My mother passed away three months ago after a long and terrible decline due to dementia. It devastated me and my immediate family. During this I also had to leave my job. My mother passed away less than a month after being moved to the memory-care unit, and I’m still in deep grief. His sisters and their children came to the funeral.
My extended family felt entitled to see my mother’s paintings, her purse, her jewelry and everything else.
A cousin even took one of my mom’s designer purses to give to her sister (who didn’t come to the funeral) because the cousin felt bad about not sharing the inheritance she got from her grandmother with her sister (another long story).
If I said anything about how tasteless it was or how much it was hurting me, they dismissed me as greedy and overly sensitive. One of my aunts currently has eight paintings from my mother’s house, if that gives you an idea of the extent of things. I’ve worked to accept it and get over it. However, things have really escalated recently.
My father has money. Not me. I live paycheck to paycheck due to the high cost of rent and my student-loan debt — not to mention my recent unemployment status (I recently started a new job). My aunt and her boyfriend recently visited my father at his apartment in Florida. Dad told them that I was getting my mom’s car, because my car is old and starting to become unreliable.
,‘My aunt’s boyfriend approached me, asking me what I wanted to do with my current car.’,
My aunt’s boyfriend approached me, asking me what I wanted to do with my current car, seeing as I was taking my late mother’s car. To be honest, I didn’t think much about it, and I was a little taken aback. He also messaged me on Facebook telling me to call him immediately – which made me panic, because I was worried that something was wrong with my dad now.
The boyfriend said that his sister was having financial problems and needed a new car. Then he asked me how much I want for my car. Being a people pleaser and worried I would be judged if I asked what I could get for the car in the market, I said they could get it. A few days later, I told him that he couldn’t take the car and apologized for saying that he could.
The next morning, I woke up to an onslaught of texts and a call from another aunt (Aunt #2), a sister of an aunt who is dating the man who asked for my car. Auntie #2 texted me to say that I was being rude and needed to explain why I decided not to give away my car for free, and Auntie #1 was sobbing. Aunt #2 lectured me on not going back on my word (I’m 33).
Am I crazy, or am I being victimized and coerced? Am I wrong if I tell them that I don’t give them cars?
Contact an estate-planning attorney and a locksmith. If your parents are divorced and you are the only surviving child, your mother’s property passes to you under intestate law—that is, if there is no will. It is not only unethical for your cousin or aunt to rob her house for valuables, it is also illegal. They are trespassing and they are stealing property that should be going through probate.
If there was a will, your mother would have filed it with the probate court in the county where she lived. Contact the probate court and court clerk’s office on the date she died to see if a will was filed. Sometimes this can be done online. The court will then decide whether the will is valid. If there is no will and you are his only child, the property is yours.
You may want to contact a family attorney or financial advisor to learn about life insurance, functions of your mother’s home, if she is an owner, and any retirement accounts. There should be information about her old bank accounts that may help, including details sent to her home. a policy locator service May be useful for policies made after 1996.
Who is the executor or trustee of this estate? If it is a family member who has already taken items from your late mother’s home, that person can and should be removed from their role. There should be a complete list of your late mother’s property as part of the probate. If probate is underway, these items were not yours or theirs to take at this point, and they must be returned.
Inheritance theft and embezzlement are, sadly, all too common. Family members often take it upon themselves to search a deceased person’s home, taking everything from jewelry to automobiles and anything they believe they are entitled to. This is your inheritance, and these relatives are vultures and domineering. Report this robbery to your lawyer.
And now, listen to me very carefully, and repeat after me: You don’t owe anyone anything. You don’t have to give an explanation to your relatives. You are not bound to explain your mother’s property. You don’t have to answer your phone. (That’s why the tech gods of Silicon Valley invented the “block” button.) People can’t make you feel bad or guilty. That’s your choice. Choose Freedom.
,‘If the executor or trustee is a family member who has already taken items from your late mother’s home, that person can and should be removed from their role.’,
Your relatives may see you as someone who can be easily manipulated, blackmailed, coerced, coerced or – as is the case here – robbed. Just because it happens brazenly, brazenly and in plain sight, it is nothing more than this: Your family members are stealing from your mother’s wealth. They are stealing your legacy.
Making a request for your car is the cherry on top. You are 33 years old. If you don’t start standing up for yourself now, you will spend your life being pushed around. You can ask people to back off. Simply say: “I just lost my mom. This is a difficult time for me and I want you to stop calling me. If you get more calls and Facebook messages, click “Block” above. Press the button. No explanation is needed.
You cannot reason with selfish, greedy and opportunistic people. You can talk to them, and they’ll ring around you because they don’t subscribe to the social contract—one where we listen to other people’s wishes, have healthy boundaries, and respect the difference between what’s ours and what’s ours. Let’s choose another person’s.
Finally, stop telling people it’s your personal business. This includes your father, who clearly cannot keep the information confidential. If relatives or friends ask you questions about what you have and what you are going to do with your mother’s belongings, tell them that it is in the hands of your estate attorney and that it is private.
Don’t do things because you want to be liked or because you’re afraid of offending people. It will keep you hostage to other people’s questions, whims and demands for the rest of your life. Your life is no longer yours. It’s better to be strong and like yourself than to always listen to people who only think about themselves.
YoYou You can email The Monetarist with any financial and ethical questions at [email protected], and follow Quentin Fottrell Twitter.
check out moneylender private facebook Group, where we find answers to life’s toughest money issues. Post your questions, tell me what you’d like to know more about, or pay attention to the latest Manist column.
Dhanwadi regrets that he cannot answer questions personally.
More Quentin Fottrell movies or TV shows,
‘My sister always struggled with money and drugs’: I have a house with my husband and mother. Should we cut our sister off the family inheritance?
My ex-partner demanded that I pay 50% of our daughter’s medical expenses. He earns 3 times my salary. is that fair?
‘I feel deeply hurt’: My late wife’s parents cut me out of their will – and reduced my daughter’s inheritance. We are being punished after my remarriage. What we do?
Credit: www.marketwatch.com /