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Meego's avatar

Do you forgive and forget, or hold a grudge...

Asked by Meego (4682 points ) December 28th, 2010 from iPhone

Ok so I just need some advice. My common law husband passed away in nov 09. He had a lot of money we never had a will done he was only 40, I took care of him after he got sick we also lived in the same house. When my husband was in the hospital my mother in law was not there ever until his dying moments and even then she only talked about his $ as it was him and I who were paying her mortgage and her son who had his mothers house in his and her name. Needless to say she told me to call our financial person and find out what we had to do from there. When I found out I called her, she asked me what he said I told her anyway she took the info and filed herself for executor of the will! She was really nice the first few months helping me then she turned nasty, and stopped talking to me. I have no credit and she said I either had to get a mortgage to keep my husbands and I home or move. I have no credit everything was in my husbands name except for the joint car loan. So I moved. In comes nasty once I got settled and my home was sold and my husband and I owed the bank 97 grand of a 125 grand mortgage and I got 137 grand for the house. My mother in law gave me what she said was leftover ready for this…27 grand!!! Haha she jipped me I got angry, she also has in stock my husbands and I’s just over 70 grand that she claimed! She is a 68 obese barely moving person WTF! She has more money than that too as she also sold her house. Ok so fast forward she sends me all these nasty emails basically telling me to get out of her life..lol now that she has me and my daughters money! I want her to have a relationship with her granddaughter well of course it’s Christmas she has told my daughter she wants me to come visit her as well because she bought me a present. I’m so fricken angry at her I don’t think she deserves my company. She told my daughter she would take us out for supper. Ok whatever. You take my money, my car engine blows I have to spend almost every penny I own on a new car and to keep 2 dogs and a teenager alive, all while I’m on disability, and she can take us out for supper spend money here there and everywhere, actually it makes me I’ll. Do I just suck it up and go or come up with some excuse and just let the teen go?

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19 Answers

Seaofclouds's avatar

It’s really up to you. If you don’t feel like you can tolerate being around her, then don’t go. You can let your daughter spend time with her grandmother without being there. I’m sorry things turned out so badly. I hope it gets better some day.

Meego's avatar

@Seaofclouds me too! I was going to go to a lawyer until I found out it could take years and no lawyer has yet to want to help me out anyway and then there is only so long until you can’t go after any money any more.

Meego's avatar

LOL at least I have a car that works now! My gut tells me not to go my heart says go…I’m so confused :(

Dutchess_III's avatar

I’m confused…..I thought you were talking about your mother-in-law, but your last sentence reads ”..or come up with some excuse and just let the teen go?” What?

Meego's avatar

@DutchessIII Sorry I didn’t mean to confuse it is about my mother in law when I say teen I actually mean my daughter. So I am asking if I should go with my daughter or just drop my daughter off and come up with an excuse why I can’t go in. My MIL really ticks me off as I really feel like she took way advantage of me, her dead son, and her granddaughter. The only one who thinks she had the right was her and her one friend. She acts very clueless but she’s a scam artist and secured herself with me and my dead husbands money.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I see @Meego. Thank you.
I guess that I don’t understand how she could have gotten POA when by law it automatically defaults to you….?

NanoBiscuit's avatar

I’m sorry for your loss and sorry about how things have turned out so poorly with your MIL. Your daughter being a teenager probably knows what has transpired and how it has affected both of you in terms of the stress of losing her father and the nonsense your MIL has gotten away with.

It is up to you.

And if you decide to let her go, there is the potential for the MIL to glean some tidbits she may try to use later against you in some way or another, or the MIL may attempt to plant the seed of how bad you are, that you are the root of all issues, to cause even more aggravation and to drive a wedge between your daughter and yourself. Have a conversation with your daughter and see if she understands the consequences or benefit of having a relationship with the MIL in the visit. She may have already decided how she feels about it, you just need to find out before agreeing.

JLeslie's avatar

$27k does not sound like a jip if she used a realtor, possibly had to pay taxes (I don’t know the tax law regarding a profit on a house in that circumstance) and pay closing costs. Lets say there are no taxes to pay. 137–97=40. Commission on 137 is likely $8k more or less. So 40–8=32. maybe a couple grand in closing costs? Down to $30,000 more or less. If she had to make any repairs as part of the contract, a little less.

From her point of view, maybe she feels she has been fair. I am not saing I agree with her keeping the balance of the money, but maybe she is not trying to be a bitch. Maybe she feels she did give you money that the law did not require.

Depending on your state, you might be able to contest the will. How long did you live with your husband? There might be protections for common law spouses.

Meego's avatar

Ok so first she got executor of will because she lied and said he did not have any common law anything and that he was single when he passed. I guess once it is explained to me the house money makes a bit more sense, but there were no repairs, I only know because I am friends with the agent. Also she thinks she is fair, but I can say she’s not. I was with her son for over 7 years and in the last 2 years I was his steady care taker she never did anything but live in a home for free along with the 30,000 dollars he had already given to her. They did not have a great relationship he was always angry at her for taking advantage of him. I can say she has not done anything for his memory it is only for selfish needs. She is an accountant and if he wanted her to have the money he would of given it to her and they would have made choices together about our life, in fact about 6–8 months before he passed he was planning on giving the money to his mothers brother to invest and look after it as he had full trust for him. She just did what she wanted and I know that. I just can’t decide whether or not I should just pretend she doesn’t exist like she wants me to do and just let her have access to only my daughter and give the MIL what she wants. We did have a really good relationship before this all happened. I should just go, make a presence but if she says anything we will leave. Also my daughter knows the whole situation and she really just wants us to get along, this is the only connection to her father she has. So for her sake I should just go and get on with it. I don’t need to talk to the lady afterwards.

BarnacleBill's avatar

No, you should not go. She will probably give you a Snuggie.

JLeslie's avatar

@Meego I hope what I am about to write does not offend you. I feel veru sorry for your loss, and the stress and sadness you must have gone through with the passing of your husband and dealing with the money issues, and moving.

It is not uncommon for realtors to charge 7% in some markets for houses under $150k. That would account for another $1300. If she has been paying the mortgage and utilities since you left the property, another couple grand maybe. I really think there is a possibility she did not screw you on the house. The only question in my mind is why would she sell it if you wanted to stay there if you were paying the bills and she intended to give you the profit. That makes no sense. Were you able to pay the bills on your own?

Here comes the part that might offend you. Your husband did not protect you, and you did not protect yourself. If you had been legally married, the laws would take care of you getting everything. Since you were not married, it is up to you and your SO to write up legal documents, a will, to protect each other. Of course his mom could still have given you the money, but maybe she perceives that money as his money. I am assuming your name was not on the bank accounts, not a joint account, or you could have emptied it before she got to it.

Also, did he sign the will? You said she made herself executor, but did she have power of attorney or something? Or, did your SO agree to it? Why did he put her in charge if he wanted you to have everything? I am confused on that point. If he signed it while mentally incapable, you could maybe fight it. Your state might have protections for you.

If you really think she stole money from you, I can understand why you might not want tp have a relationship with her, but if your daughter still wants to, my suggestion to you is think maybe how you would handle it if it were someone who was blood to, would you letyour daughter maintain a relationship, and be cordial in their presence? Seems like this woman is practically a grandmother to your daughter. I have no opinion on that, I just thought I would offer another way to look at it.

Meego's avatar

@JLeslie my husband always protected me but this part we were truly ignorant on and it is neither my fault or his, it happens to many people and especially young when you don’t believe it will happen. I’m not offended your entitled to your opinion as I did ask for it. And yes she got power of attorney but only because she dragged me to a lawyer 1 week after the death and who told me many reasons why it was better for her to have the money and not me, at any rate I do not remember much of what happened while there.
And the moving part, well she wouldn’t let me stay in the home because she said I had two options 1)get a mortgage or 2) move. I could not get a mortgage as I have no credit and a previous bankruptcy because we tried. I wouldn’t be able to afford it solely on my own income anyways. I really feel jilted is all. I mean what she did was wrong no matter how you look at it, regardless of if my husband and I did or not did a will. My point is that I feel taken advantage of and all my MIL wants is the money to the point she has said I got in the middle of her and hers sons relationship. She’s just your typical Dr.Phil MIL.

Meego's avatar

@BarnacleBill LOL funny you mention that, because the first Xmas after my husband passed there was a family get together and gift exchange on his families side. When names were picked she got a couple and she bought them both…yep you guessed it..SNUGGIES!!!

JLeslie's avatar

@Meego I did not understand previously that she got power of attorney after his death. It does sound like you might have been taken advantage simply from the stand point that she is older and more experienced. Obviously, I cannot know all of the details. I know you keep saying you just are trying to figure out what to do now at this point about your relationship with her, but I go back to probably all the money should go to you. Again, it seems like she could have given you nothing possibly, but since her son and you shared a life together for so many years, it seems logical you would receibe the bulk of the money. It would be different for me if he had children from another marriage, and they were “competing” for some of the inheritance, but I cannot understand why his mother feels she gets the majority of the money.

She did handle the sale of the house, and possibly everything else? Maybe the burial? Costs related to that?

I don’t get the impresson is all evil, but I do veru much understand why you might have bad feelings towards her, and not want to carry on a relationship. I think you are justified in your feelings. I think I wold be unsure what to do also.

Meego's avatar

@JLeslie I do believe also that the money should be in my and my daughters hands and that she has taken advantage of me. But I also believe in God and when I asked him what I should do I heard his voice in my head say leave it the way it is. I thought about this and I am 100% sure there is a God and it is his place to judge, not mine. Also I have approached 3 lawyers none have wanted to help me, furthering my point about the voice I heard from the lord. Sure some might think it is stupid, but I am really just happy that I even got to spend part of my life with a man that loved me so much and I loved him. His mother let me take care of the entire funeral right down to the tombstone that has my name and his name, as I will be buried with him. At the same time she did not say anything on any input on what they said about him in the paper or what the priest said about him. It was only my stories. This was really what said to me it was only about money. There have been many other instances when I look back as well. So for now I just have to figure out, forgive and forget, forget or forgive. I’m leaning towards forgive but not forget. All I can say is she’s one lucky lady.

JLeslie's avatar

@Meego If you approached three lawyers, then it sounds like the law is not on your side in your state, so you will have to move on, as you have. She gave you more than the law requires, we ca give her credit for that. I have a relative who was in a similar situation to you, but she was much older. Anyway there was millions of dollars of money, and nothing was given to the common law wife, and there were witnesses to the SO voicing he wanted to change his will and always make sure his wife was taken care of after he dies. His children got everything, and they knew my relative for over 60 years. She used to baby sit them. Long story, but they should have given her a few hundred thousand, she lived modestly, and that nothing about for them would have meant her not having to worry about money anymore.

Meego's avatar

@JLeslie Only I am in Canada and the laws are different than in the US. I was only told by the lawyers that to much time had passed and I could not go after the money because it should be done within the first 3–6 months. So the law was on my side for those months if I had of started going after the money then, but her and I were getting along until just only 1 month ago. But in reality she broke the law going and saying he did not have a common law wife or children and she was his sole heir, the comman law on my city is totally different, with really the only rule being a must to live in the same home for more than 2 years. We lived together for 7, knew eachother for 16. So yes she broke the law in a way as it also states that anyone can apply to get the estate but legally comman law partners and first born children get a certain amount. My husbands and I legal marriage was going to be nov 20 2010, we had only started the planning. Unfortunatley my law has a time limit, so if I had of gone after the money the moment after and took charge I wouldn’t be in this situation I have no one to blame but myself, I know what my husband wanted and I didnt honor that.

JLeslie's avatar

I see. How much is the “certain amount?” What percentage?

Meego's avatar

FYI I went to my MIL’s for the gift exchange I have let it go. Seems maybe like she said these things out of anger I can only guess and mourning I can only guess. I was caught wondering if I should of just written her from my life. I can say I feel better I haven’t. Not much was really said while we were together but nothing negative was said. I think I am mostly upset about all control being taken from me and still having a sense of the not knowing. To this day I am still not sure what has happened with my husbands and I’s invested money and that part is killing me. I mean geez she could of at least made a legal document between her and I and her lawyer that if she wanted it in her hands so badly that I still got to what was going on and nothing be done without my consent, MAN I was in shock, overwhelmed and pretty dumb for a long time, I guess I have to pay the price for that.

@JLeslie I’m in Ontario here’s the law:
Since 1978, Ontario law states that the estate of an intestate deceased person is distributed as follows:

To the spouse, if living, the first $200,000 (effective April 1, 1995);
To the spouse and children, the excess over $200,000 shared according to specific rules;
If no spouse, to the children and descendants of the deceased, if any;
To the parents of the deceased if no spouse or descendants;
If no surviving parents, to brothers and sisters, and children of the deceased brothers and sisters;
If no brothers and sisters, then to living nieces and nephews;
When more remote relatives are involved, special instructions may apply.
NOTE: Half-blood relatives share equally with whole-blood relatives. Children include those born outside marriage and adopted ones.
Also:
How to Prove You are an Heir (Beneficiary)
Here’s what the Public Guardian and Trustee needs to prove you’re an heir. Evidence submitted must include at least two sworn statements or affidavits. The first statement must be made by a person claiming a share of the estate (called the claimant). The second corroborates the first and is made by someone who has personal knowledge of the family history, but no monetary interest in the estate. If this second person is not a resident of Ontario, a third sworn statement must be obtained from an Ontario resident who knew the deceased, stating his/her knowledge of the deceased’s reputation as to marital status and the existence of children born inside or outside marriage or adopted.

The sworn statement of the claimant should include:

The name of the deceased, date and place of death, last residence and occupation and other known identifying information.
The name of the surviving spouse, if any, the date and place of marriage with the marriage certificate attached. Similar details are required for all marriages of the deceased and spouse or former spouses. Specify if one marriage only is involved.
If there is a surviving spouse, a statement that the spouse is living, that the marriage had not been dissolved prior to the death, and that there is no existing separation agreement depriving the spouse of a right to share in the estate.
If more than one marriage for either spouse is involved, the relevant information must be supplied and official documents produced to establish the dissolution of the former marriage or marriages by court decree or death.
The names of all naturally born or adopted children, specifying that they are all the children born to or adopted by the deceased, and further specifying that none were adopted out of the parent-child relationship with the deceased by any other person or persons. Birth certificates and adoption orders showing parentage must be produced. If there are no children, the affidavit must include this information.
Deaths must be stated and corroborated by certificates. Changes of name due to marriage must be identified and supported by marriage certificates.
If the deceased was not born in Canada, the claimant should state when the deceased came to Canada. Also, if a claimant is a subject of a country other than Canada, the claimant must establish his/her national status.
When claimants are anyone other than a spouse and children, there must be statements to the effect that there is no one in the degree of spouse, child, parent, etc., and the deaths of the spouse, children and parents must be stated in the affidavit and supported by certificates.

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