Monday, August 17, 2009

Money, ugh!

august 17 2009

This morning the body of my brother in law was cremated.
5 weeks after his mother died, he died too.
It's so sad... so sad....
Especially as he died all alone.
The only comfort is that he died at peace, sitting in his favorite chair, watching TV.

The youngest of the three boys didn't want to be involved in all the arrangements and things that needed to be taken care of. He even signed away his inheritance. Which was a few hundred euros.
We didn't understand why, but he said he had been hit by life hard and he couldn't cope.
He was not really sad that his mother died and he didn't attend his funeral.

Well, we found in the paperwork a statement of his mother that he already took his inheritance, at his own intitiative, by hand (that's said kindly what he did...unbelievable!!)
It was a complete shock.

When his other brother was still alive we understood it was a very big lot more than the other two had left after all was taken care of.
But we wanted to leave things in the past. Between his mother and him.

We're not the kind of people to hunt for an inheritance.
OK, a boat full of money would enable a smooth move to Scotland, so we wouldn't say no, but we have dealt with life without much money and we're able to cope in the future too.
We certainly wouldn't fight over it and we thought to get things handled smoothly and fast.
Our whole vacation is a disaster this way and all we wanted was to give the children a few daytrips before their school starts in two weeks time.

After my brother in law died, the guy we're talking about said he wanted to sign away everything of his brother too and manipulated his left over brother into doing the same.
But it meant that the funeral would be at the expense of the council; a burrial in an area of the cementry were the poor and homeless find their last restingplace.
We didn't want him to be regarded as a poor and homeless man. He had his own place and he was proud of it.

It didn't feel good at all, so we decided to take everything upon us and the past week we've been bussy sorting out paperwork, calling numerous organisations and people, finding out he had debts, and worrying even that we might have to pay more than we could.
Under normal circumstances it's possible to sell belongings, furniture and such, but in this case it was completely impossible because of the smell.
We even had to hire a specialised company to empty and clean the house.

That we had made the right decisions was told by an aunt.
She has spoken with my brother in law a while ago and he said he wanted to be cremated.
So we arranged that.

We all felt happy that he finally got his last wish fullfilled.

Yesterday we made a list of all what needed to be done this week.
There's always enough to do in a large family, especially with 4 special needs puberty driven boys. Especially in the time that schoolbooks arrive, etc etc.
So talking with people we don't even know about debts and other things is something we were not waiting for.
We decided to involve a professional to handle the bankissues. That way we know it's done OK.
We simply don't know all the rules, regulations and laws and we don't have the time to deal with every simple item.

And then we got a very basty mail.

Turned out the brother didn't sign his part away after all.
He even sounded angry we didn't do it, so it feels like he tried to manipulate his own brother in signing away whatever will be left over. (We're absolutely not talking millions or thousands, as far as we could see.)

About 90% of his mail was about money, and money and money.
And on top of it he said he was suspecting his own brother of stealing money at his cost.


It took a while to let this sink in.

Hmmm...making us do all the terrible work... and after that showing up this way...
Writing so much about money, even with examples showing he knew far more about the financial situation of his brother than he made clear when he almost forced his brother to sign things away.


We're proud we haven't stolen anything in our lives and we never would do a thing like that.
We thought to sail around those family inheritance problems one hears about, and now suddenly we are caught up in it. Ugh!

I was ready to say that he could take things over and stuff himself with all the problems and ofcourse with the piles of money (which we don't believe are there.).
But it's not up to me to make that decision. I'm just married into the family.
So I said my things and was silent about the subject.

At the end of the evening I was asked to sit down n the couch. So I did.
"I'm going to ask him to pay half of all the money we need to pay up front, like cleaning the house, the cremations arrangements, etc etc.
That way people don't have to wait for their money, matters are settled and he can share in the good and the bad.
I'll tell him that when he doesn't want to take the risk, he'd better back out with his accussations and leave the professionals do their job. There's always the taxes looking over our shoulder, and he'll always be able to go to court to make them do the maths.
I've decided to have someone look into the financial matters when it's all done, so he gets what legally due to him.
I've found out that when my father died the officials were not told there was a third brother. which means that someone should look into the financial matters from the time my father died until now. I expect that telling him that will make clear we're not in for financial games.
he can have his share, but the way he deals with matters makes that I want to have my fair share too.
I don't know if he wants to pay cleaning the house and such in front, but when he doesn't, he should back out of wanting to share money."

I was amazed by this monologue and the way he wants to deal with matters.
Sounds fair.

Me oh my... inheritances makes much more clear than moneymatters.
They show how people truly are.

But it would have been far more fun when this was about millions, lots of real estate and boxes full of jewelry.

In this case it feels like stress that shouldn't have been induced.


  1. Thanks for dropping. The ecard bot has me on some sort of cooloff...whatever that is. It's been going on all weekend. As soon as it's cleared up, I'll return the favor. Thanks again

  2. What a terribly stressful time for your family. It's awful that a death in the family brings out the worst in some people.

  3. I'm so sorry you are having to deal with this. It is quite difficult when you are only on the sidelines of the decision making. I've been there. Luckily, my father-in-law saw fit to take care of his own financial matters before he died, leaving no question as to how his estate would be divided.

    My mother-in-law has done the same, though I do hope it is a long while before she leaves us.


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