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Lynda Bellingham, Oxo Mum and darling of the British public, has sadly died leaving behind a whole heap of trouble for her sons, Michael and Robbie Peluso and their inheritance.

Lynda passed away in 2014 after a long and frightening battle with colon cancer. Despite invasive treatment and operations, she sadly lost her fight on the third of November that year. She left behind her two sons and her third husband Michael Pattemore.

She had married Michael on her 60th birthday and died aged 66 with him by her side. No doubt she trusted him, and believed he would look after her interests when she had gone. It seems that she trusted him to look after her sons after her death.

So, just a few weeks after a risky operation, she changed her Will. This Will left Mr Pattemore in control of a large portion of her estate. According to her distraught sons, he has enjoyed that control to benefit himself and the woman he met in the months after her death. Consequently, her sons say that they have lost out.

There are stories of trips abroad, cruises and hair implants that have all benefitted Mr Pattemore and his new partner.

Lynda’s sons, who had a close relationship with her, have been left to fight Mr Pattemore for what they say their mother wanted. They say that she expressed a wish for them to receive a portion of the estate that she had built up over many years, but that Michael Pattemore has stopped this.

Unfortunately, it seems that that trust she placed in her husband misplaced. Her sons Michael and Robbie say that he has deprived them of their inheritance. For many years they were a tight knit single parent family. It is terribly sad to see, and no doubt Lynda would be devastated to see that they have been largely excluded from her hard-earned estate.

I have no doubt that Lynda would be desperately sad to see how badly her family have fallen out in what has now become a very public spat. The lawyers are involved, and the “victims”, her husband and her sons are at logger heads.

At a guess, Lynda wanted the best for everyone. She may have tried to ensure that her husband was taken care of, and that in the long run, her sons would receive large sums of money. But, you cannot assume that anyone will look after your children.

If you want to ensure your family is taken care of, you can do that. You can get the right arrangements in place. You can explain your decisions, you can protect your children as well as your spouse’s interests. However, you need to talk to the right advisor.

I doubt very much that Lynda saw the consequences of her Will. No doubt she thought she was doing the right thing. But the fall-out could have been predicted. A simple Will isn’t always the right thing for a family, especially where second marriages are part of the current, or future lives of the family. It could be your marriage, or one of your children’s marriages that prove to be the sticking point. Whatever, or whoever you are in this family situation, you can call me, Selena Aylett for a chat about the best way to protect all of your family.

Inheritance – Is it all about the money?

Sometimes, it isn’t about who gets what, as her son Michael told The Telegraph,

“This isn’t about money. It’s about the fact that he’s got control over everything my mother worked for her entire life, and we know that’s not what she wanted.”

It is devastating to think that her money, which should have been an inheritance for her children, can be diverted away from them. It means that her future family cannot benefit. Instead, the money could end up in the hands of her second husband, and anyone he chooses to enrich with it.

If they contest the Will in court, it will cost them money and no doubt be a very long and stressful process. I have no doubt that she would not have wished this upon her family.

We will discuss your arrangements, decide who you want to benefit, and decide who will be in control when you aren’t here. Call for a free, no obligation appointment where you can go through your options with me, Selena Aylett. I look forward to speaking with you. Don’t leave it too late! Call us today for your free consultation. 01392 927 350.

Selena Aylett LLB (Hons)

Former Solicitor and Barrister