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My Mother's Will

My mother recently died and left just over a million pounds. I have 2 sisters, one who lives abroad. For the last 15 years I had been solely responsible for my mother's care and wellbeing. When she was still at home I arranged carers, cleaners, shopping, toenail cutting, hospital visits, you name it. I was working full time and lived a 4 hour round trip away. Three years ago it all got too much and we both decided the time was right for residential care. I arranged all that and cleaned, cleared and sold her flat. At this time her brother died and he had made her executor of his will! Clearly she was in no state to do that, so I got a solicitor and did all that on her behalf too. It was quite a complicated will and I was embroiled in IHT and probate for almost a year. Neither of my sisters lifted a finger. A couple of years ago my mum asked to see her will as she had forgotten the detail as she had made it about 20 years ago. After seeing it, she told me she wanted to change it. The new will made me sole beneficiary in appreciation for everything I had done, and was continuing to do for her. She wrote a letter with it saying if I wanted to make cash gifts to my sisters, that was entirely my decision. I should also mention the sister overseas walked out of our lives 25 years ago and my mother, nor anyone else even got a Christmas card in that time. A couple of years ago I got in touch with her (via Facebook) and said if she was going to make her peace with mum, time was running out. I paid for her to come to England and they were reconciled. Since then I have paid for a further 3 visits. Both my sisters, despite having good jobs all their lives, are financially incontinent and live from month to month. We are all of retirement age, but out of necessity they both still work. They are both divorced and live alone. I don't need to work and am happily married. What I am going to do is keep half of my mother's inheritance. The other half I am splitting between them. They know of the will and the sister abroad is furious that she is not getting a third. The other sister is furious the sister abroad is getting anything and she thinks she should get half. They are both getting life changing sums of money, for really, not doing an awful lot, nor appearing to care much about their mother. They are both outraged and feel I am being greedy. The solicitor can't believe how much I am giving them, she thinks I am being really generous in the circumstances.

What do you all think?

Created By on 12/08/2021

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5th Nov 2021 15:46:49
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Sorry if this is obvious, but, before you start writing cheques, you need to find out what the net estate is after death duties. You should also have some legal documentation if you do give away large sums of money and die within 7 years, there may be further inheritance tax that they have to pay on the gifts.

I can see your mother was probably emotionally exhausted when she re-made her will, but I also think it was unfair on you to mke her will this way - she obviouslt valued you, quite rightly, above your sisters, but it would have left everyone happier if she had named the 3 of you as residuary legatees in set proportions a:b:c.

Can I use this dilemna to ask others on the forum noty to make a will this way - Gilly is obviously a generous soul, but such wills can create issues either way. When my gran died, she left everything to my dad to divide up as he saw fit between us 4 grandchilden. What he saw fit was to keep every brass farthing himself. I don't begrudge the money - none of us are badly off, but neither was he, and I do begrudge the meaness.
5th Nov 2021 11:26:30
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Sorry, for the late reply. The Will is the Will, Put the money away somewhere safe, let the dust settle, then talk to each of them again when the situation is calmer. I think your offer is more than generous, and would consider offering less, taking into account the 'time' you have put in over the years.
I would consider, under legal advice, giving one £100K and the other £50K as a gester of good will, By doing this, you will be in a position that if either should hit severe hardship in the future funds would be available to help them. Hope this give food for thought.
12th Oct 2021 21:43:00 (Last activity: 13th Oct 2021 06:45:59)
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I believe you are being generous...your mother told you specifically it was up to you. She wanted you to have that decision since you had done so much for her. Chances are the one overseas will disappear again when/if she gets the money. Truthfully, given the circumstances, why should either of them feel the "deserve" a certain amount? You should do what makes you feel best. As I look at the date of this post, I am hoping that you did just that! Bless you for being a good daughter.
Response from Sally - Silversurfer's Editor made on 13th Oct 2021 06:45:59
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2nd Oct 2021 11:49:25
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I've just been on this trip myself.
My mother died earlier this year, estate worth around £500,000 my eldest brother via various means took control. I got £15k, he got a 3 bed house and the rest of the money but then he's always been a devious person.
Thought about fighting it but it's just one more thing to think about at 3am and I'm not sure I need that in my life , got enough problems as it is.
4th Sep 2021 06:57:53
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I wouldn’t give them anything. I look at it from the other side to speak, would rather leave it to charity if my wishes were not followed, one sister left her own mom 25 years, how could she? Then the others are wasters, so in effect your mothers life earnings will be frittered. There are lovely caring people out there who in terrible circumstances battle on, young carers for example. I would help those, the many small charities not the main ones, I would help those. What would your mother say. Just give the sisters 5 thousand each. Buy some much needed hospital equipment. In the end it’s up to you if you carry out your mothers wishes.
21st Aug 2021 17:54:35
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I understand why your Mum did what she did, I am a Mum in a similar family breakdown situation as she was, in a very minor way as to value.
How about listing all the expenses, and time spent on her behalf, that you had over the time you cared for your Mum alone, and deduct that from the total to begin with. It must be considerable, before you consider any gifts to your sisters. I am afraid that whatever you decide to do will not make much difference to their selfishness, but your own heart will be satisfied that you did your best The money was your Mum's to do as she wanted, and obviously she wanted to give you her appreciation, and trusted your judgement to pass on a reasonable amount, but not divide the whole or she would have done so. Your sisters must have caused her much sadness in her time. Just follow her wishes.
19th Aug 2021 08:50:35 (Last activity: 19th Aug 2021 12:34:23)
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I think your Mother should not have left you with this dilemma.

If you value your connection/ relationship with your sisters, then the only way to preserve that is to split the money equally 3 ways. Anything less will leave them unhappy. BUT if you don't want to continue a relationship with them then I think you should give them less. Perhaps £50,000 or £100,000 each because whatever the figure might be they will not be satisfied.

There is not much difference between £250,000 and £333,000. The loss of your connection with your sisters comes down to a price of about £80,000.
Response from gs6885mo made on 19th Aug 2021 12:34:23
WindsorLad, I don't think there is a real connection between her and our her sisters. Otherwise, they would have been helping her anyway they could. That didn't happen. Her mother saw this and corrected the will.
16th Aug 2021 19:06:27
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Gilly, your solicitor is right. Mother saw the unfair situation and burden put on you by your siblings. Thats why she correct her will, and giving you the choice to decide the distribution. I think you are thinking you want to keep a relationship with your sisters by giving them a portion oppose to keeping it yourself. Now you see the response from them. I would now just it to half of the half you were offering or nothing. I don't think there is a relationship there. your being mature one. Your sisters still haven't grown up. They are still adolestents.
15th Aug 2021 15:49:39
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You can choose your friends, but you can't choose your family.

They seem to be very selfish and me, me, me types.

Ask them what their favourite charity is and donate what you intend giving them to the charity.

Your mum obviously chose the correct thing to do................... considering the circumstances !!
15th Aug 2021 10:24:06
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I agree with your solicitor.
14th Aug 2021 12:16:00
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Hi Gilly,
It is so sad that, at a time, when you should be able to grieve for your mother, you have got the additional hassle from your greedy sisters. In my opinion, you are being extremely generous in giving your sisters a share of your inheritance. You have, for many years, looked after your mother and made her life comfortable and it is obvious, from her will, that she wanted to acknowledge that. If I were you, I would send each sister a cheque and a copy of the will and your mother's letter and leave it at that. I'm sure that the cheques will be cashed pretty quickly and then, sadly, as they are not very good at handling their finances, you will have to beware of the begging letters which might follow once they have spent all the money.
Good luck!

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