I've always thought it awful how quickly a death in the family can bring all sorts of toxic grudges and resentments to the fore. Especially when money is involved.
My recently deceased grandmother left a sizeable estate. I knew her death was going to set off some family drama, because she and my mother never liked each other....at all. Now my mom is furious because of some of the provisions of the will.
My dad and his sister are the only two surviving heirs. While my aunt will get her half of the estate immediately, my dad's half has been put in a trust fund to be doled out to him yearly over the course of twelve years. If he should die before it's all paid out, the entire trust fund goes to me. Dad's health is very, very bad and has been for a long time. As much as it hurts my heart to say this, it's surprising that he's lived this long. My grandmother knew this. It's pretty obvious she wanted my mom to have as little access to that money as possible.
When my dad questioned his sister as to why his portion was tied up in a trust to be doled out, and hers wasn't, she said, "Momma wanted to protect you in case of a divorce." A divorce?! My parents have been married for 45 years! And to add insult to injury, my aunt is on her third marriage. Let that sink in for a moment.
I completely understand my dad's feelings being hurt and my mom being angry. I also understand that there was plenty of blame to go around with mom and grandma's failed relationship. Maybe grandma had her reasons for what she did. In any event, it was her money to do with as she liked.
I'm trying to stay neutral and mind my own business in this situation. I refuse to get involved in family drama concerning money.The very idea makes me feel ill. But I saw my mom this morning and she complained long and bitterly over it all and kept talking about how hard she will have to struggle financially if dad dies anytime in the next few years. I was terribly uncomfortable. Not only because we were talking about my dad possibly dying soon (which is bad enough) but also because I feel guilty that grandma made me the beneficiary of her parting shot at my mom.
I hate family drama. Hate it.
There is no way you can fix this, ever.ReplyDelete
Take care and just do your best to stay out of it.
My MIL hated me even though I was the one who supported he son through the tough times and made sure all was well with her even though her children really didn't want that much to do with her. Sometimes you just cant win.
My poor dad has been caught between his mother and his wife his whole life. They both should have done better, for his sake.Delete
As you say, it was your grandmother's money and her wishes should be respected. She had her reasons.ReplyDelete
I agree, Neil. Her money, her choice. I just hate that my dad's feelings are hurt.Delete
So sorry for what you're dealing with. And it sounds like it's only just beginning.ReplyDelete
I'm afraid you may be right, Mitch.Delete
Money troubles often erupt upon a death and what happens to the estate. I too have found that anger and long simmering resentments crop up when a loved one dies (in my case a relative in another state). You are the innocent one and I hope things simmer down.ReplyDelete
I think I made it clear to my mother today that I don't want to discuss the matter. I consider it a done deal and until such time that it becomes my business (if and when my dad passes away) I don't plan to think about it too much.Delete
Your grandmother had her reasons, and was under no obligation to provide for her daughter-in-law, or anyone for that matter. She could have given the money to charity. In the end, she did what she thought best. Don't feel guilty. It is not your fault.ReplyDelete
I agree with you that she was under no obligation to her DIL or anyone else. As I said to Neil, my dad's feelings are hurt and he has every right to feel that way, but my mom should check her sense of entitlement.Delete
Thanks for the encouragement.
I'm sorry for your father, by the way. I can imagine that came as a hard blow to him.Delete
I second the parsnip. nothing good cam come from this; lay low.ReplyDelete
Amen! Thanks for the good advice!Delete
Hello Jennifer, I'm new to your blog and have just bounced right into some high drama indeed! Family feelings are so complex, but one thing that I feel sure about is that you should feel no guilt over any of this. It's a shame that your grandmother wasn't even-handed but nothing can me done about it. Perhaps she thought that the arrangement she had made would be the most beneficial for an ill man. It sounds as though your mother, in spite of not liking her mother-in-law, expected to gain financially from her! I do hope that your father keeps well enough to enjoy his inheritance over the next twelve years.ReplyDelete
Thank you for visiting my blog, and for leaving me a comment. :)Delete
There's no accounting for families. And little need, either. Avoid the fray.ReplyDelete
That pretty much sums it up.Delete
Oh, the stories I could tell about the things that happened after my mother died. Just awful and the damn thing is- I could have cared less about the money. My mother left me as executor of the will although she left me nothing but my brothers were not happy with the way my husband and I were dealing with things like selling her house and we finally just loaded up all of the many, many papers into a box and took it to the lawyer of they're choice.ReplyDelete
I am not angry at my brothers. I see it all as merely a representation of how dysfunctional our family always was. But I sure as shit miss my brothers. One I see rarely but sometimes. The other, I have not seen in years. I have written him, called him, emailed him.
I feel so sad for him. He has no other family. He was hurt so badly by our stepfather.
And all of the money in the world can't sew that wound up.
So yeah. Stay out of it. Just accept what your grandmother left you and don't feel guilty. There is never any way to make all of this "right."
Like you, I couldn't care less about the money. My grandmother had already given me and my two cousins hefty checks a few years back after some CDs her and my grandfather set up for us had matured. I was touched and grateful for her generosity and told her so. I don't expect or care about anything else from her estate now that she's gone. If she had given it all to charity I wouldn't have batted an eye. I hate to see what little family my dad has left (just his sister) torn apart by bad feelings over a will. But it's none of my doing, and I can't fix it. Sigh.Delete
Aaaaargh. It was awful when my mother died. I stayed out of all the grabbing and money grubbing. I asked only for the one thing that my mother said she was going to leave to me. She didn't leave it to me in writing (it went to another family member) so I never brought it up again. Would you perhaps feel comfortable with assuring your mother that you would never allow her to suffer, or is it better to stick with your policy of non-discussion?ReplyDelete
I did actually assure my mom at the beginning of our conversation yesterday that I would never let her suffer financially if I had the means to help her. She knows me better than that.Delete
Oh my. Love, anger and resentment all go into making up a will. Your grandmother let her anger over rule her love for her son’s love for your mother. How hard that must be for you all. Try to work it out between you three. It is only money, and as you know, there are so many more important things than that.ReplyDelete
Thank you for this wise comment and advice. You are right on all counts.Delete
This is an unfortunate, and all too common, subject. Stories such as yours turn up regularly. At my own mother's funeral, my uncle (her younger brother, who was her executor) started talking about her will, and how unfair it was. This was before the will had even been read. I had always liked my uncle, but his outburst totally changed my attitude. We never spoke again.ReplyDelete
A pet peeve of mine is when there is discussion of a person's will before they're even cold. At best, it's tacky and inappropriate and I don't blame you for cutting your uncle out of your life for his outburst (and at her funeral, no less!)Delete
I can only agree with what the others here have said, and with your own approach of the whole topic; trying to stay out of it, as nearly impossible this may be.ReplyDelete
Yes, it was your Grandmother's money and she could do with it what she wanted, but hurting someone else's feelings - even post-mortal - can not always be avoided. In this case, sadly, it is her own son.
You know, I suspect my grandmother had her reasons for what she did. But I wish she had had the courage to talk to my dad about it when she drew up the latest version of her will so he wouldn't have been so shocked. Now he sees a huge difference in how his sister (and her husband) were treated versus him and my mom and he has to live with that and wonder why she did it.Delete
I've heard so many stories of families split by a will and feel very lucky to have been left money by 3 people with no animosity.ReplyDelete
As you say best to not talk about it
I'm really grateful that my recently deceased mother-in-law's will had everything distributed evenly and there's been no animosity within the family circle over it (at least none that I've heard about).Delete
Thank You for sharing your article, This is an interesting & informative blog. It is very useful for the developer like me.ReplyDelete
I hope you make the right choices.ReplyDelete