I have another family inheritance drama. Long story, I hope I can simplify a little.
This one is about four older siblings and how their wills are set up. As you will see, the problem is not so much with the wills as it is with people who should mind their own business sticking their noses in.
Four siblings in their 70s, all retired. From oldest to youngest, they are Adam, Bob, Carl, and Denise.
Bob and Carl both married and have kids. Bob has two adult children, Robert and Roberta. Carl has one adult son, Carl Junior.
Neither Adam or Denise ever married. All four siblings had good jobs and retired comfortably. Adam owns the old family home, a building in the middle of their small town. That house is the single most valuable thing anyone in the family owns because it is next to town hall, the bank, all the shopping, etc. The house is kind of shabby and run-down, but the ground it is on is worth millions. Several people have wanted to buy it to build offices on, but Adam isn’t interested in selling. He plans to die there, and that is where the will comes in.
After retirement, Denise moved back into the family home with Adam, and when they wrote their wills, they each said that their entire estate went to each other. Then when the second one died, the estate would be split between the three niece/nephews. When Denise died several years ago, everything she had went to Adam. He’s in frail health now in his 80s, but keeps chugging along.
A few years after Denise died, Carl’s wife heard that Adam’s estate would skip over the Carl/Bob generation and go to the younger generation. She started agitating with Carl, and she and Carl went to Adam and convinced him this wasn’t the right/smart thing to do. The next thing you know, Adam changed his will, splitting his estate 50/50 between Carl and Bob. Mr. and Mrs. Carl claim that it’s because brothers/nearest kin will pay fewer taxes than their kids would. I have NO idea if this is true or not, all this drama is taking place in Europe, and I don’t know what inheritance laws are like there.
Under the original will, Robert, Roberta, and Carl Junior would each receive 33.3% of the Adam/Denise estate.
Under the new will, Carl and Bob each get 50% of the Adam/Denise estate. Their kids get nothing.
If Carl and Bob each put their inheritance away and never touched a cent of it, and left it to their children, equally, Robert and Roberta would get 25% of the original Adam/Denise estate and Carl Jr. would get 50% of it.
Mr. and Mrs. Bob then got mad at the Carls, and the person who was madder than anyone was Roberta. At one point, she had expectations of 33.3% of a very large estate. Now, if her parents inherit, even if they never touch a dime of the worth of the house, she’s only going to get 25% of it, because her parents will split the value evenly between Robert and Roberta. Possibly her parents will spend the money they inherited on slot machines and blow and she’ll never see a dime of it. She will also have to wait longer for any possible inheritance she does inherit, because her father is considerably younger than Adam. She’s also pissed because Mrs. Carl, who is not even a blood relation stuck her nosy nose in and got that will changed. This benefits the Carls and Carl Junior. One might say she should be mad at Adam...but it's always easier to be mad at non-relatives, and honestly...Mrs. Carl is a buttinski.
Robert, Roberta, and Carl Junior all get along, and are trying not to let this family drama change their relationships, but it is hard. Roberta can barely be in the same room with Mrs. Carl and for several years the Carls and the Bobs had a definite coolness between them. The brothers have made up, but the wives still are not very warm with each other.
My personal feeling is that since Adam and Denise made their plans, and she died believing her wishes would be honored, it wasn’t right of Carl and Mrs. Carl to get things changed to benefit them. I am a distant inlaw to Carl and his wife and have kept my nose out of it and have not shared my opinions with anyone, I just watch and wonder how it will all shake out.