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Elderly feud

(15 Posts)
Twixt Fri 21-Mar-14 17:22:52

Two relatives (siblings) very different but equally stubborn, have fallen out after quite a build-up of negativity over the years. Big disagreement over interpretation of their parent’s will some years ago, which now seems to have severed their bond completely. It's an argument over costs incurred to sort the will. I can see and have empathy on both sides.

Whilst neither will budge, I know they are otherwise both loving, kind and generous people who are hurting badly. I am afraid of the consequences on their health (both have had recent scares and one now seriously disabled). One, if not both, is getting quite depressed. Rel1 wants to agree to differ and put the past behind them. Rel2 won't budge and has started legal proceedings. We’re not talking vast amounts of money (hundreds, rather than thousands).

AFAICS, in order to agree to differ, the compromise is to split the costs down the middle, which has never been suggested. Rel1 would also have more difficulty finding the money than Rel2.

Both have been out of order since they have involved me and other family members, in a quest to get us to take sides (which we haven’t, yet). Rather stupidly, BOTH have already paid out more to other family members than the original sum in question in order to make their points to each other (including me, which I refused to accept to begin with and only accepted eventually with both their blessings, LONG story).

Really want to help in some way. Would I be mad to table splitting the costs, or should I stay well clear? I now feel bad at accepting anything and wishing I still had the money to give back to them 50:50, although not really sure it would solve anything, as I don't really think it's about money. It’s about who was right and who was wrong.

So concerned for the effects of the stress on their health, just want to bang their heads together tbh!

Sorry if confusing rant. Can anyone make head or tail of it? Any suggestions?

Twixt Fri 21-Mar-14 17:37:27

bumpity bump smile

CookieDoughKid Fri 21-Mar-14 17:45:31

What's costs are being argued here? If its spent then there should be paperwork or receipts. The solicitors or executors in the will should have requested costs covered out of the disposed estate no?

Busybusybust Fri 21-Mar-14 17:53:22

Don't honestly think you are going to win this one. Such a shame.

Yes, go for the shared costs. Also shameless manipulation "do you really want to go to your grave with this nonsense stopping you from......." You get the picture.

Banging their heads together also sounds good!

Papaluigi Fri 21-Mar-14 17:53:41

That sounds very awkward indeed. if it were me, and I am a fairly simple soul who always looks for the easy option, I would completely butt out and leave them to it, maybe telling them both that you're finding it excruciating but can't take sides, and to not involve you. I hate rows, and more so rows about money.Good luck OP, don't make it your problem more than you have to.

CogitoErgoSometimes Fri 21-Mar-14 17:53:44

I think you should stay well clear of Tweedledum and Tweedledee's futile battle. They are responsible for their own health.

Twixt Fri 21-Mar-14 18:18:14

Thanks all.

Cookie, that's an good point and adds a further layer to the mystery. I am shamefully ignorant on matters like these, but may ask a few more questions along these lines - if I can bear to get dragged in any deeper.

I have a feeling I may be unavoidably involved if the legal proceedings continue. I may have to give evidence of sums received, since one relative is saying the other hasn't been fair with us, and the other has actually given us more, and in other ways.

Tis a right royal PITA

CookieDoughKid Fri 21-Mar-14 19:31:59

The Will should be clear on who inherits what also so that shouldn't be up for debate. Also it's your decreased parents wishes we are talking about here. There ought to not be a problem respecting their wishes.

Twixt Fri 21-Mar-14 19:48:57

Sorry, trying to be a little vague so as not to out myself.

The issue is about management of the estate to pay for care costs before death and the decisions of the relative as attorney in adhering to wishes, which arguably were not in the deceased's best interests while they were still alive, and led to the other relative incurring costs. It's very complex and involves other money not connected to the deceased as well, and is as much a moral matter as a legal one, I think. It has all got horribly mixed up, so on one hand, having an independent Judge look at it might be helpful in clarifying things as I'll admit much of it is baffling me, but I'm not sure that any of it is actually worth the stress for all concerned. I'm hoping mediation can be possible.

CookieDoughKid Sat 22-Mar-14 00:58:42

Ah. I see.... In that case much better to get an independent judge who can help provide the final on this. Stay well out if possible and just do what's necessary to meet the legal obligations when required! Don't stress over it... Not your problem and don't hesitate to tell the family that too!!

bragmatic Sat 22-Mar-14 08:20:47

But if it's hundreds, not thousands, you'll spend more getting an independent judge to examine the details??

Twixt Sat 22-Mar-14 10:06:23

I know bragmatic and when you add in what they have both actually spent out in trying to get to the moral high ground, it is quite ridiculous, hence wanting to bang their heads together!

But, as I said before, all this tells me is that it's not about the money.

I'd like to think it's about one of them in particular wanting a final resolution, but I can't quite work out how much bitterness is driving it. It's hard because it's making me not want to see this person, as I can see the effect this is having on the other. But also they have been through a major ordeal physically and the reality is there may not be much time left :-(

I'm torn between wanting to keep my distance and wanting to offer support for what they have been through, but I guess I just need to be clear that I don't want to get involved, and that the outcome won't affect this either way. I'm just not sure how feasible going to see them and not getting (further) involved is.

AIBU to want to just bury my head in the sand!

turnaroundbrighteyes Sat 22-Mar-14 12:02:13

Would they go for an expensive (but cheaper than court) middleground by employing an independent expert to give the legals? Thinking a senior solicitor or a barrister sorting them out judge Judy style if both would agree to accept their ruling.

Twixt Sat 22-Mar-14 12:07:48

Oo I didn't know that was possible. Do you know how we'd go about that?

And does anyone know how this would compare to mediation and/or small claims

Twixt Sat 22-Mar-14 12:10:41

And yes! Last resort might be Judge Judy or even Jeremy Kyle grin

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