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Mother's Will/am I wrong?

(205 Posts)
Irishjig Mon 09-Apr-18 10:32:46

Hi. I'm new to this forum and not a grandparent, but would like a grandparent's perspective. I'm in my 50's, have never been married, and don't have children. I recently became disabled not too long ago and talked to my mother about the possibility of setting up a special needs trust fund through her will. During the conversation she told me that my brother and I will be receiving 40% each, and that my nephew (my brother's son) will be receiving 20% of the total inheritance, (not 20% from my brother's share). I was honest about how this made me feel (in a respectful way) and told her that seemed an excessive amount for my nephew to be getting and that his share would take a substantial amount from my share. She got angry and told me that she had promised my dad before he died that she would create the will this way. It's been 10 years since his death and I explained that since I still wasn't married, didn't have children and now disabled that my dad if were still alive, would want to make sure I was taken care of and that he would've probably wanted my nephew to get less of a percentage. She said it didn't matter if this was right or fair, but that her keeping her promise to my dad was the priority. This hurt me very much since my mom knows I have been suffering alot because of my disability and I may never get married and have anyone to help me. She told me i was insulting her by saying this (which its always about the pain I cause her when I tell her about the pain she causes me). She hung up on me. I explained in an email afterwards more in depth but she won't respond.

My brother and his wife both make very good money and live in a very expensive home. My nephew and his wife both work and bought a home. I've been living very modestly renting studios/one bedroom apartments and usually can only afford the basic necessities. I've had to borrow money from my parents in the past, but it hasn't been on a regular basis, and I've only asked when I couldn't afford a car repair etc, not for any luxury items, clothes etc, but over the years it has added up. My mom also told me that what I owe her will be taken from my inheritance. Although I think this is somewhat fair, It seems somewhat harsh to me since they never paid for a wedding, gifts to a child from my end, or an education when they could've saved up for one, but didn't. They weren't rich, but maybe upper middle class, and they spent a lot of money on expensive cars, trips, furniture, swimming pool etc. Although they did give good gifts to us at Christmas /birthdays (nothing lavish) alot of money was spent on impressing their friends. They also told me that they didnt think a college education was necessary (yet my dad later told me that altgough i wasn't a doctor or lawyer, at least I wasnt on drugs or in prison....ha).

I am paying my mom back for her loaning to me because of my disabilty.

My nephew could end up receiving an inheritance in his lifetime from my brother and his wife (not his biological mom), his grandparents, his wife's grandparents, my mom, and then also his mom and stepfather, his wife's parents too. Its not my business, but I will only be possibly recieving an inheritance from my mom. His 20% will take a substantial amount from my share that I will desparately need in my life. It will also take from my brothers share, but my brother will benefit because it's his son.

Also, this has really added salt to my wounds because years ago, my parents received an inheritance from my grandfather through probate (he was bitter at his children and didn't leave a will). My parents were trying to hide from me that they received an inheritance but I found out in a serendipity sort of way from a friend of theirs, who thought I knew. I also found out that they were giving some of the inheritance to my brother and his wife, some to my mom's best friend's daughter, to my mom's house cleaner and a few thousand to their church (which I'm glad about that). But they didn't give any to me. My grandfather and I loved eachother and we were close growing up).
When I told my mother how this hurt me, she said she could do whatever she wanted since it was her money (which was true, I never wanted more than a nominal amount and to only be included). I then got a letter that week saying that they didn't want me in their lives.
2 years later I called them to reconcile and we haven't been estranged since then, but my wounds have now been reopened and it hurts. We might be facing estrangement again and her puting me out of the will altogether, which although may hurt me financially, would be very hard emotionally. For the record, I don't do drugs, get into trouble, sleep around or cause problems. I live a peaceful life as a Christian and, although not perfect by any means, feel that to most parents I would be a blessing. I call her regularly, give thoughtful gifts. Ironically, although I'm sure my brother loves her in his own way, he rarely calls her. She and my nephew aren't super super close, and although he's nice to her, he's never given her a gift and rarely thanks her when she gives him a gift. I think she resents me because I'm not married and haven't given her a grandchild, but these are things that have caused me pain ad well, especially as I get older. Ive often felt unloved by her growing up and my talents were not nurtured, (even sabotaged) and she was competitive with me.

My mom has a good side to her too. She gives generous gifts to everyone at Christmas, we've had many beautiful conversations where we talk about our faith alot, laugh, and have been a blessing to eachother. But she has an extremely stubborn side, can be hurtfu, has broken promises that were very important to me without admitting she's wrong and even told me after my disability began she wouldn't be loaning me money and told me that life was hard and that I would need to live in a shelter if I had to and give up my precious pet that is everything to me. Fortunately over time, she loaned me money and that didn't happen, and she's been a blessing in that way now. But now I'm struggling emotionally because of the Will issue. I would much rather have a family and a good close relationship with my mother, than alot of money.
Do you think I am being unreasonable about this?(Sorry about writing a book)
Any advice on how to handle this?

Grannyknot Mon 09-Apr-18 10:57:55

Family, inheritances and money, eh!?

We had a somewhat similar situation with my MIL's Will when her care in her later years took most of her money and her younger daughter - who never married and needs financial support - objected that "her inheritance" be spent. Now that my MIL has died, there has been an almighty family bust-up about her Will.

Yours is a difficult situation. I'm happy to be disagreed with, but I cannot think that it is a good idea to start conflict about a Will and future inheritance, especially if you say that you would rather have family and a good relationship with your mother. Are you perhaps feeling emotional in general and this is not just about the Will?

Scribbles Mon 09-Apr-18 11:20:41

Remember, money can't buy happiness but fretting about it can cause an awful lot of bitterness.

Your mother's estate is hers to leave as she wishes and, in all honesty, if I had a daughter who whinged at me about the provisions of my will before I was dead, I'd probably leave everything to a cat rescue!

I'm sorry you are having to live with disability and, sometimes, it seems that life just isn't fair but misfortunes strike all of us at some time. If you really do value having a good relationship with your mother and other family members, bite your tongue and nurture that relationship. However, if you're determined to let this matter fester, then perhaps you should concentrate on friendships outside of the family.

Sorry if this sounds harsh but you did ask.

silverlining48 Mon 09-Apr-18 11:28:37

It’s up to your mum what she does with her money, she seems to be keeping a promise to her husband and maybe feels she has helped you a lot financially up to now. If as you say you only wanted a nominal amount 40% is surely more than nominal.

If you can’t accept this you must prepare for probable family estrangement to follow. Don’t let this spoil whatever relationship you have with your mother.

annsixty Mon 09-Apr-18 11:28:40

We really need to know both sides of any story before we judge.
Perhaps your brother will be generous towards you when he gets his inheritance and sees you struggling.
Try to build up a better relationship with your mother in the time she has left.

Poppyred Mon 09-Apr-18 11:31:09

Sorry if I sound harsh but it's never a good idea to to rely on a possible inheritance, your mother is free to do what she likes with her money. Reading in between the lines it sounds as if you have always been reliant on your parents for money and have never been fully independent of them. You say that you have recently become disabled, did you work prior to this?

Goodbyetoallthat Mon 09-Apr-18 11:36:17

I agree with grannyknot that if you want to maintain a good relationship with your family arguing about the content of a will is not the best way to go about it.
I can understand your mother being upset about you challenging her about leaving some of her estate to her grandchild, many GPs do this, my father left half his estate to me & half to his grandchildren & though not a massive amount it gave them a lot of pleasure to receive something from him.
It sounds as though you have a good relationship with your mother & I would concentrate on maintaining that rather than focussing on the contents of her will. After all no one really knows what they are going to inherit & the monies could need to be spent providing care for your mum in her latter years.

humptydumpty Mon 09-Apr-18 11:36:56

I do agree with scribbles, I'm afraid: it's up to your mother how she leaves her assets.

glammanana Mon 09-Apr-18 11:46:11

Your mum can leave her money to anyone she chooses I'm afraid and I must say you do come across as feeling entitled to some extent.

Iam64 Mon 09-Apr-18 12:43:38

Families and inheritance cause all kinds of upset for everyone involved.
As others have said, it's your mothers money and its up her what she does with it.
Don't spoil your relationship with your mother, brother or nephew by attempting to insist on a 50 = 50 split. It really isn't worth it.

Oldwoman70 Mon 09-Apr-18 14:35:09

Tell your mother you accept her decision and just want to have a good relationship with her - and then never mention it again unless she brings it up. Your relationship with her is more important than how she chooses to deal with her money.

mumofmadboys Mon 09-Apr-18 14:41:26

You have only' lost ' 10% of the whole inheritance if it was equally split. It is not worth a fall out with family for this. It appears quite a reasonable split to me I must say.

Grannybags Mon 09-Apr-18 14:50:00

Try not to dwell on this too much. As others have said it's up to your Mother what she does with her money. Enjoy the time you have left together as this will leave you with lots of happy memories when she is no longer around. It's hard enough when your Mum dies without feeling guilty because you fell out over money

M0nica Mon 09-Apr-18 15:00:44

Irishjig Your story suggests that your mother has always favoured your brother and his family over you and I suspect that how you feel about your mother's will is not so much about the money as about how it reflects your fractured and difficult relationship with your mother and your sense that you are always second best.

I think you were hoping, unconsciously, if not consciously, that if your DM had made a will sharing her assets evenly between you and your brother it would prove that she truly loved both of you equally and held no real resentments against you.

It is difficult to know what to say or recommend if my reading of your post is right. I have never understood parents who are partial in their affections, but some are.

I do not think there is anything you can do to change the situation. Indeed, bringing it up with your mother, only lets her know how effectively her behaviour is hurting you and may give her some perverse pleasure.

Can you afford to have some counselling to help you cope with this sad situation?

varian Mon 09-Apr-18 15:05:15

If you are in the USA, and a Christian, you should be able to confide in a pastor who might be able to give you appropriate guidance.

Doodle Mon 09-Apr-18 15:12:48

Is your brothers on not your mother's grandson? If he is her grandson I can well understand her wanting to leave him something in her will. It's only 10% you are missing out on not 20%. As others have said it's up to her but try not to be upset about it. If your mum ever needs to go into care you might end up with nothing if fees have to be paid. Just try and get on with all the family.

Doodle Mon 09-Apr-18 15:13:20

Sorry, it should read brother's son

BlueBelle Mon 09-Apr-18 15:28:48

Oh goodness it is nobodies right to expect anything and it’s entirely up to your mum as to who gets her inheritance and if that’s what your dad wanted she is doing it perfectly correctly You ‘told’ your mum you found it an excessive amount to leave her grandchild that’s really is out of order who s will is this yours or hers?
You sound as if you have a good relationship with your mum and enjoy each other’s company and she has helped you already to stay in your home with you pet only you know if a quarrel or disappointment about her will is going to colour your future relationship
Life is never fair and there is often one child with a lot more blessings and money than the others Money should NEVER influence love
She has shared her will totally equally between you and your brother 40% each just because her grandchild belongs to him that’s not his fault or yours and surely that can’t be a reason to break up the family
How wonderful to get an inheritance

Bridgeit Mon 09-Apr-18 15:50:35

In the title you ask am I wrong? Yes you are, yes it’s a wonderful help & boost to receive any financial inheritance. I think you should speak to your Mum & apologise to her for trying to dictate the terms of her will. Just be happy & grateful if you do eventually receive anything.

gmelon Mon 09-Apr-18 16:01:37

Surely an inheritance serves to enhance life, not provide for life.
We all need to make our own way in life and provide for ourselves .
Any money that is generously left in a will is extra to the lifestyle you built.
Your mother cannot shore up your life financially where you have failed to achieve a comfortable lifestyle.

newnanny Mon 09-Apr-18 16:29:13

Many grandparents want to leave their grandchildren a legacy. Only one of my dc have given me gc. If I outlive my husband I will be leaving a legacy to gc and then the rest split equally between my 3 dc. This is effectively what your Mum is planning to do. It is your Mum's money and she s free to leave t to who she wishes. It seems your Mum made a promise to your Dad to leave her gc a legacy. She wants to keep that promise. How much other people are likely to leave this grandchild is irrelevant. You say you are disabled but don't say if you work. You can probably claim benefits. Don't try to make your Mum feel guilty because it could backfire and she could leave you nothing. Concentrate on taking care of yourself and building up good relationships with your family and friends.

M0nica Mon 09-Apr-18 16:48:56

As a mother, also with a DS with children and DD without children, it is our DD who has told us that we should treat DGC as a separate entity and not deduct anything we leave them from DS's share of the estate.

But we have always treated our children as equals in everything, love and affection, care and support. Irishjig has a mother who has always been partial and favoured her son over her daughter, and much as Irishjigs need for the money is. Care for the ill and disabled in the US is expensive, I feel it is the sense of rejection this will contains more than the actual money that matters.

Floradora9 Mon 09-Apr-18 18:50:52

It is a minefield to get into who gets what after a death . I agree with those who say it is your mother's choice. If she feels it is her duty to leave a portion to her grandson then so be it. Would you like her to change her will then fret about the decision ? Unless you live in Scotland you could be left with nothing so be kind to your mum and leave the decision to her.

Irishjig Mon 09-Apr-18 20:53:05

Thank you so much MOnica. You are the only person so far who sees the situation much more clearly. I appreciate your perception, depth and compassion ☺.

Cold Mon 09-Apr-18 21:18:18

I'm sorry that this issue is causing conflict in your family - but yes - you are being unreasonable. The money is your mother's and it is totally up to her how she divides it after she dies.

I am not unsympathetic as I am also disabled and have found myself in a similar situation where money would be really handy. My mother always told us that her money would be divided equally between me and my sibling. But this is not the will she left. My sibling and I got 40% and the rest was divided between grandchildren and even spouses - so my DH inherited from my mother!

I asume that your nephew is your mother's only grandchild - so it does not really seem odd that she would want to create an inheritance for him and help him get a start in life. Many grandparents leave bequests to their grandchildren to help with education or towards a down payment on a home.

My advice would be that although you are hurt try not to make an issue of it. It's not your money.You don't want to find yourself written out of the will entirely do you? You lose 10% - but this is what your parents wanted/ decided.