walk away....

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by Ktllc, Oct 12, 2011.

  1. Ktllc

    Ktllc New Member

    Ok, I'm gonna try to summarize a very complicated situation.
    4 years ago my mother in law passed away and my father in law was left as head of a dairy farm. He was in his 80's and simply could not do it without his wife. With 8 kids (includes husband) all Hell broke loose!!
    Lots of money and lots of greedy people and an aging mean old man in the middle of that mess.
    Cows were sold, heifers were sold, bank accounts were emptied, numerous battles for power of attorney and other gardianship issues over father in law (Alzeimher).
    husband stayed clean and refused to take part in that circus.
    father in law was not dead yet, and it was just plain wrong.
    2 of his brothers managed to transfer the deed of the farm to their names as a "gift" from their father.
    Add to that 3 different Wills (all whispered to the old man by different greedy siblings).
    1 year after his passing away... the Estate is down sized to $140,000.
    Yes might sound like a lot of money, but if the farm (and other Real Estate) were put back into the Estate, we would talk about 1.7 Million dollars...
    Right now, the other sibling want to make a deal in which husband would get $20,000... The others who have stolen or were "gifted" stuff got at least several hundreds of thousands and up to over 1 million (depending on which family member).
    Going to court would mean years and at least $20,000 in attorney's fees. And the result would be extremely uncertain.
    Our attorney said he has never seen such a mess in his entire career (he is no spring chicken).
    I told husband: don't agree to anything, hope they are gonna fight until death and live your life.
    We do not have 20 grants to waste... We need to think of us and our 3 kids.
    husband is so upset right now, I don't like him being on the road.
    Any words of wisdom to help husband? The farm had always been his dream and his family destroyed it. He admits it himself: what he wants has never existed. The dream of having his family around him and working together has never been anything but just that: a dream, an illusion.
  2. Liahona

    Liahona Guest

    I'm so sorry they ruined his dream. What came to my mind reading your posted was Jarndyce vs. Jarndyce from Charles Dickens. Maybe husband can still have the dream with out the farm?

    My large family of origin gardened and raised rabbits and honey bees. We still worked together as a family. It wasn't in a big way though.
  3. keista

    keista New Member

    I'm so sorry your husband has to go through that. It truly is unbelievable how greedy ppl can get. I say take the deal and walk away. Maybe you can find a small piece of land to purchase with that money where husband can plant new dreams.
  4. Lothlorien

    Lothlorien Active Member Staff Member

    I so understand what you are going through. We had a similar situ with husband's family 2 years ago. It's still a mess. Family isn't talking over a few hundred thousand and it's disgusting. Two sibilings have since passed and it's still a mess. This was a fairly close family and now it's all split apart, because one family member got greedy and "gifted" money to themselves when the mother was in the hospital. Pathetic. Is it really worth losing your family over? The funky thing is, now that probate is over, they can't even cash their money from the will because they are trying to claim bankruptcy and that money would be scoffed up by the courts. Ahh.....Karma!

    What I can say is......you know, you may not reap the rewards of staying neutral in a monetary way, but in the end, those that played nasty will pay in the end.
  5. Ktllc

    Ktllc New Member

    Lothlorien, that's the idea I'm trying to convey to husband: it might look like you end up with nothing, but you integrity is not nothing.
    The fact that he stayed true to morality does have a lot of value. I'd like to believe it will impact our lives in a positive way.
    He is so angry, there is just things he does not want to hear.
    He last said "I have nothing in life". I stopped him there and said that was not true. He has me and the kids and THAT is EVERYTHING. He got even more upset.
    We then got cut off... Argh, I hate to know him driving at night and going through all those emotions.
  6. Lothlorien

    Lothlorien Active Member Staff Member

    Knowing you did the RIGHT thing is worth more and he'll realize it in the end when everyone else is fighting and in the end they have less than if they worked together to make it all right. Greed ruins family. I've seen it and I know the end result. I'm sorry you are going through it. My husband is so upset that his aunt is throwing away our family over money. It is just so awkward all the time now.

    husband's mom passed away a few months ago and the aunt (his mom's sister) was at the funeral and through all the proceedings and because of her actions and her husband's, they made things so awkward. The whole family knows what happened, but they try to pretend like nothing's wrong. What a mess!

    If you and husband continue to do things the right way, you'll be happier in the end, knowing that you did the right thing.
  7. mstang67chic

    mstang67chic Going Green

    Your husband may not get money, cows or a barn but...he still has a lot.

    Knowledge that he didn't swindle his own father
    Knowledge that he isn't a conniving, backstabbing thief with no morals
    Knowledge of the meaning of ethics
  8. Lothlorien

    Lothlorien Active Member Staff Member

    Amen....and a lesson to your own children that you and your husband did the right thing, no matter the cost.
  9. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    Cgfg is working through "To Kill A Mockingbird" right now. kinda fitting for your situation, too.

    It seems the good guys finish last, but if you really look, they're only last where money is involved....
  10. Marcie Mac

    Marcie Mac Just Plain Ole Tired

    So been there done that with my mother a few months ago - she put her trust in my brother and his wife who had helped themselves to the llittle bit of money she saved for her retirement - he died before they went thru all of it. She went to live with my aunt, who died, and her grandaughter took control - once she had my mom supposedly sign everything over to her, she took her off the dialysis, never telling my mother death was certain within a few weeks and the one annunity she had for me (not very much) cousin had herself put on as beneficiary.

    I told SO that I was spending every last dime I have put away LOL I know my kids - they already don't like each other much and I could easily see a free for all. Soon as I have some free money, house will be put in a Trust with myself and Jamie as trustees to save probate taxes, he also has financial power of attorney for me, and will be executor. If I even get a hint of any one upmanship, I will sell the dang house and distribute the money before hand. I so do not trust the siblings on either side of him to do the right thing.

    I just don't like the way people get when there is estates/money involved - doesn't matter how much or how little.

  11. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Ktlc -

    The most important advice I can give you, is do NOT do anything about this in a hurry.

    The situation for your husband is complex. He is grieving.... first, for his father - on some level. No matter what he was or wasn't as a person, unless there has been a really healthy long-term relationship, when a parent dies, the child loses the "dream" of possibly changing the relationship. And the loss of the dream is harder than the loss of the person.

    He is also grieving for the loss of the dream of "family". This is also huge. In many ways, he has been betrayed by family - and that hurts very deep, and heals very very slowly if at all.

    He needs time - and someone (other than you) to talk to... therapist, clergy, somebody who understands the grief process.

    Do whatever you have to with the lawyer, to buy time.
  12. Ktllc

    Ktllc New Member

    Time... there is no more time. A decision is supposed to be made today! Either they come to an agreement or 2things will happen: someone (or more than one) fight or the executor (appointed third party) will proceed as it is.
    His own father orchestrated that mess in many ways. It used to be his very pleasure to create conflict between all the siblings. My mother in law tried to get it all as well and waited on father in law's death, she died first! And she was 20years younger.
    The whole thing is so crazy and unhealthy.
    Yes husband is grieving and I agree he needs counseling. He won't do it though...
    He has been used and abused by his family his whole life (have you heard of child slavery? well that's what father in law did to him. at 8 years old he would work 4 hours before school and 4 more hours after school. Was asked to give up a promissing college scholarship for the sake of the farm, and I could go on) and, yet, he has always gone back and hoped for things to change.
    I really hope he will not turn all of his anger on me because I said we cannot afford a court battle (we REALLY cannot). husband is right, his siblings don't deserve what they stole but let's not to do the same mistake they did. I hope husband sees that he has a real family that he needs to protect (the kids and I).
  13. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    Hugs to you ktllc. This is a really painful situation. From what you describe, it sounds like the best (and perhaps in a sense hardest) option would be for your husband to forgive and let go. But how on earth is he to do that in a hurry? It's not going to happen overnight, is it?
    I don't know whether hearing about an analogous situation helps, but it reminds me of something that happened to one of my ex-sister in law's husband. They are Moroccan but live in Spain. The husband was one of a set of siblings who came from his father's second marriage. When the father died, the first set all jumped in and took the property in a way that was completely unjust and also technically illegal - but exactly like you say, to fight it would be expensive and possibly futile in the end. Also in Morocco there is the whole dynamic of "you respect your elders". The sister in law's husband is a religious man and he has just given it up, let it go, saying God will see that justice is served in the end... The sister in law, on the other hand, feels that he should fight. She feels very strongly and deeply about the situation because it means they cannot go back to Morocco because there is nowhere for them to go, and honour and pride dictate that they cannot stay long with the wife's family.... She loses sleep over it. She's a really sweet and also devout lady, by the way, who just wants her place in her homeland.
    At least, though it will be small comfort at the moment for your husband, you have your own home, your own livelihood - your way of life and being is not totally threatened by this. I do agree that your husband's morality and integrity are absolutely beyond monetary value. They are even, and I mean this quite seriously, more valuable than life itself... in the sense that it is better to die than to betray your values totally. I hope that your husband will find a way to resolve his understandable feelings and come back fully to you, his family.
  14. keista

    keista New Member

    Unfortunately, this additional information makes perfect sense. father in law taught the siblings to destroy the estate. husband is the only one that didn't buy into the the family drama. He tried staying neutral and hopeful.

    ((((HUGS)))) to both of you. I hope husband can just let it go. Fighting and spending up to 20K to get 20K, or even less, is a waste of time and energy.
  15. Star*

    Star* call 911........call 911

    I wish you the best - we will be in a similar situation some day and not looking forward to the farmwars.

    Perhaps for your husband it's a matter of ........all i've given up in my life and now this too......???????? Perhaps for him it's not about the money it's about that one....last....thing.....and he just can't seem to get over it......and you need to let him have this one.thing.

    I could be wrong - and i know there is a family ...your family....his family....that needs him....but sometimes family has to look at the entire picture and the entire family members and what they all need......and it sounds like he's sacraficed a lot, for a long time, for everyone.....and given up so much his whole life........for that family, your family, and now this is going to be just one more straw that breaks the camels back.????? Really try to see it from his perspective on all he's ever had to give up......before you say - don't.

    If you do that? And can still say don't.....with a clear conscience? Then you've explored all your options together, and left this decision without a selfish heart and no stone unturned, and will be able to look at him years from now and say - we made the decision together not to get involved - not we did this for the kids - and you once again gave up xyz for us......and regretted it in the back of your mind.

    Let him have it if he needs it.......or let him let it go.....if he needs it then the two of you figure out a way to make ends meet -----and work through it.

    But the final choice has got to be his for his sake. No regrets. Not one more in his life - Know what I mean??

    Hugs - this has got to be so hard on you both -
  16. Ktllc

    Ktllc New Member

    Well, unexpected turn of events.
    I suggested for him to call his one sister (he used to be the closest to). Both had stuck together for years in order to survive. She was the only sibling to attend our wedding (father in law and mother in law did not approve).
    Anyways, since he had nothing to lose. He did call her just to know what her thoughts were about the situation.
    She said she had been praying for him to call. She admitted that husband is the only clean one!! That was HUGE for husband to hear.
    She also added to extremely important things: she has the financial means to go to court and she believes her case is very strong.
    Now, husband will not accept any deal from his brothers and he will probably just watch them all fight.
    To be continued...
    (it could take years to settle)
  17. Star*

    Star* call 911........call 911

    Yeah! I see a happier husband in the future.......an EMPOWERED Man....I think the fact that you suggested he call his sister? And he DID......?????? SPEAKS volumes about where HIS heart was on this entire mess.

    Whether there is monitary outcome for him I don't feel is the reason for his move forward. I think with your husband? It's wrongs righted.......and that to a man can make a tremendous difference in HIS attitude towards life. Sometimes justice is all it takes to turn someones frown upside down.

    (anyones life for that matter)
  18. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Hey...sorry I came in late to this but I have sorta been in this situation. My dad died in December and I still am not convinced that there was no will. I cannot believe my father who was so organized in his life and kept meticulous records wouldnt have had a will. In fact a few years ago I made a reference to a will and he basically acknowledged there was one. However, after the death, everyone claims there wasnt one. Supposedly my father only left me one CD in a bank account that he started for me when my parents divorced. It wasnt a large sum of money. It wasnt small either but it wasnt large. Then later on when my step mom was going through my dad's papers she found a very small life insurance policy that had been taken out on my dad when he first started working for the company he worked for for almost 50 years. My mom was the beneficiary but she has already died so I ended up getting it. Now that one was taken out in the early 50s so it was only for 5K. I cannot believe my dad didnt leave his grandsons anything. That makes no sense at all to me. They were his life. He adored them. He also loved his great grandchildren. But not to take better care of me and my kids? With a life insurance policy? I dont get it. I am an only child. My father was really fairly well off. His house was paid for, his second wife was left a quarter million dollars by her mother when she died but yet my father paid for the house they lived in. Of course, my step-mom got the house when he died.

    I know from your sig that you live in NC. If you guys do end up with the 20K, there are plenty of places here that the 20K can buy you enough land to get a nice farm and start with a doublewide mobile home and eventually build a nice house on the land. Or get a HUD loan and do it from the start. There are rural home loans out there to do just that. You might not get hundreds of acres but you could get started with about 20 acres probably with that as a down payment.
  19. Ktllc

    Ktllc New Member

    Oh, Jannet... it is a bit more cpmplicated than that. LOL, always is.
    We used to have oour own dairy farm (next to father in law) and ended up selling everything when milk price went down and starvation was litterally threatening us... We got out of debt free and clear but that has been REAL work. We had to sell our farm in the middle of the worse real estate and economic crisis and family drama. We then moved to NC for our trucking business.
    Going back to full time farming is not in the cards (husband agrees although he misses it). We have a flourishing business but it's not easy to have to start from scratch.
    We currently raise chickens for our own needs (eggs and meat). I know, one day, we'll purchase more land but we are just not ready for so many reasons.
    we'll see what happens, it is a lot for husband to process. So much has happened in 4 years! I know he is healing, but it takes time and events like today and yesterday don't help. To say the least.
  20. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Oh we have some chickens too! We are thinking of getting more egg layers and if we can get another freezer we may get some white rocks for the meat.