Author Topic: Family Mistakes + Family Pressure = YOUR Problem  (Read 7717 times)

Hunny156

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 459
Family Mistakes + Family Pressure = YOUR Problem
« on: December 23, 2016, 01:06:36 PM »
Ugh, I'm in a total grinch mood right now!  Hubby's aunt is a widow, with two grown kids.  One has a rare disease that is slowly killing her, the other one is MIA due to an argument many years ago, which happened over money.

I like this woman, although she often comes across very blunt, which I find off-putting.  Finances have always been tight on that side of the family, and she hasn't been shy in the past of making comments like "your side of the family has deeper pockets".  Hubby & his brother have a soft spot for her, partially out of sympathy and partially from good memories spent together during childhood.  So in the past, when donations were requested, I agreed to assist, mostly since my hubby wanted to help out.  I have pointed out that we are only creating a crutch for her, and that she is not of limited means as she often portrays.  Part of it is unwillingness to change her lifestyle, and part of it may be living beyond her means, but I don't know enough of the situation, I just point out what seems to be obvious to me (like the multiple insurance policies she cashed in when her husband passed away 7 years ago).  For example, she has a paid off home in a high COL area, downsizing to an apartment and using the proceeds to live off of, along with Social Security and some part time work, should be the obvious move here.  No one wants to suggest it though, and everyone get super uncomfortable when these situations pop up.  Here's the latest one:

Hubby's uncle sent a message to hubby, hubby's brother and their father last night.  Windowed aunt called him, she was very upset.  She gave a house key to her female neighbor a few months ago, so the woman could let her dog out in the yard while she was at work. (She works long hours in low paying retail jobs, mostly to keep busy/keep income coming in).  Apparently, the neighbor had asked her sons to handle the dog, and the sons were slowly robbing her, but she didn't notice.  Until last night, when she saw that the pillows on her bed were not the way she left them, and that's when she realized that they had been stealing cash and coin collections from her.  She called the cops, and they found some of the coins in the neighbors house and arrested the boys.  If this isn't another clear sign to sell the house and simplify your life, I don't know what is.

Hubby called her this morning, and she admitted she lost $7K in cash, plus whatever the coins were worth.  She said she kept the cash in a safe, but it's unclear as to how they were getting in the safe w/o her noticing.  When asked why she was keeping that kind of money around the house, she said that between work and caring for her sick child (she lives at least 45 min away w/her husband), she didn't have time to go to the bank.  Not sure if she is getting paid off the books, I would doubt it b/c the retail jobs are more of the corporate variety, not the local mom n pop type of place, but these are the type of things that make me wonder what's really going on.

Making matters worse, this money was earmarked to pay the property taxes on her house, due at the end of this month.  Not sure if she flat out asked for help again, or just assumed that we would chip in again, but this is where we stand.  Sounds like my father in law is ready to hand over a grand.  Hubby is waiting to hear back from his brother, after he talks to his wife, to see what they will give, and I already know we will at least match that.  So now I'm sitting here, waiting to see how much this will cost us, and while I do feel for this woman, I'm annoyed that once again, we are being asked to help.

Hubby agreed that he didn't want to give anything, but he's just going along with the rest of the family.  I pretty much told him the same, I don't agree with us enabling her, but I'll do whatever he wants to do.  We can afford it, that's not the issue, but it's really annoying me that this is our problem to deal with, when no one wants to point out that she needs to make changes so she can stop struggling, and to some extent, it bothers me that she's reaching this far down the family tree, when her son is a few blocks away, and she has refused to make peace with him. 

I know, I'm venting, but I'm really interested in what you would do, given this situation? Thank You.

lhamo

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 9905
  • Location: Seattle
Re: Family Mistakes + Family Pressure = YOUR Problem
« Reply #1 on: December 23, 2016, 01:25:39 PM »
This situation was totally of her own making.  I would not bail her out.  I would respond something to this effect:

Dear Auntie,

Terribly sorry to hear about the money you lost recently.  Unfortunately, we are not in a position to offer you financial help at this time.  If you haven't done so already, we would recommend that you follow up with your homeowners insurance provider to see if there is any possibility of reimbursement through them. 

Additionally, given that the thieves live next door, we would strongly recommend that you consider putting your house on the market immediately.  Selling the house will enable you to avoid any future possible conflicts with this family, which are probably inevitable since you (rightfully) called the cops on these kids.  It will also provide the money you need to pay the tax bill, and give you the opportunity to move to a more affordable location that will reduce your living expenses and make it easier for you to get by as you eventually move toward retirement -- maybe you can move closer to Cousin? 

Again, really sorry to hear about this unfortunate turn of events, but hopefully this will all turn out ok for you.

Your nephew and niece

Dezrah

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 458
Re: Family Mistakes + Family Pressure = YOUR Problem
« Reply #2 on: December 23, 2016, 01:45:32 PM »
Making matters worse, this money was earmarked to pay the property taxes on her house, due at the end of this month. 

Something about this has my spidey sense tingling.  She finds it a huge hassle to go to the bank yet she is carefully and diligently saving for her property taxes in cash?  If I were planning to do that, I would be regularly adding to it and carefully counting it each and every time so I knew I would hit the target number.  Yet she didn't notice she was being robbed for weeks?  Something is off.

My guess, she was always going to ask for money.  This sad event just gives her a sympathetic reason to ask.  I hope I'm wrong.

Don't homeowner's policies cover robberies?  Your family should offer to help her through that first.  Also, I think some jurisdictions will allow for an extension under special circumstances and this might qualify.  Call up the local tax collector to ask.  Just make a cash handout a last resort.

Catbert

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1731
  • Location: Southern California
Re: Family Mistakes + Family Pressure = YOUR Problem
« Reply #3 on: December 23, 2016, 04:39:26 PM »
I agree with both Ilamo and Dezrah, since Hubby is at least sorta on board, this is the time to draw the line and quit giving her money.  Have Hubby use Ilamo's letter  as a template  (adapt as necessary).  (However, let me guess that she has no homeowners insurance because the house is paid off and no one is forcing her to have it.) 

If she doesn't pay her property taxes on time, she'll rack up penalties and interest, however, it will be a long time before the house is sold for back taxes.

BlueHouse

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3213
  • Location: WDC
Re: Family Mistakes + Family Pressure = YOUR Problem
« Reply #4 on: December 24, 2016, 09:05:21 AM »
Ask for a copy of the police report.  Make sure everything is in order.  Then ask for a copy of whatever her homeowners insurance has written to her about this.  With a police report, the insurance should be able to kick in something. 

But I would absolutely say that you need a copy of the report if you are going to give any money to replace what was lost.  Just say you're going to keep it with your records and see if you can be reimbursed for covering a loss.  The real reason of course is just to put Auntie on notice that you'll be verifying these stories. 

LadyStache in Baja

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 698
    • My Casa Caoba: Making meaning in Mexico
Re: Family Mistakes + Family Pressure = YOUR Problem
« Reply #5 on: December 24, 2016, 11:28:26 AM »
No way!  Who doesn't get paid direct deposit these days?  Can you call the places she works at and just ask anonymously somehow? 

I feel for those boys who were obviously thieves, but there's no way they stole 7000 dollars.  She didn't have 7000 dollars in that safe.  She made that up.  Why wouldn't she?  There's no record of what goes into the safe.

Difficult difficult situation here, but there's no way she's telling the truth.  Retail places don't even have that much cash on hand to pay their salaries that way.  Think about it...everyone pays with a card.  The only people that get paid in cash are waitresses, because they get tips.  Although again, that might not even be true these days since everyone uses cards!

KBecks

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1966
Re: Family Mistakes + Family Pressure = YOUR Problem
« Reply #6 on: December 24, 2016, 11:39:31 AM »
I guess I would wait on this unless you are outright asked for money to help. 

If you are asked to help, then I'd ask a few more questions about what happened, what was recovered from the neighbors, the status of the police investigation, insurance, etc. 

I would probably not offer money even if pressed. 

If the aunt takes money from you, you can give it with strings attached and then you can give her all the advice you want, but she sounds like someone who is resistant to advice, so I would not go there and not give money. 

There is a book called Boundaries that Dave Ramsey recommends to people who are struggling with situations like this.

FINate

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1403
Re: Family Mistakes + Family Pressure = YOUR Problem
« Reply #7 on: December 24, 2016, 01:38:10 PM »
I'm in agreement with others on this thread: Don't give any money. The only situation I would even possibly consider, and this is a huge maybe, is if she provides a full vetting of her financial situation and is willing to work with you to fix the underlying cause. Doing this within family is a minefield and she will probably be offended that you're prying into her privacy, but she's the one asking for money. Asking for free money and expecting no strings attached is absurd if you think about it.  The real problem is that she, like so many people, insists on consuming the the very ragged edge of financial ruin - a break-in should not be a catastrophic event. There's no amount of money you can give to fix this because she will always spend whatever cash is on hand.

Which brings me to my second point: There's no way she had $7k in cash. My guess is that she had a designated pile of cash in the safe that she intended to accumulate and use for property taxes, but she didn't save enough, and 'borrowed' from it for little things here and there, and now is shocked that she is $7k short for taxes, so it must be because the neighbor kids have been stealing it. She may even believe her own story.

Frankies Girl

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3036
  • Age: 82
  • Location: The laboratory
  • Typical Ghoul Next Door
Re: Family Mistakes + Family Pressure = YOUR Problem
« Reply #8 on: December 24, 2016, 01:41:48 PM »
If you have not been asked directly, then do not bring it up at all.

If you are asked directly, then tell her you're very sorry for their circumstances, but you aren't able to offer anything other than sympathy. You have no available funds to offer. I'd even go so far as to lie: "I'm so sorry this happened to you Aunt, but we've had a bit of bad luck regarding bills and income lately and we just don't have anything to spare!" and if I was feeling particularly generous, I'd add: "I can help you look for options that might help tho, like maybe the property tax can be paid in installments? I can help look up some options for you if you aren't sure how to proceed."

Do not get into reasons why, or nitpick over the circumstances that led to her needing money again. This is pointless. Just say no, so sorry and move on. There is no need to get into details and worry whether she's lying or what really happened. She has options like selling the property, working more, contacting the agencies she owes and paying on a payment plan.


pbkmaine

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 8376
  • Age: 63
  • Location: The Villages, Florida
Re: Family Mistakes + Family Pressure = YOUR Problem
« Reply #9 on: December 24, 2016, 01:48:10 PM »
As my Dad always used to say: "They will go to the well until it runs dry."

Josiecat

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 305
Re: Family Mistakes + Family Pressure = YOUR Problem
« Reply #10 on: December 24, 2016, 06:01:09 PM »
Give her $100 bucks and tell her that is all you can afford to give.

chasesfish

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3284
  • Age: 37
  • Location: Texas
Re: Family Mistakes + Family Pressure = YOUR Problem
« Reply #11 on: December 24, 2016, 06:44:09 PM »
I would just politely pass on providing money.  Dictating terms or making suggestions like full time work, sell the house, will only create more animosity.  Offer to help with your time if she decides she cannot stay in the house.

uppy

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 220
  • Location: Belize
Re: Family Mistakes + Family Pressure = YOUR Problem
« Reply #12 on: December 24, 2016, 07:33:00 PM »
Don't know why I find myself sympathizing with the aunt. Maybe she's bad at money management, but she's obviously not just mooching -- you said she works long hours. She also seems to have had some really bad luck. Husband passed away? One kid died and the other MIA? Works low paid job for a shitty corporation? Who wouldn't be depressed and less than high-functioning?

I'm sorry but your response comes off like the high-horsey, "pull up your bootstraps" type stuff I hear a lot from people who are well-off. "I'm rich, so you should be too or you're lazy." You said yourself it's no big deal to give her a grand. I sympathize with you, too, that it sucks to give hand-outs repeatedly -- and I can tell you if it was my sister in law I would feel exactly the same as you. But in the end, you do it, and you forgive them for it, because #1 you CAN and #2, your annoyance is a small price to pay to make a huge difference in this woman's life.

Put another way, yes, your family could all get together and agree to wall her out and punish her for her bad choices. But I'm willing to bet if your heart isn't really made of stone, you will feel guilty about it forever. Chances are neither action will be the magic pill that fixes all her problems and makes her "see the light." So you bite the bullet and help her out.

No sweat off your back -- forget about it the second you sign the check.

handsnhearts

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 273
Re: Family Mistakes + Family Pressure = YOUR Problem
« Reply #13 on: December 25, 2016, 01:59:48 AM »
Don't know why I find myself sympathizing with the aunt. Maybe she's bad at money management, but she's obviously not just mooching -- you said she works long hours. She also seems to have had some really bad luck. Husband passed away? One kid died and the other MIA? Works low paid job for a shitty corporation? Who wouldn't be depressed and less than high-functioning?

I'm sorry but your response comes off like the high-horsey, "pull up your bootstraps" type stuff I hear a lot from people who are well-off. "I'm rich, so you should be too or you're lazy." You said yourself it's no big deal to give her a grand. I sympathize with you, too, that it sucks to give hand-outs repeatedly -- and I can tell you if it was my sister in law I would feel exactly the same as you. But in the end, you do it, and you forgive them for it, because #1 you CAN and #2, your annoyance is a small price to pay to make a huge difference in this woman's life.

Put another way, yes, your family could all get together and agree to wall her out and punish her for her bad choices. But I'm willing to bet if your heart isn't really made of stone, you will feel guilty about it forever. Chances are neither action will be the magic pill that fixes all her problems and makes her "see the light." So you bite the bullet and help her out.

No sweat off your back -- forget about it the second you sign the check.


+1 

I am bothered that everyone assumes the auntie is running a scam.  Sounds like she was scammed, perhaps, by being burglarized.  That is certainly not her fault, as she was trusting a friend/neighbor to help her, and got burgled. 

It sounds like the police were called and they found her stolen items at the neighbor's house!  Why should she have to move because her neighbors are criminals? 

You should never give money to relatives if you don't want to.  It creates bad feelings.  But it can also create bad feelings if you do have extra money and it is obvious and you are not generous with people who have been generous with you over the years. 

It sounds like you are too involved in a family drama, and you have a lot of judgement about this auntie.  That is fine, but own it. 

former player

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4686
  • Location: Avalon
Re: Family Mistakes + Family Pressure = YOUR Problem
« Reply #14 on: December 25, 2016, 05:42:01 AM »
Christmas lunchtime here in the UK, and the second bottle of champagne has been opened, so please take this comment with all the requisite warnings -

I do not understand why she kept a dog (first typing, god) at this house when she lived 45 mins away with her husband.

Does not compute.

Don't give money until it does compute.  Nigerian scam indicated.

Edited to add: I've had another, sober, go at parsing the original message.  The use of personal pronouns is confusing, and I'm still not entirely sure whose dog was being let into the yard, but I'm now assuming that the person who lives 45 minutes away without her husband is the sick daughter.

I don't think it is OP's role to start acting as a private detective, asking for police reports and the like.   They need to offer sympathy.  They probably also need to offer money to match what OP's FIL and BIL are offering, as not matching that money has potentially implications for OP's spouse's relationships with their father and brother, so there are good reasons to do it unrelated to the aunt's situation.  If they are to do anything else, I would suggest asking the aunt what her ideal living situation is in the longer-term.  For instance, rather than suggesting downsizing for monetary reasons, suggesting a move to an easily maintained property nearer the sick daughter could be more palatable, as it would free up the aunt's time and energy for the important job of looking after her daughter.
« Last Edit: December 26, 2016, 01:59:00 AM by former player »

2Birds1Stone

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5674
  • Age: 1
  • Location: Earth
  • K Thnx Bye
Re: Family Mistakes + Family Pressure = YOUR Problem
« Reply #15 on: December 25, 2016, 05:58:03 AM »
I agree wholeheartedly with Ihamo,

You already set a bad precedent by helping in the past. This sort of request/expectation is going to make matters much much worse in the future.


The Money Monk

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 619
  • Location: Nevada
Re: Family Mistakes + Family Pressure = YOUR Problem
« Reply #16 on: December 25, 2016, 07:56:22 PM »


"Givers have to set limits, because takers never do"

- Ed Latimore

FINate

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1403
Re: Family Mistakes + Family Pressure = YOUR Problem
« Reply #17 on: December 26, 2016, 11:09:25 AM »
Don't know why I find myself sympathizing with the aunt. Maybe she's bad at money management, but she's obviously not just mooching -- you said she works long hours. She also seems to have had some really bad luck. Husband passed away? One kid died and the other MIA? Works low paid job for a shitty corporation? Who wouldn't be depressed and less than high-functioning?

I'm sorry but your response comes off like the high-horsey, "pull up your bootstraps" type stuff I hear a lot from people who are well-off. "I'm rich, so you should be too or you're lazy." You said yourself it's no big deal to give her a grand. I sympathize with you, too, that it sucks to give hand-outs repeatedly -- and I can tell you if it was my sister in law I would feel exactly the same as you. But in the end, you do it, and you forgive them for it, because #1 you CAN and #2, your annoyance is a small price to pay to make a huge difference in this woman's life.

Put another way, yes, your family could all get together and agree to wall her out and punish her for her bad choices. But I'm willing to bet if your heart isn't really made of stone, you will feel guilty about it forever. Chances are neither action will be the magic pill that fixes all her problems and makes her "see the light." So you bite the bullet and help her out.

No sweat off your back -- forget about it the second you sign the check.


+1 

I am bothered that everyone assumes the auntie is running a scam.  Sounds like she was scammed, perhaps, by being burglarized.  That is certainly not her fault, as she was trusting a friend/neighbor to help her, and got burgled. 

It sounds like the police were called and they found her stolen items at the neighbor's house!  Why should she have to move because her neighbors are criminals? 

You should never give money to relatives if you don't want to.  It creates bad feelings.  But it can also create bad feelings if you do have extra money and it is obvious and you are not generous with people who have been generous with you over the years. 

It sounds like you are too involved in a family drama, and you have a lot of judgement about this auntie.  That is fine, but own it.

Nothing wrong with people on this thread and/or OP acknowledging that something is askew with this situation. Quick review of the facts as understood by the OP. This Aunt:
  • Has a history of asking for donations from family.
  • Owns a rather large asset (paid off home in HCOL area) while struggling to make ends meet, including paying property taxes on said house.
  • Kept a large amount of irreplaceable cash at home which she depended on, instead of at the bank. Banks allow for ATM deposits so it's not like bank hours or teller lines would be an issue.
  • While it may be true that the neighbors were stealing from her (a police report could verify this fact), there's no way of knowing if the $7k ever really existed. That's the problem with cash, and that's why homeowners insurances does not cover it, and other reason to keep in the bank where it IS insured.
Even if we assume her neighbors are criminals, there's no way to know how much cash they actually stole. And the real problem is that she needs to downsize and address structural issues in her finances. This month it's criminal neighbors. In the spring it will be car troubles. After that, a roof that needs to be replaced. There's no amount of money OP and family can give that will fix the root problem, no point in throwing good money after bad. Cutting off funding is not something OP or other family members should feel guilty about in this situation.

clarkfan1979

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1916
  • Age: 40
  • Location: Pueblo, CO
Re: Family Mistakes + Family Pressure = YOUR Problem
« Reply #18 on: December 26, 2016, 11:25:45 AM »
Bummer. Family drama is a tough one. It seems like the other family members are willing to help out. As a result, your participation may not matter. If you don't give they seem like they might pick up the slack. The likelihood of the auntie straightening out her finances seems very slim at this point. Everyone would need to cut her off, not just one person.

frugaldrummer

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 714
Re: Family Mistakes + Family Pressure = YOUR Problem
« Reply #19 on: December 26, 2016, 12:52:45 PM »
1) Definitely request the police report, just to verify.  (On a much smaller scale, my friend's stepmom told her that there was a burglary at her music store and the thieves stole the guitar that she had promised to my friend. Didn't take anything else, no cash, computer, other valuable instruments - just that one.  Friend is pretty sure she sold it to pay her moving costs but was embarrassed to admit it so made up that story.)  I think for the sake of the family you need to participate, but it should come with some changes, see below.

2) Aunt may be starting to have dementia or may be suffering from something else (alcoholism, severe depression, gambling addiction) that is clouding her judgment. Someone close to her needs to step in and evaluate her finances and see whether she needs help managing them.  She has a lot to be depressed about.  People make irrational decisions when depressed.  Also she may have been the kind of woman who always let her husband manage the finances and may need help getting a grip on them.

3) It's easy for you to sit back and say that she should give up her house and move to an apartment but that's a very difficult thing to do for some older people, especially if their social life (neighbors) and memories of their spouse/children are tied up in the home.  Again, someone close to her needs to help her figure out her finances.  Perhaps taking in a roommate would be a solution for her financially and with the dog?  Or maybe someone close to her could point out the financial options for her. 

4)  You never mentioned in which direction the financial fight with her son went - was he taking money from her, or did he get tired of giving her money?  Might make a difference.

Yes, it sounds like the cash story is either fishy or a sign of very poor judgment.  And no, insurance would not reimburse her for cash as there is no proof she ever had it.  I suppose she could take the boys' family to small claims court if there is evidence of the boys going on a spending spree. 

If the consensus is that it's fishy (i.e. no police report) then I would suggest family members get together and say they'll help pay the taxes but she has to reimburse them out of the house sale, and needs to sell her house and move into something she can afford.


KBecks

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1966
Re: Family Mistakes + Family Pressure = YOUR Problem
« Reply #20 on: December 27, 2016, 07:13:10 AM »
Just a point in favor of the aunt.  I am not opposed to having some cash around the house.  I don't actually keep much cash in the house, but I would not at all be uncomfortable with keeping a few thousand of cash and some coins and jewelry in my home.
But, would I keep all the money I had in the world in my home?  No. 

If the boys had the coins she should have gotten some of them back.  It sounds like it might be an interesting story.  Try to maintain some distance but also if you are going to make a donation, then she's a little bit of your charity giving in this situation.

Try not to stress over it, and enjoy all the positives in your life. 

FINate

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1403
Re: Family Mistakes + Family Pressure = YOUR Problem
« Reply #21 on: December 27, 2016, 01:27:48 PM »
It's fine to have a few thousand $ of cash and valuables at the house, but this has to be survivable if lost and a small percentage of your stache.

If you're going to get a safe it better be UL burglary rated (UL RSC for a few thousand $, TL-15 or TL-30 for higher values) and make sure it's properly bolted down. Too many people buy cheap fire safes incorrectly assuming these provide burglary protection - all they're doing is conveniently putting their valuables in one location for the crooks who break into these within a few seconds and/or walk off with the safe. A thief can break into any safe given enough time. However UL hires professional safe crackers for their tests so you have some assurance that it isn't trivially compromised, and the more time they are required to break in the more risk they take of getting caught (and the more likely they move on to easier stuff).

You're better off hiding valuables than using a cheap safe.


Hunny156

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 459
Re: Family Mistakes + Family Pressure = YOUR Problem
« Reply #22 on: December 27, 2016, 02:08:13 PM »
OK, so I have some updates to give:

Hubby has really stepped up in managing the immediate need, and had his Dad contact her and ask her what she needs right now.  She's given varying reports in the past about the tax bill, but now it seems like it's closer to $8K, not $12K as originally reported.  That being said, she's about $4K short, so another family member (the one who initiated contact with the rest of us), scrapped his gift card plan and chipped in, so we each contributed $1K.  Aunt made some noises about not being able to pay it back for a while, and it was made clear that repayment is not expected, but that no further donations will be made. 

Hubby is feeling a bit hurt at the moment, b/c he barely spoke to her, and she has not returned any of his calls over the weekend, but has spoken to the other family members, several of whom have informed her that he did the organizing, fronted all the money, etc, so we could overnight one check and get the tax bill paid before penalties accrue. (Things like this bug me, b/c it feels like she only makes contact when there is a need, and then breaks communication.  My sister in law feels exactly the same way, they only hear from her when there is a need.)

We saw two of the families over the weekend, and they have already reimbursed us for their share.  The third has mailed a check, so we'll be "even" hopefully by the end of the year.

Over the weekend, I've heard varying stories, she may be giving different accounts of what happened, or maybe she is getting dementia and her recall isn't great, I just don't know.  Part of the money was being saved to cover the daughter's funeral expenses, and she was keeping it in the house so it wouldn't affect the daughter's Medicaid eligibility.  As for the property taxes, she was storing the money in the bank, and pulled some of it out to make a partial payment in cash, but they only accept payments during a certain time frame, so they refused the payment.  She then tossed the funds in an envelope, and put it in her nightstand.  Another recount discussed the safe, but she had left the safe unlocked.

The boys next door stole cash, all the coins in the collection, and ammunition, not clear if they stole any guns too, or if she recalls everything.  I think she's going to have a few months of looking for stuff, not finding it, and realizing at that point that it was something else attributable to the robbery.  When the police went next door, they found one specific coin she was able to describe, and she had scrawled something on the envelope with the tax money in it, and the cops found the envelope with some money in it, not sure how much, but from what I understand, the police won't be returning the money to her anyway, since there is no way to prove that it was her money.  The police also found the ammunition in their possession.  The value of everything they found was enough to push the charges up to a higher level, they are looking at 7 years if convicted.  Looks like her friend, their mother, is not able to come up with bail money, so they are sitting in jail, with relatively low bond amounts.  What really sucks is that all the neighbors have experienced petty theft over the years, and they all attributed the thefts to these boys, and the aunt was aware of this.  So yes, this whole thing was totally preventable, but it happened, it is what it is.

She did contact her insurance company immediately after, but she has no receipts, no video documentation to show the hard items that were stolen, and they won't reimburse cash. They offered to pay her $500 on the claim, which is what her deductible is, so in other words, nothing.

I've suggested that in light of some of these revelations, what she likely needs more than cash, is some sound legal advice.  It won't be suggested by us; we've told my father in law, who is closest to her, to broach the subject once things calm down.  The idea that she was keeping cash in the house to help cover her daughter's funeral so her Medicaid wouldn't be affected is a perfect example of just not understanding the system - those funds should have been directed to an account at the funeral home of choice, to pre-pay her expenses.

Someone asked about the issue with her son and how it relates to money.  I tend to write novels, which is why I didn't elaborate, but in hindsight, it is very relevant and may give some additional "color" into why this current event was so frustrating to learn about.  The son is on his second marriage.  Wife has two kids from a previous relationship, and one from this current marriage, which is a long, successful marriage.  The aunt only considers this one child as her grandchild.  Grandchild is a smart girl.  At least a decade ago, she had the opportunity to go on a school trip to DC, but her parents could not afford the trip, so the aunt approached many of us - this is where the original "deep pockets" comment came from.  We all contributed some money to support this educational trip.  When the girl returned from the trip, she did the proper thing and sent us all thank you's, some pictures, etc.  What we didn't know at the time is that they had raised more than what they needed for the trip, and the girl's mom opted to use the excess to purchase necessities for all her children.  Our aunt strongly objected to that use of the funds, partially b/c it was helping two kids that were not part of her family, and partially b/c she felt the money should be saved for future trips the girl might take.  I can see the aunt's point, but we made the donation without any stipulations (seriously, who even thinks about that), so it was something we shrugged off.  Unfortunately, this caused a huge rift that exists to this day.  Even when uncle died, we had to run interference so that the son and his wife were able to attend the viewing to say their goodbyes.  The son has made some attempts to see his mom over the years, but his wife caught on and told him to choose his wife or his mother, so this is where they stand.  I have no doubt that they have been made aware of the current situation, as the granddaughter does maintain a relationship with her grandmother, and it's sad that even under these circumstances, no one is willing to break the impasse.  My father in law will be reaching out the estranged son and make a plea that he try to fix things, maybe this time cooler heads will prevail.

Oh, and while I have no doubt that the aunt has a strong attachment to the house, her main reason for holding onto the house is b/c she wants to someday leave it to this granddaughter.  It does sound like she realizes she needs to sell and move into something more manageable, she mentioned that she could move to AZ and "live like a queen", but she feels stuck until her daughter passes on.

I'm hopeful she will deposit the check into a bank account, and write a check to the tax assessor.  Fingers crossed.

KBecks

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1966
Re: Family Mistakes + Family Pressure = YOUR Problem
« Reply #23 on: December 28, 2016, 11:35:04 AM »
Oh wow.  So it seems that Auntie uses the family as her personal fundraising network when things are tight -- and she "over" raises money so she has a surplus.  It seems that the amount she hopes to get from you is -- as much as she can.

If the daughter with the terminal illness is married, her husband can probably take care of her.  So this "caring for a dying chlid" is more like worrying over a grown woman who lives 45 minutes away.   She is raising funeral expenses?  Her husband should handle the funeral.

When the daughter, your husband's cousin, passes, make a gift to the aunt or the husband at that time with your sympathy if they are struggling.  Who knows if the Aunt is really struggling or not.  This requesting for gifts seems to be habitual.

For the granddaughter, it is tough -- the Auntie does not care for the stepchildren, and that sucks.  It just sucks.  It is not your problem though!  The Auntie wants to give her house to her granddaughter, but it will pass through the parents, and her son. 

P.S. The cops just keep money in an envelope as described as missing?  Crazy.

She really should downsize near her daughter or son, or even move to Arizona and live well and cheap.  The granddaughter will sell the house anyway, of course. 

Anyway, not your problem!  Don't give any more,  ever.   Don't let this woman manipulate your husband's whole family.  She seems talented at it.  Enjoy what you can, try not to stress over it.  Don't expect any gratitude!

FIFoFum

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1883
    • Captain's Log - Mission to Puppy Waystation on Puppy Island
Re: Family Mistakes + Family Pressure = YOUR Problem
« Reply #24 on: December 28, 2016, 12:25:31 PM »

Someone asked about the issue with her son and how it relates to money.  I tend to write novels, which is why I didn't elaborate, but in hindsight, it is very relevant and may give some additional "color" into why this current event was so frustrating to learn about.  The son is on his second marriage.  Wife has two kids from a previous relationship, and one from this current marriage, which is a long, successful marriage.  The aunt only considers this one child as her grandchild.  Grandchild is a smart girl.  At least a decade ago, she had the opportunity to go on a school trip to DC, but her parents could not afford the trip, so the aunt approached many of us - this is where the original "deep pockets" comment came from.  We all contributed some money to support this educational trip.  When the girl returned from the trip, she did the proper thing and sent us all thank you's, some pictures, etc.  What we didn't know at the time is that they had raised more than what they needed for the trip, and the girl's mom opted to use the excess to purchase necessities for all her children.  Our aunt strongly objected to that use of the funds, partially b/c it was helping two kids that were not part of her family, and partially b/c she felt the money should be saved for future trips the girl might take.  I can see the aunt's point, but we made the donation without any stipulations (seriously, who even thinks about that), so it was something we shrugged off.  Unfortunately, this caused a huge rift that exists to this day.  Even when uncle died, we had to run interference so that the son and his wife were able to attend the viewing to say their goodbyes.  The son has made some attempts to see his mom over the years, but his wife caught on and told him to choose his wife or his mother, so this is where they stand.  I have no doubt that they have been made aware of the current situation, as the granddaughter does maintain a relationship with her grandmother, and it's sad that even under these circumstances, no one is willing to break the impasse.  My father in law will be reaching out the estranged son and make a plea that he try to fix things, maybe this time cooler heads will prevail.


This is sort of a tangent to your general question, but I think your understanding is colored here about the "impasse" between the aunt and her son. His wife's kids ARE his kids, and they are family. She refuses to see them as her family, and she prefers to separate "her" granddaughter from the child's siblings! This is pretty awful family stuff. They don't need cooler heads. And her son isn't the one who needs to fix things. She is the problem here.

Now - from your perspective, that aspect is sort of not your monkeys, not your circus. However, I would think pretty carefully about where you are encouraging your husband or father in law to put their noses into this business.

plainjane

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1675
Re: Family Mistakes + Family Pressure = YOUR Problem
« Reply #25 on: December 28, 2016, 12:49:46 PM »
Unfortunately, this caused a huge rift that exists to this day.  Even when uncle died, we had to run interference so that the son and his wife were able to attend the viewing to say their goodbyes.  The son has made some attempts to see his mom over the years, but his wife caught on and told him to choose his wife or his mother, so this is where they stand.  I have no doubt that they have been made aware of the current situation, as the granddaughter does maintain a relationship with her grandmother, and it's sad that even under these circumstances, no one is willing to break the impasse.  My father in law will be reaching out the estranged son and make a plea that he try to fix things, maybe this time cooler heads will prevail.

If the son has already made attempts and been rebuffed, I'm not sure how he is supposed to try to fix things?  Pretend that his other kids aren't important to him?  Give money to a parent who has written his wife and kids off?  To a parent who didn't want her son to say goodbye to his uncle?

I guess I just don't understand expectations in other people's families at all.

FINate

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1403
Re: Family Mistakes + Family Pressure = YOUR Problem
« Reply #26 on: December 28, 2016, 06:08:12 PM »
She left a wad of cash in the nightstand?! Left the safe unlocked?! Gave a key to her house to a family suspected of a string of burglaries in the neighborhood?! Differing stories plus a history of family 'fundraising' ! I'm sorry, but if this isn't dementia then you guys are being played like a fiddle.

I get that she wants to leave her house to her granddaughter, and under normal circumstances there's nothing wrong with this. However, she is having difficulty maintaining this house, and the rest of the family should not be expected to pay for her sentimentality. 

If this is dementia then you have a more serious and urgent issue to deal with. A conservatorship needs to be set up ASAP along with estate planning. The conservator may have to make the call to downsize in order to stabilize her finances.

cchrissyy

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 750
  • Location: SF Bay Area
Re: Family Mistakes + Family Pressure = YOUR Problem
« Reply #27 on: December 28, 2016, 07:11:33 PM »
Quote
She did contact her insurance company immediately after, but she has no receipts, no video documentation to show the hard items that were stolen, and they won't reimburse cash. They offered to pay her $500 on the claim, which is what her deductible is, so in other words, nothing.

this part can't be correct

I've filed insurance claims for home burglary twice. 2 different houses, different insurance companies.  There was no video evidence in either case, no property recovered. 
in both cases I was paid fully for every stollen item I listed, including cash.

They did want receipts to prove the price I paid for certain items, and I was able to provide them for the big stuff (laptops, engagement ring, ipad, laptop case, etc). But for cash and gift cards and all the minor items I listed but didn't have a receipt or credit card statement showing it, they paid that too, no trouble! Of course the policy had a limit to how much would be covered.

And, they did require a police report, but of course it only listed the big obvious stuff that was taken and not the little things we noticed in the week afterwards.

Catbert

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1731
  • Location: Southern California
Re: Family Mistakes + Family Pressure = YOUR Problem
« Reply #28 on: December 29, 2016, 11:17:19 AM »
At this point what's done is done.  You (your hubby) needs to look to future financial crisis which you know there will be.  If your hubby is really done.giving.money then he needs to communicate that to his brother and father, not the aunt.  They are the ones who are hitting him up from money.

Hunny156

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 459
Re: Family Mistakes + Family Pressure = YOUR Problem
« Reply #29 on: December 30, 2016, 10:36:51 AM »

Someone asked about the issue with her son and how it relates to money.  I tend to write novels, which is why I didn't elaborate, but in hindsight, it is very relevant and may give some additional "color" into why this current event was so frustrating to learn about.  The son is on his second marriage.  Wife has two kids from a previous relationship, and one from this current marriage, which is a long, successful marriage.  The aunt only considers this one child as her grandchild.  Grandchild is a smart girl.  At least a decade ago, she had the opportunity to go on a school trip to DC, but her parents could not afford the trip, so the aunt approached many of us - this is where the original "deep pockets" comment came from.  We all contributed some money to support this educational trip.  When the girl returned from the trip, she did the proper thing and sent us all thank you's, some pictures, etc.  What we didn't know at the time is that they had raised more than what they needed for the trip, and the girl's mom opted to use the excess to purchase necessities for all her children.  Our aunt strongly objected to that use of the funds, partially b/c it was helping two kids that were not part of her family, and partially b/c she felt the money should be saved for future trips the girl might take.  I can see the aunt's point, but we made the donation without any stipulations (seriously, who even thinks about that), so it was something we shrugged off.  Unfortunately, this caused a huge rift that exists to this day.  Even when uncle died, we had to run interference so that the son and his wife were able to attend the viewing to say their goodbyes.  The son has made some attempts to see his mom over the years, but his wife caught on and told him to choose his wife or his mother, so this is where they stand.  I have no doubt that they have been made aware of the current situation, as the granddaughter does maintain a relationship with her grandmother, and it's sad that even under these circumstances, no one is willing to break the impasse.  My father in law will be reaching out the estranged son and make a plea that he try to fix things, maybe this time cooler heads will prevail.


This is sort of a tangent to your general question, but I think your understanding is colored here about the "impasse" between the aunt and her son. His wife's kids ARE his kids, and they are family. She refuses to see them as her family, and she prefers to separate "her" granddaughter from the child's siblings! This is pretty awful family stuff. They don't need cooler heads. And her son isn't the one who needs to fix things. She is the problem here.

Now - from your perspective, that aspect is sort of not your monkeys, not your circus. However, I would think pretty carefully about where you are encouraging your husband or father in law to put their noses into this business.

Oh, believe me, my understanding is not colored at all.  I have no doubt that the wife regrets ever mentioning her plans with that money, b/c at the end of the day, it was not our aunt's business what she chose to do, or not do, with the surplus funds.  I don't even know how much we are talking about, but I suspect it was a nominal amount, so all the more reason to not have a decade + of argument over such small things.  And I do not agree with the aunt who makes these distinctions between blood children and step-children.  I would just hope that they can make some small steps in repairing the rift, which would require both sides to start fresh and put the past behind them/be open-minded.  And that is a tall order!  Honestly, the real reason I would hope for this is b/c the rest of us are halfway across the country, and the son is literally two blocks away.  Not expecting him to contribute financially, just more so to keep an eye on her since he's close.  Not even expecting his wife to have a relationship with her, more so to "allow" her husband to at least see his mom while she's still here.

But yes, not my circus, and other than answering a few questions as they pop up here, I'm done with it all.  The check has been cashed, all contributing parties are in agreement that no further donations will be made, so hopefully that is where this ends.

AZDude

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1298
Re: Family Mistakes + Family Pressure = YOUR Problem
« Reply #30 on: December 30, 2016, 03:16:57 PM »
I can definitely relate to the OP. From family members thinking of you as an ATM to having family members accuse each other of not being fair to their children.

It all sucks. There is no great way to handle it, other than to stay true to your own principles. The aunt sounds like a piece of shit. Not to be mean here, but the incident with the son and his step-children is pretty terrible. I would say there is at least a 50% chance of the aunt lying about this story in order to generate sympathy. There is no way she had $7K in cash in an envelope in the nightstand. No one with these kinds of money problems would do that.

She is playing you and your family. Yes, she does need the money, but she is making stuff up and creating excuses for why she has not saved up enough money. Having a dying child is certainly rough, and is definitely causing some stress, but that is no excuse for her behavior.

I would not give her anything more(she WILL ask for money again) due to her position with the son's step-children and the lack of gratitude/humility.