My brother experienced karma when he cheated me out of my inheritance by altering our mother’s will to make it seem like I barely had anything worthwhile to inherit.
My mother passed away in October 2015 at her mansion where she had been staying with my older brother, who had taken it upon himself to care for her. A month after her demise, we had a conversation about what she left behind.
“Don’t worry, you have been handsomely provided for,” he told me. “I haven’t set eyes on her will yet, but that is what I heard.”
I was okay with that because I trusted him as a sibling; there’s no way he could betray me, right? Some days later, he called to tell me that our mom left me a total of $10,000.
“You’re $10,000 rich sis!,” he exclaimed excitedly, but even to himself, I’m sure it sounded a bit forced.
“I need to go through all of her paperwork, tie up the loose ends and pay off her bills,” he went on animatedly. “I’ll get back to you with whatever is left after all that.”
I wanted to ask him why it seemed like I was the only one incurring the costs, but he was gone before I could get a word out. I contemplated calling him back, but I thought better of it.
A week later, he called again to inform me that there was barely any money left over after paying all our mother’s bills.
Those bills were a lot sis,” he said. “Did you know mom owed Mrs. Carpenter down the street up to a thousand dollars?”
“She helped mom purchase that antique vase on the mantelpiece,” I answered.
“Whoa! Mom and her antiques,” he said fondly, and with that, he shifted the dynamic of our conversation.
“How are you holding up?” he asked sincerely.
“I’ve seen better days brother,” I replied, uncomfortable with the discussion. He was my brother, but we were hardly close.
After that day, I surmised that the debts might have been a lot, but I didn’t start doubting the whole affair until I received a sum of $300 from him some weeks later. That was all I was entitled to at the end of it all.
My mother had allegedly left my brother her house and car even though I was sure she knew my brother and his girlfriend both had their own cars while my husband and I were still saving up to afford one. So I spoke to him about getting our mom’s car.
“Since I am only getting $300, do you think that at least I could please have the car?” I asked.
“Of course sis, Lord knows you and your husband need something to shuttle you about,” he answered. “We can go to the Department of Motor Vehicles to transfer the title and registration tomorrow.”
My brother loves money and profit, so I was a bit surprised that he accepted. I was prepared to beg him with a list of reasons, but there he was, accepting graciously. I was at a loss, and that gut feeling started to nag me.
At the DMV the following day, the clerk asked him for all the relevant paperwork required for the transfer to be completed. This included a copy of her will which he provided.
After the clerk was finished with it, she returned it to him, and he handed it over to me, saying I could have it for keeps. I gratefully took it because I’d never bothered to look through it before.
The will was handwritten in a legal format, and it did state that I was to be given $10,000 from my mother’s investments and some specific items of hers which I had already received.
It also stated that my brother would receive her house and her car while the rest of her items were to go to specific people, including my aunt and several of her dear friends.
I returned home in my mother’s car, but my gut nagged me all the way. It kept urging me to do something, but I didn’t know what.
Six months later, I still felt the same gut feeling, and one afternoon, I decided to look at the will again. I re-read it line by line carefully until I happened upon what seemed like an anomaly.
I got out my magnifying lens and focused on the anomaly. To my amazement, I discovered that somebody had created a dollar sign ($) out of the first original digit in the figure, making it look like my inheritance was $10,000 when in reality, it was $110,000.
I decided to contest the will in court. My brother was livid.
“You ingrate!” he shouted at me when we met at the courthouse parking lot. “How could you do this to your own brother? You should be grateful I paid all of mom’s debts and let you have her car!”
Thank you for that but it doesn’t change what you did brother,” I said and left him standing there fuming.
The court ruled in my favor, and my brother had to return the money he stole. I learned later that his girlfriend left him because they had been planning to have a wedding with the money.
What did we learn from this story?
Greed corrupts good relationships. Once greed got between the siblings, one started plotting how to cheat the other out of her share. He succeeded, but karma visited and set things straight. Avoid greed.
Always trust your gut; it is hardly ever wrong. Her brother would have gotten away with his sly trick if the aggrieved woman did not give in to her gut feeling, which made her go through the will painstakingly.