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sibling dispute

including wills and probate
NeilOne
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sibling dispute

#519574

Postby NeilOne » August 3rd, 2022, 6:52 pm

My sister and I have POA for my mother who has dementia but still at home and my sister lives near her so does more of care.

Mother was looking for her diamond rings and it turns out that my niece has them. As my niece my Mothers only granddaughter (among several grandsons) it is understandable that the jewellery would pass to my niece. I don't know the value of the jewellery but maybe 50k at a guess but no idea as it's never been valued as far as i know.

I am yet to raise this with my sister but I feel my Mother would seek to treat her grandchildren equally and this be a significant part of the estate.

I feel a bit grubby raising this wondering what are the Legal Issues here should I question the actions.

I have previously felt that they have withdrawn more cash from my Mother's accounts than could be justified by the shopping they do for her but not raised this in order to avoid a family dispute.

JohnB
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Re: sibling dispute

#519601

Postby JohnB » August 3rd, 2022, 7:39 pm

If the estate is over the IHT threshold, you will need to know when the rings were gifted, and their value if 7 years do not elapse. Mentioning your concerns over this would allow the topic of equal compensation to be raised without rancor.

Dod101
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Re: sibling dispute

#519611

Postby Dod101 » August 3rd, 2022, 7:52 pm

JohnB has answered your point about the jewellery but as you and your sister have a joint POA, you should certainly know what is going on about cash going out of your mother’s account. I would seek clarification on that matter because you are entitled to know if there is any suggestion of ‘milking’ of the situation.

The sensible thing is for whoever has access to your mother’s accounts to keep a cash book so that everything is recorded and can be reconciled with bank records. I did that with my mother in law’s affairs when I was the sole attorney simply because I did not want any misunderstanding.

Dod

NeilOne
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Re: sibling dispute

#519637

Postby NeilOne » August 3rd, 2022, 9:30 pm

Thaks for replies. The estate will be over the threshold so the rings will be subject to IHT.

Lootman
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Re: sibling dispute

#519640

Postby Lootman » August 3rd, 2022, 9:35 pm

It is interesting because when you appoint your children as executors of your will, then the effect of that is that they have to all sign off on disbursements. They have joint and several responsibility.

But generally when you write a POA you give each attorney the right to act independently. Which opens up an avenue for abuse.

When doing my EPA I considered requiring the signature of both of my sons, but decided against it. I trust both of them but maybe that was a mistake?

NeilOne
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Re: sibling dispute

#519697

Postby NeilOne » August 4th, 2022, 9:06 am

I assume my sister was planning to not declare the jewellery gifts

I could suggest to my Mother that she make gifts to the equivalent value (when known) to the other grandchildren. I do have control of the main bank account and have made annual gifts to the grandchildren up to the maximum allowance. Not sure if this would cross a line and escalate things.

richfool
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Re: sibling dispute

#519701

Postby richfool » August 4th, 2022, 9:13 am

Would it be worth having a discussion with your sister, to set out and agree some general principles and points about how you will (jointly) approach various issues which are likely to arise. That way you could seek to head off any potential conflicts as well as both iron out any points of disagreement before they arise.

scrumpyjack
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Re: sibling dispute

#519702

Postby scrumpyjack » August 4th, 2022, 9:14 am

NeilOne wrote:I assume my sister was planning to not declare the jewellery gifts

I could suggest to my Mother that she make gifts to the equivalent value (when known) to the other grandchildren. I do have control of the main bank account and have made annual gifts to the grandchildren up to the maximum allowance. Not sure if this would cross a line and escalate things.


If your mother was looking for her rings, presumably she hadn't given them to the grandchild and they were taken without her knowledge? or perhaps they were given many years ago and so past the 7 years !?

Certainly in my family jewellery has always gone to the females without an adjustment for the poor old males.

Perhaps you should tell your sister that the male grandchildren have now self identified as female and can they please share the rings :D

Dod101
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Re: sibling dispute

#519725

Postby Dod101 » August 4th, 2022, 10:15 am

scrumpyjack wrote:
NeilOne wrote:I assume my sister was planning to not declare the jewellery gifts

I could suggest to my Mother that she make gifts to the equivalent value (when known) to the other grandchildren. I do have control of the main bank account and have made annual gifts to the grandchildren up to the maximum allowance. Not sure if this would cross a line and escalate things.


If your mother was looking for her rings, presumably she hadn't given them to the grandchild and they were taken without her knowledge? or perhaps they were given many years ago and so past the 7 years !?

Certainly in my family jewellery has always gone to the females without an adjustment for the poor old males.

Perhaps you should tell your sister that the male grandchildren have now self identified as female and can they please share the rings :D


My daughter got her mother's jewellery with no compensating extra for my son, but that is just life I guess. I wold agree with richfool that the time seems to have come for you to get together with your sister for a chat. You have control of the main bank account and yet you say that you have felt that you sister is drawing more cash from your mother's accounts than could be justified. All a recipe for real upset if you are not careful. And at all times the Attorneys have to work in the best interests of the individual who gave the POA in the first place. Spraying her money around does not necessarily meet that requirement.

Dod

NeilOne
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Re: sibling dispute

#519774

Postby NeilOne » August 4th, 2022, 12:13 pm

My Mother has dementia and cannot remember conversations from 5 minutes ago. The rings were likely given/taken recently. I would agree failure to discuss things is at the root of the issue. The tradition of jewellery passing to female descendants maybe is still widely followed. Maybe from a time when all the money or the family farm or house passed to male relatives. I should disclose that I changed some of the details in the original post in a poor attempt to disguise my identity, before anyone points out that the rings would have likely gone to my sister not neice. My mother actually has 3 sons and 1 lives abroad and prefers to avoid conflict of any kind.

At least one of the diamonds was bought by my Father as an investment I think, though probably not relevant.

Thanks for your replies . When my Mother started to decline I thought we would be able to deal with all these issues sensibly and with fairness with all agreeing on everything but turns out to be more difficult than expected. My mother in law is now dead but had planned carefully for everything and avoided all this so there is a lesson there.

NeilOne
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Re: sibling dispute

#519777

Postby NeilOne » August 4th, 2022, 12:21 pm

I have seen similar posts about similar conflict , normally from the near sibling , where one sibling lives close to aging parent and "does everything" while the more distant one does little. Maybe that's how they see it in my case.

pje16
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Re: sibling dispute

#519780

Postby pje16 » August 4th, 2022, 12:29 pm

NeilOne wrote:I have seen similar posts about similar conflict , normally from the near sibling , where one sibling lives close to aging parent and "does everything" while the more distant one does little. Maybe that's how they see it in my case.

I live close to my dad (mum passed away 5 years go) my brother is 250 miles away
but he has stepped up to the plate SO many times over the years for family matters there is no difference from Dad's point of view
If he wasn't my brother he'd be my best mate
(guess I'm lucky)

AF62
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Re: sibling dispute

#519886

Postby AF62 » August 4th, 2022, 6:40 pm

NeilOne wrote:I don't know the value of the jewellery but maybe 50k at a guess but no idea as it's never been valued as far as i know.


Is the £50k the amount you would get for selling or the amount to purchase (i.e. pawnshop vs insurance replacement value) - as the two can be wildly different.

And if you are looking to declare or make equal provision for others it would be sensible to do it on the same basis, in that the granddaughter might have been very happy to have received the jewellery, but if £50k was the purchase price and it is only worth a fraction if sold then she might have preferred the £50k cash the grandsons might receive as the ‘equivalent’.

Lootman
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Re: sibling dispute

#519894

Postby Lootman » August 4th, 2022, 6:55 pm

NeilOne wrote:I assume my sister was planning to not declare the jewellery gifts

I could suggest to my Mother that she make gifts to the equivalent value (when known) to the other grandchildren. I do have control of the main bank account and have made annual gifts to the grandchildren up to the maximum allowance. Not sure if this would cross a line and escalate things

If it were me I would go further than merely giving equivalent gifts to the other heirs. I would vacate the mother's bank account while I still can since the sister clearly cannot be trusted not to abuse her access. Then I would create an account in my own name for the funds so that no more such abuse can take place. If you don't then your sister might do that first and present you with a fait accompli.

You are certainly entitled to transfer funds to yourself for administrative convenience or for safety. In fact you can even get her pensions paid into your own name and account.

Whether it crossed some line or not is to be determined later. But you will be able to demonstrate that you are acting in the best interests of everyone by ensuring fairness and transparency. And ensuring that your mother's funds cannot be pilfered and squandered by the sister.

It is better to ask for forgiveness than permission in these situations, in my view.

JohnB
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Re: sibling dispute

#519902

Postby JohnB » August 4th, 2022, 7:44 pm

If one sibling is providing much more care, then some padding of expenses seems acceptable, compared with the cost of professional care

stockton
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Re: sibling dispute

#519941

Postby stockton » August 4th, 2022, 10:23 pm

My own experience of a similar situation was that the non-caring sibling had rather ridiculous ideas about where the money was going.

UncleEbenezer
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Re: sibling dispute

#520105

Postby UncleEbenezer » August 5th, 2022, 2:07 pm

pje16 wrote:
NeilOne wrote:I have seen similar posts about similar conflict , normally from the near sibling , where one sibling lives close to aging parent and "does everything" while the more distant one does little. Maybe that's how they see it in my case.

I live close to my dad (mum passed away 5 years go) my brother is 250 miles away
but he has stepped up to the plate SO many times over the years for family matters there is no difference from Dad's point of view

You must be my brother ....

If he wasn't my brother he'd be my best mate
(guess I'm lucky)


Oh, right. I take that back (nothing against my brother, but we're not at all close).

stevensfo
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Re: sibling dispute

#520145

Postby stevensfo » August 5th, 2022, 5:11 pm

NeilOne wrote:My sister and I have POA for my mother who has dementia but still at home and my sister lives near her so does more of care.

Mother was looking for her diamond rings and it turns out that my niece has them. As my niece my Mothers only granddaughter (among several grandsons) it is understandable that the jewellery would pass to my niece. I don't know the value of the jewellery but maybe 50k at a guess but no idea as it's never been valued as far as i know.

I am yet to raise this with my sister but I feel my Mother would seek to treat her grandchildren equally and this be a significant part of the estate.

I feel a bit grubby raising this wondering what are the Legal Issues here should I question the actions.

I have previously felt that they have withdrawn more cash from my Mother's accounts than could be justified by the shopping they do for her but not raised this in order to avoid a family dispute.


You have my sympathy. I'm the eldest and live abroad, whereas my two sisters live within 10 minutes of my mum. I've always considered us as a rather tight-knit family and indeed, it was my suggestion that my mum gift our grandmother's house to my eldest sister. A nurse, single mother raising a son? My mum told me off for not suggesting it years before, but I explained that I felt uneasy meddling in her affairs. She is very fair and all this is taken into account in her will so the rest of us don't miss out.
But I've also seen how people can change and I'm aware that when my mum passes away, both sisters will be through the house with a fine comb. It doesn't worry me too much, but I have a strong sense of fair play.
As part of your POA, could you not take time to make an inventory of everything? Photos of all walls, pictures, furniture, drawer contents, jewellery boxes etc? Maybe even include insurance as an excuse? That way you could write the details of the jewellery given away. You can justify this by quoting the 7-year rule about IHT etc. Also print bank statements etc to keep an eye on potential overcharging, scams etc. i.e. make it clear that you're doing this to protect your mum, not keep an eye on your sister! ;)

Steve

PS Re. the jewellery, while it's irritating, I wouldn't lose too much sleep over it. My mum gave my grandmother's beautiful ring to my wife. Although I would not dream of breaking the law, I think that a mother has the right to give her trinkets away to her close family without strangers poking their bloody nose into it. What I think annoys you - and me - is the fact that it was done rather secretly?

NeilOne
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Re: sibling dispute

#520222

Postby NeilOne » August 5th, 2022, 9:15 pm

Thanks for further replies. We were considering care homes before the pandemic but when pandemic started was glad she was at home. I am mindful of the time and effort that my sister (actually brother as explained) is doing which does inhibit my objection to what they can justifiably claim is my mother's wishes. As I guess I could claim if I tried to even things up for the other grandchildren.

Tempting as Lootman's suggestion is think it would be going a bit far ! though I think I remember your previous posts of your own experience, though cannot remember the details. All siblings have POA but never actually used as I have the original document.

Lootman
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Re: sibling dispute

#520224

Postby Lootman » August 5th, 2022, 9:23 pm

stevensfo wrote:Re. the jewellery, while it's irritating, I wouldn't lose too much sleep over it.

If it has purely sentimental value, then sure. But these items are worth 50K!

NeilOne wrote:Tempting as Lootman's suggestion is think it would be going a bit far ! though I think I remember your previous posts of your own experience, though cannot remember the details. All siblings have POA but never actually used as I have the original document.

Some POAs require every signature to be effective but most require only one, meaning that any attorney can act unilaterally. That is an option chosen when originally setting it up.

Although of course if you have the only document conferring this power then perhaps you do not have to worry so much about the other attorney seizing beyond that which she has physical access to.


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