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Senior Contributor

Re: What to do?

I tend to agree with Jim. I would ask to be removed. No amount of money is worth losing family over.

Short of that would your dad bypass to the next generation and leave it to his grankids? Has it not occurred to him that by disinheriting a daughter he is hurting her children too?
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Senior Advisor

Re: I suppose I'll get in trouble for this but

It is the executors job to honor the wishes of the deceased and if he wants to give his estate to anyone he has that right. Or he can disinherit who he wishes.  Whether it's an irrational decision can be determine by whether he is of sound mind and able to make that decision. That in itself could be  a basis for a court challenge. But then the other heirs may declare he was of sound mind but a vindictive old coot.

 

I agree with Jim that if one is not comfortable about serving as an executor, one should resign and give the task to some one else. After all it is his decision not the one he left to handle his estate.  I just think that if one is entrusted with such a responsibility that it should be the responsibility of the executor to carry out his wishes as the will directs.

 

Now if she wants to do some predeath persuasion, that might be in order but then the other heirs may not appreciate your heavy handed influence. BTW that kind of influencing sometimes adds up to the executor getting the lion's share of the estate. And that is why meddling influence may add to your troubles.

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Honored Advisor

Re: What to do?

Sorry to hear that, Cher. I wonder if your dad has actually through on the threat. some people like to talk tough, but if he hasn't updated the will, then it is what is always was.

I will add one more descriptive word to this discussion: Bully. I don't know if you would go that far in your family's dynamic description, but I certainly do in mine. The only way to deal with bullies is to realize that their bravado is a cover for their underlying insecurity. They literally cannot cope with anyone who is NOT afraid of them, because they have the attitude that they have to hold you down/back in order to feel good about themselves.



Cher, aside from the estate issues, I suggest that you do some study of this type of person, since as a parent, he had a profound impact on you. You seem to have a grip on things, but my belief is that we are sent certain people in our lives to learn from, good and bad. The saddest thing about all of his ilusion of outward success and control, he is not able to relate to you, his family, on a level where he could feel unequivocal love and respect, instead of anbiguity and fear.
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Honored Advisor

Re: I suppose I'll get in trouble for this but

Yes, BUT, in the most accurate interpretation of the will of a person, you may be figuring that the father is then,y one with a right to distribute everything he AND his wife have worked to amass in thie rlpng lifetimes of working together. I would bet in a heartbeat, that if Cher's mother were to have a vote, she would want all of her girls to be treated equally...for the precise reason that unequal treatment does create rifts in the fabric of kinship.

I have never understood how a man leaves everything to whomever he wants to, regardless of the fact that his wife is legally entitled to half of it, barring a prenup agreement...which I doubt these folks had ever heard of when they were wed.

While Mike and I have decided to leave various farms to different kids, they are left in trust, to benefit each other during the lifetime of the surviving spouse. We consider everything we own to be " ours," but the titles on different pieces of land are in his name, my
name, and a jointly- owned LLC's name. This lets things transfer with few concerns over estate taxation.

I would say that Cher could do whatever she wants with her share, including sharing it with her sister. Once the estate has passed to her generation, there are devices in the tax code would let her set up and/ or contribute to education ITAs for her sister's children, I think tax free. She could contribute to a Roth IRA for her sister, or she and her husband could gift up to the exempt limit each year, which is $12,500 per individual to each recipient. That means she and her husband could transfer $25,000 a year to every member of her family, including the bold BIL.

Assuming that they wanted to do this, $50K a year could go to th couple, and $25K a year could go to each child. Even with an estate of this magnitude, divided by three or four, it would not take ma y years to SE that her sister's fair share was restored to her. If other sisters still in dad's good graces would join in, to help even things out, they could even out what's left after the tax man takes his ( unnecessary) share, in very few years, probably five at most, depending upon how many children the black sheep has given birth to...each one can be a $25K per year donee. All of this can be done without touching the giver's lifetime tax free exemption, generally thought to be the estate tax exemption, but which can be utilized at any time during your lifetime...some people,choose to give " with a warm hand".

So, while I generally agree that a person should have his wishes honored, I think his are not the only wishes that should be considered in this estate. When a wish, whether last, first, or any one in between, is hateful and spiteful, I think it is not unwise to
consider that setting one child out of four out in the cold - especially based upon her husband's action, instead of her own - is the wrong thing to do.
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Senior Contributor

Re: What to do?

My advise would be to keep talking to family members if you can.  Of course if secrets are the norm then you are the best judge.

Legal advise would be good to protect yourself and your interest if that is what you are interested in.

 

It's sad when a death or the thought of a pending death disrupt families.  It is also sad to hear so much venom towards ones parents.  I do not judge whether it is warranted or not, just observe that it is very sad.

 

I wouldn't delay in getting this matter in some kind of order to satisfy as many as possible.

 

When my grandfather died he had not written a will.  He simply told my dad (his oldest child) what he wanted.  Everyone seemed to be in agreement.  Then a will that had be written almost 20 years previously, before many changes in my grandfather life was found while going through his things.  Obviously he had forgotten about it.  Long story short the state required that will to be followed and my dad and his brother and sister did not speak to each other for almost 10 years.

Made me very sad.  Grandpa had gotten out of agriculture before I was even born, helped his children then and lived out his life on the rest.  Ended up remarrying (my grandmother died before I was born) and the woman who took care of him in his decline was completely cut out, against grandpa's wishes that he had verbally given my dad.  Made the whole family bitter for many years.

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Honored Advisor

Re: What to do?

I guess you are referring to what I have written when you allude to " venom". If you think what I have said is so bad, I would invite you to spend a day walking in my workboots.

I witnessed mymotheR and every hired hand being verbally belittled, and withstood more verbal and serious physical abuse myself. If you are forced to fear someone for long enough, it is hard to hold respect for them.

It may seem sad to you, but to me it is a waste of a lifetime here on Earth. That transcends sadness to me...it is utterly disgraceful.

So, if I carry some poison in my heart, it was planted there when I was veryyoung, and has festered for over half a century. I am just not going to put a nicety- nice face on the monster.
As a child. It was all I knew, and how I thought everyone's family was...thank goodness I met Mike and learned better, or my life would have been wasted, too.
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Senior Contributor

Re: What to do?

As I said I don't judge.  I know there are many dysfunctional people and families in the world.  Some people just shouldn't procreate.  But that doesn't mean it isn't sad when someone misses out on what should be good strong supportive relationship in life.

 

For myself I thought I had wonderful parents.  Although I know there where rocky spots in their relationship,.  My Grandmother pretty much didn't like my dad, and my mom always said my dad's mother didn't like her.

As I've said here before I think my mil is a saint.  My fil for various reasons was less than a stellar parent, which in some ways made my wonderful mil let her children down in some ways.  But over the years we have all come to understand and have a little compassion for my fil and the things in his life that made him the way he was.

 

As for me, I know my life has not been perfect, not by far.  My marriage is much less than I would like it to be, for a variety of reasons, some I lay in my husbands lap and some I must own as my own.  And I realize they have affected my children in a variety of ways.

 

A while ago there was a short discussion about birth order and sibling relationships.  Probably sparked by a new book about siblings.  I don't remember the name of the book or author but supposedly in the book he wrote glowingly about his relationship with his brothers.  I read a kind of scathing review saying this guy was endorsing large families.  But not all large families come away with wonderful sibling relationships.

 

Actually I think the marriage is the key to happy kids.  I think it's a rare happy kid that comes from an unhappy marriage.  And I think that happy person gets that way by being lucky enough to come under the influence of some one or something else that can alter their out look on life from what  their own childhood gave them.   Conversely I think a happy child from a happy family can end up a very unhappy adult if the influences they run into are negative.

I guess I'd actually say what happens out of the nest actually affect a person's life more than the nest does.

 

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Senior Advisor

Re: I suppose I'll get in trouble for this but

Which means of course that you wouldn't be persuaded by your fathers intent. Dad you didn't do it right so I am gonna step on your wishes and do as I damned well please. If a man cannot trust his executor he has put his faith in the wrong person.

 

My father in law served as executor for his brother that died of lung cancer. The brother left his estate to two radio ministries. He did not consider his two brother and sister and several neices and nephews. My father in law made certain that every nickle went where it was supposed to go and served as executor pro bono even though he could have demanded the legal rate.

 

Thus he made clear to me the importance of following the intent of the benefactor and I would not betray him no matter what. It's not your job to decide as executor whether he was fair or not. You can give your wealth to anyone you wish and the deceased ought to be able to do the same. And if you pass your proceeds from his estate you are in fact going against his wishes.

 

AS to the surviving spouse she can leave her estate to who ever she chooses. If they divided up the property between each other thenshe has her own estate to deal with.

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Senior Contributor

Re: I suppose I'll get in trouble for this but

Kraft I tend to agree with you.  That is why I said keep talking to family.  Maybe it can be worked out before the end.  Until he's gone there is always hope especially if they are basically a functional family to begin with.

 

It's hard to see a deceased wished not carried out.

My brother died unexpectedly, accidentally at the age of 40.  I was executor of his estate.  His wishes were to be cremated but because my father could not bear the thought of putting him in the ground he bought a mausoleum space for my brother and purchased space for my mom and him at the same time. 

But what you do with the earthly remains is a little different than disposing of earthly goods.

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Honored Advisor

Re: I suppose I'll get in trouble for this but

It sounds reasonable to say, " Talk wiTh your family"; but, unless you have dealt with a person with this type of nature, you cannot understand. Cher said up front she was told to keep her mouth shut.
So, if we take kraft-t's stance, even speaking with her sisters or bringing up the subject to him again would violate his edit.
What her statement says to me is what I heard for almost 55 years: The Great OZ has spoken, don't dare question or debate this one.

When a truly narcissistic person sets up this sort of relationship problem for the people around him, it is a no- win game from there on out. It is a test that everyone fails, no matter how they decide to deal with things in response. It is the essence of an untenable situation.

This is why I suggested that there are ways for the three sisters to rectify the inequality after his death. Surely, we would all agree that once the three still on the will have received their inheritance, it is theirs to do with as they see fit, wouldn't we?
If someone gives me a gift, and it mine from there on out, I can gift it away, sell it, spend it, etc. If the three of them, or any portion of them, want to share with their sister, once their father has passed, then that is theirs to decide. It could be relatively easily done, at next to no cost but writing a few checks once a year, and the girls would have forged an even stronger sisterhood by doing so.

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