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Help understanding will?

(11 Posts)
FamilyStress Thu 11-Oct-12 15:23:59

I hope it's ok to ask this.

I posted recently about my Dad dragging his feet over sorting out my Grandparents will and being evasive when asked about it, thank you to the previous posters who helped me on that thread. I saw my Dad recently and was able to ask him what was happening, he was as usual lacking on details and spoke only in vague generalities. I was however able to look on his computer and found documents which answered some of my questions.

As my Grandpa died first his estate simply passed over to my Grandma in its entirety. She died 6 months later so it's her will which is the more complex in terms of now needing to sell the house, and distributing the estate etc. I found a copy of the wills and was wondering if someone could explain a few paragraphs to me?

" My trustees shall divide my residuary estate into two equal parts and shall hold one such equal part upon trust (as to both capital and income) to invest the same in exercise of the powers of investment given to them by this Will and to hold such investments and any money for the time being uninvested and the income thereof upon the trusts and with and subject to the powers and provision hereinafter declared...

The beneficiaries shall mean [person X] and [person Y] and any children and remoter issue of [person Y]...

My trustees shall hold the other such equal part of my residuary estate upon trust...for [person Z] absolutely provided that if they shall die in my lifetime leaving issue living at my death such issue shall take by substitution and if more than one in equal shares per stirpes the share of my residuary estate which [person Z] would have taken if he had survived me but that no issue shall take whose parent is alive and capable of taking further."

(Bolded sections were bolded in the will, if that makes any difference). I know there are some lawyers and solicitors on here, would someone be able to explain in simple terms what these paragraphs mean? I think I get the general gist of the document on the whole but am not sure of these sections. Thank you in advance if anyone can help.

GreatBallsofFluff Thu 11-Oct-12 19:44:08

I am only guessing here, and I am sure Mumblechum will correct me if I'm wrong (and I probably am!).

It looks like the first half of your grandma's residuary estate (everything after taxes, debts and legacies have been paid) creates a discretionary trust, with the beneficiaries being person x and person y and their children and grandchildren etc (although it's difficult without seeing all the provisions).

The second part I think gives all of the other half of the residuary estate to person z (or his children if person z died before you grandchildren).

As I say I'm sure someone wiser will come along with more useful advice.

mumblechum1 Fri 12-Oct-12 08:42:21

Hi, without actually seeing the will and any context which might change my opinion, I'd say that the estate is split into 2 pots.

Pot 1 goes in equal shares to x and y, but if, say, x has died before the grandmother, but has 2 kids, then each of those kids gets half of x's share.

Pot 2 goes to z, but again if z has died leaving children, those children get z's share, split between them.

If either x or y dies without children, the survivor of them gets all of Pot 1.

If z dies without children I would expect there to be wording there to say that z's share is divided pro rata between x and y.

There seems to be some wording missing, though. Where you say "hereinafter declared..." there should be some wording to the effect that Pot 1 is paid or distributed to x and y. I think that's probably just because you didn't bother to type the whole thing out, but you need to check.

mumblechum1 Fri 12-Oct-12 08:44:13

btw I assume that the reason Pot 1 is held in the trust is because x and y were minors at the time?

tbh I'm stabbing in the dark, really, so to be 100% sure you need to get your dad's permission to take the grandmother's will to a solicitor so they can read the whole thing in context and advise.

FamilyStress Sat 13-Oct-12 16:07:15

Thank you fluff and mumblechum.

I did skip parts out, thought it would be easier than typing the whole thing out! The section after “hereinafter declared” is split into two smaller subsections a) through to d) which clarify terms like Trust Fund and Beneficiaries (not that it makes it any clearer to me!)

All 3 people mentioned in the will are adults and were all over the age of 30 when the will was written. If a trust would usually be used for minors is there any other reason why two adults would have their share put in trust? What does being ‘held in trust’ mean; is the money not accessible to the individuals without permission or something (through the trustees named in the will I assume)?

Unfortunately taking it to a solicitors myself won’t be an option, my Dad doesn’t even know I have this copy and isn’t willing to discuss the matter.

RandomMess Sat 13-Oct-12 16:13:32

Is your Dad not happy with the will because he doesn't inherit?

ValentineWiggins Sat 13-Oct-12 16:15:26

Why not call a solicitor and explain that you have an unofficial copy of the will and ask if it is legal for you to ask for advice on it! Do you think your Dad is ignoring the will (or misinterpreting it) or just too slow? Are you one of X,Y,Z - as a beneficiary I think you may have some rights anyway!

mumblechum1 Sat 13-Oct-12 16:15:43

tbh I don't want to give any more random advice, because without reading the will in full, I might give misleading information.

If your dad would like a second opinion, he can contact me on and I won't charge.

FamilyStress Sat 13-Oct-12 16:27:18

No random, he's just secretive and controlling and being trustee over the estate is allowing him to do that to the extreme. He won't speak to anyone about any matters relating to it, or accept any help of any kind. Believe me I have tried and offered! He won't even let me go by the house to pick up the junk mail accumulating behind the door; he lives 3 hours away and I live 45 minutes away so it would be much easier for me to do once a week.

In the absence of being able to speak to him directly about it I've asked on here.

FamilyStress Sat 13-Oct-12 16:31:05

Oh x-post.

I don't think he's ignoring or misinterpreting (I hope), I just think he's taking too long to do anything about it. I wondered if the result of the will had something to do with it - he can continue to exert control over people while under the guise of 'getting it sorted' iyswim.

Thank you mumblchum, I appreciate your advice so far.

RandomMess Sat 13-Oct-12 16:37:33

urgh, if you're a beneficiary you probably could exert legal pressure on him to hurry up and get it sorted wink

I beleive in a exector isn't doing their job properly something can be done about it?

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