Family member refusing to accept Inheritance

22 posts in this topic

Hallo zusammen,

 

My Grandmother has passed away about 3 years ago a left an inheritance in the high 5 figures. My Grandmother had no will, therefore it is to be split evenly, between my Mom and her two sisters. Makes sense, right? 

 

We were in the bank that was processing the inheritance and the documents were about to be signed to release the money when all of a sudden the oldest sister demanded that she deserves all the money because she's the oldest, and refused to sign the document. We all sat there, including the Bank Employee, dumbfounded. The Bank lady said without all 3 sisters signing the document the money could not be released. The Bank lady also mentioned that my Aunt could refuse to sign this document indefinitely and there was nothing we could do. 

 

I was hoping to get some guidance on what the next step is. I find it hard to believe there is nothing we can do, and that my aunt can grandstand the whole thing until it's her time to go.

 

Danke und viele Grüße

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Similar situation in the UK between my mother and uncle who refused to sign a release of money (to be divided 50/50) from my grandmothers building society account after she died without a will. It was more than 10 years later that my mother got her share, it seems my uncle finally signed the release voluntarily. As far as I am aware nothing could be done to force the release of the funds.

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12 hours ago, claytonidus said:

... the oldest sister demanded that she deserves all the money because she's the oldest...

Wow, primogeniture still à la mode? She doesn't have a legal leg to stand on in 2019 in the UK. She is a very ignorant and stupid specimen. I think a little patience will go a long way. As long as she refuses to sign, she ain't getting no money either, thereby biting off her nose to spite her face. Has your mum tried holding her tight while her other sister gives her a good slap, like when they were kids? Frankly I would feel like trying that. Alternatively, you could point out that attorneys cost LOTS of money and this is where a huge chunk will go if she chooses to dig in her heels and fight a pointless battle. Please do not worry. It will come right when she realises she is onto a loser.

 

Plan B. Invite her round for a nice mushroom omelette. People make mistakes.

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14 hours ago, claytonidus said:

My Grandmother has passed away about 3 years ago a left an inheritance in the high 5 figures.

You need to specify what country you're talking about, as the laws are different...

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2 hours ago, optimista said:

She doesn't have a legal leg to stand on in 2019 in the UK.

Since the OP gives her citizenship as American the law in the UK is likely to be somewhat irrelevant...

 

As I wrote 3 hours ago the missing information about the country / countries involved is rather critical.

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First talk to the sister and explain to her that she doesn't have a legal leg to stand on but if she insists you will take her to court and she will lose and have to pay everybody's court costs and have less left for herself, plus it'll take time and relationships with her sisters may never recover.

 

If she doesn't change her mind, talk to a lawyer who specializes in inheritance cases. You may need to take her to court.

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I recall a post regarding a disagreement between two owners of an apartment.  One wanted to sell, the other did not.  An attorney said that if a settlement could not be reached, the issue could be brought before a judge who would decide.  They resolved the problem.

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So at stake is ca. 30K a head, maximum. Nice to have but hardly life changing. Patience is a virtue. Life is so short. What is wrong with your aunt?

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4 hours ago, optimista said:

So at stake is ca. 30K a head, maximum. Nice to have but hardly life changing. Patience is a virtue. Life is so short. What is wrong with your aunt?

 

Maybe she has debts higher that 30k and see this as a way to pay off her debts and make a fresh start in life? Maybe she wants to buy her own property and 30k just isn't going to be enough? In a lot of cases there's much more to the situation that there first appears to be.

 

The eldest sister obviously wants all of the money for a reason and saying that she feels that she is entitled to it may just be an excuse as she doesn't want to tell her family the real reason. Also if she only sprung this on her other sisters while they were at the bank signing the documents rather than beforehand means, that initially she was happy to split the inheritance 3 ways but between initially being told about the inheritance and actually signing the forms something happened or she realised she could do something that would make a much bigger difference to her life (buy property, clear debts, etc.) if she had all of the money.

 

It could simply be a case of greed or entitlement or something completely unrelated (debt, etc.).

 

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Just a question: 

 

Who of the three sisters took all the burdens of emptying a flat, had all the phone call to cancel contracts (like telephone, energy supplier), the talks with the undertaker, and all the other shite that somebody has to do when a relative dies?

 

Could it be that all this was done by the oldest of the sisters, whereas the younger ones only showed up when it was time to rake in the money?

 

Who was the aforementioned somebody in this case?

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If she was initially ok with it and then changed her mind, someone probably told her that she could or should get a bigger slice. 

 

Now note that she didn't say she should get more because she did all the work. She said because she's the oldest.

 

With my parents it's been my sister and I who've taken care of mostly everything and we have 3 brothers who do very little and still it would never occur to us to ask for more, let alone get the idea that we could legally get it without destroying the family.

 

Sometimes the idea of inheritance brings out the worst in people. When my grandmother died, the oldest sister wasn't even coming to the funeral. The other siblings used the money to pay for the funeral and wake and split the furniture among themselves. Afterwards the oldest sister pressed charges and accused them of stealing her inheritance. The case never went any further because there was nothing to steal but the relationship between the siblings has never recovered.

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Indeed a hefty dose of imagination has to be applied to this one in the absence of more information. Even then ideas such as those above do not justify the eldest's claim. I think she'll be spending Xmases alone from now on.

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If this is as you say (and the older sister was not the sole carer for the last 20 years, paid for everything etc) and if this is a totally unjustified and out of the blue thing then if it continues then if I was your mum I would meet the 2 sisters. I would talk to the oldest one and say this is her last chance, the next contact will be only via lawyer and she is out of the family and she can be on her own.

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Isn't there an "Erbschein" issued by the local court? That should clarify the size of ner share.

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10 hours ago, franklan said:

Just a question: 

 

Who of the three sisters took all the burdens of emptying a flat, had all the phone call to cancel contracts (like telephone, energy supplier), the talks with the undertaker, and all the other shite that somebody has to do when a relative dies?

 

Could it be that all this was done by the oldest of the sisters, whereas the younger ones only showed up when it was time to rake in the money?

 

Who was the aforementioned somebody in this case?

 

Even if the oldest sister was the designated executor of the will, this would mean she is entitled to a larger percentage than her siblings, not the whole share.

 

My oldest sister was executor when my Dad died and she got expenses and a fee for her work - she definitely earned it.

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8 hours ago, black1 said:

If this is as you say (and the older sister was not the sole carer for the last 20 years, paid for everything etc) and if this is a totally unjustified and out of the blue thing then if it continues then if I was your mum I would meet the 2 sisters. I would talk to the oldest one and say this is her last chance, the next contact will be only via lawyer and she is out of the family and she can be on her own.

 

Yes, good point regarding caring. Sometimes inheritances aren't fair.

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