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Family member's behaviour

(31 Posts)
TheFirstMrsOsmond Sun 20-May-18 18:12:06

Please tell me if my reaction to this is unreasonable:

My father is in his 90s and still lives in his own home but is alone there since his wife developed dementia and she now lives in a care home. She is not my mother but he has been married to her since I was 10 so I have known her for almost 50 years.

My step-mother has only one blood relation, a cousin who comes to see her from time to time and he also visits my father at his house. On a recent visit the cousin asked if he could have one of the paintings in the house and indicated another framed item which his wife had always liked and asked if she could have that? My father knew that this second item was something that I had had made for my step-mother as a special gift for her 80th birthday and so told the cousin that he would have to check with me as I might like to have it. I don't think my father would have told me about the cousin asking for these pieces if it weren't for my particular connection to the second item.

AIBU to feel that there is something unseemly and quite predatory about the cousin doing this, when the two of them are still alive?

ZibbidooZibbidooZibbidoo Sun 20-May-18 18:13:53

I would be inclined to agree with you OP. I would gently suggest to your father that he doesn’t give anymore of his belongings away to anyone. Just because they ask, doesn’t mean he has to give.

ZibbidooZibbidooZibbidoo Sun 20-May-18 18:14:16

And make sure he has his will up to date. And your Step mothers too.

Thewhale2903 Sun 20-May-18 18:16:55

I think that's terrible. How would he feel if your father went to his house and asked for a couple of his belongings. Tell the cousin no!

Ansumpasty Sun 20-May-18 18:17:24

Agree with poster about will. Not a nice subject but if he has written that he leaves everything to his wife and she has left everything to her cousin, he could end up with the lot.

Barbaro Sun 20-May-18 18:19:11

Damn that's very rude of the cousin. Your father should say no.

BettyBaggins Sun 20-May-18 18:20:07

It sounds a bit odd! Asking for a relatively recent gift rather than an item that has his own family history. Is your Dad raising the conversation topic or is the cousin?

TheFirstMrsOsmond Sun 20-May-18 18:20:19

My father did not seem to feel there was anything wrong with the cousin's request. That's why I wanted to check if it was just me or if others agreed the cousin's behaviour is presumptuous?

SleepFreeZone Sun 20-May-18 18:23:09

Perhaps it would be better if this relative didn’t visit anymore or only at a time when you were also there.

Torridon19 Sun 20-May-18 18:23:20

Just wondering, if the step-mum has dementia, how can her Will be "updated"? giving consent, of sound mind, signing it off etc.....I know this must happen a lot....what does one do..?

TheFirstMrsOsmond Sun 20-May-18 18:24:52

I should add, this is not about the monetary value of any of the items. I am angry at the thought of him removing pieces he happens to like in advance of their deaths, which might have sentimental value to others.

ajandjjmum Sun 20-May-18 18:37:10

Being cynical, are you sure the contents of his Will reflect his wishes?

BettyBaggins Sun 20-May-18 18:37:17

I think you are right to be concerned and items do go missing earlier sometimes. Your Dad is looking out for you thankfully.

Aquamarine1029 Sun 20-May-18 18:44:05

How disgusting. I would be very concerned about this cousin trying to take advantage of your elderly parents. I would call and inform him that if he has any questions regarding YOUR PARENT'S property, he can ask you first, and YOU will speak to your father about it. Also, if he ever goes grubbing to your father again, he will no longer be welcome in their home.

Lilacwine1 Sun 20-May-18 18:44:05

How awful. Make sure you are there whenever this person visits your Father. You don't visit somebody, and ask for items of their belongings, it's completely out of order.

Racecardriver Sun 20-May-18 18:51:46

I think that there is diverging very sinister in the cousins behaviour. How would your father feel about no longer seeing him? I would also suggest that his visits at the nursing home should be monitored if possible.

PetulantPolecat Sun 20-May-18 18:53:27

I don’t know... you are also earmarking stuff that you want to have after your father passes and feel the painting should be yours by default. But as he’s your father, you feel entitled to it and I completely agree.

I think the cousin knows he won’t get anything sentimental or valuable once your father passes away because it will go to you, and I get the feeling you would say no or make him feel awful for even asking.

He can’t ask his relative / your stepmum as it’s too late already - she can’t consent. And really it is her painting to give away. Not your father’s or yours.

Maybe you should have a chat with the cousin and ask if there are some sentimental items he’d love to keep from your stepmum, once both of your parents have passed. And email back that you will keep it in mind (don’t promise anything and make sure it’s in writing). And add... but please don’t ask them while they’re still both alive as it is upsetting them.

catinapatchofsunshine Sun 20-May-18 18:54:22

It isn't normal to visit someone and ask to have possessions of theirs, unless you are 4.

Rocinante1 Sun 20-May-18 18:56:20

This is a very personal thing so it depends entirely on how your dad and step-mum feel about it. My gran used to always say "if you like something, put a post-it on it with your name" and she was completely serious. The whole lot of us knew, and did it if we really wanted something when she was gone. But it was like, one thing each - if anyone had gone crazy with it then the family would have said something.
It's their stuff so ask your dad how they feel about it; it's not about how you feel.

AHedgehogCanNeverBeBuggered Sun 20-May-18 18:57:21

cat has it right.

TheFirstMrsOsmond Sun 20-May-18 18:57:36

The cousin is one of the executors of my step-mother's will. He will therefore be very much included in the dispersal of items upon her death. My objection is to him removing items at this stage, when they are both still alive. No one else has earmarked anything.

ZibbidooZibbidooZibbidoo Sun 20-May-18 19:17:15

That’s a worry!! Sounds like he knows what is in the will and is now picking up what he knows isn’t being left to him now, before she dies. I would be wanting to seek legal advice on what he is doing tbh. When was he made executor of her will? When was it written? Before she became ill?

TheFirstMrsOsmond Sun 20-May-18 19:18:14

Just to make it clear, I do not feel particularly strongly about having the item back that I gave as a gift - I mentioned it to explain that this was the only reason my father told me about the whole incident, because he wanted to check whether I would like it. I would otherwise still be entirely unaware of what happened.

ChasedByBees Sun 20-May-18 19:21:42

It is very unseemly. I would ask your father to ensure his will is up to date, hard though the conversation is.

Teeniemiff Sun 20-May-18 19:23:38

Torridon I’ve not read though the posts but usually a person would assign someone power of attorney whilst still in sound mind, it may be that it’s her husband or even possibly this cousin!
Your step mother is a vulnerable adult and I would certainly be making the staff at the nursing home aware to keep an eye out.
Agree with others to check your dad’s will is sorted, & maybe try to be there for visits if it is possible.

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