New Will not signed. Brother not honouring dying mum’s last wishes.

RestlessOverDebt
RestlessOverDebt Posts: 55
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edited 7 April 2022 at 1:18AM in Deaths, funerals & probate

Brother not honouring dying mum’s last wishes.

Any advice or opinions would be appreciated.

In 2015 my mother had wrote a Will via a solicitor stating both brother and I, are executor and equal beneficiaries. Very simple estate; small house and approximatly £10k in bank accounts to be shared 50% each.

In 2017 my brother had stolen £10k from my mum via transferring funds from her account into his own. We only found out it was him after involving the banks fraud team. My mum did not want to get him in trouble and have a criminal record, so did not prosecute and therefore could not have the money returned. When she spoke with him about it on the phone, he told my mum to leave the house to me.

January this year my mum was diagnosed with a terminal illness; this along with multiple health problems and frailty her health declined quickly.

She told my brother in front of me that she is going to leave the house to me so I have security; he said sure, no problem.

Mum asked me to contact the same solicitor who came to her house and had taken instruction on changing the Will.

Mums health declined rapidly in the week before they had sent her copy to review and sign, and sadly she passed away, I was with her 24/7 through palliative care.  My brother was going back and forth to mums house between being there with me by her side.

I had phoned the solicitor to notify them and asked why they hadn’t sent the new Will, they said it was sent a week after their visit but it was not received. I asked if they could resend the new Will so I could at least show my brother, but they have blatantly refused, as my mum is now deceased (note my brother was in and out of the house when it should have arrived; although he said he had not seen it). 

I asked my brother if he would honour mums wishes, but he won’t.

My brother is now demanding the original Will stand and that he wants 50% of the estate in which is stipulated in the original Will. I pleaded with him that it is the family home, but he just replied no its not we have never lived there.

I did not have the confidence to remind him, that whilst he only see mum once a year, for the last 16 years, I have cared for (personal care and daily support) for mum , and been on call 24/7 for her (fortunately it a relatively short drive from my rented house to mum's house). 

I have ill health, live in social housing; in a notorious bad/frightening area. in contrast he has a great job, married into money and lives in an half a million pound property on 20+ acers of land. To him its cash on the hip, to me it would be life changing to own and live in the house/family home.

I cannot afford a solicitor for advice; I wish he would do the morally right thing and honour my mum’s last wishes (which he agreed to her in person).

I feel so sick and tired. But I have peace of mind knowing that I had always been there for mum, and we had a truly great relationship.

He has also applied for probate at the cost of £250, unfortunately I can not afford to do this myself. He said not to worry about it; so long as one of us does it.

PS: I know that legally the original Will dated 2015 is the legally binding one, if I could contest the Will, would the solicitor have to supply the new draft Will, if requested by another solicitor?

Thank you for listening.

Kind regards
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Comments

  • Flugelhorn
    Flugelhorn Posts: 5,407
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    I am sorry to hear of your loss it is a very tough time for you and family arguments don't help. Little chance with the new will I am afraid - they really do have to be signed - only chance would be if your brother did a deed of variation to the 2015 one but that sounds unlikely.

    Are you both Execs on the 2015 will? If so he can't apply for probate without you being involved so you need to check what has happened there 
  • Unfortunately your brother holds all the aces here. You really have two choices, either accept the situation and split the estate 50/50, or make a challenge under the Provision for Family and Dependants Act 1975. The latter option may very well fail, drag on for many years and end up costing more than half the estate. 

    I would not let the theft of £10k go though that is a debt owed to your mother’s estate so to compensate you should receive an extra £5k.
  • I agree that your brother is in the strongest position here.

    To be fair, your mum had more than 4 years to make a new Will but failed to do so.

    I'm not convinced that, even if you could contest the Will, a Court would think it reasonable for you to have 100% of the Estate just because your brother appropriated £10k from your mum's account 5 years ago.

    I think you will have to content yourself with 50%, which will probably be enough to improve your quality of life anyway.
  • Pollycat
    Pollycat Posts: 34,468
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    This is a very similar thread to this recent one:
    Can I request higher percentage of ownership of inherited house? — MoneySavingExpert Forum
    where the OP's Mum didn't leave a will and the other sibling is well off.

    Very sad.
    Unfortunately, once money is within some people's grasp, any verbal agreements or expressed wishes fly out of the window.
  • Froglet
    Froglet Posts: 2,794
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    edited 17 February 2022 at 11:21AM
    Not sure if it became compulsory to make a will it could ever be enforced,but cases like this,and many others we read about here,certainly would cut down the amount of anguish and hurt caused by families falling out.
  • comeandgo
    comeandgo Posts: 5,705
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    Froglet said:
    Not sure if it became compulsory to make a will it could ever be enforced,but cases like this,and many others we read about here,certainly would cut down the amount of anguish and hurt caused by families falling out.
    But there is a will.
  • Keep_pedalling
    Keep_pedalling Posts: 16,127
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    edited 17 February 2022 at 11:48AM
    Easy to say with hindsight, but the best option here would have been to instruct the solicitor to transfer ownership of the home to the OP. This would have avoided the need to go through drafting a will and could have been done in a single visit.
  • Froglet
    Froglet Posts: 2,794
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    comeandgo said:
    Froglet said:
    Not sure if it became compulsory to make a will it could ever be enforced,but cases like this,and many others we read about here,certainly would cut down the amount of anguish and hurt caused by families falling out.
    But there is a will.
    Yes,my mistake.In general then,any will is better than nothing,surely.Not in this case,but normally would be.
  • RestlessOverDebt
    RestlessOverDebt Posts: 55
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    edited 18 February 2022 at 2:18AM
    Hi wilfred30 thank you for you reply. just to clarify:

    'I'm not convinced that, even if you could contest the Will, a Court would think it reasonable for you to have 100% of the Estate just because your brother appropriated £10k from your mum's account 5 years ago'.

    'I think you will have to content yourself with 50%, which will probably be enough to improve your quality of life anyway'.


    Yesterday I was thinking more along the lines of; it was my mum's last wishes for me to have the house to move in to (as expressed to the solicitor on her visit) which my brother had agreed to her in person.

    I fully agree, the approximate sum of £60k (half the estate) would indeed improve my quality of life.

    Thank you.
    Kind regards
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