Fixing the Feuding Family: Carole and Jay
Dr. Phil gets in the middle to settle some family feuds.
"My brother screwed me out of $50,000. I feel betrayed and I refused to speak to him," says Carole.

Their father died in 2001, and they were both ordered by the court to pay a $270,000 judgment made against their father's estate. "My brother and I signed a settlement agreement where we promised to pay money to our stepbrother and stepsister," Carole explains.

When Jay refused to fork over all of his share of the money, the fight was on. They haven't spoken in three years.

"I was lied to, I was manipulated and I was betrayed by my own sister," says Jay. "I feel my sister Carole is more motivated by money than anything else. I told her I had no intention of paying any more money. Carole's response to me was 'You've got to pay. You have no choice.' That was the last time I spoke to her."

After their father died, Carole immediately began clearing out his house while Jay had to leave town on business. "My dad said, 'As soon as I die, pack up all my stuff and get it out of the house.' And where was my Jay? Playing pool," says Carole.

"She picked over all the most valuable possessions and kept them for herself," says Jay. "She was more interested in material things than things that were of sentimental value," he says, referring to their father's handmade sculptures. "As far as I'm concerned, these are the most important things he's left behind," says Jay, getting emotional. "I used to think that she was a loving sister, but I feel that she lacks respect for me."

"I think that my brother is a loser," says Carole. "He dropped out of college. He runs a pool hall. In my opinion, he is a professional gambler."
Carole and Jay aren't the only ones embroiled in this issue. Their mother, Sylvia, admits that she took Jay's side and offered to pay Carole the money Jay owed if it would end the feud. "My daughter was furious," says Sylvia. "She said, 'Well, that will be helping Jay; what are you going to do for me?'" Sylvia wants peace back in her family. "God, tell me what I can do so my family will be whole again."

Jay's daughter, Heather, also feels caught in the middle. "It was just a mess," says Heather. "My dad would call me and tell me all these horrible things my aunt was saying. My aunt would call me telling me all these horrible things that my father was saying. I think the feud initially did start because of the money, but I think there's a lot of underlying issues that have never been dealt with. My worst fear, if the feud doesn't end, would be my grandmother passing away knowing that her two children weren't speaking to one another. I think that would be really hard," she says.Both Carole and Jay worry about what will happen in the future. "The only thing I hope is that my mother does not disinherit me because she thinks I am not a worthy daughter," says Carole.

"Because of my experiences with my father's estate, I have a lot of concern about what will happen when my mother passes away because her estate is far greater than my dad's," says Jay, who wants to resolve this feud. "It's been the most painful thing my family has ever experienced," he says.

Dr. Phil clarifies with Carole that she hasn't spoken to her brother in three years because he didn't pay all of the $135,000 he had agreed to pay as the co-trustee of their father's estate.

"What's the story?" Dr. Phil asks Jay. "Why aren't you paying?"

Jay explains that he felt manipulated. "What Carole said to me is 'In case something happens to me, I need you to be a co-trustee,'" he says.Carole accuses Jay of lying. "He lies for a living. He's a professional card player," she says.

"Oh, Carole. That is not nice," says Jay's daughter, Heather, from the audience. "I just think that's not a fair statement. My dad does not lie."

"Jay has one of the best value systems of anyone I know," agrees Sylvia.

"Up until Jay defaulted on the debt, I never said a bad word about my brother to anyone," says Carole.

"But now you say 'he is a loser who works in a pool hall,'" says Dr. Phil. "You say money is the main issue for you, but when your mother offered to pay it, you refused and threw something at her."

Carole wants to make it clear that Jay chose to leave town for a pool tournament after their dad died and then requested that they wait to bury him. Also, it was their father's wish that they immediately clear out the house of the items they wanted when he died in order to avoid a dispute with his grandchildren.
Dr. Phil questions Jay's decision to leave town right after his father died.
"I was a tournament director of a major tournament being held in Sacramento that started two days after my father's death," says Jay.

"Your dad died!" exclaims Dr. Phil.

"I know. They couldn't replace me," he explains. "And as far as I was concerned, if they buried him in my absence, it would be OK with me. They didn't have to wait."

Carole disagrees.

Sylvia has something to say. "Carole, first I want to say I love you and please forgive me for what I have to say. As far as the funeral waiting a week, it was my decision and my request because Jay's father was being buried alongside our oldest son who we lost 32 years ago," she says, getting emotional. They had to wait a week to bury their oldest son too. "So I saw no harm in waiting to have the funeral because Jay did have an important obligation. And his father would have been very happy. As far as the money, the reason I felt that Jay wasn't as obligated to repay those funds is because most of that money was legal fees, which were incurred I feel because the estate was mishandled and I didn't feel Jay had anything to do with that estate.""If this is not about the money, what is it about?" Dr. Phil asks Jay.

"Well, it's about the money too," says Jay. "I feel like I got ripped off. I got suckered into that. I never saw one document from any trust. I never saw a check. I never received a dime in legal fees. Why do I have to pay this debt?"


"Let me tell you why you have to pay the debt," says Dr. Phil. "Because you agreed to be a trustee. And you are a full-grown man who willingly, knowingly, and with full opportunity to get legal counsel of your own if you wanted to, agreed to enter the trust and be a trustee. That was the first time that you acknowledged that you would handle the responsibilities of that postion. The second time was when you signed a settlement agreement, which said you would pay your portion of that."

He turns to Carole: "You are absolutely right on the legal points. I get that."

Back to Jay: "If you feel that that was inappropriate, then you can bring an action against her if you want to. You can do whatever you want, but you are legally obligated to do it. Is it fair? I don't know, I wasn't there ... You may have a very valid point, but you can't just play the victim here. I don't think it's about this. If you want to make it about that, you're going to lose," Dr. Phil tells him.
"Well. I trusted my sister," says Jay.

"That is what this is about," says Dr. Phil. "It's not about the money. You want to make it about the money? Fine, but you're going to lose. This is about trust between a brother and a sister."

Dr. Phil explores another issue with Carole and Jay. Could this be what the feud is really all about?