Family Matters
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I am DISGUSTED

I don't know where to begin... I suppose best would be with my uncle's death.  Unfortunately, he passed away after being in a motorcycle accident and having been in ICU for 2 weeks. 

I am disgusted with myself because I have not grieved for him and I have not mourned his death.  I feel so numb and distant.  I don't believe I've accepted it.  I feel like this is so wrong of me.

I am disgusted with his son and his son's wife.  They have lied to the family.  Insisting that my uncle canceled him insurance prior to the accident and they would not cover burial costs.  Being that they would be under financial difficulty each brother/sister of my uncle donated $500+ to the costs to help out.  I personal split the cost with my mom because she couldn't afford the entire thing by herself and my dad has been out of work. 

We have come to find out that my uncle did have insurance and my cousin's wife has a claim out to reimburse her for they money.  This would not be a problem, but they never mentioned it to us and, as I previously mentioned, she told us he did not have insurance at the time of the accident.

My grandmother is contemplating pressing criminal charges for withdrawing money from his banking account after his death (which is illegal).  I felt bad for my cousin, but now I feel so disgusted.  Am I wrong?

Re: I am DISGUSTED

  • First of all, I am so sorry about your uncle's death.

    I do not think you are wrong to feel disgusted. To be so greedy, and lie so readily, to the closest family members that your cousin has/your uncle had, indicates a disgusting person.

    Honestly, I think your grandmother would not be in the wrong to press charges. The only reason that I think she perhaps should not do that is that if this is her son that died, I think sometimes actions like that serve to distract the person from the real issue, which is that her son died. While her lawsuit would be in the right (IMO), it might not be the healthiest thing for her to be doing at this time. 

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  • Isn't your cousin next of kin
  • This reminds me of my mom's memories of my uncle's death. Right after he was declared dead they all went and started to use his phone to call long distance because the phone company couldn't collect on it because he was dead. They raided his whole house like a pack of jackals because my uncle didn't have a will. You find out who people really when family dies. I am glad she cut them all off after that so I never will have to deal with them leeching off our family's pain like that.

    You aren't wrong. It is down right evil what they are doing. Normal human beings would be disgusted with this kind of behavior. If I was in your place, I would be helping my mom and grandma do what ever they legally could do to cut out these leches.


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  • He is next of kin, but it is against the law to remove assets from an account after the account holder has passed.  All of my uncle's assets (including a truck my cousin stole from my grandmother's home) belong to the state first to pay off any debt he may have.  My cousin went a few days later to remove the funds, from his ATM.  He removed it in amounts of $500, since that is the maximum that can be removed at one time.

     The whole thing has been a mess.  My grandmother feels that she wants to do what is right, she can't afford an attorney, but they bank said that if she's willing to press charges, they will take care of any attorney fees. 

  • Stealing money from a dead person is immoral and illegal. Pressing family members to pay for funeral costs so you can keep the insurance money is equally wrong.

    It's just stunning that so many people stepped-up to make certain he had a respectful burial at the same time his son was lying and cheating to grub money for himself.

    And why people think no one will notice is beyond me.

    I think it would be very healthy and appropriate for your grandmother to decide what exactly she wants to happen next. Does she want the grandson to return the stolen money from the estate and reimbursed each family member for the funeral costs?  Is this something she can tell her grandson? Would she prefer to have another member of the family tell him? Does she want to let is slide? Because the REAL first step is deciding what she wants.

    If the grandson does not comply with grandma's wishes to setting the record straight, then she can decide to file charges. With a report of a crime, the bank can investigate and pursue legal options. So her grandson would have a second opportunity to return the funds.

    As to your grief, don't judge yourself so harshly. Numb and distant are perfectly appropriate feelings of grief. I wish you better and hope you get there soon.

  • Numbness is a pretty normal and standard stage of grief, isn't it?  Don't beat yourself up over that.
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  • I'm sorry for your loss.

    People have different ways of grieving.  Some may feel sadness while others might feel anger....and then there are people who feel numbness.  My dad passed away a month ago and although I cried, but not constantly, I felt like I was a dazed zombie on a regular basis because not only was I devastated over the loss of my "other #1 guy," but it took me a while to accept and realize that it was really happening.

    As for what your aunt and cousin did - I don't think you're wrong in your feelings at all.  Lying about not having insurance so they didn't have to cover the cost of the funeral was a most selfish, vicious and greedy act if I've ever seen one.  If they truly needed help with costs it would've been much less schitty to say, "we're not going to have enough money right now to cover the expenses; can all his brothers & sisters contribute X amount of dollars to help us out?", rather than lying in an effort to rip the family off.

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  • image RyanBeans:

    He is next of kin, but it is against the law to remove assets from an account after the account holder has passed.  All of my uncle's assets (including a truck my cousin stole from my grandmother's home) belong to the state first to pay off any debt he may have.  My cousin went a few days later to remove the funds, from his ATM.  He removed it in amounts of $500, since that is the maximum that can be removed at one time.

     The whole thing has been a mess.  My grandmother feels that she wants to do what is right, she can't afford an attorney, but they bank said that if she's willing to press charges, they will take care of any attorney fees. 

    Was the son by chance listed on the account or the vehicle's title? If so, I believe it's his now, but I'm not an expert.

    Either way, I'm really sorry about your uncle. It's OK to not grieve the way you think you should. People process death and grieve in different ways--different from each other and different from the last death they dealt with.

  • image RyanBeans:

    He is next of kin, but it is against the law to remove assets from an account after the account holder has passed.  All of my uncle's assets (including a truck my cousin stole from my grandmother's home) belong to the state first to pay off any debt he may have.  My cousin went a few days later to remove the funds, from his ATM.  He removed it in amounts of $500, since that is the maximum that can be removed at one time.

     The whole thing has been a mess.  My grandmother feels that she wants to do what is right, she can't afford an attorney, but they bank said that if she's willing to press charges, they will take care of any attorney fees. 

    Do it. Help her be strong and fight for what's right. Your uncle is being downright disrespected. They should be ashamed of themselves.

    EDIT: They are probably justifying taking the money so his creditors don't take it first, which is still wrong.

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  • image RyanBeans:

    He is next of kin, but it is against the law to remove assets from an account after the account holder has passed.  All of my uncle's assets (including a truck my cousin stole from my grandmother's home) belong to the state first to pay off any debt he may have.  My cousin went a few days later to remove the funds, from his ATM.  He removed it in amounts of $500, since that is the maximum that can be removed at one time.

     The whole thing has been a mess.  My grandmother feels that she wants to do what is right, she can't afford an attorney, but they bank said that if she's willing to press charges, they will take care of any attorney fees. 

    I think if the bank is willing to pony up the fees for an attorney, your grandmother should go ahead and press charges!

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