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Complicated issue

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  • Complicated issue

    Sorry, this is my first time posting, and may be long and complicated.

    My Dad recently died. He had been terminally ill but caught an infection and died quite suddenly. He had been in the process of changing his will and had had a telephone consultation and received papers but had not got them signed due to Covid and health issues.

    The background is that my Dad is a father of two (to me and my half-sibling). We were all estranged until me and my half sibling were in our teams and even then contact was sporadic. When I reached 30, my Dad and I had much more regular contact spanning the past 10 years. When my Dad realised he was ill, he wanted to change his will to me being the sole beneficiary - however he wanted to cut my half-sibling out and was clear about this to the solicitor.

    When he passed away, the solicitor called me to say they had never received a signed copy of my Dad's recent will so they would legally go with his previous will from the early 2000s. In this will he left everything to his parents, who are still alive. Solicitor flatly told me that me and my half sibling would be unable to contest this.

    My point is, I am always hearing about descendants contesting wills...so is this information correct ?

    When I thought I would be the sole beneficiary I was well prepared for my half-sibling contesting it (and rightfully so) and I would have been more than happy to split - even though it wasn't wasn't's wishes. So is it right that we are unable to contest the will or is the solicitor (who is a good friend of my Dad's parents) just trying to deter this happening ?
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  • #2
    Sorry for typos. New phone and predictive text on !


    • #3

      Condolences on the loss of your father.

      Do you not get along with your grandparents?

      Whilst you can always make a claim u8nder the Inheritance (provision for family and dependants )Act 1975, there is no certainty you will be successful.
      It can also work out very expensive for both parties, or the estate.

      However if you get along OK with your grandpare4nts, rather than go through the stress and family breakup that will inevitably arise, could you obtain their agreement to vary the will so that it more closely aligns with your father's wishes

      A brief outline here; Change a will after a death - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)


      • #4
        Thank you. I'm just looking for some clarity on the situation - I've known a few people to contest wills and wonder why, as a dependent that I have been told I have no legal grounds.

        I don't really know my grandparents and have had very little to do with them over the years.

        I don't think morally that I could actually contest the will as part of me thinks that I wouldn't want to cause more stress to two elderly people who have lost their son. They don't have any other family (except myself and my half sibling whom they barely know).

        The thing that niggles me is that about a week before my Dad died, he told me that my grandparents (who at that time, thought he had left everything to me) were asking him for a share of the will, based on a principle of everything they had done for him over the years. They are very wealthy and my Dad told me to be careful as they would probably fight me for it, but he was going to stand his ground.

        So in a way, I feel that by not even questioning it, I'm letting my Dad down....the hypocritical element being that I would have shared everything with my half-sibling anyway which is completely against my Dads wishes aswell.


        • #5
          OK, I understand your feelings.

          No reason for not asking them about a variation of the will.

          And then,, although a claim under the Inheritance Act might have littler chance of success, just going through the initial steps might bring about an offer of settlement just to avoid the potentially high costs


          • #6
            My understanding is that you would only be able to claim if you had been financially dependant on your father at his death. As you must be about 40 by my reckoning (30 years old plus past 10 years) were you in fact dependant upon him?

            (You are not perhaps confusing being a descendant are you?)


            • #7
              I would disagree with the interpretation of the Act as Manxman .
              The wording in respect of a child of the deceased is "...such financial provision as it would be reasonable ......" It does not define reasonable
              The wording about previous maintenance by the deceased of a potential claimant refers specifically to persons who aren't spouse/civil partner/child etc

              Remember the Ilott case (one of many)


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