Gransnet forums

Legal & money

Change of mind about will.......

(70 Posts)
Grannee Sat 11-Jul-20 15:30:03

Asking for a friend (really!) She is in a second marriage as is her DH. Mirror wills have been made - BUT - she has been talked into the division of assets as two thirds to his two children and the remaining third to her one child. This she is now having second thoughts about as the contributions by both to the property, etc., were 50/50. DH is now refusing to discuss , and adamant this will not be changed. There is a strong element of coercive behaviour there from her DH (and sadly some physical abuse). Advice please (kindly) - is this fair? and how to possibly change it when one party does not agree?

jenpax Sat 11-Jul-20 15:53:41

What’s to stop her going to see another solicitor and just drawing up a later will! No need to tell the husband and she could ask a friend to keep a copy and advise of this later will when the time comes?
I would also urge her to have a look at the woman’s aid website for advice about abuse and coercive control!

jenpax Sat 11-Jul-20 15:54:47

And no it isn’t fair and it’s financial abuse and coercive control!

tanith Sat 11-Jul-20 16:14:22

What jenpax says, he’s a bully by what you say she could tell her child to contact the solicitor who draws up the new will when the time comes.

Grannee Sat 11-Jul-20 17:19:24

Thanks Jenpax for that suggestion. Strange how walking on eggshells can feel so normal to women in these situations. I wasn't sure what the usual division of property was myself (only married once) so really wasn't clear if the number of children was generally a consideration. I guess the main question now is how to rectify it. Also if he refuses to change his will and "goes first" then it will be divided as per HIS wishes anyway...

Grannee Sat 11-Jul-20 17:21:45

Actually I am aware that the main question is in fact her health and happiness - and that really needs addressing first - but it is a start that she has opened up about the will.

Dinahmo Sat 11-Jul-20 17:47:51

Just a thought - what about the home? Is that jointly owned? Is his share going straight to the children rather than the OP's friend?

Supposing she was a widow before she remarried. Her share would presumably have come from her first husband so would she want any of that to go to anyone other than her own child?

Evie64 Sat 11-Jul-20 18:06:05

Tell her to check that house has been bought as "Tenants in Common" as opposed to "Joint tenants". Tenants in common means she is entitled to 50% share of the house in the event of his death. Joint tenants mean that whoever is the remaining spouse gets 100% of the house. Also, you can easily do a new will online, cheaper than going to a solicitor. Get it sent directly to her daughter or a trusted friend, sign it, get it witnessed, that's it. That would supersede any earlier wills.

Grannee Sat 11-Jul-20 18:07:12

Yikes! doesn't it get complicated? As far as I am aware the home is jointly owned and everything goes to the remaining partner first. Dinahmo - divorced - though that last paragraph is still something to think sbout isn't it? I should add they are in their 70's.......

Grannee Sat 11-Jul-20 18:25:27

Thanks Evie64 - I don't know the answer to that but I will pass that info to her.

Can I just say how good Gransnet is? I rarely post but never miss reading the top threads or searching the forums. Just so much wisdom and experience, and real feeling for those going through life's difficulties. Go Gransnet!

FarNorth Sat 11-Jul-20 18:28:32

I think your friend should discuss the situation with a solicitor, before making a new will, to try to avoid a messy situation for the adult children when one, or both, of them has died.

Will Aid starts in September, btw, and is a way to help charities while making a will.

As already suggested, she should also check out Women's Aid about the abuse and what options she might have in general.

FarNorth Sat 11-Jul-20 18:29:41

Forgot to put the link.

Davida1968 Sun 12-Jul-20 10:34:47

There is a strong element of coercive behaviour there from her DH (and sadly some physical abuse)
This fact is a real red rag - IMO she needs to get out of this marriage - fast. Legal advice needed here as well.

patricia1958 Sun 12-Jul-20 10:40:09

You could go and see a solicitor and explain to them what has happened and see if you could get your share of everything separate then you could make a will that way or you could take money out of the account and open a new 1 and keep putting money in that and that could be just your will account I don't know if you could do that but it's worth a try good luck

4allweknow Sun 12-Jul-20 10:45:47

If property is jointly owned and he doesn't want yiur friend to have his half then it should have been his half interest only that went to his children. There should have been provision made your friend remained in the property as she could be made homeless unless able to buy out his two children. Definitely need legal advice. Can one party of a mirror will change the whole context? Of course his behaviour may well be justification for a change but that will need to be evidenced. Complicated to say the least.

Skweek1 Sun 12-Jul-20 10:59:50

I agree that when there are only two people involved mirror wills are the answer (it's normally to agree that whichever dies first, the other inherits). But when complications arise, it's easier to write a new will stating what you now want rather than what you may have decided earlier. You don't need his permission - you don't necessarily even need a solicitor to write a will. But if, as people are stating, he's coercive, he may have already changed his will without telling you to leave his share to his family and yours with nothing. Do feel you should at least get legal advice.

NemosMum Sun 12-Jul-20 10:59:58

Agree with David1968 - first stop solicitor, then she needs to get out and stay out! Poor woman - so sorry to hear of this.

Dylant1234 Sun 12-Jul-20 11:03:27

She really must see a solicitor and don’t take lay advice, however well intended - I believe ‘mirror wills‘ usually contain a mutual contract not to change the will which could affect a will made without reference to the mirror will. The last thing she wants is a contested probate when she dies and which could consume the entire estate in costs.
Personally, I feel she should stand up to him on this and if he’s been physically abusive she should run a mile.

crazygranny Sun 12-Jul-20 11:05:09

As her husband doesn't sound open to reasoned discussion and as this is something she feels strongly about she should just go and make another will. As the more recent version, that is the one that will stand. She can then have a quiet discussion with her child and leave a copy with them with instructions to implement after she has died. That way she will be happy and his problem can stay with him. Just make sure not to tell him - ever!

jenpax Sun 12-Jul-20 11:08:03

I agree that a solicitor should be consulted which is what I suggested earlier they will be able to advise whether or not a later will can revoke the mirror will

Jaycee5 Sun 12-Jul-20 11:09:55

Mirror wills are very rare nowadays and solicitors usually advise against them. Are they definitely mirror wills and not just identical wills?
Either way, she really needs to take advice preferably from a wills and probate specialist. Her will should be what she wants but it sounds as if there are other issues.

3nanny6 Sun 12-Jul-20 11:39:41

Poor woman living with coercive behavior and also physical violence, her husband sounds a complete tyrant. Perhaps she could confide in her daughter and seek a way to leave the marriage the sooner the better. She needs legal advice about the wills that have been made if she goes first her husband will be left with everything and then he could get a new will written which could leave out her daughter. This man only has his own childrens financial future in mind and it seems he is adamant he is not changing anything.

ALANaV Sun 12-Jul-20 11:40:41

Definitely see a solicitor asap ....or ask if any local solicitors have a free consultation hour (sometimes they do) which could lead to paying for advice but it will be worth it in the long run. They will know, if half of the house would legally be your friend's if her husband died first....and then it would probably be up to her to draw up a new Will. Meanwhile if she gets together paperwork and proof of all the costs she has paid towards buying, doing up, etc, of the house this may help....normally only needed for a divorce, but fore armed is good. Maybe she would consider divorce ...sounds like she would be entitled ! hope she takes legal advice

harrigran Sun 12-Jul-20 11:42:17

I have experience of this in extended family and it did not end well, one person managed to transfer funds from a shared account into a private bank account so that there was very little left when the first partner died. The child of the deceased did not get their inheritance because there was no money left except in the widow's bank account.
The house was lived in by the widow and then her children inherited it. She was the third wife but managed to get every last cent plus the house and effects.
Need to be careful in the wording of a will.

Jillybird Sun 12-Jul-20 11:45:27

That is outrageous !

I entirely agree with those who say she must see another solicitor and make another will. In fact, I think she should leave this man. I'm seriously thinking of splitting with mine and we are both in our seventies.

If they bought the property 50/50 then half of it is hers and by definition she can will that to her daughter. How would he have felt if the boot had been on the other foot? Or if, maybe, she'd had four children...