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Deed of variation

(28 Posts)
oneofapair Sat 12-Sep-09 20:17:17

My twin sister died recently and in her will she left me everything she had including her 26% share in the family business.

I used to have 26% but with Caroline's 26% I now have 52%. Our shares came direct from our Grandad some years ago.

My father is demanding that we set up a deed of variation so that "Caroline's shares can be returned to me (meaning my Dad)" and if I do so "he will no longer object to my staying in Caroline's house".

Why should I be expected to go against what Caroline wanted. She left me her shares so why can Dad demand them back? If Caroline left me her house why I am not allowed to visit it.

I am feeling really bullied and I have enough to cope with without all this!!

ChasingSquirrels Sat 12-Sep-09 20:19:07

I thought that to vary a will ALL the beneficiaries had to agree - so on this case the only person who can vary the will is YOU.

It does sound like he is bullying you - is there a history to this?

jimblejambles Sun 13-Sep-09 18:06:32

Your sister wanted you to have her shares and her house. If she wanted your Dad to have them she would have left them to him.
Maybe you should see a solicitor.
Sorry for your loss

catinthehat2 Sun 13-Sep-09 18:14:05

You are now the majority shareholder at >50%. Whoever owns 48% now has to do what you say. But I take it you knew that? Possibly time to see a lawyer if people think you are really that wet behind the ears. Sorry to be blunt, but I think you really know what is going on here.

mumblechum Sun 13-Sep-09 18:21:22

Sorry to hear about your twin.

The will can only be varied by deed if all of the beneficiaries agree, so it looks as though there is going to be a bit of a falling out.

Presumably she left you her house outright? I'm not sure, as your dad is saying he'll no longer object to your staying there, as if she left it to him.

If he's not happy about the will he can contest it but in the absence of undue influence/fraud/mental incapacity and assuming that he was not financially dependant on her, he won't be successful.

EldonAve Sun 13-Sep-09 18:29:26

Stand your ground

JeMeSouviens Sun 13-Sep-09 18:46:09

I'm sorry for your loss.

Is your dad normally a reasonable man? Is this out of character? What would he be worried about re the business? Do you work there as well, or are you only a shareholder? Is he worried now that you have a majority share, you'll be calling the shots?

In the interest of family harmony, would you consider transfering 4% of the shares to your dad so he then stays the majority holder?

This is a dreadful time for all of your family, obviously, and a gesture of 4% on your part, may avoid any great fallings out, just when you need each other the most.

If your Dad was unreasonable enough to turn this suggestion down, he definitely has another agenda, and you'd be right to tell him to get stuffed.

catinthehat2 Sun 13-Sep-09 18:58:52

JeMeS - eh? Why on earth would s/he be dozy enough to do that?

Grandad intended the family business to pass down to 2 twins, byp[assing dad. If there was any value to be passed down - what is gained by passing these golden shares back up a generation other than screwing up a lot of inheritance tax planning?

Probably Grandad knew exactly what DAd was like as well!

fortyplus Sun 13-Sep-09 19:02:24

Dad is really hurt that his father didn't pass the business straight to him. He's even more hurt that twin did the same, tho if death was unexpected maybe he thought that twin wouldn't have anticipated predeceasing him.

Either way - NO deed of variation! Dad is a twit

JeMeSouviens Sun 13-Sep-09 19:06:40

It's just my ponderings. I'm assuming that Dad has the other share of the business, ie it was split between the twins and their father, I missed where OP said the Dad isn't part of the family business.

All I'm thinking is that if this is a family that normally has no troubles with each other, for the sake of a 4% share so the Dad retains his majority share, if that it what his concern is, it'd be worth it.

If he is generally a pratt however, then I'd tell him to get stuffed.

Just my opinion.

Quattrocento Sun 13-Sep-09 19:08:31

I'm really sorry for your loss, really sorry.

Please don't make ANY financial arrangements with your father at this time, and consult a solicitor to protect your interests.

Your father's behaviour sounds decidedly odd. There could be a number of explanations for this (he could be beside himself with grief, for instance). Or he could be ill. Or perhaps the business has hit hard times and he really wants to hide the state it's in. You certainly shouldn't be signing away a controlling interest in a business at this time.

ABetaDad Sun 13-Sep-09 19:39:48

oneofapair - you need a damn good family lawyer and a damn good accountant. You are now the major shareholder in a business.

You now have power to hire and fire Directors and so on. You need to make sure managers of that business are not removing money or assets or intelectual property from the business without your knowledge and that they are administering it properly. Not suggesting that is happening but you need to take control and need independent professional advice now.

You have no obligation to hand over the shares and indeed there may be serious tax, legal and financial consequences if you did.

If it of a business of serious size you need to be willing get an indepenedent auditor in to make sure the accounts of the company reflect its true fnancial position and your lawyer really needs to be a member of the Society of Trusts and Estate Practitioners

You need a lawyer that will support you and advise you on the legal and tax consequences.

catinthehat2 Sun 13-Sep-09 19:53:04

Oneofapair has 2 threads going on this Though this specific issue is clearly a legal & money matter, his/her attention is directed towards the relationship side, despite the excellent advice being freely given here. For that reason I am out, for the moment. But will watch with interest. hmm

warthog Sun 13-Sep-09 19:55:57

<dragon's den...>

EldonAve Sun 13-Sep-09 20:01:50

previously oneofapair said he was male
not sure why mumsnet is his choice of forum though

oneofapair Sun 13-Sep-09 20:28:41

100% my fault that there are two threads.

I am just so tired, stressed and the rest that it felt best to think about the relationship side first and get expert advice on the financial, legal, tax etc etc next week.

I seem to have so little space in my head for more trauma that I am finding it too hard to make any clear, sensible decisions. I am booked in to see my GP tomorrow and depending on what I am told then I will try to put into action what kind folk have suggested here

warthog Sun 13-Sep-09 22:06:17

just take it one day at a time, and don't rush into anything. try not to speak to him if he's bullying you.

oneofapair Mon 14-Sep-09 20:18:06

I saw the GP and was signed off for a week and was told in no uncertain terms that unless my weight loss stops I will need to go to hospital. Not so good.

Also saw the solicitor who is dealing with Caroline's Estate. He will speak to my Dad to put him straight on the Will and to calm him down. Hopefully we can then resume something approaching a normal Dad/Son relationship. Fingers crossed here.

warthog Mon 14-Sep-09 21:12:12

that's great if you can get the solicitor to be the bad guy. it's not you - it's the law. that way you can try and smooth things over with your dad (if you want to) without giving in.

are you getting enough sleep? are you getting out of the house every day? make sure you try and eat every meal if you can.

oneofapair Wed 16-Sep-09 14:07:45

My Mum and the solicitor dealing with Caroline's estate came round this morning unexpectedly.

I have agreed to stay over at the parental house for a few days despite Dad making it quite clear that I was not welcome or indeed wanted "unless and until I sign over Caroline's assets to him."

The solicitor was really shocked to hear about all the pressure Dad has been putting on me to go against what Caroline put in her will. He has now arranged to meet with Dad for what he called a "blood on the carpet" meeting - one stage above "a frank exchange of views" was how he put it.

Dad is expected back within the hour so please think of me this afternoon!sad

oneofapair Wed 16-Sep-09 18:55:54

How are you supposed to cope when your Dad screams at you saying things like "I wish it had been you that died rather than your sister" or "It disgusts me how you used your unsavoury relationship with your sister to turn her against her own father".

Why would any Dad say these things at all, never mind doing so in front of my Mum and the solicitor?

warthog Wed 16-Sep-09 19:49:50



how much contact do you HAVE to have with your dad?

i think you should leave his house now.

can you please explain about the house - did Caroline own it and now it belongs to you? is your dad living in the house now?

warthog Wed 16-Sep-09 19:50:28

sorry - badly worded question:

how is your dad involved in the house? is he living there, and now you own it? or is that a different house?

oneofapair Wed 16-Sep-09 21:20:05

Three houses - the house I own, the house I just inherited from Caroline and the house my Mum and Dad own and live in.

Mum didn't like the thought of me mourning my twin on my own and wanted me to stay in the house I grew-up in with her and Dad for a few days. However Dad appears to hate me because Caroline left everything to me and not to him. Now I own Caroline's shares in the family business I have a controlling interest and that seems to too much for him to cope with despite the fact he wants to retire.

warthog Wed 16-Sep-09 22:42:12

i think for your own sake you have to stay away from him as much as possible, until he calms down.

is he always saying things like that?

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