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Have you suffered from not having a will? Tell us

edited 4 November 2016 at 10:04AM in Marriage, Relationships & Families
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  • zagfleszagfles Forumite
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    JIL wrote: »
    So if I died before my parents, would their estate still be divided by three as they had three children, even though there was only two surviving children?
    Depends whether you have children. If you do - "your" share gets divided between your children.
    Does the £250,000 include the value of the house?
    If the house is owned as beneficial joint tenants (this is the "usual" way of couples owning a house), then if one of them dies it's completely outside the will/intestacy, the survivor will always inherit it and it won't count towards the £250k. If the house is owned jointly as tenants in common then they each own half the house and if one dies their half the house will count as part of the estate.

    If the only owner dies then it's obviously part of the estate.
    Appreciate your answers as it could be a bit more information that could persuade them to make a will.
    See https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/family/death-and-wills/who-can-inherit-if-there-is-no-will-the-rules-of-intestacy/

    The rules of intestacy are quite sensible and will suit a lot of people.
  • I didn't lose out from my parents not having a will, but from the remaining parent "losing paperwork".

    My parents had mirror wills drawn up. The family home was divided four ways (tenants in common?), so all four of us owned 1/4 each. On first parents death, their share passed to remaining spouse. On their death, the half was shared equally between myself and one sibling.

    Dad died first (and quite unexpectedly). He had drawn up a Deed of variation which put his shares and money in trust. Mum had access and use of funds whilst alive and then on her death, monies and assets shared equally. All done legally and witnessed but I didn't keep a copy. Dads estate at probate valued at £330,000.00

    Fast forwards ten years. Major falling out (my sister was emotionally and physically abusive to my children). Mum decides to "lose" the deed of variation and make a new, illegal will which leaves nothing to me at all (except the 1/4 of the family home) and the rest to my sister.

    Mums will at probate worth £88,000.00

    My sister and boyfriend had been spending mum's cash on multiple motorbikes and cars, holidays etc.

    I found the solicitor who witnessed the Deed of Variation. She confirmed what it contained but as she didn't draw it up , she had no copy. I spent six months chasing down every legal firm that Dad had dealt with, but as more than six years had passed, no one could find any trace.

    Had to accept that my sister got everything. I didn't even get items of mine that were in the house that had been left to me by Dads family.

    Took me a very long time to accept that I didn't really know my mum and sister at all.
  • My grandfather died having written a will which he had witnessed etc on a template form he bought.
    Unfortunately the will didn't put a box for him to sign his own signature in. So he didn't, thinking he had filled all the boxes in. So although it was signed by witnesses, without his signature it wasn't worth a button. Really annoying as he had tried so hard and actually bought the will template, its not like he just scribbled it somewhere and made a rookie mistake!
    We had to go down the road of probate, which was expensive, and to us we felt it was a total waste of time, as he only had one living daughter and granddaughter, and no other relatives left, so it was fairly obvious where his estate (only worth a couple of thousand) should go.
    What a waste of money, a tenth of it was used in fees, so make sure you sign your will, even if there isn't a box for you to do so!!! If I knew where the template form came from I would have taken them to task, but as it was written twenty years prior I have no clue where it came from.
  • MojisolaMojisola Forumite
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    My grandfather died having written a will which he had witnessed etc on a template form he bought.

    Unfortunately the will didn't put a box for him to sign his own signature in. So he didn't, thinking he had filled all the boxes in. So although it was signed by witnesses, without his signature it wasn't worth a button.

    What did the witnesses think they were witnessing if they hadn't seen him sign his name? :(
  • bouicca21bouicca21 Forumite
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    Several years ago an acquaintance who had been in a long and unhappy marriage was widowed. No will, so the rules of intestacy came into play. The house was solely in her husband's name. It was a rather ordinary 3 bed semi, but at London property values it was well over the limit for the amount due to the widow. She had to scrape together enough cash and borrow some in order to pay the children their share.
  • edited 9 November 2017 at 7:30PM
    Moogles44Moogles44 Forumite
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    edited 9 November 2017 at 7:30PM
    I am devastated that my mother didn’t write her will and just spoke it and was too trusting.

    She was a wonderful, loving mother and we were very close. She wanted to write a will when she was dying of cancer giving me my house that I’ve lived in for over 40 years ( together my father and mother purchased 2 houses mainly for our futures). My domineering father wouldn’t get a Solicitor - as she was too sick to go to solicitor and trusted my father who said he promised without fail that I would be given my home so don’t worry, I swear. She died soon after. She had said this to one other person before she died but many people knew this from other discussions over the years.
    Fast forward twenty years. Still living in my home and being promised it by my father, in line with his promise to my dying mum and his promise to me of it being my home forever, he died. He fell, out with me just before he died and began to do a lot with illegal drugs Business that I needed to keep my children away from so I didn’t see him - I was never told by his wife that he was ill or that he had even died.

    I was told by solicitor that in his will he has gone back on my mums verbal will and his promise to me ( in previous wills he also made) and has left my home and two other homes and a huge amount of money to his wife half his age who knew about his promises but is fighting to keep the lot, which she has not even contributed one penny to ever.

    I’m now faced with hefty legal fees to fight the will as I can’t lose my childhood home that I’m still currently living in with all my family. My mother would turn in her grave and everyone that was friends with him wants to help me, even though they were friends of him and his young wife as they know the truth - so many people WANT to go to court against her that don’t even know me really as they know she knew the promise.
    I’ve also spent tens of thousands on my home thinking without doubt it would be mine and I changed my life plans to live here as it was promised it would be mine.

    None of this would ever be happening if my mum had written that will. I love her but am so frustrated that she didn’t get it in writing.

    Lesson learnt - ALWAYS WRITE A WILL IF YOU HAVE SOMETHING YOU WANT TO LEAVE SOMEONE . NEVER EVER TRUST SOMEONE ELSE TO CARRY OUT YOUR WISHES , NO MATTER HOW MUCH YOU TRUST THEM - Circumstances and people change drastically over the years as new people can influence your loved ones a lot. SO GET IT WRITTEN!
    If you don’t like a thread or post just move on by.

    Never a need to be ugly
  • SilvertabbySilvertabby Forumite
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    My mum always made it quite clear that she wanted my sister and I to inherit the house - but she never made a will because it would be 'unlucky'.

    I later found out that my sister talked dad into leaving the house to her alone.

    She went bankrupt 18 months after dad died and she lost the lot.
  • sherambersheramber Forumite
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    A friend's brother lived in South Africa. He and his wife died in an air crash. They left a baby , but no will to say who should look after the child.

    Each side of the family fought through the courts and spent thousands of pounds for over a year to gain custody of the child.
  • Moogles44 wrote: »
    Lesson learnt - ALWAYS WRITE A WILL IF YOU HAVE SOMETHING YOU WANT TO LEAVE SOMEONE . NEVER EVER TRUST SOMEONE ELSE TO CARRY OUT YOUR WISHES , NO MATTER HOW MUCH YOU TRUST THEM - Circumstances and people change drastically over the years as new people can influence your loved ones a lot. SO GET IT WRITTEN!

    Family trees and inheritance fascinate me. Getting a proper will drawn up gives people the chance to express who should get what, family or otherwise! I have only been an executor once and it was complicated but so humbling to see sentimental wishes being expressed by a friend who had passed away and I was given the chance to fulfil her final wishes outlined in her will. My only battle was a sister who thought she was entitled some way and was challenging the way assets were going to be shared. Death brings out a sinister side in some people.
  • My nan passed away thinking she had a will and all in order. Turns out her maiden name was on the will. We have been told that even though we have her marriage certificate that the will is not valid. My mum had a brother and sister who passed away young. So she has been solely caring for both her parents who has now sadly passed away.


    Her brother, my uncle, had a child who my nan had not seen in about 20 years (didn't even turn up for her funeral) who now stands to inherit half their estate.


    Ridiculous!!
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