Family unpleasantness over inheritance - how did you cope?

(19 Posts)
EcclefechanTart Thu 28-May-15 11:41:36

My DF died a few months ago. Since then there have been major family ructions about every aspect of the inheritance and how it should be divided in practice (he didn't leave a will). It's awful and is making everything so much more stressful and unhappy, at an already unhappy time. I feel like I can't even get on with grieving because I'm having to deal with all this.

Has anyone been through similar? I could do with some good coping tips!

OP’s posts: |
EcclefechanTart Thu 28-May-15 20:13:53

I feel so stressed I can't even think about my DF as it just brings on a panic. Then I find myself crying at random times. I think we are all going to end up permanently not speaking to each other, which is the last thing DF would have wanted. I have a complex family with half siblings on both sides and the situation is just awful.

I'm trying to have a few days where I don't think about it, and then a day where I deal with family members and estate stuff, and then a few more days where I don't engage at all. I just never know when an email or phone call is going to come with some new demand or bombshell though.

OP’s posts: |
Horsemad Thu 28-May-15 20:20:45

Can't his estate be divided in equal shares?

DarylDixonsDarlin Thu 28-May-15 20:23:08

Yes, we had some unpleasantness in our family after someone had died without a will and then someone else died who had something which had to be passed down to the first person's children, one of whom was not biologically and legally his, although he had raised the child. The things which were said by certain members of the family were unforgiveable, but fortunately they couldn't cause any legal problems over it.

The only coping tip I can give is not to get dragged in emotionally, but that is easier said than done I know. Just keep things on a practical and legal level as much as possible, without engaging in emotional issues. And don't let it stop you from grieving as you need to on a personal level. It will be over eventually, these things often take many many months to sort out but there is an end point to it, it just feels like a long way off sometimes.

Sorry for your loss flowers

INickedAName Thu 28-May-15 20:48:10

I'm sorry you lost your Father OP.

I lost my Dad three years ago, and have just found out that Dad removed my db and I name and added his stepson and half sister for inheritance when I was a child, they got 13k each, my bro and I, the stepmum, hundreds of thousands. My db and I nothing. There were other horrible vile things said to my bro (I went nc with them all not long after dad died) It hurts, not that we don't have money, but being left out, that rather than add his stepson and half sister to share, he removed us, and stepmum and step bro say this because he didn't give a shit about us.

I know what you mean about the phone calls, I couldn't grieve for my dad as stepmum would ring all the time crying, and if I mentioned I was struggling I was called selfish.

Is the money important to you? If your family are making you feel shit, would cutting contact be an option? You know what your family is like, and if they are going to be nasty, and say horrible things to you, I don't think any amount of money can make up for the stress and anxiety that arguing will do.

For me, cutting contact was the best thing I did. They didn't get to see how I crushed I was after hearing the poisonous voicemail left for my bro. My step family may have a small fortune now, but they are very very bitter and twisted, I'd rather be me, than them iyswim.

Feel free to PM me if you want to talk or just vent flowers

JoanHickson Thu 28-May-15 20:51:17

It's not about money, it's grief mixed with family dysfunction.

INickedAName Thu 28-May-15 20:51:42

daryls advice about not getting dragged in emotionally is good. It's very draining when the insults and personal nasty comments start, and the better thing to do is ignore, easy to say I know, you're already vulnerable and need to grieve.

Its sad that money brings out the worse in people.

DarylDixonsDarlin Thu 28-May-15 21:03:47

Indeed it is sad - its disgusting the way some people behave when people have died and there is money involved...in our case it was no surprise when the trouble started up, not that it made it any easier to deal with, and they didnt even stand to benefit financially from it! shock

And yes in the end, no contact was the only way to deal with it. The bare minimum of correspondence with the troublemakers while things were being finalised, then after that, pfft!

lljkk Thu 28-May-15 21:06:38

What happens in Britain if no will, does the court appoint an executor?

HarrietVane99 Thu 28-May-15 21:13:28

Google 'what to do when someone dies'. You'll get various hits, including the gov.uk site. There are laws governing how an estate should be divided in cases of intestacy - that is, when someone didn't leave a will.

SwedishEdith Thu 28-May-15 21:20:03

Sorry about your loss. But there are rules about how to divide an estate where there is no will. So, once an executor is appointed, then just follow those rules. Can you explain what's happening so someone might be able to help a little more?

EcclefechanTart Thu 28-May-15 21:28:42

I know the intestacy rules (off by heart and backwards by now!). The estate is very very complex, however, and the legalities are not entirely clear. We have different lawyers saying different things, siblings going back on agreements about who would be Administrator of the estate, and others trying to block them. Some who want to sell assets, others who don't, and some who don't trust the person who has applied to be Administrator (me included!).

I don't actually care about the money a jot - it's the people I care about. But it needs to be done fairly and there are a lot of difficult personalities and a fair few mental health issues.

The worst part is that two siblings are relying on me to stand up to unfairness, when they are too afraid of the fourth sibling themselves to do anything. And INickedAName upthread, some revelations about my DF that've come out - about how he treated various people - which are very distressing as well.

And on top of all this I just miss my DF. sad sad sad

OP’s posts: |
EcclefechanTart Thu 28-May-15 21:29:35

Sorry, I meant to say thanks for all the replies, and advice, and I'm sorry others have gone through this kind of nastiness after losing a loved one too.

OP’s posts: |
RandomMess Thu 28-May-15 21:31:56

flowers

EcclefechanTart Thu 28-May-15 21:34:03

Gah, that should have said "LIKE INickedAName upthread"

OP’s posts: |
INickedAName Thu 28-May-15 22:06:20

The worst part is that two siblings are relying on me to stand up to unfairness, when they are too afraid of the fourth sibling themselves to do anything. And INickedAName upthread, some revelations about my DF that've come out - about how he treated various people - which are very distressing as well.

I'm so sorry you are going through this, I'm sorry that you've heard things about your Father that have upset you.

crazyhead Fri 29-May-15 15:53:06

I am really sorry to hear about what happened with your DF.

It is a bit different, but my grandmother lied to my DM about her will, leaving her money in trust to a boyfriend until his death and then to DM and her brother. Of course, the boyfriend lived ages - nearly as long as my DM, who died recently from cancer sad.

What hurt Mum was the lies, not the money though the same thing can't be said for my uncle, who was in great financial need. There was nothing about my mum's relationshop with my grandmother that would have predicted the lie. We very much suspect that the boyfriend twisted my grandmother's arm - she was quite a weak person. However Mum went on to get over the whole thing and live a very happy life, if not the longest.

Have you had independent legal advice about how the division of assets would go if this went to court? Forget the 'moral' arguments and the 'shoulds' - a calm outside view might help.

One thing Mum did that helped her was to get my Dad to deal with any interactions to do with the estate. You do not need to hear about things your DF did. Nobody's perfect and he isn't here to speak up about his perpsective - and you deserve the space to grieve. Do you have a partner who could take these conversations over?

Optimist1 Fri 29-May-15 16:22:56

Setting aside the unpleasantness of some of your family, it seems that the first key issue is who is to be Administrator of your father's estate? In England and Wales, it's the surviving spouse or a child. I'm not sure whether there is a surviving spouse in this case? If not, you do make reference to there being four children, one of whom isn't trusted by the others. Can you agree between the four of you to vote for whether one of you gets the role of Administrator or whether you appoint a solicitor? Then presumably the one who isn't trusted won't be given the job. The solicitor route would be helpful in terms of impartiality, but of course there are costs involved, so the value of the estate would be reduced.

Eatupnow Fri 29-May-15 16:26:56

This is awful.

Please - everyone - make a will!!!

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