Skip to comments.Dave Says Forget the Crummy Family
Posted on 11/08/2011 5:57:50 AM PST by Kaslin
My grandfather passed away a couple of months ago. Im 32 and the only relative still living in town, so I helped take care of him and his place so he wouldnt have to go into an assisted living facility. In his will, he left his entire estatethe house and property plus about $270,000to me. Im debt-free except for my house, and now my family is acting weird and telling me Im making excuses for them being left out of the will. Do you have any advice?
Let me ask you something. Did you love your grandfather? It sure sounds to me like you did by taking care of him and his stuff. It sounds like he loved you a lot, too. So my advice is to do what he wanted and accept this generous inheritance. And your family needs to just shut up!
When you die, you can leave your belongings to whoever you choose. I mean, it was your grandfathers stuff, so it was his decision. Period. He could have left it directly to his children, grandchildren, a friend or even his dog if hed wanted.
Let these family members with the problems contest the will. And you can spend the money grandfather left fighting them. The man left what he left, and theres no more. It was his money, his house and his property. Theyre not entitled to it just because theyre breathing!
In the meantime, you need to learn how to be a wise investor and become debt-free, including the house! Start educating yourself on mutual funds and Roth IRAs. And dont beat yourself up over this, Jason. You havent done anything wrong.
I love your plan, but I have one question before getting started. Should I catch up on any past due bills before saving up $1,000 for Baby Step 1?
Absolutely! First, get current or make payment arrangements with anyone whos willing to work with you. Make sure your necessities come first. Im talking about food, clothing, shelter, transportation and utilities. After that, get current with any credit cards and other types of debt you may have. Once you have these things taken care of, its time to launch your Total Money Makeover!
Youve already mentioned getting $1,000 in the bank for a starter emergency fund. Thats Baby Step 1. After that, begin your debt snowball, which is Baby Step 2, and pay off your debts from smallest largest. In Baby Step 3 youll save up and increase your emergency fund from $1,000 to three to six months of expenses.
Once you reach this point, you really start looking to the future. In Baby Step 4 you start investing 15 percent of your income into Roth IRAs and other pre-tax retirement plans. College funding for any little ones is next in Baby Step 5, and Baby Step 6 is a biggiepay off your house early!
But Baby Step 7 is the real deal. When youre able to build wealth and give, youve reached the pinnacle of smart money management. Not only are you securing your familys future for years, but you can help others and your community in a big way!
Sounds like the OccupyGrandpa group is trying to re-distribute the wealth...
There is no inherent “fairness” in wills, and there should not be, and any court that says otherwise is committing a profound act of injustice.
To start with, a will written with the advice of an attorney is the last chance any person has to have a definitive say in their life. Once the primary acts of a will have been carried out, such as division of property, this control ends. The deceased cannot force his beneficiaries to do anything beyond his parceling out his estate to them.
Often, an estate is an ongoing affair, worth far more as a whole than broken up into parts. So the deceased will in effect give the entire estate to an executor to manage. But even in this case, the deceased cannot force the executor *how* to manage the estate. It is in effect, entirely his to do with as he wants.
And this can be grievously unfair. Despite what the deceased wanted or described to the executor as to how they wanted their estate managed or divided, the executor can decide to keep it all for himself, show any favoritism he desires, etc. Because it is now *entirely* his estate.
For this reason, it is vital that a will not be a slapdash affair, but carefully conceived and carefully ordered. Yet even in this case, there is the greedy hand of government always looking to snatch away as much of it as possible.
So many people of means create a family trust, for the bulk of their estate. In effect, a trust is a pseudo-person that owns what is in it, though how it is used is based on the desires of its executor. Having such a trust means that the actual will just has less valuable loose ends in it, so estate taxes are minimal.
Typically, a trust can have only one or two trustees, and two alternates, who take over at either the death of a trustee, or when the trustee relinquishes control over the trust to them. Thus it is far more flexible than a will. Yet like a will, a trustee has complete control over the use of the trust.
My wife and my will is given to each of us first and if we go together than it is split EVENLY with our four children. Why people make things so complicated is beyond me. Splitting 10,000 dollars between four equals 2,500 each period. Not one of them gets a penny more than a quarter.....hopefully they get more than 10,000 dollars but that was an example. The junk in the house will be split up when we move into a retirement house and give all the stuff away to the kids (if they want the stuff). We would rather do that “in 20 years” than have them “fighting” over a stupid lamp after we are gone.
Why? Obama is going to steal it in his second term. Spend it. /snark
The letter doesn’t say it is a crummy family, just that they didn’t live in town. Only the title says it is a crummy family.
The grandfather is dead; the family is alive. It’s Jason’s money now - he won’t be subverting his grandfather’s wishes to spend it as he pleases, and if he pleases to share it with his family, that’s his right.
Unequitable wills (unequity, not iniquity) caused some resentment among some members of my family - fortunately we have mostly got over it.
A better will might have bestowed a sum for each year Jason took care of his grandfather, with the remainder to be divided among other relatives.
It is no kindness to bequeath resentment and estrangement from the remaining family. Human nature is not at its best with legacies - make allowances.
I don’t intend to leave anything to my family. When I was stuck, there’s only one person who really cared, and she will get it all.
Hopefully the relatives will be smart enough to realize that it won’t help them if they contest the will and the *lawyers* get his money as the heir fights their legal challenges.