Is Blood Thicker than Inheritance Money?

According to study by the AARP roughly 2/3 of baby boomers are expecting some sort of an inheritance and are spending it before they even have it. They dig deep holes of debt with inheritance money in the back of their mind; failing to understand using inheritance money to pay off debt is not a sound financial plan. In fact inheritances often don’t turn out the way those expecting them think they should.

A Family Torn

I have a friend who recently had a grandmother pass away. Her frugal lifestyle and previously deceased husband’s good business sense left her with a sizeable inheritance to will to whom she saw fit. The problem is the grandmother did not include all of the grandchildren or even her own children in the will. Instead she decided to share the wealth with only 2 of the 5 grandchildren and neither of her own children. The reasons for her decision were her own, but it has left this entire family in complete turmoil.

To date, the grandchildren with the exception of the two that received the inheritance don’t speak and the parents who were stuck with the funeral costs and no inheritance have a tattered relationship with kids.

The entire situation deeply saddens me as I am a firm believer that nothing, especially money should come between families; family is first.

In the good hearted nature of one of the inheritance recipients she chose to give a portion of her inheritance to one of her brothers who was left nothing. The brother was extremely grateful but felt the other brother, who also received the inheritance should do the same so that all would be equal and fair amongst the three siblings. The brother has chosen not to share his inheritance as he feels it was left to him by their grandmother.

Equal is not Always Fair

Consider this, equal does not always mean fair. Most people want to deal with their family equally when it comes time to share their inheritance. This is their life and legacy they have worked hard for and they want their family to be able to enjoy it. In some cases though, they may have reason to leave their entire inheritance to one family member.

Will you be Left Out?

My father was the sole recipient of his mother’s entire estate even though he had an older brother. Originally the will stated the estate was to be split between the two brothers, but in the end was determined by each brother’s actions. The reasons for her last minute decision were all good ones as her eldest son never bothered with her and didn’t even visit when she became very ill. My father however moved her right beside his house so he could care for her as her health declined.

He handled all of her banking, took her to the grocery store each week and shuttled her to all of her doctor’s appointments. In her mind he deserved to receive the inheritance in its entirety. While her decision was her own, her oldest son still holds a grudge against my father even though he shared the inheritance with him; another family torn apart by an inheritance.

In both cases the will stated how the inheritance was to be distributed and still there was dissension in the family. Imagine what not having a will could do to a family…

For those involved in these inheritance situations, there are a number of ways to look at how each person reacted.

  • Was it greed on the brother’s part that made him choose to keep the inheritance to himself?
  • Or is it greed on my friend’s part to think that they deserve a piece of the inheritance?
  • Maybe it is just a matter of both being stubborn and not wanting to give in.
  • Should my father’s older brother been given an equal portion of the inheritance?

Only time will tell what will happen to these families left in turmoil over an inheritance.

As you can see from both stories the inheritance did not pan out the way the parties involved thought it should. Many of us feel we are “owed” an inheritance and expect it to be part of our financial future. Lesson learned don’t count your chickens before they are hatched or don’t spend your inheritance before it is bestowed upon you.

Have you been on the receiving end of an inheritance? If so how did it affect your family dynamic? Who do you think is right; the brother that refused to give up his piece of the pie or the one who thinks he is entitled to a piece and didn’t get one? Would love to hear your thoughts and any stories you might have!

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About Suzanne Cramer

29 Responses to “Is Blood Thicker than Inheritance Money?”

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  1. Andy says:

    I plan on making it easy for my grandparents and parents. Leave me out of the will. I don’t want, need and/or desire anything. If there are material things that no one else wants, maybe I’ll take them but I don’t need the money and I don’t really want more stuff either. This article is the reason why I feel the way I do.

  2. @Andy I totally agree with you! I have told my parents the exact same thing; they are retired now and frequently mention that they want to leave my brother and I an inheritance. I have told them on numerous occasions, “You have worked hard to get where you are and should enjoy your retirement.” They did their part they raised us, helped us go to college and now it is their time and their money.

    • Brad Chaffee says:

      I certainly do not expect anything from my family but I do think it’s important that inheritance isn’t cast into a bad light completely. While there are a lot of cases where it causes upheaval and uproar in families it isn’t because of the inheritance as much as it is the financial mindset of the people involved. I think it’s an important part of building wealth to leave an inheritance for our children’s children. Of course this means that there has to be a strong value system in place for generations so the money is used responsibly and for good. The hard part is guiding our children to a place where solid financial principles and human values are a priority as opposed to the accumulation of stuff that most inheritances are plagued with.

      I look at it like this. If I can leave a small (or large) fortune for my children to keep their kids from taking on medical debt, student loan debt, and even house debt then I would be a pretty happy old dude. Inheriting financial responsibility is far more important than inheriting money. 😀

      Inheritances aren’t necessarily bad, just like money isn’t evil; it is the person behind the inheritance or the money that usually proves to be the problem. Great post Suzanne!! 😀

  3. Money Beagle says:

    Every inheritance I’ve received has always been written out so that it’s equal. When my grandma died, all three of us grandchildren received the same thing, when an aunt died, all the cousins were treated equal.

    I agree with you that counting on the inheritance to pay off debt is a bad strategy, but if you do get a windfall, then I think paying off debt is a great thing to do with that money. The biggest key is making sure that you don’t just go out and get back into debt again.

  4. Kandace says:

    We don’t expect anything from any of my relatives or my husband’s family, but anything we did receive would be a pleasant surprise. We’re more interested in little items to help us remember them– my husband wants my father-in-law’s mustache scissors, I want my grandfather’s office supply sorter and my grandmother’s thimble and pins paperweight. I’d rather see them enjoy the money now.

  5. @MoneyBeagle I agree that paying off debt if an inheritance is received should be a top priority–I have seen many people spend their inheritance like it was a lottery win, with no regard for the bills they had already racked up.

    @Kandace I am with you that while I don’t expect or even want an inheritance from my parents anything I would receive would be a nice surprise!

    @Brad You are right inheritances aren’t bad it is the way some people view them that bothers me. I think as Kandace mentioned they would be a nice surprise but should not be expected. I want to leave my son with a little something so that he can be comfortable but more importantly I want to instill positive financial values today so that he doesn’t struggle with debt or the concept of money throughout life.

  6. ImpulseSave says:

    Also remember that inheritance is not always what it seems. If you’ve ever been involved with the legal side of probate issues, you know that what you actually get is often much smaller than anticipated. I think it is a good lesson for everyone to not count on inheritance to get them out of trouble.

  7. If people discussed their wills ahead of time perhaps this could be avoided, or at least reduced. If grandma said to all involved “this is what I’m doing and why” then maybe it wouldn’t come as such a shock?

    I know when my parents die there is going to be some big trouble. Both my parents are remarried and have step children. I know it’s going to be a huge mess.

  8. Scraps says:

    Years ago when my parents were discussing our inheritances – everyone looked at me when I told them – “all I want is the soil in the backyard”.

    They thought I was crazy until I pointed out, with the soil in the backyard I can plant fruit and vegetables just like my parents did when I was young.

    I lived in the city but, the soil in our backyard was great so, I grew up with some fresh vegetables and fruit; to me that is more than money because that is LIFE and at a cheaper rate than the store. All it takes is soil, seeds, water and fertilizer.

    Because, I am free from credit card debt and will soon be free from car debt, I have money to play and save with. Although, I would not refuse someone giving me money to save even more, I am not in a voracious need to have money.

    Brad has been a great teacher through the years and from what I have been reading recently brought on more great people to continue to help me in this journey.

  9. @impulse save I have actually come across people that incorporate an inheritance into their financial plan–you just never know what will happen and as you mention there is Uncle Sam and other legal matters that can drastically affect the “expected” amount.

    @Ashley Having a well developed will in place certainly helps to avoid most family feuds, however in these instances a will was there; it was just those on the receiving end were not thrilled with what it said 🙂

    @scraps Brad is an amazing mentor and I am thrilled to hear that his advice and wisdom have helped put you in the position you are in today! As for the soil, memories from childhood being kept alive are priceless!

  10. I’ve been on the receiving end of an inheritance from my grandmother actually before she died in 1989 she sold her property to the city of Dallas for $575,000 in 1984. She gave each of her children 6 of them $25,000 each and $2,500 to each of her grandchildren and she lived on the rest of the money until she died in 1989.

    Recently we cleaned out a home that she also owned that was going to be sold and we found letters that she wrote to all of her children and grandchildren. After reading those letters a whole lot of people would have gotten left out of the inheritance if she would have waited to distribute the money after she died.

    I have a living trust for my wife and kids and currently we’ve made some adjustments due to some decisions made by a couple of our children I’ll leave it at that.

  11. Inherited money and possessions should be viewed as a bonus or something we aren’t expecting. Too many “kids” in this/my generation feel entitled and that they deserve what their parents or grandparents worked for. Anyone who works hard and handles their money properly has the right to do whatever they want with it, even will everything to the cat.

    It’s none of the children or grandchildren’s business and they certainly shouldn’t feel possessive over anything. It’s just money, and the relationships and family are what’s important for sure.

  12. If you’re planning on leaving unequal portions of your money to your kids/grandkids, its important to sit down with them ahead of time and explain what you’re doing and why. That way they won’t be caught by surprise after you pass away.

  13. Gina says:

    A co-worker and her sister had a nightmare splitting up mother’s estate, the sister wound up dying before estate was settled and the daughter/niece stole all the inheritance that was in a joint account with coworker and daughters names on them. Not speaking to this day. Co worker works like a dog at age 60 cause she doesn’t have the extra money that could make her life easier, only plus is she bought her sister’s share of the mother’s house, so she came out a lil bit ahead, if home increases in value.

  14. Sue says:

    Both of my parents died unexpectedly this year. My father left everything to my mother. She told me soon after his death that her will stated everything was to be divided equally between my sister and I. (My father’s will said the same, in case my mother predeceased him.) To make a long story short, my sister ended up with over half a million dollars in non-probate assets because my parents set up their bank accounts POD to her.

    I don’t know why they did the POD designation but I don’t believe for a second that they intended for her to keep this money all for herself, nor does anyone who knew my parents well. My sister was very controlling and very much interested in their financials affairs (she knew they had a large amount of money – I didn’t). I believe she either persuaded them to make her the beneficiary with the promise to share with me or they didn’t understand that the POD superceded the will. My parents were naive about legal issues and didn’t trust lawyers. It would have been very easy for my sister to manipulate them.

    Also, while my mother was in the hospital dying, my sister used her POA to move $170,000 into a small bank account belonging to my mother (because she was a joint owner for convenience sake). I would have inherited that money via the will if she hadn’t moved it. She claims she did this because she just knew it was what my mother wanted.

    It took the threat of a lawsuit to get her to share some of this money with me and I ended up with far less than half. It hurts beyond belief to know my own sister would betray my parents and me this way. She was already very well off while I’ve been struggling most of my life because I have a severely disabled child and there are lots of medical expenses to deal with. My parents loved my child dearly and I know they would have wanted this money to benefit her.

    My sister has taunted me about how she is now almost a millionaire due to her inheritance. She has absolutely no remorse. The worst thing of all were her attempts to make me believe my parents didn’t want me to inherit the money because they didn’t love me as much as her. That was truly evil. I don’t know how I could have survived this without the love and support of other family members who knew that was a lie.

    Although I’m grateful for the inheritance I did manage to receive, I wish my parents had spent all their money on themselves when they were alive and left nothing behind. It’s just not worth what I’ve gone through since their deaths. Now there is nothing left of my birth family – I will never speak to my sister again.

    • Whitney says:

      I agree that you should never speak to your sister again, as when someone does something that bad, it is unforgiveable. Your sister sounds like a narcissist. You sound like a wonderful person, and if you can look at your sister as someone with a personality disorder, it may help you to cope.

      • michelle says:

        yeah i have to agree she who does such a thing I wouldn’t even call a sister and you should of filed a law suite not for the fact that you wanted the money but for the mier fact that she needs to be held accountable for her actions and that is considered elderly abuse and she could get in big trouble for that. Unfortunately I am going through the same thing thats why I am so passionate about it. my husband and I were asked to move in to take care of his mom and dad, so I sold my mobile home i was living in with my 2 kids, and the parents couldnt get us in here fast enough they rushed us in here the whole time my husband fixed up the basement so our family could move in. i sacrificed alot by doing so yes of course I dont pay any rent now but I no longer have something that is mine I lived in trailor for 20 years. So We pay no rent , but I dont know if anyone has taken care of elderly before but its a thankless job and to boot his dad has a handicap I tried my very best to help his mother died and after that the dad totally turned to me for all his needs, I put him efore my own two kids at times not for any money but because thats just what kind of person I am. The other 3 siblings were ok with us moving in up until the mom died than the siblings made my life and my 2 kids life a living hell, tried telling lies about us that we were starving him and we bought all the groceries not once did he ever have to shop again, she even tried calling dcsf on me saying that she found drugs in the house which is the most insane thing I ever heard because this girl is so damn lazy I have never witnessed her do a whole hell of alot. I am the one cooking and cleaning and taking care of her dad and my 2 kids and if there were any drugs in the house I would be the fitst to know , she actually moved in after her mon died to try and get the house her mother and her didnt get along because she was too controlling when her mother was alive she would have to pay her to leave. Anyway and my husbands brother is a thief and is working overtime figuring out how to get his dads money and now the dad has turned on us cuz my husband and I are fighting alot due to thier actions and I threatened to move out. its a messy deal one million dollars split up 5 ways is not worth all this fighting and drama I am not even legally married to him but we been together 27 years and 2 kids

    • Same Here says:

      Thanks for your comments, and you will be glad to know that you are not alone for the exact same thing happened to me! My father made me executor and he perfectly outlined in his will that he wanted his money divided equally between his 4 girls. What a shock to find out he had placed the bulk of his money as a POD to my oldest sister. I wasn’t concerned until we got into an argument about her being pushy and wanting me to act so quickly after his funeral on getting his assets liquidated, but in hindsight she most likely knew about the POD and she possibly coerced him into taking this action before his death. Long story short….she kept the money and didn’t share with any of the sisters.

      The sad thing is that it destroyed the family, but honestly I can’t even tolerate the thought of resuming any type of normal relationship with her after what she did to us. What I hold onto is knowing that this money will never come to any good for her… and knowing that Karma can a real beeeeyotch. We shall see.

      • Jennifer says:

        My older half sister left me out of my mother’s” Will.” I stopped talking to my mother, who i had looked after for a number of years, while living overseas. Which meant that I had to drop my work and fly to her and help out. My sister was too sick or could not sit in a car to come see her. So that meant that I had to fly over to see my mother. However, when I moved back in with my mother, my sister did push me out of her home. My mother wasn’t a good mother, she came into my new home, and stole things from the home. My sister even told me that they had. So, I stopped seeing my mother for two years.

        My mother died in hospital without me knowing anything, I had paid for a will to be written out and all Grandchildren to get some money and my younger brother. She changed the will to herself and no one else. My mother stated that my brother and I had, had enough. My brother hadn’t seen my mother for over 20 years. As he too, was abused by her. I was left a year or two before by ,my Aunt a bit of money, but not enough to buy a home or to do much at all. If I tried to change my mothers will and lost, I would pay all costs. My sister was so evil, that I didn’t do anything. I was left, so upset that I never got to say good bye, or even loved. I know my mother loved me. And. she had banned my sister from her home before. I’m afraid, this happens, far too often. I will never speak to my family again. Infact they cut me off. To lose your mother, then have this happen, is just terrible.

  15. Whitney says:

    I have noticed that the siblings that do not help with caregiving of their elderly parents, will be the first in line to collect the inheritance. When asked to help with caregiving, they “do not have the time”, but they “find the time” when it comes to the money.

  16. Kathlyn Sullivan says:

    I have a long sad story. My dad owned three lake houses. He sold one and when he died only 72 K was left of his money after the rest home but that covers what he got for selling one of them. Years ago my Dad asked me and my husband to buy his next door house. We agreed to a price but I felt bad for my older brother who was very attached to the property I knew. He lived in another state and owned a transmission business. I invited him to know that if he ever came home my husband and I would consider converting our purchase to a duplex with he and his wife. This would have been great for my Dads old years as we would have all been there to help. I have another younger brother who does work but is alcoholic and mentally unbalanced and my father and he had a lot of conflicts. It should be noted that we come from a dysfunctional family as my Dad drank and beat my Mom, and me, and my younger brother, and although he never penetrated me he frequently made me strip naked and sleep with him when he was mad at my Mom. All night he would pin me down and fondle me and press his member on me and tell me I was had a dirty mind to not think this was just me showing love. I never agreed and I always told him this was against my will and I wanted him to go away. I would often then get spanked even though I was 11 through15 .My older brother does not think I am very important and instead has always protected my father in this matter by saying it never happened. At any rate when this brother heard that we were going to buy the house he went behind my back and made another deal with my Dad and within a week had closed his failing business, moved out of his trailer, his wife quit her job and they moved into the other lake house next door. They agreed they would care for him when he was old and then he would give them the house. He also paid my brother a small wage and didn’t charge much rent. Eventually when my Dad grew old and his mind started to fail he still hadn’t made good to sign over the house or estate plan and my brother had lawyers visit his house, convey the deed, and set up a trust that would give him financial and me medical jurisdiction over my Dad should he ever be declared incompetent. I didn’t find out about this for a year or two later. I accept it is my Dads deal to do what he wants even though I feel my husband and I were betrayed. I moved on but if what I wanted to do would have happened there would have been a duplex and a house . The three properties could have eventually housed my Dads three children and later his three grandchildren as well and it could have been a happy situation. After that house belonged to my older brother my dad was frequently sick but still in charge of himself though he did have good and bad days. My younger brother lost his job, moved in with my Dad and began to work on him to think about giving him the other house and changing his will. He began to tell my Dad bad things about me so I would not get the house. My husband and I have always worked and bought our own house , supported our two sons and never borrowed from my Dad. My Dad started calling my husband his brother as he really liked what a responsible guy he was and how well he provided for us so that I could work part time and raise the kids. When my Dad was still healthy he would say to me that he was proud of me and Paul and how we took care of ourselves and he did not feel the burden of responsibility he had with my brothers. By then my Dad was sober and although I never let myself be alone with him our rapport was better. My husband didn’t hate my Dad because his first wife had also had a Dad who had sex with her so he just handled my Dad diplomatically. My husband is a wonderful man who has healed me muchly but of course you cant completely heal from childhood sex abuse. Eventually my younger brother got a job and moved away and for 4 short days my older brother got one too. On the first workday my Dad called me and asked me to take him to a lawyer so he could change his will again. I made him an appointment and stayed in the waiting room while he did his thing. He was always changing his will and I figured his house would go to a nursing home someday so I didn’t really expect to ever inherit much and I did not influence him in any way. After the lawyer called me in and said Dad had just quitclaimed his house to me and retained a life estate. I was shocked. My Dad was having an un usually clear day and was very happy about it. My Dad said he wanted to make a trust that I could live in the house or rent it and let my kids do so too. He knew I did miss the lake I had grown up on and wanted my kids to not be excluded from the benefits of his hard earned estate. He still felt bad about the issue of not selling us the other house so my kids didn’t get to grow up on the lake. He did not want me to have to live with my younger brother so he did not want him to have the house too. He wanted all his money except 20K to go into a fund to support the house. He felt the trust would protect me from my younger brother who could be quite nasty and he didn’t want me to be pressured to sell the house to give him money. He said however that this nice man Dean (the lawyer) has explained to me that this is easy to challenge in probate so I have given you the house and its done. Please promise me you and my brother Paul will not sell it. I said I would do my best and asked him if he was sure. I told him if he changed his mind I would sign it back. The next morning I called him to see if he wanted to change his mind and he said no. We never talked about it again. Two days later my Dad had surgery. After that he was more demented and about a year later declared incompetent and my older brother and I became his guardians and got an elder care lawyer to tell us what to do. My father had asked me not to tell my brother about this deed transfer because he feared his reaction. My Dad said he wanted all his houses and he had been very helpful but he had already been richly compensated and had enough. My brother house is the big one we grew up in and the lot is the crown jewel. My house is a smaller retirement house with a nice but decidedly less lot. However as we prepared to become guardians and put him in a facility I had to tell my brother I owned the house . He was shocked and incredulous but at first said it was good it was protected from the home. Later however he accused me of manipulating my Dad and wanted me to know that he expected me to sell it and give my younger brother half. Now let me tell you I have an odd and enabling relationship with the younger one who is actually still older than me as I am the baby and he is the middle. Growing up we were close in age and both beaten a lot. This made us closer to each other plus we shared the same group of friends in high school. My Dad did not abuse my oldest brother. My dying Mom asked me to always look out for him. As he has aged he has gotten more crazy and drunk .Both brothers drink but the older one just gets lazy and silly. I love both my brothers but I feel I need to care for the younger at times and he sometimes has felt like a burden.. He is often nice but also violent and abusive with me . I believe he is a sociopath. He works long hours and is paid fairly well and has a two bedroom apt. with a room mate in a city. He should have money in the bank or a house by now and I don’t know where his money goes but I suspect he may actually have a lot as he has only himself to pay for and small rent. I honestly felt that the house was mine but wasn’t and I would sell it and give him half partly because I felt this was right but partly because he often threatened me with harm if I didn’t. So here goes the real mess……. My Dad dies in 2006 and I spend a year emptying out his horde and cleaning it up . Younger bro doesn’t help on the weekend and stays home to drink. I defer my realtor job hurting my business to the tune of 10K .We still cant sell because we have to bring a very expensive sewer line in to convey the property to a buyer. This takes until 2008 because of legal issues with the project. During this time I pay tax, insurance, utilities. and make needed repairs. I ask my bother to pay half since he too will profit and he does at first but by early 2008 he is demanding to move in for just $375/month although rental value is 1200/month. .I say no we need to leave it vacant and sell .I already have buyers doing drive bys and will list it as soon as the sewer pipes are laid. He says he might want to buy me out and wants to live there first to see if he likes it so although I don’t think its good I comply as he threatens me again. I also don’t want them to say I stopped him from buying the house. At this time the house is too small for my young family. He never buys the house, gets laid off, lives there two years and then leaves abruptly as I am pressuring him that I want to sell and he finds a job. By then the market value of the house has dropped 115K! AS there was no real rent paid there is no money to go vacant and lanquish on a bad market. I rent it out for 1200 and build up a good account until late 2012. I evict my tenants who were messy so the house will show well and spend the spring and 2/3 rental account on improvements. During this time my younger bro is alternately helpful (he finally lets me know which stuff in the garage he left behind can go and I pay$450 to get it hauled away)and threatening (I’m going to hurt you if I don’t see my inheritance soon) Then I list it. My younger brothers old girlfriend looks at the house offers 57K over market value and wraps the house into a bridge with her other house so it will appraise on the other houses equity. I negotiated this hard deal and though by now I am no longer a realtor it all comes back and I am a shark to get her price up. I am inches away from signing when I suddenly feel sick I hold off for a few days on signing which makes her come back even higher but by now I realize I do not want to let this lake house leave my family and I want my kids and grandchildren to have a place to go on a hot summer day. I think its so unfair that I have had to care for this house for 8 years now and own it and pretend it isn’t really mine. By now I do have a feeling of ownership. After all the settlement costs ad capital gains tax and what he owed me in work and free rent he would have got 100k and I would have got 127K as he would pay me back some for my labor I demanded. He agreed not to take the sale if I would give him 100k. He was nice that day and agreed that it would be good for his nephews which is weird because he threatened me at a family party a few weeks before about stealing his inheritance. I have to wait six months to apply for a mortgage because a bank wont lend on a house until it has been delisted for 6 months. I told him in 6 months I would apply for the mortgage and he agreed to stop harassing me . I told him after I apply it takes awhile so it might be around Feb. that it closes.SO in early Dec he send s me a strange email that says he has lost faith in me. Then I call him to say the 6 months are ending and I am rate shopping and will start the application process. Busy with the holidays but still get a bank selected and on Christmas Eve Day UPS delivers a loan packet for me to work on,. I plan to show him its existence as he is staying with me for Christmas. At Christmas Eve we are at the house of the older brothers in laws and he start telling me I am going to get hurt again and I am stealing his inheritance and it only 100k for Christ sake like I am cheap and this large monetary gift I am giving him is no big deal. I tell him I have applied and he calms down. I am shaken and sad and no longer want to stay but I don’t want to ruin Christmas for my husband and kids. I get through the night and even bring him home with us to open presents. He sleeps over and I make Christmas Brunch. He leaves after Brunch and never even apologizes for the outburst. Something snaps In me I think I will give him less for all the threats and ruining the deal when he moved in and drew this out and then blamed me for it .I call a RE lawyer I had met once and tell him my story. I ask him if he will meet with my brother to go over the accounting and present the check so I don’t have to be there. He tells me he cant be a party to extortion and that my brother is a criminal and my older brother who is threatening to exclude me from family parties is being coersive as well despite he is not giving him as much money (He did give us each 12K when my Dad died). He said my older brother is using me to compensate the younger to assuage is own guilt. He says I am silly to give him anything. No matter what I give him he will not be happy. I tell the lawyer that although He is threatening me I still do think he should get something just less. And I do want him to realize it is a gift from me and not an inheritance. And he said I am silly and need a councelor . People inherit unevenly all the time. The house is yours and he is attempting to steal your inheritance, He gets my husband on the phone and telsl him about the threats which I had not told my husband about .He tells my husband I need a restaining order and that he needs to protect me from my abusive bothers, Since then many of my friends have said they agree with my lawyer and have been concerned over what my family is making me feel obligated to do when they wont do it too.. My older brother says he took care of my dad so he should not donate a third but I didn’t do anything (I did do a lot but not as much as the guy who was being paid to) so should give half. He says I didn’t deserve the house anymore than the younger drunk one did and I cant go to family get togethers anymore if I don’t give the 100k. He will have to get his gun back if I don’t pay younger bro because then he will be mad at him too. Now my husband (who was staying out of it) is really mad. He also now owns the house too and is the only one on the mortgage because I had to quite my job to get the house ready for market and am now unemployed (cant find a new job)He say the mortgage is his money and he is taking it out of my hands and has forbid me to have any more than necessary limited contact with my brothers. He says when it comes to them I am a victim and unless I will stop being a victim he will decide what to give younger bro. He is very nice and usually doesn’t forbid me things unless they are dangerous or destructive. He said” who cares why he gave you the house it is yours and you want to keep it. For all you know maybe he was guilty about the sex thing. “He has agreed to give him 16K plus 3K interest for the money he spent on repairs, the 12K older bro gave me, and match older bro with 24K so that’s 55K. He also got 20K more from Dad and got 9825 in rental value from me so that about 85000 all told. In the end we each get a house and he gets all Dads cash and a little more. Its not equal but he doesn’t have the kids.He is an adult with no responsibilities to anyone but himself. He will not go to councelling, AA or rehab. I feel a little bad as I know now that my family will hate me again and asked if we could give him more if he doesn’t harass us for a few years and the family is O.K. He says he is not going to pay someone to not harass him and he would like to not give him a thing! Still he will give him the 55K I live out in the rural woods and with no job and a handful of freinds I will be lonely when my family shuns me again but he said I should not have to buy their love and live with it, you have me and the kids who are now young men and we will take care of this matter for you. I have been a basket case, have done nothing around the house this week and am having visions of my Dad fondling me again which only happens when I get real upset for days. Tommorrow I am seeking Zanax which I have not needed for 33 years and am going back to the sex abuse counselor who is always so good at putting my head back together. This concept that I don’t owe him is still foriegn too me , but I am starting to think they are right. Dealing with younger bro is as hard as difficult Dad said it was and he really did know his son better than anyone else! Also I think it is mine and it is a gift and wrong to demand the money as as entitled inheritance . I also no longer think older bro should owe third either because it is his like it or not and it is what my Dad wanted and that’s that.And the same goes for me . I used to feel it was unfair and I should correct it bit now… Do you think we are being greedy??Please let me know what you would do in my shoes.

  17. Margaret says:

    I am 60 years old and recently received an inheritance of $1.5 million. You’d think I’d be happy about this, but I’m having conflicting feelings, and so is the man with whom I’ve been living for the past 5 years. He is afraid that the balance of power in the relationship will change. He also told me he doesn’t feel like he should have to share any of our living expenses since I have inherited so much.

    The balance of wealth was not equal even before the inheritance. I have been fortunate in my investments, and I own a home,for which I pay the mortgage, upkeep and improvements.

    He works in a creative field, makes $25K per year and has about $100K in a retirement account and another 30K in miscellaneous investments. We keep our money separate, and until now, he has been contributing about 30-40% toward our living expenses.

    I feel a bit upset about my man’s attitude, too. He has said that he will contribute in other ways around the house, but I don’t know how to make that fair. I feel I’ve been very generous in our relationship and I don’t want to feel like he is taking advantage of me.

    What is your advice? I haven’t told any of my friends about this, because part of me thinks I’m being unfair and ridiculous. I’m starting to feel a little guilty and burdened about inheriting this money.

  18. Tom says:

    Hello, Where do I begin?
    – Father was a wife abuser and absent father.
    – He cheated on my mom with the upstairs tenant.
    – They divorced and my dad moved to California, I believe to make it harder for her to collect child support.
    – Father married tenant. Avoided us kids on and off for years.
    – moves back to Illinois 10 years ago without telling us.
    – I drive hours to see him and help him, eventually with cancer he got 3 years ago.
    – I bring him and my brother closer.
    – Father starts acting like a jerk. Insults me so we stop talking.
    – Brother steps in and becomes best buddies with him. (Not speaking on my behalf to bring us together.)
    – father dies leaving my brother multimillion dollar inheritance writing me out.
    – Brother knows he mistreated us both but will not share inheritance.
    – I feel he saw an opening to get close and earn favor while slandering me to the father (father’s attitude changed quickly)
    – Result: all my honest good intentions despite all the bad history, wanting only a father but not wanting to be treated like crap by him amounts to all that time wasted helping him. If a parent tries to manipulate you with an inheritance run the other way. If a parent was crappy as a kid, he will be crappy as an adult. It is not worth it. They ‘ll play you for a fool and the family you thought loved you will turn out to be the worst people you’ll meet.

  19. david says:

    If a family member is too busy to come help when an aunt father or mother is dying then guess what they shouldn’t get crap. if they didn’t take the time to help then they shouldn’t receive hundreds of thousands of dollars for being friggin dooshes.. Are you kidding me.. Some relatives stop there lives to give 24 hr nursing care to family while some brothers and sisters just sit back and don’t even make a phone call; to hell with them.
    if they dont care enought to help then why should they care enough to get money oyah greeeed.

    • Heather says:

      Why are some caregivers here so defensive. Sounds like they were a 24 hour caregiver, but you resent it.

      Did they keep your siblings informed of issues?

      Did they share information about bank accounts and hospitalizations.

      Were they living in your dads house for free or being paid as a caregiver by the state.

      If so, perhaps their other relatives felt they were being duly compensated for their work?

      Also, if they are so upset about having to be a caregiver, they could have used their inheritance to put their relative in an assisted living facility.

      They likely did not do this because you wanted the inheritance for themselves rather than spending it on the dying elderly person. This is called self dealing.

      Relatives are typically the worst caregivers for parents. And it is well known that a child is the person most likely to use undue influence on a sick elderly relative in order to get the money, all the while exclaiming how selfless they were.

      If so, if they were living rent free, and resented caring for their relative, but refused to use that person’s money for a facility than they were not exactly altruistic. They were looking out for themselves.

      Caregiving should be given out of love, not for an inheritance.

      Lastly, did these complaining caregivers ever ask their other relatives if they wanted to put the elderly person into a care giving facility? Or, did you simply take total control of a elderly weak, possibly mentally failing elderly person?

      Were all the decisions bounced off other relatives, or made by the caregiver, only?

      If they only took control, and never to the time to keep others informed, then they were just greedy.

      think the complaining caregivers, who inherited all, need to face this about themselves.

  20. From a sick family says:

    David, Some relatives take care of an elderly relative just to get a payout. They talk mad shit about the people not there and get the elderly person to cut them out of their will. It is disgusting. These family members are just caring for the person to get paid.

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