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Old 08-12-2011, 11:21 PM
 
Location: earth?
7,288 posts, read 10,862,561 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SCGranny View Post
My husband's grandfather was very wealthy - he bought Coca-Cola shares at 38 cents a share. He had two daughters and one son. The son went to college, started a liquor store, and then had a chain of them; never had kids, was wealthy in his own right. He also rarely spoke to his father. The daughters - one (my husband's mother) used to go to her father every two weeks with her bank book and expect him to pay the difference. The other daughter worked, married, raised 8 kids, and worked her way up to corporate levels - but when her father had strokes, she was at his side, getting him into the best round-the-clock care available, her kids would go over and roof his house, clean it, take care of it. When the man died, he left everything to the daughter who had taken care of him. My husband's mother was furious. How DARE he? Well, he did dare, and he had the perfect right to. He rewarded hard work and effort, and had no use for beggars and drones, didn't feel that they should be rewarded. His life, his money, his attitude. Did it cause bad blood? No. The bad blood was always there since the girls were teens; one industrious and hardworking, the other dependent, whiny, and lazy. (My husband didn't take a single page out of her book; he had her example before him, and learned from it rather than making the same mistakes.)

Zoom to present - DH and I worked 2 + 3 jobs most of our lives. We raised 3 kids and took in foster children. We were very frugal and saved up for what we wanted, always paid our bills on time, and raised our children to work and educate themselves. We drove old cars and had a tiny house for years. Now, because of our hard efforts, we have a lovely home, property, and are quite comfortable. We have 2 sons and a daughter. One son joined the USAF, came out, worked his way up, got married, and is comfortable in his own right, his supervisory job, his home. He tells us he neither needs or wants our property or inheritance; everything he has gotten he has earned. Our other son - honestly and sincerely believes that we still owe him a living. (He just turned 30.) He received a 4-year, fully-paid scholarship to a college, to study his life's dream - and three months later was working in a convenience store, sneering at those college idiots. Because we do not - will not - support him, he travels from pillar to post, always expecting someone else to pay his bills. Our daughter worked hard, had no scholarships, but got grants and loans and worked two jobs to put herself thru college. When she graduated, she paid her bills, including her loans, starting at the bottom of her profession and working her way to the top, where she now makes 6 figures and is happy and comfortable.

We know perfectly well that Son #2 would get his hands on any and everything he could, sell it, and go thru the money like a wildfire, and be angry that there wasn't more. Son #1 does not care for anything we have - except some antiques that have been passed down in the family. Our daughter loves our property, loves the house, and wants to live here when she retires - but not yet; she is having too much fun being a young adult and stretching her wings. Should she inherit, she would take care of, even expand on what we've done - it's in her nature. She actually took our old house over, rented it from us, fixed it up, and sold it for a good profit for us. She says she "owes" us for raising her right and loving her. We don't feel that way, but still...

We would not presume to leave our property and possessions to anyone, and try to imply or insist how they should take care of them after we die. But we already know perfectly well what would happen. Neither son appreciates or wants the property we have, and would vote to sell it. Our daughter is the only one who not only appreciates it for not only its monetary value, but its intrinsic worth, and has invested her time and money into it; coming out to work it and take care of it. She is this year insisting on buying us another well for it!

For our #1 son, he gets what he most desires - the family antiques that have been in the family for generations, because he would care for them. For our daughter, who has struggled to make something of herself and never stops working, she gets the property and the money to care for it.

For #2 son, nothing.

No, this won't cause 'bad blood' between the adult children - because it is already there; #1 Son and Daughter have turned #2 son away from demanding at their doorsteps for years, and they have no use for him - or he for them. Nothing we could give him would satisfy him; not even if we gave him every dollar, every antique, every foot of land, every inch of brick and clapboard. Nothing we gave him would go for anything but his own immediate desires, and he would still be angry because we did not give him more. Unlike his brother and sister, he feels we 'owe' it to him.

We believe and tried to raise our children that life isn't fair, and that they must make their own way in and mark on the world, that rewards don't magically appear just because they are smart, talented, funny, fun at parties, or cute. Two of them know this, one never will. Why should we reward the latter behavior, when it will not change either his opinion nor his attitude? Do we really care what someone - anyone, even a relative - thinks, feels, or says about us after we are dead? We are dead, after all, their opinion doesn't matter, and a bequest, no matter how big or how small, won't change their attitude, what they believe, or how they live.

BTW, if all of our kids had turned out to be spendthrifts, lazy, drug addicts, or n'er-do-wells, we would probably specify that everything be sold, and leave the money to an animal shelter, the Salvation Army, or have the property be designated as a home for abandoned horses or such like.
Your post is comprehensive and your logic is well-reasoned. I am convinced. I just don't know if I have the "guts" to do something similar . . . I would have to be thoroughly convinced it was the "right" thing to do, as you and your husband are.

If this were easy, I would never have posted in the first place.

I am going to take my time deciding, and hope I don't croak in the meantime!
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Old 08-13-2011, 09:24 AM
 
361 posts, read 621,593 times
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Great thread.
My own mom had a father of some means -- he owned a business.
She had a stepmother -- her father's third wife.
When he died he left my mom $1. Her two brothers worked in the business; they received that business.
My mom never got over that snub.
The brothers had a falling out and, while they ran the business together, were estranged for many years.
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Old 08-13-2011, 09:59 AM
 
Location: East Bangor, PA
126 posts, read 215,077 times
Reputation: 89
AZDesertBrat, that is a frustrating story. It's a shame. Things just don't always go the way they should!

My father was quite well-to-do (from my viewpoint, anyway) and had earned it all working hard, finally sold his business for 5 or 6 million. He had long divorced my mother, and gone through several other wives. He was a very self-centered man. The last wife that got her claws into him (the 5th one) happened to be in the right place at the right time. He started having mini-strokes, and started failing mentally. Then he had heart-valve surgery and never made it out of the hospital from that. She had a huge fancy funeral, and after the funeral we found out that he had left everything to her. There are six of us. After the funeral, we were all sitting around, and my youngest brother, about 45, was so crushed, he hadn't totally seen through my father the way us older ones had. He said, "Could someone please help me understand this?" It was sad -- while Dad was hospitalized, they had a hurricane and flooding and power loss in Houston, and they had to evacuate the hospital. My youngest brother was there for hours, helping manually ventilate him, and helping carry him over to another facility. Not that he did it for an inheritance, he did it because he is a loving family man. But he was so baffled and hurt at the outcome. Now 10 years later, we don't even know where his last wife is, she has not kept in touch at all.

I always say, there are lots of a$$@@@@s in the world, and some people have them for fathers.
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Old 08-13-2011, 10:54 AM
 
Location: Verde Valley AZ
8,618 posts, read 9,689,321 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by imcurious View Post
Good points.

Even though your dad left a trust, doesn't your mom also have a will? It seems like the trust and will should indicate who will get what when your mom passes on . . .It shouldn't just be guesswork at this stage . . . she should write it down and have it witnessed and notarized if she has not done that already . . .
My mom thinks she "doesn't need" a Will because of the Trust. And her "verbal orders" to my brother.
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Old 08-13-2011, 10:57 AM
 
Location: Verde Valley AZ
8,618 posts, read 9,689,321 times
Reputation: 10980
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gandalara View Post
Eeek. It's too bad you can't get it in writing about your guest house.

As executor, he'll be responsible to pay off any estate debts. Depending on the economy, the house and car may just pay the debts. Plus, if there's no will ... he'll have to suffer through probate.
I know, but Mom trusts my brother to do the "right thing". Unfortunately none of US (his sibs) do!

With the way real estate has dropped I don't think Mom's house and car would pay off her debts. It's a good thing that she paid cash when she bought the house but it has decreased in value a LOT. I keep trying to tell her that she needs a Will, as well as the Trust, but she doesn't believe me.
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Old 08-13-2011, 11:07 AM
 
Location: Verde Valley AZ
8,618 posts, read 9,689,321 times
Reputation: 10980
Quote:
Originally Posted by old_grouch View Post
AZDesertBrat, that is a frustrating story. It's a shame. Things just don't always go the way they should!

My father was quite well-to-do (from my viewpoint, anyway) and had earned it all working hard, finally sold his business for 5 or 6 million. He had long divorced my mother, and gone through several other wives. He was a very self-centered man. The last wife that got her claws into him (the 5th one) happened to be in the right place at the right time. He started having mini-strokes, and started failing mentally. Then he had heart-valve surgery and never made it out of the hospital from that. She had a huge fancy funeral, and after the funeral we found out that he had left everything to her. There are six of us. After the funeral, we were all sitting around, and my youngest brother, about 45, was so crushed, he hadn't totally seen through my father the way us older ones had. He said, "Could someone please help me understand this?" It was sad -- while Dad was hospitalized, they had a hurricane and flooding and power loss in Houston, and they had to evacuate the hospital. My youngest brother was there for hours, helping manually ventilate him, and helping carry him over to another facility. Not that he did it for an inheritance, he did it because he is a loving family man. But he was so baffled and hurt at the outcome. Now 10 years later, we don't even know where his last wife is, she has not kept in touch at all.

I always say, there are lots of a$$@@@@s in the world, and some people have them for fathers.
My grandfather kinda did the same thing. He was never wealthy but he did have a pretty good estate when he died and his third wife got it all. When she died her son got it all. My uncle was really hurt over all that because she flat refused to share with him. They were only married a couple of years too and I think if they had been married for many years my uncle would've been more 'forgiving'. Human beings are strange creatures.
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Old 08-13-2011, 11:35 AM
 
Location: SW MO
23,605 posts, read 31,497,588 times
Reputation: 29076
Quote:
Originally Posted by old_grouch View Post
AZDesertBrat, that is a frustrating story. It's a shame. Things just don't always go the way they should!

My father was quite well-to-do (from my viewpoint, anyway) and had earned it all working hard, finally sold his business for 5 or 6 million. He had long divorced my mother, and gone through several other wives. He was a very self-centered man. The last wife that got her claws into him (the 5th one) happened to be in the right place at the right time. He started having mini-strokes, and started failing mentally. Then he had heart-valve surgery and never made it out of the hospital from that. She had a huge fancy funeral, and after the funeral we found out that he had left everything to her. There are six of us. After the funeral, we were all sitting around, and my youngest brother, about 45, was so crushed, he hadn't totally seen through my father the way us older ones had. He said, "Could someone please help me understand this?" It was sad -- while Dad was hospitalized, they had a hurricane and flooding and power loss in Houston, and they had to evacuate the hospital. My youngest brother was there for hours, helping manually ventilate him, and helping carry him over to another facility. Not that he did it for an inheritance, he did it because he is a loving family man. But he was so baffled and hurt at the outcome. Now 10 years later, we don't even know where his last wife is, she has not kept in touch at all.

I always say, there are lots of a$$@@@@s in the world, and some people have them for fathers.
Quote:
Originally Posted by AZDesertBrat View Post
My grandfather kinda did the same thing. He was never wealthy but he did have a pretty good estate when he died and his third wife got it all. When she died her son got it all. My uncle was really hurt over all that because she flat refused to share with him. They were only married a couple of years too and I think if they had been married for many years my uncle would've been more 'forgiving'. Human beings are strange creatures.
Hmm! I wonder how I'll be viewed by my five children. I divorced their mother many years ago. Later I remarried. If I predecease my wife, their stepmother, whatever I have, the house, et al go to my wife. It would then be up to her to have the estate equitably distributed to my children and hers when she went. And the reverse is also true. If she goes before me, it all reverts to me.

I don't see that as strange at all.
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Old 08-13-2011, 12:17 PM
 
Location: Verde Valley AZ
8,618 posts, read 9,689,321 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Curmudgeon View Post
Hmm! I wonder how I'll be viewed by my five children. I divorced their mother many years ago. Later I remarried. If I predecease my wife, their stepmother, whatever I have, the house, et al go to my wife. It would then be up to her to have the estate equitably distributed to my children and hers when she went. And the reverse is also true. If she goes before me, it all reverts to me.

I don't see that as strange at all.
I don't see that as strange either. In fact I find that quite equitable.

As for me...I probably won't have anything for my three kids to squabble over. Unless I win the lottery or something but they tell me I have to buy tickets to do that.
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Old 08-13-2011, 12:31 PM
 
Location: Los Angeles area
14,018 posts, read 17,747,361 times
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To SCGranny: Couldn't rep you again so soon, but I just love your perceptive and well-considered family tomes. Impossible to argue with your clear-headed but tough conclusions.
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Old 08-13-2011, 12:34 PM
 
Location: Baltimore, MD
3,745 posts, read 4,220,203 times
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My children are not perfect, nor am I. I have no intention of either "rewarding" them or "punishing" them. After all, I AM the one who raised them. They will share equally in my estate. I love all three of them, no exceptions. YMMV.
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