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Will Dismay

“MY widowed mother died recently and left nothing to my sister or me. Instead she divided her estate equally among the grandchildren (we each have two children). I wonder why my mother left me out? It might sound silly, but it hurts.”

QUESTION:

MY widowed mother died recently and left nothing to my sister or me. Instead she divided her estate equally among the grandchildren (we each have two children).

My sister is well off and married. I am divorced, 60, and living in public housing. I didn’t feel entitled to anything but I did hope for something and it certainly would have helped.

I wonder why my mother left me out? It might sound silly, but it hurts.

ANSWER:

Your disappointment is understandable and without any obvious reason for her action your mother could be seen as insensitive to your situation.

She could, however, have believed she was doing the right thing. She may have seen you as managing and her grandchildren as having more pressing needs.

Depending on their ages they may be facing expenses associated with education or bringing up a young family, mortgage etc.

Perhaps you could ask your children for any items from your mother’s home which have sentimental value.

If you wished to follow the legal path you would need to consider the impact this could have on family relationships, as you would be challenging your children, and your sister’s children, over their inheritance.

You are certainly entitled to make a claim for a payment from your late mother’s estate.

You would need to discuss your claim with a lawyer who specialises in these matters.

However, there is a time limit within which you must bring any claim, which is six months from the date of the grant of probate of the will.

A court can extend that time limit if there is a very good reason to do so, but you should not rely on that occurring.

You should therefore act as quickly as possible at least to obtain some advice and decide whether or not you want to make a claim.

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