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JAWM. Death/Inheritance/Vultures (Vent)


Plateau Mama
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If there is a surviving spouse everything should go to them anyway.  My mother survived my stepfather, she inherited everything although she passed on special family items to my step siblings.  When she dies (hopefully a very long time away) then the estate will be split between us all unless she chooses to leave it to cancer research or something.  i have a friend though who says if her husband dies first (likely) she gets half and the other half is split between his 2 kids and their 2 kids.  If his kids choose to wait though they get 1/4 when she dies rather than an 1/8 when he dies.  NZ family law is different though I think as after 2 years each partner is entitled to 50% if they split up.

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Ugh.

There's definitely a big perk to being in a family that has nothing to inherit!

 

I know one relative kept spending more than was affordable on a big insurance policy b/c they felt they had to leave a bunch of money behind (with no minor children.)  I believe they finally had to give it up.  I hope they gave it up.

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I do find these attitudes weird, and have seen them a little in my own family, and over what were paltry amounts of money.  I thought it was shocking and nasty.  I've seen the very same attitude to some similar money related relative things too - such as feeling hard done by that a great aunt who has a good pension and no kids didn't offer to bring her great-niece to Florida with her, and similar things.  When I asked this person why the great aunt would be expected to do this the answer was "because she has money."

 

I do think there are situations that can get complicated and where there are more legitimate hard feelings or expectations.  A few people have mentioned where a second spouse ends up with family heirlooms through the marriage and the descendants don't get them at all.  Items that have been passed down over generations, and in a way belong to the family though one person may be the caretaker, are an example.  There was something of a disagreement over a chair with historic value my grandmother had, which she wanted donated to the museum - some family members really objected to this, and arguably it came from their grandfather as much as from hers.

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My father died at 59 and left everything, as it should have been, to my mom (Dad was a saver and left a lot to Mom).  Now my mom is 79 and lives close to both my brothers. My brothers and I don't have a close relationship at all.  In fact, they've never seen or met DD13. I was told by my mom that the reason the don't "like" me is because I became a Christian in 2000. Although it makes me sad, there's nothing I can do about this.  I do send them all a box of homemade cookies, breads, candies, and dried produce from our garden every Christmas.  I feel this way I'm trying to do my part in keeping our relationship alive.

 

Anyway, I think, because we live so far away, that Mom feels there may be problems when she passes.  I've told her repeatedly that I really didn't care about her money and really didn't want any of it.  We are fine and can make our own way.  About a year ago, she called and asked me if there was anything that I treasure from our family that I would really want when she passes.  I told her about the only thing I would really want is her old, gray cookbook that I used to use as a kid to make her favorite butter cookies.  My mom loves butter and shortbread cookies and I used to make the cookies in that book all the time.  About a week later I got the cookbook in the mail.

 

A few months later, Mom called about a mantle clock that bongs on the hour and chimes on the 1/2 hour (don't know what they're called).  She told me that she really doesn't have room for it and would like to give it to one of us.  Now I know that she knows I have fond memories of listening to that clock when I used to stay at my grandparents' house.  I could hear it while I was down for a nap and calculate the time when Grandma would come in and tell me it was time to get up.  However, I asked her to please check with my brothers and see if either of them would like it first.  She called back a few days later and said they didn't want it and could she send it to me.  I said I would treasure it.

 

The last thing she called me about was the solid gold rose pin that Dad had given her.  She said she wasn't going to check with my brothers because she didn't want either of their wives to get their hands on it. (She's not crazy about her DILs.)  So, I said if she was sure she wanted to part with it now, I would keep it and pass it down to DD13, as I have a ring I'm going to give eldest DD.  She was happy with that idea and sent the pin.

 

Hopefully, she's all done with passing things out now. It kind of makes me feel funny that she's giving things away beforehand.  It's not like she's at death's door or anything.  She's in really good health.  I guess she just wants to make sure I get something before she's gone because she knows that I'm not going to fight over her things.

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Can I add my own vent and nod my head. Not everyone leaves a fortune behind. My dad had assets and managed his finances well, but hey, my mom is still here and that is her money too. So don't hang out waiting for your inheritance, it may be enough to pay a few bills. 

 

Also don't harp on the remaining spouse about their house and DON'T get in the middle of it unless they ask. I want to choke a certain family member that shall remain nameless because she's trying to orchestrate my mom's selling of her house. My mom and I already have a plan and are working on it. This person went as far as to call a realtor and insist that my mom call her to set up an appointment to sell her house and look at new ones in a different area. Because my mom asked, I am staying out of it, but one word to me and I will let my true feelings show. 

 

Also, when a spouse dies, DO NOT send members of your church, which are strangers to this individual because they do not attend your church,  to the house of the remaining spouse to pray for them unannounced (or at all unless requested). Not everyone is religious and not everyone is willing to talk about their grief with strangers. 

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We have a calm side of the family and a vulture side of the family.  The good news is that there are very few members left in the vulture side so when the last 2 vultures go, I don't think the remaining two will have problems. I least I hope they don't.  I guess I've been very sheltered as I simply didn't know things get get so ugly and then I heard two adult children say they hoped their parent wouldn't live five years because parent's costs would use up too much of the money and the vulture children NEEDED that money for their retirement.

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Can I add my own vent and nod my head. Not everyone leaves a fortune behind. My dad had assets and managed his finances well, but hey, my mom is still here and that is her money too. So don't hang out waiting for your inheritance, it may be enough to pay a few bills. 

 

 

Yup, yup, and yup. 

 

My dad is helping to take care of his mother.  He has 2 other siblings helping.  They insist that they must all do this so they don't spend too much of my grandmother's money.  I assume because they want to get their paws on her money.  My dad doesn't, but he is going along with their wishes.  So now my dad spends almost all day every day at her house because his siblings both work full time.  It's too much for him.  She has the money to hire help and when she runs out the state would pay.  But, his siblings don't want her spending her money on her care.  This was in fact the point of her saving this money all these years.

 

 

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Ugh.

There's definitely a big perk to being in a family that has nothing to inherit!

 

I know one relative kept spending more than was affordable on a big insurance policy b/c they felt they had to leave a bunch of money behind (with no minor children.)  I believe they finally had to give it up.  I hope they gave it up.

 

keepsakes?  you'd be surprisd what people will fight over.  even from people who don't leave money.

 

 

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Yup, yup, and yup. 

 

My dad is helping to take care of his mother.  He has 2 other siblings helping.  They insist that they must all do this so they don't spend too much of my grandmother's money.  I assume because they want to get their paws on her money.  My dad doesn't, but he is going along with their wishes.  So now my dad spends almost all day every day at her house because his siblings both work full time.  It's too much for him.  She has the money to hire help and when she runs out the state would pay.  But, his siblings don't want her spending her money on her care.  This was in fact the point of her saving this money all these years.

 

who has POA for your grandmother?  is there a will (no matter how small the estate)?  he needs to get legal documentation and bite the bullet about what is best for his mother (and that includes outside help becasue he can't do it all himself.)  she can put him on her bank accounts so he can pay the bills - including third party help if and when needed.

 

 

this is really why these documents need to be put into place while the parent is STILL of "sound mind" - so when the greedy siblings come along later trying to be greedy - they can't successfully contest a will/documents claiming undue influence.  (greedy people will fight over the paltriest of sums.)

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We have a calm side of the family and a vulture side of the family.  The good news is that there are very few members left in the vulture side so when the last 2 vultures go, I don't think the remaining two will have problems. I least I hope they don't.  I guess I've been very sheltered as I simply didn't know things get get so ugly and then I heard two adult children say they hoped their parent wouldn't live five years because parent's costs would use up too much of the money and the vulture children NEEDED that money for their retirement.

 

This is true for me too - the money-grubbers are very concentrated on one side.  On the other side, there are occasional disagreements but no one is like this about money. (One exception maybe but that person has some significant personal issue that account for a lot.)

 

There really seems to be a family culture difference that plays into it.

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keepsakes?  you'd be surprisd what people will fight over.  even from people who don't leave money.

 

Nope!

I already have my mother's wedding china and my sisters have been fine with that for 15 years.  Dh has a few personal belongings at his parents' house that are "missing" and a sister who wouldn't be interested in those items even if offered.  Pictures are easily copied and the most valued.

 

I suppose there's a small chance there might be a few things my sisters may want to argue between the two of them, but I can't think of a single one offhand.  Dh has one sister and wants none of the stuff.  Like, "Please don't make us take this stuff."  So... yeah, maybe we'll argue over who has to physically handle it all.  Not it!

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who has POA for your grandmother?  is there a will (no matter how small the estate)?  he needs to get legal documentation and bite the bullet about what is best for his mother (and that includes outside help becasue he can't do it all himself.)  she can put him on her bank accounts so he can pay the bills - including third party help if and when needed.

 

 

this is really why these documents need to be put into place while the parent is STILL of "sound mind" - so when the greedy siblings come along later trying to be greedy - they can't successfully contest a will/documents claiming undue influence.  (greedy people will fight over the paltriest of sums.)

 

I don't know who has POA.  It is probably not him because he never mentioned it.  I know she has a will. 

 

I suspect something will give soon.  He'll just say he can't hack doing that anymore.  Last time I talked to him he said, "This is getting old fast." 

 

My dad won't fight anyone on it.  That is just not something he'd do.  And neither would I.  I'm sure he understands the desire to have more money, but he doesn't care much about money.  But come on, this is too much to expect of him.  Of course I'm sure you can imagine the shi* hitting the fan if he just started refusing to be there every day. 

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I used to have a friend who told me there was an all out ugly nasty war over the family burial plot.  Some literally called for someone being dug up and moved elsewhere.  Good grief.

 

Well we have that as well. When my grandmother died my grandfather had her ashes entombed near him instead of with their deceased son in a different state. My father has always wanted her to be with his brother. Now my father is talking about moving her ashes to this state. I have no idea why. He doesn't live in that state, he's never going to go visit them. It's just to cause a ruckus.

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I am praying in advance for God's grace over this in future family funerals. My mother prayed quite a bit over her own mother's passing and we all shared a closeness and peace that could only be attributed to God's grace after my mom's prayers. I know from experience that it just doesn't always work out that way. :( I so want to honor my loved ones when they die and want to see them honored by those around me!!!!

Edited by Texas T
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And don't forget the executors who decide they don't want to dole out the inheritance. When DH's grandmother passed she left each grandkids a small sum. My MIL had already "loaned" her other son his money and when grandmother finally died she decided there wasn't enough to give DH his money. "He didn't need it anyway." It wasn't enough to cause a stink over but it would have been a nice addition to the college funds.

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Ugh.

There's definitely a big perk to being in a family that has nothing to inherit!

 

I know one relative kept spending more than was affordable on a big insurance policy b/c they felt they had to leave a bunch of money behind (with no minor children.) I believe they finally had to give it up. I hope they gave it up.

Well you would think but that's not the case in my family.

 

As my mother lay dying, pictures and little things were being ransacked from her home by a sibling.

 

NONE of it was worth anything.

 

Sibling says she deserved "first dibs" because she was the first born (wth is this medieval times?!) and because of all she did to take care of mom. Um, what?! Mom LIVED WITH ME?!

 

And never mind how disgusting it is to think one can "call dibs" on a dying persons momentos.

 

It's not about the money. Vultures just be vultures and the value of the carcass has nothing to do with their manic compulsion.

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Well you would think but that's not the case in my family.

 

As my mother lay dying, pictures and little things were being ransacked from her home by a sibling.

 

NONE of it was worth anything.

 

Sibling says she deserved "first dibs" because she was the first born (wth is this medieval times?!) and because of all she did to take care of mom. Um, what?! Mom LIVED WITH ME?!

 

And never mind how disgusting it is to think one can "call dibs" on a dying persons momentos.

 

It's not about the money. Vultures just be vultures and the value of the carcass has nothing to do with their manic compulsion.

 

Yeah....it really is bizarre.  My sister helped herself to my mother's wedding ring.  Not sure if she took anything else.  I did not take anything.  My dad gave me some things that he didn't want or had no use for, but no I thought it would be rude to go there and start taking stuff.  I'm not mad at my sister at all, but really?  She should have waited to be given the ring. 

 

I'm not all that sentimental though. 

 

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Yup, yup, and yup. 

 

My dad is helping to take care of his mother.  He has 2 other siblings helping.  They insist that they must all do this so they don't spend too much of my grandmother's money.  I assume because they want to get their paws on her money.  My dad doesn't, but he is going along with their wishes.  So now my dad spends almost all day every day at her house because his siblings both work full time.  It's too much for him.  She has the money to hire help and when she runs out the state would pay.  But, his siblings don't want her spending her money on her care.  This was in fact the point of her saving this money all these years.

 

 

Bolt asked a bunch of good questions aimed at ferreting out what made the difference between an appropriate attitude toward an expected inheritance and an inappropriate one.

 

Sometimes the inappropriate attitude comes from the one who is elderly or nearing death.  My dad has been obsessing over the drop in his monthly income since the time my mother passed away and her SS portion disappeared, dropping their SS income by 1/3. 

 

Several years ago, we (my brother and I) went to great personal and financial sacrifice to move Mom and Dad (brother has been caring for them in his own home after the move) and dh and I emptied, cleaned, and sold their house--two months' work--so that Mom and Dad would have the cash to care for their needs in their last few years of life. 

 

He is on hospice and needs a tremendous amount of care, so my brother and I had to put our foot down and tell him that we would need to spend the some of the money on an ongoing basis, to procure appropriate caregivers to help him.  That hasn't gone down easily for him, but goodness, it's there to take care of him!

 

Yeesh. Who woulda guessed?

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Bolt asked a bunch of good questions aimed at ferreting out what made the difference between an appropriate attitude toward an expected inheritance and an inappropriate one.

 

Sometimes the inappropriate attitude comes from the one who is elderly or nearing death.  My dad has been obsessing over the drop in his monthly income since the time my mother passed away and her SS portion disappeared, dropping their SS income by 1/3. 

 

Several years ago, we (my brother and I) went to great personal and financial sacrifice to move Mom and Dad (brother has been caring for them in his own home after the move) and dh and I emptied, cleaned, and sold their house--two months' work--so that Mom and Dad would have the cash to care for their needs in their last few years of life. 

 

He is on hospice and needs a tremendous amount of care, so my brother and I had to put our foot down and tell him that we would need to spend the some of the money on an ongoing basis, to procure appropriate caregivers to help him.  That hasn't gone down easily for him, but goodness, it's there to take care of him!

 

Yeesh. Who woulda guessed?

 

Although at this point my grandmother is not mentally with it enough to realize these things.  So the attitude is not likely coming from her. 

 

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Yeah....it really is bizarre.  My sister helped herself to my mother's wedding ring.  Not sure if she took anything else.  I did not take anything.  My dad gave me some things that he didn't want or had no use for, but no I thought it would be rude to go there and start taking stuff.  I'm not mad at my sister at all, but really?  She should have waited to be given the ring. 

 

I'm not all that sentimental though. 

 

 

Well, I did take some of my mom's costume jewelry, because I'm the only one who wears clips earrings in the family.  :001_rolleyes:

 

Dad asked if I wanted any of mom's clothes, and I looked through her closet and picked out  several long-sleeve tees, about the only thing that I cared for.  Mom told us all that *my daughter* gets her wedding rings, because the "mother's rings go to the daughter and the father's go to the son", but go figure, I guess I'm not the daughter.  ???   Odd, but who cares. 

 

My SIL asked if we wanted to take the wedding rings, but as far as I'm concerned, they should stay with my Dad as long as he's alive, because he picks them up and looks at them lovingly every now and then; they remind him of her beautiful loving hands. 

 

Sigh, this is really hard, even when family is behaving well.

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Yup, yup, and yup. 

 

My dad is helping to take care of his mother.  He has 2 other siblings helping.  They insist that they must all do this so they don't spend too much of my grandmother's money.  I assume because they want to get their paws on her money.  My dad doesn't, but he is going along with their wishes.  So now my dad spends almost all day every day at her house because his siblings both work full time.  It's too much for him.  She has the money to hire help and when she runs out the state would pay.  But, his siblings don't want her spending her money on her care.  This was in fact the point of her saving this money all these years.

 

I'm sorry, Sparkly.  I feel for your dad.  It is a heavy burden.  Know that he will never regret caring for her and loving her well while he had the chance.  He may regret stuff related to the siblings, but he will live at peace with himself for his part in caring for her.  (That's not to say that he may not need to establish a boundary for his own well-being, but he will be able to live with himself.)

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Well, I did take some of my mom's costume jewelry, because I'm the only one who wears clips earrings in the family.  :001_rolleyes:

 

Dad asked if I wanted any of mom's clothes, and I looked through her closet and picked out  several long-sleeve tees, about the only thing that I cared for.  Mom told us all that *my daughter* gets her wedding rings, because the "mother's rings go to the daughter and the father's go to the son", but go figure, I guess I'm not the daughter.  ???   Odd, but who cares. 

 

My SIL asked if we wanted to take the wedding rings, but as far as I'm concerned, they should stay with my Dad as long as he's alive, because he picks them up and looks at them lovingly every now and then; they remind him of her beautiful loving hands. 

 

Sigh, this is really hard, even when family is behaving well.

 

My mom wore clip on earrings.  Not a lot of people do it seems. 

 

It took a long time for my dad to go through my mom's stuff.  She had her bathrobe on the back of the bathroom door and he didn't move it for over a year (yeah I guess you can imagine what his apartment looked like).  I helped him pack to move and that is when he asked if I wanted this or that. 

 

Ugh..not pleasant thoughts...

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It's really sad, the greed that can come out.  

 

I more or less insulted my mom and dad because I told them I didn't want any of their stuff when they passed away. I thought I was being kind, by NOT focusing on stuff, but they have a lot of emotion tied into their stuff. It was like I was rejecting them when I said I didn't want their stuff.  You just can't win sometimes. ;)

Edited by wintermom
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It's really sad, the greed that can come out.  

 

I more or less insulted my mom and dad because I told them I didn't want any of their stuff when they passed away. I thought I was being kind, by NOT focusing on stuff, but they have a lot of emotion tied into their stuff. It was like I was rejecting them when I said I didn't want their stuff.  You just can't win sometimes. ;)

 

Yep.  Although there are families who do handle things in a sane way.  When my husband's father passed away neither he nor his brother swooped in to stake their claim.  His father did write out an unofficial will giving each of them some sentimental items, but that was that. 

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What if your children were involved expensive illegal habits?

What if your children had demanded (and received) large sums of money in the last 10 years to fund said habits? Sums that might mot necessarily be a lot to you, but by normal standards be a large sum?

 

Would you still think hey why not leave them money?

 

No, of course not. 

 

If my kids were doing things that I found morally repulsive, then I'd cut off the money train, for sure -- before death and after death.

 

If any of my kids "demanded" money from me for anything, I'd have cut off the money train. Demanding money is not cool. That's not how our family culture works. When I've had financial help as an adult from a parent, I respectfully and humbly asked for a loan with clear explanations of rationale and payback schedule, and always honored that debt and repaid in full, with interest, on time, as the first and most primary financial obligation I had. Times I gave money to an elder, the request was similarly respectful. I am quite sure that all financial transactions among other family members have been similarly respectful. Heck, my MINOR children know better than to demand money from their parents. They ask respectfully, and we oblige, or not. And they express appreciation. 

 

FWIW, I'm not as concerned about the legality of their expenses/lifestyle, but the morality, you bet. 

 

There are plenty of things that are illegal that I have no moral problem with (say homosexuality in many countries around the world or religious freedom in many places.  

 

There are plenty of legal things that I find morally repugnant (say, working for the KKK or working in advertising for big tobacco or raising their own children in a religion that I believe to be abusive, or an adult child neglecting or abandoning their own child). There are even a few things that although I have no moral objection to, I just find so personally horrifying and traumatizing (say military service) that if my kid chose to make his life doing that thing, I'd likely be angry enough to redirect their inheritance towards some other objective.

 

And, certainly, if I had an heir who I *wanted* to help but didn't *trust* to respond responsibly to a large inheritance, then I'd have to figure out a way to deal with that. For our minor kids, that'll be in the form of a managed trust which would be managed by an independent adult/financial advisor. I've been struggling with deciding at what age the "kids" should have free access to their entire inheritance, should we die young and leave them very wealthy at an early age. Is 25 old enough to trust them not to squander it? Should you leave a portion until they are 40? Just when do you trust them to take care of themselves and their own children?

 

I hope none of those negatives come into our family's life, but if they did, I'd then have to figure out how to deal with them. 

 

My response about not "getting" parents who don't plan to leave their wealth to their kids is more directed to the posters who mentioned parents/grands who appear to have loving relationships with their heirs but have expressed a plan not to leave substantial financial wealth to them. That's what I don't understand. I totally understand not trusting a kid with money and/or not liking a kid enough to want them to have it. 

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People disgust me.

 

Within days of my father's passing in NH, his cousins raided his house in AZ. They got a U-Haul and took all their brand new furnishings, outdoor set, everything. This was their second home. We were so upset when we, the children, went out to the house to take things we wanted before putting the house on the market. The cousins were kind enough to place their old, junky, worn furniture inside.

 

The same cousin went into her mother's house when she was in the hospital and took everything. When the mother got out of the hospital she had nothing. People donated things so she could live in her house longer.

 

I'd like to think karma is real sometimes but IME it isn't.

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Wow, some of these stories are amazing.   I am glad I won't have to deal with this.  I am an only child, my mother is an only child and my dad has one sister who isn't married.   So, there isn't anyone around to vulture.  

 

I've seen some bad things though.   A good friend's children have been suing her saying she is incompetent so that they can get the money before she dies.   Even though when a psychologist tested her for competency, she got a better score than he had when he took it himself for practice.  

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Some people who have loving relationships with their heirs decide the best way to ensure the heirs stay loving toward each other is if none of them inherit. Presuming they are able to support themselves, then the person might also decide to leave the money to a charity that can help people who can't help themselves as easily as the heirs can.

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I'd like to think karma is real sometimes but IME it isn't.

 

Sometimes it just takes time.

 

I was bitter about how an estate was handled, and ended up discussing it with my lawyer, CPA, and a bank VP. All said to drop it and wait. Each said that they had seen such things come around in time.

 

And three years later it did. And more!

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Sometimes it just takes time.

 

I was bitter about how an estate was handled, and ended up discussing it with my lawyer, CPA, and a bank VP. All said to drop it and wait. Each said that they had seen such things come around in time.

 

And three years later it did. And more!

My aunt married a money Grubbing man 16 years younger than her. She was a rather comfortable widow with a heart condition. Having married a much older man, who died shortly after they married.

He hid assets from her during their marriage. She learned about them only when the pobox rent notices came following his painful death from bone cancer. He'd expected to outlive her.

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My father has been gone eight years.

 

Seeing the vultures circling, so to speak, before he died forever changed me. He paid this cousin's son-in-law to watch over his AZ property when he was home in NH for half the year. The cousin, her husband and their daughter and SIL all raided his property before he ever died.

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Ugh. This is never going to end. The lawyer is now saying nothing can be distributed until an inventory of the house is done (6000sf) and that anything that belonged to my grandmother or grandfather they can claim. The daughter in law said "they have a lot of expensive things."

 

I thought if you left everything to your spouse it was there's to do whatever they wanted and when they remarried it went to the new spouse unless stated otherwise. I guess not. Even 25+ years later you can still claim it. Even if you were written out of the will with documentation as to why.

 

Keep in mind that when the "new" wife dies they get millions. Anything they are quibbling about now is nothing in comparison.

 

I am so mad at their behavior. I'm not surprised, but I'm mad.

Edited by Plateau Mama
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Ugh. This is never going to end. The lawyer is now saying nothing can be distributed until an inventory of the house is done (6000sf) and that anything that belonged to my grandmother or grandfather they can claim. The daughter in law said "they have a lot of expensive things."

 

I thought if you left everything to your spouse it was there's to do whatever they wanted and when they remarried it went to the new spouse unless stated otherwise. I guess not. Even 25+ years later you can still claim it. Even if you were written out of the will with documentation as to why.

 

Keep in mind that when the "new" wife dies they get millions. Anything they are quibbling about now is nothing in comparison.

 

I am so mad at their behavior. I'm not surprised, but I'm mad.

 

I would guess that the lawyer is saying they can "make a claim."  That is a far cry from "they are entitled to receive those items."

 

Your initial understanding is generally correct.  When a person dies and leave everything to the spouse  - it passes ALL rights to the spouse to do what they want with the property.  If that person then dies leaving everything to their spouse....again it passes ALL rights to the spouse.

 

However, someone can ALWAYS attempt to contest a will or file a claim.  All it does is make the whole process more expensive and more complicated.

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My mom made her intentions very clear- when she and Dad passed, she wanted the house sold and the proceeds and their money were to be divided equally between the four kids. Mom tried REALLY hard to treat us all equally even though each of us caused her some heartache.  Well, Mom passed away first and Dad is not at all making an attempt to treat us equally. So now everything is set to go to our sister.  Our feelings are hurt but it's not about the 'stuff', it's just that knowing sis is so clearly his favorite.   It's enough of a jab to have Dad call and ask for gift ideas to get sis for her birthday when he doesn't even acknowledge ours with a card or a phone call.   

 

It's his estate and I'm not mad at him at all- it's his decision and I don't need an inheritance.  So I wonder how many times these inheritance fights seem like they're about money or things but might really be about feeling loved. 

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My mom made her intentions very clear- when she and Dad passed, she wanted the house sold and the proceeds and their money were to be divided equally between the four kids. Mom tried REALLY hard to treat us all equally even though each of us caused her some heartache.  Well, Mom passed away first and Dad is not at all making an attempt to treat us equally. So now everything is set to go to our sister.  Our feelings are hurt but it's not about the 'stuff', it's just that knowing sis is so clearly his favorite.   It's enough of a jab to have Dad call and ask for gift ideas to get sis for her birthday when he doesn't even acknowledge ours with a card or a phone call.   

 

It's his estate and I'm not mad at him at all- it's his decision and I don't need an inheritance.  So I wonder how many times these inheritance fights seem like they're about money or things but might really be about feeling loved.

 

I think you've just hit it.  There's so much hurt and it really is about feeling loved or not loved.

 

Sadly, even winning those claims won't make the receivers feel loved.  :(

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I would guess that the lawyer is saying they can "make a claim." That is a far cry from "they are entitled to receive those items."

 

Your initial understanding is generally correct. When a person dies and leave everything to the spouse - it passes ALL rights to the spouse to do what they want with the property. If that person then dies leaving everything to their spouse....again it passes ALL rights to the spouse.

 

However, someone can ALWAYS attempt to contest a will or file a claim. All it does is make the whole process more expensive and more complicated.

She found out yesterday that he put a clause in the will that if they contest any part of the will they get nothing. She also got confirmation that she does not have to give them anything not in the will. They still have till August to make a claim but we are hoping now that they will take their money and run so to speak since. As my grandmother said "they can demand all they want but if it's not in the will I don't even have to acknowledge the request."

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I would guess that the lawyer is saying they can "make a claim."  That is a far cry from "they are entitled to receive those items."

 

Your initial understanding is generally correct.  When a person dies and leave everything to the spouse  - it passes ALL rights to the spouse to do what they want with the property.  If that person then dies leaving everything to their spouse....again it passes ALL rights to the spouse.

 

However, someone can ALWAYS attempt to contest a will or file a claim.  All it does is make the whole process more expensive and more complicated.

 

 

aaannd - unless they have the cash upfront to pay a lawyer - and/or a very solid case for *why* they should get something, most lawyers won't touch it.  in the end - the lawyers want to be paid. 

 

it's the only thing that saved me from my brother.  no lawyer would take the case (as the likelihood of him winning was somewhere between infinitesimally slim and none), and he didn't have money to pay one upfront.  (he did get some free military legal aid to write us a threatening letter. I wonder if it would have been a service to write to the JAG at that base about the idiot legal aid getting all the facts before making a fool of himself.)

 

eta: my brother's was plain greed.  he aspires to a higher standard of living than he can afford.

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She found out yesterday that he put a clause in the will that if they contest any part of the will they get nothing. She also got confirmation that she does not have to give them anything not in the will. They still have till August to make a claim but we are hoping now that they will take their money and run so to speak since. As my grandmother said "they can demand all they want but if it's not in the will I don't even have to acknowledge the request."

 

I had one lawyer (NOT an estate lawyer) tell me he thought that super duper nasty clause (had one in my mom's) wasn't enforceable.

moms was written in such a way that if it was contested (and they lost) - not only did they get nothing - they were treated as though they had no heirs (so their own children were cut off), and anything they had received - they had to pay back. with interest.

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I had one lawyer (NOT an estate lawyer) tell me he thought that super duper nasty clause (had one in my mom's) wasn't enforceable.

moms was written in such a way that if it was contested (and they lost) - not only did they get nothing - they were treated as though they had no heirs (so their own children were cut off), and anything they had received - they had to pay back. with interest.

I am sure it is hard to enforce but my grandfather was a very smart man so I'm sure he put justification in with the clause. he gave thenlawyer a stack of documentation justifying the writing out of one child.

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