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Topic : 04/07 Will Fights

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Created on : Thursday, November 08, 2007, 07:36:51 pm
Author : DrPhilBoard1
(Original Air Date: 11/13/07) Has an inheritance that seemed at first like a stroke of good fortune become a dividing force in your family? Meet four sisters bitterly fighting over their aunt’s inheritance. Virginia's original will divided her estate four ways: Pat, Linda and Barbara would each receive $10,000 and Carol, the youngest, would get the remainder of the trust -- approximately $400,000. But the inheritance was split six ways to include Linda’s two kids after Aunt Virginia went to live with Linda. Barbara says she can’t imagine why her aunt would change the trust unless Linda manipulated her. Does Barbara have a case against her sister, or is she just being the family troublemaker? Their mother, Fran, drops a bombshell about the real reason the will was changed. Then, Sondra says she and her husband, Patrick, fight constantly since they blew his $100,000 inheritance in less than a year. After purchasing five new cars, a new TV and furniture, they can’t afford to pay for their daughter’s college tuition. How can this couple end the battle over the buck? Share your thoughts, join the discussion.

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November 12, 2007, 1:17 pm CST


 Greed is the root of all evil. Greed can tear families and lives apart. These ladies need to act like adults instead of children.
November 12, 2007, 11:56 pm CST

will fights

I decided not to pursue the theft of my mother's will-there was not  a lot of money--I decided that the the theft of my well being was not worth the money.  My sister stole all my inheritance--except my memories--I hope she lives well with the "nothings" as she lives her life so alone.  I did not want this for her--but this is what she chose when she demanded my elderly mother change her will--when she demanded that I leave my residence to come and "care for"--when she said "why didn't you just let her die".  Seems she had to take someone else--she was a lousy Mother--a worse wife--and all an all around horrid person.  I do forgive her--but have done what one has to do--she is away from me--isnt ever welcome in my home.  I know that liars and thieves (money I sent for my Mother--she used for electric bills, gas bills, etc) and she was a thief--she used the $ for HER ele bills, for HER gas bill, for HER telephone bill. I do not understand her Narcissism--or why she is the way she is--but I do know--she is more alone at 70 than anyone I have never known.  I know she is depressed--but i think--she is depressing. She also stated that I was "too connected" to my daughter--"why are you concerned--I never care to know my Grandkids?"
November 13, 2007, 4:58 am CST

fighting over the will

Quote From: lynlovel

 first, let me say that i'm so sorry for what you and your brother and sister had to face as children. thank goodness, your grandfather was wise enough to express his appreciation of his grandkids and that you became a more caring, sensitive person, as a result of all that, instead of a bitter one, as some people would have.

it is so sad when family members turn agains each other because of money and things. but the reality is that often they do. even people who have no intention of doing so may find themselves in the middle of such battles because of the behavior of others. so yes, i agree, it is important to get things settled before parents die. in fact, the parents really need to make out clear wills that state how they want their money and property to be divided, and in some cases, why they made these decisions. (giving reasons can make it harder for dissatisfied heirs to hold up a will in court.)

i also thin it's sad --and maybe a little pathetic -- when some family members act as if they have as much or more right to a brother or sister's money/property than his/her own children do. this may be due as much to ignorance as to greed. in most states, as far as i know, spouses, kids, even parents come before siblings as far as inheritance "rights," unless, perhaps, it is statd otherwise in the person's will. brothers and sisters are NOT "next of kin" if these other types of relatives are living.

of course, it's not clear whether the grandparents above left their house, etc to the daughter who lived there or what -- more proof that people need to deal with these issues before they die. you cannnot leave it up to ur offspring and hope they will figure it all out fairly, especially not when they are already fighting and pointing fingers.

I was so glad to see this post.   It helps to know that I am not the only one going through this.  My situation is this:

The lady that helped to raise me passed away in Feb.  She had a Power Of Attorney. Which was a very good thing.  She use to have my husband as POA but she said that she knew he could not handle her oldest daughter when the time came.  I have to give it to her, as she was correct.  He oldest daughter treated her terribly.  "J" would go to the nursing home to visit her sister and would not go down the hall to visit with her own mother.  She even referred to her by her first name instead of "MOM".  She voiced to me that she hoped that her mother died a long, slow, painful death!!  It hurt me so badly.  Now since my "Meemaw" has passed away, "J" wanted all of the family photo albums, which Meemaw told me not to let her have,,,,but nothing was put in I had no choice!  "J" had no idea what was in the house, as she had only been there about twice in the 30 years that my Meemaw lived there.  Now "J" has come up with all sorts of "things" that she wants.  Says she left nic nacs back in 1967 etc.  Meemaw has moved 3 times into different houses since then.  "J" says there if "furniture" missing.  (She keeps calling me...I ended getting caller ID)  


 My Meemaw was not a rich lady and she scrimped and tried to take care of herself, her other daughter, and "J"s  son that she walked out on when he was only 3.  So, Meemaw didn't have much furniture or anything of value. 


One day in the nursing home Meemaw  told me that she knew she had all those children, but she felt like "I" was the only one to stand by her.  That really hurt me for her.  As I knew she wanted things to be different and she just wanted their "love'. 


They came to the house at the end of the Probate and took out garbage bags of their sisters' stuffed animals etc.   The things that I thought they would "want", they didn't take.  I cannot figure out these older children.....ages 65, 64, 57, 56!! 

I had so much more than they will ever have now....I had time quality with Meemaw and I had her love.  She was such a good Chrisitan woman!!!!!


Sorry, I didn't mean to babble.....but it goes on and on!!!!


November 13, 2007, 6:53 am CST

Good Advice

Dr. Phil,

I LOVE your advice about taking the high ground and having to make a "choice".  I think people believe to much in riding on their emotions.  And it is a fine line between "enabling" people and allowing yourself to forgive and forget.  But, for ourselves to grow, we need to be able to choose to move past those things.  Holding grudges only hurts ourselves.

November 13, 2007, 7:23 am CST

Shame on you all

This makes me so sad... we lost both my Aunt and Uncle this summer....that they were old and had lived a wonderful life made the loss a wee bit easier...when it came to dividing their things we all had a lot of laughs over who HAD to take the many souvenirs, we shared memories of good times together, encouraged each other to have things that held some special memory, and donated truckloads of clothes and bedding to a local charity.

 The cash portion of their estates is of little concern to any of us. I assume it is to go to my parents and my Aunt, but who knows really and who cares.  I have teacups for my kids, dishes, pictures and the best thing ever, a picture of the old homestead all matted and framed. Oh and I also got Aunties old wedding dress as well as a pile of assorted spoons, bowls, cups etc. We were tripping over each other offering jewelery to each other insisting that you should get this, no you've admired this for years, well OK but why don't you take this then... you get the picture.

 I can't imagine adding fighting over THINGS to the grief we felt and still feel over loosing two wonderful family members. 

Shame on you all. 

 Remember you can't take it with you, perhaps you all need to read "Tuesday's With Morrie" and get a more realistic grip on what really matters, I'll give you a hint... it's priceless and can't be bought with any amount of $$$$.


November 13, 2007, 7:32 am CST

Power of Attornery

When my mother died 4 years ago our lawyer made my brother so power of attornery in our family which

means he has so custudy of the house(my mother) and to be my guardian. Why doesn't this family get

power of attornery and stop the fighting because I know I stole money from my family and hurt my family and I think somebody is stealing money too and that what has started this mess.I wish you put yourself

in my shoes and stop this fighting my family and I have been at odds since I stole money from them4 years ago and i regret what i did and the same thing could happen to you all if you don't get along and get the what the will says if you don't get nothing accept it walk away, but if you something use it wisely not


November 13, 2007, 7:38 am CST


My husband's only sister that he was very close to quit talking to us after their dad died. The reason was their dad cut her out of the will and my husband with their brother was co-executors.She thought they could give her money. On his funeral day she told everyone that from that day on she had no family. Now if we see her she has such a unbecoming look on her face and will ignore you as family. Dad died in 2002.

There was a man in our small town that went through a nasty divorce. He told my husband that famlies will forgive unless money is invovled. Then it will not be forgiven.


How sad that so many families miss the togetherness and love while bickering over money.

November 13, 2007, 8:07 am CST



     I'm sorry!  I had to turn this one off.  This is unbelievable.  I don't understand how anyone can fight over money left to them as an inheritance.  It is supposed to be a gift and since they've already passed by the time most people know about the details of the will, it is not for them to know why that person chose to divide the gift as they did.  Dr Phil got right to the point when he said not one of these ladies has mentioned that they'd rather have the aunt back or that they miss her.  It should be about the relationship, not the money.       

November 13, 2007, 8:19 am CST

RE:Patrick and Sondra

    My heart goes out to Patrick and Sondra,I know exactuly how  Patrick feels,I found myself in a simular situation a few years ago,and it still hurts.I have decided to take Dr.Phil's advice and move on.I hope Dr.Phil checks back up with them in the future,I  would love to know how things turn out for them,so maybe it could help people like me also.     
November 13, 2007, 8:25 am CST


its sad that these women are fighting over the money their aunt left them. they should be supporting each other at this time they lost someone they loved and instead of embracing each other they are fighting about money. I'm embarrassed for them.
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