My sister wished death upon our mother so she could contest the will she thought our mother would leave behind. She learned a valuable lesson in the process.
My father was a famous stockbroker who passed away in September 2013 due to a terminal illness. While he lived, he took care of us as best he could, which was not so challenging because he got paid well as a stockbroker.
When he passed, he left everything in his trust fund to my mother, hoping she would know best how to use it for our benefit. My sister, Jane, and I are the only children our parents had.
The same year our father passed away, my sister, who has been married three years to the same man, welcomed fraternal twins. They had been praying for a child ever since they tied the knot, so the twins were regarded as a miracle.
Jane had all but given up hope; she never expected she would carry a baby at the ripe age of 47, but her 51-year-old husband, Tom, proved himself up to the task, and thus their babies were born.
Jane works as a school teacher at an elementary school while Tom is a convenience store owner, which makes them comfortable financially, so imagine my shock when they started demanding to know what my father willed to my sister and their kids.
They came to me because I was named the executor of the estate for both our parents’ trust funds which had been merged upon our father’s demise.
I can’t believe dad would make you the executor when I’m obviously older than you are!” Jane exclaimed when we met over coffee one morning.
“Two years is not a lot Jane,” I answered.
“Oh please,” she huffed. “We both know you have always been a favorite of dad and mom. You always jump and roll over at their whim like a well-trained dog. That’s why you were made executor, admit it.”
I knew she was right, of course, even if I did not appreciate the way she put it. I had always just attempted to be a filial son to my loving parents.
I was also aware of the strained relationship between her and our parents. They were not very happy about the man she chose as a partner, and she could not accept their lack of enthusiasm, so she slowly drifted away.
Due to the strain, my mother warned me not to disclose the details of Jane’s inheritance to her. Because Jane had kids, our mother wanted to leave her money for her family, but it wouldn’t be a fair split between us.
She wanted it to be 30/70, with me receiving 70% of funds, in addition to the family house. I argued the decision when she told me.
You can’t do this mom,” I said. “Jane will be furious.”
“I know this will upset your sister, son, but it is how I want it to be.”
You’ve been a better child and have done a better job caring for us.”
“Above all, your relationship with us has remained positive and uplifting, I’m sure your father would have wanted you to have the lion’s share as well.”
“But mom,” I began.
“— Enough about this,” she cut me off. “It is my money and I will do with it as I see fit.”
Any attempt I made to bring it up after that was rebuffed, so I made peace with it. When Jane found out, she was as angry as I predicted she would be. She called my mom several times a day to convince her to change her mind.
At some point, the tension between Jane and our mother became so deep that Jane said she couldn’t wait to hear news of our mother’s death so she could contest the will, set it right, and forget about our family.
This angered our mother, so she revised her will to exclude my sister and her family completely, meaning they wouldn’t be getting a single penny after her death. A fitting lesson if you ask me.
What did we learn from this story?
Greed kills. Greed is a terrible master, and it ruled Jane mercilessly, making her yearn to know how much she could expect to inherit after her mother’s passing. It’s anyone’s guess what she would have done had she discovered she would be inheriting a lot of money.
Be kind to your parents. Not just because you hope to inherit something from them but because they have put a lot into getting you where you are now. Being kind is the least you could do to appreciate them.