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T_Pot

Original Poster:

2,542 posts

80 months

[news] 
Wednesday 2nd February 2011 quote quote all
I'm looking for some guidance here, as im really in turmoil right now.

bit of history to help.

I never met my dad until I was 18 (im now 40) and of course, the rest of his side of the family were met the same time.
My grandmother was the one who wanted to find me, and everyone was glad she did.

she passed away xmas time, her both sons (my dad and uncle) sadly had died before her, my uncle 5 years ago and my dad last June.

her will (living in Scotland) was left so that everything went to my dad, or if he was gone to one of the grandchildren.

Now, it gets fun....

she fell out with the other 2 grandchildren in a rather dramatical way and never spoke to them again.
when my father was told he had cancer, she wanted to change her will, but as she had been diagnosed with senile dimension the Dr would not sign her as being of fit mind to do so.

so the will, as it stands now everything goes to one granddaughter who she wanted nothing to do with.

her best friend (who she spent the last 45 years with) and my mother have said I should contest the will, as Scottish law says I could, and I would get 25% of the estate roughly around 19k.
this does not sit well with me at all, and ive expressed this to everyone. now to add another brain fk to the equation, on my uncles death bed, my father made him a promise, that when their mother died, my dad would make sure that 50% of what he was left, would go to my aunty to make her life easier. the granddaughter who has been left everything, is her daughter and she will make no allowance for any promise made by my father to HER mother.

my head is totally scrambled, and I fear what ever I do now, will piss someone off.

if I do, my cousins will think im a grabbing tt, if I don't, then my aunty gets zilch and my fathers promise is broken (through no fault of his I know, but still)

Now, me....I wont and cant deny that a few k would come in handy, but at what price? all I have to my name, is my reputation. one at this time that is a good one, and im seen as a stand up guy who asks and expects nothing. that could all change if I follow the wishes of my mother and my grans best friend

fked if I do fked if I don't...

help, what would you do ?

Maxf

7,171 posts

124 months

[news] 
Wednesday 2nd February 2011 quote quote all
Contest it - keep £4k for yourself and give the remaining £15k to your Auntie.

You'll have more than you started with, and will be able assume the higher morale ground with your cousin - plus your Dad's and Gran's wishes get kind of dealt with.

Its a tough one though.

will_

4,995 posts

86 months

[news] 
Wednesday 2nd February 2011 quote quote all
What actual EVIDENCE do you have of any of this though?

All I can see coming is a massive legal bill.

T_Pot

Original Poster:

2,542 posts

80 months

[news] 
Wednesday 2nd February 2011 quote quote all
will_ said:
What actual EVIDENCE do you have of any of this though?

All I can see coming is a massive legal bill.
evidence of what ?

my gran tried to change the will, but couldnt.
her best friend of 45 years knew her wishes and has expressed them to the solicitor already, hence this contact asking me if i wish to contest the will from the solicitor.
everyone in the family knows about the falling out between her and the other grand children.

I'm not really sure what you mean though will sorry

and yes, i too can see a bloody huge legal bill if i were to do this

Stevenj214

4,941 posts

111 months

[news] 
Wednesday 2nd February 2011 quote quote all
T_Pot said:
her will (living in Scotland) was left so that everything went to my dad, or if he was gone to one of the grandchildren.
This part is very vague. I assume the estate has not yet been distributed? I would find out who the executor is and make sure my name is known as a possible beneficiary.

If everything is being left to this grandaughter, I would then speak to an appropriate lawyer to definitively find out what claim (if any) you might have.

Then it's up to you if you want to proceed. In your position, as you have described, I would.
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geeteeaye

2,369 posts

42 months

[news] 
Wednesday 2nd February 2011 quote quote all
Firstly to say sorry for your losses. WRT to the will etc:

  • Why did she leave the money either to your dad or the other specific granddaughter? Presumably there are reasons your grandmother didn't leave it split between the 3 grandchildren (in the event of your fathers death)?
  • If the will is as straightforward as you've said, how can you contest it?
  • Why would you get 25% in the event of contesting it - no idea on Scottish law but unless there are other unmentioned surviving qualifying relatives would it not split between the 3 grandchildren?
  • Do you know for a fact your cousin will make no allowance for your Auntie?
I think my take on it would be to contest the will and give 50% of what you receive to your Auntie, upholding your side of your Dads promise, which seems the loyal and fair thing to do.

will_

4,995 posts

86 months

[news] 
Wednesday 2nd February 2011 quote quote all
T_Pot said:
will_ said:
What actual EVIDENCE do you have of any of this though?

All I can see coming is a massive legal bill.
evidence of what ?

my gran tried to change the will, but couldnt.
her best friend of 45 years knew her wishes and has expressed them to the solicitor already, hence this contact asking me if i wish to contest the will from the solicitor.
everyone in the family knows about the falling out between her and the other grand children.

I'm not really sure what you mean though will sorry

and yes, i too can see a bloody huge legal bill if i were to do this
Evidence that your gran wanted to change the will? Evidence of your Uncles wishes?

With nothing in writing (I presume), and only "he said-she said" evidence, this could go backwards and forwards for a few years and the lawyers will take £19k well before it's settled.

Sometimes it's best to let them have the money and not be swept up in what sounds like it could be a horrible mess. Should you choose to contest it you may well find that in hindsight it wasn't worth the cost and aggro.

All I would suggest is that you think very carefully - from an outsiders point of view - as to how you're going to prove that what you want to amend the Will to is in fact the wishes of the deceased. And, for obvious reasons, that's very hard to do.

Good luck either way.

Soovy

32,932 posts

154 months

[news] 
Wednesday 2nd February 2011 quote quote all


Get some proper legal advice from a probate solicitor.

My (non legal, i.e. life) advice is move on.




Tiggsy

8,004 posts

135 months

[news] 
Wednesday 2nd February 2011 quote quote all
The last time your gran, of sound mind, put down her wishes she wrote what is in the will - if she changed her (sound) mind she should have changed the will....she didnt.

Walk away (and remember if you ever fall out with a relative, dont leave a will in your desk draw leaving them all your money)

SplatSpeed

7,271 posts

134 months

[news] 
Wednesday 2nd February 2011 quote quote all
sorry mate

leave it not your problem

if auntie wants to contest you will support

but i wouldn't initiate anything!

Gargamel

6,976 posts

144 months

[news] 
Wednesday 2nd February 2011 quote quote all

Recently had a fairly similar situation within my in laws family.

My advice would be to forget it and move on, only the lawyers will make money on this, could take years and given that the Dr wouldn't sign her of being of fit mind it could longer.


Frankeh

12,558 posts

68 months

[news] 
Wednesday 2nd February 2011 quote quote all
My Mum died. Left everything to my dad.
My dad sold everything and went to thailand and we haven't seen him since.. Lol.
We found a draft of the will in our loft with my mums writing on it.

Next to "I leave all my estate to my husband" or whatever the exact wording was it said in pencil and my mums hand writing "What about the kids??"

He obviously convinced her that he'd split it up if anything should happen and that it would be less complicated that way.

It also said she wanted to be cremated, but he buried her anyway.

Just a little story, for you.

TonyGiles

7 posts

45 months

[news] 
Wednesday 2nd February 2011 quote quote all
I'm not going to comment on whether you should or shouldn't contest the will but a couple of points for you.

I'm not a lawyer so the information here needs to be checked but:
The right to inherit only relates to "movable property" which excludes houses and land so if the estate included a house the value that can be considered may be less.
Contesting of wills in Scotland does happen due to the legal rights of inheritance, it's not uncommon.
Yes its going to cost money to resolve it, I can't comment on how much it will cost but as it's to do with your legal rights then it should be straight forward.

Your case is complicated by your grandmothers wishes to change the will but inability to change it, I'm not sure if this has an weight legally but would guess it's irrelevant, you'd only be able to obtain what you're allowed under legislation not under what she wished.

Most solicitors offer a free first hour consultation, it may be worth taking advantage of this to determine if it's even worth pursing (or contact CAB).

It's a difficult choice no matter what you do and I wish you the best in resolving it.


T_Pot

Original Poster:

2,542 posts

80 months

[news] 
Wednesday 2nd February 2011 quote quote all
I see what you mean will yes, with regards contesting it.
the below is an extract from the solicitors letter this morning

"under scottish law, there is a provision know as legal right under which mrs ******* grandchildren are entitled to make a claim on the estate for the share which their parent would have been entitled to recieve, had they survived her."

with regards to why the will was the way it was. she changed her will after first falling out with grandchild num 1 but then was not seen of fit mind to cut out grand child 2.
my share, would have been at my fathers discretion. there was no way to know or guess at the time, that he would have not survived her.

with regards to the promise made between my dad and uncle, then my mother and my aunty were aware of it ( i wasnt until today when i spoke to my mother)
as my gran did not speak either to my uncle, there was no provision made for him or his wife you see.

its all a mess and i say i cant see a really good end to this no mater what is done.


julian64

10,337 posts

137 months

[news] 
Wednesday 2nd February 2011 quote quote all
It is very very rare for a GP to say that someone is unfit to change their will.

It would never be instigated by the GP themselves. It would be a request for power of atourney by one of the relatives, and at the point the GP would like either sign it if he felt she was completely demented, or more likely refer her to a geriatrician for a formal assessment if there was any doubt.

I think it highly unlikely that a woman living alone would have the GP sign the document as being able to live alone suggests you have the faculites for self determination.

So your scenario makes no sense to me. Either she was being cared for like a demented parent and lost power of atourney, or was self independant but signed her own power of atourney away. (Even if she did number 2 she would still be able to revoke it).

T_Pot

Original Poster:

2,542 posts

80 months

[news] 
Wednesday 2nd February 2011 quote quote all
julian64 said:
It is very very rare for a GP to say that someone is unfit to change their will.

It would never be instigated by the GP themselves. It would be a request for power of atourney by one of the relatives, and at the point the GP would like either sign it if he felt she was completely demented, or more likely refer her to a geriatrician for a formal assessment if there was any doubt.

I think it highly unlikely that a woman living alone would have the GP sign the document as being able to live alone suggests you have the faculites for self determination.

So your scenario makes no sense to me. Either she was being cared for like a demented parent and lost power of atourney, or was self independant but signed her own power of atourney away. (Even if she did number 2 she would still be able to revoke it).
She had spent the last 5 years living a residential home as her state of mind and health no longer allowed to live alone. hence why she would not pass as fit state of mind. at the start of her residence she was obviously a lot better than at the end. but none the less, her mind and memory were no longer what they should be

hger best friend had/has power of atourney, she is the one along with my mother that has suggest to contest it

can you see why my head is about to explode?

Edited by T_Pot on Wednesday 2nd February 15:54

Frankeh

12,558 posts

68 months

[news] 
Wednesday 2nd February 2011 quote quote all
My aunties have had power of attorney over my grandad for a good few years now. At least 3 of them he was living alone.

He's in a home now, though.

Broomsticklady

1,095 posts

88 months

[news] 
Wednesday 2nd February 2011 quote quote all
Not offering any advice but there's another difference in Scottish law which you may not be aware of. Despite what a will says, children cannot be left out of the 'money' part of an estate (houses et al don't count, just shares, money that kind of thing) and have a right to I think it's 50% split between them.
Presumably your Dad would have had this right - whether it's passed onto grandchildren I don't know
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