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Thread: Siblings now estranged, estate issues were last straw and maybe for me

  1. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by Teacher Terry View Post
    I can’t imagine parents trying to get adult children to remain dependent. It’s so unhealthy. Glad you escaped Sag.
    Thanks, the longer I live and see the effects of the enmeshment that developed between my parents and sisters as a result of being kept close, the more I am glad I left when I did. It was not easy to withstand the guilt trips and emotional manipulation, and my normally level-headed, sweet mother became quite dominant. It was jarring to see a bullying side of her personality. I remember feeling that something was very off with all this, though I wouldn't put a name to it for many years. It was hard to talk about at the time because too many people saw a loving, close family, how there be anything wrong? I remember one person in whom I confided at the time tell me "your parents are only looking out for you" and could not fathom it when I said "no, there's a problem here". Years later after YS bore the brunt of the same behaviors when she left home, this time from my parents and MS, was I able to talk about my experiences with her and even extended family have now come forward in recent years describing controlling behavior towards us from my parents that bothered them, some of it dating to our childhood.

    Quote Originally Posted by Simplemind View Post
    My sister and brother had always stayed in the folks pockets with loans and goodies as long as they didn't buck the system. I never borrowed a dime and was never in debt. As trustee I wanted to ask a couple of questions and dear sweet mother said in front of the attorney that it was none of my G*d d*mned business and that she preferred to remain an enigma. Imagine my confusion after they had both passed having both the attorney and the financial advisor say to me that my folks praised me all the time as their kid who had made something of herself and was the best with money and the only one capable of taking over the trust. Who the hell were these people???
    MS and YS were afraid to buck the system, long after they left home, I couldn't understand why both of them seemed so fearful of "making Mom and Dad mad". I had done it and survived, albeit with the underlying Bad Daughter label, but parents did not cut me off nor did I cut off them. I think there was some limited financial help given to YS while she was at home and parents babysat MS' two kids for years so MS didn't have pay as much for daycare. But getting the limited support doesn't explain the serious fear expressed over simply establishing normal boundaries, and I wonder just what happened in the years after I left home to make them that way.

    It's interesting that while MS subjected me to rants about "how I was not involved" and repeats my mother's refrain over "how I didn't call, visit, or do enough", when talking to YS (back when they were talking) she would mention about how I was helping, how hard I worked when we were organizing / cleaning, that I was a big help to her. I was like is this the same person we are talking about here? Even my parents praised me as the accomplished kid (honor student, went to a more prestigious private college, etc.) to anyone who would listen in spite of the private bad daughter label. I was the good kid who never gave them trouble and accomplished all they wanted, yet once I made a bid for independence, I might as well been a juvenile delinquent doing all the wrong things. I was very hurt and frankly, offended, to be suddenly be cast as a "bad kid". I never thought that making normal adult choices would do this and while I maintained a relationship with my folks, I never thought of them in the same way as I did before.

    Quote Originally Posted by Simplemind View Post
    The parents were gone, we could all breath our own air and they knew I took the heat all those years and did all the work at the end to their benefit. We now all get along without our mom steering our relationships. We have become very close since their passing and get together often. We love being able to laugh and talk openly about our odd upbringing. Believe me, there is a book in all that.
    @Simplemind, I am glad you have been able to forge a closer relationship with your siblings. I think your description of being able to breathe your own air is very apt. I think that is what is happening with both sisters here now that they don't have our parents to define their relationship. YS is finally able to breathe her own air, and while that has meant causing issues with MS with the letter, I think any attempt to stand up for herself would cause problems between them no matter what she did. MS was always able to push YS around. However I think MS is having some problems trying to breathe her own air, because she was so vested in being the good daughter who did everything Mom and Dad wanted for so long, so she doesn't know what to do without that defining role. I think she is downright scared and so prolonging the estate might be part of that fear.
    Last edited by saguaro; 4-22-19 at 1:11pm.

  2. #42
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    Bumping for short update. Went to parents' home for first time in nearly a year, to help clean and to assess the state of the house. As usual it was to me to follow up because MS still wants to play "you call me, I won't call you" game in spite of assuring me weeks ago she would be in touch. But I am putting that aside and am putting pressure on her.

    Things have been cleaned out considerably plus items are being organized for an estate sale. Cabinets, drawers, closets have been cleaned out plus most of the heavy furniture in the attic has been moved out unto the main floor in prep for estate sale. Basement was a total mess before but some areas have been cleaned out, Dad's old work area still has a lot of stuff still there but all in all it's a LOT better than it was before. Day was spent cleaning, tossing and taking items to Goodwill. I took some things home to go over and toss if I didn't need them. Endured many rants about YS from MS which I expected, but also BIL was there so he chipped in with a few rants of his own.

    MS still has not contacted estate sale company or realtor. But MS has given up on doing all the fixes that she wanted to do just because she wanted to do them out of emotional reasons unbeknownst to me. Interesting that after a year, she didn't get around to them. Now, it's whatever fixes that would be deemed necessary after an appraisal, which incidentally is what I told her a year ago were the only fixes I would be OK with. She also said she might sell the house as is, something that she absolutely would not entertain before. I am also OK with that, whatever to get this done. She is also not insisting on touching every single thing anymore, so if we find a box of books and it's clear that is all that is in there, it's "leave it for estate sale" or "take to Goodwill". So some progress. I was in contact with YS saying that work had been done and I was satisfied with what I saw. So we will see.

    I got the feeling she's under a lot more pressure from the attorney than she lets on. MS is mad that attorney was "more concerned about YS than about me" since he has taken some control over communications with YS regarding items sent and YS' expectations. Well, of course, he was concerned, I am sure he had a lot of questions in his head when he got YS' letter. MS still doesn't get it but she's getting it enough to bust a move. As long as that continues that's all I care about.

  3. #43
    Senior Member Teacher Terry's Avatar
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    That’s excellent news. Much better than having to take legal action.

  4. #44
    Senior Member Simplemind's Avatar
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    Progress!!!

  5. #45
    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
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    ThisSounds like important progress if still slow.

  6. #46
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    My brother and I were in a similar predicament. I’m the ys in our scenario. She kept it out of probate which was a mistake, probate would have made her accountable! No lawyer.

    She did sell the house and divvy up that, but there were things she wanted and she dragged her heels on that. I finally got sothebys to make an appt with her for an appraisal of the piece she wanted and they auctioned the other which she said a 2nd appraiser had said was fake. Hm. 18k worth of fake. Right.


    But still the estate wasn’t closed, for 10 years. I got tired of it, found 2 lawyers one in my state, one in hers, and where dad had lived. Suddenly, she paid us off and closed things.

    This and other reasons are why we don’t talk. I don’t miss her. I miss the idea of having a sister, but I never had that. Helpful when it could make her feel like lady bountiful or denigriating when she reminded me, again, how superior she was. I know people who have sisters who’re their best friends.

    The whole reason I told that was so I could tell you that honestly? I don’t miss her and it’s really okay that we don’t talk.

  7. #47
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    Thanks everyone, it is progress even as MS gripes her way through it. I will assist just to get it done but I am seriously evaluating how I will proceed in my relationship with MS after this is over, if I can get that far. Not sure if I am willing either. YS is so relieved even as MS has predictably gone scorched earth on her (smear campaign) so even my nephews are now not talking to her in spite of MS saying that "I won't get in the way of my kids having a relationship with her". I can't tell her what to do and I get she's angry but I did tell her one thing: that this is showing me just how far you will go when you are mad enough, no matter how justified you feel, and how do I know that you won't do that to me at one point. She doesn't see that she's choosing her response.

    Quote Originally Posted by NewGig View Post
    My brother and I were in a similar predicament. I’m the ys in our scenario. She kept it out of probate which was a mistake, probate would have made her accountable! No lawyer.
    Hi NewGig and welcome. I know that my situation is not unusual but it's sad and unnecessary all the same. I honestly think that if this estate had gone through probate, this would have made MS accountable as she went through the process. I watched my MIL go through the probate process as executor of her parents' estates (only child so no sibling conflicts) and she was held accountable. She had a lawyer. She did nothing wrong but did face some questions by the judge after reviewing her accounting while she was closing it out.

    MS will have to provide an accounting when closing it out. YS and I will be reviewing very carefully on what she provides. That will be another sticking point, but would happen after the house sale is done.

  8. #48
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    I am glad you are finally getting some relief and progress. So many times I hear horror stories that I think I will just assign any estate I have left when I go to an attorney to clear up and just hand our checks all around. So much simpler.

  9. #49
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    Bumping for the update I hoped to never do:

    Things stalled again. While the house is getting very slowly emptied out, because MS is getting stuck on tiny details, this means the A) he house is still not listed and B) MS made a comment that she might not list until spring. This will be the 3rd winter that house will sit unoccupied. MS has not responded to my requests for information. It has come to my attention in recent weeks that MS has this crazy idea that our husbands (YS and mine) do not deserve to benefit from our parents' estate. I know she has issues with BIL (YS husband) but she never has any conflict with DH and DH has always, always, been nice to her even in spite of some pretty awful behavior from her. I had a hunch about this before but YS confirmed to me on a visit to a few weeks ago that MS actually told her this. So crazy.

    So YS and I have hired an attorney to represent our interests. My efforts over the last months to get MS to move, emphasizing on getting what she calls "the monkey on her back" to finally cast it off even for her own well being, has not been enough. So unfortunately it's time to do something different because the same is not. It's obvious MS does not care about our interests in our own parents' estate, a legal document nor her own lawyer is not enough to get her to execute her duty, nor does she listen to us so it looks like attorney involvement is what it is going to take.

  10. #50
    Senior Member razz's Avatar
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    Sorry to hear this is needed. Hope that it is all resolved soon. A house deteriorates when no one is living there so that is a large consideration determining that action by you is required.

    MS has to follow the direction of the estate requirements of the will, not her personal choices. It has gone on long enough and you have been patient long enough. Perhaps, MS is simply not capable of being the executor. Sad to see this happening.
    Gandhi: Happiness is when what you think, what you say and what you do are in harmony .

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