Not all disputes over an estate are worth bringing. A recent case from the U.K. illustrates why.
It is not unusual for people to not get along well with their stepparents. It is the source of many family feuds over estates when adult children of the deceased think a stepparent has received a larger portion of the estate than is fair. This is especially true, if the estate plan has been changed from a previous one to give the stepparent a larger share.
Because this is common, it is perhaps not surprising that two brothers in the U.K. were upset when their father left their stepmother a larger share of the estate than either one of them received. Their father had after all changed his will to give the stepmother more. The brothers took the position that he lacked the legal capacity to do so.
They initiated a legal battle to have their father’s will thrown out and an old one reinstated that would have given them more of the estate.
What is unusual about this case is the amount of money that was at stake.
The will the brothers wanted disregarded only gave the stepmother £25,000 (approximately $30,000) more than under the will they wanted reinstated. The judge in the case was not amused.
After ruling in the stepmother’s favor, the judge ordered the brothers to pay all of the legal costs of the case, which was enough to wipe out everything they inherited.
The Daily Mail reported on this story in “Farmer’s sons lose their ENTIRE £200,000 inheritance from father’s will in doomed legal bid to stop their stepmother getting an extra £25,000.”
Before starting an estate battle, it is important to ask whether doing so is really worth it. Legal fights are not always worth the trouble, even if you do not like your stepparent.
Reference: Daily Mail (March 17, 2017) “Farmer’s sons lose their ENTIRE £200,000 inheritance from father’s will in doomed legal bid to stop their stepmother getting an extra £25,000.”
I heard Cindy’s presentation at a Senior Luncheon at my church, and was very impressed. She helped my daughter and me understand many aspects of elder law. Josh has also been very helpful in my planning to enter an independent living situation . I have told many friends about them.
The very best elder law attorney and staff anyone could ever ask for! I have referred a number of clients to Cindy and she never disappoints. She is kind, caring, and extremely thorough in making sure everything is completed as it should be. I highly recommend Cindy for anyone needing lawyer services; she truly goes above and beyond for every client she helps and has had a huge impact in so many peoples’ lives. Thank you, Cindy and staff, for everything that you do- I’m so glad to know you!
Cindy and the Nelson Elder Care Law team are trustworthy and helpful. They are the experts in elder care law. At Leaf Cremation, we entrust our families to the care of the Nelson team when their services are needed.
Josh Nelson, and his staff, have been amazingly helpful to our family. The ins and outs of nursing homes, the rules and regulations that govern Medicare and Medicaid are daunting and the folks at Nelson Elder Care Law have been informative, responsive, and above all, empathetic. I cannot emphasize enough how their service has taken a weight off of our shoulders especially during a world pandemic that has targeted nursing homes across our country. I highly recommend retaining Josh and his firm!
I had a simple legal question to them that I needed answered and they very helpful in giving me the information I needed. I highly recommend them and will reach out to them if I need more advice or assistance. Thank you for taking your time to just answer a couple of questions I had!