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Wedding Woes

Doesn't your aging/ailing mom need the money first?

Dear Prudence,

Years ago, my father told me a secret. Being a sort of traditional guy, he wanted a cash backup in case of a financial apocalypse. He never told my brother about the stash. He had his reasons, but it’s a long story. It’s, perhaps stereotypically, buried near the house in a lockbox. I know where it is and what’s in it. Now my father is dead, and my mother is aging, and my brother and I are planning what to do after she’s gone. Her will says to split all her property 50/50 between us. My brother is doing better than me financially. He and his wife both have lucrative jobs. While I make good money, my wife definitely doesn’t, and we live in a city that eats a lot of our income. My brother is in a cheaper area. One could argue he’s made better decisions, but the bottom line is that I need that money more than he does. I feel a bit guilty, but can I just take the box before the will is settled out? This box would change my entire life.

—Dad’s Lockbox

Re: Doesn't your aging/ailing mom need the money first?

  • Does the brother not know?  Even so, though, this is theft.  If LW takes it now, they are robbing their mother. If LW takes it after her death, they are robbing the brother.  
    imageimage
    mrsconn23short+sassyMesmrEweOliveOilsMom
  • levioosalevioosa Southern California member
    5000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    This is gross


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    mrsconn23charlotte989875short+sassy
  • IDK why this guy thinks his brother is doing so much better than him based on surface shit.   Also, how does he really know his brother doesn't know about the money? Also, his choices are not his brother's fault.  LW can make changes to improve his financial standing that doesn't involve stealing from his mom, or when she dies, his brother. 
    short+sassyMesmrEwe
  • Uh, what? Give the money to your mom, since it's hers.
    yup.   So Dad was so traditional that Mom didn't get to know about their assets?   And now LW is trying to spin this his way?  

    Sorry LW, it's not your money now and it wasn't before.   Give it to your mom and then talk to a financial adviser. 
    short+sassyMesmrEweOliveOilsMom
  • short+sassyshort+sassy member
    5000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
    edited October 10
    banana468 said:
    Uh, what? Give the money to your mom, since it's hers.
    yup.   So Dad was so traditional that Mom didn't get to know about their assets?   And now LW is trying to spin this his way?  

    Sorry LW, it's not your money now and it wasn't before.   Give it to your mom and then talk to a financial adviser. 
    I'm trying to reserve my judgment on the Dad, because maybe his wife was a spender and not a saver and didn't manage money well.  But I hear ya!  It does have a bit of stink to it without knowing if the Dad actually had a very good reason to hide money from his wife.

    But YEAH, once he passed, that's the mom's money!  Part of her estate.  To do with as she wishes, assuming she inherited all the assets.  Unless maybe the dad gave him instructions to keep it secret and use it to help the mom, if she needed it.  However, it doesn't sound like that.

    Let me ask you, LW.  If you could talk to your Dad right now and present your scenario, do you think he would say, "Sure!  You just keep all that secret money when Mom passes.  Don't tell her or my other beloved son about any of it."?

    No?  He wouldn't say that?  Then stop playing with the idea of being a selfish POS thief, just because you might be able to get away with it.
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  • Along the lines of this letter, my grandparents are depression babies and wary of banks to a large degree (they have money in banks, IRAs, etc) but I've always wondered if we will find random stashes of cash in their house after they die.

    short+sassyMesmrEweOliveOilsMom
  • Not saying LW is right to take it, but does anyone here know about the legal portion of this?

    I agree that it's the mom's money, but I'm curious about the legal background
  • ei34ei34 member
    Seventh Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    LW you ass it's your mother's money  :s omg 
  • Not saying LW is right to take it, but does anyone here know about the legal portion of this?

    I agree that it's the mom's money, but I'm curious about the legal background
    Depends on the state they are in and what the will, if any, said. 
    MissKittyDangercharlotte989875
  • Not saying LW is right to take it, but does anyone here know about the legal portion of this?

    I agree that it's the mom's money, but I'm curious about the legal background
    Dad buried money on the property where his widow lives?  Who else could it belong to? 
    charlotte989875levioosaMesmrEwe
  • MyNameIsNotMyNameIsNot Atlanta member
    Ninth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    banana468 said:
    Not saying LW is right to take it, but does anyone here know about the legal portion of this?

    I agree that it's the mom's money, but I'm curious about the legal background
    Dad buried money on the property where his widow lives?  Who else could it belong to? 
    Technically anyone. When you write a will, you have a residual clause. Typically you'd say something like anything remaining to my wife, or anything remaining to be divided equally by my surviving children. Any property that isn't specifically listed in the will would be part of this residual. Given the story and assuming dad had a will, he probably didn't call out a secret treasure buried in the yard so it would be part of the residual. If you're married, you usually name your spouse as that person, but people do all sorts of bizarre crap in wills. 
    charlotte989875MissKittyDanger
  • kvruns said:
    Along the lines of this letter, my grandparents are depression babies and wary of banks to a large degree (they have money in banks, IRAs, etc) but I've always wondered if we will find random stashes of cash in their house after they die.
    I saw a news story where the kids knew their parents were like that and scoured through the house finding caches of money, after both their parents had passed.  The heirs sold the house and the new owners found more caches of money that had been missed!  They were nice enough to contact the sellers and give them what they found.

    Every time I buy a piece of property, I keep hoping to find cash and gold hidden in the walls!

    Still waiting... 
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    kvrunsOliveOilsMomkerbohl
  • lovesclimbinglovesclimbing Alaska member
    Seventh Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    edited October 10
    kvruns said:
    Along the lines of this letter, my grandparents are depression babies and wary of banks to a large degree (they have money in banks, IRAs, etc) but I've always wondered if we will find random stashes of cash in their house after they die.

    In all seriousness, I wouldn't be surprised. My great-grandfather buried money in "sealed" containers in various places around his property. His children knew he'd buried some, and when he started to lose his memory, they made him tell them where, and they dug it all up. He was really upset about it, but they told him he had to. Not for any nefarious purpose, but because no one knew! And he'd forget where it was, and it would just be gone! I say "sealed" because some of the money was still good or only partially deteriorated where it could be exchanged at a bank, but some of it was deteriorated so badly that it was unidentifiable. 


    So to the OP, even if the cache of cash is there, it may not be useable!

    kvrunsMesmrEwe
  • MobKazMobKaz Chicago suburbs member
    Ninth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    In addition to all the arguments stated above, if this money would change the schmuck's "entire life", and those changes were overt, wouldn't the sibling wonder how this brother suddenly had such a significant change?
    banana468mrsconn23kerbohl
  • Ro041Ro041 member
    Seventh Anniversary 1000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    How can you just live knowing that that money is just buried somewhere, unsecure, not helping mom, and deteriorating in the elements?  Lord Jesus, tell her about it. 

    MesmrEweMissKittyDanger
  • The widow owns the property. Anything buried on the property is hers. 
    MesmrEweshort+sassy
  • MesmrEweMesmrEwe member
    Knottie Warrior 2500 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    edited October 11
    Ziploc bags aren't as secure as he may like nor are metal boxes...  That said, what a selfish @$$...  Whether the money is even there or just a BS story, end of the day, it shouldn't stay buried in the ground.  I'm also with the PP in that a lot depends on the Mom's spending habits in a sense, there's a family close to me that this is the situation to the point that the wife was kept off of business paperwork and after the husband passed it is no wonders why she was kept as far away from the checkbook as humanly possible and getting scammed in the process by bogus charities asking for money.  

    Wait and split the money with your sibling unless there's a financial need such that the house will be taken to pay for the cost of nursing home care.  If the full amount is enough to change one's life, so is half if you plan and invest properly.  But also, there needs to be a discussion with the Mom because there may be tax advantages to splitting the money prior to her passing.  Because of course, digging random holes in the yard isn't going to raise a flag before nor after the Mom's passing!

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  • banana468 said:
    Not saying LW is right to take it, but does anyone here know about the legal portion of this?

    I agree that it's the mom's money, but I'm curious about the legal background
    Dad buried money on the property where his widow lives?  Who else could it belong to? 
    I would assume the same, based on "my property, my belongings" idea
  • CharmedPamCharmedPam Chicagoburbs member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary First Answer
    smh

    That is all.

  • OliveOilsMomOliveOilsMom South Jersey member
    Eighth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    kvruns said:
    Along the lines of this letter, my grandparents are depression babies and wary of banks to a large degree (they have money in banks, IRAs, etc) but I've always wondered if we will find random stashes of cash in their house after they die.
    I saw a news story where the kids knew their parents were like that and scoured through the house finding caches of money, after both their parents had passed.  The heirs sold the house and the new owners found more caches of money that had been missed!  They were nice enough to contact the sellers and give them what they found.

    Every time I buy a piece of property, I keep hoping to find cash and gold hidden in the walls!

    Still waiting... 
    My friend and her husband ripped up their bathroom to remodel and found about 20k in the wall.  They had bought an estate house, so obviously the kids did not know what was inside!  
    MissKittyDangercharlotte989875short+sassyMesmrEwe
  • wow OOM!
  • A year after I moved into my current house, I was digging a new garden bed and came across a small metal box.  I thought maybe it was a time capsule since we knew the previous owners had young children and went to open it.  Found bones - someone had buried their hamster in a very fancy coffin.
    imageimage
    MissKittyDangermrsconn23OliveOilsMomMesmrEwe
  • kerbohl said:
    A year after I moved into my current house, I was digging a new garden bed and came across a small metal box.  I thought maybe it was a time capsule since we knew the previous owners had young children and went to open it.  Found bones - someone had buried their hamster in a very fancy coffin.
    That would be something I'd do .... as weird/creepy as it sounds. I made a little casket for both hamsters that passed
  • lovesclimbinglovesclimbing Alaska member
    Seventh Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    We definitely buried pets in our yard. What else do you do, you know? If you don't want to pay for cremation. 

    MesmrEwe
  • We definitely buried pets in our yard. What else do you do, you know? If you don't want to pay for cremation. 
    Same. We had a big backyard and buried them under a tree. 
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