic crossword.

jasjas1973 Fri 25-May-18 21:17:05

If your relative is in their 90s and you tell them what you want them to do because of your fears of what your MIL wont do! and they then change their provision, any new Will could be challenged.
So if you go down this route then the solicitor must make absolutely sure he/she has assessed your ER ability to make a new Will, possibly sought medical opinion & with no influence from you.

TBH all sounds a bit grasping to me.

PercyPigAddict Fri 25-May-18 21:18:43

You need to tell ER. If they bring it up to your DH quite often it would be easy to just say casually "Thats very sweet of you but MIL has made it clear we won't be getting any money she's got her hands on," then give a mumsnet tinkly laugh

happypoobum Fri 25-May-18 21:19:27

They're not yet state retirement age No such thing any more. Do you mean state pensionable age?

Re ER, if they wanted DH to have the money they would leave it to him. It is them who is being disingenuous here, not MIL. She is fully entitled to spend the money however she wants.

Iamagreyhoundhearmeroar Fri 25-May-18 21:23:18

If he really wanted you to have it, he’d write you into the will. All this discussion about how the dosh will be divided and he’s not even dead yet?

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