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My aunt won't give me my gran's rings.

(128 Posts)
readingphoenix Thu 27-Aug-15 22:07:38

My gran’s will of 1981 stipulates that her two rings go to her daughter, my auntie (Doreen), but that after Doreen’s death they were to come to me, her only granddaughter. Ok, so the last time I heard my aunt was still alive, about 90 odd. I am now 46. I have never seen these rings, she fobbed me off the three times that I have ever asked. I tried last year to communicate with her family (her sons, my cousins), which even though we hardly see each other I have an ok relationship with, but they didn’t get back to me. I don’t want the rings for myself but for my two daughters. I would especially love to give one of these rings to my daughter who is getting married in march (it would mean it was the ring of her great grandmother) and it would mean so much to me as she never met my mother (her grandmother as she died quite young).
I understand that my aunt is still alive and is therefore under no obligation to give them to me now but I am worried that she could die and her family deny any knowledge, given that I have never seen these rings, and my aunt, on the few times I have seen her has been reluctant to speak about them. What can I do, any suggestions?

Littlef00t Thu 27-Aug-15 22:12:07

Well, they belong to her now. I don't think someone can really state in their will the full succession of belongings, and I think you sound grabby seeing as she's still alive.

HeighHoghItsBacktoWorkIGo Thu 27-Aug-15 22:13:21


In an ideal world your Aunt would be delighted to pass the rings onto your grown DD and perhaps even like to do it herself. She should be bursting with pride to give her great niece a ring to wear at the wedding as the "something old."

But the world isn't ideal, and families are crazy. I have no idea what your Aunt is thinking or why, or even if her thinking is sharp these days. I think all you can do is include her in all the happy family news and ask directly about the ring, explaining why. Then, hope for the best.

I have a complicated family with divorces, remarriages etc. My grandmother directly gave me my great-grandmother's diamond engagement ring when I was a teenager. I have moved a LOT, living on 4 continents, but I cherish the ring and have never lost it. I think my grandmother knew that if she wanted me to have it, she would have to put it right into my hand and she did. I am very grateful.

ilovesooty Thu 27-Aug-15 22:14:10

I'm not sure you can do anything as your aunt isn't dead.
I do think it seems in poor taste to be making an issue of it while she's still alive.
Do you even know what the rings look like?

JustHavinABreak Thu 27-Aug-15 22:14:53

I'm shocked. The poor woman is still alive and you're on at her about her will??? Is this real?

maddy68 Thu 27-Aug-15 22:16:19

The reality is she may no longer have them or know where they are
And I all honesty once they were left to her she can do what she likes with it, as legally she doesn't have to pass them on to you as on law they are her property. Your grandmother may have stipulated a wish for them to be passed to you but there is no obligation on your aunts part.

You said you last heard she was alive. Have you visited her? Perhaps that's the best option and keep communication open with your aunt as tbh if she hasn't seen you in years it's unlikely that she will a ) remember b) think of you fondly

annandale Thu 27-Aug-15 22:16:39

I think try and let go of this one. I do understand to some extent as we have some family jewellery in my family but tbh I have sold a couple of things that were willed to me blush as I really needed the money. Perhaps your aunt has done the same, perhaps she is hoping to pass them on to her daughters-in-law, perhaps she is all set to pass them to you but doesn't want to think about death, lots of people don't even at 90. I don't know what she can do legally, but ultimately they are just rings. You said yourself it would mean a lot to you for your daughters to have the rings, but perhaps it wouldn't mean that much to them since they never met her.

ClashCityRocker Thu 27-Aug-15 22:16:53

Whilst I have sympathy for your position, I don't think there is anything you can do, other than outright asking.

Legally, they are hers whilst she is alive - I'm not even convinced of the validity of passing on after your aunts death, unless she specified that her aunt was to have a life interest in the rings? Hopefully someone with more knowledge than me will be along soon.

wankerchief Thu 27-Aug-15 22:18:17

Surely she can't stipulate whom your aunt gives it to?

hedgehogsdontbite Thu 27-Aug-15 22:20:11

YABVU and grabby. They're her rings and it's up to her what she does with them.

chairmeoh Thu 27-Aug-15 22:21:19

Do you ever communicate with the aunt or your cousins on topics other than the rings? It sounds as though the rings are your only link to that part of your family.
I do agree with pp that it seems in poor taste to be pestering your aunt about an inheritance before she is dead!

whattodohatethis Thu 27-Aug-15 22:24:26

She's still alive :/
You need to let it go

UrethraFranklin1 Thu 27-Aug-15 22:24:26

So you're harassing a very old lady because you want her jewellery for your kids?
Are you for fucking real? hmm

Northernlurker Thu 27-Aug-15 22:25:30

This is a very unattractive post OP. Tbh I'm kind of hoping her sons have sold the rings and spent the money on their mother. I don't warm to you - grasping after an inheritance from somebody who isn't dead and who you clearly care so little about.

WeAllHaveWings Thu 27-Aug-15 22:40:20

The ring was your aunts mums wedding ring, it must be very precious to her, or she may have lost or already gifted it to her own close family.

you are harassing an old lady you barely know because you've got some romantic notion to give to a great granddaughter who never even met her? shock. Sorry, but you need to let this go.

LazyLohan Thu 27-Aug-15 22:46:39

Is this a reverse? So you have family that you don't really have much to do with, but you periodically contact her family to check if she's dead yet and if not will they please remember when she dies you want your rings.

I sincerely hope you're doing this via email. Because if you spoke to me like that about my mother dying I'd punch you in the face and I'm surprised your cousins haven't!

Salmotrutta Thu 27-Aug-15 22:48:32

So, the last you heard your Aunt was still alive... you are a close family then?

And you want her mother's rings.

And you have asked three times are you going to pitch up at her funeral to make sure she isn't still wearing them? but no-one is saying anything.

I wonder why? hmm

WickedWax Thu 27-Aug-15 22:52:44

This has got to be a reverse as surely nobody has such an utter cheek and such little insight as to contact relatives that they're not even close to, periodically, to check whether an aunt is dead yet and to remind them about some rings?

But if it isn't... Your gran was misled when she made her will. She legally had no say in what a beneficiary does with items gifted to them, yes she could express her wishes but couldn't 'stipulate' anything, and your aunt has no legal obligation to leave the rings to you.

As the poor woman isn't even dead yet perhaps you should do the decent thing and drop it. hmm

sooperdooper Thu 27-Aug-15 22:56:28

I assume you think the rings are very valuable? (Although you've never seen them) I also assume your aunts attachment to them is more sentimental, which makes them much more precious to her, and can completely understand why she hadn't passed them on

SavoyCabbage Thu 27-Aug-15 23:01:03

You can't hunt her down because the timing suits you.

If I was your aunt I'd swallow them on my death bed. But first I would live to be 120.

mummymeister Thu 27-Aug-15 23:08:20

I am not a legal expert. however, the rings were actually given in the will to your aunt. your gran requested that on her death they go to you. it was a request. had your gran had a signed bit of paper as an agreement between her and your aunt then it would be a completely different situation. sorry, but even if she was dead unless you have it in writing and agreed to by your aunt in her will that they go to you then you are beholden on her and her family to respect your grans wishes. this happens so many times in families "ohh granny said that mum/aunt would pass this on to me" if there is goodwill or a written will it happens. if not, then sorry you just have to suck it up.

SurelyYoureJokingMrFeynman Thu 27-Aug-15 23:13:37

Leaving a liferent in a family heirloom to someone for their lifetime, with the stipulation that on their death it go to a specified other person, was certainly possible in days gone by.

I've seen monogrammed family silver left this way in a will of 1900.

SurelyYoureJokingMrFeynman Thu 27-Aug-15 23:19:36

"To the foresaid Isabella Barton Daughter of my late cousin John Barton Hartfield in liferent for her liferent use only my silver tea service marked with the letter "B" and which I bequeath subject to said liferent, to Harriet Edith Barton third daughter of John Barton presently Farmer Hartfield

"To the said Isabella Barton in liferent for her liferent use only twelve silver table spoons and soup ladle which belonged to my Father and are heirlooms marked with the initials "JB" and which I bequeath subject to said liferent to John Barton Hartfield her brother whom failing to his children"

scarletforya Thu 27-Aug-15 23:20:36

Wow. Really?

I didn't know people could leave the same stuff to more than one person. Anyway, the rings belong to Doreen. They're her Mother's rings.

I would forget totally about them, can't believe you're still sniffing around after all these years. It's a bit vulture like.

SurelyYoureJokingMrFeynman Thu 27-Aug-15 23:26:59

But you could hardly ask your aunt to hand over the rings now.

And if the rings don't appear when she dies, you'll have to decide whether to damage relationships with your family by pursuing your legal rights. Or whether just to be hurt by their failure to follow the will (if it the will does indeed stipulate the rings were to be yours).

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