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Legal & money

Who should you leave your estate to.

(36 Posts)
Sparkling Tue 28-Jan-20 06:58:58

If you have no relationship with your family, be it with children or siblings do you think it right they inherit. I know of someone who has been left an enormous amount of money by her only relative, someone she never saw, liked or ever got on with. Perhaps she never got round to making a will.

Auntieflo Tue 28-Jan-20 09:05:26

Sparkling, I'm afraid that is the way it is.
If the relative left no will, the remaining family members will be sought out to receive any estate that is left.
In the event that there are no relatives, I believe that any estate will be taken by the state.

So the lesson to be learned is, Make a Will.

Not long ago we were contacted by something like Heir Hunters, saying that a distant cousin of DH had died intestate.
All cousins were eventually traced and received a small amount from his estate.
It was unexpected, as DH had had no knowledge of this person
since childhood.
Quite sad.

jenni123 Tue 28-Jan-20 09:59:41

A gay friend of mine only has one bro and they do not get on, so because he does not want this bro trying to claim from his estate, which I think is quite considerable, he has left him £1000 and has stated in his will that this is the only thing he should get. one way of doing it I guess.

helgawills Tue 28-Jan-20 10:05:39

My husband's aunt was going to leave her estate to her 2 nephews and kept telling us that she had made a will to that effect. When Sil went to visit aunt, she was told by aunts husband that she had passed. None of her family had been told. Aunt had always told us that she had a number of secret accounts, as she did not trust her husband. None of the accounts or her will were ever found. When her husband passed, Heir Hunters found a brother no one had ever heard of, who inherited everything. Husband had always told everybody he was an orphan with no family. Make a will and name an executer you trust.

Nannarose Tue 28-Jan-20 10:10:03

In England and Wales, you can leave your estate to whoever you like, there is no obligation to include any relatives / natural heirs.
In other parts of Europe, and Scotland, you cannot disinherit heirs completely, the advice is to leave a token amount and an explanatory letter. Some English lawyers think this useful, as it avoids 'challenges' that can be expensive even if futile.
Although DIY wills get a bad press, I think them quite sensible if your estate is simple. I have had 4 wills during my lifetime: 2 were DIY, done before I had children, then again when they were adults. When I had young children, and now grandchildren and their parents to consider, I have paid a lawyer to do more complex wills.

Humbertbear Tue 28-Jan-20 10:10:32

Everyone should make a will. End of.

threexnanny Tue 28-Jan-20 10:12:16

You also need to be aware of any changes in circumstances that could affect your will. I know of a couple of cases where a will was made in favour of relative who then predeceased them, but they did not update their wills.

Nannarose Tue 28-Jan-20 10:13:22

PS: I have done probate on both a DIY will and one drawn up by a lawyer. Both left the entire estate to living children. so not complex.
But the one drawn up by the lawyer was so out-of-date with executors who had died,problems with addresses etc. that the DIY one (kept up to date at little cost) was much easier!

Worthingpatchworker Tue 28-Jan-20 10:15:35

I’ve given this a bit of thought and, if I survive my husband, I should like to leave my money to the textiles department of my local college. I would love for a future teenager to have the chance to have the career they love.
I have no children....a number of nieces and nephews and a goddaughter....they have their own parents to see to them.

ALANaV Tue 28-Jan-20 10:16:35

Do make a Will....if you consider what might happen to your estate when you die, and the family rifts it causes, it is well worth paying a Solicitor to ensure you leave what you want to who you want ! BUT as I have said before, please put our beneficiaries details, date of birth, last known address in full in your Will as, in the case of my late m-I-l she simply said 'to my children in equal parts'....but then named one as Executor,,,who promptly cut out two of his siblings as she did not NAME them all …..there was nothing monetary bless her, but some small items of sentimental value...….some Charities offer free Will making services if you are leaving them a donation

vintanner Tue 28-Jan-20 10:19:09

When I was on my own, I made a will to leave everything to dog charities.

I also made a living will, just in case, I didn't want any family coming out of the woodwork and claiming anything.

Nightsky2 Tue 28-Jan-20 10:30:39

It just goes to show how important it is to keep wills up to date.

ReadyMeals Tue 28-Jan-20 10:40:31

I don't really want to leave any money to my son. Not only has he never sent me a birthday card in his life (well since my mum stopped buying him one to give me) and hasn't seen me for 3 years, but the moment he has more money than he needs for the next meal he'll probably kill himself going on a drugs binge (he's in his 40s). I am still wondering if I can get away with excluding him while making sure his paternally-underserved kids and their half sister can get something - all without someone challenging the will and wrecking it all

Hetty58 Tue 28-Jan-20 10:52:45

helgawills, I expect the aunt's husband got rid of the will and claimed her estate, easily done!

Shortlegs Tue 28-Jan-20 10:55:16

I don't have an estate to leave, just a small hatchback.

Apricity Tue 28-Jan-20 10:57:41

Whatever you choose to do with your estate, whether you want to leave it to your family, some particular family members, a charity or your best friend just make sure you have a valid will that is clear, unambiguous and will ensure that it happens without legal actions, complications and challenges from interested or aggrieved parties.

Whatever you want to happen to your estate just make sure you do it properly and that it is legally valid in whatever jurisdiction is relevant. Do not leave a legal mess for your relatives, friends or enemies to battle over. The only winners there are the lawyers. She sighs wearily from bitter experience!!

It is entirely your decision whether you make those wishes known to beneficiaries and/or non beneficiaries prior to your untimely demise by letters, legal documents, verbal communications, living wills or any other way.

Hetty58 Tue 28-Jan-20 11:00:26

Readymeals, yes, you can leave your estate as you wish. Get a solicitor to draft the will. Don't give your son any money while you are alive. He can't then claim against your estate (by saying that you supported him).

Apricity Tue 28-Jan-20 11:10:27

Re-reading my post I was a bit concerned about the possibility of an untimely demise by letters, legal documents, verbal communications and even living wills. Perhaps I need to be more careful!

Witzend Tue 28-Jan-20 11:18:41

Astonishing how many people never get around to making a will. Anyone who’s watched Heir Hunters will know how often quite a lot of money went to someone who hadn’t seen the person for 30 years, or maybe wasn’t even aware of their existence.

Whereas the very nice neighbours next door, who’d been helping them with all sorts for years, got precisely nothing.

Witzend Tue 28-Jan-20 11:25:20

Readymeals, I think I read somewhere that if you’re excluding someone for particular reasons (like your son) it’s as well to state your reasons clearly in the will, so it’s less likely to be challenged.

A childless aunt of dh originally left her money to dh and his brothers, but later excluded one of them because his wife was a truly reckless spendthrift, and she didn’t want her having any of her money to waste.

I don’t think she stated it in her will, but we all knew, and by the time she died that brother was divorced, so the others made a deed of variation to reinstate him.

kircubbin2000 Tue 28-Jan-20 12:25:20

I divided it between 3 children in my will but now one son says he would like to live in my house after I die.They may sort ìt out between them.

grandtanteJE65 Tue 28-Jan-20 12:34:31

We have no biological children, only an informally adopted son. It would cause too much in death duties if he were to inherited, so we pass on what we can afford, and have left our estate to a charity, when they survivor dies.

Whatever you decide, do make a will,

Forestflame Tue 28-Jan-20 12:50:09

Having had some unpleasantness from one close relatives spouse when my Mum died. I have ensured that that particular relative will not inherit anything from me. My solicitor told me that the only way that they could challenge it would be to say that I had either given them financial support or I was not of sound mind when the will was made. I have proof of their bad behaviour towards me which I am putting with the Will just in case. My advice, make a Will whilst you are still compus mentis!

Polremy Tue 28-Jan-20 13:06:05

Probably best if you only have short legs.smile

MaryXYX Tue 28-Jan-20 13:06:29

Most of my children have cut me out of their lives and denied me contact with my grandchildren. I don't know what they tell them, perhaps that I died. I'm sure they would want to come back for the money though. I had a lawyer make a will and the advice was to leave each of them a small amount and explain why. As people have said, that should make it difficult for them to challenge the will.