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Old March 24th, 2013, 09:36
shazzie shazzie is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 2
Default dad died, family fell apart

Hi everyone,
i am new here so i hope i am doing this right, this might be a long email so i can explain whats been happening...
my dad passed away suddenly on the 27th July 2012 he was 74 its been nearly eight months now and i still cry every day, he died at home alone sitting in his lounge chair and wasn't found until the next day, his dog stayed by his side.
my family had their problems and my two sisters and i didn't see each other a lot but we would email sometimes and have a chat i also have a younger brother
me and him have always been close my parents divorced and my sisters left home so it was always me and my brother we were very close, my brother didn't live with dad but lived in the next town i am 3 hours away, one of my sisters had not seen or spoken to dad for about 15 years. Anyway my dad died without a will he owned and lived in the same house we grew up in, well dad did have a will but very old done in the 60's and he had his mother on it and my mum but his mum has passed years ago and my parents divorced so the will was classed as null in-void, anyway in october 3 months after dad died my brother had not cleaned the house or cleaned out the fridge etc he said he did not know where to start so i offered to help, he was happy for my help mind you i suffer panic attacks and have an ill husband so i went there with my husband and 2 of my boys i cleaned the house packed up dads things and the boys dad the yards, 4 days we worked and then we left, i never did anything without the direction of my brother such as what clothes of dads he wanted to keep what we should give away ect i asked him every time he was very thankful for all i had done, we then went home, but since dads death i spoke to my sisters saying we have to start the legal side of things regarding dates estate i also spoke to my brother at first he said not yet so i left it then we talked again and i got quotes from lawyers and the one that read the will in dads home town was the cheapest so i went with him i sent my brother emails keeping him updated my sisters said it had to be done and i was doing a good job, also dad died with debt so things had to be sorted out. we agreed earlier after the reading of the old will that the house will remain in the family and anyone of us or dads gran kids can use it as a holiday home or stay on the weekend ect. the Lawyer told me it all has to go to court the courts will not just leave the house to one child they will leave it to all 4 of us and then its up to us if my brother buys us out or we all stay owners, one of my sisters was up front from the start and told me even though she thinks i am doing the right thing she can not offer to help pay legal fees, my other sister said she would help pay the legal fees so i gave her the number for her to ring the lawyer, the lawyer said to me he would do a payment plan so me and my sister decided on a certain amount a fortnight i started paying each fortnight this started in november last year, after i cleaned dads house and huged my brother goodbye we drove off one of my sons were staying and coming home the next day before we left the driveway my brother said to my son what was your mother after, i let this go as i put it down to him grieving and it was a hard few days, hardest thing i've ever done, then i kept getting phone calls off my brother he become abusive and accused me of all sorts of weird thing he said i was after everything although i told him i was not fighting for anything he said i believed dad had hidden cash in the house and thats why i went and cleaned it, this is untrue dad had nothing died with debt and all he had was a little old county home not worth much, i wasn't after anything, then he said i had demanded dad be dug back up for an autopsy this also never happened and i would never want that to happen i have no idea where he got these ideas from, he blamed me for everything he could think of every time he rang he abused me, his ex told him he couldn't see his kids anymore because of a drug problem she said once he gets help he can see them again, he rang me up threatening my life if i did not make is ex let him see his kids i had to ring the police they offered me to take out an AVO a violence order against my brother i told them i didn't want to do that as he lost dad and i didn't want to make it worse, the police said they would talk to him, the phone calls of abuse continued i sent him some text messages in reply to his abuse i should never have tried to make him understand but i tried so hard to tell him i am not after anything i never wanted dad dug back up and a whole lot of other things, i pleaded with him to believe me, we were so close it was killing me that he hated me for no reason, anyway the arguments continued and my replies to him via text continued, then in december i wanted to go back to dads place it was the first christmas since his death my grief was bad so i thought going back spending the weekend there would be good for me i text my brother and told him we were coming up he told me i was not allowed to enter dads property and him and his girlfriend had moved in there he threatened me to stay away so i rang the lawyer and told him to send my brother a letter stating he can not keep any of dads kids from the house, the lawyer did this and i got another abusive call from my brother, i didn't end up going to dads as i didn't want trouble, i rang the funeral people to find out if the funeral was paid in full me and my sisters gave my brother 500 each and my mum gave him 450 dad had a small funeral plan but it did not cover it all, it turned out my brother spent our money and paid nothing nothing had been paid 6 months after dads death, they told me my brother said he was waiting on our money so i told them the truth i waited about a week or so and sent my brother a message telling him he can make a payment plan for the funeral bill they sent him many letters and he would not respond, they then told me the debt will be put on dads estate so i asked my brother why he wont pay as we had already given him the money he asked me for more money and asked me to ask my sisters i told him i wont give him anymore if i pay anything it will be to the place not him, this is the last conversation i had with him, his girlfriend also sent me a text telling me to keep my hands off dads stuff... then while making payments towards the legal fees in january this year they tell me no one else but me has paid anything i rang my sister and she said she changed her mind but she told my mum she never offered to help with legal fees so we are no longer talking either, i have tried to talk to my other sister but she says she wont get involved i only tried to get support off her, so i lost my dad, my brother and 2 sisters all in 7 months, i dont understand it as all i have done is do the legal side of things and pay out money including some more to the funeral people, i am not fighting anyone for the house... then in the beginning of feb this year the police knocked on my door and served me with an AVO apprehensive violence order my brothers girlfriend took it out but it protects him too i am not allowed near them which means i can not go near the house, it is going through a lawyer to make me administrator of dads estate so i will need to be able to go to dads to deal with all that. the first court case for the AVO i couldn't go to as i only had 3 days notice and my husband is ill, the lawyer went for me and the courts said we must attend mediation i have been waiting and waiting for mediation to take place because if it doesn't the lawyer said the court will extend date once again until june, after all this waiting i finally got a call from mediation they had to send the girlfriend two letters before she responded they told me they would ring back with a date but might not be able to fit it in before court
i begged them i can't wait another two months, its a country town and court is only open once every two months, I should have taken the AVO against him when the police offered it, now i am told there is now a caravan at my dads and my brother has someone living in it, i dont know how any of this is right i can't go there but they can live there with someone i dont even know, i am of no threat to them i never even spoke to the girlfriend through all this although it turns out the phone i sent messages to was hers but my brother would also use her phone to abuse me.... i am of no threat to them and dont understand how they can do this, i cry every night and ask my dad to help me through this but i dont know how much more i can take i've lost all my siblings and my dad, my sisters know how hurt i am and the sister that didn't taalk to dad for 15 years has now been to dads 3 times since his death and has become good friends with my brothers girlfriend, my mum is supportive but she is 70 and i dont want to keep bugging her with all this, because i did sent text messages but not threatening i am worried the judge will serve the order in their favor i've never been in trouble with the law for anything, never been to court but by brother has and i think this is why the girlfriend took it out and not him. i have been hanging on since beginning of feb waiting for the April court case if this is put off to june i think it will kill me, i have no one to talk to i miss my dad so much i feel so alone in all this i've paid out so much money already some towards funeral bill and legal fees i had support of my whole family when i started it all but when my brother went crazy everyone ran, i wish my dad was back i wish he didn't die, i dont know how to get through this, its weird after dads funeral me and my siblings all hugged and made a pact that we will stay in contact and see each other more now i feel it was just all fake... sorry guys for the long email and i thank you if you read it all and could make sense of it thanks for listening
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Old March 24th, 2013, 12:10
hazelharris hazelharris is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 1,144

hi shazzie i'm so sorry for the loss of your dad what an awful dilema you are in you have tried your best to be the rock to your family sorting things out and it seems to have backfired on you unfortunately family or not where possesions and money is involved some people show their true colours and greed overtakes all morals for sorting everything out in a fair way respecting the loved ones wishes
your brothers girlfriend should have minded her own business from the beginning and now your problems have escalated through no fault of your own
i can't predict what the courts will do or say every country has different ways of dealing with cases like this Here in the uk it would be seen as a domestic case and dealt with compassionately knowing all this comes from grieving of a loved one
worrying about the outcome will make you ill if you let it and you have enough to deal with grieving over your dad you must just try to cross your bridges when you come to them say what will be will be and deal with it on the day i'm sure the judge will see through what has happened to you and hopefully all will be well in the end
in the uk even though mum is divorced a settlement would be made to her it would all be fortunate if mum is fit as 70 isn't old she could use her authority and influence to stop her family getting into all these arguments even if she finds out she has no valid claim on the estate she could help you all
try to rise above it don't let anger resentment and bitterness affect you you know you are a good person you loved your dad the legacy above everything else that dad has left behind is you children i hope you all can come together in the end perhaps the courts will find the best way forward for you all is to sell everything and share it out between you
i know we all need money to survive but its family and loved ones that matter in the end if it doesn't all work out as you want talk to your dad in heaven say i just did my best
i wish you well let us know how you are
love hazel
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Old March 24th, 2013, 13:19
j's daughter j's daughter is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 406

Shazzie, I've read through your message. I'm so sorry for your loss of Dad, and for the events surrounding and since Dad's passing.

I see two separate issues (at least): first the legal bits, over which you have little control, and the personal strife, over which you have some control.

The question of payment / non-payment of funeral costs, the question of ownership of Dad's home, etc. are matters you leave to the courts. There are laws most everywhere governing these matters. Ideally, you have the chance to speak your piece in court, and then the laws determine the outcome. You need to accept that, for good or ill. If you have proof of your payment to your brother of your share toward the cost of Dad's funeral, you need only present that in court. If you gave your brother money, but didn't get any sort of receipt or anything in writing, you are on shakier ground. Awful, but again, you might need to just accept what cannot be changed.

In time, the law will look after settlement of Dad's property and debt. If drugs are any part of your brother's life, your brother is responding not only with grief, but also with the effect of drugs on his mind. It's an unequal fight: you cannot win that one. Don't break your own heart, and your Mom's, fighting a battle you can't win.

The personal / emotional situation: first consideration, in my view, is making sure Mom and you are okay. As little stress as possible from here on in. Mom has lost so much, the family is at odds, and Mom doesn't need any more strife or stress in her life. Nor do you. Walk away from as much as you can walk away from. I know the urge is strong to say "what's right is right" but consider the cost of "right" on your peace of mind.

You might very well come away with little of any material value. So be it. At least come away knowing you've done what you can, you've looked after yourself and Mom, and don't waste energy on resentment or anger. It will destroy you.

Take a breath, and take stock. Realistically, what's the best you can hope for here? If you and Mom are emotionally okay, that's a plus. If you and Mom don't lose any more financially, another plus. If you have no "summer home" or "weekend place" to go to - well, do you really want to spend weekends where there are memories only of strife?

Be mindful of what is important: you've lost Dad. You need to be working through your grief there first, and helping Mom. Your parents may have been divorced. I know from personal experience, divorce may end the marriage, but it doesn't necessarily end the caring. How is Mom doing? Make sure she's okay.

Choose your battles. You've too much on your plate at once. Try to sort what's important for your own future. I agree with Hazel: what's important is peace of mind, and family if you can keep it together happily and supportively. That doesn't mean you need to throw good money after bad: no more to the brother who may have a drug problem. No more to anybody without getting a receipt.

I am sorry your Dad is gone. Let yourself work through that first. Close the door against everything else for a time. Just grieve. That's enough of a sorrowful task for you for now.

Please stay in touch, and let us know you and Mom are okay.
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Old March 27th, 2013, 09:54
shazzie shazzie is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 2
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thank you both for your reply,
it is a stressful situation i do hope the court can see through what they have done, i am not after anything at all, we all agreed in the beginning we keep the house, but for some reason my brother believes it should all go to him and i can't go there, its a very hard time and yes legal can deal with it but once i am made administrator which is soon i have to work out what gets done like do we sell dads car ect to pay debts and things like that, i started this as the family believed it was the right thing to do as none of us wanted to lose dads house then all of a sudden they turned on me. and now my brothers girlfriend taking out the order so i can't go to dads i dont know who she thinks she is, court and mediation is next week i have to travel 3 hours for court so while i'm up there i will see my mum and visit dads grave, it has been 8 months now since he died and it still feels like yesterday
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