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Old 12-14-2016, 09:19 AM
 
4,112 posts, read 3,450,347 times
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People get very weird when a power vacuum occurs. We have experienced some of this in our family. People have expectations. It goes just bat **** crazy from there.

Stand tall. You are following your Father's wishes. No explanations required. He left his share of marital assets to your Mother. Period.

Do go see someone to help you deal with all this junk. It will make you feel better to work it all out and you can develop a coping plan. You & your husband have both experienced a lot of trauma in that last few years. Talking it over with a professional is a good idea. Internalizing all this with take a serious toll on both your health.

You do not have to do everything. I like the idea of starting some new traditions with your husband. You can always keep some of the old ones & add some new.

I am truly sorry your family members who should be a source of solace are instead a source of pain. It sucks. Know you are not alone in this. Take care.
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Old 12-14-2016, 02:03 PM
 
Location: SWFL
21,438 posts, read 18,150,188 times
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Kathryn, I have no advice either, being an only child but I do know about estrangement from a child. The best thing I did for myself was to let go. Sad, because she is my only child but it used to cause me grief over and over until I just stopped communicating. I don't love her any less, I just do not give her anymore opportunities to stick the knife into my heart anymore.

My sincere best wishes for you and your husband in dealing with this carp. Sounds like you two have a good, stable marriage. May you have a wonderful, peaceful Christmas with your BIL and his wife.
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Old 12-14-2016, 04:49 PM
 
Location: Tulare County, Ca
1,031 posts, read 608,067 times
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A few thoughts to keep in mind Kathryn; and get plenty of rest. Things always seem better when you're well rested. Surround yourself with people who love you, not people who should love you but don't, and blood means NOTHING. If they can't show you love, at least make them show you respect. God bless that good husband of yours......he's a keeper.
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Old 12-17-2016, 07:17 AM
 
Location: Wonderland
40,954 posts, read 32,676,353 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by animalcrazy View Post
Are you sure you don't want to rethink giving your kids a copy of the will along with a detailed written account of what you've done? Not doing so makes it seem like you're hiding something. It might even help your brother prepare for his situation when the time comes. Especially if it's done in a kind and reassuring way that it really is in his best interest to have everything put in trust. Maybe your husband could talk to him, and maybe your husband should be the one to talk to your children right now? I'm wondering why he hasn't already? He's right you know dear one. It all doesn't have to be on you. Let him take over for awhile.

I'm not sure what to think of your children taking your brother's side, except that maybe your relationship with them has never been that strong? It seems to me that taking the side of someone mentally ill over your own mother's would be a no brainer unless you want to find a way to think the worst. I'm not trying to be harsh to you, but these dynamics are usually in place for a long long time, and there may be something there that you're not aware of. Maybe you should take your husbands advice and seek counseling. Sometimes a third party has a way of seeing something we should have seen and missed.

Either way I hope things work out for you and you find a way to make peace with it and be happy. Life is too short to allow anyone to have the power over our happiness.
My brother is completely, completely unreasonable. He thinks he is getting all sorts of stuff in the will (he seems to forget, first and foremost, that my mother is still alive and EVERYTHING goes to her first, on top of other things). He is going to be furious when he sees the will - because frankly, he is fixated on what he plans to get from my parents. I don't want to have to deal with his anger because believe me, the will is not what he's expecting and he will twist off - and somehow blame it on me.

As for the kids, two of my four kids are very emotionally needy. They yearn for a father figure's love. They also simply are not very emotionally stable. You're right in the sense that of the four, they are the two who find it easiest to blame me for divorcing their abusive dad, and they are the two he has always had the most emotional control over. My brother is very devious and has worked on their weaknesses for a long time now. It's sad to say, but they are vulnerable to any male who will show them what they think is "fatherly love." He's been doing a lot of that lately.

And yes, I am going to go get some counseling.
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Old 12-17-2016, 07:20 AM
 
Location: Wonderland
40,954 posts, read 32,676,353 times
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Originally Posted by AllisonHB View Post
Now I know attorneys are not something most of us ever hope to need, but they can be very helpful with family and estate stuff and neutralizing other family members bent on causing trouble. I was executor of my dad's estate, his medical and financial POA, etc. as you are. I have 2 younger sisters. The youngest and I have always gotten along very well, but the middle one usually pitches fits over the tiniest things. She is a master at emotional blackmail, a bully, and just a surly unhappy person. Predictably she made the whole estate settlement business a lot harder than it needed to be and caused me no end of heartache. I found an unlikely ally....the attorney we had to engage for the probate process. He was my backup. Whenever that sister tried to stir the pot, pick fights, whine, drag her feet, set one sibling against the other regarding property or estate business, he didn't get ruffled and calmly reminded me that his job was to represent ME, not them. He offered to write letters to the other siblings on my behalf, he sent them all the official notices (as the neutral party so it wasn't ME doing it), and repeatedly set the record straight with them if I needed him to. He stood up to all the arguments and whining without getting emotionally charged up. The nasty sister could not claim she was being left out or uninformed. She could not force or persuade him to do anything unethical no matter how disagreeable she was. He was always ready to set the record straight about who can demand what, who sets the process, etc. referencing impartial law, not someone's personal demands. I could always count on the attorney to to handle more unpleasant things on my behalf and there was nothing they could do about it.

Just knowing there was someone on my side who knew the legalities of my dad's wishes made all the difference in the world. I could explain the troubles to him knowing he had been through this with numerous families in the same situations and had probably heard and seen it all. He was a calm impartial sounding board with good advice. If you don't have an estate attorney, you might consider it.

In the end, every time I start to relive the worst moments of all that, I have to remind myself that I honored my dad's wishes, his memory, and have nothing to feel badly about. My sister was the one who gets to live with her poor behavior, not me. All of this will end, believe me. You will mend stronger and faster because you stuck to what was right. If I don't regard my nasty sister with the same obligatory affection (as well as unease) as before, that is on her, not me. She still has some power over the rest of us and always will, but she has no ammunition to throw about any of this any longer.

One stellar piece of irony was that my surly sister insisted that SHE choose the probate attorney despite the fact that this was my decision. SHE screamed and yelled about it so I caved in. The attorney we used was her choice and he didn't give her one inch that she didn't deserve. I think she hoped to have more influence over him so it infuriated her but it always gave me a secret little howl of laughter...Gotcha!!
I love this story.

My husband, mother, and I are meeting with the estate attorney Monday about my brother. I have a feeling that my brother will be receiving a letter from an attorney soon. And meanwhile, we will get some good advice.
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Old 12-17-2016, 07:21 AM
 
Location: Wonderland
40,954 posts, read 32,676,353 times
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Originally Posted by sayulita View Post
The bolded part caught my attention. If you are in charge of all her money, how could that have even been possible - him getting access to her debit card and money? If she has dementia, he could still manipulate her into taking him in. Seems you might need some extra protection from her bank or a trustee of some sort. I have no legal expertise but just a suggestion.

I'm so sorry for your losses - all of them. It's amazing how fragile family ties can be. I, too, am experiencing similar losses with my brother and a once beloved niece. All for much more trivial matters than you are dealing with. With my niece, there is no going back as I will never trust her again. It remains to be seen what happens with my brother but his "wall of silence" is enraging me.

I'm glad you are feeling stronger and letting anger replace the hurt. Anger gives you a strength that hurt cannot. Hold your ground and live your life.

All the best to you.
Thank you.

He would not have SUCCEEDED in his attempts, but he would have made my life hell. I keep a very close eye on all her financial stuff. We are meeting with the estate attorney Monday about all this. I am really looking forward to that meeting.
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Old 12-17-2016, 07:25 AM
 
Location: Wonderland
40,954 posts, read 32,676,353 times
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Originally Posted by mesmer View Post
I agree completely. It seems odd to be so transparent about finances after a death, as we're conditioned to be closed about such things, but suspicions tend to run high during such a time, and openness tends to dissuade such suspicions. A paranoid schizophrenic won't be dissuaded by facts, but others in the family will be.

I never met any of my grandmother's extended family over rifts that happened after her father's death, long before I was born. Those rifts never healed. Everyone digging in their heels now will result in the same resentment and hostility. Now is not the time to be stubborn - I'm not saying anyone should get something not due to them - but attempts at transparency should be made.
I don't want to show them the will because they are so busy talking to my brother all the time. There are things in that will that my brother will not like and will cause him to really go into a tizzy. Listen, he is actually dangerous when he's in a tizzy. Frankly, I don't trust my kids, who have really shown their butts in this, enough to share that will with them.

I am all about transparency too but I draw the line when people insist on being suspicious with me. I have never given any of my kids any reason to think I would lie to them, or mismanage money, or be vindictive or dishonest. I verbally told them the basics of the wills. They are out of line at this point and I don't feel like catering to their unfounded accusations.
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Old 12-17-2016, 07:27 AM
 
Location: Wonderland
40,954 posts, read 32,676,353 times
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Originally Posted by fumbling View Post
I agree you should have everything out in the open whether it causes a fit or not for some people. Show them the will. Transparency is the best policy. Secrecy creates suspicion. Let the sun shine in like a disinfectant. Like one of the posters said about their particular situation, "The nasty sister could not claim she was being left out or uninformed." You can lay the facts out and ignore people's interpretations, and just let the facts speak for themselves, I think would be the best policy.
I am going to do whatever the estate attorney suggests Monday. I doubt he suggests that we show everyone that will but if he suggests it that's what I'll do.

The thing is, if they are going to mistrust me anyway, and be all mad and up in arms, what's the point of it anyway?

THESE ARE GRANDKIDS. Not kids. NOT HEIRS.

My older brother has already sent the pertinent parts of the will to our younger brother.
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Old 12-17-2016, 07:29 AM
 
Location: Wonderland
40,954 posts, read 32,676,353 times
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Originally Posted by Kgryfon View Post
KA can't make this decision. KA is obligated to do exactly what her father has spelled out in his Trust/Estate documents. This is a common misperception by people who have not been through it. The executor executes the instructions written out by the person who died - they do not make the decisions. If her dad put money aside for her PIA brother, then her PIA brother gets the money. KA said he does get some money, but it goes into a trust, when their mother passes away.


KA, I would let an attorney handle that trust when the time comes. He can be paid from the funds in the trust. You can enjoy telling your brother that he will end up having to pay the attorney out of his own money since he proved that he will do nothing but make your life miserable if you try to handle that one on your own. Then he can be as much of a jerk as he wants, and pay for the privilege.

I agree with this. I do not consider myself "in charge" of my mom's money to that extent. I am overseeing her finances so that her funds are well protected and well managed and her needs are taken care of, but I am not throwing my power around.
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Old 12-17-2016, 07:33 AM
 
Location: Wonderland
40,954 posts, read 32,676,353 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by harry chickpea View Post
KA, you momentarily lost footing, but you just made an impressive and fast recovery and are on solid ground. Sometimes family relations suck. Especially at those times, it is important to lean on the support of those you love and who love you - not just for yourself, but for them as well. That is part of marriage, that is part of a loving and giving relationship. If your loved ones can't give when you are in need, you deny them a type of closeness and connection.

I'm sorry that the flaws of those around you have manifested so hurtfully, but I urge you not to strike back out unless it is strictly in self-defense. Protect yourself and let their behavior have effect on them more than you.

Counseling is good. I would also suggest studying a bit of "Non-violent Communication," which can allow you to communicate on a safe level when that time comes again.

My best wishes go to you. May I suggest that you give yourself and husband a treat of some sort that is totally unrelated to anything else? Perhaps taking in a Broadway play, or a quick visit to a warm beach?
Thank you!!!

My husband is a darling man. We just went on a little road trip - it was part business but we added a lot of pleasure to it. We added a side trip to go see my normal, happy daughter and her family and it was a WONDERFUL trip - we even went sledding! It was terrific!

Side note - as I was trudging back up the hill with the sled for about the fifth time, I heard a young kid say to his friend, "So much for being too old to go sledding - I'm going to tell Mom to get out here!" I nearly died laughing!

It was so good to be surrounded by Christmas love and joy. We spent a whole evening sitting around her Christmas tree with the kids, wallowing around on the sofa and floor with them, talking about memories of my dad and how funny he was, laughing and cutting up. It was like the Balm of Gilead to my soul!

Thank God for normal people.
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