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 RedBob

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

 

Special Ticket Offer, Save $8!

The Essential Baby & Toddler Show is back this April! Save $8 off the door price for a limited time only!

Why I breastfed my son until he was three

The fact that I not only breastfed my son, but breastfed him for three and a half years, seems pretty incredible in retrospect.

Do babies and young children see ghosts?

Do babies and young children see ghosts? If you’ve pondered the question, you’re not alone.

15 years with Essential Baby: meet Therese

"Life has a funny way of giving you what you need when you need it the most."

Mum causes a stir by taking a stand against leggings

A mum has found herself the subject of debate after claiming tight bottoms cause lustful thoughts in men.

Don't set a parenting goal for 2015 - do this instead

The problem with goal setting as a parent is the measure. How do we really know if we’re succeeding?

5 pregnancy myths that just won't go away

When you're expecting, it often seems like everyone is keen to offer advice about what you should and shouldn't do in the interests of your health and wellbeing.

RPA hospital contacting mums after discovering vaccine storage fault

Sydney's Royal Prince Alfred Hospital (RPA) is trying to contact women who had babies at the facility after discovering a fault in a refrigerator containing vaccines.

'Nutella' not a baby name, French court says

A French court has blocked parents from naming their baby girl after the hazelnut spread Nutella, arguing it would make her the target of mockery.

Why I'm never calling myself 'just a mum' again

I’ve grown three human beings. I feed them, dress them, teach them, care for them and love them 24 hours a day. Yet for eight years, when I meet new people and they’ve asked me what I do, I tell them: “I’m just a mum”.

Rosie Batty named 2015 Australian of the Year

One year ago, Rosie Batty could not have imagined she'd be where she is. Tonight the grieving mum who put domestic violence on the national agenda was named Australian of the Year.

Five reasons to hug more

Hugging – some of us thrive on it, even depend on it – and then there are those who don't care for it really. So, are they missing out?

Help - my three-year-old has started throwing tantrums

My daughter never went through the "terrible twos" but began throwing wild tantrums shortly after her third birthday.

That's commitment

First peek at Sonia Kruger's daughter Maggie

"She smells so good, I could eat her," Kruger tells co-host David Campbell.

Mum assists in own caesarean surgery

A mum who partly delivered her own twins during a caesarean has encouraged other women to take control of their birthing experience.

How to handle common childhood regressions

Regression can be a natural and common part of development prompted by a variety of factors, but that doesn't make it less frustrating.

Disgruntled dad's pram ad goes viral

When buying a second hand pram, there are lots of things to take into consideration. 

Man discovers he's a dad after finding 55-year-old letter

Discovering you are about to father a baby is startling enough - never mind finding out you have a 61-year-old son.

15 thoughts mums have during a tantrum

Ranging from mild to feral and triggered by events both minor and major, tantrums certainly keep life interesting.

Natural pain relief in the early stages of labour

While managing labour pains on your own can be daunting, there are a number of natural pain relief options to help you cope until you are admitted to hospital.

Win an Octonauts prize pack

To celebrate the launch of Octonauts Live! Operation Reef Shield, a spectacular underwater adventure live on stage, we are giving away an amazing Octonauts prize pack to one lucky fan.

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

Forgotten Baby Syndrome claims the life of toddler

One baby dies every eight days in the back of a car in the US, victims of 'forgotten baby syndrome'.

For a brief time, I was touched by an angel

For a brief time, I was touched by an angel. You stole my heart, and changed me into the women I am today.

Chinese woman gives birth to quintuplets

After six years of trying for a baby, a couple’s dreams have come true many times over after the mum gave birth to quintuplets this week.

Chrissie Swan has reached her "sex quota"

Chrissie Swan says she and her partner have sex once a year due to her fear of falling pregnant.

Stars help save choking babies

It's an important lesson to learn, but one that busy new mums and dads might overlook until it's too late.

New Girl star Zooey Deschanel pregnant

Actress Zooey Deschanel is expecting her first child with her producer boyfriend Jacob Pechenik.

16 times 'dad reflexes' saved the day

Of course, in some cases they may be the ones who actually got their child into a precarious position in the first place, but we'll ignore that for now.

Couple's 'non-traditional' pregnancy announcement goes viral

Knowing you are not the father of your pregnant wife's baby would usually indicate a rocky relationship ahead for traditional parents.

The trials and tribulations of identical triplet newborns

Pip Donnelly is still playing spot the difference with her newborn identical triplets, Isabelle, Georgina and Frankie.

Win an Octonauts prize pack

To celebrate the launch of Octonauts Live! Operation Reef Shield, a spectacular underwater adventure live on stage, we are giving away an amazing Octonauts prize pack to one lucky fan.

Earthquake baby thriving five years on

Jenny Alexis is lucky to be alive after spending four days buried in the rubble of the 2010 Haitian earthquake, but now she's a thriving five year old.

Please don't say I'm lucky because I was adopted

On the one hand I was having a regular life with friends and sports and sleepovers and school. But I was also always wondering: Did my mother love me? What was wrong with me?

An open letter to non-parents who offer advice on child-rearing

Kitty, when you’re the parent of my child you’re welcome to wade in with an opinion – but until then, I’d prefer you to have a supportive ear and a glass of wine ready.

Couple arrested over baby gun video

A US couple faces charges after investigators say they found mobile phone videos showing the woman's 12-month-old daughter putting a handgun in her mouth.

NSW Health dumps 10-year limit on frozen embryos

A 10-year time limit on storing frozen embryos that were created with donor sperm has been dropped by the NSW government.

How my happy-go-lucky husband became a monster

Sharan Nicholson-Rogers watched her husband change from a happy-go-lucky police officer into an unpredictable man prone to violent and emotional outbursts.

Dads-to-be experience hormonal changes, too

Dads-to-be experience hormonal changes in line with their pregnant partners, a new study shows.

'They were just doing their job': mum of toddler killed in police chase gone wrong

"They were just doing their job. I feel so sorry for them. It is all just too sad."

Miscarriages to be formally recognised by NSW government

Women who miscarry will be able to obtain an optional "recognition of loss" certificate as a formal recognition of their often heartbreaking loss.

Cafe cubby house 'too noisy' for neighbours

Teenage parties, domestic disputes, or raucous late night pubs are the things that usually come to mind when you think neighbourhood noise complaints.

Dad films baby playing with snake

Most parents would not consider a snake an appropriate playmate for their baby, but a US dad who filmed his daughter playing with a python has defended himself against criticism.

Clever breastfeeding products

Check out this range of products designed to help make your breastfeeding journey more enjoyable, manageable and convenient.

 

Back to School Offer

Findababysitter.com.au

We've got you covered for this school year. Use www.findababysitter.com.au to meet local nannies now.

 
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.