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Children’s inheritance dilemma

Filed under: General,Law & Courts — lido @ 1:06 pm Thu 29th April 2010

I have shared care and guardianship of my two children. They have been left a substantial amount of money by my ex-partner’s grandmother (their Great-Grandmother) which will set them up for life. I have only learnt about this by accident from a 3rd party. My ex-partner is taking my children to court to take their inheritance money from them and so she obviously doesn’t want me to have any knowledge of this as she knows that I will be of the opinion that the money should stay in trust for the children until they are old enough. I am being kept in the dark at the moment by their mother, her family, her lawyer and also the lawyer acting for the Estate. Everybody seems to want to push this through the courts as a done deal and rip my children off.

Now that I know, I am trying to find out more about how I can prevent their Mother from taking their money. She is in another relationship now with a guy who has children of his own. Obviously, if this all turns to custard further down the line, then he will likely walk off with half of my children’s money.

I was wondering if anyone out there has had a previous experience like this and if anyone knows if this is considered a guardianship issue so that I can have my say in the courts. My lawyer thinks that it is, but is not 100% sure at the moment and is doing some investigations. However, time is of the essence as their mother has already started court proceeds to have her Grandmother’s will overturned.

I would be grateful to hear from anyone with assistance with this dilemma. Many thanks!!!!!!

13 Responses to “Children’s inheritance dilemma”

  1. Roger Hugh Dewhurst says:

    Getting wills overturned is not easy. I suggest that there would have to be a damn good reason to overturn a gift to grandchildren. Even a gift to a cats’ home is not that easy to overturn. I understand that the matter is likely to hinge on the soundness of mind of the testator. Perhaps you should be seeking a second and/or third legal opinion.

  2. lido says:

    Thanks Roger,
    Unfortunately,my first step is making sure that this is a guardianship issue so that I can even be involved in the process. As far as getting the will overturned, her Grandmother was more than of sound mind when she passed. She was as sharp as a knife. Funny how my ex shouted from the hill tops how switched on her Grandmother was right up until she saw the will. Then all of a sudden the old lady was as mad as mad as a march hair.
    Regards

  3. Jessie says:

    Reply to Lido.

    If your lawyer is not sure then I suggest you get one that
    knows what hes doing, after all you are the one paying him.

  4. lido says:

    Thanks Jessie,

    Actually he is a she and she is a great lawyer. Unfortunately, it is not as straight forward as that. Inheritance issues are not listed under guardianship issues and so we are trying to find a test case that helps us, hence why I am on here and she is busy going through her archives.

    Regards

  5. glenn says:

    Here is a bit of a test to apply.

    If the children, (shared care and guardianship) were the beneficiaries of a will left by their “paternal” great grandmother, would their mother fight to overturn that will, so that the father was the beneficiary, and not the children? Would she support the father contesting that will? I think probably not. You are dealing with the mother feeling leapfrogged out of her line of inheritence. I think her grandmother had her totally figured out, and made a totally rational decision which reflects that. Trouble is, it’s your ex’s family, not yours. I agree with Jessie. No good paying a lawyer who admits they don’t know what they are doing.

  6. lido says:

    Thanks Glen
    It’s not that she admits that she doesn’t know what she is doing. It is a VERY unusual case. She has spoken to colleagues and I have spoken to a specialist lawyer in this area and they are all of the opinion that it is PROBABLY a guardianship issue, but none of them have come across it before and none of them can give a definitive answer which is what we need. My lawyer has done GREAT things for me up to now and I have complete faith in her and respect her honesty about not being 100% sure at this stage and we are both working to find a test case that helps us prove our position. I’d rather we investigate it at this early stage rather than charge in feet first wasting money without be 100% sure of our case.
    I totally agree with you about the rest of your comments. Certainly, if the shoe was on the other foot she would definitely be fighting the children’s corner.
    Thanks for your comments
    Regards

  7. Scrap_The_CSA says:

    Who is the excecutor? They should be ensuring the instructions are carried out and defending any legal challenge and sorting out any legal implications etc.

    Simple answer – your paying good money to your lawyer who should have access to lexis nexis and be able to find relevant precedent – summarise it and give you an opinion.

    Of course she wont be 100% sure as in law 2 +2 can ofen equal 6.

    Regards

    Scrap

  8. Whafe says:

    Not much to offer, but all I can say is best of luck….I agree with Glenn, your childrens great grandmother sounds very very onto it……

  9. lido says:

    Thanks for your support Whafe.

    Also thanks to Scrap above. For some reason I couldn’t reply to you directly. I am sure my lawyer is onto it, but I will look into Lexis Nexis anyway. Thanks again.

  10. amfortas says:

    Get an Injunction. This will ‘freeze’ the funds and allow you time to develop your stategy with your lawyer.

    Watch the lawyer like a hawk watching a shark swimming toward a shoal of salmon.

    Read Dickens’ ‘Bleak House’ (I think) and his ‘Jarndice vs Jarndice’. Things have changed little.

  11. amfortas says:

    PS. I think it was Dickens !! 🙂

  12. lido says:

    Yes, you are quite right. Jarndyce and Jarndyce in Dickens’ Bleak House. Maybe I should send a copy to their Mother 🙂 Thanks Amfortas

  13. aaron says:

    My sisters children were the sole beneficiarys of their paternal grandmother, however their uncles who were leap frogged took it to court and won . the trust had to repay a certain amount to the uncles. I am unsure exactly the ins n outs of tje ruling but I will make enquiries. I am sure that If you are a legal gaurdian of a benificiary of a probate will then you will be given a copy by the courts. Ive had sim myself

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