A woman and her three older sisters found themselves in the middle of a bitter family drama after their late father left all of his assets with them instead of their greedy aunt.
Redditor "guessmyname67" is a 24-year-old woman born into a Muslim family.
But when he became gravely ill, he made adjustments to the family trust that would ultimately reveal the aunt's true colors.
The OP asked AITA (Am I the A**hole) for not giving her portion of her inheritance that would have otherwise gone to the aunt to her.
She began her post saying her father was a "very wealthy man," thanks to him starting his own business earlier in life.
"When he was diagnosed with cancer, everyone was sad and shocked."
"My aunt was my grandfather's favourite child. He loved my aunt more than life, and his only wish to my father was that he took care of his sister."
The OP provided more context about her father's financial history.
"My father came from a poor household. He shared the house they inherited 50/50 with my aunt even though he would've gotten a bigger share had he wanted it."
"I said my father paid for her education at the expense of his own. My father worked hard to put my aunt through school. Because of this, he couldn't go to school/uni himself because he had to work to pay her school fees."
His educational sacrifice set a beneficent precedent, which ultimately led the aunt to expect her entitlement to the trust.
"After grandpa died, my father paid for her education at the expense of his own, and gave her whatever money she asked for."
"I think this was why my aunt actively anticipated getting my father's money - because she technically is legally entitled to it and my father has never said no to her before."
But the aunt would soon have the rug pulled out from under her with a pivotal change of plans.
"I think this callousness was what broke my father at the end, because he got a lawyer and transferred everything he owned to my sisters and I."
"He told us to give her a lump sum amount after his death. It was more than enough to allow her to live in luxury for the rest of her life, but smaller than what she would have gotten had my father not divided his assets between my siblings and I before his death."
"He didn't tell my aunt that he did this. When he died, there was nothing to divide because he literally had nothing to his name. My aunt was livid, even after we gave her the money our father asked us to give."
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The fracture within the family resulted in a visit to the court room.
"My sisters and I had to deal with our aunt threatening to sue us. She's shown up at our doorsteps demanding money. Well, she did come through with her threat and took us to court."
"The judge ended up dismissing the case. He said that my father was allowed to give his property to whomever he wished while he was alive."
"This has torn our family apart from the inside out. I have cousins (aunt's children) calling me horrible names for robbing my aunt of her inheritance."
"Some family members think I should just give her what she wants since I did technically 'rob' her of what legally would have been her inheritance and to keep the peace."
Redditors weighed in as intended in the AITA forum where anonymous strangers are asked who's wrong and decide:
- NTA - Not The A**hole
- YTA - You're The A**hole
- ESH - Everyone Sucks Here
- NAH - No A**holes Here
They told the OP she was under no obligation to give her aunt her portion of the inheritance.
"NTA. Let's make something very clear: You did not steal anything from your aunt."
"Your father, knowing how his estate would be divided by default, decided that that was not what he wanted to happen with his money and gave it to you instead."
"That was a decision he had every right, both legally and ethically, to make. In fact, it sounds like your father made specific provisions to care for her that are still more than generous."
"If you believe that mending the rift in your family is worth it monetarily then that's a decision you have the right to make about how to spend your money. But you don't owe it to her." – blacksteel15
It seems nothing could please this aunt.
"Even if OP decides to give more money (which she shouldn't), I doubt that the aunt would ever be grateful and drop the attitude - ever." – JaquieF
"Agree.. no matter what you give her she will never be 'happy' with the outcome."
"This has already been decided legally.. she is just trying to 'guilt' you into giving her money she is not legally entitled too." – The-truth-hurts1
"And she'll always be back for more. People who have an entitled attitude never have enough to satisfy them." – EmpressKittyKat
This person shared a familiar anecdote proving that money is the root of evil.
"My aunts partner did this when she died. My aunt had no kids so she left everything to me and my siblings to be divided equally."
"Her partner claimed that a rental property she owned that they were letting to a family friend was actually his and that he'd gifted the money to her to buy it (so he wouldn't lose his benefits- which is you know illegal)."
"We did make an effort to give the property to him because none of us wanted to deal with a rental property, but as there was no proof it ended up being sold (with tennant we didn't kick them out!) and the money put into my aunts estate to be divided by us."
"He hounded us for months afterwards even though we'd spent thousands on legal consultations to try and get him that house but I was underage, and my brother has a power of attorney because of lowered mental capacity- the only way he could've got that money was if our parents stole from our trusts to give it to him- which would land them in prison most likely.
"Money changes people, it can make the sweetest people go nasty. NTA OP, your aunt would likely still Lord it over your head even IF you paid her." – toxicgecko
This user delved further into what brings the ugly out in people.
"I've never seen that. In my experience money doesn't change people."
"People's self-interest is always there and money is a clear external factor that reveals it."
"The type of person that gets nasty over money would get nasty over any form of conflict of interest; things like demanding care for children, driving them places, etc. Narcissism, complaining, and weaponized shaming are all associated."
"if anything money is just a convenient way to reveal a person's underlying emotional problems." – Corklander
The OP updated her post in response to comments implying that her aunt would have gotten everything.
"Sorry if my wording put this message across. Even if my father had not divided his assets before his death, my sisters and I would have still inherited. Not as much, but we would have inherited nonetheless."
At the end of the day, this is what the father wanted for his daughters.
"No matter what OP does, the aunt and her family will never feel the same about them or the situation and they'll continue to badmouth and vilify them."
"Only OP can decide what they feel they should morally and ethically do with the inheritance. However, I believe that following the wishes of her father is what she should do. Doing anything else would be disrespectful to him and his memory." – BG_1952
Life is too short to stay resentful.
Hopefully, the aunt will realize she could afford to be respectful of her brother's wishes for what should happen with the money he earned during his life and make peace with his daughters.