When I was a teenager, my mother was ill. During that time, I remember a few family meetings with my grandparents, my mother and my aunts and uncles where my grandparents’ property was discussed. I was inducted then because it was known that my mother was terminal, and that in time I would inherit part of my mother’s own grandparents’ inheritance.
My mother passed away in 2002, soon after my 18th birthday. During the years following my mother’s illness and the first few years after that, I dealt with my grief in some unhealthy ways. I became the black sheep of the family, and from 2004 to 2009 my mother had no contact with the family.
In 2009, my grandfather passed away and the communication lines reopened. I completely changed my life in the early 2000s, and I’m doing great for myself. Communication was tense for a few years, but now it is quite open.
,‘I completely changed my life in the early 2000s, and I’m doing great for myself.’,
I didn’t really think about my inheritance until last year, when my grandmother and uncle—who manage my grandmother’s finances—began sending large monetary gifts to all the grandchildren and their families. They said they were sending this money to avoid taxes (I’m assuming estate tax on my grandmother’s death, but I really didn’t know my grandmother had such a huge estate).
They have maxed out the gift-tax exclusion amount for the past two years by giving money to me, my husband, and both of my children (the same with all other grandchildren in the family). This money has really been a boon to us.
I want to ask my uncle and grandmother if I will be included in my grandmother’s legacy when she passes away, but I’m not sure how to handle that conversation tactfully. When I was a teenager, I was always involved in money talks, but after my mother passed away and I went through my wild years, I was no longer involved.
I don’t know if I’m still ready to get my mom’s share, or if she’s set up something for grandchildren, or if she’s written me off entirely. Is there even a clever way to communicate?
Thanks for your suggestion.
I’ll first ask myself a question: How much of this conversation do you need to have with your uncle and grandmother when your grieving years when you worked were the result of feelings of guilt or shame? Guilt and shame are a never-ending revolving door of emotions. If you keep getting caught up in that chasm, it will never get you where you want to go, and will affect your perception of the people around you.
At heart, how likely is it that you’re cut off from your grandmother’s will, given that you and your family are already involved in your grandmother’s annual gifts? If your grandma didn’t trust you with money, she would have set up a trust – or didn’t include you in this annual gift at all. Looks like you’re more likely than Huh involve.
The third and, possibly more pertinent question is this: will the grandchildren get their parents’ share of your grandparent’s property? The last word on this is “yes”. You are involved and despite those difficult years, when communication was sparse or nonexistent, you have re-established relationships and built a good life for yourself. It requires hard work, humility and hope.
Inheritance and quarrels over small things can create rifts in families. Of course, this is often less about the objects and more about the residual ill, who was treated better or worse as a child, and the rivalry between siblings. Andrea Combs addresses the mechanics of mercenary succession without (hopefully) asking about mercenary succession in this Marketwatch article.
,‘You’ve reestablished relationships and built a good life for yourself. It requires hard work, humility and hope.,
Among her conversational guidelines: request a special meeting rather than bring it up on the fly (no one likes to remove the guard); listen, validate, and affirm your grandmother’s feelings and wishes so she doesn’t feel the need to defend or explain her plans; Be direct, honest and vulnerable; And don’t get bogged down in specifics about what you can or can’t get.
I’ll also add: thank your grandma for her annual gifts, and ask if You can help His, Of course, there’s no point in acting out because this conversation is designed to make your grandma feel better or help her with her estate planning. It will be passive-aggressive and come across as fake. But show that you want to continue building the relationship.
Say something like: “Our relationship and your support have meant everything to me. I am proud of how far I have come from those difficult days and I hope mom will be proud too. I feel weird asking you about it, but I was wondering if you still intended that I would get the mother’s share in your property. Maybe you don’t even need that last line.
again, make sure Why You need to know the answer to this question. Is it something they’ve said or done in the intervening years, because of a period when you were out of touch with family, or because you still feel bad about those difficult, grieving years? Living your best life, and making yourself and your family proud, is more effective than any question.
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