Author Topic: Inheritance Drama: You Got Any? Stories Wanted.  (Read 280553 times)

Freedomin5

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Re: Inheritance Drama: You Got Any? Stories Wanted.
« Reply #400 on: April 24, 2016, 07:22:42 AM »
I guess this is inheritance-related...

My cousin, who lives with my aunt, got married. She couldn't afford her own place, so my aunt bought a $2 million apartment for them. Oh, and then hired a maid to help them clean the place. But I digress.

The inheritance ridiculousness is that my aunt then promptly bought $2 million apartments for each my cousin's siblings because "it wouldn't be fair for my cousin to get a condo and for the others to get nothing". Did I mention that none of the siblings live in the country in which the condos were purchased? My aunt has already purchased for them condos in the respective cities in which they live, but not ones worth $2 million, so therefore, it is still unfair unless they all get condos that cost the same price in the same building.

Sometimes I just have to shake my head in disbelief...

onlykelsey

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Re: Inheritance Drama: You Got Any? Stories Wanted.
« Reply #401 on: April 24, 2016, 09:40:33 AM »
I guess this is inheritance-related...

My cousin, who lives with my aunt, got married. She couldn't afford her own place, so my aunt bought a $2 million apartment for them. Oh, and then hired a maid to help them clean the place. But I digress.

The inheritance ridiculousness is that my aunt then promptly bought $2 million apartments for each my cousin's siblings because "it wouldn't be fair for my cousin to get a condo and for the others to get nothing". Did I mention that none of the siblings live in the country in which the condos were purchased? My aunt has already purchased for them condos in the respective cities in which they live, but not ones worth $2 million, so therefore, it is still unfair unless they all get condos that cost the same price in the same building.

Sometimes I just have to shake my head in disbelief...

Holy crap.  Sometimes I get glimpses of this sort of wealth through my clients, but that is intense.

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Re: Inheritance Drama: You Got Any? Stories Wanted.
« Reply #402 on: April 24, 2016, 12:01:14 PM »
I guess this is inheritance-related...

My cousin, who lives with my aunt, got married. She couldn't afford her own place, so my aunt bought a $2 million apartment for them. Oh, and then hired a maid to help them clean the place. But I digress.

The inheritance ridiculousness is that my aunt then promptly bought $2 million apartments for each my cousin's siblings because "it wouldn't be fair for my cousin to get a condo and for the others to get nothing". Did I mention that none of the siblings live in the country in which the condos were purchased? My aunt has already purchased for them condos in the respective cities in which they live, but not ones worth $2 million, so therefore, it is still unfair unless they all get condos that cost the same price in the same building.

Sometimes I just have to shake my head in disbelief...

Holy crap.  Sometimes I get glimpses of this sort of wealth through my clients, but that is intense.

And, it's extremely unlikely the wealth will survive into the next generation. We've all read Stanley and Danko's chapter on Economic Outpatient Care and its effects on asset accumulation.
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Re: Inheritance Drama: You Got Any? Stories Wanted.
« Reply #403 on: April 24, 2016, 06:50:27 PM »
Thoughts?

I think all non-charity money should go in a trust to take care of MIL, then a plan to distribute from there.  She could be quite old and unable to work, while nieces and nephews who are presumably able to work, would get the money.

I had 2 relatives who did not have children and left some of their estate to me, and IMO, although I loved getting the money, I think it was ultimately the wrong decision and it should not have been left to my generation.

Scenario 1) Dad's brother dies at age 53, no kids - splits his estate among his 6 nieces and nephews.  I am one of them and 4 of the cousins are from my fathers other brother (3 brothers total).

Fortunately, it ended very amicably, but my uncle (P) had inherited some very sentimental items when my grandmother died.  My cousin, who was 25 at the time, wanted some of them.  He had never even met the grandmother b/c she died young.  My dad was legally entitled to absolutely nothing - no money, no belongings.   My cousin was ok with my dad taking them, but could have caused a real stink.  My dad also had to help break up the estate, get the house ready to sell, etc. and since most of us were still teenagers or kids - we couldn't do much to help.  My dad got exactly $0 for all his work, all though he did get some items.  I didn't think that was right.

Scenario 2) great aunt didn't have children.  My parents literally spent decades with some sort of level of care for her including things like bill management and at the end of her life she got dementia and my mother had to do all sorts of medical decisions on her behalf, file tax returns, etc.   She split her estate 8 ways, including with the great nieces and nephews.  So for her decades of (uncompensated) work, my mom got the same amount of money as my cousin who never saw her or took care of her.  I didn't think that was right either. 

IMO - siblings or direct children should inherit money from the generation above, then let them decide how to pass it on.  Younger people have time on their sides - older people do not.

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Re: Inheritance Drama: You Got Any? Stories Wanted.
« Reply #404 on: April 26, 2016, 07:21:41 AM »
  Thoughts?
You don't mention this, but are you are each leaving enough money to maintain current living/retirement standards to the other in the first instance?  Another thing you don't mention is friends: I have some lifelong friends that I have left reasonably significant amounts to.

I hope it is unlikely that your DH's mother would survive him: if I were you I might be more worried about having to support his mother while you are both alive than after DH's death.

Any chance you could get to know DH's niece and nephew at some point?  Find out what they are like as people and whether or not you like them?

I don't see anything wrong with your proposed distribution among the family.  I wonder whether your concern is that BIL might react badly?  To which the only answer is: you will be dead enough not to care.  You can protect the executor by putting in a clause saying that anyone who contests the will gets nothing.

I should have mentioned this in my post, but we'd be first leaving everything to each other, should one spouse outlive the other.  This is the back up to that, and the longer term plan.

Getting to know the N&N is not really possible.  BIL doesn't have an especially large role in their life for various reasons--some it fault and some not,-- though certainly he does seem them and presumably love them.   And we are about to move back overseas for 3 years, so there is little chance we'll see them at all during that time.   

I definitely do worry about MIL's financial situation, and I certainly hope DH and I outlive her, but I think he wants to include her lest that not happen.

May I make a suggestion?  First, leave your money to each other.  Then, leave it to any children you have, including natural, adopted, or of which you are the primary caretakers.  You may not have kids now or ever intend to have them, but just in case you end up taking over care of a friend's or relative's kids or some other surprise life circumstance comes up, you would want that in place.
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plainjane

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Re: Inheritance Drama: You Got Any? Stories Wanted.
« Reply #405 on: April 26, 2016, 03:02:48 PM »
Apparently Prince died without a will.  I anticipate inheritance drama.

http://money.cnn.com/2016/04/26/news/companies/prince-no-will/
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Re: Inheritance Drama: You Got Any? Stories Wanted.
« Reply #406 on: April 26, 2016, 03:18:31 PM »
Apparently Prince died without a will.  I anticipate inheritance drama.

http://money.cnn.com/2016/04/26/news/companies/prince-no-will/

I'm sure there won't be dozens of people coming out of the woodwork to claim he was secretly their long-lost father...
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Capsu78

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Re: Inheritance Drama: You Got Any? Stories Wanted.
« Reply #407 on: April 26, 2016, 04:24:02 PM »
I have a hard time wrapping my head around the thought that the "House of Prince" didn't have all kinds of complicated trust work structured...He's sued, been sued too many times to not set up as many firewalls as possible...and his business management team may not have shared those arrangement with his formerly crack addicted sister who is claiming there is no known will.

That being said, some very (old) negative financial assessments exist that say getting paid by the Artists accounts payable department was a problem at least earlier in his career:     

http://princetext.tripod.com/n_1995.html

meghan88

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Re: Inheritance Drama: You Got Any? Stories Wanted.
« Reply #408 on: April 27, 2016, 09:06:38 AM »
I lost my mom to cancer when I was a toddler and father married the step-mom-from-hell three years later.  She worked tirelessly to turn my dad against my sister and I, to the point where (in his eyes) everything we did was wrong, wrong, wrong.

He died about 12 years ago and left me $1000 out of "spite".  The step-family got a whole lot more but I didn't care.  I happily invested the check.

The step-mom is still alive and will probably outlive both me and my sister because evil never dies.

Inaya

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Re: Inheritance Drama: You Got Any? Stories Wanted.
« Reply #409 on: April 27, 2016, 09:53:23 AM »
I lost my mom to cancer when I was a toddler and father married the step-mom-from-hell three years later.  She worked tirelessly to turn my dad against my sister and I, to the point where (in his eyes) everything we did was wrong, wrong, wrong.

I had an evil step family too, and I totally sympathize. It was me vs. step-mom, step-grandma, and 4 older step-siblings. Step-sibs wanted something, it was, "Prove you're willing to be a father figure." I wanted something, it was, "Quit babying her/playing favorites."

Fortunately, step-mom was scamming my dad, planning from the beginning to have him pay for her kids' private school and then divorce him and take every dime she could get away with. So I only had to suffer for 5 years or so. Plus 15 years crippling self-esteem and anxiety issues, but eh. That which doesn't kill you, or whatever.

I'm sorry you lost both parents and your relationship with your dad. I've been fortunate to get back to a mostly normal relationship with mine.
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Re: Inheritance Drama: You Got Any? Stories Wanted.
« Reply #410 on: April 27, 2016, 10:17:29 AM »
What is it with evil step-mothers? I guess the male comparison would be the step-dad as the drunken oaf. That being said, the evil step-mother meme has been around forever. Anyone here on MMM known as an evil step-mother willing to elaborate?

I myself have an evil step-mother. Wife and I have been killing her with kindness for years.... it drives her crazy.  I'm fully aware that if I want to have any relationship with my father, I have to "handle" her behavior and demands, and pretend she is a normal person. 

On the Inheritance Drama front, I'm also fully aware that my siblings and I will likely never get a penny once my father passes, and I've warned my siblings to ensure they don't need or expect it, either. Ahhh, love is blind, I guess.

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Re: Inheritance Drama: You Got Any? Stories Wanted.
« Reply #411 on: April 27, 2016, 10:41:07 AM »
The male equivalent to the evil stepmother is either the pervo stepfather who molests the kids, or the abusive wingnut who beats the stuffing out of them.

Sadly, children are more likely to be abused or even murdered by Mommy's new romantic interest than by any other person.
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mm1970

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Re: Inheritance Drama: You Got Any? Stories Wanted.
« Reply #412 on: April 27, 2016, 10:54:22 AM »
The male equivalent to the evil stepmother is either the pervo stepfather who molests the kids, or the abusive wingnut who beats the stuffing out of them.

Sadly, children are more likely to be abused or even murdered by Mommy's new romantic interest than by any other person.
I gotta say, while I'm not a general fan of Dr. Laura - she lives locally, and used to be on the radio on my way home from work (irony there, listening to Dr. Laura on my way to pick up my kid from daycare). 

One thing that she used to say, that I don't disagree with for the most part, is to just not get married again if you have kids and get divorced or become a widow.  Not that bad things always happen (they don't), but they are often so messy.

(That said, had my father followed that advice, I wouldn't be here!)

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Re: Inheritance Drama: You Got Any? Stories Wanted.
« Reply #413 on: April 27, 2016, 10:56:13 AM »

I had an evil step family too, and I totally sympathize. It was me vs. step-mom, step-grandma, and 4 older step-siblings. Step-sibs wanted something, it was, "Prove you're willing to be a father figure." I wanted something, it was, "Quit babying her/playing favorites."

Fortunately, step-mom was scamming my dad, planning from the beginning to have him pay for her kids' private school and then divorce him and take every dime she could get away with. So I only had to suffer for 5 years or so. Plus 15 years crippling self-esteem and anxiety issues, but eh. That which doesn't kill you, or whatever.

Ugh!  Yes, that which doesn't kill you, indeed.  And living well is the best revenge, and I practice that daily.

Did she actually succeed in scamming your dad?  It's a shame if she did.

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Re: Inheritance Drama: You Got Any? Stories Wanted.
« Reply #414 on: April 27, 2016, 11:30:53 AM »
Evil Step-mom here!

This has been a fantastic discussion to follow as it has made me realize that we need to make some adjustments to my husband's will as each of his kids age out of their mother's home to include a percentage of his estate instead of leaving everything to me to distribute appropriately.  That way, its clear that they got what their dad wanted them to have, and it isn't me "short-changing" them, or "buying" their love with money.

And in defense of the evil step mom....some of us really just want to be mom 2.0; someone a kid can come to love, trust, confide in, and maybe even need a little.  Sometimes mom 1.0 makes that really hard and can make the kids feel like loving mom 2.0 is wrong and disloyal.  So to all you Mom 1.0's out there, please encourage your kids to love their stepmom's as much as possible.  You will never be replaced, but its awesome for a kid to not feel like he/she has to pick sides.

(prances off to encourage DH to adjust his will)

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Re: Inheritance Drama: You Got Any? Stories Wanted.
« Reply #415 on: April 27, 2016, 11:51:50 AM »
Evil Step-mom here!

This has been a fantastic discussion to follow as it has made me realize that we need to make some adjustments to my husband's will as each of his kids age out of their mother's home to include a percentage of his estate instead of leaving everything to me to distribute appropriately.  That way, its clear that they got what their dad wanted them to have, and it isn't me "short-changing" them, or "buying" their love with money.

And in defense of the evil step mom....some of us really just want to be mom 2.0; someone a kid can come to love, trust, confide in, and maybe even need a little.  Sometimes mom 1.0 makes that really hard and can make the kids feel like loving mom 2.0 is wrong and disloyal.  So to all you Mom 1.0's out there, please encourage your kids to love their stepmom's as much as possible.  You will never be replaced, but its awesome for a kid to not feel like he/she has to pick sides.

(prances off to encourage DH to adjust his will)
I wouldn't call a step-mom evil just for being a step-mom. I also had a non-evil step-mom. (My dad married 5 times; my mom was wife #2 [and in a twist, was maid of honor at #1's wedding]. Evil step-mom was #3. #4 was also #5 and not evil during either stint. His current girlfriend of over a decade refuses to marry him--smart woman. She and I get along swimmingly.) But my evil step-mom was absolutely evil. Not only scamming my dad, but doing everything in her power (with the help of her hellspawn) to intentionally shatter my self confidence and any stability in my life.


Seems like you're the polar opposite of evil step-mom. 

Did she actually succeed in scamming your dad?  It's a shame if she did.

Oh yeah. Almost a decade of private school for her 4 hellspawn, and maybe a couple of years of college? Had him custom build a $500,000 house (in 1994 dollars) in an exclusive neighborhood. After a few years they sold at great profit and "downsized" to a more modest place in a more modest neighborhood.

Less than a year later she and the hellspawn went on a cruise on my dad's dime, and when they came back she wanted a divorce and presumably got half of all those house profits and alimony and whatever else. Details are fuzzy because I estranged myself once I was old enough to realize I had that option.
« Last Edit: April 27, 2016, 11:56:51 AM by Inaya »
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MandyM

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Re: Inheritance Drama: You Got Any? Stories Wanted.
« Reply #416 on: April 27, 2016, 11:58:58 AM »
My dad married 5 times; my mom was wife #2 [and in a twist, was maid of honor at #1's wedding].

My step father was the best man when my parent's got married! I love telling people that when I am explaining my family. (Also - my step mother was my father's secretary at one time...we hit all the cliches).

I have a non-evil step mother. And a non-evil step father. I am EXTREMELY lucky in the parents and step-parents department - four good ones.
« Last Edit: April 27, 2016, 12:01:16 PM by MandyM »
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Inaya

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Re: Inheritance Drama: You Got Any? Stories Wanted.
« Reply #417 on: April 27, 2016, 12:05:31 PM »
My dad married 5 times; my mom was wife #2 [and in a twist, was maid of honor at #1's wedding].

My step father was the best man when my parent's got married! I love telling people that when I am explaining my family. (Also - my step mother was my father's secretary at one time...we hit all the cliches).

I have a non-evil step mother. And a non-evil step father. I am EXTREMELY lucky in the parents and step-parents department - four good ones.

Ooh, does that mean you had 8 grandparents? My mom was my dad's secretary when he and #1 split, so I can check that box too!

I sometimes wish my mom had remarried (I'm confident that she has better taste than my father); I think she would have been happier. But she was burnt too badly by my dad to even date.
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Hadilly

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Re: Inheritance Drama: You Got Any? Stories Wanted.
« Reply #418 on: April 27, 2016, 12:07:02 PM »
Yeah, just chiming in to say that I have two awesom step-mothers and they are both very important people in my life.

My parents have also been very forthright about estate planning which is nice.

MandyM

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Re: Inheritance Drama: You Got Any? Stories Wanted.
« Reply #419 on: April 27, 2016, 12:16:24 PM »
My dad married 5 times; my mom was wife #2 [and in a twist, was maid of honor at #1's wedding].

My step father was the best man when my parent's got married! I love telling people that when I am explaining my family. (Also - my step mother was my father's secretary at one time...we hit all the cliches).

I have a non-evil step mother. And a non-evil step father. I am EXTREMELY lucky in the parents and step-parents department - four good ones.

Ooh, does that mean you had 8 grandparents? My mom was my dad's secretary when he and #1 split, so I can check that box too!

I sometimes wish my mom had remarried (I'm confident that she has better taste than my father); I think she would have been happier. But she was burnt too badly by my dad to even date.

Most of my grandparents passed long ago - only one of the original four was still alive when my parents divorced. But my step mother is significantly younger than my father (of course) and so I did gain two grandparents on that side. They are lovely. My (step) grandmother once struggled with how she should introduce me because she didn't like "step granddaughter" or "Jack's daughter" but the people that have known her awhile would be confused if she just called me her granddaughter. We settled on Bonus Granddaughter :)

My mom went on one date after the divorce and hated every minute of it. She didn't date again for 6 years. When a longtime friend ended up with lung cancer, she traveled to visit her several times. After she passed, mom hooked up with her friend's widow. They've been married 14 years now. I'm glad she married. She was perfectly fine single, but her life is a lot easier in many ways now.
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Re: Inheritance Drama: You Got Any? Stories Wanted.
« Reply #420 on: April 27, 2016, 12:20:31 PM »
I have a non-evil step mom but it took quite a few years to figure that out.  My (much) older sister firmly believes our step mom is evil and had me convinced for several years.  I wised up and went neutral on the subject until my dad died a couple of years ago.  At that point the actions of my sister showed me who was truly "evil".


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Re: Inheritance Drama: You Got Any? Stories Wanted.
« Reply #421 on: April 27, 2016, 12:52:06 PM »
My wife prefers when people refer to me as an excellent step dad as opposed to her "trophy husband".  She's been brilliant in most things in life, but her husband decisions have always cast some doubt on her :-)

And as for being a step parent, with zero practical training, it always seemed to come easy for me to determine what "First do no evil" meant.  My daughter and my step daughter are both my daughters, no questions asked.

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Re: Inheritance Drama: You Got Any? Stories Wanted.
« Reply #422 on: April 27, 2016, 12:58:36 PM »
This whole discussion just makes me want to give you all internet hugs.  Such a great community...now, back to the drama please!

meghan88

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Re: Inheritance Drama: You Got Any? Stories Wanted.
« Reply #423 on: April 27, 2016, 06:25:50 PM »
This whole discussion just makes me want to give you all internet hugs.  Such a great community...now, back to the drama please!
Thanks for the hugs!!  You sound like a great step-mom.  And yes, I know - and admire - many blended families that are working things out in an exemplary manner.  We just happened to get the shit end of the stick, but then again Dad was no trip to the big leagues, nor was he a paragon of virtue ... just a bitter old man by the time he remarried (I was born when my parents were in their 40's ... very, very old in many ways for the "Mad Men" era, but not today).

Either you go the same path as your family or you change things.  Me, I've tried to opt to not be a judgmental, classist, miserly, out-of-shape bigot.  Hopefully succeeding.

JustGettingStarted1980

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Re: Inheritance Drama: You Got Any? Stories Wanted.
« Reply #424 on: April 27, 2016, 06:50:02 PM »
This whole discussion just makes me want to give you all internet hugs.  Such a great community...now, back to the drama please!

Step-CheapskateWife seems like a very nice Step-person, I congratulate her!

On the other hand ..."Better a serpent than a stepmother!" Euripides

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Re: Inheritance Drama: You Got Any? Stories Wanted.
« Reply #425 on: April 28, 2016, 08:41:45 AM »
This whole discussion just makes me want to give you all internet hugs.  Such a great community...now, back to the drama please!

Step-CheapskateWife seems like a very nice Step-person, I congratulate her!

On the other hand ..."Better a serpent than a stepmother!" Euripides
No kidding!  There is no love for the step-mom's of the world!  At least as a serpent I could bite in self defense; as a step-mom, just have to grin and bear it.

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Re: Inheritance Drama: You Got Any? Stories Wanted.
« Reply #426 on: April 28, 2016, 09:09:46 AM »
The posts about rationale for dividing up estates among differing generations and relationships were quite timely.  DH and I are doing our wills in a couple weeks and trying to figure out a plan, and we are disagreeing.

We have no kids, but we each having a living parent or parents (one of his and both of mine), one sibling each, and 2 niece/nephews on his side. 

A large % of the estate will go to a charity.  Easy.  He feels obligated to give something to the niece and nephew, not because he is close to them (we aren't close at all), but because he thinks it would be "weird not to".  I disagree.  I'm expecting (terrible word, but you hopefully know what I mean) nothing from any of aunts an uncles.  It doesn't seem abnormal at all not to send money that way, though admitedly they all have kids to leave things to and we don't.  These children are relative strangers to us, due to family drama, divorce, other messy things, and also to us living overseas for most of their lives thus far.  And because DH and his family have never been emotionally close to each other.

My solution is that of the non-charity money, we each "get" 50% to allocated as we see fit.  My parents have more money than they know what to do with.  My sister and BIL (no kids) are very well off, but somewhat spendypants.  I am sure they have savings and retirement so they are better off than most, but will probably not be able to RE, though my guess is that at ~60, they will have more than enough.  I'd leave them all of the "my side" money, because I don't know where else I'd send it and because Sister will be our executor and dealing with some of the ILs warrants some compensation beyond the typical executor fee.  ;)  He would likely leave some to his mom who makes very solid money, but also spends most or all of it, as far as we can tell and shows no signs of ever being able to retire.  Some would go to BIL, but for various reasons, leaving him large sums of money would be a bad idea,  and the rest of that "side" would go to niece and nephew.  DH can determine the %s as he sees fit.

My family will not care what we do. They are reasonable, sane people who are either great with money or at least not desperate or greedy.

Does this seem like a recipe for disaster?  It could see my sibling getting 50% of the non-charity portion, and DH's sibling only getting 20% (or some other amount <50%).  50/50 among them is a bad idea, and it doesn't allow DH to help his mom, which he'd like to do.  Leaving money to my parents to make it equal  to what goes to MIL would be weird and silly.  Thoughts?

I've heard the thing to do when making potential controversial decisions is to write a letter to the heirs.  This way the decision can be explained, which can help the heirs understand why it's divided that way (but it's not in the will so it could be challenged).

Captain FIRE

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Re: Inheritance Drama: You Got Any? Stories Wanted.
« Reply #427 on: April 28, 2016, 09:21:45 AM »
In regards to the question of parents having 2 kids, and those kids having an unequal number of kids (e.g. 1 versus 7), I fall into the camp of giving each grandkid a sum for college, depending on the estate (e.g. $25k on a $1 million estate), and splitting the bulk between the kids.  This acknowledges each grandchild, while treating my children equally.  If the kids don't want their share, I'd give their share equally amongst their kids.

First, because I would have had the choice of the number of kids I had and raised them.  While I would love all grandkids, I would not have chosen the number of the grandkids or (presumably) raised them.  It's not up to me to support the 7, it's up to the parent (my kid). 

Second, I wouldn't know whether the kids would have more kids, adopt kids later in life, marry people with young children they raise as their own, etc.  I sure as heck wouldn't be having more kids myself though.  As someone marrying 10 years later in life than my siblings, who both married immediately after college, I'm sensitive to not penalizing people for later life decisions.

Third, because if you take the scenario further and imagine 1 kid has 0 children and the other has 7, I can't imagine cutting a child out of my will because they did not procreate, so why would I do something similar (to a lesser degree) if they simply procreated less?
« Last Edit: April 28, 2016, 09:23:22 AM by Captain FIRE »

BFGirl

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Re: Inheritance Drama: You Got Any? Stories Wanted.
« Reply #428 on: May 13, 2016, 01:54:00 PM »
These stories are why I've been employed for the last 23 years :)

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Re: Inheritance Drama: You Got Any? Stories Wanted.
« Reply #429 on: May 15, 2016, 09:17:28 PM »
I have a non-evil step mom but it took quite a few years to figure that out.  My (much) older sister firmly believes our step mom is evil and had me convinced for several years.  I wised up and went neutral on the subject until my dad died a couple of years ago.  At that point the actions of my sister showed me who was truly "evil".

A story of drama, told with admirable brevity.  Threshing strictly the wheat, no chaff!

Daleth

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Re: Inheritance Drama: You Got Any? Stories Wanted.
« Reply #430 on: May 16, 2016, 03:27:23 AM »
I might have already mentioned this on here a long while back, but in case I didn't, here's a pro tip that I learned from unfortunate personal experience with a family member's estate: PUT SOMETHING IN YOUR WILL THAT PREVENTS STUFF GOING TO AN ADULT ADOPTEE. Heirs sometimes adopt adults who are friends of theirs, lovers, whatever, solely to make that friend/lover/whatever inherit property from someone else. For instance, let's say granny leaves money in trust for a son; let's say she did it that way instead of just leaving the money for him to spend at will because he's terrible with money and she wanted to make sure his basic expenses would be covered so he wouldn't just waste all the money and end up in the gutter.

If you do this, any competent estate planner will have you also specify what happens to any money that's left in the trust if the beneficiary (the terrible-with-money son) dies. And if what you put is something along the lines of "the money goes to my descendants" (i.e. it gets split between your kids and/or grandkids, including any kids of the son), guess what? All your dissolute son has to do is adopt a friend of his and boom, a proportional chunk of your money will go to that random friend of his, diminishing the amount that goes to your kids/grandkids/etc. This works whether he adopts the friend before or after your death. 

If your will is interpreted under Colorado law that won't happen, AFAIK, because Colorado law makes people who are adopted as adults the heirs of their adoptive parent(s) but not the legal relatives of anyone else in the family (only people adopted as children become relatives of the entire family). But in every other state whose law I'm familiar with, adult adoption works like regular adoption: it makes the adoptee a legal relative of the entire family, so any references in wills or trusts to descendants, children, grandchildren, etc., include that person. If you google it, you'll see a few court cases where the dissolute heirs of ultra-rich families adopted some random friend or lover to try and rope them into the fortune. It's not at all what the person making the will intended, but it's what happens.

Ann

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Re: Inheritance Drama: You Got Any? Stories Wanted.
« Reply #431 on: May 16, 2016, 04:04:27 AM »
I might have already mentioned this on here a long while back, but in case I didn't, here's a pro tip that I learned from unfortunate personal experience with a family member's estate: PUT SOMETHING IN YOUR WILL THAT PREVENTS STUFF GOING TO AN ADULT ADOPTEE.
I'm not quite sure why this is a concern.  You have money and leave it to a relative (let's say nephew).  Isn't it his now?  When he dies, wouldn't it now be part of his estate and go to whom his will dictates?  So what if he wants to leave his stuff to a drunken friend?  What if he had a feckless son?  Would you try to take back what you willed beyond the grave?

Once you give a gift, doesn't it belong to the recipient?

Edited to say: I guess I don't understand how trusts work.  So normally once the receptient dies, anything left in the trust goes back to the original estate?
« Last Edit: May 16, 2016, 04:29:24 AM by Ann »

SwordGuy

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Re: Inheritance Drama: You Got Any? Stories Wanted.
« Reply #432 on: May 16, 2016, 04:31:40 AM »
I might have already mentioned this on here a long while back, but in case I didn't, here's a pro tip that I learned from unfortunate personal experience with a family member's estate: PUT SOMETHING IN YOUR WILL THAT PREVENTS STUFF GOING TO AN ADULT ADOPTEE.
I'm not quite sure why this is a concern.  You have money and leave it to a relative (let's say nephew).  Isn't it his now?  When he dies, wouldn't it now be part of his estate and go to whom his will dictates?  So what if he wants to leave his stuff to a drunken friend?  What if he had a feckless son?  Would you try to take back what you willed beyond the grave?

Once you give a gift, doesn't it belong to the recipient?

Exactly.  It's theirs to do with as they will, for good or ill.

On another note, an aunt of my wife died recently.  She's always been reputed to be wealthy, with gobs of Krugerrands, etc.
My wife's worthless sister, who in her 50s still think the world revolves around her and her wants, has been sucking up to said aunt for the last couple of years as the aunt's health failed.  This was so the aunt would give her all the money.

She's been playing the "I prayed and God told me to tell you to do {fill in the blank action that benefits her}." card ever since her dad died.  When she pulled that on my wife, telling her that their recently departed father had appointed the sister as his spokesperson here on Earth.

"Oh, really?  How did he do that?  Did he phone you?  Or send you a telex?"     They haven't spoken since and that's been twenty five years or so.   My wife won't put up with her crap and her sister knows it.

Anyway, the sister apparently overplayed her hand.  She started telling the aunt that God had instructed her to tell the aunt to do {fill in the blank}."  The aunt changed her mind and is only giving her a small amount, enough to pay off her house and car, instead.   She was expecting multiple millions.

As disinterested parties, we find that very funny.     Sadly, those who think they deserve all the aunt's money are now tying things up in court.  That means the people who should really inherit it will get less after the legal fees and much delayed, as well.   We don't have a dog in that hunt so it's no skin off our back either way.

This is the same sister who told her mom, back in 1999, that her mom should go ahead and put mom's house in sister's name.  That way, when the nation imploded from the year 99 bug, sister in California could sell the property in WV.   After all, with the country fallen apart, she wouldn't be able to get back to the homestead to do that.  Her mom's response was "How stupid does she think I am?" along with "No."




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Re: Inheritance Drama: You Got Any? Stories Wanted.
« Reply #433 on: May 16, 2016, 09:06:37 AM »
I might have already mentioned this on here a long while back, but in case I didn't, here's a pro tip that I learned from unfortunate personal experience with a family member's estate: PUT SOMETHING IN YOUR WILL THAT PREVENTS STUFF GOING TO AN ADULT ADOPTEE. Heirs sometimes adopt adults who are friends of theirs, lovers, whatever, solely to make that friend/lover/whatever inherit property from someone else. For instance, let's say granny leaves money in trust for a son; let's say she did it that way instead of just leaving the money for him to spend at will because he's terrible with money and she wanted to make sure his basic expenses would be covered so he wouldn't just waste all the money and end up in the gutter.

If you do this, any competent estate planner will have you also specify what happens to any money that's left in the trust if the beneficiary (the terrible-with-money son) dies. And if what you put is something along the lines of "the money goes to my descendants" (i.e. it gets split between your kids and/or grandkids, including any kids of the son), guess what? All your dissolute son has to do is adopt a friend of his and boom, a proportional chunk of your money will go to that random friend of his, diminishing the amount that goes to your kids/grandkids/etc. This works whether he adopts the friend before or after your death. 

If your will is interpreted under Colorado law that won't happen, AFAIK, because Colorado law makes people who are adopted as adults the heirs of their adoptive parent(s) but not the legal relatives of anyone else in the family (only people adopted as children become relatives of the entire family). But in every other state whose law I'm familiar with, adult adoption works like regular adoption: it makes the adoptee a legal relative of the entire family, so any references in wills or trusts to descendants, children, grandchildren, etc., include that person. If you google it, you'll see a few court cases where the dissolute heirs of ultra-rich families adopted some random friend or lover to try and rope them into the fortune. It's not at all what the person making the will intended, but it's what happens.

In order to enforce this, or any attempt to control one's heirs beyond the grave, one has to set up a trust that is administered by a neutral third party such as a bank or a law firm. A person can put absolutely anything into their will, but the executor will ultimately do whatever he or she wants. You can sue after the fact if you get screwed over, but you can't prevent the person in charge of administering the estate to do what they want instead of following instructions.
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Villanelle

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Re: Inheritance Drama: You Got Any? Stories Wanted.
« Reply #434 on: May 16, 2016, 12:11:29 PM »
We recently re-did our wills, and the lawyer, who was kind of an ass (but we had no real choice as he was free and randomly assigned to use via the military) really balked when we said we didn't want to leave to any future kids.  (We are both 40 and don't want kids; it ain't happening), and then again that we didn't want our secondary line of inheritance (if any of the first set pre-decede us). Our money goes to the zoo and a few other charities, and a portion to my side (sister, who has no kids, doesn't want them, and is older than I am) and a portion to DH's (mother, who certainly isn't having any more kids).  If sister goes, my parents would get her share (though that seems unlikely) and if MIL goes, DH's brother would get the share going to his family.

If anyone adopts any kids or anything, that's on them, and doesn't change our views.  Listing specific people makes it very clear that any future kids, natural or adopted or whatever, don't change things.  Of course, this works for us because we don't have kids so we weren't worried about leaving out future offspring.  But with these things, the more specific you can be, the better. 

OTOH, I'll be dead.  If there was some scenario where some adoptee (for the purposes of inheriting) got some of my money down the road, meh.  Perhaps I'd feel differently if I had other kids, away from whom that would be taking money, but I don't.  And I generally think that trying to control one's heirs from beyond the grave is manipulative and often creates from awful situations for families to wade through.  Take what I offer, and if you spend it in a month on hookers and blow, whatever.  Your problem, not mine.

Digital Dogma

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Re: Inheritance Drama: You Got Any? Stories Wanted.
« Reply #435 on: May 16, 2016, 01:46:18 PM »
I had seen the toll that this sort of drama has taken on my father not long ago.

His sister had originally set up a trust and a will to pass on any inheritance equitably between families on her side, and her husband's side. She passed away after becoming suddenly incapacitated, then my Father had to make the decision to take her off life support given what was in the will and what we learned about her condition. Simultaneously, her husband was experiencing mid to late stage Alzheimers symptoms, and he wasn't all together. Shortly after the passing of my father's sister, her former husband begins 'dating' again. This quickly lead to money draining out of the Trust to pay for nightly dinners at expensive restaurants with the concept that they'll use that trust money instead of either of their accounts so that when my uncle passed away they could give the maximum inheritance to the uncles side of the family at the expense of our side of the family. Thats a pretty shitty thing to do, and to do it while exploiting someone's medical condition just makes it worse.

It wasn't much longer than a year or so till my Uncle passed away as well, leaving another battle to execute the trust, change lawyers, and clean up the mess.

My Father treated the trust as his Sister's last wishes and fought tooth and nail for it to be executed properly so he could finally achieve some peace of mind. That taught me something. He made it clear that I'll be the executor of their will in the future rather than my older sibling. I plan on being equitable, fair, and transparent. Money is the last thing I will want to think about when that day comes.

Daleth

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Re: Inheritance Drama: You Got Any? Stories Wanted.
« Reply #436 on: May 17, 2016, 09:27:29 AM »
I might have already mentioned this on here a long while back, but in case I didn't, here's a pro tip that I learned from unfortunate personal experience with a family member's estate: PUT SOMETHING IN YOUR WILL THAT PREVENTS STUFF GOING TO AN ADULT ADOPTEE.
I'm not quite sure why this is a concern.  You have money and leave it to a relative (let's say nephew).  Isn't it his now?  When he dies, wouldn't it now be part of his estate and go to whom his will dictates?

Not if you leave it in trust, as in the example I gave. When you create a trust, you dictate who the beneficiary is and what happens to the money. Normally the interest, or the interest and some very small part of the principal, goes to the beneficiary and the only time major chunks of the principal can be paid out is for necessary expenses you define (medical care, education, etc.). The reason people do this can be because the beneficiary is terrible with money, or too old/incapacitated to deal with money, or is handicapped and you want to ensure they have money for major medical expenses for however long they live. Stuff like that.

And because you don't know how long the beneficiary will live, you have to dictate what happens to any remaining money if the beneficiary dies before it's all spent. You will probably want that remaining money to go to the people and/or charities of your choice. But if you set it up to go to "your descendants" or "your grandchildren" or any other defined group of relatives, which is usually how it's set up when it's not all going to charity, a relative of yours can do an adult adoption to bring in someone you never had any intention of giving it to. It could even bring in someone you specifically intended to disinherit. For instance, if you left it to "your descendants," a child of yours could adopt their girlfriend to make her one of your descendants, and then they get two shares of the money instead of just the one share you meant each of your children to get.


Daleth

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Re: Inheritance Drama: You Got Any? Stories Wanted.
« Reply #437 on: May 17, 2016, 09:30:26 AM »
Listing specific people makes it very clear that any future kids, natural or adopted or whatever, don't change things. 

Listing specific people means that if they die before you, you have to go in and change your will, unless you put something in your will for that contingency (i.e. said who gets the money if they predecease you).

mm1970

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Re: Inheritance Drama: You Got Any? Stories Wanted.
« Reply #438 on: May 17, 2016, 11:30:53 AM »
I might have already mentioned this on here a long while back, but in case I didn't, here's a pro tip that I learned from unfortunate personal experience with a family member's estate: PUT SOMETHING IN YOUR WILL THAT PREVENTS STUFF GOING TO AN ADULT ADOPTEE.
I'm not quite sure why this is a concern.  You have money and leave it to a relative (let's say nephew).  Isn't it his now?  When he dies, wouldn't it now be part of his estate and go to whom his will dictates?

Not if you leave it in trust, as in the example I gave. When you create a trust, you dictate who the beneficiary is and what happens to the money. Normally the interest, or the interest and some very small part of the principal, goes to the beneficiary and the only time major chunks of the principal can be paid out is for necessary expenses you define (medical care, education, etc.). The reason people do this can be because the beneficiary is terrible with money, or too old/incapacitated to deal with money, or is handicapped and you want to ensure they have money for major medical expenses for however long they live. Stuff like that.

And because you don't know how long the beneficiary will live, you have to dictate what happens to any remaining money if the beneficiary dies before it's all spent. You will probably want that remaining money to go to the people and/or charities of your choice. But if you set it up to go to "your descendants" or "your grandchildren" or any other defined group of relatives, which is usually how it's set up when it's not all going to charity, a relative of yours can do an adult adoption to bring in someone you never had any intention of giving it to. It could even bring in someone you specifically intended to disinherit. For instance, if you left it to "your descendants," a child of yours could adopt their girlfriend to make her one of your descendants, and then they get two shares of the money instead of just the one share you meant each of your children to get.
This is interesting because, as mentioned upthread, my grandfather died decades ago and left a trust to his children, but not to be disbursed until his second wife died (which she did, just recently).  I got a packet yesterday mentioning that I get 1/7 of what's left after my uncles get 1/3.  And...I can't figure out that math.  My math tells me that it should be 1/12.  Because my mom would have gotten 1/4 of the remaining (but she died first), and she has 3 kids.

But one of my aunts also died.  And she has 3 kids.  There are 2 living aunts.  So I just can't come up with 1/7 in any way, shape, or form. My mom was the executor when my grandfather passed, so I'm going to chalk it up to my bad memory, or my just not understanding it all.

merula

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Re: Inheritance Drama: You Got Any? Stories Wanted.
« Reply #439 on: May 17, 2016, 12:14:24 PM »
This is interesting because, as mentioned upthread, my grandfather died decades ago and left a trust to his children, but not to be disbursed until his second wife died (which she did, just recently).  I got a packet yesterday mentioning that I get 1/7 of what's left after my uncles get 1/3.  And...I can't figure out that math.  My math tells me that it should be 1/12.  Because my mom would have gotten 1/4 of the remaining (but she died first), and she has 3 kids.

But one of my aunts also died.  And she has 3 kids.  There are 2 living aunts.  So I just can't come up with 1/7 in any way, shape, or form. My mom was the executor when my grandfather passed, so I'm going to chalk it up to my bad memory, or my just not understanding it all.

I would ask the trustee. I'm not entirely clear, but it sounds like your grandfather had 6 children? (You said "uncles", your mother, one deceased aunt and two living aunts.) If so, then wouldn't each child get 1/6 and if the child had predeceased the step-mother, their heirs would split their share?

It could be that your grandfather designed the math to be funky, or it could be that the trustee is really bad with fractions.

Villanelle

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Re: Inheritance Drama: You Got Any? Stories Wanted.
« Reply #440 on: May 17, 2016, 01:32:37 PM »
Listing specific people makes it very clear that any future kids, natural or adopted or whatever, don't change things. 

Listing specific people means that if they die before you, you have to go in and change your will, unless you put something in your will for that contingency (i.e. said who gets the money if they predecease you).

That's what we did.  X% to sister.  If sister isn't around, her x% goes to dad.  if dad isn't around, it goes to mom.  In reality, if sister passes away, we'd likely redo the will.  The only thing we didn't do a chain of if/thens for was the money going to charity.  They are all major charities, extremely unlikely to disappear, but if that happens, admittedly there would be some mess for the executor. 

Again, this may not be a good path for people who have kids, thus creating a more obvious chain of inheritance.  But for us, it made much more sense than listing a category of people ("siblings").  Also, the % going to my side is going to a different relationship than the % going to DH's side (sister vs. mom) so it made the most sense to be very specific.  We are fine with the possibility of having to redo the wills someday, so that's not a major concern.  If several levels of people die in a catastrophe, it's possible we won't have enough layers, but in that case, even having listed levels of relationships rather than specific people would likely have done little good because we both have small immediate families. 

mm1970

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Re: Inheritance Drama: You Got Any? Stories Wanted.
« Reply #441 on: May 17, 2016, 04:55:28 PM »
This is interesting because, as mentioned upthread, my grandfather died decades ago and left a trust to his children, but not to be disbursed until his second wife died (which she did, just recently).  I got a packet yesterday mentioning that I get 1/7 of what's left after my uncles get 1/3.  And...I can't figure out that math.  My math tells me that it should be 1/12.  Because my mom would have gotten 1/4 of the remaining (but she died first), and she has 3 kids.

But one of my aunts also died.  And she has 3 kids.  There are 2 living aunts.  So I just can't come up with 1/7 in any way, shape, or form. My mom was the executor when my grandfather passed, so I'm going to chalk it up to my bad memory, or my just not understanding it all.

I would ask the trustee. I'm not entirely clear, but it sounds like your grandfather had 6 children? (You said "uncles", your mother, one deceased aunt and two living aunts.) If so, then wouldn't each child get 1/6 and if the child had predeceased the step-mother, their heirs would split their share?

It could be that your grandfather designed the math to be funky, or it could be that the trustee is really bad with fractions.
I'm voting bad with fractions!
Actually, there were 7 children. 
4 boys, 3 girls
1 boy died young (ish), with a wife and 6 kids

1 of the other uncles was part of my grandpa's business, so he got his "inheritance" while still living

As I recall it, there was "money" in the trust that would get split between the 2 living uncles.
And there was the house, to be sold, that would be split among the 3 daughters and daughter-in-law.

The house was sold long before my step-grandmother died, as she preferred to move to her own home that she'd kept.

So I still can't figure out the 1/7...unless my living aunt got hers while living?  (When the house sold, her son bought it, so maybe...?)

In any event, the trust folks can figure it out. By my calculation, it's about $5000, so I'm not going to sweat it.  While it's nice to have the money, it means we'll have to file state taxes in TWO states for the year, whenever it all gets disbursed, which is a PITA.

tomsang

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Re: Inheritance Drama: You Got Any? Stories Wanted.
« Reply #442 on: May 17, 2016, 05:04:42 PM »
In any event, the trust folks can figure it out. By my calculation, it's about $5000, so I'm not going to sweat it.  While it's nice to have the money, it means we'll have to file state taxes in TWO states for the year, whenever it all gets disbursed, which is a PITA.

Why will you have to file in TWO states?  Did the estate have a business?  You don't claim inheritance as income.  Just curious.

Capsu78

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Re: Inheritance Drama: You Got Any? Stories Wanted.
« Reply #443 on: May 18, 2016, 09:17:54 AM »
I follow this thread to observe the sheer dysfunction of some of the stories.  Here is a pretty deep dive from the BH forum that has plenty of pros and cons :

 https://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=191458

My takeaway remains the same:  Cost justify having a proper will drawn up by a lawyer because instead of a DIY project, you have the benefit of a lawyer whose last appointment or next appointment is with a client involved in this type of a drama.

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Re: Inheritance Drama: You Got Any? Stories Wanted.
« Reply #444 on: May 18, 2016, 11:14:15 AM »
In any event, the trust folks can figure it out. By my calculation, it's about $5000, so I'm not going to sweat it.  While it's nice to have the money, it means we'll have to file state taxes in TWO states for the year, whenever it all gets disbursed, which is a PITA.

Why will you have to file in TWO states?  Did the estate have a business?  You don't claim inheritance as income.  Just curious.

Straight inheritance: you are correct.  But it's unclear what is in the trust.  Some entities do create a taxable event.  For example, annuities.  Also, since this has been sitting in a trust for a while, I would assume even things like stocks are going to be taxable if sold.  The basis would have been established on date of death.  They could have increased in value since then.
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mm1970

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Re: Inheritance Drama: You Got Any? Stories Wanted.
« Reply #445 on: May 18, 2016, 11:33:08 AM »
In any event, the trust folks can figure it out. By my calculation, it's about $5000, so I'm not going to sweat it.  While it's nice to have the money, it means we'll have to file state taxes in TWO states for the year, whenever it all gets disbursed, which is a PITA.

Why will you have to file in TWO states?  Did the estate have a business?  You don't claim inheritance as income.  Just curious.

Straight inheritance: you are correct.  But it's unclear what is in the trust.  Some entities do create a taxable event.  For example, annuities.  Also, since this has been sitting in a trust for a while, I would assume even things like stocks are going to be taxable if sold.  The basis would have been established on date of death.  They could have increased in value since then.

Yeah, pretty much this.  PA requires it in any event.  Had to do the same when my father passed away a few years ago.

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Re: Inheritance Drama: You Got Any? Stories Wanted.
« Reply #446 on: May 22, 2016, 10:25:52 PM »
Mine is really sedate, and I just shake my head.

Grandpa got a cancer scare when I was ~14 and didn't want the guns in the house anymore (suicidal?). They were given to me for safe keeping, until I was old enough to keep them for real (huh?).

25 years later (grandpa passed 10 years ago), I found out that the pro gun control uncle has been pissed for 25 years that I have them. To his credit, he's hid it well (unless the relative who spilled the beans is making up stories). I offered to give them up on the condition that they come back to me. I was rebuffed, so it may all be a misunderstanding.

If you rant about the inappropriateness of firearms in homes, why would you be mad at being deprived of firearms in your home?

zolotiyeruki

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Re: Inheritance Drama: You Got Any? Stories Wanted.
« Reply #447 on: May 23, 2016, 08:06:42 AM »
Grandpa got a cancer scare when I was ~14 and didn't want the guns in the house anymore (suicidal?). They were given to me for safe keeping, until I was old enough to keep them for real (huh?).

25 years later (grandpa passed 10 years ago), I found out that the pro gun control uncle has been pissed for 25 years that I have them. To his credit, he's hid it well (unless the relative who spilled the beans is making up stories). I offered to give them up on the condition that they come back to me. I was rebuffed, so it may all be a misunderstanding.

If you rant about the inappropriateness of firearms in homes, why would you be mad at being deprived of firearms in your home?
So....he doesn't like guns, but he's upset that he didn't get them?  Something doesn't add up here.

Dicey

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Re: Inheritance Drama: You Got Any? Stories Wanted.
« Reply #448 on: May 23, 2016, 08:10:55 AM »
If you rant about the inappropriateness of firearms in homes, why would you be mad at being deprived of firearms in your home?
Possibly because you want the chance to take them out of circulation by destroying them, or you want to sell them off and get the money they represent, which is its own kind of twisted.
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Re: Inheritance Drama: You Got Any? Stories Wanted.
« Reply #449 on: May 23, 2016, 08:26:09 AM »
.
Grandpa got a cancer scare when I was ~14 and didn't want the guns in the house anymore (suicidal?). They were given to me for safe keeping.....
 I found out that the pro gun control uncle has been pissed for 25 years that I have them.

Is it possible he thought the decision to give guns to a 14-year-old was inappropriate?  I could see how someone could be concerned.  That's right at the beginning of the rebellious, reckless years and also when a lot of people go through periods of depression.  Maybe not.  You know him, and I just read a paragraph about him in a post.  I was trying to put a positive spin on it, because, yeah, otherwise it's just odd.