Jump to content

How secure is a will?


  • Please log in to reply
25 replies to this topic

#1 harper_

Posted 27 February 2013 - 10:49 AM

Basically, my sister in law is a sociopath. DH has 3 sisters, 2 of them are lovely and they and DH & MIL get on fabulously. But crazy SIL (I'll refer to her as Norma Bates) has virtually been ostracized from the family because of her behaviour. They send birthday cards and phone her once a year as a courtesy call. I've never actually met her, DH refuses to introduce me and she's never met our kids. Their Dad passed away a long time ago and a few years ago when their Grandparents (dads side)passed away, as Norma was the oldest and the favourite she was left their house plus over 200K. The will stipulated something like "apportion the money to your siblings as you see fit". Which meant they got nothing. She's done lots of things that justify why she has been ostracized, taking her Mum to court because she somehow thought she had been cheated out of some money from her Dads will - she was claiming for $5000. This dragged on for over a year and cost both of them way more in legal fees. In the end MIL settled. However all the while this was going on Norma was turning up out of the blue on MILs doorstep 'for coffee' or lunch pretending there was no court case going on! Needless to say MIL feels very uncomfortable around her and although maintains some semblance of contact, tries to avoid her if possible. MIL is quite well off, multiple properties etc but is very worried about what will happen when she passes away i.e she's convinced Norma will challenge the will, just for sh*ts and giggles, she doesn't need the money.  So she's basically struck a deal with Norma, given her a house and written her out of the will, which Norma has agreed to. However the whole family is still convinced that she will challenge the will. I hear about wills being successfully challenged all the time. Which concerns me. It's not that we desperately want MILs money or anything, we just don't want her hard earned assets going somewhere she doesn't want it to go. Especially to a person that really is not a good person. So if anyone can provide any information/help/advice it would be greatly appreciated! Hope that makes sense original.gif

Edited by harper_, 27 February 2013 - 10:55 AM.


#2 jupiter71

Posted 27 February 2013 - 10:52 AM

I would be extremely wary in this situation if I was your MIL. I think she needs to seek legal advice.

#3 qak

Posted 27 February 2013 - 10:56 AM

Your MIL needs to see a solicitor (a specialist in estate matters) and explain the situation, so that it can be allowed for in her Will, or possibly transfer her assets to another entity to protect her wishes.  

If she has not already given the house away (wow) she might be able to protect that somehow.

#4 elizabethany

Posted 27 February 2013 - 11:03 AM

She would be better off to leave the house in the will than to give it away before hand and have nothing in the will.  It is a lot easier to be sucessful for "I was left out" than "I didn't get enough".

I agree with the PP's though, talk to a solicitor.

#5 Tikiboo16

Posted 27 February 2013 - 11:04 AM

Wow... you could have written about my SIL... She's been trying to take us to court for years over some issues that she has mostly invented herself... She has cost her parents (both of whom are very old and on the pension) a bucketload of money due to matters that didn't involve her at all, and she turns up on her mother's doorstep expecting to be welcomed and love (well... before FIL put an AVO on her at least).

I too have worried about what she might do when the will comes into action... She is constantly threatening legal action for the most ridiculous things, I don't doubt for a second that she'll be contesting a will in which she has been mostly written out of. I don't want the in-laws money either, but I know DH is very sentimentally attached to the family home, and it would be soul destroying for him to see her get a chunk of it after all she's put the family through.

Maybe our SILs have the same mental issue OP?

Sorry.. I guess I'm no help. But I will be watching this thread with interest

#6 FeralBob!

Posted 27 February 2013 - 11:09 AM

Please seek legal advice. Wills can and are overturned if one party feels they haven't been treated fairly, and takes it to court.

#7 mollybot

Posted 27 February 2013 - 11:14 AM

Get legal advice. In WA we have discovered that if you put in a codicil that "I do not want this specific person to inherit anything" then that will be respected by the Courts.

HOWEVER.

This will not stop someone from contesting the Will. You can't stop someone from doing this.

You can get the Will written in such a way that it can't be undone. A good solicitor will inform their client that the Will cannot be successfully challenged. But a psycho client doesn't have to take that advice.

The only other little trick that we have come across is that if someone DOES decide to contest the Will despite this, you can have a preliminary Court hearing to apportion costs (check the exact wording of this in your State). When they discover that they will be up for, say $150k in your costs and theirs *when they lose*, they might well back off.

Good luck ! Its a total b*tch and I know just how you feel !

Edited by mollybot, 27 February 2013 - 11:15 AM.


#8 zzgirl

Posted 27 February 2013 - 11:15 AM

She has every right to challenge the will, and she will more than likely win a portion of the estate.  You need to find out the laws in your state, but your MIL can 'attach' a document to her will explaining why she has allocated her estate in the way she has chosen.  Contact a solicitor or your states 'Public Trustee' to get free advice.

You guys would have gotten more in the end probably if your MIL left the house to her in the will and you guys challenged the will!!!

#9 harper_

Posted 27 February 2013 - 11:15 AM

QUOTE (Tikiboo16 @ 27/02/2013, 12:04 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Wow... you could have written about my SIL... She's been trying to take us to court for years over some issues that she has mostly invented herself... She has cost her parents (both of whom are very old and on the pension) a bucketload of money due to matters that didn't involve her at all, and she turns up on her mother's doorstep expecting to be welcomed and love (well... before FIL put an AVO on her at least).

I too have worried about what she might do when the will comes into action... She is constantly threatening legal action for the most ridiculous things, I don't doubt for a second that she'll be contesting a will in which she has been mostly written out of. I don't want the in-laws money either, but I know DH is very sentimentally attached to the family home, and it would be soul destroying for him to see her get a chunk of it after all she's put the family through.

Maybe our SILs have the same mental issue OP?

Sorry.. I guess I'm no help. But I will be watching this thread with interest


Wow yeah very similar. What perturbs me about SIL, is that MIL is approaching 70, is frail and suffers from anxiety issues, yet she still took her to court!

Also just to clear up - SIL already has the house from MIL. MIL has 3 other houses plus a substantial amount of money, a lot of tied up in shares, bonds and other investments. And as far as I know, MIL has had a will drawn up by a solicitor, which states more or less than SIL gets nothing. However this is still contestable isn't it? I remember a case last year  where a wealthy woman left all her money to a cats home and her daughters successfully challenged the will. So even if a solicitor draws up a will, it's still not secure, or is it?

#10 zzgirl

Posted 27 February 2013 - 11:27 AM

No will is secure.  There are eligible people who may contest it and your SIL is one of them.

If she contest the will, given the large number of assets, I would suspect she would receive a portion. The court would take into account she has already received an asset though.  Your mother in law needs to document and sign the reasons she transfered an asset to your SIL and this will assist the court in making a decision.

#11 Feral-as-Meggs

Posted 27 February 2013 - 11:40 AM

Like PPs said, she needs to state in her will flat out why the SIL is being excluded:

Already received inheritance from paternal grandparents to exclusion of her siblings.
Already been gifted a house from her mother's estate.

Any reasons for more money being allocated to the other children (say if they provide assistance, have medical issues / special needs, they have (more) children etc).



#12 adl

Posted 27 February 2013 - 11:48 AM

Go to see a solicitor that is an accredited specialist in this area,  

yes adding direct statements to a Will as to why X was not included help as evidence that X considered them and had a reason why not to benefit them,  does havt to be a good or even valid reason, ,  as does acknowledgement of a gift or transfer of property while living,  evidnence she has already benefited etc.  

A properly drafted Will is necessary,  but of course anyone can raise a claim reagrdless of whether valid or likely to succeed but there are ways to manage it as ppl have already suggested.

I used to advise clients just to spend it before hand LOL... cant fight over nothing!!!




#13 harper_

Posted 27 February 2013 - 11:51 AM

QUOTE (adl @ 27/02/2013, 12:48 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I used to advise clients just to spend it before hand LOL... cant fight over nothing!!!


This is what we are thinking! Give it all away before hand. I would love everything to go to a dogs home or something, SIL hates animals.

#14 hjv

Posted 27 February 2013 - 11:51 AM

Meggs1 is right - the will needs to be very clear about why she is being excluded.  This makes it clear to the court that :
a) it was a conscious decision on the part of your MIL and
b) the reasons why she chose to leave her estate the way she did

However, it still can be contested.  BUT  she is less likely to win.
She really need to sit down with a solicitor who specialises in wills and give full details of the background so they can make the will as watertight as possilble

#15 harper_

Posted 27 February 2013 - 11:59 AM

There is some really good information here. Thanks original.gif BTW SIL is a fairly senior police officer (I have no idea how she passed the Psych tests!) who has recently declared she wants to return to uni to study law! Awesome original.gif

Also MIL is in the UK. Crazy sister and 1 nice sister live there. DH and his other sister emigrated to Perth. The nice sister living in the UK also wants to emigrate to Australia, but can't as she doesn't want to leave her Mum at the mercy of Norma. A messy situation.

Edited by harper_, 27 February 2013 - 12:06 PM.


#16 sarkazm76

Posted 27 February 2013 - 12:15 PM

Egads.... tell her to start liquidating her assets now and distributing it NOW to your DH and nice sisters - or put it in trust for the grandkids.  Don't leave anything for the will except what she needs to last her the next 10-20 years.

Also, not sure how it works over in the UK, but check who is the executor of the will?  Who is her power of attorney?  So basically who will be in charge of the estate and taking care of it after she passes?


#17 ~elle~

Posted 27 February 2013 - 12:25 PM

Also check who will be in charge of her affairs if she cannot conduct herself financially/ medically / mentally. It's a sort of power of attorney that needs to be set up prior to her becoming unable to manage herself.

Have heard various stories on here about how rellies have gotten in and wiped out an elderly persons assets and by the time they pass away there is nothing / or very little in the will or debt.

If she can get her to allocate her assets now - gifting them versus leaving them to be fought over in a will- will leave her wishes fullfilled and hopefully give her peace of mind.

#18 Beancat

Posted 27 February 2013 - 12:36 PM

i dont know how the law works but I can tell you this.

My mother was an only child and when her mother died (after her father had already passed) she was left $1000 and the balance went to her mother's sister.  My grandmother explicityly stated why my mother was only given $1000 however she successfully contested the will and got 50% of the estate.  They were both as bad as each other with their lives and coniving, but the court still ruled very favourably in my mother's direction.  It took about 2-3 years to sort out, but my mother persisted and got what she wanted.

#19 Beancat

Posted 27 February 2013 - 12:36 PM

i dont know how the law works but I can tell you this.

My mother was an only child and when her mother died (after her father had already passed) she was left $1000 and the balance went to her mother's sister.  My grandmother explicityly stated why my mother was only given $1000 however she successfully contested the will and got 50% of the estate.  They were both as bad as each other with their lies and coniving, but the court still ruled very favourably in my mother's direction.  It took about 2-3 years to sort out, but my mother persisted and got what she wanted.

#20 Tikiboo16

Posted 27 February 2013 - 12:44 PM

QUOTE (Beancat @ 27/02/2013, 01:36 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
i dont know how the law works but I can tell you this.

My mother was an only child and when her mother died (after her father had already passed) she was left $1000 and the balance went to her mother's sister.  My grandmother explicityly stated why my mother was only given $1000 however she successfully contested the will and got 50% of the estate.  They were both as bad as each other with their lies and coniving, but the court still ruled very favourably in my mother's direction.  It took about 2-3 years to sort out, but my mother persisted and got what she wanted.


Hmmmm... good for your Mother, but very scary for me

#21 Gumbette

Posted 27 February 2013 - 12:48 PM

I agree with PP that MIL should perhaps start distributing her assets now - why hold onto what she will invariably give you all at a later date anyway, another benefit is that she will still be around to see you guys enjoy it.

#22 GoneWithTheWhinge

Posted 27 February 2013 - 01:10 PM

Be cautious about liquidating and dishing out assets now. As she is in the UK estates over 325000 UKP are subject to inheritance tax. This would be applied to any assets gifted in the 7 years before her death (these are counted as part of the estate if you get what I mean) The inheritance tax rate is 40% and would be paid out before the rest of the estate is shared to its beneficiaries.

Seeing as by the sounds of it your MIL has a sizeable estate she NEEDS to seek legal advice from a solicitor who specialises in inheritance tax avoidance as there are ways around things for many people.

#23 Fairey

Posted 27 February 2013 - 01:22 PM

I'm still gobsmacked that your SIL already got ALL of your FIL's will and didn't divide it (I hope I've written that correctly).

Your MIL definitely needs to source legal advice. I wouldn't be giving SIL diddly squat if I was MIL though.

#24 harper_

Posted 27 February 2013 - 02:02 PM

QUOTE (Fairey @ 27/02/2013, 01:22 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I'm still gobsmacked that your SIL already got ALL of your FIL's will and didn't divide it (I hope I've written that correctly).

Your MIL definitely needs to source legal advice. I wouldn't be giving SIL diddly squat if I was MIL though.


She got all of her Grandads  will and didn't divide it including a house. For some reason DPs grandparents had a very strong bond with SIL, but not with the other 3 younger ones. She's the eldest and as they got older and more frail spent more and more time with them - and hey presto she gets a house and $$... She really pulled the wool over their eyes.

#25 GenWhy

Posted 28 February 2013 - 06:49 AM

My grandad's elderly sisters got into a spat over who should have received what from their father's will. They went to court so many times that the estate basically went bankrupt. The only profiteers were lawyers.

Definitely use the codicil but be aware it can still be contested. We were told to leave something to everyone - whether it's a hanky or a photo album etc, it still shows you thought of them when writing the will. Easier to contest a will for leaving someone nothing than to contest what you were actually left.




1 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 1 guests, 0 anonymous users

 

Win $1000 with Sea-Bands!

Three lucky fans can win a Sea-Band prize pack valued at over $1000 each, which includes two Sea-Bands plus a $1000 Eftpos gift card!

Misery loves Facebook

Facebook users are often criticised for only showing the positive, fun parts of their lives. But what about when it swings the other way, when someone uses it for the purposes of ranting about their children all the time, never posting anything positive?

Toddler's adorable impersonation of pregnant mum

Little Ellis has noticed his mum is walking differently lately, and his impersonation of her is hilarious.

'Forgotten baby syndrome' can happen to any one of us

When my third child was two months old, I strapped her into her car seat, then promptly forgot all about her. But she survived, unharmed, because it was winter, and I was lucky.

Join the Real Mums Test Drive Team

Five mums or mums-to-be will join the EB Test Drive Team and discover great items at an exclusive Big W event. (Sydney only.)

Ten things I've learned about motherhood

Never take a good night's sleep for granted. There is no logic like toddler logic. Standing on Lego hurts every time. These are the truths of parenthood.

Parenting past the toddler years: what's next?

Your baby has grown into a toddler, and now your toddler is fast approaching the preschooler stage. What can you expect as a parent?

Tips on what to pack in your hospital bag

Before giving birth I read countless lists, ended up overpacking just a little, and now know what I'll actually want to pack next time.

New app keeps tabs on your kids at childcare

Popular new technology lets parents know what their children are up to at childcare - but not everyone is a fan.

21 things I love about newborns

There?s an irresistible magic about newborns. Of course they're not all smiles and rainbows, but they are undeniably cute and remarkable in so, so many ways.

Kid-friendly hairdressers: who says haircuts can?t be fun?

I?ve found some salons who boast setups ideal for children ? you name it, they?ve thought of it. All are designed to make haircuts fun rather than stressful.

Labour pain relief may reduce risk of postnatal depression: study

Postnatal depression is a complex condition, but researchers say pain relief during labour may help some women.

Why we need better support for men after miscarriage

In a recent study, 85 per cent of men admitted feeling sadness after their partner miscarried, but almost half said they didn't share their feelings at all. What can be done to help them?

Mum in business: Kristy Chong

Kristy Chong is the managing director of Australian-made Modibodi underwear and a mum to Lucas, 6, Jason, 4, and Isaac, 6 months. She shares her advice for other mums thinking about starting their own businesses.

From toddler to preschooler: a developmental roadmap

So your toddler is growing up and will soon be entering the preschooler years. Here are a few ways to frame their development that will help you understand what?s going in those beautiful, funny, clever little heads of theirs.

Mum sacrifices an eye for her unborn baby

Motherhood is full of sacrifices, but this woman has made a life-altering one - and her baby hasn't even been born.

A grandparent by any other name

A growing number of grandparents are shunning tradition and going against conventional names - but a grandparent by any other name still gives the same awesome cuddles and kisses.

Photographer captures the beauty of adoption

The love of a family is usually tough to capture on camera. This is an exception.

When labour just doesn't happen

After three healthy kids, I can?t help feeling I?ve been a little ripped off. I missed out on something I had always wanted to experience, and now I?ll never get the chance.

Be careful what you say, your baby is listening

The importance of speaking to your baby even if they are not old enough to answer back has been highlighted by new research.

Share the little things that make you smile

We're giving away a Mountain Buggy nano, the ultimate travel stroller - and here are some of the great entries so far.

Win a Mountain Buggy nano

We?re giving away the new Mountain Buggy Nano - the lightweight travel buggy! So show us the little things that make you smile for your chance to win.

Download now: Essential Kids Activity Finder app

Got bored kids? Quickly find the best activities for kids wherever you are in Australia with the Essential Kids app.

 
Advertisement
 
Advertisement
 
 
 

What's hot on EB

Win a Mountain Buggy nano

We?re giving away the new Mountain Buggy Nano - the lightweight travel buggy! So show us the little things that make you smile for your chance to win.

Be careful what you say, your baby is listening

The importance of speaking to your baby even if they are not old enough to answer back has been highlighted by new research.

Win $1000 with Sea-Bands!

Three lucky fans can win a Sea-Band prize pack valued at over $1000 each, which includes two Sea-Bands plus a $1000 Eftpos gift card!

The beautiful moment a baby was born at the side of a road

It's not where she expected to give birth, but mum Corrine Cinatl is delighted that her daughter's roadside arrival was captured in a series of beautiful photos.

Doctor sings first Happy Birthday to newborns

His job is to deliver babies, but this US obstetrician also has a unique way of celebrating the miracle of life.

Join the Real Mums Test Drive Team

Five mums or mums-to-be will join the EB Test Drive Team and discover great items at an exclusive Big W event. (Sydney only.)

The Nappy Collective starts new drive

It's that time of year when the dedicated volunteers at The Nappy Collective do their bit to help out mums and children in need - and they need your help.

Baby shower cake wrecks

From misshapen cake babies to questionable text, from odd colour choices to internal organ recreation, these are the baby shower cakes that taste forgot.

Photographer captures the beauty of adoption

The love of a family is usually tough to capture on camera. This is an exception.

Pregnancy progression photo ideas

Want to record your pregnancy as your belly grows? Here are some creative, fun ideas for photo shoots along the way.

The myths and facts about "normal" breastfeeding

When it comes to successful breastfeeding, there is a wide variety to what is "normal", according to new research.

Tin can craft and DIY ideas

Got a few old formula, Milo or coffee cans around the house? Use these fantastic upcycling ideas to create items for around the house and yard.

Dads meet their newborn for the first time

Emotional photos of two fathers meeting their newborn son have resonated with viewers worldwide, attracting thousands of Facebook likes and shares.

Skin safety isn't just a summer worry

Lax about the slip slop slap with your kids as weather turns cooler? Here's a reminder as to why we have to remain vigilant for our children?s future health.

Personalised baby gifts

We've scoured the internet to find gorgeous personalised keepsakes and nursery decor to record baby name and dates. They make great gifts for christenings, name days and birthdays! (All prices in AU.)

Creative sleeping baby photoshoots

See how some parents and photographers have captured sleeping babies in unusual positions and using different props.

DIY kitchen and food hacks

DIY your way to a better kitchen and make cooking easier with our clever hacks. (Some content reproduced with permission from mashable.com.)

Winter warmers for babies and toddlers

Your baby or toddler will be nice and snug in these beautiful and fun winter pieces. Most are hand-made or knitted, and they're all designed to keep your little one toastie - and adorable!

 

Mind, body, beauty, life

Making time for me

We look at your wellbeing, covering health, relationships, beauty and fashion, mind and body.

 
Advertisement
 
 
Essential Baby and Essential Kids is the place to find parenting information and parenting support relating to conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids, maternity, family budgeting, family travel, nutrition and wellbeing, family entertainment, kids entertainment, tips for the family home, child-friendly recipes and parenting. Try our pregnancy due date calculator to determine your due date, or our ovulation calculator to predict ovulation and your fertile period. Our pregnancy week by week guide shows your baby's stages of development. Access our very active mum's discussion groups in the Essential Baby forums or the Essential Kids forums to talk to mums about conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids and parenting lifestyle. Essential Baby also offers a baby names database of more than 22,000 baby names, popular baby names, boys' names, girls' names and baby names advice in our baby names forum. Essential Kids features a range of free printable worksheets for kids from preschool years through to primary school years. For the latest baby clothes, maternity clothes, maternity accessories, toddler products, kids toys and kids clothing, breastfeeding and other parenting resources, check out Essential Baby and Essential Kids.