When it comes to inheritance, arguments are never far away. The British were concerned with a case that even went to court. Frederick Ward died in 2020. He had three children and loved them equally. The inheritance, worth £500,000, would have been divided between them. And this is of their own free will, because the British do not know the German compulsory portion regulations. But things turned out differently, his son Fred Jr. died before his father. His five children, the old man’s grandchildren, assumed that their father’s fair share would be divided among them.

Until the will that old Ward had written in 2018 was opened. Then they learned that they should only receive a fifty each – a better tip. The actual inheritance should be divided between the two surviving children. That doesn’t sound fair. So the five grandchildren filed a lawsuit and were shipwrecked.

That was also due to the legal situation. As mentioned, there is no such thing as the German compulsory portion. So they had to argue that the will did not correspond to the wishes of the deceased at all. The old man was unduly influenced by his children when he excluded his grandchildren from the inheritance.

But a different picture emerged in court: the five were “raven grandchildren” who did not seek contact with the old man. The old man had told his lawyers that he was very upset that his grandchildren did not even visit him when he was hospitalized three times with lung disease. The grandchildren probably didn’t know anything about the illnesses because they barely had any contact with them. He is also said to have taken it badly that he was not invited to the weddings and that he was not even sent a piece of the wedding cake.

The judge found the decision understandable and dismissed the lawsuit. In his justification he stated:

“In these circumstances, and despite a promise some years previously to divide his estate among his children’s children should anything happen to one of them, the 2018 will was, in my view, entirely rational.

That does not mean that I cannot understand the plaintiffs’ disappointment at being essentially excluded.

Some will take the general view that if a testator’s child predeceased him, he should leave an equal share of his estate to that child’s descendant.

However, the decision not to do so and to divide the remainder and therefore the bulk of the estate among his surviving children can hardly be described as an arrangement which no reasonable testator could make.”

This should legally end the dispute. The grandchildren have to bear the entire court and legal costs and have resignedly announced that they do not want to pursue the matter any further.

What: Telegraph