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To not accept this money?

(61 Posts)
Mignonette Wed 18-Dec-13 11:24:32

My Father died and we found out he had changed his will after telling us that we would share his property abroad with stepm keeping the British homes, money and investments (no problem at all with that). He secretly bought under a Tontine meaning we got nothing.

Our stepm has alienated us from our entire paternal family and the uncles/aunts seem to project their feelings about our Mother onto us.

We have had to live with the fact that not only was our Father not a good Father in life with little love for us, hew continues to reject us in death. Mostly we have got on with things and have cut ties with our stepm who has lavished goods, gifts and money on other family members and friends. She threw away my Fathers photographs, possessions etc days after he died not asking any of us if we wanted them. She then found a new man three and a half months after he died.

To get to the point, she has ignored my children's birthdays and mine but today a cheque 'to share among yourselves as you see fit for Christmas' arrived.

Now I have cut all ties with her so it would be hypocritical to accept this money for myself and nor do I want it.

BUT - should i cash it and split between my children?
Cash it and donate to charity/
Send it back and tell her to re issue it in the form of cheques to my children?

If i cash it i am telling her that I don't want you but your money will do which feels not right. if I cash it and share it, all she will know is that i took her money and it'll be spread around my paternal family that I did this?

AIBU to tear the cheque up and try to suppress the awful feelings of pain and hurt that the arrival of this communique has triggered in me? I have done well to pretty much push to the back of my mind, the damage my Father has caused me all my life and feel much happier having no contact with her (she is manipulative and spiteful). My children dislike her having seen the pain caused and feel she very much used us during the funeral to depict a happy family with her at the heart and then discarded us all. They say i should do what i feel comfortable with.

This has made me so unhappy again. The cheque and card are sitting like a coiled snake on my kitchen table.

Mignonette Wed 18-Dec-13 12:21:05

Have warned my sister to maybe expect one but her treatment of us is not equal so who knows?

My sisters response is that she is owed that money morally so will cash and give to her son. I kind of feel that nobody should be 'entitled' to a legacy. I just feel sad that he lied to us and she encouraged/benefited from this.

Yes she has done very well out of it and we got nothing- not even an item of clothing, photograph or valueless memento. No grave, no memorial. Nothing.

pinkporcupine Wed 18-Dec-13 12:22:03

OP, i really identify with this as i was in a similar situation. Because of a toxic family member on DH side, lets call her Z, we lost all contact with his side of the family, including his brother and sister. Like you, DH moved on, albeit having some severe mental health issues attached to the venom he received over the years from Z. Then we received some communication totally out of the blue from his brother. We really didnt know what to do, so actually contacted this brother about the motive behind this communication. It turned out that throughout her life, Z had played various relatives off against each other, spreading viscious rumours about various family members, using emotional blackmail to make relatives act in uncharacteristic ways. It turns out she was a severely disturbed individual who did massive amounts of damage. Anyway, to cut a very long and complex story short, DH and his brother have slowly started to rebuild thier relationship, initially with e-mails, then this year they met for the first time in 25 years. At this meeting, they were able to talk bout how Z had driven a serious wedge between them, and beween that side of family.
Why dont you e-mail her, expressing your suprise at the cheque, to see if you can identify a motive. You may find out she is a nasty piece of work, in which case, do with the cheque what makes you feel most comfortable. But you may also find there is a whole back story, which is what happened to us. But very difficult., and may open a lot of wounds which may also be difficult to confront.

uptheanty Wed 18-Dec-13 12:29:26

The kind of people who play these kind of games never do anything for altruistic reasons. There is an angle but please don't waste your time or energy trying to figuire out what it is.

I would donate to a children's charity, get a receipt and send it in a card with a note thanking her for her genorosity and advising her that children who really need support are benefitting.

And reinflate your bubble grin

cozietoesie Wed 18-Dec-13 12:32:53

Yes - maybe a short note advising her that it's gone to charity. That might be a good idea.

Mignonette Wed 18-Dec-13 12:35:28

Pink i am glad to hear your husband is rebuilding his relationship with his brother. How awful that they were estranged because of it. We made a decision to resist divide and conquer although it can be challenging!

I agree Up that there is precious little altruism behind this. She has caused such pain to the grandchildren and my sister who was rendered near mute for days after finding things out so shocked and angry was she. I will not forget the pain on her face.

Bubble will be reinflated. Am awaiting husband who is coming home early because he knows how upset I am. Bless him.

NigellasDealer Wed 18-Dec-13 12:35:29

just tear it up mignonette and say/do nothing

YoureBeingASillyBilly Wed 18-Dec-13 12:38:32

No i would send it back. I wouldnt accept it. You dont need it and it's not a life changing amount (althought tbh it wouldnt make a difference to me how much it was). Its an insult tbh. She didnt send it for you, she sent it for her.

Mignonette Wed 18-Dec-13 12:42:31

I am going to sleep on it and make a decision tomorrow. I am leaning towards not cashing it and returning it saying that now the children are adults, she can issue cheques to them rather than via me.

But i may change my mind smile. Hard to think straight at the moment.

Mama1980 Wed 18-Dec-13 12:42:42

I would tear it up. My biological father who isn't very nice and none of us have seen for years sends a cheque every year At Christmas I never pay it in, I just throw it away. If he asked to see us I would consider it but I will not take his money.

uptheanty Wed 18-Dec-13 12:42:52


Treating siblings differently, choosing not to "like" a family member and alienating people from others is all a form of scapegoating, something of a phenomenon and enjoyed by the most dysfunctional of family members.

It is recongnised in family court as a form of abuse used to overpower and control others.

Most of us have them, I'm 100% NC with mine and not concerned anymore about them in the least fbiscuit.

sapfu Wed 18-Dec-13 12:45:27

I would donate it to charity - whatever charity will make the best point tbh,even if it's for a home for old donkeys so you can say 'because step monster will be in one soon'.

If you do it online you might be able to do it online but you can forward the confirmation/receipt email on to the old hag.

Rise above. You are so much better than she, and your dad.

Mignonette Wed 18-Dec-13 12:45:59


I was the family scapegoat. The reason they had to marry. the reason they were unhappy. Everything wrong in their lives was my fault. I was told on many occasion that they would have aborted me and wish they had have done (I have come to terms with this) so what you say does chime with what I think. Yet my sister was the Golden child (she learned to be quiet and good) and her son was treated the most appallingly of all.

My daughter is the unpopular grandchild with her and was with my Father.

xCupidStuntx Wed 18-Dec-13 12:47:47

I definitely wouldn't accept it.

Charlie97 Wed 18-Dec-13 12:48:20

Me, I would go for a meal and use it towards that (not sure £100 would buy a meal for you all), send her the receipt and say "I put it towards a meal for MY family, I feel it is so important to always stay close to your children. It's lovely to spend time together"

Or is that a step too far?

Mignonette Wed 18-Dec-13 12:52:01

Don't tempt me Charli smile.

I have so much outrage that I dare not let it out as it feels as if I would cause a tidal wave or something with the strength of it!

Am just going out for an hour and didn't want people to think I had posted and run. Will be back later to read and reply.

Thank you all for not giving me a hard time flowers.

You are all kind and lovely.

TalkativeJim Wed 18-Dec-13 12:57:50

Oh I am sorry that it's all been stirred up for you.

I'd be soooo tempted to send it back - with a note:

'Many thanks. Your cheque is enclosed. As a family, we decided that we would find more pleasure in returning it than on any item we might spend it on. Merry Christmas to you and your new partner.'

..but of course I wouldn't!!!

Rub those potatoes right into it OP!!!

Floralnomad Wed 18-Dec-13 13:01:46

I don't understand how this is even an issue . Your father treated you and your children appallingly and his wife has done the same ,why would you even want their money . Send it back and tell her that you want nothing more to do with her ,believe me you will feel much better for it .

Levantine Wed 18-Dec-13 13:04:27

Oh this is horrible for you OP. I think if it were me, and I have a complicated family, I would just put in the bin. If it were more, for example a sum that would make a real difference to my dc then I might not. But whatever you decide to do with it I don't think I would contact her, I would just let it lie.

LineRunner Wed 18-Dec-13 13:04:53

A hundred quid?

I'd send it back. And bung in a tenner saying 'I think you need this more than me'.

SandyChick Wed 18-Dec-13 13:07:29

Personally, I wouldn't cash it.

Put it in the bin and forget about it.

givemeaclue Wed 18-Dec-13 13:10:15

Cash it, give money to your kids. Don't send thank you.

pinkporcupine Wed 18-Dec-13 13:15:45

OP, it makes me so angry the actions of toxic people can cause so much uset and hurt, it has clearly opened old wounds for you.
As you say, it is not about the money, but in a way it is the principle behind it. In my earlier post, i mentioned Z. Z manipulated those family members she perceived as vulnerable, and as a result, received inheritances from them, quite large sums in fact. This made us livid, not beacuse of the money per se, but that she received money by such devious means, and money that in normal circumstances, she would not have received.
I truly wish that i had written to Z, and clearly identified the hurt she had caused to each individual family member. This is why i suggested you contact this women. The things we have learnt in the time since we have been in contact with DHs brother is truly horrific. I didnt think people could stoop to such depths. But she is dead now, and we never knew the full extent of what she had done whilst she was alive. I reaaly wish Z had been made aware of the hurt she had caused in her life. I hope you reach some peace in the decision you make in this difficult time

FudgefaceMcZ Wed 18-Dec-13 13:16:53

I wouldn't take it, even though Christmas is pushing scarily close to overdraft here, because she's trying to get rid of her guilt by giving you money. If she's sorry she can phone or write and say sorry and offer a future relationship with you and your children, but doesn't sound like she's doing that, it sounds like she just wants to feel like she's done something for you so it's all ok in her mind.

tombakerscarf Wed 18-Dec-13 13:21:28

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

heavenstobetsy Wed 18-Dec-13 13:27:19

was about to respond but Tombakersscarf has said it all IMHO

You have gone NC so stay NC - drop it in the bin and deny her the satisfaction of any response at all; no response and not cashing the cheque means there is nothing she can twist to her own agenda. She won't know whether the cheque was even received


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