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  #21  
Old 01-02-2008, 02:06 AM
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Originally Posted by Roslyn View Post
The gifts to God-children were not expressly stated in the will, but in papers that were referred to in but did not form part of the will; they were not the subject of the codicil, which did nothing but remove Patrick Jephson as executor/trustee and replace him with sister Sarah. What Frances & Sarah did was do a complete overhaul of the original will, with the sanction of the High Court of Justice, and ostensibly for the benefit of William & Harry. Diana's sons were originally to take their shares at age 25, but the document sanctioned by the Court on 19.12.97 - I hestitate to call it a will because it bore little resemblance to Diana's document - created a fairly complex trust structure. I suspect, but cannot be sure, that there are probably substantial tax benefits to the new structure.

You can see all the documents at Court TV Online - FAMOUS WILLS for the Will and Codicil, and select part2 for the Court sanctioned document.
I had heard that, but this is the first opportunity I have had to get information about it.

IF needed please move the quoted post and this reply to an appropriate thread or start one, PLEASE.

I would like to know HOW EXECUTORS of a Will can decide that THEY DON'T LIKE THE WILL and then go about completely rewriting it to their tastes and then I find out A BRITISH COURT OF LAW thinks it was just OKIE DOKIE, oh really?

That wouldn't work where I live.
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  #22  
Old 01-02-2008, 08:24 AM
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Originally Posted by Roslyn View Post
The gifts to God-children were not expressly stated in the will, but in papers that were referred to in but did not form part of the will; they were not the subject of the codicil, which did nothing but remove Patrick Jephson as executor/trustee and replace him with sister Sarah. What Frances & Sarah did was do a complete overhaul of the original will, with the sanction of the High Court of Justice, and ostensibly for the benefit of William & Harry. Diana's sons were originally to take their shares at age 25, but the document sanctioned by the Court on 19.12.97 - I hestitate to call it a will because it bore little resemblance to Diana's document - created a fairly complex trust structure. I suspect, but cannot be sure, that there are probably substantial tax benefits to the new structure.
It's called a 'wish list' and they are not enforcible in any way. They are reliant on the executors 'goodwill' and 'honesty'! Wish lists are never a good idea. As many executors present invoices, it would have made sense to remove Jephson as an executor/trustee, although you have to wonder if her family charged her estate.

It is possibly to apply to have some instructions changed if it is deemed to be in the best interests of the beneficiaries.
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  #23  
Old 01-02-2008, 08:37 AM
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Unbelievable!!!

A Wish List is written and specific bequests are made but it means nothing UNLESS the Executor(s) decide they kinda wanna do it?

I want to discuss "The Arrangement" where Paul Burrelle is left 50,000 GBP when in the original will he is left NOTHING. Now just how did this work AND WHY???

We are going to allow Diana's will to be altered and say it is for the benefit of INFANT BENEFICIARIES (I take it that is the equivalent of minors in the USA?) YET WILLIAM can decide to allow and authorize his mother's family to take possession of property that he himself DOES NOT have the legal capacity to control because of his legal infancy?

Mummy and Sis wind up getting MORE out of this "new" Will and they are Executors of it and NOBODY sees a conflict of interest in that?

OK, now tell this silly, stupid American then, SERIOUSLY, is this one of those British "wink wink" situations where polite people do not discuss it in public?

Yall should be so thankful I am not one of your relatives and come to visit often, can you just imagine what could pop out of my mouth and at the most inopportune times.
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  #24  
Old 01-02-2008, 08:57 AM
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Did you know that here in the UK a common expression is 'the law is an ass'?

The trouble when you write a wish list is that you think you know and can trust your executors, spouse or relative to agree with what you have specified be given, sadly that is not always the case! Any solicitor worth his/her salt will tell you, if you want cousin A 13 times removed to receive that necklace, specify in your will that cousin A 13 times removed is to receive the gold necklace, with 12 rubies and 10 diamonds, set in such and such a way, purchased from/given by and preferably with documentation/photographs, so there can be no wriggle room!
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  #25  
Old 01-02-2008, 09:13 AM
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Well Sky, we have similar sayings about the law here in the US as well. Maybe we all need to get together and do some house cleaning in that specific branch of our governments? Here in the States, you had better prove somebody violated a law in what they did in their Will or were insane at the time they made it OR whatever they did is how it goes, MOST OF THE TIME.

I can only speak as a son who has buried his MUCH LOVED AND RESPECTED MOTHER and I was an adult when she passed (God is merciful and let me keep her a long time,) BUT IF I had of ever learned that ANYBODY was messing around with what belonged to my DEAD MOTHER, I would have gone ballistic. THEY BETTER BE STRAIGHT ABOUT IT. Princes William and Harry are grown men now and I doubt they would tolerate and overlook being abused as kids, especially over what belonged to their Mama.
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  #26  
Old 01-02-2008, 12:40 PM
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If I remember correctly, before Diana had passed, she had asked her brother if she could have one of the cottages or guest houses (not for sure exactly what type of housing) on the Althorpe estate in which to live (and escape to.) This was after her divorce with Charles, and Diana needed a place to escape. At first her brother agreed, but then later changed his mind because he didn't want all of the attention that she would bring there. It’s a possibility that this caused Diana to escape with Dodi Al Fayed instead. The funny thing is, now her brother Charles keeps her casket on his estate which brings hundreds of thousands of people to his property every year. What kind of brotherly love is that? He wouldn't let her live on the estate while she was alive, but he keeps her there when she is dead? To me, that helps show the true character of Earl Spencer.

Also, the executors of Diana’s will ignored her wishes, or side-stepped her wishes, when it came to the inheritance of her god-children. They received only one memento item each and not any money. Diana’s will can be contested by her god-children, but to my understanding, not one of her god-children wants the publicity or the reputation of fighting over Diana’s money. How sad that they are not able to fight for what was left to them by Diana in an addendum to her will! But, maybe Diana saw this as a way of not leaving her god-children more money, and instead giving more money to her children. Her god-children can take it that she had wanted to leave them money but that her wishes were not granted. Who knows? That might be a stretch though.
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  #27  
Old 01-02-2008, 12:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Melania View Post
If I remember correctly, before Diana had passed, she had asked her brother if she could have one of the cottages or guest houses (not for sure exactly what type of housing) on the Althorpe estate in which to live (and escape to.) This was after her divorce with Charles, and Diana needed a place to escape. At first her brother agreed, but then later changed his mind because he didn't want all of the attention that she would bring there. It’s a possibility that this caused Diana to escape with Dodi Al Fayed instead. The funny thing is, now her brother Charles keeps her casket on his estate which brings hundreds of thousands of people to his property every year. What kind of brotherly love is that? He wouldn't let her live on the estate while she was alive, but he keeps her there when she is dead? To me, that helps show the true character of Earl Spencer.
The Earl offered Diana a cottage on the estate for her use, but Diana wanted another cottage that would have given her more privacy. The only problem there was that it was occupied by a young family and the earl did not feel it would be right to evict them. Even though I am not a fan of his, on that I agree with him. With her settlement, Diana could have rented or purchased a house in most parts of the country.

I can even part way understand the executors thinking, in offering a memento rather than hard cash. The god children cannot fight the decision as it was never written in her will.
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  #28  
Old 01-02-2008, 01:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Skydragon View Post
The Earl offered Diana a cottage on the estate for her use, but Diana wanted another cottage that would have given her more privacy. The only problem there was that it was occupied by a young family and the earl did not feel it would be right to evict them. Even though I am not a fan of his, on that I agree with him. With her settlement, Diana could have rented or purchased a house in most parts of the country.

I can even part way understand the executors thinking, in offering a memento rather than hard cash. The god children cannot fight the decision as it was never written in her will.
Now I heard even a different story. I heard this happened when she was still royal and had royal protection and the conditions of a royal living on the grounds meant that royal protection officers had to do a sweep of the whole grounds 3 times a day while she was there and the family thought that it was too intrusive on their own privacy.

Interesting.
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  #29  
Old 01-02-2008, 01:39 PM
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I've also heard that the incident never happened at all. I guess we will never get the real answer.
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  #30  
Old 01-02-2008, 01:41 PM
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I don't know how it is in the USA, but I know it's possible in the UK for the executor to add stuff to a will after the person's death if it doesn't adversely affect the beneficiaries unless they've agreed to it. Or something. I know that as the executor of my father's will, I was able to specify some legacies to individuals and charities, some of which he'd said he wanted to have done but hadn't written it into the will and some of which I thought would be appropriate. Since I was also the beneficiary, there was no problem with doing it. However, if I understood the lawyer correctly, if I'd been the executor but not the beneficiary, I wouldn't have been able to do it unless there were documents signed by my father which had specified that this was his wish even if they weren't part of the will, and the beneficiary would have had to agree. I assume the executors of Diana's will were able to ignore the bequest to her godchildren because it wasn't part of the will, and the fact that it was detrimental to the beneficiaries (William and Harry) would have provided some sort of excuse.
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  #31  
Old 01-02-2008, 01:54 PM
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Originally Posted by chrissy57 View Post
Her will clearly states her wish to be buried.

It is the first clause IIRC.

As for the details they were worked out I believe during the week after her death but she had expressed, verbally at least, I believe, that she wished to be buried with her father. That was not seen as feasible due to the size of the church and the size of the village in which the church is located, so the compromise was thought up of her being buried all alone on that island.
was being buried her only (official) funeral wish? did they ever say how many years before this will was written? is it a normal procedure of the british roual family to produce wills even though they are young and to regularly update them?

i was also curious about when her will was made public.
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  #32  
Old 01-02-2008, 01:58 PM
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Elspeth

This may just be a matter of language then, IF you were the Executor as well as the ONLY beneficiary of your father's will, then I can see what you are saying. Whether you would have been acting as Executor in adding those causes or Beneficiary in spending money that you inherited?

I am trying very hard to remember that there well might be some cultural values differences at play here as well. Perhaps because in my personal experience with my mother who died before my father, leaving me everything (in Texas that is exactly 50% of everything my parents owned [community property]) and my father nothing and the trouble that caused with his side of the family. But even though they tried, they could do nothing to disturb my mother's will. I just find that a will is an extension of a person simply disposing of their cash and property as they see fit, only after death. It still belongs to them, imo.
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  #33  
Old 01-02-2008, 04:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Elspeth View Post
I don't know how it is in the USA, but I know it's possible in the UK for the executor to add stuff to a will after the person's death if it doesn't adversely affect the beneficiaries unless they've agreed to it. Or something. I know that as the executor of my father's will, I was able to specify some legacies to individuals and charities, some of which he'd said he wanted to have done but hadn't written it into the will and some of which I thought would be appropriate. Since I was also the beneficiary, there was no problem with doing it. However, if I understood the lawyer correctly, if I'd been the executor but not the beneficiary, I wouldn't have been able to do it unless there were documents signed by my father which had specified that this was his wish even if they weren't part of the will, and the beneficiary would have had to agree. I assume the executors of Diana's will were able to ignore the bequest to her godchildren because it wasn't part of the will, and the fact that it was detrimental to the beneficiaries (William and Harry) would have provided some sort of excuse.
Here you have to be very careful about adding beneficiaries as a trustee or executor/trix, as it can be seen as an attempt to avoid some of the inheritance tax, a hefty 40%. Every last piece of jewelery, stock, share or item over a certain amount, is listed for probate.
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Originally Posted by diamondBrg View Post
Perhaps because in my personal experience with my mother who died before my father leaving me everything (in Texas that is exactly 50% of everything my parents owned [community property]) and my father nothing and the trouble that caused with his side of the family. But even though they tried, they could do nothing to disturb my mother's will. I just find that a will is an extension of a person simply disposing of their cash and property as they see fit, only after death. It still belongs to them, imo.
Here, unless your father had written a will leaving his share to his relatives after your mothers death, ie he left it in trust for them with your mother having use of, it would have automatically have gone to you. The rules here are fairly simple - Intestate

It's strange, talk of inheritance or wills and a lot of families fall out.
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  #34  
Old 01-03-2008, 01:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Skydragon View Post
The Earl offered Diana a cottage on the estate for her use, but Diana wanted another cottage that would have given her more privacy. The only problem there was that it was occupied by a young family and the earl did not feel it would be right to evict them. Even though I am not a fan of his, on that I agree with him. With her settlement, Diana could have rented or purchased a house in most parts of the country.
If this story is true, I guess the Earl realised that Diana would want everything going her way. That she would not stop from evicting a young family could have been read by him as a sincere warning. Diana had already proven that she did not accept the old rules of monarchy/aristocracy, so how should the earl (her younger! brother) know if she would accept that Althorp was his and his alone according to tradition and the law?

He did spent some time back then away from Althorp, didn't he and he must have been aware that if he is gone and that his sister, a former HRH could easily take over the estate, even to the point that she moved in main house on some invented reasons. And how shoudl he have gotten rid of the sainty Diana then? And what if she didn't like or didn't accept his countess?
he must have known how Diana behaved around Raine when she didn't like her....

It must have been his worst nightmare. But later, in death, she was welcome, of course.
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  #35  
Old 01-03-2008, 02:30 PM
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Obviously, there was some tension between the two--he asked for the Spencer tiara to be returned, and then he refused to make the young couple move. On the previous thread, about when opinions about changed, one poster took up for the Earl and said that he really isn't exploiting her memory--and while I cannot find the thread to link or post, I have to agree with it. I do think that Diana felt entitled to everything she could get from the Spencer family--and I do feel sorry for her; it would have been nice if she could have returned to the family home and live but not if it meant evicting people. I never heard that part of the story--I suppose because the media only wants to portray Diana as a victim--when in fact, she was anything but the victim in this particular circumstance.

I always thought it odd too that the Princess' personal effects were on tour and appeared to be with the Earl Spencer. I suppose they will be returned to the boys eventually.

And, if I were William and Harry I would have been very irked if the executors of my mother's will let 17 god children's parents into my home to take trinkets. While I'm sure they had the say in what was up for grabs, I still think it put them in a bad situation. When my beloved Grandmother passed away, I absolutely hated it if anyone took anything--and that was family! Perhaps I am more selfish than most, but for a long time I just wanted everything to stay the same. I would think, with the sudden way she departed the world, that the boys would have felt similar.
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  #36  
Old 01-03-2008, 02:50 PM
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Originally Posted by jcbcode99 View Post
Obviously, there was some tension between the two--he asked for the Spencer tiara to be returned, and then he refused to make the young couple move. On the previous thread, about when opinions about changed, one poster took up for the Earl and said that he really isn't exploiting her memory--and while I cannot find the thread to link or post, I have to agree with it. I do think that Diana felt entitled to everything she could get from the Spencer family--and I do feel sorry for her; it would have been nice if she could have returned to the family home and live but not if it meant evicting people. I never heard that part of the story--I suppose because the media only wants to portray Diana as a victim--when in fact, she was anything but the victim in this particular circumstance.

I always thought it odd too that the Princess' personal effects were on tour and appeared to be with the Earl Spencer. I suppose they will be returned to the boys eventually.

And, if I were William and Harry I would have been very irked if the executors of my mother's will let 17 god children's parents into my home to take trinkets. While I'm sure they had the say in what was up for grabs, I still think it put them in a bad situation. When my beloved Grandmother passed away, I absolutely hated it if anyone took anything--and that was family! Perhaps I am more selfish than most, but for a long time I just wanted everything to stay the same. I would think, with the sudden way she departed the world, that the boys would have felt similar.
I have seen this reoccurring theme frequently and now would like to ask about it.

Diana was instructed to return the Spencer Tiara, The Earl of Spencer refused to make the young couple move, etc.

What property / inheritance rights do women have in the UK? Are women allowed to control their own money and property?
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Old 01-03-2008, 03:33 PM
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Yes, that's been the case since Victorian times if I remember right. However, things are a bit different with entailed property attached to peerages. Since I haven't lived in the UK since the 1980s, you'll probably want someone still living there to explain what's going on.

Skydragon, my dad lived in the UK and the lawyer was aware of estate tax implications; he still said it was OK to add the bequests, although I think that if the bequests to individuals had been substantial there might have been a problem. According to him, specifying bequests to charities as an addition to a will were pretty much OK regardless of amount.

However, if an informal bequest like that isn't written into the will, then it's up to the executors to make sure that the beneficiaries of the will itself aren't adversely affected. If William and Harry had been adults, I assume that Mrs Shand Kydd and Lady Sarah could have asked them if they were OK with this large bequest to Diana's godchildren, and could have gone ahead and approved it if the princes agreed. Since the princes were minors, the executors had to make the decision on their behalf. I think they could have gone along with Diana's wishes in that document, but I can see where they might have felt they wouldn't have been acting in William and Harry's best interests, especially since a lot of the godchildren were from well-off families.
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  #38  
Old 01-03-2008, 04:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Elspeth View Post
Yes, that's been the case since Victorian times if I remember right. However, things are a bit different with entailed property attached to peerages. Since I haven't lived in the UK since the 1980s, you'll probably want someone still living there to explain what's going on.

Skydragon, my dad lived in the UK and the lawyer was aware of estate tax implications; he still said it was OK to add the bequests, although I think that if the bequests to individuals had been substantial there might have been a problem. According to him, specifying bequests to charities as an addition to a will were pretty much OK regardless of amount.
Sorry Elspeth, I had not realised they were for charities, which makes a great deal of difference.

Although the law has changed and I would have to 'phone a friend', IF my father had wanted to leave THE family property to me, he couldn't, it had to go to the eldest son, who holds it in trust for his eldest son, who holds it.....

Quote:
Originally Posted by diamondBrg View Post
What property / inheritance rights do women have in the UK? Are women allowed to control their own money and property?
If money is left to you 'outright', you can do what you want with it. It is only when Trust Funds are involved that limitations can be placed on you, if you only have use of the interest, most trustees will look at how you are spending the money if you put in a request for release of some of the capital. If they really want you to toe their line, they can move the money to a holding account, that pays no interest!
On the whole if a parent leaves all his/her property to a particular son or daughter, any others, unless they can show they relied on the parent to support them and they are unable to earn their own living, they would have no claim on the estate, although many do try to put in a claim.
--------------------------------
One thing that puzzled me about Diana, after the divorce settlement, was why didn't she purchase or rent the house of her choice?
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Old 01-03-2008, 07:23 PM
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Sorry Elspeth, I had not realised they were for charities, which makes a great deal of difference.

Although the law has changed and I would have to 'phone a friend', IF my father had wanted to leave THE family property to me, he couldn't, it had to go to the eldest son, who holds it in trust for his eldest son, who holds it.....

If money is left to you 'outright', you can do what you want with it. It is only when Trust Funds are involved that limitations can be placed on you, if you only have use of the interest, most trustees will look at how you are spending the money if you put in a request for release of some of the capital. If they really want you to toe their line, they can move the money to a holding account, that pays no interest!
On the whole if a parent leaves all his/her property to a particular son or daughter, any others, unless they can show they relied on the parent to support them and they are unable to earn their own living, they would have no claim on the estate, although many do try to put in a claim.
--------------------------------
One thing that puzzled me about Diana, after the divorce settlement, was why didn't she purchase or rent the house of her choice?
Skydragon

OK, so when you say family property, do you mean everything? For instance, your mother passes and had a beautiful diamond/ruby pendant that was your grandmother's, could she leave that to you? Are you only speaking about real property (real estate) that must stay within a male lineage? What if your mother and father wanted to make provisions for you to insure that you would always have sufficient financial resources to be OK, could they do that without your brother being in charge and your having to "please" him in order to receive cash?
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Old 01-03-2008, 07:35 PM
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She would be talking about entailed property, which doesn't include personal property:

Fee tail - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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