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Can anyone help with this inheritance matter?

(6 Posts)
FellatioNelson Wed 01-Dec-10 20:58:05

My FIL is elderly and pretty much teminally ill. His daughter, my SIL, has recently separated from her husband and is jobless, homeless (as her ex is living in thier property which they cannot sell at a profit at the moment) and living with the PILs. My FIL's will states that upon his death each of his children will receive a lump sum, which is separate to the amount they will receive when MIL dies and the house and the remainder of the estate are divvied up.

The problem is this: FIL is rather stressed that SIL has been stitched up financially in her pending divorce, and he wants to make sure that the lump sum she receives upon his death is all hers. He does not want his ex SIL to be able to lay claim to any of it, if he dies and his daughter gets the money before the divorce is final. He would also quite like to help her out now, as she needs it, rather than in six months or a years time. The amount is 50k so below inheritance tax?

What can he 'gift' her before his death to help her get back on her feet, or charge her in rent (as debt) which is then written off at a later date? Can he drip feed her some money now without it being traced as part of her overall assets by her ex, or is he best to hold off give her anything until after his death/her divorce?

Would it be better to transfer the money to his wife's name, and then leave it to MIL to informally gift it in chunks to SIL?

He is very ill and stressing about this, so any advice is very gratefully received. Thanks lovely people.

stripeywoollenhat Wed 01-Dec-10 21:06:18

is he using a solicitor to redraft his will? surely they could advise? is something like leaving it in trust for her to be inherited if she divorces or reaches an age a number of years away (eg. 45 if she's currently 35), whichever occurs sooner, possible? not a lawyer so maybe this wouldn't be feasible for some reason, but maybe worth considering?

FellatioNelson Wed 01-Dec-10 21:21:27

I have just heard since I last posted that she has been disherited from his will as a temporary precaution, but I'm not sure what else can be done in the meantime to allow her access to substantial amounts of money but kept out of the divorce settlement.

FellatioNelson Wed 01-Dec-10 21:21:57

dis^in^herited, sorry!

fridayschild Wed 01-Dec-10 21:28:50

It is possible for the adult beneficiaries of a will to agree to vary it within a certain time after the death. I think it is a year, but you would need to speak to solicitors about this.

If your family all trust each other and can be relied upon (this is quite a big ask sometimes) your FIL can leave the money to everyone else. SIL's divorce can go through and the will can be varied so SIL gets her share.

However this isn't foolproof because SIL's ex can apply to court to have their divorce settlement varied in some circumstances. Remember the case of the lottery winner who had to give his ex millions?

Sorry not to be more constructive. I am a lawyer but this is outside my area of expertise.

FellatioNelson Wed 01-Dec-10 21:42:52

He has asked my DH (his son) to look into this as although of course he can ask his solicitor, he is currently hospitalised and frankly not strong enough to be dealing with this and having legal hassles himself. I think he is very tired and just wants some piece of mind without having to sort it all out himself. Can my DH deal with his solicitor on his behalf?

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