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My Husband has been Disinherited. Devastated for him.

(285 Posts)
nursy1 Wed 22-Nov-17 01:59:02

Of course there is a back story to this. His family was fairly dysfunctional, 5 kids in all. He is dyslexic but diagnosed as an adult, all through his childhood his father told him he was lazy, didn’t work hard enough at school, would never amount to anything. It culminated in him being thrown out when he was 17 after he had chosen to do an engineering apprenticeship rather than anything acedemic.
Now FIL is in his 90s, suffering from heart failure and Parkinson’s, bed bound and in the care of his eldest daughter. (DH Mum died 12 years ago) He lives next door to her I n a bungalow which she half owns with him. He pays her his carers allowance.
He lives a 4 hour drive away from us. Dh visited him at the weekend. He was very agitated, calmed down eventually. As he left, daughter came around to car to say that as her DH house was going straight to his kids she would be left with nothing and would have no income once FIL died. In the light of this he had changed his will.
DH discovered from his brother subsequently that he is to be disinherited and his share given to eldest sister as we are “well off” and didn’t come to visit him enough.
My husband is devastated. We are only well off because he has worked like a dog 50 - 60 hour weeks for 35 years or more. Never had much time for visiting then but he has seen him 4 times in the past year. He also took him on a week long holiday to Cornwall where he spent his honeymoon. He has been blocked many times from visiting by eldest daughter as, according to he4 “ Dads not up to it” . DH has a good pension we saved hard for and I have a pension as well which will start later this year. We have a small mortgage on our house. And six kids between us. We are not wealthy, only comfortable on a budget I would say. His other younger siblings will be much the same by the time they are our age. The eldest sibling has made a number of crazy decisions in her life and was an alcoholic for some years. However, she drives a Mercedes and is not short of money.
It’s not the money so much as it is bringing back the terrible feelings of rejection he had all those years ago. He hasn’t slept and is on the verge of tears when we speak about it.
I am fuming and at times if I’m honest that’s not helping. I want to confront them but DH worried it will kill his frail Dad and would rather challenge the will after his death
Anyone any experience of similar. What helped?

Battleax Wed 22-Nov-17 02:02:33

Time will help flowers He's free of the dysfunction now and can live his life away from the labelling. Try to help him to see that.

There's no legal basis for challenging the will.

Battleax Wed 22-Nov-17 02:03:59

(Not unless he is currently financially dependent on his father for some unusual reason - usually his own disability- and remains so at the time of his father's death.)

Rainbowblume Wed 22-Nov-17 02:08:13

It's his FIL money and he can do what he wants. For peace of mind, my recommendation would be Accept and move on. Ive a strong suspicion my sibling will get the lion's share if not everything when my parents go. I'd rather they spent it on living their last days in ease and comfort but it's their choice.

Rainbowblume Wed 22-Nov-17 02:09:18

Sorry your DH had a tough time when young though

nursy1 Wed 22-Nov-17 02:10:54

Yes he has been free of the dysfunction for a while ( had Counselling) but this has just brought it all back. I can’t get over how bad he feels. It’s unbelievably cruel. ( not so much the financials as I said, more the “ you don’t matter”

Battleax Wed 22-Nov-17 02:13:06

It's bound to hurt. Some parents, unfortunately, are borderline evil and they stay that way.

differentnameforthis Wed 22-Nov-17 02:15:06

See it as a way to move on. Getting something from his father when he passes will not ease the pain. It may even come with it's own burden.

Your husband should make peace with it.

differentnameforthis Wed 22-Nov-17 02:19:21

I should add that I am estranged from my mother. I woudn't want anything of hers on her passing. When she divorced my step father (he & I were close) she gave me her wedding ring. After we became estranged, I handed it back.

He doesn't need things. He needs support & love, and he didn't get that. Getting a house, or some money won't replace that.

Tell him to see this as his father's last dig, he is doing it to hurt. Don't let him win.

nursy1 Wed 22-Nov-17 02:33:01

I see the advantages of accepting and moving on. I don’t think my husband will challenge the will but I think he needs some sort of outlet. Different, he doesn’t want the house and TBH the money involved is not going to be a life changing sum. It’s in the distribution of the remaining estate that he feels he has been singled out to be penalised.
I think he should explain to his FIL and eldest sister exactly how it has made him feel because once his Dads dead there will be no opportunity to do it and get some closure.

SheGotBetteDavisEyes Wed 22-Nov-17 02:41:31

DH has a good pension we saved hard for and I have a pension as well which will start later this year. We have a small mortgage on our house. And six kids between us. We are not wealthy, only comfortable on a budget I would say. His other younger siblings will be much the same by the time they are our age. The eldest sibling has made a number of crazy decisions in her life and was an alcoholic for some years. However, she drives a Mercedes and is not short of money.

You say it's not about the money though?

You say your DH is devastated, but his strained relationship with his father has been known to him all of his adult life, although I get this will be a blow. In what sense do you want to confront his family? On what grounds does your DH think he can contest the will?

I'm not being unsympathetic, but I have close experience of an uncannily similar set of events.

bringing back the terrible feelings of rejection he had all those years ago

What has his relationship with his father been like between then and now?

We are only well off because he has worked like a dog 50 - 60 hour weeks for 35 years or more. Never had much time for visiting then but he has seen him 4 times in the past year

So there wasn't much time for visiting in 35 years?

It might seem harsh, but there are always a few sides to situations like this.

nursy1 Wed 22-Nov-17 02:41:48

Different I am sorry for you having that experience. Families are really shitty at times.
My DH is a fabulous step Dad and father to all our kids in spite of the hours he worked he did his best by all of them and continues. He has done his best also to be reconciled to his Dad. Thought he had got there, It just has brought back the pain for him. I could cheerfully strangle the old bugger.

nursy1 Wed 22-Nov-17 02:46:59

Bettedavis
After he had counselling he talked to his Dad about his childhood. His father said he had perhaps made a mistake in throwing him out but at the time he thought it was for the best.
I would say that my husband is still a bit stuck in the “ trying to prove himself to Dad” mould. He is the one who has turned up to garden for him; fix his appliances. They have not been emotionally close ( too much damage) but have got along ok.

nursy1 Wed 22-Nov-17 02:48:43

Bettedavis.
I’d say the money is a consideration but secondary. We had discussed using it to pay off the last bit of mortgage.

nursy1 Wed 22-Nov-17 02:51:24

We always visited a couple of times a year. It’s a 4 hour drive away.

CircleofWillis Wed 22-Nov-17 03:09:37

If your SIL had not been able to care for your FIL it is possible his money would have been eaten up in care fees by now anyway.
I would work on helping your husband to accept the situation and move on. Perhaps he should speak to his dad or his sister about things that are of emotional value that he would like to be left. I know an extra pot of money is helpful but as you say it would not have been life changing. It is a bit silly to be planning how to spend the money before your FIL has even died. That will only make you feel as if you have lost something while in reality it was never yours. My sympathy for you all.

CheapSausagesAndSpam Wed 22-Nov-17 03:22:52

Is it possible the old man has been influenced? I would be suspicious of the validity of this change of will....

nursy1 Wed 22-Nov-17 03:44:40

Spam. It’s probable he has been coerced. The same phrases were used by her as him. We know through her power of attorney money has been siphoned off but family not making a fuss about it for the reasons you cite - she has the burden of care. However she has been paid all these years by him for the work she does - £200 a week.
He is too frail to write letters now so will all have been written by her. Kind of know about the coercion but it’s the way he has chosen to re- distribute that hurts.

Gaudeamus Wed 22-Nov-17 04:01:03

It's so hard to finally accept that your parent is not going to step forward and resolve those issues from childhood. I still struggle with this despite therapy and time. Each moment of opportunity for 'atonement' that they fail to meet can re-open those lacerations from the past.

However, being willed a portion of his father's estate would not have healed them; it never could. This matter of inheritance obviously symbolises the affection lacking from childhood, but that lack and the memories would still exist with the money or without it. Maybe your husband will need further support through couselling or informally to prepare fordeal with his father's death?

Maybe eventually he will come to consider that pragmatically, his sister has greater need of this money than you do, as she has not had the opportunity to work due to her caring role.

I hope you both can find peace with this in time.

Bue Wed 22-Nov-17 04:02:46

The court is unlikely to allow this OP. The law is most likely on your DH's side if he wants to contest the will once FIL dies. It is actually very difficult to disinherit one of your children and have that stand in court.

Bue Wed 22-Nov-17 04:02:52

The court is unlikely to allow this OP. The law is most likely on your DH's side if he wants to contest the will once FIL dies. It is actually very difficult to disinherit one of your children and have that stand in court.

CheapSausagesAndSpam Wed 22-Nov-17 04:15:33

He should contest.

It sounds highly suspicious and he has in all likelyhood, not made a rational decision to alter the will.

It's a shame she would stoop so low but people get very dark when it comes to money.

Mummyoflittledragon Wed 22-Nov-17 04:41:04

I have an awful relationship with my mother. I am having ongoing therapy. I have ME, which is not uncommon for people having grown up in abusive environments resulting me being stuck in fight or flight so my body was out of balance, which long term caused a lot of damage. My brother and mother bullied me. Father deceased and largely absent during my childhood due to long working hours. He either took a blind eye to the abuse or didn’t see. He used to hit hard as punishment (hardly ever me because I made sure I was very very good) so idk what he really saw.

I really really get what your dh is saying. It absolutely isn’t about the money. It’s about recognition.

My mother remarried a kind man when I was 19. He died earlier this year. He gave my brother and me something in his will. I got the better thing. I didn’t know until someone told me it was the better one. Finally some recognition. I really wouldn’t have cared if it had been the better cardboard box. Just getting the better thing for the first time in my life and not golden boy.

Counselling and therapy isn’t a one time only thing. It’s ongoing, can last a lifetime and will involve more than one therapist. No one person has all the answers. I would advise your dh to see the person again. Or someone else. Make sure he trusts them and has a rapport with them.

In your husband’s position, I would seriously consider contesting the will. It sounds as if it has been changed recently and since his sister had poa. It doesn’t even sound as if it’s what his father wants. We get frail and vulnerable in illness and old age. I speak from experience of these feeling even though I’m mid 40’s as I’m very vulnerable due to chronic illness.

AlonsosLeftPinky Wed 22-Nov-17 04:57:57

Contesting the will is pointless as it won't change a thing about their relationship, all it will do is sour any relationship he has with siblings.

Granted, it isn't always easy to visit when you live a distance away, but that's where the phone comes in handy. Speaking on the phone once a week or so surely wouldn't have been too much to expect.

And discussing how you'll spend the inheritance of someone who hadn't even died yet is really wrong, for that alone I can't believe you when you say it's not about money!

JackietheBackie Wed 22-Nov-17 05:30:07

so his eldest sister owns half of the house anyway? And is it just your husband or have the other siblings been cut out too? So in reality he has "lost" one tenth of the value of an old mans bungalow. If it really isn't the money that has upset him, then maybe he should think of some token/personal item of his Dads that he would love to keep.

I think he needs to learn to mak peace with this. Your approval of his sisters lifestyle or not withstanding, she has been the, in and out, every day, caring for a man who has a history of being difficult and curmudgeonly. It sounds like you guys are all pretty mature - your husband would be better off spending his time either learning to forgive his Dad or accepting that he is was a horrible Father and walking away from him.

I don't think contesting the will would bring him the closure or satisfaction he thinks it would. It will be expensive, lengthy and will rip apart the family. It will be especially devastating for the woman who has recent years caring for her Dad. And for what? Some money that isn't important to him?

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