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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.

Belchica Wed 18-Dec-13 13:32:07

OP I went through a similar experience when my father died. He let us down in life and his legacy was 4 years of my family fighting his girlfriend (he changed his will in her favour) for their share of inheritance in court. I renounced any claim at the outset and but for supporting my mother through the ordeal, stayed out of it. As a result of the GFs obnoxious behaviour (and my fathers) my mother still works in a heavy job at the age of 68, to get by and my sister tried to take her own life and is still on antidepressants years later. Like your SM, the GF used my sisters to depict herself as 'united' with our family and made lots of false promises to them. Now she drives a sports car, has 2 homes, receives my Fathers pension and a new wealthy man in her life. None of this makes me angry, however, because I took full control of my feelings and finances since the saga began (wasn't easy, had counselling).

Please tear up the cheque and do not let either her or the legacy of your Dad torture you and your family any further. £100 can make a difference but I personally would rather go without and in your shoes, especially as your children are already upset by her behaviour, take comfort that they will learn an important lesson about not letting others control or manipulate them, financially or emotionally. They will take much pleasure later in life knowing they got where they did without her handouts.

Ask yourself this, will she continue to drip feed your family small sums of money every so often and take pleasure from it? And what if the handouts then stop...? As hard as this sounds, accept that your Dad cut you out of his will and do not let this woman wield any more control over your family.With your dignity intact, tear up the cheque and march on, head high.

So sorry it has brought back bad memories and made you unhappy.

Shelby2010 Wed 18-Dec-13 13:32:56

Send it back, no note. Don't put a stamp on the envelope so she has to pay to receive it & with any luck has to trek to the post office to collect it.

cafecito Wed 18-Dec-13 13:37:00

No good will come of tearing it up

If it were for more, I would cash it for sure


If it will make you feel so bad doing so - send it back, and ask for her to either send it directly to the children - or make a donation to a specified charity

If you tear it up she will always think you cashed it, then the kids don't benefit, and charities won't benefit

LaRegina Wed 18-Dec-13 13:42:32

I agree that you should send it back - with no stamp. If she had suddenly had a guilty conscience attack and had sent a substantial amount, I would probably have let my DC have it, but £100 is an insult under the circumstances, I think.

Saminthemiddle Wed 18-Dec-13 13:44:26

Just tear it up and have no more contact with her. Really feel for you OP, had a similar situation myself but have moved on with no more contact and that has helped massively. I feel free now.

xmaspudnpies Wed 18-Dec-13 13:51:42

Bin it and forget it. Sorry she's such a shit person.

zumm Wed 18-Dec-13 13:53:40

I'm not sure she'll even notice if you've cashed it or not - I don't ever double check whether ple cash my cheques. I just assume they will. Could she be trying to make some sort of (albeit shoddy) attempt at connecting with you? - just trying to work out WHY she'd send it to you. (you could, if anything, test your theory that it's ammo...)
My feeling is: cash it, and enjoy it (whether that means a meal out, or a donation to a (family crisis!) type charity.
Pl don't rip it up and bin it.
Sorry you've had such a rough time with all this.

Mignonette Wed 18-Dec-13 14:05:26

Such kind words from you all and sad that so many of you have endured similar hurt.

I know it isn't really an issue but occasionally you need to hear advice and comfort from people who are not family. When something like this happens you tend to lose perspective and the courage of your convictions wobbles a little. That is why AIBU is full of people asking advice about issues that are oh so clear until they happen to you. So I appreciate the patience and niceness of you all.

Still undecided....I don't want to get into a dialogue with her and am aware that there could be a whole undercurrent of events unknown to me that has prompted her to pull this stunt. I don't want to become embroiled in whatever that may be!

BumpNGrind Wed 18-Dec-13 14:16:18

I think it sounds like you need to invest in more positive emotions.

This 'gift' is only money and it only has the power that we give it and you can chose positivity. So, if you gave it to your dc, you would have the pleasure of seeing them have an extra treat/night out/family time. I'm sure that would bring you more joy than spending time and energy on negative emotions like ripping the cheque up or sending it back and wondering if she had received it.

If you have a choice between feeling good or feeling bad, why choose to feel bad? Spend it, lend it, give it away, be happy. If you want to thank her - do, if you don't want to - don't. After what you've been through, and especially at Christmas, be happy.

Bexicles Wed 18-Dec-13 14:24:53

It looks like an attempt to open the lines of communication just before Christmas, whether this is so she can try to make amends or cause more upset for you I do not know. Mig, if this is causing you to feel so distressed I would just put the cheque to one side and decide what to do after Christmas. Have a lovely Christmas With your family and just ignore.

Mignonette Wed 18-Dec-13 14:26:17

My daughter has reminded me of how he always sneered at my being 'a woolly hearted liberal'. She has suggested I make my decision with that in mind.

So I am going to cash it and send half to the local food bank and half to the local Women's refuge via the Police (they will take the cash to them).

Neither children want the money. This way at least it does some good.

Thank you all for the replies and how you have helped. Bump thanks- always good to be reminded that i can divest myself of angst although it is hard work.

Hopefully she will not keep pestering me. I have blocked her emails.

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