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ACT How to Prevent Brother-in-Law from Pressuring Mother-in-Law to Change Will?

Discussion in 'Wills and Estate Planning Law Forum' started by Lawrence Lynch, 12 May 2016.

  1. Lawrence Lynch

    11 May 2016
    Likes Received:
    My wife is a bit worried after an altercation with her brother who is currently the full-time carer for her mother. Since this has happened, her mother has told her that he is trying to convince her to change her will and leave everything to him. Since her father passed recently, we also have evidence to suggest he has used his bank account to make purchases prior to it being closed. Her brother has a history of being aggressive so my wife is worried he is bullying her into making a will change.

    My question firstly given the circumstances is, is there any preventative measure my wife can put in place in relation to the will being changed without her knowledge?

    My mother-in-law also recently had some seizures so her memory is not good and she has some reduced mental capacity. As a result, my wife and brother-in-law applied for a dual power of attorney in the event she is not of sound mind. In this instance, at what point can this power of attorney be triggered?

    Evidence suggests that my brother-in-law is trying to get the will changed before she has any further seizures otherwise, he may lose his opportunity due to having to have my wife's signature on any transactions once the power of attorney does come into place.

    Apologies for the long winded description but it's the sort of situation that is hard to put in few words.
  2. Marti

    Marti Member

    13 May 2016
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    The first problem you face is the fact that your brother-in-law is his mother's "full time carer", which means he has ongoing access to her (and continuing opportunities to bully her, if this is what he's doing).

    I presume that your mother-in-law's current will leaves everything equally to her son and daughter, so perhaps your b-in-l feels more entitled to inherit, especially if he has been a carer for a long time - has done a lot for her, at his own expense, etc? That's not sufficient grounds for trying to get more, but it's often a factor when potential heirs fall out.

    I can't comment on the POA aspect (from either a legal or medical stand), but do suggest you and your wife keep in frequent contact with your m-in-l so that - hopefully - she will tell you if a new will is (or is about to be) made at her son's behest. Also so that you can closely monitor her state of mind, including other anxieties and/or more serious signs of confusion and memory loss. (Keep notes.)

    I think if your m-in-l does leave an unfair (seriously unequal) will without providing sound reasons for doing so, you can challenge it. Costly, so it might depend on the value of the inheritance. Hopefully someone else can help you with a bit more information.
    ClareB likes this.

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