Post # 62
My grandma gave me my grandpas wedding ring when he passed away. It’s literally the one thing I would run back into the house for if it set on fire (I used to wear it in a chain everyday, but now feel like I want a stronger change – so it’s currently in my jewellery box). I know it’s just a piece of metal, but it means SO much to me, so I understand how you feel about your ring. Don’t give it to your aunt, you will regret it!
Post # 63
I think it’s really sad when grown adults (the OP, her mother, and her aunt) fight over a dead woman’s property. I would think at least one person would be “big” enough to put aside their feelings, out of respect for the woman’s memory.
That said, what is legally allowable and what is morally okay are sometimes two different things, and I still believe that, while the OP may be legally allowed to keep the ring, the only morally right thing for her to do is give it back.
The OP may have fond memories of her grandmother. Well, the aunt is the woman’s DAUGHTER and while I can’t speak for the family relationship itself, I would imagine that the woman’s daughter was more emotionally attached to the woman, and more emotionally shaken by her passing. Daughter trumps granddaughter.
Plus there is already half of the woman’s bridal set on the OP’s side of the family: the ring her own mother is wearing on a chain around her neck. I doubt that Grandma would have intended for one branch of her family tree to end up with both of these heirlooms and the other branch to end up with none.
Plus the OP will likely inherit the ring her mother currently has, when it’s time for that to be handed down. She should then have the complete set while her cousin— also the deceased’s granddaughter— has none?
This is exactly why every single adult needs to have a very detailed will. Death brings out the absolute worst in people.
Post # 64
Don’t give it to your aunt, six months later she decides she must have it? Especially if you’re right and she just wants to turn around and give it to her daughter. Ugh. From what you’ve written she reminds me of a certain family member of my own.
Hope you keep it.
Post # 65
@fishbone: It’s so sad that death CAN bring out the worst in people. Especially without a will!
Everyone here is making assumptions. NO ONE knows what else the aunt got, what else the mom got, if the grandmother’s items were evenly distributed or not. The aunt could have gotten everything but the rings. Esp if that’s the case, the OP does not have to give the ring back. Morally or legally IMO. I do not think “emotional distress” is an accurate defense considering everyone was in emotional distress when the grandmother died. Also, from the original story, it does not sound like the ring was left specifically to ANYONE. That seems to be something the people who think she should give it back are missing. The jewelry was up for grabs just like everything else. The aunt “letting” the mom take the rings was probably her saying “I don’t want them so you can have them” when the mom could have spoken up and said “I want these.” Up for grabs, no one had a right to them at all. THE AUNT DID NOT GIVE THEM AWAY BECAUSE THEY WERE NEVER HERS TO GIVE.
The OP should not feel guilty for keeping something of her grandmothers just because someone else wants it. & it sounds to me like the ring is probably worth something & the aunt realized this a little too late. If she wanted it for EMOTIONAL reasons, she would have accepted the band. I wanted my grandmother’s 1 carat diamond solitaire because I thought it was BEAUTIFUL but my aunt wanted it too so she got it and I was offered my grandmother’s band. I HAPPILY accepted my grandmother’s band and it has the same emotional value as the diamond. If the aunt was doing it for emotional reasons, it would have come up before now & she would have accepted the band.
Post # 66
@soontobemrsm11: +1 to everything you just said. Especially the last paragraph.
@fishbone: I had a long reply to you, but I’ll save it not to start a fight. Have a happy day!
Post # 67
@fishbone: But they offered her the other ring and the Aunt declined. That’s where it doesn’t make sense if it’s purely for sentimental reasons. She would have taken the wedding band then.
I think you should keep the ring. Whats done is done. I think your aunt will soon forget about the whole thing, since it took her 6 months to decide she wanted it in the first place. She can’t want it that badly.
Post # 68
While I voted that you should keep the ring, I also think you need to make sure that the ring or ring set wasn’t “given” to someone in your grandmother’s will. If only specific items were bequested and the rest of the estate was too be split, I would say keep the ring. You have had it for quite some time now.
Post # 69
@distracts: I’m not saying that it’s right. I think I pretty clearly said that I think the aunt is in the wrong. But if it was me, and it came down to my ring or my relationship with my aunt, I would pick aunt. Not because she’s right. Just because she’s more important. But that’s me.
Post # 70
I think you should give it back. Your Aunt and Mom have the entirety of the rights to all of their Mother’s property, whether or not there was a Will. Going through things and giving them away so soon after a death is traumatizing to those who were the closest, so maybe in her haste your Aunt wasn’t thinking clearly. Maybe now that some time has passed she’s remembering a conversation she had with her Mother, in which her Mom promised the ring to her some day. If your own Mom was surprised by her sister offering the jewelry, maybe she remembers it too.
In any event, I agree with Fishbone in that the daughters’ rights trump the grandaughters’. Who knows? Maybe your Aunt will hold onto it for awhile, feel bad she wanted it back and end up returning it to you? Is it the only thing you got from your Grandmother’s estate that means something to you?
My own Mom kept a copybook where she wrote down anything any of us ever said about wanting when she was gone. Thank God she did, as people really DO forget over the years. What I wanted in my 20’s was definitely not what I wanted when the time came, but each of us took those things she had written down and split all the rest. My Mom had only a wedding band with diamonds in it, and I was surprised she wrote in the book that my neice would get it. I never heard my neice say she loved the ring, but my Mom certainly did…so to her it went. None of us had a problem with it, as it was my Mom’s wish that we upheld.
My Mom also told me (and I assumed she told everyone the same), that any jewelry we gave her was to go back to each of us. My one sister said she remembered that, and the other said she never heard it before. Who really knows,right? Everyone’s memories are different, so it’s pretty important to write it down somewhere, or make it explicit in the Will.
Since your Aunt took it pretty badly by crying about it, has it affected her relationship with your Mom? What does your Mom think you should do?
Post # 71
I think as long as your mother wants you to keep it you should. She took it, from her mothers items, and gave it to you, she clearly wants you to have it. She offered the wedding band, which is fair enough, your aunt declined. I don’t really see why there’s an issue, your grandmother was as much the mother of your mother as she was your aunts. The ring was your mothers item and she has every right to decide what to do with it.
On the other hand, I would explain to your aunt why you don’t want to part with it, and explain it’s not about value or bling, it’s about the memories you have of her.
Post # 72
It’s yours. Don’t feel bad for it!
Post # 73
Keep the ring and wear it with pride.
My aunt took my granny’s china after she passed without even consulting my mom. So – I didnt think twice when I took the jewelry (nothing really valuable – just costume jewelry that my granny loved. She was buried with her wedding ring set.) My mom and I both wear it regularly – its nice to have something around to remind us of her.
EDIT – if you absolutely think that you need to get the ring back – make your aunt give back your great grandmothers china to your mom. Its not fair that she has BOTH sets of china and the ring.
Post # 74
Thank you all so much for your advice.
@BlondeMissMolly: No, my cousin has been married for ~10 years.
The ring isn’t really something of monetary value – it’s a simple gold band with a solitaire .25 carat diamond (and I think that’s even overestimating it).
Unfortunately, my grandma didn’t specify who gets what in her will. She always said she would leave it to her kids to decide.
I don’t want anyone to think there’s a massive dispute going on over this – not yet anyway. I’m definitely not accusing my aunt of being some kind of conniving manipulator, but she does have a tendency to sway things to her benefit which is why it was such a shock when she offered my mom both of the rings.
If she does want to give it to her daughter, I don’t feel any more entitled to the ring than she is. But she isn’t one to wear jewelry either. I haven’t seen her wear her wedding rings in almost five years so I have a feeling it would just sit in her jewelry box. And even if she did want to wear it, I honestly don’t think it would fit her. My grandma and I both have very slender fingers, and my cousin does not (I realize that sounds a little brutal, but it’s the truth).
Post # 75
I think what a lot of people are missing is that the OP didn’t ask for the ring it was given to her. You keep saying daughter trumps granddaughter but it was the daughter’s decision to give it to the granddaughter. The sister said here take the rings, once something is given to a person it belongs to them and they can do what they want with it (i.e. giving it away, selling it or sticking it in a box). And like other PP mentioned we have no idea what else the aunt got. And she was offered half the set, she just didn’t want that particular half. What if the OP had the wedding band and her mom had the engagement ring? Would you tell the mom to give the ring back to her sister? The OP should keep what was given to her by her mother, who was the most recent owner of the ring.
Post # 76
I think it’s hard to say without knowing exactly how things were divided. Both sisters have equal rights to the ring, so I don’t really understand where other posters are coming off saying children trump grandchildren. Sure, but the ring was given to one child & we are left to presume that was part of an even split. At this point, I think it’s up to the sisters to hash out & you should abide by whatever decision they make together. As they haven’t reached a joint, fair decision, just hold onto it until they do. Frankly, my family probably got a bigger portion of my grandmother’s jewelry than my mother’s siblings, but that was what the family deciding (even after my mom protested), and I would think really poorly of the family if people tried to take something back from me at this point, but is hope my mom & siblings would work it out.