MIL Passed Away Last Night - Not M or P but Here Anyway

Last night around midnight Tennessee time my mother-in-law passed away. It was not unexpected, as she had been in declining health for a few years and had recently taken a turn for the worse. Still, as always, death is somewhat shocking.

With at least three versions of her will in circulation I expect the squabbling over the estate to get ugly. I’m just hoping they stick to pointing lawyers at each other rather than firearms (we’re talking about a region that spawned the legendary Hatfields vs. McCoys feud).

While I’m a pit peeved the old lady left her affairs in disarray, I really expected nothing else. I’m dreading the trip down there, and the stress I know is coming. Our finances don’t make this any easier, although my family has already said that if we need some money to make a trip down there they’ll send it to us.

Sending supporting thoughts your way!

Within a family there is little that is more ugly than squabbling over an estate. As the saying goes “You really don’t know a person until you have divided an inheritance with them.”

Three different wills? How can that happen? Were they not signed or something?

I hope you don’t stress out too much. I’d rather walk away from an inheritance than fight my relatives over it.

Multiple wills with multiple dates are easy. Latest wins, period, end of story. (unless coercion or incompetance can be argued & won)

A will without a date isn’t a will; it’s a bunch of legally meaningless writing.

Ancient Jewish proverb:

Where there’s a will …

The relatives are fighting.

One of the parties holding a will has a past conviction for fraud, embezzlement, and being a con artist. MIL was of somewhat questionable mental state the past three years. On top of that, she was nearly illiterate but could be persuaded to sign things rather than admit she couldn’t read/understand them.

The con artist claimed to have power of attorney but never produced relevant documents. The doctors involved all looked to daughter and son for consent issues.

Really, this seems to come up every time there is a death in that family. When my FIL died my spouse and I were both younger and both able to get there quickly, and were able to protect MIL’s interests for the most part. We’re older, spouse is less capable, and we’re not there at the moment.

I expect there are hordes of relatives “just stopping by” MIL’s house today, despite lengthy drives from out of state, for a chance to check the mattresses for cash when (they hope) no one else is looking.

I know you’re in tough straits financially, but there is some amount of pain that’s more than whatever your proper share of the estate is worth. Know what that is and bail before you get to your limit.

Best of luck in a tough situation.

We’ve been discussing the stress/benefit ratio on this scenario for several years now (that’s how predictable this situation was) and we’ve already lined up benchmarks for our own comfort/limit of tolerance.

Right now the Other Half is sad, angry, and upset so I’m just letting him rant. And doing my venting here.

I’m sorry for your loss, and sorry for the level of aggravation it is causing.

Good for you for taking care of him. Now be sure you take care of yourself, too, although I’m guessing that’s what this thread is about. Be careful on the trip.

I cut back on my chores today and got some extra rest, because my husband’s reaction to a family death is typically not to sleep for a couple days and one of us needs to be alert and functional enough to drive. I also cooked us a good, hot dinner (beef and broccoli over brown rice).

Much of what needs to be done next can’t be done until tomorrow, so I’ll try to get to bed early so I’m well rested.

My condolences to you and your husband on the loss of your MiL.

Good luck tomorrow. I’m sorry this crappy stuff is happening to you. :frowning:

Oh good lord, Broomstick. More stuff for you to deal with. :frowning:

And you just keep marching, like a soldier. Hang in there…


My condolences.

An aunt of mine died some time ago. She had her house and some savings. Her will said that the house should be sold and the proceeds plus the savings divided equally among her four children. I spoke to one of those cousins recently. She told me that when they went to the lawyer to get the estate settled, there was no dispute among them. That makes sense, of course. However, the lawyer was surprised and explained that was rare.

Sorry for your loss, broomstick. Hang in there.

I had a great aunt who died with a will. It was very specific but some of the greedier relatives contested how the estate was divided which resulted in them actually getting less. There’s still $5K or so sitting around in an abandoned account (I found it on line) but my dad, who was one of the beneficiaries, says it’s not worth the hassle of claiming and having to deal with his greedy-ass cousins again.

Broomstick, how ya doing?