- 2 years ago
- Wedding: January 2005
I ask this question because lately there seems to be lots of issues amongst friends and family when someone dies.
For instance, recently my DH’s childhood friends father died and now all of his children are fighting over his estate. He didnt leave a will. The oldest brother assumed that they would split the estate three ways, any property would be sold or bought out by whoever wanted it with the proceeds going to the other two. The estate wasnt large, but his kids are viciously fighting over the estate, even down to accounting for the fact that one of the kids helped cut grass 24 years ago. 24 years ago the youngest of the brothers cut the lawn for a whole summer when his dad had hernia surgery and now believes that entitles him to a larger share. The daughter thinks because she has a child, that she is entitled to most of the estate, however according to her brothers, their dad already bought her a house, which she doesnt deny.
Another example is a long term friend of mine who died suddenly. We had a 40 year friendship. She was a wonderful wife and mother. Her children are still minors. Her father left her a substantial estate some years ago, as he did all of her siblings. Her will was read and she left everything to her husband for the care of their minor children and her siblings are contesting her will and threatening the husband with child welfare, and want to have him declared unfit, have themselves declared the guardians of her children. Before this, her husband a great relationship with her family and her siblings. There was never a hint of any problems between the my friend, her husband, or her siblings. It seems to be all about the money, about a month after the funeral, he took the kids on a sort of mini vacation, about 20 miles their home, upon their return, his wife’s siblings were grilling the children about what did their dad spent money on. He was polite and told them not to ask his children questions like that as it was inappropriate, and thats when they filed court documents to have the children removed from him.
Its absolutely astounding. I know these siblings, and they were catty when we were younger, now they seem to be worse. He is a great father and removing those kids could damage them long term after losing their mother.
My own siblings are fighting over my mother’s estate and she isnt even dead. I have told her to donate it all to animal shelter, since she loves animals. because I didnt want anything and I didnt want to be responsible for doling out her estate to siblings who have done nothing but take and take from her. Not only that she has decided to exclude some of my siblings while leaving some to her children that she likes. I dont want any part of it.
My husband’s parents have broken up their estate. Mother-In-Law and Father-In-Law had them come down last year and put their names on things they wanted, personal momentos and things of that nature. Their son will get the house, my husband will get the stocks, and his sister will get their remaining vehicles, since they too purchased her and her husband a new house already. My SIL threw a fit and put her name on all the momentos, then decided she wanted the house too, she is not thrilled about the stocks coming to my husband, even though he has told his parents he doesnt really want anything from them nor does he need anything for them.
This has got me thinking about our planning for our financial future. I dont want our kids fighting over the scraps of our life., We think we have raised good kids who are pretty self sufficient, but with all that we have witnessed we are worried that it would cause a rift between our children. DH and I have begun thinking that we might not leave them anything at all, or give them an inheritance before we pass away, and then whatever is left we leave to our favorite charities.
What are you planning on doing?