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Topic : 01/18 "Fighting Over the Will"

Number of Replies: 373
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Created on : Tuesday, November 22, 2005, 03:25:43 pm
Author : DrPhilBoard1

(Original Airdate: 11/29/05) When you imagine receiving an inheritance, you might dream that all your financial problems would be solved. But sometimes, the money is more trouble than it's worth. Eighty-four-year-old Aileen inherited a 2,000-acre farm after her husband died. But is her granddaughter, Amber, jumping the gun by wanting her mother's name on the title now? Then, Tracy says her 19-year-old son, Mark, changed when he came into a large inheritance this year after his dad passed away. She says the money wasn't what changed her son, but his long-lost friend, Brandon. Talk about the show here.

 

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November 29, 2005, 8:38 am CST

11/29 "Fighting Over the Will"

Quote From: bajagal

My Mom passed away 13 years ago, and my Stepdad passed away 3 years ago.  There are 4 children, I am the oldest, then my sister, brother, and youngest sister, who is the daughter of this union, my Mom was divorced when I was 4, my sister was 2, and my Mom was still pregnant with my brother.  Our lives have not been easy, but we had plenty to eat, were clothed, my Mom worked a good job, etc.  My Mom met , dated, and married my Stepdad who was a wonderful man, I loved him dearly.  Of course we had our problems, fights, and so on like families do,  my little sister was born, and all was well.   

  

To make a long story short, when my Dad passed away, he put in his will for all of us kids to be treated "equally" and we were to divide up the household goods any way we saw fit.  My middle sister chose not to participate in cleaning out our family home, so myself, my brother, and youngest sister did the task, and it took us 4 days to go through "stuff", it was sad, and happy at the same time, just  thinking of the good times, and why my parents kept so much stuff to begin with!  We laughed, we cried, it was ok. 

  

Well, my middle sister has not spoken to us much since Dad died, she thinks she got "screwed over" because she did not get much in personal items, she did get her share of money, but she refused to participate in any family holidays, and I am just sick about it.  It is only the 4 of us left, and I am so upset by the fact that she refuses to see us or talk to us.  My Dad had a  classic car, he did not put it into the will, I did not want the car, my younger sister thought my brother should have it, since that is what he and my Dad had in common together, and worked on the car together.  My middle sister decided all of the sudden she wants it, maybe to sell it.  We told her if she wants it, she can get it, but it stays in the family.  How can I get the family back together, and put all of this other stuff behind us?? 

My middle sister decided all of the sudden she wants it, maybe to sell it.  We told her if she wants it, she can get it, but it stays in the family.   

  

See, that is just what you can't do.  If your sister inherits something, you can't decide that she can't sell it.  If your brother wants the car, he should buy it from the estate for fair market value.  Then that money (with any other money that is left after paying debts) gets divided between all 4. 

  

Your sister who didn't share in the household items also has a legitimate complaint on that issue.  

If you and two siblings spent 4 days cleaning out the house and getting it ready for sale, the estate can pay you wages for that, but it doesn't entitle you three to share all of the personal effects of the deceased. The household effects of the deceased are not a free for all to whoever gets there first.  They should be distributed in an equitable fashion and if there is a dispute, the best answer is to have the children buy the things they want from the estate for fair market value and sell the rest.  Dividing money is easy and it is easy to make fairness apparent. 

  

The reason your family is falling apart is because the rules were ignored.  If people feel that they were treated unfairly,  that can cause family feuds.  A rule I tell executors is that it isn't enough to be fair, you have to be open and apparent about trying to be fair.  Always for agreement from all of the beneficiaries before anything is distributed. 

 
November 29, 2005, 8:41 am CST

Why?

Why does death bring out the ugly in people???  I had a dear friend die suddenly of a massive heart attack in September and the mud slinging has already started.  The 2 daughters especially are scared to death that one of them might get fifty cents more than her.  My own Mom and Dad are wonderful people and I feel like I already have my inheritance.  My inheritance is all the wonderful memories and funny stories that are beyond price.  

One such funny story is Mom's engagement ring, which I have and wear as my own.  Mom was expecting an engagement ring for her 18th birthday but Dad bought her a gold watch instead, my sister has the watch. Dad took Mom with him to pick out a ring, the ring cost $350 and it took them 3 years to pay it off!!!!  It is obvious that I came from humble beginnings.   Before my Grandma passed she was bedridden and she would work on those "find the word" puzzles but she wanted hers to look neat so she used a ruler to make her lines.  I have her puzzles and they look like little works of art.   My Grandpa was a jolly little Irishman, with very fair skin, he had to wear a hat everywhere or his bald head would sunburn.  I have one of his hats and my sister and brother have one also.  My Grandma was a tiny little lady but she carried a humungous purse!  my mom has her purse which contains her hair brush and a coupon for a discount on new glasses.   Money gets spent and jewlery gets lost why not value the things that are truly priceless? 

 
November 29, 2005, 8:49 am CST

11/29 "Fighting Over the Will"

Quote From: saemae

Daughter and granddaughter are entitled, selfish little monsters that never grew up.  They seem to be forgetting something; this is NOT their property!  They're acting like it's theirs and this mean old lady is stealing it from them!  Did they work the land?  Judging by the look of them, they wouldn't know how.  "I was on welfare because of her!"  No, you were on welfare because you have a warped sense of entitlement.  Bottom line:  this is NOT YOUR LAND!  You have NO RIGHT to demand anything!  If I were Grandma, I would leave every last bit of it to a land trust where your greed cannot touch it.  You two are a couple of scheming, greedy (word I can't post) and if you got that land, that poor woman would end up on the streets.  You aren't fooling anyone! 

There are many, many worthy causes that people can benefit in their wills.  There is no reason to leave an estate to your children beside natural love and affection.  There is not obligation to do it at all.  The daughter and grandaughter sound like they are worried that Grandma might spend her money on travel and pleasure (like she is entitled to do). 

  

If there is no love and the mother/grandmother just gets anger and demands, I would recommend looking over the list of charities and selecting some to give to.  Once there is no question about getting the estate, I expect that the daugther/grand daughter team would leave grandma alone to live her life. 

 
November 29, 2005, 8:55 am CST

I can feel your pain

Quote From: queentween

Greed is a terrible thing. The real tragedy of it is, that you "spend" so much of your life being greedy that when you maybe get the money that you wanted, the money is  worthless because of the life that you've "spent" 

  

You know those women just wanted to get their hands on Grandmas land so they could split it up and have fake nails put on every week, or go to the hairdressers more often.  Which, once the land and money is theirs, they can do with it what they want- but kudos for Gram for holding out on the vultures!!!!! 

  

My Gram was the coolest woman in the world. She has been gone 4 years now and I miss her every damn day, keep her picture on my refrigerator and tell my kids stories  involving her. We live in her house. She kept wanting to sign it over to me, my brother and sister wanted me to have it,and I told them that our  mother would have a fit if she did. So, she left it in my mothers name. Today, after paying rent  to buy for 6 years on the house, (32,400, total) and giving my mother another 30,000 down payment, we are buying the house!!!!!!!!! We will have a 50,000 mortgage on a house which I believe is a mansion of memories, and it was worth every last penny. Jimmy Carter may be the great "peace keeper", but he has a rival in me!!!!! 

My Grandma was my girlfriend, she was a tiny little lady so by the time I was maybe 12 I already towered over her!  she went to heaven 14 years ago and I still have days when I feel like it just happened.  She didn't have anything of "value" to leave me.  But I couldn't care less I will always have my memories of her and the LOUD pants suits she wore when she "went to town".  She only weighed about 85 ounds but she carried a HUMUNGOUS pocketbook. I loved your post it is nice to know someone else doesn't bow down to the almighty dollar.
 
November 29, 2005, 9:17 am CST

I have a solution for Mark and Tracy

My husband is in the army therefore, I know how much the insurance was if he got 100% of it. I say the mother is doing the right thing. Mark is only 19 years old and it seems as if Tracy  has struggled to take care of him all these years. One thing you can tell is that she absolutely  adores her son and she is only looking out for his best interest. It was said that Marks father also left him a car and IF it was the mustang that him and his friend was driving around in then, WHY IN THE HE-- WAS BRANDON ALWAYS DRIVING IT. That makes me think he is  just using Mark for the money.  I was not impressed by either Brandon's  or his mother's CONCERN . I think they should keep their noses out of other peoples business. When Mark and his mother needed their rent and utilities paid, did Brandon or his mother pay it or did Tracy. Of course they didn't, so they need to STAY OUT OF TRACY AND MARKS BUSINESS!  I understand Tracy giving her parents some money. They probably helped her out during tough times and she felt it was time to return the favor. Maybe it wasn't right that Mark had to pay for his parents divorce but, I am sure there was more to it than that. I think as a family they need to sit down and decide up front how much should be disposable money for Mark. I say maybe 5 thousand dollars. This way he can have a chance to spend some of his money and he will see just how fast it goes. I would spend some on braces. But, I would definitely go to college and get a degree in something that he likes. If his father was active duty he will have health insurance until he is 22, maybe longer, IF HE IS IN SCHOOL. Then invest the rest. If this money had not come, what would Brandon be doing with his life and how would he be taking care of himself or would his mother be doing it? He needs to make some new friends too  and tell NOONE that he  has this money, thats when you know who your TRUE friends are. I know too many people who's husband has died in the war and they went through the LI and p-s-ed it away.  Brandon has a responsibiliy to himself, his mother and most of all HIS FATHER to use this money wisely.  You didn't win the lottery, FOR GODS SAKE, your FATHER had to die for you to get it.
 
November 29, 2005, 9:18 am CST

I think you got the better deal

Quote From: sarnold09

My mother passed away almost three years ago.  I am the youngest of four girls.  There is me, age 33, my sisters are ages 34, 39, and 40 (I think, on the last two).  Anyway, my 33 year old sister and I did many things for our mother once she became diagnosed with emphzyma.  My mother even lived with me at one time and ended up passing away in my other sisters house.  To make a long story short, my family never had much growing up.  Our parents were seperated but still involved in each others lives.  They just didnt live together.  My mother had life insurance for many years and many times had mentioned taking out other policices so us girls had money after she passed away.  During her last few days of life, my oldest sister, started telling my Aunts and Uncles (on my moms side) that my husband and I had taken out an insurance policy on our mother.  After losing our mother, and cleaning up my mothers apartment, my sister and I found the paperwork about an additional insurance policy, and come to find out our oldest sister had taken out an insurance policy on our mother.  This particular sister was in the process of losing her brand new home and filing bankruptcy.  She had our entire family convinced that I was the evil one when all along it was her.  During my mothers last few days of life, my 34 year old sister and I stayed with our mother every waking second and while sleeping of the day.  Mean time, our other two sisters were taking everything our mother owned.  After losing our mother, we went to clear out her apartment, and the only things left in there was trash.  We were left scrubbing toilets and cleaning up the place, meantime they got all of her belongings.  Dont get me wrong, I do NOT regret spending time with our dying mother, but it was just BS that they went in there and took everything she owned.  Lots of things were things we had bought for her in the past.   

This happened almost three years ago, and the older sister and I still do not talk.  I even see her in public and we dont speak.   

Money does evil things to some people.  It is a shame how when someone passes away people get greedy.   

If you got your mother's time and the satisfaction of knowing you did the right thing you got the better end of the deal.  They have to live with what they did and even though you might not see it that is not an easy task.  You can feel good that you took the high road and did the right thing and know that your mother had two great loving daughters who were with her when she needed them.   You should have a smile in your heart for how you handled yourself and not worry about anyone else. 

  

 

  

 

You don’t need to sit in judgment of your sisters that will be taken of.  They know what they did and they will have to answer for that in the end. 

 
November 29, 2005, 9:31 am CST

11/29 "Fighting Over the Will"

Quote From: grandmat50

This boy that wants  his money soooo bad should be able to get it, it is his money!!!! Let him have it to do with what he wants, so he uses it all up so what, it is his. Sounds to me like his Mom wants it all for herself, and blames it all on the boys friend and his mother. If his father left it to him then he should have it. I don't blame him for getting a lawyer I would too. Mom leave the boy alone and let him do what he wants.

While I agree that the boy is entitled to his inheritance and the mother has no right to spend it or keep it away from him, I think this situation is a good lesson for everyone to see.  It is important to protect your children after you die.  I recommend that people leave their children's inheritance with a trustworthy friend or family member as trustee until they are older (I prefer age 25).  The trustee can use their money for things like college expenses or living costs of the child but the child can't squander it and no one can steal it from them (except the trustee so choose wisely!).    

  

It isn't really that crucial that the child not squander their inheritance, but children can ruin themselves in the process. 

  

 
November 29, 2005, 9:35 am CST

You need to find out what she wants

Quote From: bajagal

My Mom passed away 13 years ago, and my Stepdad passed away 3 years ago.  There are 4 children, I am the oldest, then my sister, brother, and youngest sister, who is the daughter of this union, my Mom was divorced when I was 4, my sister was 2, and my Mom was still pregnant with my brother.  Our lives have not been easy, but we had plenty to eat, were clothed, my Mom worked a good job, etc.  My Mom met , dated, and married my Stepdad who was a wonderful man, I loved him dearly.  Of course we had our problems, fights, and so on like families do,  my little sister was born, and all was well.   

  

To make a long story short, when my Dad passed away, he put in his will for all of us kids to be treated "equally" and we were to divide up the household goods any way we saw fit.  My middle sister chose not to participate in cleaning out our family home, so myself, my brother, and youngest sister did the task, and it took us 4 days to go through "stuff", it was sad, and happy at the same time, just  thinking of the good times, and why my parents kept so much stuff to begin with!  We laughed, we cried, it was ok. 

  

Well, my middle sister has not spoken to us much since Dad died, she thinks she got "screwed over" because she did not get much in personal items, she did get her share of money, but she refused to participate in any family holidays, and I am just sick about it.  It is only the 4 of us left, and I am so upset by the fact that she refuses to see us or talk to us.  My Dad had a  classic car, he did not put it into the will, I did not want the car, my younger sister thought my brother should have it, since that is what he and my Dad had in common together, and worked on the car together.  My middle sister decided all of the sudden she wants it, maybe to sell it.  We told her if she wants it, she can get it, but it stays in the family.  How can I get the family back together, and put all of this other stuff behind us?? 

Someone needs to sit down with your middle sister and find out what she wants.  If she feels screwed then clearly there is a reason behind it.  If your relationship with her is important then you need to acknowledge that without defending your position.  This can be really hard.  Find out what she needs to feel better. 

  

 

 

  

 

Any personal items worth more then a trivial amount should have been included in the estate and not just doles out to those who were present at the house when you emptied it.  Each item should have been recorded along with the perceived market value.  That amount should have been included with the value of the estate.  You can’t divide up an estate equally if you don’t include everything in the estate.  Once an item belongs to someone it is not up to the rest of the siblings to determine the rules of ownership.

  

 

  

 

If you feel strongly that you and your siblings who clean the house for 4 days should be compensated for your time charge that back to the estate at labor rates (usually minimum wage).

  

 

  

 

  

 
November 29, 2005, 10:23 am CST

My Grandma

Quote From: mistyc

My Grandma was my girlfriend, she was a tiny little lady so by the time I was maybe 12 I already towered over her!  she went to heaven 14 years ago and I still have days when I feel like it just happened.  She didn't have anything of "value" to leave me.  But I couldn't care less I will always have my memories of her and the LOUD pants suits she wore when she "went to town".  She only weighed about 85 ounds but she carried a HUMUNGOUS pocketbook. I loved your post it is nice to know someone else doesn't bow down to the almighty dollar.
Well, my Gram looked just like the grandmothers in fairy tales. She and Grandpa had a lumber yard, and people still tell me how she used to "work like a man" which is a huge compliment in this area. She also was a foster grandmother for about 25 years, and made her mark on tons of adults around here. Plus, when she would play fish with the kids, she always put on her green visor so she looked like a riverboat gambler!  And once, when she was tax collector for the area in the '40's, one couple who had the money to pay taxes, but just didn't, lived near her- one day, after trying to get the money from them, she packed a suitcase and sat on their porch until they came home. They said "Valma, what are you doing here?" She said "If I can't collect the taxes, I  figured I would board it out...." They paid....:) Grandpa had a great sense of humor as well- they loved each other, and when she was out on a toot, he would call up their friends and say "is my little fool there?" (lovingly, of course.) Thanks for letting me ramble on about a great woman.
 
November 29, 2005, 11:20 am CST

11/29 "Fighting Over the Will"

Quote From: babygirl74

 Why can't the 19 year-old just grow up? Just because you inherited some money, doesn't mean your ego has to be so high that you have no idea as to what you're doing. My mom tried to protect me for so long that when I moved out, I had to learn about the world the hard way. I don't wish that on anyone. I think that the mom needs to leave the son alone, and when he comes to his senses, sooner or later, he'll realized that life is not about money, and the way the he's spending it is showing how responsible he really is.
OK First off, the MOM is the one spending the money!!! He's not allowed to have any of it. So the SON needs to be protected here. Yeah, MOM does need to leave him, AND HIS MONEY alone. Sounds to me that MOM is the one that isn't grown up here!!!!!!!!! So when you talk about showing true responsibility, talk about MOM not SON!!!
 
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