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"Inheritence" issues

(10 Posts)
tricot39 Thu 27-Dec-12 21:30:35

DH's mum died 6 years ago. She was living with a partner in a jointly owned property. Although the house was sold and some of her posessions passed to the family it was a long and difficult process inadequately allowed for in her will.

DH has realised that his mum's partner has kept a box of christmas decorations. These are victorian glass baubles and not just some manky tinsel. They probably have some financial value but mainly are of huge sentimental value. His mum remembered them as a child and dh fondly remembers them from his childhood. Now we have dc i think dh has realised he wants to pass this family tradition on to his children.

In the meantime his mum's partner has joined his son's household and we think the decorations may have moved into their possession.

How on earth might dh tactfully raise this subject and go about reclaiming his mum's property?


HollyBerryBush Thu 27-Dec-12 21:36:10

Is Dh in contast with his late mums partner?

If everything is on good terms and a conversation isn;t going to be a bolt outof the blue a simple request for Mums decorations, leading onto that they were originally his grandmothers and would like to keep the tradition of passing them down the line, citing sentimental reasons.

Although I have to warn you, having been the recipient of both my own mothers and MILs decorations e#when both died, DH and I went through both boxes and slung quite a lot away as there was no room for all of everything sentimental. Do be prepared for that scenario

tribpot Thu 27-Dec-12 21:37:15

Are you on reasonably good terms with the partner? It's not clear whether the problems were with him per se or just with the poorly specified will. We would have had the same problem, btw, if I hadn't have sorted out wills after I had ds. My DH co-owns the house his mum lives in with her DH; without providing for a life interest in the property, if we died our executors would need to push for a house sale in order to realise ds' inheritance.

I think if you're not on reasonably good terms, I would simply write to the partner and ask if the decorations could be returned to your DH as he would like his dc to have them as part of their Christmas tradition. Nothing else, just that.

dequoisagitil Thu 27-Dec-12 21:38:02

I doubt he can raise it tactfully. He can ask about them, but 6 years on, it will probably rely on his ex-step-dad's goodwill.

Boomeringue Thu 27-Dec-12 21:45:53

6 years is a little late to realise how sentimentally valuable something may be. Best forget about the baubles.

tricot39 Thu 27-Dec-12 22:02:05

We are in contact with the partner. Cards/visit at christmas, so this is not easily dropped into conversation.

Dh has mentioned the baubles infrequently over the years. It is not a sudden flight of fancy, but we have been busy with 2 little ones over the same period so he didnt take time to act on it.

I think he is also scared to bring it up. His siblings and the partner are no longer on speaking terms and the family suspect that he has not been entirely honest in his dealings with them. As i said, it was a difficult process so small sentimental issues were put aside at the time. I think dh now bitterly regrets this.

tribpot Thu 27-Dec-12 22:04:45

He doesn't sound like he has a massive amount to lose by writing and asking quite straight-forwardly if the partner would mind him having the baubles.

tricot39 Thu 27-Dec-12 22:14:31

Thanks tribpot
There was a life interest written into a matching pair of wills but dh's mum revised hers in the last few weeks. She realised that this arrangement is much more complex than it sounds. Dh's siblings might have been outlived by her DP and that she (as custodian of their father's estate) would be denying her relatives the benefit of her estate, to the benefit of a partner whom she might have left had she not fallen ill. The last will allowed a 2 year tenure before sale of the property which ended up being the best for all parties.

SolidGoldFrankensteinandmurgh Thu 27-Dec-12 22:27:48

Best option is definitely to write and ask if it's possible to have them. However, if the answer is No (because the partner has thrown them away or wants to keep them), I wouldn't advise pursuing it as this will just end up an expensive and pointless battle.

tricot39 Thu 27-Dec-12 22:54:50

Dh thinks he might phone on/around twelth night. Fingers crossed. Thanks for the replies.

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