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User Topic: I need advice and opinions please
hardtimesinlife
♀ Member
Member # 10468
Default  Posted: 12:41 PM, November 11th (Monday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Something isn't sitting right with me and I need help figuring it out.

My dad died 18 months ago and left his estate to his wife, my stepmother, as he should have. They were married 35 years and she had no children. She is also an only child. My dad had 2 kids, my brother and me.

My stepmother and I are pretty close but she dislikes my brother for all the problems he has caused them through the years. My brother has 2 kids who live with his xw out of state and don't keep in contact. I have one child, dd27 (an only child herself), who is the absolute light of my stepmom's life.

Since my dad died my SM seems overly concerned with setting up her will. She is always talking to me about it and telling me what to expect, asking my opinion, etc. I want to make clear that their money is their money, her money now. I hear about other families fighting over inheritance and never ever want to be in that sitch.

Initially SM said she wanted to give my brother 10%, my DD 30% and 60% to me. I am not going to argue the unfairness of that but I always planned to split the difference so my brother and I got the same amount. After all, the estate of our father belongs to both of us equally, IMO.

SM called last night and said the following: " I think I am going to give the Florida house to (my dd) and put in a stipulation that her husband has to sign over his dowry rights. And I already have all the other houses set to go into your name (rental properties). That way (dd) will have a nice house to live in and if she doesn't want to live here she can rent it out for the income."

The house in question is the 'family home' for all intents and purposes. It is the house my dad waited for, finally bought, renovated and loved. His touches are everywhere.

I feel so conflicted about this. Part of me feels that dad's (SM's) estate should go to his children with a token amount given to the grandkids - all of them, equally. When I die my estate, which would include any previous inheritance, will go to my child and so on.

This situation feels as though since my dd is her favorite grandkid and I am her 'favorite' kid, she is trying to split up the estate between DD and me, with token amount to my brother and no mention of his kids. It seems to put my dd on the same level as me and distorts the balance of the parent/child relationship with my dd. It also gives dd the family home.
I love my dd and don't want to have thoughts like this. It feels yucky.

I am thinking about talking to SM about this. Making the point that estates typically go to the children. That giving dd the family home distorts the parent/child balance. I cannot ask her to be equal with my brother, she would never agree to that. I will just make sure he gets 50% of that which is allocated to both of us.

What do you wise folks think? Are my feelings unreasonable? Should I talk to SM about this or is it none of my business what she does with her estate?


Ddays 2004 & 2007
I cut my losses mid 2013
Feeling happier every day :)

Posts: 6132 | Registered: Apr 2006 | From: Florida
itainteasy
♀ Member
Member # 31094
Default  Posted: 2:13 PM, November 11th (Monday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Tricky, tricky.

You said you're close to SM, so I think I would talk to her about it. Just talk. Don't try to convince her that you're right and she's wrong, just tell her how you feel about the division and what she wants to leave to your DD. Is because the house SM wants to leave to your DD is the "family home", and you have sentimental attachment to it? Perhaps if you make SM aware of that, she would leave it to you, instead.

It sounds like she is trying very hard to make sure you and your DD are taken care of after she leaves this life.

Don't get involved in your brother's share, or even his children's share. That is not your battle. And your solution to divide your inheritence is your perrogative.

Good luck.

I'm dealing with something similar. My parents (mom and stepdad) who are both still living have written my brother out of their wills. Leaving me their entire estate. They have done that based on various falling outs they and my brother have had over the years. My brother is not aware of this, and to be honest, I wish I wasn't either. It's going to be hard enough when the time comes.....and he's going to be blindsided.


Posts: 3419 | Registered: Feb 2011 | From: NWPA
Edith
♀ Member
Member # 38337
Default  Posted: 2:27 PM, November 11th (Monday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Hi HTIL, My condolences on the loss of your father.

When my MIL passed, she had written my H out of her will. His only sibling knew about it, but he was blindsided. Not only has it destroyed his mother's memory for him, it also has destroyed relations with his sibling who got "everything." Also contributed to his A.

I don't know if you can find a way to tell your SM some version of this story, but it would certainly be a kindness, in my opinion. It is such a mistake to try and control our assets once we have left this life. Wishing you the best of luck.

E.


Lies are manipulations. Always.

Posts: 387 | Registered: Feb 2013
Undefinabl3
♀ Member
Member # 36883
Default  Posted: 3:14 PM, November 11th (Monday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Should I talk to SM about this or is it none of my business what she does with her estate?

The simple answer is, its both.

Personally, if i was in your shoes, I would stay out of it. I have stayed out of it with my grand parents, and will stay out of it with an uncle and aunt, and when my parent's go, well - whatever the leave or dont leave me is on them. I don't expect anything so i guess what little i get will be a blessing.

However, since your sibling feels differently, I would tell your SM that while you really have no final say in how her will is set up, that how she divides it and what she gives to who is her own personal right.

I would then let her know that the personal fall out that will happen afterwards will be tough on the exact people that she is trying to help out and to please think on how she does things in terms of 'fairness' not her own feelings, but to how things will be after she is gone.



Me: 31 MH
Him: 37 MH
New online find 6/19/14 - shit

Posts: 1767 | Registered: Sep 2012
tushnurse
♀ Member
Member # 21101
Default  Posted: 4:25 PM, November 11th (Monday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

First of all I would strongly recommend seeing an eldercare attorney for setting up a trust. It sounds like there is a lot involved with this they can help you navigate it better, and also help her to understand that her choices may not be the best, and also to make sure that she does get what she wants out of it.


Me: FBS
Him: FWS
Kids: 15 & 17
Married for 22 years now, was 16 at the time. .
D-Day Sept 26 2008
Fully R'd, and Happy Happy Happy

Posts: 8698 | Registered: Oct 2008 | From: St. Louis
hardtimesinlife
♀ Member
Member # 10468
Default  Posted: 5:26 PM, November 11th (Monday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

You guys are the best! I knew I came to the right place.

My brother is not aware of this, and to be honest, I wish I wasn't either. It's going to be hard enough when the time comes.....and he's going to be blindsided.
Itainteasy, I feel the same way. I am hoping, since I am the executrix, I can shield him from knowing. My brother is aware that she doesn't like him and either way he will know that it wasn't what dad would want.

it also has destroyed relations with his sibling who got "everything."
Edith, I agree. It would feel awful and I don't ever want my brother to feel that way. If he has to know of her wishes he will also know that he and I will split our share 50/50. I'm sorry for your H's pain from his family. I agree that controlling from the grave is 5 kinds of wrong.

but to how things will be after she is gone.
Undefinable, I so wish she was the kind of woman who could understand this. She is a very black & white person. My dad was, too, but he softened the last 10 years of his life.

Tushnurse, do you think I should ask SM to see an attorney together? She has attorneys and they are up north. I can't tell if she's telling me all this so as to get my opinion or if it's just informational.

My biggest issue (when I can get a clear reading on my gut) is the imbalance it creates with my own daughter. Is that a crazy reaction from me? I would give my dd the world if I could but I also feel that inheriting the family home and a sizable portion of her grandparent's estate somehow blurs the mother/daughter boundaries. Is it wrong to feel that this will is putting my daughter and me on the same level?


Ddays 2004 & 2007
I cut my losses mid 2013
Feeling happier every day :)

Posts: 6132 | Registered: Apr 2006 | From: Florida
Undefinabl3
♀ Member
Member # 36883
Default  Posted: 8:03 AM, November 12th (Tuesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

My biggest issue (when I can get a clear reading on my gut) is the imbalance it creates with my own daughter. Is that a crazy reaction from me? I would give my dd the world if I could but I also feel that inheriting the family home and a sizable portion of her grandparent's estate somehow blurs the mother/daughter boundaries. Is it wrong to feel that this will is putting my daughter and me on the same level?

So, you are worried of feeling jealous over the amount that your SM will leave your daugther?

or do you feel that you being the older person deserve it more? should get it first?

Do you think that this type of gift will go to your daughter's head and she will miss use it? she is 27, and unless your SM plans to kick off soon, chances are that she will be older at the point of inheritance.

You claim to not care what you get, but then worry about what your daugther will get. I guess i am just confused.


Me: 31 MH
Him: 37 MH
New online find 6/19/14 - shit

Posts: 1767 | Registered: Sep 2012
TrustedHer
♂ Member
Member # 23328
Default  Posted: 8:58 AM, November 12th (Tuesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

As the Administrator with Will Annexed ( I took over when the executor was unable to handle it) for my mother's estate, I urge you to see an attorney to discuss your role as executrix.

There is a term called Fiduciary Responsibility, which, among other things, may REQUIRE you to carry out the terms of the will, even if you disagree.

So, for instance, if you choose to even things out with your brother, you may not be allowed to do that until AFTER the will has been executed and all property distributed. Which means your gifts from yourself to your brother will have tax implications. And if you short-change your daughter while executing the will, you open yourself up to civil (and perhaps criminal) suits.

I like the suggestion of seeing an eldercare attorney and getting this all taken care of up front.

Treading very carefully around the SI guidelines here, I'd also recommend telling all who inherit property to make sure to keep it in their individual names, and NEVER, repeat NEVER, pollute it into the marital estate. NEVER.


Take care of yourself. There's a great future out there. It won't come to you; you have to go to it.

Posts: 5181 | Registered: Mar 2009 | From: DeepInTheHeartOf, TX
hardtimesinlife
♀ Member
Member # 10468
Default  Posted: 12:27 PM, November 12th (Tuesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Do you think that this type of gift will go to your daughter's head and she will miss use it? she is 27, and unless your SM plans to kick off soon, chances are that she will be older at the point of inheritance.
Undefinable, not misuse it but perhaps allow it to interfere with her making it on her own. I keep telling SM that we don't have to worry about it for a long time but she reminds me that is what we thought with my dad, too. You never know.
It isn't necessarily the monetary value being out of balance but the devaluing of the first heir in line. Or something. I can't seem to put it into words. If my grandparents had split their estate equally between my dad and me it would have somehow changed our father/daughter relationship. He was the rightful heir and I wasn't.

There is a term called Fiduciary Responsibility, which, among other things, may REQUIRE you to carry out the terms of the will, even if you disagree.
Yes, and the tax consequences will just have to be a loss. It wouldn't be worth causing my brother to feel "less than". My father wouldn't have done that and wouldn't want that, even though his wife has no problem with it. SM, being childless and an only child herself, doesn't understand playing fair and I can't be the one to teach her that, ya know?
I would never short-change my daughter. Family first, money last and a whole bunch of "do the right thing" in the middle of the two.

[This message edited by hardtimesinlife at 12:30 PM, November 12th (Tuesday)]


Ddays 2004 & 2007
I cut my losses mid 2013
Feeling happier every day :)

Posts: 6132 | Registered: Apr 2006 | From: Florida
tushnurse
♀ Member
Member # 21101
Default  Posted: 1:06 PM, November 12th (Tuesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I don't know your daughter is an adult, and honestly it's Mom's money. She should be able to do with it as she sees fit.

If your daughter were younger, I would absolutely say put it in a trust, so that she can't be irresponsible with it.

Mom can also place limits on it as to how quickly she spends the cash, and so forth too if it's in a trust.

I would quite honestly be thrilled if my parents had a large sum to worry about at the end of their lives and chose to use to help the kids get a good start in life.
I'm not getting or understanding your point about the mother daughter balance. She is an adult. Unless she has some sort of spending problem, is an addict of some sort, or just a bum, I don't see why it would upset your relationship.


Me: FBS
Him: FWS
Kids: 15 & 17
Married for 22 years now, was 16 at the time. .
D-Day Sept 26 2008
Fully R'd, and Happy Happy Happy

Posts: 8698 | Registered: Oct 2008 | From: St. Louis
Rebreather
♀ Member
Member # 30817
Default  Posted: 1:32 PM, November 12th (Tuesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Everything should be in a trust, period. You want to do everything possible to avoid probate. And taxes. Trust, trust, trust!!! I am setting up an appointment for my parents with my own trust lawyer and paying for it as well. Even when stuff is in a trust, it can still be a nightmare. Perhaps by doing this process it can open her eyes to some potential consequences of her thoughts and decisions.


Me BS
Him WH
2 ddays in '07
Recovering.
"The cure for the pain, is the pain." -Rumi

Posts: 6549 | Registered: Jan 2011
hardtimesinlife
♀ Member
Member # 10468
Default  Posted: 2:17 PM, November 12th (Tuesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Thank you all for your thoughtful responses. I am starting to get a handle on how I'm feeling.

I love my dd with all my heart and want her to have the world. It isn't that I don't want her to have an inheritance from her Nana. Not at all.

I think the bottom line is that SM is using the allocation of her estate to show "Love". That is her way. And while I don't care about the money (I do care about money but I don't see her money as my money) I am feeling slighted by the only parent I have left. Her estate allocation seems to say "I love your dd more than you and you more than your brother and I don't care a whit about your brother's kids."

SM and I weren't close until my own mother died 4 years ago. I tried, God knows I tried, but she never seemed to like me much. Then when dad got sick SM relied on me to deal with the hospital, hospice and end of life matters since she just couldn't handle it. Dad made me promise to take care of SM (of course I would have even if he didn't ask) and I've been doing everything possible so that she doesn't feel so alone.

I now need to figure out how to deal with this ever-present issue of not feeling loved enough I'm open to suggestions if anyone has any.


Ddays 2004 & 2007
I cut my losses mid 2013
Feeling happier every day :)

Posts: 6132 | Registered: Apr 2006 | From: Florida
tushnurse
♀ Member
Member # 21101
Default  Posted: 2:21 PM, November 12th (Tuesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Maybe she knows you know she loves you, and your daughter would really benefit from it.

It's her choice, and try to be thankful that under bad circumstances something good happened, you do have a good relationship with this woman now. You are lucky to have 3 parents that love/ed you.

((((and strength)))


Me: FBS
Him: FWS
Kids: 15 & 17
Married for 22 years now, was 16 at the time. .
D-Day Sept 26 2008
Fully R'd, and Happy Happy Happy

Posts: 8698 | Registered: Oct 2008 | From: St. Louis
itainteasy
♀ Member
Member # 31094
Default  Posted: 2:27 PM, November 12th (Tuesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

hardtimesinlife, it sounds to me as though you are very attached to the property your SM wants to leave to your DD.

I think, if I were you, I'd tell her that. That the Florida house is the only place you *feel* your father. That it would mean more than any monetary value to have that property that your father loved so much be yours, and not DD's.

It sounds like there is other property that SM could leave to your daughter.

If that's the case, talk it out.

I still wouldn't get involved in the stuff with your brother. It's not up to you to make him feel "less than" or "equal to". Unfortunately it's also not up to you to make sure his kids feel included. If the relationship between your brother, your father and your SM was strained/estranged then there are reasons for that.

The only thing I would suggest is trying to facilitate a reconciliation between your brother and SM. But know that ultimately, it's up to them to have a relationship or not.


Posts: 3419 | Registered: Feb 2011 | From: NWPA
hardtimesinlife
♀ Member
Member # 10468
Default  Posted: 2:37 PM, November 12th (Tuesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Maybe she knows you know she loves you, and your daughter would really benefit from it.
But I don't know and I don't know if she knows if she does or doesn't. I have never heard the L word pop out of her mouth. Ever. Not to my dad in 35 years and not even to my dd. When dd says "I love you Nana" she says an awkward "OK, you too." Sadly (I may be having a pity party for one, here) I never felt loved by my mother, either. My mother wasn't a very nice person and was horrid toward SM, too. I think some of SM's feelings toward my mother were transferred to me. My dd, on the other hand, was born after SM came into the picture so their relationship is pure.


Ddays 2004 & 2007
I cut my losses mid 2013
Feeling happier every day :)

Posts: 6132 | Registered: Apr 2006 | From: Florida
hardtimesinlife
♀ Member
Member # 10468
Default  Posted: 2:44 PM, November 12th (Tuesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I think, if I were you, I'd tell her that. That the Florida house is the only place you *feel* your father.

Thanks, itainteasy. I think I will say something like that though she probably isn't going to understand. I do love going to that house and seeing everything my dad did to make it beautiful. Although, I am beginning to think my discomfort has more to do with my own lacking self-esteem than anything else.


Ddays 2004 & 2007
I cut my losses mid 2013
Feeling happier every day :)

Posts: 6132 | Registered: Apr 2006 | From: Florida
Rebreather
♀ Member
Member # 30817
Default  Posted: 2:59 PM, November 12th (Tuesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Honey, her inability to express love isn't about YOU in any way, shape or form. It's about her. Not everyone has the ability to express emotions. That usually comes from FOO in the way down deep.

As for feeling slighted, I get you. I really do. My parents just told me their single asset will be left to my brother. Now, my brother has recently come back into our lives after 20 years of drugs and incarceration. It's been slow moving on my part these past 4 years, watching and waiting to determine if he is for real or not this time. So all this time, all these years, I've functioned as an only child, except of course when my mom would bawl to me about my brother.

Anyway, here's the deal. When you are the stronger one, the older generation in our lives don't think we "need" their help. And we don't. So of course what comes across to us is a much different message than they intend to deliver. I pretty much feel like chopped liver right now. But I know that reaction is on me. Nobody can make me feel that way unless I allow it.

So don't take this personally. Which probably sounds dumb. She's not cutting you out, she's just making decisions likely based on perceived NEED.

Just my .02.


Me BS
Him WH
2 ddays in '07
Recovering.
"The cure for the pain, is the pain." -Rumi

Posts: 6549 | Registered: Jan 2011
hardtimesinlife
♀ Member
Member # 10468
Default  Posted: 3:21 PM, November 12th (Tuesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Rebreather, thanks. I want to print your whole post and tape it backwards on my forehead. I'm sorry you are feeling that way with your brother I understand completely. My brother is in prison and has been up and down his whole life. I've been functioning as an only child, too, and when my parents were alive they would jump for joy when he came around. I felt the same things and now I find myself trying to protect him from SM's wrath.
You aren't chopped liver. I think you hit the nail on the head: Our parents perceive us as equals, as the strong ones and them as the ones in need. I am glad I only had one child because I'm sure I'd screw them up if I had more


Ddays 2004 & 2007
I cut my losses mid 2013
Feeling happier every day :)

Posts: 6132 | Registered: Apr 2006 | From: Florida
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