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Am I Doing Right Or Wrong?

Discussion in 'Parents & Siblings' started by revaselva, Aug 22, 2021.

  1. revaselva

    revaselva Senior IL'ite

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    My dad passed away 3 years ago without writing will about his home, which is built from his income. He always wanted to give it entirely to my elder brother. My parents raised me with love and affection during childhood. when I wanted to pursue MS in USA, my father who took an early retirement lay an option in front of a 20 yr gal that he has 5 laks to pay either for my higher education or for my marriage. and as expected I chose education over marriage and came to USA. I had my fair share of struggles as a single girl without any relatives or guidance in new country, survived and settled. but my dad also asked me to repay the money he gave for my education, which I did in less time as a dutiful daughter without questioning. I even financially supported entire wedding expense of mine and my brother's wedding as well. and gave another 12 laks for my father to use it for his future expenses.
    my brother and dad never got along well, since my brother was a kid. my father had lot of love for him but never showed it and rather only showed his strict side. while showering love on me since i was the little one at home.
    My brother was always jealous of me as I was praised since childhood for being smarter. and the day I got my US visa, he couldnt control his feelings and cried out of jealousness.
    and when I first got job while my brother was jobless for long, I used to support my family with monthly expenses.
    within a month of my wedding, my mom suddenly passed away leaving us all 3 in utter shock and despair.
    within few years of my brother's marriage, my dad gave away the retirement funds that i had given him without my consent so that my brother could buy an apartment. my brother was the one, who coerced my dad to not return my money and instead give it to him for which my dad obliged. my dad also sold his ancestoral property and gave away that money as well to my brother.
    even though my dad was getting rental income from his home while he was living with my brother. he used to ask me to send small amounts for monthly expenses saying how his son was not even giving him a single penny for medicine expenses etc. so I used to dutifully send it.
    my brother always felt that my dad was a burden on him and his family and caused lack of privacy.
    sometime ago my dad fought with me and verbally used very cursive and foul language words to extract my mom's jewellery and give it to his son. my mom always wanted to give it to me. this was all while i was 5 months pregnant. and neither of these men never cared to ask how i was doing ever. and in anger when I asked my dad, if ever he would give a share of his property, then he said he would rather give the money/property to an anaadh ashram than giving it to me. i was heart broken. cause I was always this obedient, smart loving daughter who took care of them financially a lot even before they ever asked for. and this is all he has got for me? i didnt speak to him for few months and after which i swallowed my ego and spoke to him again. he never regretted nor said anything about how he spoke.
    in 2017 my brother said it on my dad's face to leave his house for which my dad felt very bad and came back to his own home and started living alone. and exactly in an year (2018) my dad died of heart attack alone, without any medical help near by.
    my brother asked my neighbors to send my father's body in a van to the city where he was, to perform the last rights. everyone was cursing my brother for being so cold and irresponsible.
    and my brother fought with me that i was not sharing the last rights cost and how he had to spend 1.5laks on it. this is un heard of in indian hindu culture that daughter spends for dad's last rights. I did not spend on purpose since I wanted my brother to take responsibility at least once in his life towards parents.
    Now since there is no will, I am legally able to claim 50% of my dad's home. initially i never cared for this money/property. but my anger remained that first my dad has been really unfair to me throughout his whole life not wanting to spend a single penny either on my education, or marriage or assets. which usually all girls in indian culture get from mom's home.
    and secondly and most importantly that my brother in spite of kicking my dad out of his home now wants a free ride and loads of money all to himself.
    I dont want to give that free ride to my brother so easily, for making my dad suffer. but also some where in deep corner of my heart, I am lost and confused if what i am doing is right or wrong. since my dad never wanted me to inherit his asset.
     
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  2. revaselva

    revaselva Senior IL'ite

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    sorry for the very long post. But sincerely thank anyone who takes time to read this and provide some pointer, especially since I have no cousins or friends with whom I can share my personal story in so much detail to get un judgmental opinion or help. So, sincerely thanking you all.
     
  3. MalStrom

    MalStrom IL Hall of Fame

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    I am sorry for the untimely loss of both your parents. Are you financially comfortable without the money from your father’s property?
     
  4. 1Sandhya

    1Sandhya Platinum IL'ite

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    I think you are okay. Let the estate 50% come to you as per law. And enjoy it as a belated gift from your parents.
    Your father told you many times that he wanted to leave the money to his son and he gave him lots too. But it’s noteworthy that he didn’t make a will explicitly saying so. I think maybe he began to understand clearly after that last fight when your brother turned him out of the house. Perhaps his pride would not have let him admit this to you but maybe he realized he has done wrong by you. Otherwise his failure to leave a will leaving everything to your bro in spite of telling you and everyone else is not explainable. He knew the law has changed now and all kids will get a share, unless he explicitly states his wishes in a will. Still he didn’t. I feel this is significant. So... leave it and let the estate division occur.
    You did right by your parents in their lifetime you helped them and paid back the money he asked. So your conscience is clear. I wouldn’t think more on this if I were you.
     
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  5. Laks09

    Laks09 Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    If he never wanted you to inherit his assets he would have written a will and disinherited you. Towards the end of his life, he was turned out of his son’s house and lived in his house alone. You are not sure of what your dad told your brother. What if he told him he’s going to not give him any property because he was turning him out of his house? Words said in anger or frustration at the moment cannot be used as a end wish. He wanted you. If not, he wouldn’t have called and asked you to send money occasionally for his need. You should get your half of the property without having such guilt. Even if you are financially well off, there is something called as inheriting from parents. Something that we will give forward to our kids. Take your share. Keep it for your kids. It’s their grandfathers. Don’t disinherit them.
     
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  6. revaselva

    revaselva Senior IL'ite

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    Thanks Laks and Sandhya. Yes, I am and will be grateful for my father to provide me with opportunity for good education without declining eventhough they were tight on funds. And due to their blessings I believe I finanically ok living in US. My parents did offer the same education option to my brother as well, so that in future he wouldnt complain to them that they were biased towards me. but he chose not to risk since he was sceptical if he would succeed and be able to handle the pressure. but my brother is getting paid handsome in IT field in India itself, so he is financially ok too.
    Coming to the Will - i heard from my neighborhood uncle that my dad wanted to write the will on his son's name as a gift so that it would help the son from taxes etc. and then told the neighbor still how his son mis treated him in old age.
    My gripe of late is that - my dad wanted to be biased to favor son over daughter - being very thoughtful and giving gold jewellery to son and grand son while not even wanting to do anything to me or my daughters. he chooses to be old school parent in that regard, but clearly demanded me to send money to make jewellery for himself. and which he also gave away later to someone. so he clearly thinks that my hard work or hard earned money has no value and neither my limitless love towards him. and only wants to go out of the way to do things for his son and son's kids.
    My brother doesnt want to have any relationship with me, once i sign the property docs. So I just feel lost, hurt and ignored by both my dad and brother that my unconditional love towards them has been kicked off. and that makes me take a share of the property as well. but part of me feels guilty as well.
     
  7. GoneGirl

    GoneGirl Gold IL'ite

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    Hi Revaselva,

    Am sorry to hear you are going through a difficult time. Although it’s unfair how your dad behaved with you, but sometimes people get desperate in old age, especially when they live alone and try to be extra nice to the child who lives nearby that supposedly will take care of them. He may have also felt that your brother didn’t do as well as you did professionally and had he provided him with better guidance he could have achieved the same, this guilt may have forced him to help him financially as he did. These maybe reasons for his behavior. I am not justifying it, but trying to give an explanation that may help lessen your burden.

    If I were you, I would likely let go of this inheritance, as I believe I have got enough support from parents to establish myself in life early on and this fight over inheritance will only bring a long standing heartache to me. That is just my thought here, please disregard this post if that doesn’t sound right to you. Hope you can get through this tough time and focus your efforts on your family.
     
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  8. 1Sandhya

    1Sandhya Platinum IL'ite

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    So?
    I wouldn’t read too much into what he told the neighbor. That generation people like to discuss many what-if scenarios - legal, medical, tax etc - with people they meet daily. Doesn’t mean they actually intend to do any of them.
    You are connecting apples to oranges. One is your feelings- You are hurt about the way you were treated and in addition you are grieving over the loss of your family unit. This is very natural.
    Other is the property division, a legal matter unconnected to your feelings. It will proceed regardless of your current feelings. But you are very emotional right now and muddled. You make it sound as if you are breaking the tijori lock or decamping with the buried treasure! This is silly. You will only get your rightful share, nothing more, that too legally. So calmly try to separate the two processes mentally.

    What will also help is to introspect on why you are linking the two and imbuing it with so much emotion and guilt. I think you have a lot of unexpressed grief over your father’s passing mixed in with a lot of anger and guilt. It will take time to process and sort out.
     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2021
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  9. revaselva

    revaselva Senior IL'ite

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    Hi Gonegirl,
    "Although it’s unfair how your dad behaved with you, but sometimes people get desperate in old age, especially when they live alone and try to be extra nice to the child who lives nearby that supposedly will take care of them. He may have also felt that your brother didn’t do as well as you did professionally and had he provided him with better guidance he could have achieved the same, this guilt may have forced him to help him financially as he did. These maybe reasons for his behavior. I am not justifying it, but trying to give an explanation that may help lessen your burden."

    You are very right in touching upon from this angle. My dad did feel that my brother is not on par with me professionally compared to me. My brother was given the equal opportunity, and also my dad did his best to make up for the initial misguidance mistake that he did towards my brother. And my dad was scared that my brother would kick him out if he didnt give his property to my brother. even after my brother kicked my dad out. my dad was hoping that one day his son would take him back and at that time, my dad could sell this house and use the money to build an additional room etc on the terrace on the son's home and live closely with him in his old age.

    My pain all along is that I was not treated right emotionally and financially by either my dad or my brother. both showed a cold shoulder towards me. since i was the unwanted person in their lives etc for their financial needs.

    Sandhya - you are very right that I am very emotional since its about the people I loved the most. and who hurt me the most. and yes, I am realizing that I have lot of anger towards the way both of them treated me along with the pain of losing my parents. and to top it off that my brother was unfair towards my father and just trying to enjoy the free money now, which i dont think he deserves and should be getting it that easy.
     
  10. Viswamitra

    Viswamitra IL Hall of Fame

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    Hi @revaselva,

    Even though a family bond is distinctly different than property inheretence, wealth and money matters, unfortunately, it boils down to that in many families.

    Your father asking you whether you need money for your education or marriage is a choice he gave and a freedom to choose between the two. You chose education and did well with your thoughtful selection. After that, I don't know why he asked you to repay that money.

    Whatever financial assistance you have provided to your father is out of love for him and there is no value for that. You can't expect anything in return for it, and it should be considered as goodwill towards your dad.

    If your father has shown an attitude of favoritism towards your brother when compared to you and has shown attitude of giving away everything to your brother, it might be a momentary guilt of not raising your brother well to be as successful as you are. God knows, how your brother reacted to your father which resulted in your father reacting badly to you. Don't take anything into your heart and keep that aside when you think about your decision about inheritance.

    If you can show your love by providing financial support to your father simultaneously while regretting the abusive words of your father, so can he. He can be abusive and still show his love towards you as his adult child. If he has not written a will, obviously, he intented to provide the property equally to both of you. Frankly, when your brother asked your father to go out and live on his own, he could have easily given up on him and wrote a will to donate his assets to a charity after his life but apparently he didn't. It means he loved both his children and hence he wanted both of his children to inherit his property. Irrespective of what attitude your brother shows, you should claim your rights.
     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2021

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