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Offline Scoop

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Wills
« on: April 27, 2010, 09:53:57 AM »
I saw this in Kathleen's post and I didn't want to hijack her thread or even call her decision into judgment.  I'm just wondering what you all think of the whole "writing someone out of the will" idea?

Because I can definitely see both sides.  That you don't want to "reward" one of your children for not maintaining a relationship with you, or for specific hurtful behaviour.  But I wonder also about the kind of "legacy" this leaves.

In my family, we've always been almost painfully fair.  My parents always gave us equal number of gifts when we were too young to understand value, and when we were old enough to understand, they gave us equal value of gifts.  If my Mom forgave my brother a small loan, she would give me a cash gift.  When the SIL & DIL came into the picture, they were given the same value of gifts too.  My Mom has also said that if my brother and I fight after she's gone, she will HAUNT us.

So my deeply ingrained sense of fairness isn't liking this idea of cutting one child out of the will.  It seems to me that it leaves a bad memory of you and it causes the siblings to continue the fight after you're gone.

I know that at one point my IL's had cut my SisIL out of their will.  I knew for a fact that we would split everything 50-50 with her anyway.  But I also knew that this would hurt her deeply and could easily fracture her relationship with her brother.

Has anyone else cut someone out of their will?  How do you think about it?  I really don't have a clue here, and I'm asking, so I can see your thought processes and try and figure it out.

Thanks,

Scoop

cremebrulee

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Re: Wills
« Reply #1 on: April 27, 2010, 09:56:24 AM »
I saw this in Kathleen's post and I didn't want to hijack her thread or even call her decision into judgment.  I'm just wondering what you all think of the whole "writing someone out of the will" idea?

Because I can definitely see both sides.  That you don't want to "reward" one of your children for not maintaining a relationship with you, or for specific hurtful behaviour.  But I wonder also about the kind of "legacy" this leaves.

In my family, we've always been almost painfully fair.  My parents always gave us equal number of gifts when we were too young to understand value, and when we were old enough to understand, they gave us equal value of gifts.  If my Mom forgave my brother a small loan, she would give me a cash gift.  When the SIL & DIL came into the picture, they were given the same value of gifts too.  My Mom has also said that if my brother and I fight after she's gone, she will HAUNT us.

So my deeply ingrained sense of fairness isn't liking this idea of cutting one child out of the will.  It seems to me that it leaves a bad memory of you and it causes the siblings to continue the fight after you're gone.

I know that at one point my IL's had cut my SisIL out of their will.  I knew for a fact that we would split everything 50-50 with her anyway.  But I also knew that this would hurt her deeply and could easily fracture her relationship with her brother.

Has anyone else cut someone out of their will?  How do you think about it?  I really don't have a clue here, and I'm asking, so I can see your thought processes and try and figure it out.

Thanks,

Scoop

Hi Scoop,
good thread....

Me, I'd be fair...everyone gets the same....regardless....they're still my children, and I believe like your parents....so, it's no contest here....

Hope your doing well...
Creme

keeponsmilin

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Re: Wills
« Reply #2 on: April 27, 2010, 01:31:02 PM »
when my Grandfather passed away, he left everything to my dad (his SIL).  Everyone was confused.  My mom is one of 6 daughters, and was the only one out of the house when my grandparents divorced.  My grandfather held it against the other 4 that they were close to their mom and accepted her new husband into their lives.  So... all of his property and land was given to my dad.  This put the whole family in a tizzy.  My parents divided it up in what they thought was a fair way- giving a percentage to each child and grandchild.  Mom and dad thought they had done a good thing.  Little did they know that what one person sees as fair, others will see as mean and spiteful.  Some of the daughters had multiple children, and therefore received a larger portion of the estate.  One of the daughters had no children and was extremely angry that she received a smaller amount than the other sisters.  We are talking about a pretty small amount of money anyways, so mainly people had their feelings hurt.  Anyways... the point of the story is that how you handle your will DOES matter.  You will be gone, but somebody will have to face the consequences of the decisions you make. 

Interesting post- thanks Scoop

kathleen

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Re: Wills
« Reply #3 on: April 27, 2010, 02:41:27 PM »
Hi Scoop,

Thank you for your replies.  I appreciate them.

The thing about the will made me physically sick.  I resisted it for years.  I don't want to and can't go into all the things my son and his wife have done to hurt and damage his parents and brothers.  The more I ignored what they said and did, the worse it got.  The only time I ever stood up to her was at my granddaughter's birthday party over the refusal to let us watch her open our presents, but that was a very minor thing compared to the overall situation.  My closest friend is a therapist who runs mental health programs.  She knows my son from the time he was small.  All the time that these events were going on, I could talk to her about it and get support and educated advice.  She kept advising me as you did, keep trying to talk and email them and be polite and warm no matter what.  I continued this for many years, long before my granddaughter was born and became their currency. Then my son and DIL did something so negative and so hurtful.  It was designed just to see how much pain they could inflict; how far could they go this time before we would react?--- the two of them bolster each other that way, then back and sit watch the entertainment; I believe they do things together that individually they might not do, but I am certainly not excusing my son.   And at the last blow my friend said to me,  "Get a lawyer and sign a new will."  They had really crossed the line.  It was OVER.

My husband then consulted an estate attorney who only does estates, who also strongly recommended that the two of them receive nothing.  How could we give them a third of what we have when two other sons have remained devoted?  What is really fair here?  How would my other sons feel watching them walk off with a third of what we've saved, after mopping us up so many times from pain?  With two top professionals advising me to do this, to accept that the relationship is over, and watching the pain my husband was in, I finally agreed. My husband is the most generous father, but he reached the point before I did that he wanted nothing more to do with them.  I saw that fairness also had to include fairness to us, the people who worked hard and saved and now have something to show for it.  No one has a "right" to it just because they are family members, any more than my DIL had the "right" to large amounts of cash for her wedding.  If my son magically re-appears, we can always reverse this.  However, right now it is iron-clad; there can be no contesting it; they can "fight it" later but it will be money down the drain for a lawyer to do so.

Before the will issue even was raised, one of our sons said, "They don't want to see you, but I think when you die they will be here immediately backing up a truck."  That image also stuck with me while the situation escalated.  I knew it was the truth; they would completely ignore any fair or legal distribution or what we had stipulated and grab what they could; now, they do not have a key to the house any longer.  They won't be able to get in.  Isn't this AWFUL?  I "never thought it would happen to me."

I always felt it it was never right to exclude a child from a will, no matter what.  Then I watched these two picking the wings off flies, bashing my husband and sons badly, saying/doing whatever they felt like, using their own daughter as a pawn, and taking an axe to us.  They DO NOT CARE.  I think she will care when the will is read, but that's it.  This isn't about petty little hurt feelings over parties, but about some very major, immoral things.   I'm really not comfortable spelling those out on the Internet.  There are things about my son I wish I did not even know.

This is a very imperfect way of handling this, I  know.  If anyone has a better one, please let me know.  For sure I won't be sending them any letters now after your advice.  I never knew it could be put up on Facebook.  Your replies were correct, that she in particular would try to find a way to use it.  I think now my question to this list about the letter was another way of denying the reality of this situation; perhaps if my son read my remarks, he would re-consider and magically the two of them would change.  There is no chance of this, and a letter might be very harmful.

Ten years ago I would have also been questioning cutting someone out of a will.  This situation just went too far; there comes a point when you have to do whatever is possible to try and save what is left of your sanity, and that was all that was left us, plus telling her creditors we aren't paying her bills.  Please know when judging me that we gave them a down payment for their home, a considerable sum not given to our other two who haven't bought homes yet.  We never received so much as a thank-you.

It is interesting how three sons can be raised in the same family, and two are wonderful, successful, caring and ethical men, and one is just about the opposite.  I know others in this situation.  The will depends on the degree and length of time over what has happened, and represents the only last way to gain some control and stop the infliction of pain.  My son's relationships with his brothers are over anyway.  He hasn't called them in years.  They also tried for a long time but gave up. The last time my oldest son drove 300 miles one way to see them, a visit he initiated of course, they weren't even there when he arrived.  They were out shopping and left no note; it was pouring rain in their rural area, nowhere else to go, they knew when he was arriving and simply didn't show up for hours, etc., etc.  He sat in the car, waiting for these two. I'm quite sure they enjoyed the thought of him sitting there, calling around, stuck in his car in the rain, not knowing what to do and too late to return to his own home.  On and on and on; every single encounter for a decade brought something like this and far worse.  I know now no one can judge something like this until you've walked a mile in those shoes.  I feel horrible about it.  But I would never again question someone who has done it because I now understand fairness in an entirely new way. 

I know an elderly woman who is literally being killed by garbage like this.  The wounds her son and daughter-in-law inflict are causing her to feel she wants to die. (It's her only child & grandchild.  I am lucky I have two others.)  I refuse to join her.  And insuring that these people, as I now think of the man who used to be my son & his wife, do not profit are a big part of salvation.  Would you reward stealing in small children?  If the answer is no, why would you reward such behavior in adults who have been raised to act properly?

As for legacy, it's already been created and not by us. 

Kathleen

bettylou

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Re: Wills
« Reply #4 on: April 27, 2010, 04:42:29 PM »
Kathleen, I feel your pain through your message and I do not see anything wrong or unfair about your outlook at all.  I do not really like inheritance in someways because I think it creates in some people manipulation and control and in other people it creates entitlement and greed.  I also feel that I love my children deeply but they did get up and go to work with me every day?  No.  Did they help me to get what I have?  No.  Therefor what I choose to do with it is my business and no one elses.  I am not rich but I do have I will leave to my children at this point.  If I change it is my business not anyone elses.  Also I feel your heartbreak and it is just so sad.  I had a few strange questions for you....are they mentally ill and/or on drugs?  Are they sadistic to everyone in their lives or just your side of the family?  Have they been to jail over any of their nonsense?  God Bless you Kathleen you are a good person and I hope that the pain will ease soon enough!

Orly

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Re: Wills
« Reply #5 on: April 27, 2010, 06:23:04 PM »
Leaving a bequest to your children is a gift .... not an entitlement.

 If a person acts as horrendously as Kathleen has stated her son has, then his expectations of inheritances should be squashed.  Telling the kid at the reading is HIS karmic load to bear.  Of course, parents who hold "I'll cut you out of the will" over their kids, to make them complaisant are not being fair.  She and her husband have given this son a large down-payment for a home and evidently have been paying reoccurring bills made by the DIL....while the other two sons haven't received said help/aid.  I see that this one son has already received his.....what would be "fair" would be to place the same amount into trusts for the other two.  Then if (God forbid) Kathleen and her husband use their well earned funds for their own needs (illnesses do crop up) they have been fair to all their children.   

Hope

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Re: Wills
« Reply #6 on: April 27, 2010, 07:41:18 PM »
Hi Scoop,

Thank you for your replies.  I appreciate them.

The thing about the will made me physically sick.  I resisted it for years.  I don't want to and can't go into all the things my son and his wife have done to hurt and damage his parents and brothers.  The more I ignored what they said and did, the worse it got.  The only time I ever stood up to her was at my granddaughter's birthday party over the refusal to let us watch her open our presents, but that was a very minor thing compared to the overall situation.  My closest friend is a therapist who runs mental health programs.  She knows my son from the time he was small.  All the time that these events were going on, I could talk to her about it and get support and educated advice.  She kept advising me as you did, keep trying to talk and email them and be polite and warm no matter what.  I continued this for many years, long before my granddaughter was born and became their currency. Then my son and DIL did something so negative and so hurtful.  It was designed just to see how much pain they could inflict; how far could they go this time before we would react?--- the two of them bolster each other that way, then back and sit watch the entertainment; I believe they do things together that individually they might not do, but I am certainly not excusing my son.   And at the last blow my friend said to me,  "Get a lawyer and sign a new will."  They had really crossed the line.  It was OVER.

My husband then consulted an estate attorney who only does estates, who also strongly recommended that the two of them receive nothing.  How could we give them a third of what we have when two other sons have remained devoted?  What is really fair here?  How would my other sons feel watching them walk off with a third of what we've saved, after mopping us up so many times from pain?  With two top professionals advising me to do this, to accept that the relationship is over, and watching the pain my husband was in, I finally agreed. My husband is the most generous father, but he reached the point before I did that he wanted nothing more to do with them.  I saw that fairness also had to include fairness to us, the people who worked hard and saved and now have something to show for it.  No one has a "right" to it just because they are family members, any more than my DIL had the "right" to large amounts of cash for her wedding.  If my son magically re-appears, we can always reverse this.  However, right now it is iron-clad; there can be no contesting it; they can "fight it" later but it will be money down the drain for a lawyer to do so.

Before the will issue even was raised, one of our sons said, "They don't want to see you, but I think when you die they will be here immediately backing up a truck."  That image also stuck with me while the situation escalated.  I knew it was the truth; they would completely ignore any fair or legal distribution or what we had stipulated and grab what they could; now, they do not have a key to the house any longer.  They won't be able to get in.  Isn't this AWFUL?  I "never thought it would happen to me."

I always felt it it was never right to exclude a child from a will, no matter what.  Then I watched these two picking the wings off flies, bashing my husband and sons badly, saying/doing whatever they felt like, using their own daughter as a pawn, and taking an axe to us.  They DO NOT CARE.  I think she will care when the will is read, but that's it.  This isn't about petty little hurt feelings over parties, but about some very major, immoral things.   I'm really not comfortable spelling those out on the Internet.  There are things about my son I wish I did not even know.

This is a very imperfect way of handling this, I  know.  If anyone has a better one, please let me know.  For sure I won't be sending them any letters now after your advice.  I never knew it could be put up on Facebook.  Your replies were correct, that she in particular would try to find a way to use it.  I think now my question to this list about the letter was another way of denying the reality of this situation; perhaps if my son read my remarks, he would re-consider and magically the two of them would change.  There is no chance of this, and a letter might be very harmful.

Ten years ago I would have also been questioning cutting someone out of a will.  This situation just went too far; there comes a point when you have to do whatever is possible to try and save what is left of your sanity, and that was all that was left us, plus telling her creditors we aren't paying her bills.  Please know when judging me that we gave them a down payment for their home, a considerable sum not given to our other two who haven't bought homes yet.  We never received so much as a thank-you.

It is interesting how three sons can be raised in the same family, and two are wonderful, successful, caring and ethical men, and one is just about the opposite.  I know others in this situation.  The will depends on the degree and length of time over what has happened, and represents the only last way to gain some control and stop the infliction of pain.  My son's relationships with his brothers are over anyway.  He hasn't called them in years.  They also tried for a long time but gave up. The last time my oldest son drove 300 miles one way to see them, a visit he initiated of course, they weren't even there when he arrived.  They were out shopping and left no note; it was pouring rain in their rural area, nowhere else to go, they knew when he was arriving and simply didn't show up for hours, etc., etc.  He sat in the car, waiting for these two. I'm quite sure they enjoyed the thought of him sitting there, calling around, stuck in his car in the rain, not knowing what to do and too late to return to his own home.  On and on and on; every single encounter for a decade brought something like this and far worse.  I know now no one can judge something like this until you've walked a mile in those shoes.  I feel horrible about it.  But I would never again question someone who has done it because I now understand fairness in an entirely new way. 

I know an elderly woman who is literally being killed by garbage like this.  The wounds her son and daughter-in-law inflict are causing her to feel she wants to die. (It's her only child & grandchild.  I am lucky I have two others.)  I refuse to join her.  And insuring that these people, as I now think of the man who used to be my son & his wife, do not profit are a big part of salvation.  Would you reward stealing in small children?  If the answer is no, why would you reward such behavior in adults who have been raised to act properly?

As for legacy, it's already been created and not by us. 

Kathleen

Kathleen,
I feel your pain.  I realize that your decision has not been an easy one and was made only after careful consideration.  I agree that it is your money/property and it is entirely your decision to will it to whomever you choose.  I also see Scoop's point about causing riffs within the family when inheritances are not split evenly.  That being said, I feel that from what you've said there isn't a relationship there any way..........your oldest son has already cut the ties.  Also, you can always change your will later if things change, as you said.  Even though you didn't go into any details, just the tone of your post and the degree of hurt you spoke of made my blood pressure boil.  For any son and dil to treat their own parents/il's this way is beyond understanding.  Imho they have done this to themselves and you have nothing to regret.  I wish it didn't have to be this way, I would much prefer to see everyone be treated with love and understanding.
Hugs, Hope

Offline Nana

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Re: Wills
« Reply #7 on: April 28, 2010, 02:57:52 AM »
Kathleen:

My heart is with you.  I know how difficult this decision was for you.  But eventually everyone gets what they deserve.  You have a
good heart and that is the reason you are in pain.  You son and dil probably dont care about the will because I cannot understand  why they could feel that you would include them in your will after the way they have been treating you and your family.    I do feel that whatever we have we will divide in equal parts for our 3 children.   It is very difficult to be fair.  You are right, I have given my married son much more than what I have given my two daughters that are still at home.  I always tell my daughters that what I give their brother is because he has no one else to support him.  My daughters live at home and they dont have to pay bills or utilities.  Nevertheless,  they are entitled to have the same from us their parents.    But in the case of your son....he has not been supportive or loving and have cause you a lot of pain to you and your husband.  This is the price they will have to pay.  What goes around, comes around.  Not that you wish bad for them but they dont deserve anything.  Probably your dil feels she owes you nothing....but your own son?  Oh God it is very sad.  Just try to have peace of mind and May God Bless you and help you out.
Love is not love Which alters when it alteration finds, Or bends with the remover to remove:
Shakespeare

Offline elsieshaye

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Re: Wills
« Reply #8 on: April 28, 2010, 08:49:30 AM »
I'm of two minds about it as well.  In my family, it was used as a threat to bludgeon us into compliance.  However, as it turned out, my father feared death too much to get a will made (thank goodness for spousal survivorship, otherwise my mother would have been in trouble financially, since everything was in his name), and when my mother did hers, she did not include any of my father's siblings or children from his previous marriage because they had always been hateful to her.  Dad had always sent all of them money and paid for trips and gifts while he was alive anyway, sometimes to the detriment of our finances, so she figured they had already gotten their inheritance early.  I can see both sides.
This too shall pass.  All is well.

Offline Pen

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Re: Wills
« Reply #9 on: April 28, 2010, 09:31:38 AM »
You may be able to stipulate whatever you want for years in the future. I'm hoping we can set up our meager leavings to make sure the $$$ we leave our disabled DDis in good hands and that the $$$ we leave DS can't be used by DIL/DIL's family but would go to DDD if anything should happen to him. They've got enough and DDD will need it more. I have no problem not leaving anything to someone who treats us poorly.

Respect ... is appreciation of the separateness of the other person, of the ways in which he or she is unique.
-- Annie Gottlieb

Offline Scoop

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Re: Wills
« Reply #10 on: April 28, 2010, 12:52:56 PM »
Kathleen - thank you so much for explaining your situation, I'm sure it was painful for you to re-visit.  I can appreciate your position and it seems to be one of the few "places" where it makes sense to cut someone out of the will.  They have effectively cut themselves off from the whole family already.

Pen - have you spoken with your son?  If I were him, I would want you to leave EVERYTHING to DDD, that the mere fact that you were taking care of DDD financially would be enough.  Of course, I would want some mementos but that would be enough.  I don't think you can keep your inheritance from DIL if you give some to DS.  Definitely look into it for sure, for where you are.  I still think you're better off setting it up for DDD, and then it can go to DS (or his kids) after DDD has been taken care of for her natural life.

kathleen

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Re: Wills
« Reply #11 on: April 28, 2010, 01:07:18 PM »
Thank you all for reading my very long post and for your great comments, so helpful.  Yes, indeed, this is a very painful situation.

Betty Lou asked if my son & DIL are "mentally ill or on drugs:"  My husband and I believe my daughter-in-law is a sociopath in the sense that she takes pleasure from other people's pain; has no conscience about lying & manipulating others; and has felt free to accept large sums of money in the past while feeling no obligation whatsoever to us, the donors.  She lacks conscience and I have to say I think my son does, too.  She has been let go from every job she has had, and I don't know the reasons, but certainly if she acts this way at work an employer would not appreciate it.  We did not know her until she met my son in her 20's, so I don't know what her childhood was like.  Growing up, my son was often on the verge of some kind of near-criminal activity and had to be counseled his last two years of high school by a parole officer.  He was the kind of adolescent you never could trust alone in the house.  He frequently lied and stayed out past agreed time, etc.  We tried a more normal kind of counseling but in the end he related well to this parole officer, recommended by a friend who was a judge, who appeared at the time to save the day with some straight talk and pulling in the reins, shared love of sports, etc.  My son actually liked and looked up to him and participated in the counseling, whereas with some of the "softer" professionals we tried, he simply went through the motions and continued acting out.

When you have a troubled child, you pray---and you believe---he will grow out of it. And for some years during and just after college, he did seem to become a mature and caring son.  Partly because of his fine education, he held responsible jobs and was promoted and well-paid. Then he met his wife.

One factor I did not mention was that he was adopted.  Perhaps, he simply failed to bond with us in the normal way; or he may also have a genetic tendency to certain kinds of amoral activity. (His biological father was married with another child when he had our son.)  I didn't even think about this until you raised the issue of something odd or different here, BL, because I don't think of him as "adopted."  We got him when he was six days old and he was never anything but our son to us.  However, the other two children are biological, so perhaps there is an issue here that remains hidden.  Yet, we loved him deeply and from all I can see he was treated equally; for example, his college tuition was entirely paid and he received a summer in Italy to study art, also paid for by us.  Only one of the other boys studied abroad.  My mother, father and extended family members all treated him with love; they really did love him, and connected with him, and spent time alone with him, and all the things he is denying us now with his daughter.  I have to say I think he had a great childhood with a lot of love and attention.

I should have explained in the beginning of my long post that not once did we ever "hold the will over their heads" to try to get compliant behavior.  They still don't know about the decision.  Therefore in no way can it be said that we have tried to manipulate them with threats about money.  That is a truly evil way for parents to act.  No, the decision must be independent.  I used to believe it should all be equal, but now I know sometimes it just cannot be.  My father once asked me if he could give $10,000 to my sister because "she needs it and you don't."  This was absolutely true.  It was a lot of money and I knew I wouldn't receive anything from my father's estate when he died, because it was about all he had.  I never felt the slightest resentment.  I believe if you are going to quarrel with a sibling over things parents give or do not give, there must be deeper issues involved from childhood.  To this day I am glad my sister got the help she needed when she needed it.  And happy my father came to me and felt free to discuss it before he did it; he obviously cared about both of us, but saw a need and filled it. 

There are two sides to every story, and I am sure he must have had issues with us, but I don't really know what my son's side is. Before the final break I tried to discuss things with him but to no avail.   I think he got involved with his wife and married her and then appears not to have been satisfied in the marriage.  It was made known to us by a girl he had gone with before his marriage that he had attempted to carry on a relationship with this ex-girlfriend and lied to her, he did not let her know he was married; she found out from a mutual friend.  She called my husband in a sick fury with this information.  (I actually had liked this girl very much and we had had a very positive relationship with her, until my son told us he had broken it off.)  We were just appalled.  Infidelity is not a behavior my husband and I ever indulged in, so he didn't model that after us, and he had really hurt this lovely girl.  In a way I am not surprised---not that I approve--- he looked outside his marriage, because his wife is so completely controlling and if she doesn't get her way by one means, she tries another.  She spent money like water and put them in debt; at one point my son did tell one of his brothers he was drowning in bills and said to his brother, "You are lucky you are still single."  It may be he doesn't want to see us anymore because his ex-girlfriend told us what he had been up to; my husband had a non-angry conversation with him at the time, pointing out the danger of these behaviors, but after that he seemed not to want to see us anymore, although he had been putting a lot of distance before that.  Who knows; he may now be continuing to see other women and not want to come around us because of it.  That is not the worst of his behavior but it is close.

When we started getting bills from collection agencies, my husband sent a note, finally, asking them to take care of their own bills from now on.

Again, thank you for your support.  It has been cathartic to share this and see it on "paper," so to speak.  It has helped me realize I have to finally and completely let go of this.  It has cost too much.  Sending letters, staying permanently in mourning, trying to find ways to change it, etc., aren't healthy ways to cope.  The longing to see adult children and grandchildren can feel desperate, I have learned, with no where to turn, but in the end it is absolutely necessary to accept it and try to move on.  I cannot however completely let go of the hope that someday, I will know my granddaughter.

It is my strongest wish that nothing this extreme has happened to any of you, and that it never will.  If anyone else has gone through similar issues with an adopted child and sees a connection, please write; I may have missed a key thing here.

Kathleen








1Glitterati

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Re: Wills
« Reply #12 on: April 28, 2010, 02:49:59 PM »
You may be able to stipulate whatever you want for years in the future. I'm hoping we can set up our meager leavings to make sure the $$$ we leave our disabled DDis in good hands and that the $$$ we leave DS can't be used by DIL/DIL's family but would go to DDD if anything should happen to him. They've got enough and DDD will need it more. I have no problem not leaving anything to someone who treats us poorly.

That might depend on your state.  Typically, once someone inherits...no further stipulations can be put on that inheritance.  I think you'd have to bypass your ds altogether and just leave the money in trust for your ddd.  A trust w/out your son as the trustee.

My parents wanted to do something like that with our inheritance...wanted it to go to bro--but if something happened to him it would go to his daughter, not his wife (now ex-wife).  Their lawyer said it couldn't be done, that once it was bro's that it was bro's to do with as he liked.

I very  much think that inheritances are not "owed".  People leave things to who they want to...and lots of times hard feelings do exist.  Just the nature of the beast.  I'd rather my parents spend whatever they have now taking care of themselves.  I want them to enjoy themselves as much as they can NOW, rather than worrying about something to leave to us kids or the grandkids.   I think there will be a lot of resentment when my ils pass.  I'm sure dh's sister will get either the lions share or all of what is left.  It's totally their decision---but I know it will hurt my dh terribly, and not for financial reasons.  He HASN'T been a bad son...so it's going to devastate him to see his sister made favorite again.

kathleen

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Re: Wills
« Reply #13 on: April 29, 2010, 04:02:10 AM »
Anna,

I believe in personal responsibility.  At the bottom line, how we act is up to us.  As you point out, your son should do what's right, but so often people don't.  They don't see it as you do.  I made a very polite request to my son to have some time with him and his family on holidays, and another member of this list wrote to me and said this was "dictatorial" and her own MIL tried to "pull something like this."  That's her perspective.  Even to ask it to be considered interfering, no matter what I've contributed to their lives, according to this writer---or how little we have seen them.  I also think it is a cultural norm now to consider in-laws a joke, evil, interfering, and so on.  Perhaps this generation won't feel this quite so strongly when they are in-laws themselves.  But for now, if you accept a lot of money and stuff from people who are basically a joke and/or people to be used and discarded, what's the problem?  That's an attitude I see.

(On this note, has anyone seen the Klondike ice cream bar commercial with the hag of a mother-in-law sitting on the couch with the son-in-law?  His punishment for something is having to watch TV and eat ice cream with her.  It's so awful, I will never again purchase one of their products.)

Having said that, two societal factors are at work and at odds with each other:  the constant materialistic marketing going on everywhere to buy, buy, buy, whether you have the money or not, creating the "sense of entitlement" you mention, and the recession, which has cut into income.  I understand these factors, yet I can't personally relate to overspending and then expecting your parents/in-laws to pick up the slack.  My DIL compares herself to a wealthy friend; when the friend had a house, DIL had to have a house; when friend had a baby, she did also.  The trouble is she is not wealthy and depends on maxing out her credit cards to get the stuff she wants.

But perhaps I am not so healthy about money either.  Raised by a Depression-era mother who watched every penny, I became very fearful of spending. I don't know if that's good.  Fortunately my husband and I agreed on this and we never bought a single thing we could not afford.  We worked and saved and thus were able to help our kids by paying all tuitions and the house money for the son who has no time for us.  I wonder now if he was indulged too much; if he saw all this as easy come, easy go; after all, he's not the one who worked 24-7 to establish a business, as I did.  I was frankly against giving them the house money; it took me six months to earn that money; but my husband was operating out of some guilt, and he finally wore me down.  He had the unrealistic idea that helping them buy the house would also buy love.  It never works that way, does it?  I wish now I had been stronger, because all that happened was that I worked for six months to give to people who now shut us out.

I am sorry for you are going through this.  If we have other chances with other children, perhaps we can put the brakes on the gravy train and expect more of them financially.  We have done this with my youngest son and he has gone from being carefree with money to being totally responsible, paying all his own bills, and beginning to save.  Whereas the one who got the money from us for the house is obviously now mired in bills and collection agencies.  Excess is never enough, is it?  It may have been our fault giving our son way too much.

Basically when it comes to money and families, it seems to be an explosive issue in so many cases.  I think we'd all be better off without funding a lot of stuff for our kids.  But then, we love them, and we see how hard the economy is right now.  It's hard to know what to do.

Good luck, Anna, keep us posted,

Kathleen




cremebrulee

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Re: Wills
« Reply #14 on: April 29, 2010, 05:23:57 AM »
Great post Anna, from the heart and soul, and heartfelt....