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Need this off my chest!

(18 Posts)
TheKorateer1988 Tue 13-Aug-19 22:54:56

I'm new to Mumsnet, so I hope this is ok to post.

FIL died in January. It was sudden and unexpected. He had a married female friend, she and her hubby both medical professionals. FIL met her by chance out walking, around 3 years after his wife died. She had a rather excited dog, which didn't cope well on a lead. Over time, FIL offered to walk the dog when they were at work - then FIL announced he had changed his will. We'd get a copy he said. Time passed, no will, but we weren't concerned, nor were we prepared to ask for the copy - it wasn't important. The dog walking had by then progressed to doggie sleep overs at his and longer stays when his friend went on holiday. Gradually, he began occasionally spending time with friend and her hubby. Suddenly, my DH and his DD, were told that their visits were no longer welcome. If they were to, it would be only convenient on a Thursday evening, after 7pm and no later than 7.30pm. FIL did not want us there any other day or time as his friend visited - he wanted no intrusions. In 2015 FIL became ill - diagnosed with colon cancer. He wasn't going to bother with the op, he didn't want a Stoma fitted, "friend" said she couldn't live with one given the option. From FIL going in hospital, to coming out, we were kept in the dark. Nursing staff said next of kin - FIL's "daughter" had been told! DH is an only child. It was then we became concerned. We had never met this friend, only talked with her over the phone. Thankfully, we convinced FIL to have the op. It was a success and he coped well with his stoma. Dec. 2018 FIL became ill. Had 3 admissions Into hospital over Christmas and New Year - following the the final visit he didn't come out. During this time we actually met her and her husband 3 times, then at the funeral. There's so much more to this but I don't want to bore everyone. Following FIL's death the friend asked if we were aware of his wishes. We knew of certain things, but not everything. She presented us with a copy of the will (?), details of his financial affairs, bank balance, investments etc. Up to this point we had never thought about the will. DH was shocked when he read it. The friend was left 20% of a substantial estate, tens of thousands of pounds, not bad for letting an old man walk your dog. But worse still is the fact that firstly she demanded "Where's my money"? once probate was granted. FIL had a property she also is entitled to get 20% of, from the sale proceeds. DH got a solicitor's letter once more demanding "her money" and implying DH was being deliberately obstructive using "delaying tactics" with the house sale. During conversations she firstly said she knew nothing of FIL's affairs, but told DH his Father made a "good profit" on the sale of a property he and his wife once owned, even snapping at DH when he corrected her that FIL actually lost money on the sale. DH expressed shock at finding out what his Father had accrued. Her response? "Well what did he need to spend his money on"? Even FIL's Solicitor expressed his concerns following the contents of the will. But to contest the will would be costly and his advice was to try for an amicable solution. "Anyone, other than immediate family, with any decency would either decline or settle for less" he said. Yes, we understand the will was FIL's last wishes. But is it just us thinking something does not sit right here? Has anyone had a similar experience? How did you handle it? Apologies for the length of this folks. If you got to the end - thank you.

Bigmango Tue 13-Aug-19 22:59:46

Absolutely no experience whatsoever but this is so so incredibly fishy. Hope someone else can help more.

madcatladyforever Tue 13-Aug-19 23:05:14

Yes during my many years as a nurse I hAve seen this kind of befriending to benefit from. A will it's widespread and I have often called adult safeguarding to investigate but 90 percent of the time there is nothing they can do.

WanderingTrolley1 Tue 13-Aug-19 23:17:42

You’re sure you’re new to MN, TheK?

TheKorateer1988 Wed 14-Aug-19 00:45:31

LOL, indeed I am! Apologies - I'm still trying to work out the AIBUs etc. Forgive me 🤣

TheKorateer1988 Wed 14-Aug-19 00:49:10

Thank you - were it family, we wouldn't have batted an eyelid.

RockinHippy Wed 14-Aug-19 01:24:34

I have some lesser experience of a similar situation. Though thankfully in this case DF saw sense & dropped the woman, but not before cutting DB & I off completely for several months & turning social services away by convincing them me & DB were only after his money😏. She was my age & DF is in his 80s, so a substantial age gap too.

He thought of her as his "girlfriend" but digging around she had form for leading vulnerable men on & taking them fir what she could to get her bills paid & fund a shopping addiction. Several on the go at once, all elderly or SN.

I'd suggest diggings around & seeing what you can find out about this couple. I agree it sounds dodgy as hell, so likely not the first time. Sorry you've gone through this. It is soul destroying. I hope you find away to shake her off.

FlamedToACrisp Wed 14-Aug-19 01:32:20

Delaying tactics? My response would have been, "Good idea!" Let her wait.

Obviously FIL can leave his money to whoever he wishes, and this was his closest friend over a period of several years. The time to be suspicious would have been the 'I can only see you for half an hour a week', but it's too late to do anything now except hand over the cash, and maybe make it clear what your opinion is of gold-digging so-called friends who befriend an elderly man who changes his will in their favour and then advise him not to have life-saving surgery. Did your DH get the other 80%?

TheKorateer1988 Wed 14-Aug-19 01:43:58

No, the one who has come off worst is DH daughter. Yes we thought it odd when the visits were restricted. But challenging FIL led to arguments and DH didn't want that - never did. For me the alarm bells rang with the op advice and then the next of kin "daughter" business. I'm relieved by the feed back so far, seems we have some justification for our thoughts. Thanks.

EileenAlanna Wed 14-Aug-19 02:17:06

I'd ask your solicitor if the cost of contesting the will would be about the same as paying out to the gold digger, and if it was I'd contest. I wouldn't care that it went on legal fees, she doesn't deserve a penny.

Shooturlocalmethdealer Wed 14-Aug-19 04:07:57

I really dont have any advice but stall as long as you can! This has really pissed me off tbh!! The audacity of this greedy leech!

Secondsight Fri 16-Aug-19 09:27:03

So what did you do about the restricted visiting times that your FIL imposed at the time?

Idontwanttotalk Fri 16-Aug-19 13:40:25

No, the time to be concerned was when he told you he'd changed his will, not when he restricted your visiting much later on.

I would have said to my DF that he is perfectly entitled to leave his money to who he wants but jokingly asked if he was leaving it to the local dogs' home. Hopefully, as he said he'd let you have a copy, he would then have told you about the changes.

You should have talked to FIL and, if he didn't listen, reported it to the Adult Safeguarding Coordinator at your local council. I would have also told the police as they may have history for this.

I know this is a really horrid thought but did the woman provide your FIL with anything else beyond friendship? I think the fact that her husband also befriended him and you were then virtually excluded from contact makes me think they may have preyed on his loneliness and need for female companionship following being widowed.

In terms of contesting the will and the suggestion by EileenAlanna, that would be great if you won. If you lose you have to remember she would receive the 20% and you would pay the legal costs for both sides which would be substantial figures.

I'd want to contest the will but I sincerely believe you have no chance of winning.

I'm very sorry for your loss and for all you are going through.

75Renarde Fri 16-Aug-19 14:22:03

Hmm.

Police?

Bunglefromrainbow Fri 16-Aug-19 15:40:40

This is terrible OP.
I'm sure you're already acutely aware of all of your legal options and how much they might cost.
I'm sure that the size of the estate will have some bearing on how you proceed here (eg: 20% of £5m is probably worth fighting but 20% of £750,000 probably isn't).

If I had faith in the local police I'd make a report but I find it highly unlikely that they'll do anything when there isn't really even a crime to investigate as of yet.

My advice if wanted would be to pay this money out and to move on. The alternative at best is recovering the money after many years of very painful legal wranglings. It sounds very dodgy to me and it will no doubt hurt to do so but the alternatives while possibly having a happy ending will almost certainly mean a longer period of pain and suffering.

Summerunderway Fri 16-Aug-19 15:45:33

When my da died her new 'carer got a detached house and all my family china. Going back to my dgm's dgm.
Never saw her again.
Speak to the police op.
I wish I had.

user1479305498 Fri 16-Aug-19 20:35:46

My grandparents used to be very fond of befriending rich old ladies on their own, ones they knew through business but had originally quite casual friendships with their husbands etc, As kids staying with them at weekends, I can't tell you the amount of posh nursing home visits I made. At one point my parents fell out with them and I never knew why, my mum later told me it was because there was a row about 'gold digging'

TheKorateer1988 Fri 16-Aug-19 23:29:38

idontwanttotalk. At the time of the change we were led to believe he was merely walking the dog for his friend. Also DH DD, for whom FIL had money in trust had reached 18 and we assumed it was to do with this. Funny you should mention "anything more" with regards to the relationship. After his op, during a visit, he said he had something to tell us. He then proceeded to tell us that "There is nothing sexual between me and ****, like boyfriend and girlfriend". To which I blurted out "What on earth made you think anyone thought that"? He snarled back "Well I'm telling you". We thought that odd. It was some years after the will change too, so we didn't pick up on it.

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