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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 13, 2007, 1:22 pm CST

11/13 Will Fights

I just finished watching the show and I have a few things on my mind!! I'm a 22 year old Mom of 2 and I have just lost my common-law husband of 6 1/2 years!! We are having problems with legal stuff. And THE LAST THING ON MY MIND IS MONEY!!! I have a 4year old daughter who is having a hard time with the fact the she won't see her dad again and my son just truned 3 and his dad missed his b-day. It's all fresh with us as it has only been 2 mths and I have had my run in with people asking about money and I think that death is traggic and it brings out the worst in people!! You find out that there is so many people that are wanting money and the only true thing that we (my kids and I) want is to have Shawn walk through the door and give us one last hug!!! I have a real HATE on for people who fight about money when someone's life has ended and I'm young but I hope that people like the 4 sisters grow up and figure out the life is short as shawn was 27 and you should hold your loved ones close cause it take 1 min and you could loss it all!!


 Hoping to find Peace

a family in sorrow

November 13, 2007, 1:22 pm CST

Who really pays...

I dont think people stop to think about who really pays the price for the petty fights over money. I am married to my STEP-cousin, his mom is my step dads sister. When their parents passed away the fights began. I was made to testify against my own parents. To this day you cant mention the others name with out horrible comments. My children are the ones paying the price for this greed. I dont care who was right and who was wrong, IT IS MONEY!!! It has cost my children my husband and myself more then they will ever know. We are forced to choose all the time and I am so tired of people that put money before living, breathing, family members. Shame on all that choose money over love.   
November 13, 2007, 1:25 pm CST

How About This Twist?

My great Aunt wrote her will back in the 1960's.  In it she indicated the largest sum of money be left to my Mom.  At the time the amount she designated was probably 50 - 75% of the value of her assets.  Only a guess, as none of us were nosey enough to ask.  She and my mother were extremely close. 


Over the years my Aunt's estate multiplied to huge numbers due to stock she owned splitting and splitting again and again.  On occasion my Aunt would say to my Mother that she needed to go have her will changed, as some people that were on the will had passed away.  However, the bank employee who was her paid bill payer and executor told her everything was OK and so my Aunt never conferred with anyone as to the state of her affairs.


My Mother did not live locally, however the Bank employee and the residual heirs of my Aunt's will did live locally, a very small town.


To make a long story shorter, my Aunt died at the age of 97 and a good 20+ years after her will had been written, and when the will was read my Mother received the $19K dollars left to her (written back in the 60's) and the 3 residual heirs that lived locally inherited the balance of a $600K, or more, estate. 


To add further insult, over the years my Aunt had kept a written list of possesions she had that she wanted passed to various people.  This document was written in her own handwriting but never notarized.  Mainly the document listed furniture that had been my grandmother's (my mother grew up with this furniture) and she wanted to pass it back to my Mother and us kids.  The residual heirs would not honor this document and told us if we wanted the furniture so bad that we could come to the auction to bid on it.  They didn't even want the furniture, they had no interest in it, they had inherited this huge sum of money and still wanted the couple of thousand dollars that the furniture brought in at the auction.  This was furniture that my Mother grew up with!!


I was shocked at the heirs behavior, I couldn't believe a Bank employee could be so unethical, but the lesson learned is to ask before the person dies!  I don't care how crass it sounds, find out how the estate will be divided before the person dies.

November 13, 2007, 1:31 pm CST

one more thing

Dr. Phil, you should tell all these people to read Tuesdays With Morrie...... They all need a real life lesson.
November 13, 2007, 1:37 pm CST

will fights

You gave great advice on today's show.  My siblings and I aren't fighting over mom's will, we have a different problem. Mom is in a nursing home, her house is a Life Estate. That means she could live in it until she dies, but when she does pass, the house is automatically the property of myself and my 4 siblings. The house was deeded to us many years ago when mom was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease. With mom in a nursing home, we need to rent out the house so we can pay taxes, insurance and utilities. However, any rent profit has to be given to the nursing home, per Medicaid law. Here's the problem, my 2 brothers refuse to believe that such a law exists, even after hearing it from an elder law attorney/expert. This situation, along with the Power Of Attorney, me, being accused of stealing mom's money, (absolutely not true with nothing to substantiate accusations) has torn this family apart. At this point, I do not want anything to do with my brothers. It was agreed a couple of months ago that I move into mom's house so I can save money to stay in college. That won't happen now due to the excessive amount of rent the boys want to charge me. Remember, I own 1/5 of this house. It's very sad that we have come to this, I hope we can recover some day and be friends again.
November 13, 2007, 1:41 pm CST

The real issue isn't money

The issue between the four sisters regarding the aunt's will might be the money at this moment, but obviously historically the problem is that they can't get along and haven't maybe their whole lives.  I am curious as to who the witnesses were to the aunt's last will.  Linda says her aunt went to the attorney on her own.  If Linda or another family member was a witness, it might change the story.  I found Linda to be irritating.  I think her attitude tells a lot about what the relationships might have been before the money.  I also thought it was interesting to listen to Mom:  Mom added fuel to the fire when she defended one daughter.  Again, the issue isn't money.  They just don't really seem to like each other - thankfully they live in four different states.  And what are Mom's plans?  I wonder after all this what her Will states as far as division to the four daughters?  I suggest she look into a local charity.........that could be another really interesting show!
November 13, 2007, 1:50 pm CST

11/13 Will Fights

Quote From: susanashe

 how sad that people blow the money in less than a year that took a lifetime for their parents or loved ones to earn - too bad the parents saved and scrimped only to be able to leave it to ungrateful people
 The father left his son a cabin with an outstanding mortgage. And, nothing but the cabin, it seems. No savings, apparently. Suggesting that the father lived from one check to another. And, because the son couldn't find anyone to finance the cabin because of his poor credit rating, he sold the cabin for $100,000. Which he then blew on cars. Sounds like he inherited, not only the cabin, but poor money management, from his father.
November 13, 2007, 2:06 pm CST

Will Fights

This family of 4 sisters on todays show, has nothing on my family!  To keep from going into much detail, I had 2 Aunts, unmarried, that lived together.  Will  said:  first one to pass away, her $$ went to the other sister.  The remaining sister was to first use her own $$, and what was left at her death, was to be divided equally among the nieces/nephews.  Last Aunt passed away, and we THEN found out that a 3rd Aunt(by marriage) had gotten the Aunt to change her will, used up all the first aunts $$ so there would none to divide, and what was left of the 2nd Aunt's $$ was give to "certain" family members(including this 3rd Aunt, of course).  The rest of us nieces/nephews got NOTHING.  Go figure!  It was no use for us to fight the will.  Would lose what little $$ we have of our own.  Meanwhile, we continue to invite this 3rd Aunt, and the other cousins who DID get in on the will, to our Christmas gathering.  She made a choice to hurt us, and to take the $$ that would rightfully been ours...............we made the choice to go on with our lives.  Hurt?  You bet!  She will have to deal with it some day in Judgement.

November 13, 2007, 2:11 pm CST

Money doesn't equal love

I am the oldest and the executor to my Mother's will and have 4 sisters. My family has been in an uproar since Mom died because she left 2 sister a substantially smaller inheritance due to the strained relationships she had with them during her life. Mom had been very sick with cancer and died 6 months after her diagnosis. I had been there daily for her and my 2 estranged sisters actually made up with her in the end. Which I thought was great.   


A month later I was asked to a "sister's meeting" where I was asked to "rip up" Mom's will and do as we please. I had never seen her will but when I read it I just knew I couldn't destroy it.  She had made educational provisions for her grandchildren in it.  She had been a huge advocate for women and higher education throughout her life and this was something I could see her doing. My sisters said that we should just slit it 5 ways and be done with it. I feel this was very disrepectful and felt like they were undermining me. I decided to probate the will and have be crucified ever since. I had said after probate we could give back monies to the two sisters but after all this I don't know what I will do. I have said all along that money doesn't equal love but these girls seem to think that since we are not all equal then Mom loved some more than others.  

November 13, 2007, 2:41 pm CST

will fights

 This story is so sad.. in the end family is all thats left. 

 i have wished all my life that i had a sister.. its just wrong to see these ladies missing out !

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