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Do I leave one son out of my will.

(106 Posts)
Cathy21 Wed 05-Jun-19 10:57:07

One son left his partner of many years and went off with someone new and a few years ago stopped correspondence, visits etc. Last Autumn my husband suggested we get our wills rewritten and leave this son off and said we would do that after Christmas. Well I had a heart attack and needed a triple bypass and whilst I was in hospital my husband caught Pneumonia and died in January. The estranged son didn’t even come to his Father’s funeral although another son kept him informed. Its now nearly 6 months and I feel I aught to have my will written as Husband wanted but I’m torn. He’s still my son. I am going to write in a nephew who has been amazing in his help and support. What should I do about estranged son?

Septimia Wed 05-Jun-19 11:02:09

I'd be inclined to make an effort to renew contact with the estranged son first, through other family members if necessary. If he doesn't respond, then you can consider changing your will. Perhaps don't leave him out completely, but leave the bulk of what there is to the family who have supported you.

tanith Wed 05-Jun-19 11:04:57

I can’t advise you but will watch with interest as I have a similar dilemma as I’m about to make my will involving my late husbands wishes as he wouldn’t make a will even though he knew he was dying. I’m torn as I feel he should of made his will and not left it to me to decide.
I’m sure there will be lots of advice to mull over here.

Gonegirl Wed 05-Jun-19 11:10:27

Definitely leave him out.

(I hope all of HQ are getting their heads together to advise the OP on this)

gillybob Wed 05-Jun-19 11:11:08

DH and I do not have a will. We have set out trying to put something together so many times but it is so complicated. My DH has brought my 2 children up since they were small whereas he has had no real contact with his own children for almost 20 years (despite trying) . We don't even know where they are in the country/world.

We don't have a lot to leave but what we do have, we would like to go to the right places. Its not that we disagree because we don't, I don't want to leave his children out but he is adamant that they shouldn't get a penny. Oh dear what a dilemma.

NotSpaghetti Wed 05-Jun-19 11:18:16

My father-in-law was estranged from one of his daughters and decided to leave her “share” to her children.
He died a few years ago and the grandchildren on that side of the family had the money put in trust till they were 18.
That seemed to be a good solution and pleased my mother-in-law (second marriage so not her children) as it felt “fair”.
Maybe you could consider something similar?

trisher Wed 05-Jun-19 11:20:25

Without knowing the whys and wherefores of the fall out it's difficult. I think you should follow your heart if you still care for him leave him something if you don't then don't. In my experience family arguments are seldom just one sided but making up needs one side to bite the bullet and try to establish contact. Even then they might be repulsed if the hurt is still smarting. I suppose leaving him something would give you the higher ground after you've gone and show you were the better person.

gt66 Wed 05-Jun-19 13:12:57

So sorry to hear about your DH Cathy21 and the dilemma you now face. As others have suggested I would leave his share either to his children (if he has any as not sure if the nephew you mention is his son), or a token amount and the rest to the nephew that has been such a help. Your son, knowing your DH had died, didn't make the effort to either send his condolences to you, or go to the funeral and therefore must realise he's likely to miss out on his inheritance.

Callistemon Wed 05-Jun-19 13:23:17

I suppose leaving him something would give you the higher ground after you've gone and show you were the better person.
it would, but you won't really care then

I am sorry to hear about the sad time you've had, Cathy21 and hope you're on the road to recovery now.

I would try to renew contact, perhaps through your other son and if there is no renewal of a relationship with your estranged son then think carefully about what would make you feel better about the will.
Did he have any children from his first relationship - perhaps you could by-pass your son and leave his share to his children.
If not, you could think about leaving his share to any other grandchildren you may have and to your kind nephew.

Blinko Wed 05-Jun-19 13:28:12

Definitely write in the nephew who has been so supportive. Maybe leave something to any offspring of your estranged son? Would that be feasible?

Sara65 Wed 05-Jun-19 13:38:44

I have been estranged from my mother for more than 20 years

She has made it clear that I will be excluded from her will, and I am fine with that

Do what feels best for you, cut him out by all means, but it’s not worth making a point if it’s going to make you feel guilty

kazzerb Wed 05-Jun-19 13:57:32

I also have this dilemma. My Daughter no longer has anything to do with me or the rest of the family. I have two Grandchildren who I see very often but not her. My Son and I are still close and he has a Son of his own. I have decided to leave half of whatever I have to my Son and the other half to be split between my other two Grandchildren. If things change in the future with her, I will re-think the situation.

HildaW Wed 05-Jun-19 14:15:30

Cathy21 there was a similar question asked a little while ago and I commented about my views that Wills really are the most final and definite act in an estrangement situation. Once you have gone there will be no chance for any rapprochement - I know that's obvious but as someone who along with my siblings were written out of a parent's will I would urge caution.
In my case we were all shocked but there were mitigating circumstances, our relative was a nasty piece of work so we were half expecting it. Yet still we were all deeply troubled by the finality of it all, and the lack of communication.
All I'd like to say is even if you do not want to leave any monies then do think of leaving a sealed letter reiterating your feelings and perhaps explaining a little of how you came to the decision. Its all very final at the end and even if the relationship has broken down completely its still a shock when someone dies and all chances of a final farewell are gone. You sound like a decent person so even if your son no longer has anything to do with you perhaps he still has some fond memories. People leave behind relationships and do not fully understand the ramifications and effect it has on others not directly involved. His lack of contact could be a lack of feelings for you, it could be shame at his actions, it could be anything. All the best.

Boosgran Wed 05-Jun-19 14:29:39

Leave him out. He didn’t go to his fathers funeral, despite being told about it and presumably told about your heart attack and operation. He doesn’t deserve anything. I agree with HildaW about leaving him a letter explaining your feelings and your decision, but I certainly would not feel guilty.

sodapop Wed 05-Jun-19 14:44:42

I think you should be careful here that you don't cause a rift between your children when you die. The idea of leaving a letter to explain how you feel is a good one. Nothing is more likely to cause family division than an unequal will. Can you give it a little more time as others suggest and see if you can build bridges with your son.

luckyrose62 Wed 05-Jun-19 14:52:29

My personal opinion is blood is important and anything left should go down the family. To grandchildren, great grandchildren. Try and get back with your son in f possible. Things go n in families that even the closest don’t know about. There may have been a reason that you don’t even know about why son did not want his father or his funeral. A lot of families have history and secrets.

Witzend Wed 05-Jun-19 14:53:27

I agree with a pp - if you try again to make contact and again he doesn't respond, I wouldn't feel bad about leaving him out.

Having said that, a childless relative of dh left one nephew (out of four brothers) out of her will. She had taken great exception to his notoriously spendthrift wife - didn't want her getting her hands on any of the money.

However by the time she died they were divorced, and the others made a deed of variation to include him, so please be aware that it's possible for executors to do this, as long as the other beneficiaries agree.

Dolcelatte Wed 05-Jun-19 14:55:40

I would make a further attempt to reconcile and then review the situation.

Daisymae Wed 05-Jun-19 15:00:06

His feelings have been made clear by ignoring the death of his father. Change your will as you think fit and leave a letter to him along with it.

grandtanteJE65 Wed 05-Jun-19 15:18:39

The only reason I can see for not cutting him out of your will would be his brother's feelings on the matter. Remembering one son in your will and not the other might well ruin their relationship.

I would have bitterly resented it, if my parents had cut my sister out of their wills.

GrandmaMoira Wed 05-Jun-19 15:23:27

I know others may not agree but I feel it is important to arrange a funeral in the way that the deceased person would have wanted.
After that, the wife (or whoever else inherits) owns the estate/assets and it is up to her to decide what to do with it.
You do not have to do what your husband wanted. If you would feel bad cutting out your son despite his behaviour, then keep him in the will. You may wish to give him less than your other children and obviously include your supportive nephew.

Bopeep14 Wed 05-Jun-19 16:18:16

Neither myself nor my husband have made a will as yet, but it has been on my mind a while now as we have an estranged son and have no idea what to do. We own our own home and it was always going to be split equally between our children, and mementos for each grandchild.
I was talking to one of my other children about leaving our estranged sons share to his 2 children, something I hadn’t thought about was it wouldn’t be fair on our other grandchildren as they said why should they benefit from their dad not speaking to us and us never being allowed to see them. I have thought about leaving him a share but not an equal share because after all he was a loving son for a long time before he became estranged.

Bibbity Wed 05-Jun-19 16:28:44

I would absolutely leave him out!

He didn’t even bother when his father died. So I’d go ahead and assume that nothing will make him seek contact now.

I see inheritance as a gift of love from one person to another.
It’s not a right. He’s lost the privilege of benefitting from your estate by deciding to live a life without you.

Coyoacan Wed 05-Jun-19 16:43:50

His behaviour sounds terrible, but write the will the way you want to write it. More than the money, this will be your last message to your son.

Biddysue Thu 06-Jun-19 10:04:51

We are in a similar position on the point of making our will and having two sons one who has children a new wife and has very little to do with us and seems totally uninterested in our lives and wellbeing.
We have decided though that despite everything horrible that now is happening he is still our son and we will leave both sons equal shares. Life has many challenges and changes but blood is thicker than water and leaving our estranged son an inheritance is one way we can show our love for him even if right at this present time he doesn’t appreciate it.