Mums death, what to do for the best?

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Mums death, what to do for the best?

Postby Msdetermined » Fri Mar 07, 2014 8:01 am

Hi all

I'm 16 weeks pregnant and have a problem that is breaking up my family and as this is my first pregnancy I don't want this friction as want my family involved. As this is so personal I would appreciate some advice as because of the nature of it I do not want to talk to my friends. Here goes..

Basically my mum and dad were separated for 12 years and he left her and moved in with someone. They continued to own our house jointly and did so throughout their separation. However my mother always stated to my sister and I that if anything were to happen to her that she would like her half of her estate to go to us. Sadly a few years after my father left, my mum found life very difficult and she started to develop a drinking problem. This eventually resulted in her losing her job as a nurse and becoming a reclusive, only leaving her house to buy alcohol. My sister and lived away but returned every few months to clean her house and try and put her straight as well as talking regularly on the phone. Sadly, 2 years a go she had an accident in the house and passed away. As you can imagine this has been a very upsetting situation and I miss her dearly.

I have since got married and recently found out I am pregnant which has bought me lots of happiness. However I am now having a lot of stress trying to sort out the ownership of my mums estate and would really like to get some outside perspective.

Basically due to my mum's illness she did not have the capacity to write a will, although made her intentions clear to family and friends. However unfortunately my dad has just been made redundant and at the same time sold the family home. My sister and I thought that due to the circumstances that he would automatically pass on my mums inheritance to us and honour her wishes. Unfortunately due to his own financial situation he does not want to do this and instead wants to invest the majority of the money so that he can live off the interest and pass the money back when we are due our inheritance from him. This has made me upset, angry and I have lost respect for Him as I feel like he is left my mother and now has no right to her assets, legally yes but morally no. I also live in a tiny house and with the arrival of a new baby would like to use the money to buy a family home which I know my mum would have loved to have helped with if she was still here. Basically I don't feel like talking to him , but don't want to deprive my child of grandparents but at the same time do not feel he cares enough about me to behave like this.

I am basically trying to gauge if I am too sensitive about the situation and actually what he is doing is ok or if my feelings are justified. As I say I don't want to talk to other family and friends as I don't want to put my father in a bad light.

Sorry for the long post and I would really appreciate your opinions.

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Re: Mums death, what to do for the best?

Postby ILoveChristmas » Fri Mar 07, 2014 11:26 am

Hi, I'm sorry to hear of everything you've gone through recently, it must be extremely hard.

Of course I think everyone will understand your view on the house situation, especially so given that your father has sold the property and has no intention of keeping the house to rent out, or use for himself. In that respect I can understand your view that your share of the equity has already been liquidated and therefore you should be entitled to it now.

Having said that, I can also understand your father's point of view. If whole ownership of the house, and therefore it's full worth, passed into his ownership when your mum died why would he give half of it away when he's still alive and needs the money for himself. It's a selfish point of view, but I doubt he's looking at the situation from the perspective of him having walked away from his house and family, therefore I doubt he recognises any moral obligations that you might identify. Let me be clear and say the above doesn't mean I agree with him, just that I can sort of see his logic, particularly if he continued to pay for the house after he moved out. In addition, his own immediate financial need will outweigh your own betterment in his mind - his mind, remember, not mine.

If you want to know whether I think you're being too sensitive about it all, then taking the house situation in isolation I don't think you are, he liquidated the money and now won't respect your mother's wishes to give you half of it, that's disrespectful to her and undermines your respect for him.

Unfortunately you can't take the house situation in isolation because you also have to consider the rest of the family and your baby's right to have his or her grandparents play a part of their life. The real question is not whether you're right and he's wrong, it's whether you're prepared to let it ruin the relationship you and your baby can have with your dad. I can't advise you on that, save to say I've seen the impact my son's grandparents have had on his life and he'd be worse off without it.
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Re: Mums death, what to do for the best?

Postby snail » Sat Mar 08, 2014 12:05 pm

Sorry to hear about all that you went through with your mum, it must have been so difficult.

I also don't think you are being too sensitive. In fact, I think your father's behaviour is pretty shocking. If he and your mother split 12 years ago he has no right to her share, he only has the right to his half of the money. He has, as you say, morally stolen this money, and what's more, stolen it from his own children. Under the circumstances, I doubt his assurance that he will live off the interest but give the capital back to you when he dies - this sounds more like an attempt to whitewash what he's done so it sounds more acceptable. I would expect, once the awkwardness has been got over, he will treat the money as his own and spend it or leave to others, as he chooses.

I would suggest that you legally challenge the will. I don't have any precise knowledge of these matters, but from what you've said it seems likely to me that you would get your mother's share awarded to you and your sister, as your father and mother were clearly no longer together when she died; it's similar to when someone dies intestate. Try going to your local Citizen's Advice and take it from there. What does your sister think about all this?

Of course, this will alienate you and your father, but to be honest I'm not sure that matters so much. I would feel that your child can do without a grandfather like him, who is not exactly being a good role model.
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Re: Mums death, what to do for the best?

Postby Bel Bel » Tue Mar 11, 2014 1:51 pm

Obviously being pregnant you don't really need the stress of all this.

There is another way to look at the situation. If your mum was still here you wouldn't be able to buy a bigger house so your situation is no different than it would have been if she were still here.

You really need to decide how important your relationship with your dad is because if you go down the road of contesting the will then the rift is probably never going to heal. There is no guarantee that you would win either so you may incur debts into the process and be worse off than you are now

I am not suggesting I agree with what your Dad has done but just being devils advocate and showing you the possible downsides of pursuing this.
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