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My mother passed away 2 years ago. I took care of her for 5 years after my father passed. She bought the house next door to me. She had COPD, never drove and relied on me for most everything. My one sisters son's never even saw the inside of my moms new house. My sister passed away this past November. They are now splitting my sisters share of a nice size inheritance. I don't want their money, but am having trouble with thinking they don't deserve it either. Am I wrong for feeling this way?

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When my father got older, I asked him to be sure there were not even two nickels left over, because someone would be fighting over them. So he left everything to his third wife, who put up with him for 24 years. She earned it.
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I personally feel that my dad's money is his...he earned it, saved it and is now using it to his benefit to support his living expenses and care at the ALF. If he goes through it all to do that, then bravo. If there is nothing left, fine. We adult children in his will...but I don't worry about whether there will be much or any leftover after his death. I don't know why children feel they deserve any money from their parents. They don't. When I die, my IRA will go to my husband, and should we die together, it will go to a charity (I don't have kids). I don't need to support my siblings after I go...they can support themselves. I think the less greed in this world, a better place it can be. I wish more people would leave their money to deserved charities as their legacy. This would avoid a lot of ill will and support deserved causes.
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Your feelings are legit. And your mom made her choices. It is what it is.

Our aging parents cannot see the future. And often they cannot (or will not?) see the present. It's maddening.

Frequently there is an heir or heirs who get the same (or more) as the heir(s) who sacrifice the most for that elder. It makes no sense. But we only hurt ourselves with anger and resentment.

Just another chapter in our elders' impaired reasoning (dementia or not). And stubbornness. And refusal to acknowledge the pint of view of those who are looking out for them.

Learning the hard way myself....how much grace I lack. Dollars & cents or not, the perceptions of others can be frustrating. After you've been on the front line of elder care, it's hard to acknowledge the "blessings" that the bystanders spout off about. Up close, the journey is too surreal.

Be kind to yourself.
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Is there a will and if so, it must be read and abided by?
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This is how I understand it. Your Mom died leaving money that was split between her children. Then ur sister died and "her" children inherited "her" money, which it was your sisters money. No longer your mother's. I can see your point but maybe you need to look at it as your sister's money.
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Well sstigmama1 My answer is NO You are definitely not wrong for feeling as You do. You Cared for Your Sister for five years, and Your Sister's two Nephews Who never visited come away with a large inheritance, that would make me sick. In my opinion it is the Person Who Cares for a Relative or Friend should be remembered in the will first. I know We became Carers out of Love and respect for Those Who We Care for, but it is not nice to be passed over and forgotten either. Since it is written in the Bible " You reap what You sowe, You have every right in thinking as You do.
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Yes, you're wrong. And the person your wronging is yourself.

Your *feelings are NOT wrong. I would feel the exact same way and probably be angry. But your thinking is wrong. And wrong thinking is hurting you. Bear this in mind. Your nephews weren't given a dime from your mother's estate (rightfully so). Your sister was given an inheritance (which makes sense). You knew that at some point if your sister died, whatever *she had would be left to her sons, and that's what happened. So you lost nothing and no wrong was committed here. Reminding yourself of that will give you emotional relief.

But no, in feeling that way, you are ABSOLUTELY NOT WRONG. But continuing to feel that way, you are hurting yourself.

There's nothing you can do to change the way things are, but you can stop it from making you miserable. That's the only option available to you, to not let this make you miserable.
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jkmorford, I was just curious about what you had written, as the following question came into mind: did the two great-granddaughters avoid or neglect having contact with your parents, or were they simply unable to either because they were too young even to know your parents, or unable to visit because there was no one to take them or they lived too far away? That is, was the lack of contact beyond their control? I suspect relatively few people get to meet their great-grandparents, or at least meet them when older than infants or small children. However, my uncle was able to hold his great-granddaughter's baby at his 100th birthday party.
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Wow, churchmouse, what a beautiful answer. My suggestion is to really find a way to let this go, or it may poison you. You were the one who received the real blessings: those precious last years with your mother. The boys missed out on that. Perhaps this will help. Ask yourself what you want them to do now? Are they supposed to give that money back to you? Of course not. There is no answer for you to receive peace on this issue now, after Mom's death, other than finding a way to allow yourself to let it go. Blessings to you.
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We are facing a similar situation and I have really struggled with it. My parents set up their estate so that it will be split among all their children when they pass. One of my brothers has already died, so his share will go to his estate. He only had one daughter, who has also died, so it will end up being split between his two granddaughters, who are set to inherit a great deal of money from another family member. It doesn't seem right that his share will go to these two great-granddaughters who never have any contact with my parents, but legally that's the way it is set up, so that's what will be done.
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I agree with you completely, FreqFlyer. On more than one occasion my mom wanted to write my oldest brother out of her will - even going to far as once making an appointment with her attorney. But it was me - the one doing all the work - who continually persuaded my mother to keep the even three way split and not disinherit him. It just wouldn't have been worth all the hard feelings and wrangling that was sure to occur if my brothers and I didn't get an equal share.
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Sometimes sharing equally is the best route to go.   One wouldn't want to get into the entanglement that my Mom's parents estate witnessed.   Mom was one of 5 grown children, her parents owned a successful dairy farm.   Once both parents had passed, the Will was written that each of their grown children would receive a savings bank book, but the bulk of the estate went to the Grandchildren.....

Well, one of my Mom's sisters got into a snit once she learned she got less than her other sisters.   The reason was that she played the horses too much and kept losing money.   Snitty sister sued the estate.... then when she didn't like the Attorney she was using, she found a new one which put the estate back into square one.... this went on for 10 years.....

Thus in those 10 long years trying to distribute the estate, the estate had to pay mega taxes on my grandparents house and the milking business, plus all the other required taxes that businesses incur.   Then all the attorney fees piled one on top of another for those 10 years.  That wiped out a good chunk of the estate that my grandparents [who were immigrants] had built up over 60 years through a lot of hard work.

Just think,  an extra few thousands in that savings bank book would have avoided paying hundreds of thousands of dollars in taxes/expenses/attorney fees.
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Lol, mom2mom- I took it as the daughter preceded the mother and the nephews are now inheriting what would have gone to their mom.
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Rainmom, if I am reading it correctly, it sounds like grandmother left the money (or he share) to her daughter. Then, a few years later, that daughter died and her kids (the nieces and nephews) inherited thier own mother's estate but which had been mostly funded by the grandmother that they never visited.
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"a persons life was more than the last few years"

Very wise, and very true. And sometimes there are even undercurrents that go back to a previous generation that we are not privy to.
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I used to tell my aunt (who wants to leave everything to me ) that I didn't want all the nieces and nephews to be hurt or angry. She would say, tell them to come see me if they don't like it. She was making a little joke because she would be dead. It made me uncomfortable, especially when she wanted to tell them all about her plans. I soon got over that as I spend a good deal of time and money of my own on her and the Ones who visited before still visit. By my estimation, she will have enough to primarily support herself for her lifetime but not much more. So I accept that I'm the heir but doubt there will be much to worry about. She's very healthy and I take credit for a portion of that. Once my son made a comment that he didn't like it when at a funeral he would hear the deceased described as a person he could hardly recognize. I reminded him that a persons life was more than the last few years. I think of wills like that, that it's not just what have you done for me lately but for the sentiment in the heart of the testator as they reflect back over their lifetime. At one time my aunt was going to leave her estate to her church. Then to her sister and Sisterinlaw. Then to her family equally. She was always very good to all these people and helped them throughout their lives. Several have died and necessitated changes. When my mother died my siblings and I watched as my deceased brothers son inherited my brothers portion. My mother was very disdainful of this grandson (for many years) but loved my brother dearly and it was my brothers decision to leave the property to this person, not my mothers. So I suppose there are as many scenarios as there are people. We each get to make our own will and can live and learn. If a person is caretaking for the hope or assumption they will inherit, the subject should come up long before the will is probated and resolution sought in order to not carry the bitterness of feeling cheated.
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It's interesting that your mom only named the children of your one sister and no other grandkids - she must have had a reason for that.

My mothers will named her three children and if any of us three preceded mom - the money was to go to that child's child/children. From there - if the specific grandchildren/child was also deceased it stopped there - not going on to moms great grandkids - the share went back into the kitty for the original surviving children to split.
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But, the nephews didn't inherit anything from your mother (their grandmother) They inherited from their own mother. Yes, the source of that money may have been your mother but it would be no different if she has won the lottery and then died before spending all of it or conversely, spent all of it before passing. It was her money to pass on to her children and, I am guessing, she had no reason not to leave it to them.
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The thing is, I don't feel screwed over. I got plenty of money left to me. My mother also made me beneficiary of a 30k CD. She did this because I was her full time caregiver. If my mom had seen the future she would have taken my sister out of the will or lessoned the amount to go to my nephews after my sisters death. The will didn't include any other grand kids, just her children. My brother was in the will, but died a year before my mom. The money was then to be shared by me and my 2 sisters. Another sister was taken out of the will 4 years before because she stole thousands of dollars from my mom and dad when my dad was on his death bed. My family is a soap opera.
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I agree with Rainmom, it is what it is. Whether you feel you and yours are screwed over, or your conscience makes you feel you are the undeserving recipient of an unexpected windfall, or your are just a greedy SOB looking for everything you think you deserve, there is no point getting bent out of shape about it. The person who wrote the Will had their reasons - even if you don't understand or agree with them - it is best to just accept it.
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Mom2mom- funny you should tell that story. I was just thinking the same thing. Yesterday I watched one of those morbid reality shows about the death of Karen Carpenter. Karen died the morning of the day she was to sign her divorce papers - which she had been putting off. As a result, her would-be soon ex-husband - who soundered like a real piece of work - received a chunk of her estate.

Hubby and I have been meaning to change our wills for five years now - guess we better get on it!
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"Others think an even split is the way to go, regardless of who visits, does caregiving and/or does other work for the person that passed." This is so unfair. Before people agree to be caregivers, they should know what the will/trust says about distribution of assets after the elder passes. If it's equal-schmequal, then the prospective caregiver has the right to negotiate payment from the elder in exchange for caregiving.
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I had an uncle who had a daughter but was never told about her. She showed up in his life when she was about 20. Amazing news! He has a daughter. But he quickly discovered that she didn't want a relationship with him at all and was in if for what she could take from him. They became estranged.

He had a will leaving everything to his nieces and nephews and the daughter. I have no idea what was in his mind when he wrote the will but he had a scale based on eldest to youngest. The eldest nieces and nephews getting something like 20% each down to 5% each for the youngest of 13.

Eventually, all nieces and nephews were grown up and successful so he re-wrote his will. He disinherited the daughter and left everything in equal shares to his grand nieces and nephews.

He died with that will unsigned and literally sitting on the kitchen table.

So, in the end, I inherited about $13K whereas under the new will, my son would have come into $75K.

I didn't deserve anything any more or less than my cousins. Uncle Ted was in good health and lived independently until the day he fell over and died. Yeah, I wondered what his reasoning was behind the split and I had my "oh man" moment when I realized that we were one little signature away from college not being a concern. But I tell the story as a cautionary tale. If you want your assets dispersed a certain way, don't procrastinate changing your will.
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Wills can be a tricky business that seem to more often than not cause hard feelings among those included and those left out alike.

Some use wills as a way to control, reward and punish. Others think an even split is the way to go, regardless of who visits, does caregiving and/or does other work for the person that passed. Many use it as a final word or a final smack down. Others bequeath the standard splits, giving it little thought.

I think the key to surviving a will is to accept it is what it is - people can choose who and how they want their estate distributed - and that receiving anything at all is more than you had. Just try not to dwell on it or over think it.

I say this as I'm currently executor of my mothers estate - again being the person doing all the work - as I have the past six years for my parent... yet getting the exact same amount as my brother who lives locally and only saw our mom twice a year and NEVER called.

It is what it is and stewing or being bitter about it doesn't change a thing - and only serves to make me unhappy while my brother counts his cash.
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This is a lesson learned to have Wills reviewed and updated as needed.   My parents Wills were older then dirt and would have been a nightmare for me to process.   I was doing the happy dance when my parents finally went to an Elder Law Attorney to update the Wills as half the people mentioned in their Wills had passed decades ago.   Plus the mention of "heirs" wasn't clarified, did they mean immediate heirs or a whole family tree worth of heirs?

Decades ago, parents use to give the sons much more of the estate then the daughters.   The thought behind that was that the daughters had husbands to support them.

Thus when there are grown children mentioned in a Will, there is usually a phase that the Attorneys will use stating if a grown children pre-decease the parent, then the estate will be divided equality among the remaining children.... or it could say that the children of the pre-deceased grown child would get that grown child's share.
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I vented on here a few weeks ago about my mother's will. She initially had everything split evenly amongst us four kids. But, apparently a few years ago she changed her will to give two of her sons a little extra before the split. This is the two sons who never call or visit and when she calls the one, he whines about how hard his life is and hints that he needs her to send him money (she already pays all of his utilities and put a roof over his head). The one has literally not laid eyes on his other since May 2015 (yes, I'm keeping track).
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I hear you both. I get the parable. I forgot to mention my nephews are 25 and 34 years of age. They were old enough to visit my mom on their own. They never even called her. They never thanked her when she sent birthday or Christmas money. They were unthankful brats. I don't even think my mom really loved them. She left the money to my sister. She didn't know my sister would come down with cancer and die a year later. My mom had thought about taking this sister out of the will a few years before her own death because said sister didn't talk to her for 3 years. I talked her out of it.
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I feel this way about my brother. He got all of moms money. She said he needs it because he can't hold a job and is on SS I
But he caused mom plenty of problems and was self centered. I. helped her.
I think it's normal feelings.
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Bluntly, since you ask, yes you are wrong.

Well - no, not *wrong.* You feel how you feel. You are entitled to your opinion.

But I think you will feel better if you enlarge your view, and remember that inheritance is not just about what people deserve, in a simple do the work reap the rewards way.

Focus on the boys' right to receive their legacy; and hope that they in time they will reflect on what that money really means in terms of duty to one's family, as demonstrated by their grandmother.

There's also that parable about the men turning up early, later on and very late at the vineyard, and they all get the same wages. I have to say that as a child I totally sympathised with the harder workers and thought it was a rubbish parable; but I now (if grudgingly) accept that the moral is that you receive according to how much you are loved - i.e. by God, infinitely - rather than by how much you deserve. Well humph!

Your mother loved all her family. And she didn't love you any the less because of it.
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