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Old 02-26-2016, 03:23 PM
Location: Scottsdale, AZ
7,693 posts, read 4,725,286 times
Reputation: 28186


Originally Posted by ruby242250 View Post
I have been appointed 50% of my great uncles everything..He is still living and I feel awful even having to vent about this, but now my siblings have found out that this is taking place and one of them is really freaking out over it and declaring that he deserves half of it and or that it should be divided up between all the siblings...My response continues to be " THe man is still alive he has every right to do what he wants with his belongings and money that he has worked his whole life for, I'm not talking about this anymore, he could fall inlove and change his will tomorrow" Basically I just feel pressure that because he is a distant relative, that question of " why did he choose me?" Comes in and then with my siblings all up in arms about it, I'm starting to feel terrible. Should I just tell them I will split it up when and if the time comes? I don't want this drama but at the same time, there is a reason why he did pick me to handle things. I specifically asked him if maybe he could leave somethings for them and he said no that he felt confident in his decisions. I don't understand why they feel so entitled. Plus out of all my siblings only 2 of them have ever even met him before. I'm not sure what to do, my gut is telling me to just let them freak out but then the heart in me doesn't want the family to be divided all because someone left me money and not them. An honor to be chosen and a beautiful potential blessing is becoming a heavy burden and worse of all I just visited him and I am going to be so sad when his time comes. any advise on this would be greatly appreciated as I choose not to discuss this with anyone as it makes my stomach turn.
In honor of your first-ever thread on C-D, I have a story.

There was once this family where, as so often happens, the wife survived the husband. They had two adult children: a boy (the eldest) and a girl. The wife, having just been through her husband's harrowing demise from Alzheimer's, went to her attorney and had a will and a living trust created.

The trust stipulated that she was sole trustee until her demise, upon which time the son became the successor trustee. The will said simply that she was leaving all her assets to the trust. The successor trustee was to see that assets were divided 50/50 and distributed.

That was in 1994. And, by the way, neither the son nor the daughter knew anything about these arrangements as the wife kept everything under lock and key.

Fast-forward to present day. The wife, having lived far longer than she had expected, finally divulges the existence of the will and trust to her son. You see, she didn't want to blindside him completely. She handed over all her bank statements and asked him to be added to each account so he could sign checks if she was still alive but incapacitated.

It was then that the son noticed that each account had been seriously -- like 2/3rds -- depleted two years previously. He inquired and was told that $600,000 had been given to the daughter so she could buy investment real estate. He checked and found that yes, the title was in his sister's name.

The moral of this story is: Don't believe anything anyone tells you about inheritances. People can and do change their minds, deciding to give it away to charity or spend it while they're alive to enjoy it. Some people change their minds on a monthly basis so they can play power games. It's great fun just to see the relatives scurry about and fuss over what they'll inherit.
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Old 02-26-2016, 03:49 PM
4,484 posts, read 4,746,514 times
Reputation: 9942
I work with a woman who has been going through radiation/chemo for liver cancer that has metastasized to her colon and lungs. Her daughter and son asked her yesterday... we'll get the house right? Amazing.
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Old 02-26-2016, 04:04 PM
Location: Boise, ID
8,043 posts, read 23,739,908 times
Reputation: 9334
The person who is put in charge of the money is always going to catch flak for it. My mom has 5 siblings. My grandparents had some money, put all their assets in a trust, and named my mom as the trustee, and put my mom on all their bank accounts, while they were still alive. Things stayed this way for more than 10 years before both grandma and grandpa were gone. A couple of the siblings trusted mom (who is as honest as they come) and didn't complain, but a couple did complain. Those were the ones who wanted their money now and didn't want to wait. Mom had to explain to them that grandma was going to need long term care for the rest of her life, and there may not be any inheritance to give.

In the end, mom was a good steward of the funds, and at the end of the 10 years, after all expenses, there was actually more in assets than at the beginning, and everyone got their share. But the point is, some people can only see the $$ signs, and will never be happy with less than the whole pie.

OP, don't give in to your siblings, at least for now. Once the chickens hatch, you can decide how you want to handle it based on what you actually receive. Tell your siblings to calm down.
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Old 02-26-2016, 04:27 PM
Location: Upstate NY
35,548 posts, read 10,525,236 times
Reputation: 33665
Of course it's his choice--nothing profound there.

Too bad they found out about it. I can't imagine inquiring about who's been appointed executor of an estranged great uncle's estate, and who the beneficiary is...
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Old 02-26-2016, 04:49 PM
1,073 posts, read 810,887 times
Reputation: 4286
This bickering over inheritance is as old as the hills.

My grandmother passed without leaving a Will. She had everything written on a piece of paper, thinking that was enough but it wasn't.

I was 16 when she passed and 28 before the estate was settled.

Somewhere about half way through all the bickering (that included my cousins whose parent preceded grandma in death), I convinced my mom to throw her hat into the fire because anything she got would b that much less than her larcenous brothers who wanted reimbursed for gas money for taking grandma to various doctor appointments.

They ripped the floor boards up in her house looking for money.

12 years later, the estate was settled, the lawyers got way more than their Lions Share and each relative with rights got a check for around $2,000. There would have been a lot more if they hadn't fought so much amongst themselves.

Mom didn't care about the money or her loser whiny brothers and never spoke to any of them after that. It helped underscore why she was glad I was her only child.

The moral of that story is, the more money and assets that are involved, the uglier things get no matter how close the kids thought they were. Even if the Will is sewn up tighter than those proverbial Nuns Underwear.
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Old 02-26-2016, 04:52 PM
466 posts, read 290,990 times
Reputation: 1809
My Mom and Dad made me their trustee. There were a couple of things that I knew might cause trouble between my brothers and sisters (there are 6 of us), so I told them what the instructions for dividing the assets were, and told them if they didn't like it then they needed to go talk to Dad before he died because I was going to follow his instructions to the letter. That pretty much ended that discussion.

When it came time to divide the estate I had to repeat that a couple of times and show them (mostly just one of them who always causes trouble) the reference in the trust. Can't argue much when it's in black and white with Mom and Dad's signatures on the dotted line.

I suggest you do the same - tell them to go talk to the uncle directly and leave you out of it since it's his money and his decision. They can make the case for why they deserve his money directly to him.
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Old 02-26-2016, 07:12 PM
Location: Central Connecticut
417 posts, read 263,938 times
Reputation: 944
Keep in mind that if you happen to receive the inheritance and then decide to split it, I'm not sure, but you might be obligated to pay gift taxes.
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Old 02-26-2016, 07:17 PM
Location: VT; previously MD & NJ
2,206 posts, read 1,350,381 times
Reputation: 6344
Originally Posted by ruby242250 View Post
He is also having me help with his funeral arrangements, he has given me phone numbers and shown me exactly where he wants to be placed to rest, the other heir is also his health proxy and is on board to help with that, I am appointed to handle that if the other heir passes away beforehand, I told him I would help with this even if I wasn't included in the will. I think that he just saw me as responsible and a mother myself he loves my daughter very much.
Well here is the answer. He has chosen Ruby and one other person to handle his end of life needs, and obviously feels they should be compensated for their efforts. So whatever is left in his estate is to be split between the two people who will help him. Sounds very logical to me. Has nothing to do with playing favorites.

If this uncle were very wealthy he probably would have named more beneficiaries. My guess is that he doesn't expect to have all that much at the end. Or he could have other money in trusts or POD/TOD accounts or IRAs that wouldn't show up in a will. I suspect Ruby might get a nice sum, but probably won't become a millionaire from the uncle.
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Old 02-26-2016, 07:24 PM
5,048 posts, read 6,963,225 times
Reputation: 4146
Originally Posted by ruby242250 View Post
They have thrown numbers out there for example "oh so you'l probably give us like ten grand while you sit on 300.." that is one example of the bs I keep hearing..(meanwhile I have no idea of any actual amounts just rumors that he is well off) and who told them was my parents because they didnt want it to be a secret, they were worried that if my siblings found out later that I knew in advance that it would be even worse drama wise...which now I can see they were right because of the way they are reacting to this pre-maturely..
You and they are wondering why he chose you and not them. This is why. He knows they're a mess and you can be capable to honor his hard earned and saved money.

This is also probably why he's writing this out before he dies....because he knows the vultures that would attack worse after he died. This way he can refute their arguments and underscore his wishes.
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Old 02-26-2016, 10:59 PM
10,818 posts, read 8,069,111 times
Reputation: 17029
Why is this in the Retirement forum?
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