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Step children and inheritance

(29 Posts)
LawlessLayla Sun 10-Apr-16 12:19:34

Reading DM this morning (serves me right) and wondered what your thoughts were on the plight of Linda Bellongham's 2 adult sons contesting their late mother's will in favour of their step father.

They insist it's 'not about the money'. Er.. yes, that's exactly what it's about. Their mother knew she was dying for some time and had ample opportunity to consider her will. If she decided (allbut mistakenly) to put faith in her husband, that's surely a decision she consciously made.

I'm mentioning this as I'm wondering if a lot of the hostility experienced by step parents of teenage children (not all of course), stems from resentment and fear of losing out on their full inheritance when the time comes and paying for the life choices of their parent. Sorry I don't know how to link the article.

Kidnapped Sun 10-Apr-16 12:37:58

Daily Mail link

I don't know. She was very ill at the time the will was signed and told her sons that the will was designed to avoid inheritance tax and the monies would come to them later. And that certain trusts would be set up for them.

The step-dad has been in jail for fraud, which doesn't give you great confidence that he acted in anyone's interests but his own.

I don't know what you mean by "paying for the life choices of their parent".

enchantedfairytale Sun 10-Apr-16 12:46:01

I don't think most stepchildren in their teens even think in terms of inheritance to be honest: I certainly didn't.

I think some stepparents do, though hmm

Lunar1 Sun 10-Apr-16 13:01:29

The timing of the new will is very suspicious, hopefully there will be a solicitor with a copy of her previous one. Some of his rather bizarre interviews and his past jail time don't exactly make you think he's trustworthy do they?

The way she spoke about her children there is no way she would have knowingly left them out of her will. I'm wondering if she thought he would do right by them and minimise the tax loss. It's really sad for these men that he is saying what he is in interviews about their mum. I don't blame them for contesting things.

LawlessLayla Sun 10-Apr-16 13:04:37

Thanks for the link kidnapped. I have found myself in a situation where I have noticed that whenever my dh and I go on holiday or buy a new car, dh's teenage and adult children express their resentment to dh. They were also dismayed at our choice of wedding venue as they felt it was too extravagant. That's what I meant by 'paying for the life choices of their parent'.

I dont think the step dad has 'acted' at all. He was a beneficiary of his wife's will. If he promised his wife he would set up trusts for them and hasn't yes of course that's reprehensible. But not sure they'll be successful in their case as surely she knew a promise is not the same as it being a stipulation in her will.

missybct Sun 10-Apr-16 13:08:32

I know my "step"mum took my Dad to redo his will within months of them marrying.

Not surprisingly that when my Dad first left my Mum, he wanted a relationship with both me and my brother (who were wary, as my Dad is not always a nice person) but 14 years later, he hasn't spoken or made attempts to for over 2 years (for me) and 5 years (for my brother). We tried for ages, but we always had to go through her, or whenever we saw my Dad she had to be there, which was fine initially but whenever we did, it was all about her - where she wanted to go, what she wanted to drink, she'd get drunk and loud and embarrassing and sit between my Dad and I so we couldn't actually talk anything other than idle chit chat. She'd get my Dad to ferry her kids to parties and University but they moved across the country so the only time I could see my Dad was once or twice a year.

The last time I saw my Dad he looked exhausted with her behaviour and had lost a lot of weight - she'd happily pig in but tell him to watch this and that and don't drink too much etc etc. After that, I had a breakdown and she screened all my Mum's attempts to contact Dad - eventually an email appeared in my inbox saying "Fed up of your bullshit" (I had a long battle with ED and MH) which was suspiciously written nothing like my Dad's usual e-mails.

She's got form for this - married twice, nobody knows about her first husband but the second is the father of her children and sends her an allowance (note, not child maintenance) per month. My Dad is as much to blame for this, but I can't help but think he's been duped - within a year of getting together, she'd got him on the mortgage and stopped working, made him buy another house and a holiday home in Ibiza (he always hated stuff like that?) and a sports car.

Even if we expected an inheritance, which we don't despite my Dad's six figure income, we are sure as shit she's either spent it all already or they are up to their eyeballs in debt enough for it to be obsolete. It's pretty disgusting, really.

(Incidentally, I'm now a stepmum with a child on the way, and my life insurance/works policy is split between DSS, any further children and my fiancée - DSS comes as the package of our family, whether he came out of my vagina or not)

Kidnapped Sun 10-Apr-16 13:09:12

Layla, I'm still not following the "paying for the life choices of their parent" thing.

Do you mean that your DH's teenage and adult children paid for your wedding?

Sorry I'm confused. confused

missybct Sun 10-Apr-16 13:12:28

I think it's a figure of speech, Kidnapped - as in the children are suffering/not suffering for the choices the parents make - as in, they are suffering (breeding resentment, rightly or wrongly) from lack of inheritance as the parents choose to utilise money they expect will go to them?

Kidnapped Sun 10-Apr-16 13:15:13

Oh thanks, missy. I misunderstood and of course you are right.

I was envisioning Layla and her husband demanding that his children pay up for their wedding, cars and holidays. grin

LawlessLayla Sun 10-Apr-16 13:26:01

No Kidnappedgrin. But from the text dss sent to dh regarding the expense of all this, you would think he'd paid!

Missybct when you say your dsm MADE him buy a holiday home, well.. my parents are still together. My dad didn't want to buy a holiday home, my mum talked him into it (he now loves it). Just because she isn't your mother, should they not have bought it? I'm not trying to be inflammatory and I do have sympathy for a lot of what you've said.

missybct Sun 10-Apr-16 14:03:38

I know you're not being inflammatory, don't worry - you're seeing it from the other side, as kind of am I (weird paradox, have stepmum, am a stepmum).

It was the location - my Dad loathes Ibiza (and it's ilk), and he said on the one of the only occasions I managed to get him on his own that he regretted 'giving' in because he still hated the area and hates the fact they have to go over there 5 times a year to make it worthwhile (whilst paying for flights). I asked why he did it (my Dad ruled the roost when we were kids, frankly we were scared of him) because it was out of character from the Dad I'd grown up with, and he shrugged and said "I don't know" whilst having that look that suggested "I daren't talk about it". There was nothing that seemed 'joint' about it, especially as it was him who paid for it and still hated it years later.

He never, ever drank alcohol because it gave him migraines yet whenever we went out, she'd pour him exactly a glass of wine and no more and insisted he drank just that. I always wondered whether she used to get him drunk and then just buy these things whilst pissed, or whether she just went ahead and did it anyway hmm

It's weird, I almost get the vibe she's emotionally abusive to him, which is crazy considering my Dad, if anything, was an abuser among the family growing up (absent, dismissive, emotionally stunted, critical, angry).

AyeAmarok Sun 10-Apr-16 14:48:29

That's quite sad Missy sad

LawlessLayla Sun 10-Apr-16 14:59:37

I feel for you. I would find that incredibly irritating. But I do sometimes think (maybe not in extreme cases like your dad's) that behaviour that would simply be shrugged off if it was between ones own parents, takes on a whole new dimension when it is a step parent. This would explain why my step son was so angry when my dh surprised me with an (expensive) new car. If it was for his own mother, he wouldn't have batted an eyelid. Is it my fault I'm not his mother?

Maybe as I'm not a step child I don't fully understand.

cannotlogin Sun 10-Apr-16 18:04:04

I think you have to understand that children live between two worlds when their parents break up - if both parents are reasonably amicable and can sort out problems without involving them, have partners who aren't threatened by their existence and don't resent the payment of maintenance, and have a similar standard of living, it probably works out OK. But a child who goes from single mum who was a SAHM and hadn't worked for 15 years and is now only good for minimum wage work and is living pretty much in poverty whilst dad is on his six figure salary he's able to hide through self employment, wearing designer clothing and buying his new squeeze a holiday home and sport's car, you begin to understand where the resentment comes from. It doesn't have to be the case that mum is even that bothered - just that children see the disparity, feel guilty for perhaps preferring the more monied home and lifestyle, and make strong moral judgements about either or both of their parents. New partners are easy targets - it's easier to actively dislike someone you didn't choose to be in your life than it is to hate a parent who doesn't give two hoots.

BombadierFritz Sun 10-Apr-16 18:11:18

I felt really sorry for her two sons. It happens all the time. I dont know why, maybe she couldnt say no to her partner, maybe she really trusted him. For sure, i'd never in a million lifetimes do it - kids first, grown up or not. I'd also not be buying a new car for any future partner though.

LawlessLayla Sun 10-Apr-16 19:33:52

Cannotlogin I'm not talking about children here, I'm talking about adults who's parents remarry. Bombadier, why would you not buy a new car for a future partner?

BombadierFritz Sun 10-Apr-16 19:41:52

Like i said, kids first. All assets in my name and left to kids.

Bananasinpyjamas1 Sun 10-Apr-16 20:13:00

I don't know about Linda Bs case, however if my step brothers kicked up a stink about my step dad leaving money to my mother I'd be furious.

I do think bad feeling can be stirred up by both sides. My DPs ExW has fuelled bad feeling already as she's passing on her over entitlement to her children. She's told them I shouldn't be able to claim on the house I live in with DP, or in any wills. Despite having been bought a house by DP after separation. My step kids have started to comment if I get a present or if we go away.

It actually makes me more determined to protect myself, I don't trust what might happen otherwise from the step family! And I have a child from DP that has less security than anyone. So it is a shame, but sometimes a step parent is unfairly cut out too.

LawlessLayla Sun 10-Apr-16 20:54:12

Bombadier you sound a delight ! Yes Bananas bad feelings can be stirred up and fester on both sides, but at the end of the day one's assets are ones assets and unless children are involved it really is up to the individual to decide to whom their money goes and to action that.

BombadierFritz Sun 10-Apr-16 21:00:56

Its only theoretical on my part. It'd never ever ever happen though. My money goes to my kids or me. Any new partner could buy their own car.

BombadierFritz Sun 10-Apr-16 21:02:44

This is the story from your op i think?

LawlessLayla Sun 10-Apr-16 21:17:57

BombadierFritz to put it delicately, I'm not surprised it's only theoretical! I love my partner as well as my adult kids. Why would I want to suck the joy out of life by not wanting to spoil him sometimes? No, not at the expense of dependant children but of adults who are self sufficient? I would hope that my children would not begrudge me the most basic pleasure of giving- even if it's not to them.

BombadierFritz Sun 10-Apr-16 21:24:20

grin its ok you can say whatever you want. I know absolutely 100 percent i would never ever be buying any boyfriend a car. They have self respect. They can earn their own money and buy it themselves.

LawlessLayla Sun 10-Apr-16 21:42:43

Why is buying someone something about self respect? What if they can easily afford their own car, but you want to treat them?

A friend of my parents was incredibly stingy to his second wife. When she died, his son from his first marriage who he'd been saving every penny for, stuck him in the cheapest nursing home in town and only saw him a couple of times before he died. Happiness all round....

BombadierFritz Sun 10-Apr-16 22:27:12

God i really hate that word (treat). Its so childish. I dont think we will ever see eye to eye on this one. I just dont see life partners as needing 'treats' that cost thousands and thousands of pounds. Joint purchases in joint names are a different matter - then i'd be willing my half of eg a house to my kids.

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