Contesting a will, father plans to leave everything to grandchildren

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pomegranite
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Contesting a will, father plans to leave everything to grandchildren

Postby pomegranite » Sat Nov 07, 2020 12:12 pm

Has anyone had any experience of contesting wills?

My father is very ill and for reasons that I don't want to go into has recently told me that he intends to leave his not insignificant inheritance to the grandchildren and not to me and my brother. Whilst I'm reasonably ok with this, my brother is absolutely not.

Does anyone have any experience of contesting wills and if it ever works? Would very much appreciate some advice. Thanks.
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muddyboots
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Re: Contesting a will, father plans to leave everything to grandchildren

Postby muddyboots » Sat Nov 07, 2020 6:44 pm

Did it not occur to you that your father can do as he pleases with his own will?
Unless he’s not of a sound mind and tries to give everything to a manipulating new friend or similar there is nothing for you to contest.

You can of course speak to to him, but you are IMO out of order for thinking as you do.
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SW11er
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Re: Contesting a will, father plans to leave everything to grandchildren

Postby SW11er » Sat Nov 07, 2020 8:24 pm

Not unusual to skip a generation when leaving inheritance. Eg if it’s felt the next generation have enough assets (to exceed the IHT threshold) to avoid compounding the problem the inheritance can be passed to the grandchildren. Otherwise if it goes to the kids it may get taxed again when it eventually goes to the grandchildren.

Anyway as above poster says it’s the fathers choice and it seems unlikely there are any grounds to contest unless he’s been coerced into the decisions.
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Beketaten
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Re: Contesting a will, father plans to leave everything to grandchildren

Postby Beketaten » Sun Nov 08, 2020 1:34 am

I'm not a lawyer, but I believe unless you have evidence he's being coerced, or you/your brother are currently financially dependent on him, you have no grounds to contest his will. 
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Willornot
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Re: Contesting a will, father plans to leave everything to grandchildren

Postby Willornot » Mon Nov 09, 2020 7:15 am

I have some experience of this. I am the grandchild in question it was left to, but a substantial chunk was also left by my step grandfather to his doctor who had behaved appallingly and accepted school fees, isa subscriptions and all sorts before my step grandfather died. Whilst my parents were happy for me to inherit- no one was happy about the doctor. Having a contentious will, if the deceased has professional executors will cost you and absolute fortune, as will the barrister you need and you don’t have solid grounds for contesting. We came to a semi compromise and the doctor agreed to make a variation in some aspects of the will. The whole thing dragged on for a couple of years and cost a fortune. You could ask you children to make a variation but the tax point is a valid one- does your brother really need the money? They are your children I presume so be grateful it will help set them up ?
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PurpleTurtle8
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Re: Contesting a will, father plans to leave everything to grandchildren

Postby PurpleTurtle8 » Mon Nov 09, 2020 8:45 am

I am not a lawyer, but have some experience of this matter, both professionally and personally. It’s quite easy to do a deed of variation and you have up to 2 years after your father’s death to do this. However, you will obviously need to have consent from all those who are impacted by this.

As others have said, skipping a generation can be a good form of inheritance planning.
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pomegranite
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Re: Contesting a will, father plans to leave everything to grandchildren

Postby pomegranite » Mon Nov 09, 2020 9:36 am

Thanks so much for all of your messages they are really appreciated.

From what you are collectively saying I don't think that we have much chance of having things changed unless we either ask my father to consider changing his will or get our children involved. There are grandchildren but all under 18 so I am not sure if that would be fair or allowed?

My father is of sound mind albeit not very well. He is a controlling person and he and my brother haven't seen eye to eye for a long time. I am pretty certain that this will have influenced his decision. As someone said it is his money and his decision. I will share this conversation with my brother. I fear that he will want me to get involved as I know that he would have built the inheritance into his financial planning.
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Loupyloo
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Re: Contesting a will, father plans to leave everything to grandchildren

Postby Loupyloo » Mon Nov 09, 2020 11:28 am

Hi there. I am a solicitor who lives in SW17 but works in the West End and I deal with Wills & Probates.
I appreciate this is a difficult time for you all. If all the grandchildren are over the age of 18 when your father passes away & your brother’s kids in particular are willing to relinquish their inheritance, a Deed of Variation can be entered into.
Send me an email at lcalligas@jsf-law.co.uk (my work email) if you would like to discuss further.
Louisa Cole (Calligas is my maiden name)
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Piccalilli
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Re: Contesting a will, father plans to leave everything to grandchildren

Postby Piccalilli » Mon Nov 09, 2020 11:53 am

How lovely of your father to want to look after his grandchildren after he has gone. It will make a huge difference to their futures. I’m sure they will be incredibly grateful. He must love them very much.

If this were my father, my initial concern would be looking after him while he is so unwell as he has done for you and your brother. I would not be spending my final days with him wondering how I can challenge his will.

A Will is a document expressing his final wishes. I do not see how this can be contested with any conscience from the perspective of honouring his wishes and also the opportunity for your own children. It doesn’t feel ethical. That is unless you have contributed in some way to his estate? If not, surely it is his decision on where it is left?

This is obviously a disappointment to you and your brother but ultimately it is upto your father what he does with his estate.
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muddyboots
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Re: Contesting a will, father plans to leave everything to grandchildren

Postby muddyboots » Mon Nov 09, 2020 1:20 pm

You say your brother has made financial planning with the inheritance in mind. Surely the thought of your children being set up is amazing and also will allow you to not worry about university fees, accommodation, deposit on their first property etc depending on the size of the inheritance.
This will allow you two as parents to adjust your own plans for saving to help your children that you just have had in place.

Tell your brother it’s a bit presumptions to include inheritance into your financial planning....

If you are financially struggling then I can see this this is a blow, but if you are willing to make a fuss after your dad has passed then maybe have the guts to speak to him now.
Personally I always tell my parents to enjoy what they have and enjoy what they created and not think about passing it on to us. Life is for LIVING!
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Piccalilli
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Re: Contesting a will, father plans to leave everything to grandchildren

Postby Piccalilli » Mon Nov 09, 2020 5:24 pm

That is so sad that your father and brother have had their differences. If I were you, I’d stay out of the will debate and encourage him to spend this sadly final opportunity repairing their relationship. My uncle fell out with my grandfather and had horrible sense of guilt after he died.

Being very honest, it was foolish of him to plan for the inheritance anyway. Firstly it was never his money to plan for and secondly your father may have needed it for his care in old age.

Take the right route here and focus on caring for your dad in his last days and repairing the relationship between him and your brother. That is the bigger issue here rather than money x
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MagnoliaMum
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Re: Contesting a will, father plans to leave everything to grandchildren

Postby MagnoliaMum » Mon Nov 09, 2020 8:39 pm

From personal experience, I would advise you not to get sucked into asking your father to reconsider and would do all you can to discourage your brother from doing that too.

After my mum's death in her 60s my father remarried. He announced a few years ago to my sister and I (we both have kids) that he would be leaving 95% of his estate to our stepmother and her children and grandchildren from her previous marriage. My sister persuaded me that we should talk to him about why that was deeply upsetting. It escalated, nastier and nastier, until we were on the point of permanent estrangement. We could not understand why he would not look at a fairer division and he was outraged by our interference in this most personal of decisions. It was absolutely horrible and I wished many times that we'd never started the discussion. I decided that I wanted my father to remain in our lives and managed to persuade my sister too to back off and we slowly repaired the relationship, although it is not back to how it was before. And he never changed his Will.

If you wind him up, your father could leave everything to a charity or elsewhere and there probably won't be anything you can do about it. Get your brother to be thankful that at least his kids will benefit, let go of the future and focus on your father in the present, while he's still here.
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Happymummy2014
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Re: Contesting a will, father plans to leave everything to grandchildren

Postby Happymummy2014 » Mon Nov 16, 2020 9:52 am

OP, you really have my sympathy. I used to be a solicitor dealing with exactly this kind of thing, and now help families find their own answers. Inheritance issues can cause so much upset. Of course one should never ‘bank’ on receiving money, and it is the parents’ money, but at the same time it’s normal for parents to leave their money to their children, and it’s normal for children to hope that an inheritance will help towards the mortgage/pension/school fees/etc.
When a parent is controlling, you can’t persuade them to be otherwise; and for an elderly/unwell controlling person, money sometimes becomes the only way they can continue to control their children after they die.
You might know why your father and brother don’t see eye to eye - is there anything your brother would want to talk to your father about while he is alive? Otherwise, I agree with other posters that it’s no good trying to argue your brother’s case, but you could have a different conversation which helps you too. You could just ask your father what he would most like his chosen heirs to do with his money in future. That might lead to a conversation where you ask his advice about grandchildren inheriting a lot of money while still young; or where you (gently) ask him to think about where you/your brother are coming from. You can’t make him change, or put your views strongly, but you can ask non-judgmental questions about what he wants or thinks, and that might make him think further. Ultimately, it is his choice and his money, but you might all feel better for having talked about what he wants to achieve.
Good luck.
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