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Wedding Woes

Yes, they should be told.

Dear Prudence,

A decade ago, we extended a personal loan of over $10,000 to my father-in-law’s business. Instead, his daughter and her husband used it to take expensive personal trips, buy jewelry, and gamble. When the accountant came forward, it broke our family in half. My father-in-law ended up having a medical relapse and going into the hospital. We gave my sister-in-law a chance to repay the money rather than press charges. She and her husband refused. We took matters to the police. They ended up plea-bargaining down but showed no remorse, left town, and didn’t even bother to come back for my father-in-law’s funeral (but did have their lawyer call about the will—nothing was left to them, but there was an educational trust for all the grandchildren).

Their daughters were young when this happened; they are adults now. Neither of the girls has come forward to claim her portion of the trust, despite our lawyer sending official mail. I was able to find both of them easily on social media. I am torn—should I reach out and contact them personally? What should I say? What if they ask me about the estrangement?
—Long-Ago Grift

Re: Yes, they should be told.

  • Ask the lawyer to reach out in another method.   Can he find a phone #? 

    I don't think there's a lot to be gained by the LW telling the girls unless she is the executor of the estate.  

    I'd also consider asking the lawyer what is recommended to avoid further conflict. 
    charlotte989875
  • ShesSoColdShesSoCold bend over and I'll show ya mod
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    mrsconn23 said:
    Dear Prudence,

    A decade ago, we extended a personal loan of over $10,000 to my father-in-law’s business. Instead, his daughter and her husband used it to take expensive personal trips, buy jewelry, and gamble. When the accountant came forward, it broke our family in half. My father-in-law ended up having a medical relapse and going into the hospital. We gave my sister-in-law a chance to repay the money rather than press charges. She and her husband refused. We took matters to the police. They ended up plea-bargaining down but showed no remorse, left town, and didn’t even bother to come back for my father-in-law’s funeral (but did have their lawyer call about the will—nothing was left to them, but there was an educational trust for all the grandchildren).

    Their daughters were young when this happened; they are adults now. Neither of the girls has come forward to claim her portion of the trust, despite our lawyer sending official mail. I was able to find both of them easily on social media. I am torn—should I reach out and contact them personally? What should I say? What if they ask me about the estrangement?
    —Long-Ago Grift

    Um, YEAH! Not only are they entitled to this, but you shouldn't punish someone for someone else's behavior. 

    If they ask, defer back to their parents. "I'm not comfortable talking about this with you but I am happy to hear back from you" or something like that. Don't talk about it. I'd be surprised if they did ask, though. 
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  • mrsconn23 said:
    Dear Prudence,

    A decade ago, we extended a personal loan of over $10,000 to my father-in-law’s business. Instead, his daughter and her husband used it to take expensive personal trips, buy jewelry, and gamble. When the accountant came forward, it broke our family in half. My father-in-law ended up having a medical relapse and going into the hospital. We gave my sister-in-law a chance to repay the money rather than press charges. She and her husband refused. We took matters to the police. They ended up plea-bargaining down but showed no remorse, left town, and didn’t even bother to come back for my father-in-law’s funeral (but did have their lawyer call about the will—nothing was left to them, but there was an educational trust for all the grandchildren).

    Their daughters were young when this happened; they are adults now. Neither of the girls has come forward to claim her portion of the trust, despite our lawyer sending official mail. I was able to find both of them easily on social media. I am torn—should I reach out and contact them personally? What should I say? What if they ask me about the estrangement?
    —Long-Ago Grift

    Um, YEAH! Not only are they entitled to this, but you shouldn't punish someone for someone else's behavior. 

    If they ask, defer back to their parents. "I'm not comfortable talking about this with you but I am happy to hear back from you" or something like that. Don't talk about it. I'd be surprised if they did ask, though. 
    Yup.  Don't punish the kids for the sins of the parents.   

    That said, I would tell the lawyer how to find them. 
    charlotte989875MesmrEwe
  • I don't get the impression the LW is trying to punish the women.  I think they aren't sure if it is appropriate for them to even reach out to the women at all.  ESPECIALLY on a matter that is related to the FIL's estate, even if it is just to say, "Hey!  HEY!  Open up those letters from Jane Doe Atty-At-Law.  They are not junk mail."

    I'd run it past the attorney before I contacted them at all.  Or just pass along where I've found them.

    If they do get in touch and are asked about the estrangement, I'd refer them back to their parents. 

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  • I think they’re family and if you want to reach out to them on a personal level social media is fine. 

    If you just want them to know about the trusts, contact the executor/executrix of the estate and have that person reach out (and at least give you the okay to reach out) via social media. 

    If they ask, defer to their parents but say whatever happened was between you/them and not you/the children who had nothing to do with it. 
  • Yea, contacts from the attorney (a call to say they'll be getting a letter as part of closing out the trust) and then the letter from the attorney.  They may not even know the trust exists and if they did go to school, to find out their expenses associated with it will be reimbursed could be a life-changing event.  BUT, they need to make the informed decision for themselves and as others mentioned "Don't punish the kids for the sins of the parents"...

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