20 answers

Family Grief and Greed

Have any of you 'fell out' with your siblings after the death of your parents? My dad is dying soon (stage four cancer) and I am so tired of the fights about who is getting what. I want out of this family for a few year after he dies!!! This is a mess.

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

My daddy has passed. We are now dividing his estate. I still want out of this drama. I will NOT put my children through this. I read a lot of what you all said and I will hope to divide my meager things before I die.

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Two situations that make normally nice, reasonable people act like idiots: divorce and death. In either situation, people will fight over grandma's frying pan! I dread the day my mother passes - my younger sister is soooo greedy and "entitled." I've already decided I don't want anything and my two siblings can fight each other for anything/nothing until hell freezes over. I'm not getting involved! My mother has given me numerous things to remember her by already - I don't need anything else, especially if it's going to cause more stress and anxiety than dealing with her passing already will.

5 moms found this helpful

My parents have told us that we should expect nothing unless we are gifted it now. My grandpa was dying, found himself a girlfriend and made her the sole benefactor. She was in the "family" for 6 months.... And she got my grandmothers wedding gown, the house, all the xmas decorations we made as kids over the years... Say la vie. She just took everything and ran. I would have loved to offer to buy grandmas dress but she would not hear of it. I kinda bet that was because it was already thrown out.

3 moms found this helpful

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Two situations that make normally nice, reasonable people act like idiots: divorce and death. In either situation, people will fight over grandma's frying pan! I dread the day my mother passes - my younger sister is soooo greedy and "entitled." I've already decided I don't want anything and my two siblings can fight each other for anything/nothing until hell freezes over. I'm not getting involved! My mother has given me numerous things to remember her by already - I don't need anything else, especially if it's going to cause more stress and anxiety than dealing with her passing already will.

5 moms found this helpful

Have your father work closely with an attorney and create an itemized Will. This way, there is no discussion. A Will can be as specific as he would like for it to be! My grandfather's Will literally broke-out his estate by percentages... ___% to his children, ____% to his alma maters, ____% to specific charities. When the whole thing was settled, the bank sent checks in the accurate amounts to the indicated individuals.

I remember a visit with my grandmother about 10 years ago. We were all in town for 2 weeks one summer. She had us all there and handed each of us a stack of post-its. She had us go around the house and label anything that we wanted after she died. It was kind of morbid at the time, but the attorney came over later, took notes and rewrote her Will to reflect what she wanted. After she passed away, it was all quite clear. No arguing, no discussions.

Good luck and I hope that you find strength during this very difficult time.

4 moms found this helpful

I'm sorry your dad is gravely ill.

Ugh. My boss has an expression from when her mom passed: "Nothing like a death in the family to get people fighting over jelly jar glasses." And it's SO true! Even when there isn't a lot of "value" involved--it happens. More so if there is.

My family is small but I have seen it happen very often.
My husband had his aunt (dad's sister) swoop in and take everything from his grandmother's home when his grandmother passed.

I guess all you can do is to make sure you make your dad's time left as comfortable as possible. Choose a few meaningful items that you can keep to remember him. Things that are special to YOU, not necessarily what others perceive as "valuable."

Your actions need to leave YOU no regrets.
Others can deal with their actions later.

All the best.

3 moms found this helpful

I'm so sorry to hear about your dad! My father died of cancer 25 years ago; now my mother is battling dementia & her home will have to be sold soon because there is no reason to keep it up.

And I only have ONE sibling, a brother! My mom always said I would get the jewelry (I doubt if it's in the will) in front of him, many times. So, last week my niece tells me he offered it to HER. She and her sisters advised me to go get it, which I did this past weekend.

He also owes my mom thousands of dollars and her records are incomplete. I have no idea how to handle this & will probably be posting to you guys about it. I just want to split everything 50-50 (which would include the jewelry in relation to the loan + the darn piano he took! lol, I don't play)

I do love him very much but I don't see a long-term relationship with him after my mom passes, but not sure. He remarried last week and I rarely saw him when he was married the first time.

So, you're not alone. God bless!

3 moms found this helpful

I believe in a family of choice and have been much happier since I allowed myself to set really clear boundaries with my family of origin and created a large space between us.

Death brings up our deepest fears and triggers all of our unfinished business. We can choose to either deal with these issues or we can choose to freak out and distract and blame and medicate our way through them. Often we can shift our focus from our pain of loss and the pain of unfinished business by focusing on the material things that we unconciously attach to our pain.

For example, if someone feels they were never good enough for their parent they might unconciously (and irrationally) feel that if they get that parent's prized posession that that will prove that they actually were good enough.

There is nothing rational or usually even conscious about how people fight over material things when there is a death in the family. The only thing we can do is detach, observe, stay curious, understand that it is really all about pain, and do what we can to set boundaries and not get sucked in. Stay aware of your own triggers and resource yourself. This is a really painful time without having to deal with everyone else's chaos. It is okay to create some distance between yourself and those that would be "harmful" to you.

3 moms found this helpful

It happens. My bff and her brother battled in court for 5 years over some issues that were raised after their parents' sudden death. My mom and aunt are no longer on speaking terms with their widowed sister in law or my cousins now that both of my grandparents are gone. My big advice: PLAY NICE until your father passes. Sorry it's happening.
I am not sure if people are just evil and greedy (what it looks like) or if they just don't know how to handle their grief and sense of loss in a healthy way, so they just focus on "stuff" and fighting?

3 moms found this helpful

This is very normal. The stress, the shifting of seniority, the regrets, the fear.

I encourage all of you to take time after his death to let things calm down.
Be very careful about not getting pulled into the drama. Just keep asking, what would dad want us to do? If this does not help, maybe find a counselor who can help all of you talk this out in a safe place.

3 moms found this helpful

My parents have told us that we should expect nothing unless we are gifted it now. My grandpa was dying, found himself a girlfriend and made her the sole benefactor. She was in the "family" for 6 months.... And she got my grandmothers wedding gown, the house, all the xmas decorations we made as kids over the years... Say la vie. She just took everything and ran. I would have loved to offer to buy grandmas dress but she would not hear of it. I kinda bet that was because it was already thrown out.

3 moms found this helpful

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