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Dad wants to change his will! What should I do?

Discussion in 'Welcome and how to use Talking Point' started by lilly73, Nov 10, 2018.

  1. lilly73

    lilly73 New member

    Nov 10, 2018
    4
    Hello I wonder if anyone has been through a similar experience.
    My Dad was diagnosed with Alzheimers 4 years ago and has been in a relatively good state since the diagnosis he still lives on his own and we look after him on a daily basis managing his bills shopping etc.
    He has recently been saying that he doesn't see my sister and her children at all. Although she visits 2 or 3 times a year and is asking me to appoint a solicitor to change his will so he can remove her from it and make myself and my children the sole beneficiaries of his estate. I have started the process but I'm not sure I'm doing the right thing. The solicitor has asked for a Capacity test and we have a doctor who is willing to provide one. I have told my sister who was obviously extremely upset but he is absolutely committed to changing the will. Has anyone been in this situation?
     
  2. Duggies-girl

    Duggies-girl Registered User

    Sep 6, 2017
    1,005
    Well if he has capacity he can do what he likes.

    Personally if I was in your position I would distance myself from the whole process and have nothing to do with it at all. If he has capacity he should be capable of instigating any changes himself.
     
  3. AliceA

    AliceA Registered User

    May 27, 2016
    770
    What a difficult one! I understand where he is coming from but you may wish to maintain your relationship with your sister. If there is a really good reason that visits are few, does he understand this?
    He sounds hurt. Could your sister phone more?
    I do not know about the legal side and effects but I have seen such resentment build up for generations.
    We have one daughter who does so much more than the other. We find ways of compensating the active one, I pick up bills, tickets etc, but then I decide.
    I feel when we are gone I want to preserve our children's relationship so as they age it has a chance to continuing growing.
    Of course it is not your decision but your Father's this is what makes it so difficult for you.
    Is he likely to change his will again? Some older people use it as a weapon, to keep people up to scratch.
    Will she blame you?

    Sorry to sound so unhelpful, just be careful for your sake.
     
  4. jugglingmum

    jugglingmum Registered User

    Jan 5, 2014
    4,391
    Female
    Chester
    PWD get bees in theri bonnet about all sorts of things so he will likely find something else to insist on once this process is complete.

    You don't say why your sister visits rarely, is it because she is a long way away, or she has children and you don't.

    If you help your father to do this, you risk alienating your sister for the rest of your life.

    As Duggies-girl has said if he has capacity I would leave him to sort it all out himself, finding a solicitor, etc.

    I think there is a phase when a person is deemed to still have capacity, but they act very out of character and make odd decisions, when their former self would be horrified at their actions, and this isn't taken account of in law.

    There of course is the risk/likelihood that a significant percentage of your father's assets will be spent on care home fees, and little will be left to inherit but your relationship with your sister permanently damaged.
     
  5. Rosettastone57

    Rosettastone57 Registered User

    Oct 27, 2016
    484
    My mother-in-law was always threatening to change her will both before the diagnosis of dementia and after. Her perception was over the years that the family never did enough for her of course it was always the case if we had done more it would never have been enough. My husband and I always ignored these statements and told her if she wanted to change it she would have to do it herself via a solicitor. As soon as we mentioned there was a cost involved from a solicitor of course she would always back down. The will has never yet been changed
     
  6. Guzelle

    Guzelle Registered User

    Aug 27, 2016
    121
    Sheffield
    Does your sister live far away is that why her visits are few? It will cause resentment unfortunately. If only he could compensate you more than her without her knowing. My OH has 2 adopted children from his first marriage that never visit us. He has written them out of his will 2 years ago when he wasn’t as bad as he is now. His son has visited once in 18 years. His daughter we did used to see more of but she never came to us unless we went to collect her! She hasn’t been for 5 years although I see on her Facebook that she visits friends at a nearby pub.
     
  7. Beate

    Beate Registered User

    May 21, 2014
    10,632
    Female
    London
    I agree - I wouldn't help him with this at all, especially if it could estrange you from your sister. It could also be seen as undue influence. Surely he can organise it himself if he still has capacity?
     
  8. lilly73

    lilly73 New member

    Nov 10, 2018
    4
    #8 lilly73, Nov 10, 2018
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2018
    Thank you for your advise my sister lives in Cumbria which is a 4 hour journey away . Dad used to live very close to her and he and my mum were a large part of each others lives (bringing up grandchildren etc) it was decided by dad that he should move closer to me when he was diagnosed as I would be better equipped to look after him.
    She does try to phone dad but he doesn't answer the phone anymore. I really don't want to alienate her but he is absolutely insistent.
     
  9. AliceA

    AliceA Registered User

    May 27, 2016
    770
    It sounds as if she is doing her very best. As others have advised, if he has capacity he should be able to get his Solititors to make a home visit.
     
  10. jugglingmum

    jugglingmum Registered User

    Jan 5, 2014
    4,391
    Female
    Chester
    Unfortunately that is one of the traits of dementia to be absolutely insistent about things. Once he has stopped obsessing with his will, he may well move onto something else to obsess about.

    If you don't want him to change it, tell him to phone the solicitor. Tell him if you help him in any way the change won't be valid, so you aren't allowed to take him to see the solicitor etc. Repeat to him that you aren't allowed to help.
     
  11. AliceA

    AliceA Registered User

    May 27, 2016
    770
    You seem to be leaving yourself wide open, do be careful.
     
  12. Beate

    Beate Registered User

    May 21, 2014
    10,632
    Female
    London
    This will change is going to benefit you while leaving your sister out in the cold for no good reason. I am sure this is not what you want, is it? Try your hardest to stay out of it.
     
  13. lilly73

    lilly73 New member

    Nov 10, 2018
    4
    I am really concerned about it and don't want to cause any bad feelings between the two families. His last assessment was 2 months ago when he only scored 12/30 on his MMSE tests but when I spoke to the speciality doctor at the OPMH clinic he advised me this didn't mean he didn't have the capacity to make a Will.
     
  14. Duggies-girl

    Duggies-girl Registered User

    Sep 6, 2017
    1,005
    I can understand your sister being extremely upset as it is not only her but her children who are being cut out which seems a bit of a shame to me.

    Lots of families are scattered wide and far these days and visits are not always possible but it is his money so he can do what he wants with it but I certainly would not help him in anyway at all.
     
  15. Duggies-girl

    Duggies-girl Registered User

    Sep 6, 2017
    1,005
    You have to have a new will witnessed by two independent people. He is likely to have difficulty finding someone willing to do this if there is any doubt to his capacity.

    Not something I would be happy to do.
     
  16. Sirena

    Sirena Registered User

    Feb 27, 2018
    444
    Female
    I agree with the other comments - he may well be insistent on doing this but it doesn't mean you have to enable it. If you are seen to be helping him it could look as if you were trying to influence him for your own benefit, and it will probably alienate you from your sister. So let him go ahead and organise it, but don't do anything to help him and resist any pressure to do so.

    I suspect even if your sister visited much more regularly, he may still say he never sees her. My mother used to visit my gran (who had Alzheimers) and gran used to moan she hadn't seen her for ages - she visited twice a week.
     
  17. Quizbunny

    Quizbunny Registered User

    Nov 20, 2011
    70
    If I were you I wouldn’t facilitate this. Just think for a moment how you would feel if your father decided he wanted to cut you and yours out of his will.
     
  18. Kevinl

    Kevinl Registered User

    Aug 24, 2013
    4,555
    Salford
    As has been said people with AZ can get a bee in their bonnet about any number of things and money is a very common one.
    From the sound of it he might be well enough to change his will without your help, if so it's important for you and your sister to recognise that he is doing this not out of spite but because he has a degenerative brain condition that is causing him to act irrationally.
    It is possible to change a will after someone passes away using a "deed of variation" I've seen it used when a child is disinherited and as long as all the beneficiaries agree then it's quite straightforward to do as long as it's not being done to avoid tax there shouldn't be a problem.
    My grandmother disinherited one of her 3 sons (for marrying someone of s different religion), when she passed away my dad and his brother used a deed of variation to put it back to a 3 way split as per her original will before the marriage.
    K
     
  19. Canadian Joanne

    Canadian Joanne Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 8, 2005
    15,649
    Toronto, Canada
    I agree with everyone else and think you need to pull back completely. if your father wants to do this, he should do it on his own. The fact that he has asked you to appoint a solicitor etc indicates to me that he could not do it on his own.
     
  20. AliceA

    AliceA Registered User

    May 27, 2016
    770
    I feel you know in your heart what the right and fair answer is. If I had a professional hat on I would ask 'Do you need to ask the question?'

    If you still do it may be worth an appointment with a independent solicitor. Some give a free half hour.
    Usually the only winner are lawyers in family disputes.
     

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