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An Uncle's Sound Will Leads To Unsound Family Woes
I'm so glad I found this website. I am in the middle of a nightmare right now, that should actually be a time of grief mixed with happiness and dreams.
My uncle died and left a will in which he named me executor and sole beneficiary. I have six siblings who feel they are entitled to a cut of the estate by dint of being blood relations.
We are not a close family and were not close to the uncle. I was the closest of the kids to uncle. When he found out he was terminally ill, he went to a lawyer and drew up his will. He called me up and invited me to come up to his house for a "look around". It was the first time I had ever been to his home; no one else was invited or had ever been there.
He allowed me to help him during the remaining months of his life, doing laundry, food shopping, taking him to chemo. I was the one who found him dead in his home. I arranged his wake and paid for it with my own money, knowing I would get it back from his estate since he told me I "got everything". I saw my siblings in July at a family party and brought recent pictures of uncle and updated them on his condition. They never called him, they never called me to ask if I needed help, nothing.
Now that he is dead and has left me a nice chunk of change and his home, they are circling. I invited them to his house because they were curious about how and where he lived. I invited them to take something.
One brother was belligerent with me and resentful. Two other siblings told me that Uncle should have divided his estate among all of us, not just me! They proceeded to tell me how I was entitled to the lions share but that they should each get a percentage. They insinuated that I would be an outcast from the family if I did not give them what they wanted. They want me to put it in writing my intentions to do right by them. They think there was an earlier version of the will, leaving everything to our mother (his sister, who is dead), and that I had it changed!
I was of the opinion that I would share in my windfall with them, but after the treatment and accusations hurled at me, I am rethinking my opinion.
Why should I bother. We never had a close relationship anyway, so if they decide to "cut me out of the family" it would hardly be different than what the family is like now. One sister is estranged from two siblings, one sister is avoided because she is not of sound mind, and I have never gotten the support or love that I get from friends and inlaws.
They told me that I should put down in writing what my intentions are for them. They told me unless I do the right thing by them that they won't sign off on the waivers, allowing me to access the estate.
So, I'm at the beginning of a struggle. My lawyer has told me that contesting a sound will is an uphill battle and any lawyer worth his salt would not even attempt to challenge uncle's will since it is completely in order. He has all the clauses, the affidavit of signature, everything.
Am I sure of what I am going to do? No. I still want my family in my life, such as it is. I think I'm more in love with the concept of family, rather then the reality of my family. I am in a great deal of pain over what they think of me, but I am not a fool.