Lynda Bellingham's Inheritance Dispute: A Stark Reminder to Put Your Wishes in a Will
Lynda Bellingham's sons have spoken out about their inheritance row with her widower, Michael Pattermore. The 66 year old actress's will left everything to Pattermore, but after being forced out of their homes, her sons are taking action as they claim it was her intention that they "were looked after".
Lynda's Sons Regret Not Discussing Inheritance Sooner
Lynda's will left everything to Pattermore, however, her son Michael said their mother 'wanted to make sure we would be okay and have a roof over their heads'
After Lynda's death, Pattermore evicted Robbie and Michael from their family home, and it was reported that he bought a £600,000 mansion shortly after this. He also is reported to have gone on a round the world holiday following her death.
Robbie said in an interview on This Morning; "When I left I took some pictures from the walls of Michael and me when we were kids, along with our family photo albums."
He said this sparked a string of angry text messages from Pattermore; He said, "You’ve taken every single photo album. I use those for press."
In the interview they expressed how they wished they had formally discussed inheritance at the time. Michael said that after having learned that they can't put their faith in one person to do the right thing, they're now having to take action in the hope of achieving some security. They expressed plans to resolve the issue through mediation.Robbie offered words of wisdom to prevent other families from having to deal with similar difficulties:"Make sure you talk, there are a few times we tried to but we were never sat down and explained to about what was in the will. I would have liked to have done that with my mother rather than months after she passed away."
The Importance of Planning For Any Eventuality
Sian Thompson, Partner and Head of Wills, Probate and Trusts at Simpson Millar
, expresses her regret at hearing this news and offers sound advice:"Lynda Bellingham died in October 2014 and I remember being sad at the time that she had succumbed to cancer when she was only in her sixties. With the number of celebrities who have passed away in the last few months I did not expect to be reminded of Lynda Bellingham’s death. Yet I saw in the news that the administration of her estate is still rumbling on and I dread to think what effect that is having emotionally on her relatively young albeit adult children.""I would stress time and time again, firstly the importance of making a will, and next how crucial it is to set out in it exactly what needs to happen to protect your family. Lynda Bellingham’s will gave far too much control to her husband who she must have thought that she could trust implicitly to do the right thing for her children - why wouldn’t she? But people can change after a death and be easily led or influenced by others around them.
It’s far better to make sure a will spells out exactly what you want to happen.
It may seem that your wishes will be really complicated to put into a will but you’d be surprised at how commonplace it is for trusts in wills to protect children from previous relationships or current spouses. Nowadays family units come in all shapes and sizes and it’s not costly or complex for a solicitor to ensure your will matches your wishes –this removes the need to rely on trusting anyone after you’re gone."