I just want to rip on people who vulture money when people die. Usually these are the same people who have neglected the deceased while they were alive, and the same people who don't want to help out with any of the work involved with a death.
Let me be more specific--12 days ago, my father-in-law died suddenly of a heart attack. My husband had talked to him every day on the phone for a couple of hours, plus (pre-quarantine) making frequent trips to his property to visit and work. We moved here to Chile with my FiL in 2015; it was my husband and his daughter and I who did ALL of the work for that move--selling things before the move, arranging housing here in Chile for the arrival, paperwork for bringing dogs, residency paperwork, translation, land purchases, well the list could go on.
My husband's brother also came with us, but participated only if it benefitted him and eventually we had to kick him out of the house we provided for him to live in rent-free, because he was being an absolute worthless leech. He went a couple of years without communicating with any of us, but then a couple of years ago re-established sporadic contact with his dad, my FiL. He still didn't help at all with anything, just contacted infrequently (as in, a couple of times a year).
To give some background, my FiL was a bit of a stubborn old man, a bachelor since his traumatic divorce in the 90s, he had his beliefs and his systems and nobody was going to change that. HOWEVER, he had a heart of gold, and there was nobody who met him and didn't love him. He was an attentive father, taking the kids (there were 5) out on weekends and summer vacations to hike, camp, play baseball or tennis, identify plants, dig arrowheads, hunt, fish, etc. After the divorce his ex moved 350 miles away with the kids, so for his weekend visitation he would drive 1,400 miles all told to go pick up the kids, bring them back to his house, spend the weekend giving them nonstop attention, then drive back and drop them off with their mother. He worked hard at his post-retirement jobs (tree-cutting and hog hunting mostly) so that he could frequently send checks (separately from the child support he paid) to each child to help them through college or just for spending money. As the kids grew and got independent, he always welcomed them at his house for their infrequent visits and anytime one of them showed up he would drop everything and attend them, setting up and paying for expensive hunting trips or whatever else they wanted to do.
Fast-forward to the past 6 years here in Chile, my husband used his corporation/partnership money to buy a property for his dad, a dream property where my FiL worked restoring native forest and managing animals that we bought with our personal money to help manage brush. My FiL was so happy to be farming and would send pictures like a proud father when his sheep lambed, or when he taught his cows to eat apples out of his hand. We were out there frequently (my husband, his daughter, me, and our small children) to have picnics and help build gates or fences or whatever he needed. I cannot count the times that one of us accompanied my FiL to the bank, to translate for him, to buy him a new phone or get his residency paperwork updated, or a million other things that older folks need help with as they are aging, especially living in a foreign country speaking their second language. Where were the other 4 siblings during all of this, you ask? Nowhere to be seen or heard from.
Well then on the 7th of this month, my FiL didn't answer the phone when my husband called for their daily conversation. He had been extra tired the 2 days before, but nothing strange for a 78-year-old man who worked his butt off every day of his life. We had a bad feeling, so my husband's daughter left immediately to go check on him, taking lunch for him with her and planning on bringing him back to our house if he was ill. She arrived and found him dead. I've never heard sobs like that. She couldn't even get into his house, and had to wait 2 hours for police to arrive so that they could enter and she wouldn't get arrested as a murder suspect. All told she was waiting 14 hours out in the cold, with her husband and small children, for the police and legal medical service to finally declare him dead and give her the paperwork so that the body could be given to the funeral home. It was an absolute trauma for her and she hasn't had a nights' sleep since.
At the wake (here the custom and law is a minimum of 24-hours open casket viewing) my brother-in-law and his wife showed up, seemingly wanting to reconcile after years of no contact. We were happy, saying that at least something good had happened to balance the horrible sadness of losing someone we all loved so much. Then, sitting there staring at the casket, my brother-in-law starts grilling my husband with questions about money--"where did the money from dad's house sale go? How much money does he have in his american bank accounts? How much money here in Chile? How are we going to divide it? Is there money at his house? When can we go to his house to look?" Keep in mind that I am handling ALL of the funeral arrangements, hosting all of the mourners, caring for our small children and my husband who couldn't even walk after hearing the news, and trying to help my husband's daughter who is still destroyed by the trauma and sadness of finding her grandpa that way. And my brother-in-law can only think of money!
Since then it has only gotten worse: the other siblings have become involved, accusing my husband of dishonesty, of manipulating his dad, and a million other carefully-crafted implications, insisting that we need to do all the paperwork for division of assets, and now my brother-in-law has stooped so low as to demand that my husband's daughter (his niece) hand over rights to an oil lease that was legally willed to her by another family member 10 years ago.
My husband has decided to withdraw himself from the inheritance, and has told his siblings this. They stopped speaking to him after that announcement, I guess it threw them for a loop.
I guess I'm just in disbelief, and I think that if this has happened to anyone else that we have the right to rip these people apart here in the ulcer factory. They're not human. Fuck them.
"... And being swept along is not enough." R.M. Rilke
Greed does nasty stuff to people. Just gather more stuff you can't take with you. My sister showed up to my dad's funeral with a box truck, a trailer and reinforcements.
For what it's worth, I think you and your hubby did the right thing. Those idiots will tear themselves apart now. It's just like a pack of dogs, one of them gets to dragging a leg and the rest jump him. They'll turn on the weakest one next.
You are exactly correct. The idiots will be the losers in the long run. They may have stuff, but they won't have family and the family they do have have already proven they'll turn on ya! I value family love over stuff any day!
I could do a similar rant for certain family members after my husband died but I'm not going to, mostly for the sake of my sanity.
Instead I'm going to show the other side of the coin. My mother died recently. It was sudden and unexpected and with the covid restrictions I couldn't get back to the UK for the funeral or the house clearance. My cousin stepped up to the plate, drove down there, failed to find a will so assumed everything would go to me. He located the local funeral director and confirmed that she had a pre-paid funeral plan. He worked with a friend of mine to clear the house and send anything I didn't want to a tree-planting charity. He asked me very specifically for a very few things, if I didn't want them. He gave all paperwork and valuables to a trusted friend for safekeeping until I can get to the UK. He handed the keys back to the housing association and used cash found in my mum's house to pay all outstanding bills. Then gave me an itemised breakdown of every single penny he'd had to spend and paid the remaining balance into my bank account.
Burra, wow, that is a beautiful story and a great perspective that you shared. My husband was trying to do what your cousin did, at first he started out itemizing things and offering to mail sentimental items, but his siblings have made it clear that all they want is money. So they're gonna get it all! I'm so glad that you and your cousin were able to work together so beautifully. The salve of human kindness goes a long way in healing grief.
"... And being swept along is not enough." R.M. Rilke
I can't beleive you just said that. Now I need to calm down with this tiny ad: