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Question
Posted by: Liza | 2010/03/30

Sister driving me crazy

My older sister moved to Cape Town at the beginning of the year. Then last week monday, my Dad passed away. She took control over all aspects of the funeral and made decisions without checking with the rest of us siblings first. Then my younger sister and brother contributed R3500 towards the funeral since the funeral policies had not paid out yet. Now she wants to keep any money left over after all my Dads'' policies have paid out and the rest of the funeral expenses is paid. The problem is that there is a R100 000 life policy that must also pay out. My Dad made her the sole beneficiary of the policy after he started suffering from Dementia and paranoia and he was afraid that my mom would get her hands on the money and spend it ''on her multiple boyfriends''. My mom has been faithful to my Dad even after they got divorced. The only reason for the divorce was because my mom couldn''t handle looking after my Dad anymore as he got more aggressive and problematic with the dementia.

She has a sense of entitlement that would put Julius Malema to shame. According to her, she is the only one with financial problems(her own fault for deciding to move without ensuring that her finances would work out) and that none of the rest of us(we''re 5 children) need the money. I don''t even have a car and have to rely on lifts and public transport! Added to that - she didn''t contribute a cent towards my Dads'' monthly expenses while he was still alive. My younger sister and I took care of it.

She''s also extremely penny-wise pound-foolish. She and her husband turns around every cash cent left after their debt is paid - but they continue to go and buy rubbish and unnecessary things on their credit cards. Their garage is used as storage for these white elephants. She bought a big expensive(R2000) tent some months ago, it still hasn''t been used. She might not have money for bread every day, but her cat only eats Whiskas pouches.

I also had to cover half the cost of their move to Cape Town just because they were bringing some of my stuff with. My stuff wasn''t even a 1/4 of everything. I''m also majorly upset because most of my ornaments ended up broken and all my furniture have unsightly marks. Some of the ornaments were trophy''s my sons received. They cannot be replaced. Most of my DVD collection went missing too. I enjoy watching my favorite movies and tv programs over and over, so mostly it''s cheaper to buy than to rent over and over again.

I don''t know - perhaps some of my anger at her is concealed grief over the passing of my Dad, but I feel that my anger is justified. What should I do?

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

Isn't it sad how often a death in the family causes major conflict, and brings out the very worsrt in one or more members of the family ?
Souds like she ook advantage of your dad's dementia, perhaps persuading him to leave it to her, even promising to share it with others, having persuaded him your mom was being unfaithful. One could challenge a will or such a decision in a policy, on the grounds that the man's mnental state was such that he did not fully understand what he was doing, but that could be a long, bitter and expensive process, which might still not be successful as it's hard to prove the mental state of someone at a point in the past.
Did he leave a will ? IF so, who did he name as Executor ? If anyone else is the executor ( there has to be an executor to settle someone's estate ) they can be put in the picture and take care not to allow her to take more than she is entitled to she is not entitled to keep a cent of the funeral policy money for herself - the brother and sister who lent money a the time must be paid back first, as part of the estate, and the rest divided according to the will.
IF he did not leave a will ( which is called dying intestate ) there are rules the master of the Supremem Court will use to decide how to divide whatever he left, usually its divided amongst the spouse ( though I'm not sure about a duivorced mother ) and tghe children - EQUALLY, with no special preference to the greedy one.
Maybe you should consult a local lawyer or the free law clinic at your nearest law school, to check and protect your rights.

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Our users say:
Posted by: cybershrink | 2010/03/30

Isn't it sad how often a death in the family causes major conflict, and brings out the very worsrt in one or more members of the family ?
Souds like she ook advantage of your dad's dementia, perhaps persuading him to leave it to her, even promising to share it with others, having persuaded him your mom was being unfaithful. One could challenge a will or such a decision in a policy, on the grounds that the man's mnental state was such that he did not fully understand what he was doing, but that could be a long, bitter and expensive process, which might still not be successful as it's hard to prove the mental state of someone at a point in the past.
Did he leave a will ? IF so, who did he name as Executor ? If anyone else is the executor ( there has to be an executor to settle someone's estate ) they can be put in the picture and take care not to allow her to take more than she is entitled to she is not entitled to keep a cent of the funeral policy money for herself - the brother and sister who lent money a the time must be paid back first, as part of the estate, and the rest divided according to the will.
IF he did not leave a will ( which is called dying intestate ) there are rules the master of the Supremem Court will use to decide how to divide whatever he left, usually its divided amongst the spouse ( though I'm not sure about a duivorced mother ) and tghe children - EQUALLY, with no special preference to the greedy one.
Maybe you should consult a local lawyer or the free law clinic at your nearest law school, to check and protect your rights.

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