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Old December 11th, 2014, 11:21 AM
lostandfound12 lostandfound12 is offline
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Question Mom passed away, no Will, what next?

My mother, 58, finally lost the battle with cancer and the "treatments" this Monday. She leaves not only me, her youngest son, but my older brother and eldest sister.

I've been with my mom since day one of all this (one year ago). I was there by her side when she got the diagnosis. I was there by her side when she received her first treatment. And I was there when she took her last breath, which will haunt me til my end. I've been by my mom's side since birth and I've been the one to look after her during all of this, during her divorce, all her ups and downs, with no regrets other than I shouldn't have let her take the treatments because that's what I think she succumbed to, not the cancer.

They've only been "there" when they needed something. They took and took and took from her over the past five years, that she was left with nothing before she was even diagnosed. And even after that, they still took from her. Their debts to her, amount to over ten thousand dollars each. Her inheritance she received from her mother-in-law, gone, to each of them from "borrowing" over the years, never paying back a single cent.

Neither my brother nor sister took responsibility as her children, to care for her, even before the cancer. Whereas I, worked my fingers to the knuckle to try and provide a home for us, as she couldn't work. It was up to me to provide groceries and I even had to cover some of her prescriptions, all on a minimum wage job that nearly put my health at severe risk too. We barely got by but I managed it; I had to.

She spent many a days in the hospital from side effects, catching a virus and up to this last visit which was over a month before going home, I was the one who stayed with her, day and night. My brother and sister didn't bother at all. When I would finish work (a job that I lost because of this hardship), I stopped at home to change and headed to the hospital to be with my mom till bed time, every day she was in there. Where were they? Not at work, neither of them worked. So where were they? My sister was most likely unconscious from popping so many pills and my brother was freeloading at my place, passed out on the couch or playing video games, devouring my pantry and leaving a trail of filth throughout our home. Not once did they consider "I should go spend the day with mom, give brother a day to relax".

I regret none of this. I loved my mom. I asked for the least, but the sacrifices she made for all three of us growing up, it was owed to her that we all be there for her. It's just sad that my siblings do not feel the same. All they have done is take and take and take from her over the past decade (or more). Each of them made twice the money I did yet they never had a cent to their name. They'd always be "borrowing" from my mom. Over the years, she's provided to each of them a vehicle and too often fill their cupboards. She bailed them out of many debts and collections. Her inheritance from her mother-in-law? Gone. Gobbled up by my brother and sister, my mother denied of her dream to have used it as a down payment on a house we could call "ours" (as we've always rented, never owning). I never asked for anything but she was always there for me as I was for her. If I did borrow, I paid back. That's why she never kept record of mine in her book whereas she did with my siblings which shows they are in debt to her of over ten thousand dollars each to this day.

We had in plan, for a Will to be made in her last couple months of life. But my grandparents stepped in and decided to take control of things and put a stop to that. (I don't know their reasons). So there is no legal documents that show what my mom would like to pass on, nothing other than a hand-written note that she entrusted to me. A note that I must find among her things that are scattered about because we moved not long before all this came to light.

It's been only two days since her passing and already I've been asked about certain belongings and jewelry. Two days and they've already shown their true form of being vultures.

I made it very clear that nothing leaves this house, unless it is something she has marked on that paper or voiced to me and that until I find it, nothing leaves. From the beginning of all of this, and the nurses can account for her words, she requested that I be in control of everything. I was to be the decision maker should she be incapacitated. I was to be the power-of-attorney, executor, whatever was necessary to see her wished fulfilled in the end. But it was taken away, not of her choice.

So now I lay in bed restless, wondering what they will do. There being no Will means everything and anything is up for grabs. They could literally rob me of everything that is hers, that is ours.

Anything that goes to my sister, I know from her history, will be pawned and sold. Of course, if it was my mom's wish for her to have it, then it is my sisters choice to do as she pleases. As would be the same for my brother. My sister knows she has crossed the line with all the family one too many times, I do not worry so much about her being sly. She knows I won't fall down easily. My brother though, is requesting certain things; Things that I know were not expressed in my mother's "note", such as her bed and dressers. He is in belief that she wanted him to have that bed but in reality, him and his (ex)girlfriend were to buy that bed from her as she disliked it at first so they were going to make a deal on it, and she would buy another.

So I fear the coming storm that they will bring to our home. I am exhausted and drained from having to bare all of this on my own for so long, I'm at a loss as to what I should do? What are my options?
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Old December 11th, 2014, 12:03 PM
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Re: Mom passed away, no Will, what next?

Don't blame you for being a bit upset with your siblings.

I take it you live in the USA. Maybe I can help.

My mother passed away a few months ago. Neither of my siblings even attempted to see her in her last few months of life. I had to call them so she could talk to them. Very little attempt was made on their parts.

Okay, that being said... My mothers assets were nominal. There wasn't much. However, after all her assets were divided according to her will I discovered she had a life insurance policy that she didn't even know about. The beneficiary was my father who had passed away about 20 years ago - apparently he had taken the policy out on her when he was still alive. Well, obviously my father is dead and cant collect. Sooooo, by law... no beneficiary... proceeds go in this order:

1. According to the will.
2. Spouse
3. Children
4. Grandchildren

In your case: Children

That works for money. Now let's look at stuff that is left...

There's no will... Nothing to say you have to sell it all and divide the money - unless it goes to Probate (which you can call and simply ask) - they do this all the time.

Do whatever you want with her stuff. If someone wants something, have them send you the money for postage (if you want) - Trust me, it can add up (I was out about $300 just shipping stuff).

Anyway... I know you're pretty stressed out. It does hurt - I know. When you get yourself together and you're ready... Contact the Probate Court and ask them about what you can do with her things - be sure to mention there was no will.

Sorry for you loss...
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Old December 11th, 2014, 12:03 PM
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KayKay KayKay is offline
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Re: Mom passed away, no Will, what next?

I'm sorry for your loss.

I don't know if this will help you, but I was in the same position as you as far as vultures for older siblings when my beloved step-mother passed away. My SM left a will, but my greedy sisters (my brother never presented a problem) managed to manipulate it and "interpret" it to their benefit. More than the money, it really hurt me that my sisters would do that to ME... they would take what was rightfully mine... that their love of "things" trumped their love of me.

I don't really have any great words of wisdom. All I can tell you is that it has been close to thirty years and my sisters did the same thing when my father died eighteen years later. I really understand firsthand (twice) what you are going through. I haven't been in contact with my sisters since my dad died, and I'm better off in life for that. Over the years I have learned that my dad was right back when my sisters were being greedy about my stepmother's things. He didn't want me to fight about the money, jewelry and belongings. They were just "things." I have moved on in life and found my own happiness without those "things." My sisters may have my mom's jewelry or whatnot, but they are bitter, miserable people.

Something tells me that your siblings will be in for a rude awakening the next time they need to be bailed out. I think if I were in your shoes, I'd let them have their fair share of everything (since there is no will saying otherwise) without a fight and let it be known that THAT'S IT. You will not be filling your mother's shoes when it comes to helping them out. Give your brother the bed and dresser, and let him know that you and your sister will be taking something of equal value. Tell your sister you will buy sentimental things from her if she wants to sell them to prevent them from being taken to a pawn shop.

As my dad told me, the jewelry and the furniture are just "things." The more important thing (in my opinion) is to get out of the mire that is your siblings and if you have to let go of those things to do it, it is a small price to pay. I know you probably won't believe me. I didn't believe my dad thirty years ago when the pain was fresh.

Again, I'm sorry for your loss.


ETA: You have a legitimate reason to hold on to everything for a while - who will be responsible for her final medical bills? You might need to sell her things to pay them off.
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Old December 11th, 2014, 12:13 PM
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Re: Mom passed away, no Will, what next?

Quote:
I made it very clear that nothing leaves this house, unless it is something she has marked on that paper or voiced to me and that until I find it, nothing leaves. From the beginning of all of this, and the nurses can account for her words, she requested that I be in control of everything. I was to be the decision maker should she be incapacitated. I was to be the power-of-attorney, executor, whatever was necessary to see her wished fulfilled in the end. But it was taken away, not of her choice.
Unless it's in writting and your mother's signature is on it... Everyone can kiss your.... <cough>

Threats from Grandparents and siblings... Let it flow like water off a ducks back.
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Old December 29th, 2014, 12:35 PM
lostandfound12 lostandfound12 is offline
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Re: Mom passed away, no Will, what next?

Thank you everyone for your input. And thank you KayKay for sharing your experience. I am happy you have moved on and hope that I may also get to move on, with or without them makes no difference to me but I honestly prefer it to be without.

So far nothing has been decided on and nothing more has been asked, I voiced my stance on it and they've gone silent but I know they are talking without me. I don't feel I am ready to 'pack it up' and push her memory aside as they have done so quickly; But they did not share the relationship with our mother as I did. The frustrations and even anger I have towards the many of them; That would deny so much from me and even my mother when she had a chance of beating the cancer by unconventional (but very natural, CBD) means, they intruded and made threats against me. Denied her a chance to live longer, be it only another six months or six years. It's another thing I will bare on my shoulders for not going through with it anyway, fighting harder for her, no matter the risk.

I know things are just things, materialistic things that they obviously value more than her memory. Part of me understands that and says to just let it go as it will probably rid me of them too. But for all they've done and not done, I feel they don't deserve any of it (other than what my mom declared to them) and that they should bare the weight of what I'd like to say to them which they will remove themselves from me then for sure.

Besides. That is my mom's room. Those are her things that she delicately cared for. That is her bed. A place where I tucked HER in every night. It's where she rested. Some would say that I'm turning it into a shrine but I'd like to keep it in her memory as a guest room for her and my out of town friends that came to see her. Especially my one cousin whom my mom was like a mom too (my cousin lost her mom to cancer when she was only I think twelve and she moved in with us after.) She visits often. And thinking about it, I currently sleep in a dilapidated bed with popped springs and creaks on every movement. Maybe I should sleep in it?

I just don't know. I'm not ready to let go. I think before anything I need to deal with my frustration and anger. The thought of her being gone still has not set it, three weeks later, I've still not felt like I've grieved. I don't know why or how. Possibly with my brother still loafing on my couch and continually consuming and messing what is mine, I've not had the time to myself to do so. Every day is a chore for me, cleaning and tidying after him, a 35 year old man... sad really.

Last edited by lostandfound12; December 29th, 2014 at 12:42 PM.
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Old December 30th, 2014, 10:32 AM
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Re: Mom passed away, no Will, what next?

Quote:
Originally Posted by lostandfound12 View Post
I just don't know. I'm not ready to let go. I think before anything I need to deal with my frustration and anger. The thought of her being gone still has not set it, three weeks later, I've still not felt like I've grieved. I don't know why or how.
Three weeks, it is normal to be numb, angry, etc. The grief process can take years. Be patient with yourself. May I suggest you make an appointment with a grief counselor? I think you might find that assistance very valuable.

You are wise to not deal with anything else until you've addressed your frustration and anger. Those two feelings may lead you to decisions that you'll regret later, or not, but you want to know that you're making the best decisions you can based on facts, not negative emotions.

I am also sending you positive thoughts and prayers.

Keep us posted!
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