When my mother died at 98, she was still in her right mind. She had lived by herself and even drove until 95. I am retired and lived 500 miles away. Since my sister was still working, I took my mother to live with me the last 3 years of her life. I helped her dress and bathe; I emptied the bedside potty chair; I took her to her appointments, etc, etc, etc. You as caregivers understand the lifestyle changes. I willingly gave up my life in order to help her through her final years. But right now, I am unable to grieve because of anger---no that word is insufficient to describe my feelings…. rage is more accurate.

At her death I discovered that two years before she came to live with me, she changed her will. She left my sister the house, a trailer, the property, and half of her money. My sister told me after the funeral that she was aware of the will change and that she and my mother chose not to tell me. At times my mother and I had conversations where she told me that she didn’t need to worry about me because I was capable, dependable, and responsible.

The fact that the larger share of the estate went to my sister doesn’t overly concern me because since I am capable, dependable, and responsible, I am financially secure. My difficulty is that my mother did not tell me; even though she was living in my home and I was her only caregiver, she let me continue to believe that her estate was divided equally. I feel betrayed by the woman to whom I devoted the past three years. This I see as a lie of omission; I am hurt that my mother would deal with me as such----don’t I deserve to know why I was treated that way----with no explanation and now, at her death, no chance to understand why she chose not to tell me?

It also hurts that my sister had cleaned out my mother’s lock box and after the funeral surprised me the secret will. I talked to my mother’s lawyer and was told, “Yes, this was her last will,” and that he had written it for her.

Am I over reacting? How can I let go of the perceived unfairness---not in the property division but in the secretiveness ---the ‘ganging up’ of my mother and sister to deceive me? My mother believed in family, and at her death she killed her remaining family. I refuse to argue with or express my rage to my sister because nothing I say will change what has happened. My plan is to silently withdraw…I guess the proper term for it is passive aggressiveness. If my sister calls, I will talk decently to her, but because of what I call treachery, I will make no effort to continue or support a relationship with her. Thus, over the years, our lives will become separate.

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I imagine your mom was torn between a need to help your sister and her need to be helped by you. Your mom clearly understood that you are more self-reliant and successful while it sounds like your sister hasn't been able to manage her own affairs well. She probably feared that telling you would change her relationship with you and perhaps jeopardize your care of her. That's not to excuse what your mom did, just to understand her possible motives.

It seems that many parents try to keep helping the child who has been a screw-up their whole lives, much to the detriment to the child who has been successful and responsible. It's. Not. Fair.

I would feel exactly as you do, but I'd also be grateful that I have the ability to take care of myself, which it sounds like your sister lacks. You'll always be better off than she will, even without half of the estate. If she's not a good person, I'd feel no compunction to keep her in my life. You might consider some counseling, just so your anger doesn't get in the way of your own happiness and/or relationship with your sister, if it would be helpful to you. Hugs...
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"Holding onto anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die."
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I am so sorry for you. While your mother knew this and I agree with Blannie, it was wrong. The generation before us did not discuss painful things. Our generation, talks, medicates and writes books and journals on dysfunctions. Your mother might have felt guilt and helpless as her health declined. Time is not a friend here as it makes a situation even more difficult.
Is your sister manipulative? I bet she is, but it doesn't matter. Unless some divine intervention happens (it can) your sister will not change. The damage is done, if you are a person of faith try praying for her. SHE NEEDS IT This will help YOU.
Please get with someone to help you with your justified anger.
You honored your mother, it is the RIGHT thing for YOU. Fortunately, TIME is a friend here.
Do NOT let this sister spoil any of your GOODNESS as it hurts only YOU.
I also wish you peace and understanding for your mother. I believe in TIME you will have healing.
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Shoot, I wouldn't talk to her at all. What will you hear? More Lies? Since your sister is incapable, unreliable and irresponsible she will be flat broke in no time at all. She'll be calling you for help. You just hold your head high, you did your part and she will reap what she has sown.
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Margie, You have the right to be angry, so be angry for a small while, then tell yourself that you are above all this. Probably your mother wasn't "in right mind" as much as you think. She was being manipulated by your sister. You really were played for a fool. I know this forgiveness is a difficult thing, but it is a good boundary. I would have nothing at all to do with sister. She sounds like a not nice person. You don't need it.
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As someone who found out about lies and secrets in her own family, I can say I TOTALLY understand where you are coming from. It isn't about money, it is about bonds, love, trust and relationships. It is about finding out the person you trusted and loved, cared for and sacrificed for, betrayed you. I know the feeling, it has happened to me as well with my mother.

My mother is a healthy 83 year old who decided (along with my now deceased father) that I wasn't to be trusted. No real reason for that.They put my brother on all their POAs, executor of the will, on her checking accounts, everything. I am not to know anything. But over time I realized the true reason they did what they did was to enrich my brother. My dad was jealous of my husband and his success in life. Dad wanted to enrich his son. Dad never gave me 2 seconds thought. And, yes, it made me very angry.

Take another look at your mother and sister. Ask yourself if there is a dysfunction of some sort there. Maybe, like me, you could have seen this coming. I know I see it coming and my golden brother will take care of my mother like it or not.

I want to tell you as someone who has been there, don't let this ruin your life. And unless your sister steps forward and shares her inheritance with you, no, I would not trust her ever again.
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Your mother and your sister knew what they were doing. I understand the betrayal you fee. When mom died last year, some of my siblings told relatives that the bereavement money will go to me for caregiving mom this past 23 years. Well, when they saw all that money, they all decided to divide it evenly among us 7 kids (not to share with father, the surviving spouse, nor my oldest sister - who only recently helped me to caregive both parents.) Something changed in our relationship. I never knew that they would do this to me. Only baby brother gave me most of his portion of the money. After that, I have basically stopped writing to them. Something has changed and I no longer see them as I used to.

I read your comments, and I just go soooo angry! Your sister is a backstabber. She's selfish and greedy. If she truly have any sisterly love for you, she would have said, "Margieanne, although mom left me the bulk of her stuff, I want to split it because you did the hard work of caring for her." Actions Speak Louder than Words. It's not really about the money. It's the Betrayal - from Family and not from strangers. That just hurts so deeply. I'm sooooo sorry!!! {{{HUGS}}}
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Betrayal, which this is, cuts so deep. It is also character assassination. For your mother to assume you wouldn't understand, or to give you a voice in the decision implies your mother didn't trust or love you. You have a right to your rage, but will the rage bring you love, happiness, and laughter? No, it will destroy your ability to experience anything worthwhile in your life. It will eat you alive, making you bitter, nasty, and unhappy. Revel in your rage for a short while, then act.

Forgive your mother and your sister. Let it go. You don't have to agree it was right, or even see your sister. Do this for you, because you are a loving generous spirit. If you step back, and don't equate love with money, your Mom paid you the greatest compliment. If you read between the lines, she trusted your abilities, your character, and your competence. She knew you had made it.You were a success in life.

If you can't forgive, and this is eating you up inside, find a good therapist to help you. I've been there, betrayed, it will destroy you or make you stronger, more loving. The choice is yours.
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Ouch. Just, ouch.

You have every right to feel outraged. The arrangement your mother made for the distribution of her property was reasoned out, and you're satisfied that her will was properly drawn up. No problem. The inescapable inference that she was not confident that you would understand or agree with her reasoning; the fact that she did discuss this freely with your sister, who also - no doubt with some sense of righteousness about keeping your mother's confidence - saw fit to leave you out of the loop; I can only imagine how insulted you feel. Their actions, from which you justifiably infer their attitudes to you, constitute an outrage. Bloody hell.

Now what? What do you do when you have been treated and characterised so bloody unfairly? What CAN you do? What will abbreviate and minimise the hurt?

1. Take your time. How long is it since your mother passed away? Don't forget that this outrage blind-sided you at the very moment when you are dealing with normal grief. Give yourself extra time to get your balance back, on top of time for mourning.
2. Remember that your mother's and sister's assessment of you *on this particular point* is DEAD WRONG. But people do get things wrong, don't they? We are all faulty. We all misjudge situations and other people from time to time. They got this really, really wrong and have treated you extremely badly as a consequence. If you could only put them in a room and explain, I expect they would be extremely sorry. But you can't; and even as it is, it doesn't have to poison everything. Don't let it.
3. When you are good and ready, and not before, face up to what has happened and take it on the chin. Acknowledge the injustice to yourself. Set it aside. Carry on regardless. You won't be able to do this for a while, and you are entitled to feel very sore in the meantime. But in the end, to be true to yourself, you should continue your relationship with your sister as you would have done HAD you been properly consulted at the time when your mother decided her will: accepting your mother's reasoning and her decisions, accepting the implied compliment - and it is a compliment - to your character and your achievements, and accepting her trust that your care for her in her last years was rooted in love and entirely separated from material considerations.

This is, of course, a counsel of perfection. You don't have to accomplish it perfectly, you are entitled to have lapses and setbacks. But I do believe that that is the course that will give you the best outcome. I'm so sorry for the hurt you've suffered in addition to the loss of your mother.
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Notanangel (I think you might be, btw!) it sounds as if you have a clear-cut prodigal daughter situation going on there. I always did sympathise with the good brother in that parable - "rejoice he's returned, my foot! Turned up like a bad penny, more like…"

But I'm happy for you that you're able to let it go. Well done.
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