Grief or Greed? When Families Fight Over Material Possessions

Understanding Grief / Understanding Grief : Eleanor Haley


The death of a loved one can have a major impact on family unity. Each individual family member must reconcile the end of their physical relationship with the person who died and their ongoing grief over the loss. Unfortunately, this often means that at a time when the family could benefit from being closer than ever, misunderstandings and differences set them at a distance.

Many families have wound up befuddled when, after the death of a loved one, they find themselves at odds over the person’s material possessions. As a family, they typically don’t express their love through gifts, objects, or money. Their values have never been grounded in materialism in any way. Yet all of a sudden, they are arguing over stuff—much of it being stuff they hadn’t cared about or wanted until after their loved one died.

Some people are opportunistic and greedy. I won’t try and deny this reality. I’ve written for a grief website long enough to have heard the horror stories and, frankly, some of them will threaten to destroy your faith in humanity. However, I’m also aware of quite a few scenarios in which people’s actions have been labeled as selfish when, in reality, the motives behind them were far more complex than assumed.

Honestly, grief can make us all a little egocentric and it can be difficult to empathize with another person’s feelings, actions, and grief reactions. There’s research to suggest that two common grief responses—anxiety and uncertainty—can increase a person’s tendency to assume that others see things exactly as they do. On top of this, our human brains are even more predisposed to making assumptions about people who we are close with and who we perceive as similar to us—like family members—perhaps because we assume these people share the same values, attitudes, and worldview.

Further, as we’ve noted before, the fundamental attribution error commonly causes people to attribute the behavior of others to personal traits—in these instances, traits like greed and selfishness—rather than taking the time to consider social, emotional, or situational influences on behavior.

In this article, we’d like to consider the influences beyond selfishness and greed that might explain your family member’s feelings and behavior related to a deceased loved one’s material possessions.


1. Different Feelings About If & When Belongings Should Be Put Away.

A common misunderstanding after the death of a loved one occurs when one family member is ready to put away, sell, or get rid of the deceased person’s belongings and another is not. The family member who is not ready may feel that the other person is pushy, callous, uncaring, greedy, or ready to move on much too quickly. However, there are a number of other explanations for their behavior, including (but not limited to):

  • People grieve at their own pace. One family member might feel ready to go through a loved one’s belongings, while another can’t stand the thought of it. Neither is right or wrong, they may just be grieving at different paces.
  • People have different grieving styles. Although people typically think of emotions when they think about grief, some people grieve in a much more hands-on way. Researchers call these types of people instrumental grievers. Instrumental grievers might feel better when they are taking action or doing something in their grief, and one thing they can do is take care of their loved one’s personal belongings.
  • People may be engaging in avoidance. Some people have a difficult time being around their deceased loved one’s belongings. These objects can bring up a lot of difficult emotions and, for many, become painful grief triggers. In an effort to avoid these triggers, certain family members may want to put away their loved one’s belongings right away. To those who see these objects differently, putting them away quickly may be perceived as uncaring when in actuality it comes from intense caring.

2. Sentimentality.

Some objects become special and significant after a loved one’s death. If your family member is making a grab for specific items that belonged to your loved one, it may be because those items (sometimes inexplicably) have come to mean a lot to the person.

3. Continuing Bonds.

In the days, weeks, and months following a loss, a sense of longing for the security and comfort of a loved one’s physical presence may be especially salient. In these early days, the idea of never seeing a loved one again is slowly becoming a reality. At the same time, people often feel insecure about their ability to maintain an ongoing connection with their deceased loved one… and so they hold on very tight to physical reminders of them for fear that their memories are going to fade and their loved one will disappear. During these times, continuing bonds behavior may be used to maintain a sense of physical closeness to the person who has died and may involve stashing some of their physical objects.

4. The Estate Plans Feel Like A Statement of Love and/or Value.

Many people go to great lengths to make their estate plans known to their family. By doing so, they hopefully ensure their last words to family and friends are not those that are contained in a will. When these conversations happen, people have the opportunity to explain and clarify their intent, and those impacted are able to ask questions. In many instances, this can eliminate lingering hurt feelings and unanswered questions. This is why so many professionals and organizations are out there advocating for people to make their wishes known!

That said, in many (many, many) instances, people do not discuss their end-of-life wishes and estate plans for many (many, many) understandable reasons. This doesn’t always cause a problem. However, if the estate turns out to be surprising or unfair, those who are surprised or left out may interpret their loved one’s decisions as a statement of love or value (whether it is rational or not). Worse, it may cause confusion, questioning, resentment, or bitterness among surviving family members. Unfortunately, the only person who can explain the decision is gone and so people are left to try to make sense of things on their own.

5. Beliefs About What Their Deceased Loved One Would Have Wanted.

Family members typically want to do right by their deceased loved one and honor their wishes to the best of their ability. The problem is, as we’ve just established, people don’t always walk around making their end of life wishes known to their family and friends. Even if they have discussed some things, it’s sometimes impossible the cover everything down to what you want to be done with your necktie collection. Ultimately, some decisions will need to be made, and in the absence of clarity, there are times when people are left speculating. Unfortunately, this often leads to disagreeing about what the person would have wanted for their affairs and personal effects.


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31 Comments on "Grief or Greed? When Families Fight Over Material Possessions"

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  1. April Combs  August 14, 2021 at 5:57 am Reply

    My father passed and my mother is still alive. I am trying to get her things and his things in order and leave it up to her to sell and use the money(very little) to enjoy the rest of her life.
    My older brother, when he sees what I have gathered together, states claim to it. That’s mine. When he already has a shed loaded down with his stuff. My little sister was recently confronted by mom about her disposing of some of dads possessions.
    I realize know that this a common part of grieving but mom is still with us and paying all the household bills.
    I want to help. My time is spent getting yelled at by siblings and asking me what I am doing when mom is aware of every step that I take.
    I’m flustered and ready to throw the towel in.
    We all desperately wanted to not argue and work together. It’s not going so well.
    I hate being confrontation. But sitting back and watching anything that could possibly be sold for her upkeep being claimed seems like I am just spinning my wheels.
    I guess we all can see why it’s important to not base your life on material possessions from this world. You can’t take it with you.
    But you sure can get your soul twisted up over these things and worse case scenario become a hoarder or a pathological liar where you cover up for yourself so much that you convince yourself that you are in fact telling the truth.
    Struggling to keep my soul clean while figuring out my father and mothers estate.
    Leaving it in god’s hands and hopefully it will turn out better. While fighting the urge to move out of state.

  2. Jennifer  July 29, 2021 at 9:51 am Reply

    Since my husband passed away, very suddenly and unexpectedly, I’ve begun having issues with my mother-in-law. I feel I’ve been very open and generous in my communication – reaching out, etc.

    My husband and I did not have children and we’re in a common law marriage for over 21 years. I feel that these elements make me less tied to her, and as I see now, much more disposable.

    She has arrived at my home while I’m alone, albeit invited, with 3 other family members ‘from her side’, and is very aggressive and demanding about what items she is going to take. They have openly used the phrase “keep it in the family” in front of me. I feel very attacked and at the same time dismissed from my own relationship with my husband.

    It’s not that I would mind giving them the items they want, but I resent the way in which it is being approached. It’s very hurtful and I feel like avoiding their calls and shutting down any further access to my home.

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  3. Kim  March 29, 2021 at 4:45 am Reply

    My mother passed away 3 weeks ago. Prior to her passing, the family realized that her and her husband, my stepfather, had incurred a crazy amount of debt. Before she passed the children, all of us adults, decided to go through their finances and try to make sense of everything. My stepsisters decided that they needed to protect their dads credit. My mother needed nursing care. They did not provide it. Then when she passed, they started stonewalling us on her ashes, belongings, and memorial plans. My sisters and I wanted part of her ashes, to which we were told no, then okay but a token amount, like enough to put into a pendant. I’ve texted, pleaded for them to share her belongings with us, but nothing back from them. I’m so hurt and upset by this. I never thought my stepfather and his girls could be so inhuman. I don’t want anything of value, just want what she promised to me before she died. There’s a will and a trust, but we’re not allowed to see any of it. My mother once told me that she didn’t trust my one stepsister, knowing that she would take control of her father and leave us out. Once he passes, I’m the co-executor of the trust, and I know there will be nothing left of my mother’s possessions. What can I do?

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  4. Robert Scarboro  March 28, 2021 at 7:03 pm Reply

    We had moved from Florida to Tennessee to be closer to my wife’s family. Moved across the street from one of my wife’s daughters and within ten miles of her other daughter and two grown grand-daughters and a grand-son. My idea, since we were both in our 70’s, we put the (across the street) daughter on our bank accounts, in case something happened to us and she needed to step-in to care for us Big—Big Mistake!). During Twenty-Three years of marriage, I loved these people and assisted them financially several times when needed. My wife convinced me that the love was mutual and they would care for me after she was gone.
    Two days after my wife’s passing the entire family (including visiting cousin’s from up North, who I didn’t even know) came over and started going thru my wife’s belongings. The cousins immediately took all of her leather motorcycle gear (jackets, vests, chap’s), which they couldn’t fit into if double the actual size. They were just interested in the easy re-sale value. They also never said “Sorry for your loss”, just appeared greedy. After the cousin’s left with their concealed treasure, the rest of the family went into action pulling drawers completely out of her dressers looking for her jewelry. My wife was the original “Material Girl” and had an extensive jewelry collection I bought her. I sat in the livingroom, in dis-belief, listening to them laughing as they ransacked thru her belongings. I over-heard one grand-daughter say she was afraid to ask me where the jewelry was kept. When I had had enough of it, I confronted the group and stated we are only going thru her clothes today which prompted an argument between me and the across the street daughter. One of the grand-daughters joined in the argument telling all kinds of lies about how I cared for my wife. I believe she thought she was telling the truth and I immediately knew who put those lies in her head (the across the street daughter) that she would believe. I looked at her mother and asked her to tell her the truth. Her mother, with a smile on her face, remained silent until the grand-daughter left the house crying. Two days later (without the mothers knowledge) she came over and apologized. I think she was prompted to do so by the father, who also knew the truth. This grand-daughter had just gotten engaged and a wedding date set. The step-daughter, as she was leaving, said she couldn’t do it right now but she would let me know when she could come over to go thru my kitchen, I didn’t respond and in the past two months I have not been visited or even received a phone call from the so-called “Family” members led by the step-daughter across the street. I did receive several calls and visits from the other step-daughter who actually loves me and considers me family. I owe her alot for caring and making me feel like my life still has value and meaning after the loss of the love of my life. The step-daughter across the street hates her own sister, often saying she was the bad one. It took the loss of my wife to open my eyes to who really is the bad one.

  5. Debby  March 14, 2021 at 12:15 pm Reply

    I’m not sure where to begin. I guess I’ll start when my mother passed away March 13, 2020. Due to covid there was never a celebration of life. Mom did not have much so she never had a will. I have a half brother and half sister, both older. I have a full sister who is younger. I have always not been included in their click. It used to hurt me when I was younger, but I got over it with age. A few years before our mom passed away my oldest sister was evicted from her apartment. My husband, son and I helped to move her things to storage. Then she had two suitcases and asked me to drive her to moms. When I dropped her, her dog and cat off at moms I asked her if she had spoken to mom about her staying at her place and bringing a cat and dog. My older brother already lived with mom. Her reply to my question was no, but they’ll soon find out. I was shocked. Mom came out of her house when she saw my car and when I got out to hug her she asked me what was going on. It wasn’t my place to tell her. My sister stayed there for two years. Once she moved in she made moms place her place. Mom had pictures of me and my kids on the fridge and some of my other siblings. One day I went over to visit and any picture of me was taken down. Replaced by pictures of my older sisters family, her son, granddaughter, my brother and younger sister. I addressed the issue two days after mom passed. My younger sister said “I’m leaving I’m not going there”, my brother replied it was a stupid question. They all left the room and I went home. It’s been a year yesterday since mom left us. She was by my everything. Many other ugly things have happened in the past year involving all of us. A month or so ago I went to the house which was never owned by mom, it was a rental and my brother and sister took over the rental. There are personal items that were given to my mother from my father (my half siblings hated my father). I have asked for those items because I remember the story behind them. There are only two things. A ring and a leopard clutch. My mom would let me borrow it and she used it at my wedding. I also want my photos and photos of my children and jewelry items I had given to my mother throughout the decades. I went to the house one day to politely ask for those things. My older sister said she wasn’t ready to give mom things away. Which is a total and complete lie. She has been given items of moms to other family members. The next day after my visit she told me she was giving the ring I wanted and another ring to the younger sister. I converted a vhs tape from 28 years ago onto a usb stick. The video contains our mother aunts uncles most of who are all gone. We are all in it and our very young children. In my heart I knew I had to make a copy of it for them so they could have those beautiful memories. I thought yesterday being the first anniversary of moms passing would be a good time for them to have it. My husband and I drove over to drop it off and there was a huge gathering of family there to remember mom. I was never included. As my niece walked by our car I handed her the usb stick and I said that I hope since everyone there was in the video that they could all watch it. That it would bring them all joy. Then I said I didn’t know there was something going on today. My niece said it wasn’t planned we just decided to come over. Then we drove off. I was devastated to not be included. When I got home I shared what had happened with my oldest daughter who lives in Denver. She said the gathering had been in the making for two weeks. I am paralyzed with heartache, hurt and a feeling of unworthiness. I still want those things of my mothers that mean something to me. I want to be able to hand them done as family heirlooms

    Shattered Heart

    PS I apologize for the length of this messag.

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  6. Debra Cruz  February 17, 2021 at 4:02 pm Reply

    My mom passed 3 years ago , Jan 27. I am an only child with one daughter . She had 7 siblings , 2 died before my mom . 3 of the remaining siblings and there kids changed the night she died . They decided my daughter and I were not entitled and didn’t deserve my moms annuity, possessions or the house we shared with her for over 20 years . For me , I feel the same way I did the night she died . They haven’t spoken to us since ignoring us at her funeral . My experience is not about a grieving family . She died at 11 pm, They showed up at our house at 8 am to start going through & taking /removing her things knowing I was in a sad state of mind, in shock & could only think of her . Turns our they made a fake will and added only three out of her 5 remaining siblings to it . She went over her will with me many times , they were not in it . My daughter and I were the only 2 named. They found her original will , replacing it with their version . I asked her sister about it , she lied to my face . They destroyed her will & stole from her , us and were mad when I cancelled the estate sale they wanted me to have , not even 2 weeks after losing her . They literally stole from us .
    My question is , how can a family be so cruel , heartless and steal from family like they did ??! Without any thought to us ?

    Mom died & suddenly 16 members of your immediate family betray you like mine did , seeing that not one mourned her or sat with us while at my
    house , why am I the asshole for being my moms daughter ? My cousins son, that was not around during all this , decided to email me & chew my ass out because of my treatment toward HIS FAMILY. There was no grief , only pure Greed and entitlement when I am her only child .
    The only good thing to come From moms death , was we no longer need , want , love , care for “the fake two faced lying thieves, we once considered “family ” .

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    • Isabelle Siegel  February 18, 2021 at 10:41 am Reply

      Debra, I’m so sorry for your loss and that you’ve been forced to navigate this unfortunate situation. I recommend you check out this article: https://whatsyourgrief.com/family-fighting-after-a-death/ I wish I could answer your question about how people can be so heartless. Sadly, I don’t think there’s a clear answer. I do know that you will find a way through this. You are not alone. All the best to you.

  7. C Garnham  July 3, 2020 at 6:46 pm Reply

    My mother made a promise to my sister (living overseas) 4 years ago that she could have a holiday home and my father was in agreement with that but this was before my Mum was diagnosed with MND. Mum was cared for by my sister who came back from Germany to take the role up of paid Government caregiver. My father has always said that the holiday home would be my sisters upon his death. Problem is that now is Mum is gone, my sister wants to live in NZ, bring her German husband over and live in the holiday home. she is insisting that my father put the house into her name as it was promised as a gift and due to Mum’s care she is now detrimentally disadvantaged which justifies her being given that home now. This house is worth a million dollars, its not being used by him, and tells my father he doesn’t need the money and there is alot of emotional blackmail going on because she wants that house. No time for anybody to grieve over loss of Mum as this screaming started 2 days beofre Mum passed away. Thoughts ? Is she entitled due to this “promise” ? She could at any time leave NZ return to Germany and pick up with her life there and German husband.

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  8. Kay  June 23, 2020 at 10:41 am Reply

    I can feel everyone’s pain who posted a comment! When my father died in 1977, my sister took everything from his home. I lived in another state. She took many family heirlooms, nothing of big value, but some things that had been our grandmother’s that were passed on to my dad. There was absolutely nothing left for my brother or myself. At one point I told her I felt my brother and I deserved equally as much as she did. Her comment “I’ve got them I’m keeping them” We didn’t speak for a few years and did finally get our relationship back. But I always felt she was wrong in taking everything. Now our elderly mother is moving in with my sister’s son, and practically gave him her house, for his son to live in. Mom is suppose to be getting around $15,000 cash and my sister’s son is paying her for the amount on the mortgage. Last night in talking with my sister she said “mom is putting MY name on her savings account, so when she dies whatever is in the account is mine” So again my sister is being greedy, other than a savings account my mom has nothing. I’m guessing my sister will take everything of value once my mom moves out of her house. I am so angry at my sister for being so greedy, it’s like our mom had an only child…my sister!! I forgave her evidently after she (I feel robbed my brother and I) but when she does it again, not sure I will be able to forgive her, again!

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    • Ann  November 20, 2020 at 7:28 am Reply

      My baby sister just recently passed away. She was widowed and had no children. She did not leave a will nor have life insurance. I am the middle sister (3 sisters) and when my sister passed she was found in her home by a nephew. My oldest sister and nephew had not been in my nor my little sister’s life since 2006 till just recently about 5 months ago they started speaking to us again. Back in 2006 our mother passed away and my oldest sister was upset with me and my little sister because our mother left her out of the will in 2006 because she did not help us take care of our mother who was in hospice and mother was seeing that she disregarded my mother’s condition and was hurt. Then during our mother’s final hours we contacted my oldest sister she would not answer the phone and we left a message to let her know that mother was slipping away and we continued to attend to our mother’s final hours. Then, mother passes away and our oldest sister finally made it to the the hospital a few minutes after mother passed she was upset with us because no one told her mother was ill. She knew our mother was in hospice care but I suppose didn’t want to believe mother was really critically ill. I still do not understand that till this day. So, she stopped speaking to us and returned to our lives a few months ago.
      But now, my youngest sister passed away and my oldest sister got upset because my little sister who just passed away did not put her name as emergency contact at the complex where she resided at and the day after my sister passed away the complex contacted me in regards to my baby sister passing away in her home. But, I knew she did pass away but as protocol the complex still had to reach out to me and inform me what transpired. Well, my oldest sister got really mad because my little sister did not change my name to her name as emergency contact where she resided at. My little sister
      lied to my oldest sister and told her she revised the emergency contact info at her complex and workplace but never did and left me as she wished on her paperwork. Well, my oldest sister got mad and refuses to speak to me and did not even want to accompany me to make arrangements for my little sisters services. I paid for my little sister’s services I never asked anyone for money to put my baby sister to rest. It did not matter to me that there my little sister did not have life insurance. What mattered in my heart and the right thing to do is to put her to rest even though I had to pay for her services it didn’t matter to me. I love my sister with all my heart and had to do what was best for her.
      Now, I have my nephew (my oldest sister’s 40 year old son) calling me on the phone and leaving messages that I am greedy and calling me foul names. The funeral home also contacted my oldest sister when I was making arrangements for my little sister and my oldest sister relinquished herself from any arrangements for services for my deceased sister. My nephew has also contacted the funeral home asking for information but the funeral home told him they could not give him any information. He wants her ashes. So, he got really mad and cursed at the funeral director. I was so embarrassed. I am not that type of person that conducts myself as my nephew and oldest sister. I was raised to respect and have the highest morals. Then after my sister passed away my nephew took her car that my little sister still owes. He then proceeded to go all over town trying to get her possessions and trying to get info on life insurance at her work because he said he was beneficiary. My little sister had no life insurance (it was confirmed via her workplace) and she had no will. But yet, my nephew and oldest sister are saying I am greedy. For one, I had to clear out her home and store and secure her belongings. Then while all this transpired I had a small heart attack due to the heartbreak of my baby sister passing away and all the stress my oldest sister and nephew are giving me. I can not grieve properly and now I feel they are harassing and slandering me. Any suggestions please…., I am devasted all around.

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  9. Anon  June 17, 2020 at 11:05 pm Reply

    My sister who done nothing on my mammys last few years but give her grief. Takes things without any thought or regard how it might effect me. She’s in her late 40s and im 29.mam died 6 years ago.
    Lately my uncle passed away and my dad took some of his belongings which is fine but guess who took them all without asking one else my sister. People do be afraid of some stranger breaking in and taking sentimental things but no not me it’s my sister

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  10. Joseph Thomas  May 10, 2020 at 7:14 am Reply

    You managed to leave out jealous siblings. Don’t you know that if 1 sibling harnessed human caoital from the parents ( e.g. like opera singing ) and the same sibling is the only college grad that the other two siblings want to take away all from the educated one —no matter what parents will or trust says ? My sister’s took my Mom’s debit card , became trustee , executor , and besides using up mom’s credit cards they sent grueling messages. They want the opera records. But they can’t sing. Mom can only seefrom 1 eye. She is 94. And she signed anything incuding a new trust in 2018.

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  11. Cynthia  March 27, 2020 at 11:38 pm Reply

    My husband did not want to tell his parents of his cancer and I respected his wishes. About 2 weeks before his death my brother in law brought his father to see us. I told them his wishes but they blamed me. When planning the funeral my father in law wanted to take control of arrangements. He did things that I was not aware of. The funeral was 2 hours away and my son and I talked to the funeral home with arrangements. My father in law was a Mason and against my will he had all of those people show up that I did not know, at visitation. They did not know me, nor I know them. My sister in law to this day since 2005 is against me.
    I was accused of having a expensive tool. I believe it was sold at a garage sale. My brother in law will not come to see me because his brother is now her, nor visit his grave in the town where the funeral took place. I have overcome all of this but it is occasionally brought to my attention.

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  12. Bella  January 12, 2020 at 6:59 pm Reply

    mom died less than 2 years ago. My older sister is after everything she can get. Dad is still alive. Mom got a new car before she died and my sister who was the executor went to a lawyer and had a family agreement done and emailed me saying “there’s one more document I need you to sign.” It was an agreement that we all agree she gets mom’s car. I refused to sign it. Next my dad called me and basically bullied me into coming home to sign the document. I was in shock listening to his voicemail. I froze, didn’t do anything, didn’t respond. Turns out, my dad went to the lawyer with my sister and he got the car, then gave it to her. He told me they went to a lawyer so I would not sue them and that he got the car, she didn’t. I learned later that he lied to me. I feel completely homeless and rejected. I will in time forgive, but will never get over it. I struggle with anger against dad and wanting to see him at the same time to make sure he is okay. I’ll never trust him again. I did go home for christmas to see him. Spent the entire Christmas Day cleaning a very dirty house for him. Before leaving, I went in mom’s bedroom. She had 3 pictures of me hanging on the wall. My sister had taken them down. What a horrible feeling. What relationship I had with her is completely destroyed and I’m trying to deal with some really bad feelings. I figure she is looking for me to be reactive. The ego always likes drama. So I’m just going to go back and get what pictures of me are hanging in the house. I just want to crawl in a hole. It’s tough stuff to deal with.

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  13. Mary  December 27, 2019 at 6:37 pm Reply

    Based in Scotland. My older sibling bought our parents their Council Home and one of our parents passed away 10 years ago leaving one of our parents alive and living alonenin the house. The brother never takes much interest in doing house repairs or updates and barely contacts but when he does he calls a zillion times a day to boast to our parent about his life yet doesnt ask how our parent is doing or if our parent needs any help in the home. The other 2 siblings and I live in our homes (3 siblings in england and 1 in Scotland ). The older sister has always been money greedy and anything she has previously been given by our mother (parent who passed away) she has sold or pawned and so our mother didnt want her to be given certain items. Now our father is alone the older sister is calling him and befriending him and drops into the talk about this item and that item and saying how its worth money. Our father often has said she will take things andni should take this or that before she does. The younger sister kisses the ass of the older one and follows as rhe old one says kind of. I am very much similar to our mother in personality and things are sentimental to me and I dont want this old sister to sell our parents everything for her financial gain. She is heartless. She ignored our mother the last year of her death and only apologised once our mother was dying. She hurt our mother a lot and on the same day we buried our mum she came to our family home and bagged up and threw out all our mothers things and said ‘its so dad doesnt have to see it or deal with it’. She bullied.our father and I said nothing because at the time Id just lost our mother and my best friend and confidant in this world. I felt heartbroken. This sister is heartless and the younger one isnt much better. The brother also he didnt come for his mother when she was unwell bor did he attend her funeral. He just I guess is waiting for his house which he paid for so he can sell it and get the money. I feel so sad my siblings suck and have became so heartless and money hungry. How can i help my dad for these coming years – can i do anything to get him to make a will ? Can I keep any of our parents things safe? I feel so stressed with worry that they will sell our parents belongings as well as the house. I am not looking for financial gain but i do want some.of our parents things to keep it close for me and my kids as they have such sentimental value and memories of grandparents and parent(s).

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  14. Joan  October 29, 2019 at 6:30 am Reply

    My mom and I have always had a difficult relationship. She was very neglectful to me as a child. I have much older siblings and a niece that was born when I was 6 who felt more like a sister. She was always my moms favorite and enjoyed rubbing in my face how perfect she was and how flawed I am. My dad kept mom in line during the later years he finally saw what was happening with his own eyes. But now he’s died and she is giving everything away but asks me last. She has also given my brother a big sum of money to dix his house but wouldn’t give my son the $1,000.00 my dad wanted him to have. She also gave my niece our family home at a way below market value. I’m so distraught over her snubs and hurt. She is also extremely mean to me. When she asked a family member if she wanted the family fine China before she asked me and that family member accepted it. That was the last straw. I’m done!

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  15. Krissy  September 8, 2019 at 3:19 pm Reply

    This makes me terribly sad. I was hoping to find a solution to help my family make it through this terrible time but all I fell now is hopeless. Does anyone have any positive outcomes?

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  16. Donald  June 18, 2019 at 4:43 am Reply

    My story is one of disbelief. A good friend of mine contacted me some two months ago informing me that his grilfriend of 7yrs was informed by doctors that she had two months to live. That she was dying. Sadden by the news he ask if I could move in with them because he needed help. I agreed only if I would pay rent and pay my own way during my stay. She pleeded with me to stay after her death and help my friend in dealing with her passing, to be there for him like the brothers we are. I agreed with some slight concerns about how things would play out after her passing. You see she paid cash for the townhouse one block off the beach in a very high in area. Financial holdings of over 300k, with a little under 10k a month income from verious scores. Coming from a family with money I have seen the greed if family members after death. I exspected the worst. The worst came in the form of a daughter that she has not communicated with for over 10yrs. Informed about her mothers death and the money she would be leaving behind she made a bee line for the beach. 1st vist which lasted a week her bank card came up missing when she and my friend went out drinking, without her for the first time during her vist making my friend believe he lost the card valued at 10k. Keep that figure in mind as I continue my story. This caused friction between my friend and his girl that continue to this day. When I came in from work he was angry because the daughter was not trying help in cancelling the card but being soooooo drunk at the time he was confused on what to do. I contacted a friend luckly were she banks gave him the information required (over hearing the daughter talking to her boyfriend about her coming home). The card was cancelled a new one issued and the daughter was not to happy about my involment. The following day the boyfriend shows up (13hr drive). After returning from work the following day I was informed by my friend that she was going to the bank the following day to take out hospital inkt to be drip off urchase a car for her daughter. Thankfully I thought, because she seemed to have lost her I. D. The bank would not allow her to take any money out. However, the daughter told her mother about a car she wanted to buy where she lived. The cost? You guessed it 10k. As my friend disagreed to the purchase she concided to his request. However, phone calls between the daughter and her resulted in her wanting to put my friend out asking him to leave. I intervined reasoning with her and relaxing the situation which was successful until the daughter returned the following week. When I came in from work I was informed that the daughter not the boyfriend is on her voint babk account, she is on the deed to the townhouse, and she gave her you guessed it 10k. During all this time her health was failing needing to go to the hospital, only to be dropped off at the hospital as they made there way out of town. She was hospitalized for several days and the daughter was to busy to come see her. My friend and are in consistant arugements, and the daughter is returning this weekend with one stipulation. That I stay in a hotel during there stay. My friend was convienced that he had nothing to worry about. She is dying very soon now and the daughter has come in a changed things for him in away that he might not recover. We are in our early 60s, the daughter 44. I got him, I do very well for myself she ask me to promise to be there for him and I will.

  17. Laurie Wrighting  April 9, 2019 at 7:56 pm Reply

    My dad died 13/11/2016.My mum was visiting her daughter my half sister in the USA. Dad had not told anyone he had cancer.
    Before his death My mum and dad lived apart even though still married. He would visit her as and when, this went on for years.
    My dad fell out with my brother that summer after horrendous tantrums while on a holiday in Spain that my dad paid for. My brother a very self centred man who lives on his own,had very strong opinions on how dad should do things, as in with his rental property etc.. He would say “I will be sorting everything out, be the man of the family if dad died.”I used to ignore his ranting,
    My dad organised for my boys and I to stay in a hotel in his town so we can spend more than a day visiting him as he had no where for us to stay (he lived in a flat rented his other property). He set the date for October half term. I think he was gonna tell me what was happening but he left it too late the cancer got him.
    The Wednesday we found out he was in hospital,
    In the hospital my brother took over even to the point saying I don’t need to talk to doctors about dad as he was laying on in intensive care. My dad hadn’t even died yet my brother had put his watch on picked up his keys and wallet. I was in such a state I really didn’t think til later. He then started ringing my mum, who is In shock scared, confused and grieveing in USA telling her, A day after dad had died, I should go back home to my family as he was dealing with it and I was acting like a looney and upsetting him. I had said” we need to do this together” as in register his death etc.. Later I find out him and my mum had had conversations while she’s in USA days after dad’s death that he will do everything. My mum hadn’t even got back to the UK he had bullied mum while she’s in no fit state. He didn’t wait til mum got back to UK he went straight to my dad’s flat and his rental propertys. Burnt paper work. Then they both say there was no Will. A week later travels over to my dad’s clears flat without a word. Selling stuff to his mates. I just wanted something that was dad’s.Mum seemed to think this was totally OK he was just sorting it for her.
    This is only the beginning 2years on. My mum and Brother have stuck together like glue (bearing in mind over the years I have always been there for mum and dad . She’d stay at mine for weeks and I’d visit dad and mum a 8 hour round trip with my kids. Go up to her if she needed anything take her to hospital appointments which obviously I never even thought about til Dad died . My brother always said he was to busy and couldn’t afford to take a day off. Now he has been like a leech for two years staying with her for up to a month at one stage selling her house without any of the family knowing.. I have been shut out of everything . I have told them, gently and aggressively how I feel… its like talking to a brick wall. My half sister has been shut out too as she stepped in when my brother was found out on different occasions what he had been doing.
    I haven’t been able to properly grieve for dad as the hatred and anger plus waves of true discussed consume me about my brothers and my mums treatment of me. My brother I have heard has helped mum write her Will. He has taken all that was to take for himself. My dad was a musician he had lots of instruments. My youngest son plays sax we /he wasn’t given any. My brother sold them and kept the best for himself.
    I believe grief can affect us all in different ways but this is beyond behaviour I ever thought acceptable. Grief is also an opportunity for hurting innocent people /family in his case. I have lost my dad but also my mum and brother.

  18. Jerry Bundy  September 29, 2018 at 12:44 pm Reply

    Wow this is Exactly what happen to My FAMILY,, foster brooks and Rodey McDowell .. Were bears and carred my grandmother’s coffin.. This is a matter i was lied to about my familys estate. The reality was it was my. Mothers . if you like you my read the LA Times in 1987 step daughter maryann hayden killed step father for financial gain eddie gay was his name. So my cousin got everything, because of what the estate said its a big lie he was coached .. Im still fighting this she won’t even give me a family anything of memories.. Hope this made sence.. But this is happening to me. There is much more to the story.

  19. Lerato  May 10, 2018 at 4:15 am Reply

    My Husband passed away on 08 June 2017 2 days before my birthday, ever since my Husband was hospitalized I was not able to see my Husband this kids have been give me hell ever since, they were never there for their father now all of a sudden they are fighting me for His earthly possession, they even went to the High Court to contest my marriage certificate as in South Africa when lobola is paid to the bride family it is considered as customarily marriage it is valid. I opposed their court order and im still waiting for they response. my Husband was on a plan to draw up the will and I know what He wishes were if those kids only knew especially the other one the father said he must not even attend His funeral because she was to rude to Him calling Him a drunkard but what she did she was the one who signed the notice of death at the hospital. But God will always fight for me and my Husband will take good care of as well. I always asked myself when are these kids finding time to grief & mourn because i’m griefing & mourning for my late Husband with respect 7 love as we loved each other very much. when I say kids I’m talking about age34( married),26,27 years old girls

  20. Lerato  May 10, 2018 at 4:15 am Reply

    My Husband passed away on 08 June 2017 2 days before my birthday, ever since my Husband was hospitalized I was not able to see my Husband this kids have been give me hell ever since, they were never there for their father now all of a sudden they are fighting me for His earthly possession, they even went to the High Court to contest my marriage certificate as in South Africa when lobola is paid to the bride family it is considered as customarily marriage it is valid. I opposed their court order and im still waiting for they response. my Husband was on a plan to draw up the will and I know what He wishes were if those kids only knew especially the other one the father said he must not even attend His funeral because she was to rude to Him calling Him a drunkard but what she did she was the one who signed the notice of death at the hospital. But God will always fight for me and my Husband will take good care of as well. I always asked myself when are these kids finding time to grief & mourn because i’m griefing & mourning for my late Husband with respect 7 love as we loved each other very much. when I say kids I’m talking about age34( married),26,27 years old girls

  21. Becky  March 16, 2018 at 3:55 pm Reply

    My mom passed away 4 months ago…she was my best friend and always made me feel better. I have 3 older siblings who have now decided that I should not be able to have any of my mom’s possessions because they believe I will hand down to my daughter (who is a recovering alcoholic and not to mention was probably closer to her grandma than anyone). My older siblings have all had their share of time not talking to my mom…3 months before she died of cancer one of my siblings even told her that our step mom was a better mother then she was. I was her constant…I never went more then 2 days without talking to her…called her everyday…. I don’t understand them when they say I don’t deserve anything of my mom’s….can someone help because I’m really falling apart here…

  22. Becky  March 16, 2018 at 3:55 pm Reply

    My mom passed away 4 months ago…she was my best friend and always made me feel better. I have 3 older siblings who have now decided that I should not be able to have any of my mom’s possessions because they believe I will hand down to my daughter (who is a recovering alcoholic and not to mention was probably closer to her grandma than anyone). My older siblings have all had their share of time not talking to my mom…3 months before she died of cancer one of my siblings even told her that our step mom was a better mother then she was. I was her constant…I never went more then 2 days without talking to her…called her everyday…. I don’t understand them when they say I don’t deserve anything of my mom’s….can someone help because I’m really falling apart here…

  23. sk  October 18, 2017 at 3:06 pm Reply

    on the 2nd of Aug this year i responded to a whatsapp message that my grandmother was having breathing diffulties.I had spoken to her around 7am where she indicated that she would let me know if the breathing became more difficult – but she was fine.That message came in at around 1215pm.That 20min drive seemed longer and when i got to my uncle’s place she was covered in a bed sheet – gone!She chose to sleep outside the house under a tree, and just died!
    I am so hurt and feel responsible for not taking her to the hosp in the morning- she was just 69, to me that wasn’t old.I hoped she could live longer and i could get time to do things for her and fetch her to visit my place that Friday.
    I am so hurt and can’t get over the loss.
    how do i get over such guilt and accept that she is gone?

    • sk  October 18, 2017 at 3:08 pm Reply

      My eldest uncle is already chicking the step grandkids that my granny stayed with for years.He says the house is his.There are two other kids that my granny had.I am upset but as a grankid not sure what my right in this is.I have my own properties and am married with my own kids.

  24. sk  October 18, 2017 at 3:06 pm Reply

    on the 2nd of Aug this year i responded to a whatsapp message that my grandmother was having breathing diffulties.I had spoken to her around 7am where she indicated that she would let me know if the breathing became more difficult – but she was fine.That message came in at around 1215pm.That 20min drive seemed longer and when i got to my uncle’s place she was covered in a bed sheet – gone!She chose to sleep outside the house under a tree, and just died!
    I am so hurt and feel responsible for not taking her to the hosp in the morning- she was just 69, to me that wasn’t old.I hoped she could live longer and i could get time to do things for her and fetch her to visit my place that Friday.
    I am so hurt and can’t get over the loss.
    how do i get over such guilt and accept that she is gone?

    • sk  October 18, 2017 at 3:08 pm Reply

      My eldest uncle is already chicking the step grandkids that my granny stayed with for years.He says the house is his.There are two other kids that my granny had.I am upset but as a grankid not sure what my right in this is.I have my own properties and am married with my own kids.

  25. Joy  August 15, 2017 at 5:23 pm Reply

    Great article. My husband passed away 7-16-16 and his Mom passed away 8-21-16 without a will. My husband’s family told us we , my son and I who at the time was 16 got nothing. There are 4 siblings left to divide her stuff. Me and my husband’s brother went to court against the 3 sisters. Still nothing has been done as I write this, still tied up in court. His family whom I have been a part of for 30 years does not talk to me or my son. They don’t know if we are alive or dead. I cannot stress enough how bad this has hurt my son and I. No amount of money can make up for the hurt. So yes it is sad that material things can tear a family apart. So basically when I buried my husband, I buried them too. Life is short and you take nothing with you. I cannot stress enough to please make a will. Get your affairs in order for your loved ones. Nothing has been worth what my son and I have been through. Them being there for my son and I would have meant more to us than any money or material possessions. Love one another and be kind.

    • Clare  September 17, 2017 at 3:16 pm Reply

      I am not sure what country you live in but I am fairly certain that in Britain if you were legally married, you would inherit everything from your husband if he left no will. His siblings claims would be irrelevant, and carry no weight in law. If you were not married however, the situation is completely different, no matter how long you have been together. You would not inherit anything if there was no will, but your son would be regarded as his heir, not his siblings. If he is under the age of majority, his inheritance would be put in trust for him.

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