The reading of my Uncle’s Will (Long Family rant)

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by swordfishME, May 5, 2009.

  1. swordfishME

    swordfishME Member

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    As some of you know, I had an otherwise healthy uncle drop dead of a heart attack on Thursday. Well yesterday afternoon was the reading of his last will and testament.

    Some quick background: The deceased was thrice-divorced who fathered two children that did not make it to their first birthday. So he left three surviving siblings (two pre-deceased him) and 12 nephews and nieces. My cousins have 19 children between them so far…. All of the family is biologically related except me (adopted at 40 days old). I was begrudgingly accepted by all apparently until the birth of my brother when I was three. At that point no one in the family, except my parents, had any use for me. My uncle (the deceased) and one aunt were the exceptions. Infact my uncle used to go out of his way to make sure that everyone knew that I was his “favorite”.

    So, Uncle is dead and the vultures have gathered to hear about the disposal of his significant assets. The will, which was updated in January 2009, is read. The bulk of the estate is to be equally distributed amongst his 12 nephews and nieces. All is fine to this point. Next comes the distribution of personal mementos/family heirlooms that were in his possession. Everyone got something EXCEPT FOR ME. No explanation provided, I just was not on the list. Of course some members of the family are upset that he left me anything at all (my grandparents left trust funds for all their grandchildren-except me).

    At this point I am sitting there in utter shock, here I thought that he was one of the very few people in the extended family who accepted me and considered me one of their own. I seriously feel like I have been knifed in the heart. I just don’t know what to do and how to react. I have to pretend that I do not care for my dad’s sake (he has a list of medical problems a mile long and I do not want to burden him), and although he loves me very much, my brother understands where the family is “coming from”. Living on the other side of the planet for the last few years, I thought I had finally moved on from wanting the family’s acceptance but I guess I was wrong.

    This is a very long post but I just wanted to vent. Thanks for listening
     
  2. novice_btm

    Staff Member Moderator Gold Member

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    It's better that you got it out.

    Other than that, it sounds like your "family", or at least their relationship with you, and you with them, is a bit awkward, and it could be a lucky thing that you're halfway around the planet. It also sounds like your Uncle really did care for you. If you're half a globe away, and the will change was that recent, maybe someone just convinced him that personal effects wouldn't be appropriate, or a bother to dispatch. He did still include you monetarily, at least that's otherwise my assumption of "estate", so he obviously does include you as an equal in that way. If you really live that far away, maybe he was in some way hurt by that, especially if you were his favourite. For example, my mother labels anyone that's moved more than 6 miles away from their place of birth, and their family, as "crazy". I know it sounds trite, but he gave you the gift of lifelong kindness, which is a much more important thing to have and remember, than whether or not he left you, say, a watch.

    In any case, I'm sorry to hear about your loss, and I'm sure this situation just magnifies those feelings.
     
  3. joeweekend

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    If your "family" were actually "family", they'd willingly include you in the distribution.

    They can do that, despite the instructions of the will, if they all agree.

    My condolences.
     
  4. jason_els

    jason_els <img border="0" src="/images/badges/gold_member.gi

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    I'm glad I didn't run into that with my family. When my grandfather passed he left no instructions about his personal effects beyond that he left everything to my grandmother which everyone believed was appropriate given her ill health. We just went around and people decided what they wanted or not and there weren't any conflicts. We all agreed that his monogrammed things should go to my cousin as he's my grandfather's namesake and then we each took a few things (I took his favorite tie clip) to keep as mementos. I'm just happy to have a few things of his I can remember him with.

    To be excluded like that must be very painful. I'm so sorry for all that and hope maybe down the road someone will think to share with you if you still feel the same way about him.
     
  5. HellsKitchenmanNYC

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    Perhaps since you wee your uncles' favorite he thot maybe you didn't need anything that much. After all those relatives he prob knew they'd all come out like vultures and maybe you wouldn't.
    Be glad you don't have my relatives. My dad and his dad were millionaires. He told my mom (they were divorced) that he was going to 'make up alot' to me and my sis in his will. As he lay dying my cousins ransacked his house and stole EVRYTHING, ran up his credit cards. 2 of them wee arrested and put on house arrest for 2 years. After my two aunts somehow got all his money and what was left they all started dying mysteriously and home alone one after the other. I got a fake ring that my dad NEVER would have worn.
    In the long run be glad you're a better person than your relatives, hug yourself and onward and upward! :D
     
  6. DiscoBoy

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    I don't think there is any doubt that your uncle loved you. Making it well-known that you were his favourite was obviously a bold move on his part, considering the rest of your family hardly even accepted you. Not only that, he still left something in his will for you, whereas your grandparents didn't even leave you a trust fund (there's a larger expectation for grandparents to leave something for grandchildren than there is for uncles/aunts to leave for nephews/nieces). So I don't think you can really question whether he loved and accepted you or not.

    Regarding not being left any personal memontos/heirlooms, he perhaps thought it was for the best. Personal memontos/heirlooms hold a lot more significance and sentimental value than other parts of the estate. Your extended family was already outraged at the fact that you were even left anything in the first place, can you imagine if you were left something of 'value'? Either they would demand that you 'return' it to them and cause a whole commotion over the entire thing (thus providing you with a lot of stress) or simply excommunicate you for seemingly 'stealing' from the family. Lots of families become ruined over wills, and your uncle possibly saved you from being anymore excluded than you already are. Essentially, he gave you something through giving you nothing.

    Anyways, that's just my take on it but hopefully it holds some truth. My condolences to you and I hope everything works out for you in the future.
     
  7. B_Nick8

    B_Nick8 New Member

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    My grandmother asked each of her three children, separately, to tell her which of her many valuable antiques they'd most like and which color was their favorite. Then, telling them there was no guarantee they'd get what they asked for, she told them that there would be a colored sticker on the back of each piece when she died which would indicate to whom each would go in her will. Any piece not requested and stickered was free to be divided among them as they saw fit but she was insistent that they never fight over what, to her, were "just things".

    Although the situation with your family must hurt, please try to see those 'valuables' as "just things". For the most part, your uncle included you as an equal member of his family to the end (and your family's anger at that ought to be sweet irony) and he proudly and openly proclaimed you his favorite. Remember his love as his legacy.
     
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