Families just don't change, do they?

For anyone who is bereaved or no longer providing care.
Lois, I know the table you mean, mum and dad had two. It's an extension to what is now termed the "plank" dining table.
Jenny - thank you. I've spoken to No 4 about my decision to just accept it as a done deal, and she's not prepared to do that without speaking to the lawyer first, without No 2 there to "bully/shame" us into doing what she wants done. No 4 thinks that the child should be entitled to something but not the fiancee, legally. We were told at the lawyers previously that as the wee one is not a direct heir, but the child of an heir, she is legally entitled to only one-eighth of the money in the bank account, not a quarter as her Dad would have received. No 4 is going to ask the lawyer if that applies to the rest of the estate (basically the selling price of the bungalow) too. If it does, she intends to ask the lawyer to work within those terms, as that's keeping us right within the law, and feels fairer. If No 2 wants 1's gal to have some more, she can take it from her own wee nest egg, not mine or No 4's..... And you're spot on about our different strengths - mine was the day to day caring and fetching and carrying and amusing, whereas hers is speaking to lawyers, officials and paperwork.

Bowlingbun - of course! D'oh. I should have thought of that, it's an extension to the table. How stupid of me!!
Hi - I checked with a chum who is a solicitor, who said categorically that the executors must execute the will as it is written - they have NO right to change the terms.

The only way the terms of the will can be changed is if ALL the beneficiaries agree to it - they have two years to draw up a Deed of Variation to disperse the estate differently from what the will says. But you must ALL agree to it! ESPECIALLY if any one of you will be worse off than what the will says!

So, Sister 2 has absolutely no right whatsoever to change the division of your mum's estate unilaterally, and should be immediately reported to the solicitor handling probate. I'm so glad Sister 4 is clued up and revving her engine to knock this one down flat. If necessary, consult a separate solicitor.

However, (this hasn't come from my chum, just my own vague knowledge), it COULD be that your mum's will could be challenged by her grandchild (ie, on the grandchild's behalf), under, I believe, the Family and Dependents Act 1975 (or thereabouts). The grandchild could claim that he needs more support from the grandmother's estate than he has so far received, and could therefore potentially be found to be eligible for 'some' of the estate. Again, this would very much depend on how much has already been given or set aside for the welfare of your nephew (and your SIL) (If your brother wasn't married, this may slightly alter things - eg, if your SIL could claim for herself, maybe?)

But, again, this is all by LAW, and NOTHING to do with what your dreadful Sister 2 is dreaming up! her sole duty is to execute the will AS IS.

If your SIL wants to claim for her child, that is a completely separate business.

Good luck to you!

(What's your SIL thinking about all this? She sounds a bit overwhelmed by it all!)
Lois - just a thought. You say 'wee'....don't tell me you're in Scotland???

Completely different inheritance laws! I don't think any children, or children of children can be disinherited at all???!!!!
For what its worth I think no2 is jealous and scared and that's what makes her a bully.
She's probably been jealous and felt ousted since the day you were born and even more so since no4 came along. Neither you nor 4 are responsible in anyway for her feelings or her behaviour. She has been watching your caring and loving family relationships grow over the years and has chosen to be a bully to cover up jealousy and fear.
But don't pity her, ensure you get full legal advice before doing anything. Your mum trusted you, wanted you to do her wishes, not no 2's
Stay strong
Jenny, yes, I'm in Scotland, so the law will vary a bit here. You're right about the inheritance thing (ie no kids can be disinherited), although Mum specifically said in her will that 1's child was not to benefit financially from her will, as she already had a very large sum of money (over £100k) held in trust for her from his death in service benefit. The same lawyer who drew that will up for her is the one who is handling it now, so I can't see any issues arising from that statement - if it wasn't legally correct, it wouldn't be in the will.

No 2 is after money for 1's gal. They never married, although they were engaged and had a child together. 1's gal is therefore not someone who cannot be disinherited, legally. She's not even an heir, technically. Child is, but that's been dealt with above.

It's all very messy, and likely to get messier, either way. I know I look on 1's gal in a slightly different way now. I'd have expected her to say "oh no, I'm not entitled to anything" but she didn't. I'm really sad and disappointed about that. She knows, and we all know, that she got a wad of cash when my brother died. I think, whatever happens, whether we contest the change or let it go, that feeling will remain in my memory. I wish none of this had happened.
Yes, definitely different in Scotland - including about grandchildren.

I got an unpleasant shock when I reach my Scottish MIL's will, as it left very clearly, everything to be divided between her two sons, and then (shock) to whoever was the surviving son entirely. BUT NO MENTION of any children from either son!

So, as it stood, MIL would have died, and since her elder son, my husband, had predeceased her, her entire estate would have gone straight to her surviving son!!!!!!!!!

Yet HE was in the USA, and not available for any care for her. Meanwhile, my son would have been completely disinherited!

LUCKILY, I discovered this in time, as in, before MIL's dementia had made her not legally competent, and she drew up a new will, which divided the estate equally between her surviving son, and her dead son's only child (my son). Phew! (Hasten to add, my BIL was fine about it - and of course, if he should predecease her too, his children get 'his half')

Ironically, of course, the entire issue will be rendered completely unnecessary in a few years as my MIL will have spent her entire estate on her care home fees anyway! (I've warned my son and BIL to expect only a few thousand of whatever the LA doesn't take!!!!!)

Hey ho!
In respect of your 'unofficial' SIL, did she get anything from her 'inlaws' though, or was it only what she got from the death-in-service payout?

If the latter, then I can, in a way, see why she 'should' get something if not for herself, then directly to her son, your mum's grandson who is, in a way 'in the place of' his poor dad.

I think it all depends whether one thinks wills should be drawn up according to 'need' or 'equal division' (or even 'deservedness')(if the latter, if YOU provided all the care 'for free' then you most CERTAINLY deserve more than your siblings or nephew - it's your 'backdated wages'!!!!!!!)

But it's a tricky issue all round, I admit!

One thing though, surely is not contentious - that your nephew should receive 'heirlooms' from his grandparents, that will 'mean something' to him as he grows up, and that, too, your unofficial SIL should perhaps also get one or two pieces, more of sentimental value to her (as in, relevant to your dead brother perhaps?) which are hers but only to be left to your brother's son (ie, she can't sell them or leave them to anyone else - ie, they have to stay 'in the family'). A lot depends, of course, on what the relationship was between your brother and the mother of his child - there can be a lot of 'variation' from being 'a wife in all but name' to 'a passing girlfriend who got pregnant' etc etc, and that is very, very subjective all round.

Can you ask yourself perhaps 'What would my brother have done or wanted had he still been alive?' and be guided by that??

Has your unofficial SIL also got a new partner herself, as that, too, could be taken into account as to what, if anything, she 'should' have from your mum??
I had a wee chat with the CAB regarding the legalities here in Scotland. Very different to down south, as you all know.

Effectively, No 1's gal is legally entitled to nothing.


Granddaughter is entitled to one-eighth of the moveable assets, which is basically one-eighth of the contents of Granny's bank accounts. Legally she has absolutely no entitlement to the fixed assets such as house, land, etc.

Heirlooms - Granddaughter has a few family heirlooms already set aside for her. Some are things that had been earmarked for my brother, the most valuable being a victorian wall clock. Other things are a child's tea set from victorian period, and a few personal trinkets. Her older brother and sister will not be forgotten, we just need to see what they would like from Granny.

Mum had no real jewellery other than her rings, and these have already been gifted to the intended recipients by her, when we each came of age. The only exception was No 4, who was to get Mum's engagement ring on her death and "not before!!". Other than that, she was pretty much uninterested in jewellery, and apart from a string of pearls, it's costume jewellery. She didn't wear anything but her wedding ring for decades.

Mum's wedding ring was never discussed, but it has been taken without consultation (and, she thinks, without our knowledge) by No 2. We're not going to argue over that, as we both have wedding rings of our own, but it would have been polite to ask us.

Other moveable assets such as furniture - well, that's pretty much all modern Ikea stuff apart from the Ercol. As I said before, this is a house which Mum and Dad filled with music, knitting patterns and yarn, paperback novels, crafting items, gardening books, plants and photographs. If you had to put a monetary value on their belongings, it would come to just a few thousand, I expect. Most of the stuff is old, well loved and as familiar as my childhood teddy bear, but it's of no monetary value, I expect.

We're going to propose a compromise via the lawyer and hope that it will be accepted. If not, No 4 says we will enforce the will as it stands.
Jenny - I didn't realise just how much of a carer I was until Mum went into hospital. I genuinely hadn't noticed how an hour or two once a week had crept up to a few hours every day. It happened so slowly that I don't think even Mum noticed. It was basically three to four visits most days, some for her and some to give the cat his medication. I was amazed to realise that I was actually a carer - until then, I'd have said "oh no, I just help her out now and again". So yes, I've been her carer for the last 30 months or so, and received nothing for it. Not a penny.