Our two remaining grandparents died last year within months of each other. It was heartbreaking at the time, but nothing compared to what had happened since then.
With my mum being their only child, she inherited the entirety of their estate. My grand-dad wanted to leave each of his grandchildren —me and my siblings— a bit of money. We’re all aged between 19 and 32. But rather than put it in his Will, he told our mum in our presence to give it to us from her inheritance. Of course, she promised she would.
Now that she’s got her hands on the money, she doesn’t want to give us our share. She says she needs it herself because she wants a house of her own instead of a rented apartment.
She also wants to continue going on expensive holidays and drinking choice wine. I think she may also be an alcoholic. Our mum has spent her whole life living off her rich fancy men and now it seems she wants to live off her own children’s money.
Am I overreacting to think what she’s doing is utterly despicable? Do you think we children should talk to her about it? I don’t want to upset her as her temper has a very short fuse.
Gemima, by e-mail.
On one hand, your mum has every right to keep all the money as stipulated in the Will and do with it as she sees fit. On the other hand, she’s going against the express wishes of her own father in not sharing the inheritance with you and she will have to live with that.
Seriously though, I wonder why your grand-dad didn’t leave specific instructions in his Will on who gets what, especially if he was aware of your mum’s erratic behaviour.
In the meantime, you need to have a cool, calm conversation with her and let her know how you feel. If she’s adamant, then try to let it go for the sake of your relationship.
Perhaps, more importantly, you need to speak to her about her lifestyle and how that worries you.