Feel Abandoned, Greedy…Family Will

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    On my fathers side of the family, it’s small. If you go back it’s me, my father, my grandfather and his sister (my great Aunt)

    As African Americans living through the 50s, 60’s and 70’s all three have been somewhat successful. My Father and Grandfather were in the military and my great Aunt worked for the government (so did my Father).

    Back in the 70’s to 80’s my Aunt helped watch over and take care of her mother, her brother and nephew (family first mentality), and she did. When my parents divorced, my father moved in with his Aunt and she helped take care of me when I would spend the weekends with him, the summer or a whole school year. We were very very close and have many fond memories with my Aunt.

    20 years ago, my father passed away (1999) when I was 10. I was extremely close to him, he was an amazing dad. Because my parents were not on good terms he figured he would leave everything to his Aunt to take care of me  incase something would happen to him. Once he passed she received a few hundred grand. She rarely spoke to me and would send me $100 for my birthday and $100 for Christmas. My mother struggled as a single mother and handicapped, scrapping by to make sure I was taken care of.

    Fast forward to the present, my Aunt passed away peacefully a month ago. I talked to her a few times a years, she has always been distant since my father passed, and I respected that, never pushing, never asking for a dime but just maintaining a comfortable relationship with her. Since I was next of kin (no one else is alive), I went to her house to get things settled. I found her will. She ended up leaving everything to various organizations and charities, including her home. I found out right after my father passed, his money to take care of me, the few hundred grand, went into investment accounts and she made  large corporations (charities) the beneficiaries in case of her passing.

    I have worked extremely hard, paying my way through college, buying my first home, etc etc. It’s hurtful that not only that I felt abandoned by my Aunt when she passed, but that she would callously leave money to these corporate charities that will just allow there CEO’s to buy new Mercedes. When that money could be better used to help me with my MBA and save for my kids college.

    I love my Aunt but this whole ordeal (the money) is overshadowing me mourning for her, my sadness just turns to anger. it’s hard I feel hurt, wronged, and then feel guilty for feeling this way. I have always seen myself as a pretty level headed person and not to much really bugs me or disturbs my mental health too much, but this cuts deep. I’m not sure how to reconcile and move forward.


    Dear Jasmine:

    I wish, and I am sure that you wish too, that your father would have put his money into a trust fund for you, so that you would have access to it eight years or so after his passing, as an adult. I wish he didn’t leave his money to his aunt, assuming or hoping that she will give you that money later, or finance your education using it.

    What you brought up: that your father’s money will end up as more  luxury for corporate CEO’s who  have all the luxuries in the world already, while you could have used this money to further your education and your children’s education- this is very sad for me to read, and I know that this kind of injustice is everywhere, it is mind boggling and difficult to accept, it is simply too unjust to accept.

    The serenity prayer comes to my mind (again): “grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; the courage to change the things I can; and the wisdom to know the difference”-

    – there is no better option than to accept the things we cannot change. And to do what we can do to change the things we can. As I think of the injustices I suffered in life, and the injustices so  many of us are suffering because of political mismanagement and corruption- I feel this deep sadness and I .. somehow relax into knowing that really, there is nothing I can do about it. There is serenity in this relaxing.


    • This reply was modified 3 months, 4 weeks ago by anita.

    I think part of our hurt is that we feel rejected or forgotten in not being left the money. It just doesn’t seem right or ethical what happened. For some reason, your dad didn’t know or purposefully chose to leave his estate in the way he did. Your aunt did what pleased her. We may feel one kind of way or another about this but the truth of this is, it was their money to do as they saw fit. Maybe it wasn’t the best use of their resources or maybe you got cheated so to speak. Sometimes we project or deflect our anger at X rather than Y, because it is easier to be angry at X but it doesn’t feel safe to be angry at Y (your dad). We want to love our parents and it hurts to think they didn’t do right by us. Maybe it is easier to be angry at the CEOs and all of that. We can’t change any of this but we can use it to make sure we do our will properly and make sure our children are taken care of properly (if we have any). The reasons your dad did what he did are unknown to us. There may be some story we don’t know. Maybe the aunt promised something and didn’t fulfill her bargain. Maybe he owned her for something. I am sorry, I know this hurts. I think get in touch with how much this hurt and how you feel. Try to find acceptance once you can acknowledge your pain and anger. How you feel is okay, it is probably what most of us would feel in this situation. You deserved better.

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