What to do about disgruntled heir?

jockewingMay 15, 2010

My grandmother just died. She left me, her grandson, her home, her household possesions, and her car. She also left me 2/3 of her accounts and 2/3 of her investment account. My brother received 1/3 of the accounts and 1/3 of the investment account. His daughter also received an investment account with a balance of about $50,000.

When informed of the contents of the will, my brother has accused me of making my grandmother write her will this way and he thinks that I should just give him part of my share. I had a much closer relationship with my grandmother. I was always there for her and took care of her. My brother was given $39,000 by my grandmother a few years ago to buy the house he was renting, and instead of doing that, he just spent the money on whatever he wanted and didn't even apologize to her for basically steal almost $40,000 from her.

The point is, my grandmother decided exactly what she wanted to do and was of totally sound mind (lived to be 90 living alone and tending to virtually all of her affairs and still driving) and there was no undue influence exercised by myself over her. I was appointed the independent administrator, and the lawyer told me everything should be wrapped up within 6 weeks as there were no debts and the assets were all named and divided in her will as she wished.

How do I deal with this brother? He is still getting nearly $150,000 and his daughter is getting $50,000. I know if the situation was reversed he would laugh if I asked him to just give me something specifically left to him. A relative I spoke with suggested just not speaking with him, carrying out the will and letting him communicate with the lawyer. His own wife even told me his is just acting like a brat. It's bad enough that I just lost the most important person in the world to me, now I have to deal with this garbage.

Any thoughts?

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Don't change anything, don't be an enabler.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2010 at 10:52AM
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Thanks hendricus. I left a copy of the will in his mailbox and now that he sees it in black and white he says "it's not my fault". I guess it isn't. It's nobody's "fault". He seems to have this attitude that just because he has a daughter everyone else is less important and he deserves more. Well he is a grown man and needs to earn his own living and take care of himself, as far as I'm concerned. My grandma didn't have to leave him a dime, but she still remembered him quite generously.

He received a $40,000 judgement in a lawsuit 2 years ago, and that money was gone within a year! What in the world is he doing with this money? Nothing to show for it. I'm sure my grandma didn't want him to flush the money she and my grandpa worked hard for down the drain, too.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2010 at 12:11PM
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jokeing, I agree with hendricus. Honor your grandmother's will exactly as she wanted it. Be kind but firm with your brother--and distance yourself from his emotions.
That said, I clicked on your post because I'm in a related situation and have dealt with it all day today! My mother died a few month's ago. She left everything equally to her children. You'd think this would solve emotional matters but it hasn't! One of my siblings is deeply angry--emotionally irrational--and lashing out at the slightest thing (esp. me, the calm and rational one). There's no talking to her and I'm walking on egg shells because I know this is an important time that could determine our future relationship. I'm shocked at the whole thing. I wonder if anyone has advice on this matter.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2010 at 4:10PM
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The only fair solution i can come up with is that perhaps it would be best if nobody received ANY money..And since i came up with the solution,feel free to send proceeds to my home address..

Seriously,honor your Grandma's wishes,and don't give it a second thought..

Best of luck

    Bookmark   May 15, 2010 at 6:51PM
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Marita, my mother went through the sibling thing when her mother died in distributing personal belongings. If your mother left a will with specific items honor that. If not you can do one of two things, sell everything and distribute the money equally or make a lottery. The lottery could be by age or by strips of paper with a number on each piece showing the order of selection of items. You might let the individuals take back gifts that they had given her if they want them.

One of the problems was each of my mothers sisters insisted that they had purchased for their mother a set of silverware. There were enough pieces to make partial sets but not enough for 4 full sets. I am afraid my mother lied and gave the silverware to a charity.

If they decide on a sale they will have to purchase a keepsake at the sale.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2010 at 1:42AM
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Keep the money left to you, don't discuss it with your brother, he will only view it as gloating. Just stay nice and don't discuss it with anyone else either. Stay humble, stay kind, in the end it will win out.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2010 at 5:01PM
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Well, we had another argument today but in the end, he finally seems to be coming to his senses. He is just too delusional to see that not everyone thinks he is the greatest thing since sliced bread, and that she wanted to leave more to me. He'll get over it, especially when he starts getting the money in his hand. I am trying to avoid him as much as possible until this is all over to avert any future tension.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2010 at 8:01PM
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It sounds like your family has some "issues" before the inheritance. It really isn't about money.

BTW - your posts are coming across like you are gloating about the "grandma loves me more" factor here. I hope you aren't doing that in real life.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2010 at 9:32AM
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Your grandmother LEGALLY told you and everyone how and to whom her estate should pass. Honor her wishes. If your brother wishes to contest the will, he should do so LEGALLY which would cost him big time and he would not prevail since there was a will spelling everything out. Sounds like he is trying to guilt you out of what your grandmother wanted you to have, DON'T let him do it. Take the high road and be cordial to your brother BUT do not let your brother bully you into doing this. I speak from experience.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2010 at 3:21PM
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jockewing - stay firm to your values - though it may be hard. Your grandmother knew what she was doing.
marita - I am going through exactly what you are going through right now. My mother died in September & the will divided everything equally between my brother & myself (even making us co-executors - talk about joined at the hip - yuck!). We didn't have too much problem "splitting" furnishings - except brother wanted to save some things for posterity - like nice mahogony beds [why? - because they were nice & we got "nothing" $$$ for them.](saving them at our house of course - no) But, my grandmother had a nice diamond ring that she had left to my mother. Which of course, I think should go to me. (Which will then go to my daughter). Brother keeps asking - have you got it appraised?(Originally he wanted to take it to a jeweler he "knew" - we said no). I keep getting this feeling like he wants it split. Which is why I haven't gotten it appraised - or told him. I don't think it should go into the "mix". He got Dad's watches and jewelry when he died years ago. I never even saw any of it. Don't really care - it's man stuff. DH & I have done ALL of the work since Sept - cleaning, paperwork - DH 3-4 days a week at her house preparing it for sale. They haven't done anything except show up at the bank. So I do feel a little tired. Am I right or wrong?

    Bookmark   May 17, 2010 at 3:46PM
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annie, were you born in 1956? Me too. A good year!
It is certainly true that if a family was disfunctional before a death it will be even more so after. That's what is going on among my siblings. Two have simply lost it: one an emotional/sentental wreck; one withdrawn in passive agression. Thank God for my other sibling, my youngest brother, who is completely rational. The two of us are trying to navigate all sorts of landmines at the moment. I have a sinking feeling that this process, however, is going to result in life-long animosities. I've tried hard to overcome some of our earlier dysfunction and made some ground with them all. Now I see all that gain disintegrating. . .

    Bookmark   May 17, 2010 at 7:57PM
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Tell your brother to take it up with the executor -- it's out of your hands. I would be very surprised if there is any way to change the terms of the will after the person who made it has died.

If he agrees with you that you are powerless to change the will, but says that you should give him money anyway after the estate has cleared, you can tell him that just about everyone wishes that other people would give them money, but in this case he is going to have to be content with wishing.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2010 at 12:37AM
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Yes I really do believe my grandmother did care for me in a different way than my brother. Maybe not "loved me more", but liked me more, certainly. No I have not said anything like this to him. I am really trying to avoid him as much as possible. I don't plan on telling him about anything I plan to do with the money I am to receive because I can see how that might make him angry. Believe it or not, he just moved into a house the next street over from mine, so it's kind of crazy! I am really considering moving after all this is done to try to get some distance, because all I see is problems down the road.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2010 at 9:25AM
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"Believe it or not, he just moved into a house the next street over from mine, so it's kind of crazy! I am really considering moving after all this is done to try to get some distance, because all I see is problems down the road."

Considering the circumstances, I wouldn't want to live that close to him either. It is wise that you are not informing him of your plans.

Just curious, but if anything happened to you, who would inherit your estate?
If you don't have a wife or kids, would it go to your next of kin?

Something to think about....

    Bookmark   May 22, 2010 at 3:37PM
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I have been thinking about it. My husband has children, male and female. We helped raise a niece, husbands side. I have first cousins on mothers side. None living on fathers side. Everything I have is set to go to husband.Before I retired I had all my accounts 90% hubby, 10% niece. However employer, USDA, did not forward documents to necessary agency. Been trying to decide how I want things to go before I file new docs but hubby wants some to go to the children of his son. I am hoping I will not die before the youngest is 18 because I know if my stepson is named guardian he would spend most of the money and the grandchildren would receive nothing.

Once hubby is gone niece will get everything except for tokens. With my life I will die before him.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2010 at 10:54PM
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