The death of a loved one often brings more than grieving.
It can, unfortunately, bring a hefty amount of logistical and financial problem solving.
One Redditor found that out the hard way recently. He posted about it on the “Am I the A**hole (AITA)” subReddit.
The Original Poster (OP), known as IneritanceVbrother on the site, led with a provocative title:
“AITA for not giving up my inheritance for my brother”
OP kicked off with the brass tacks.
“I (20-year-old male) got the largest share of inheritance from my grandparents trust who declared me their ‘heir.’
“The rest of my family got some inheritance also, but mine is considerably larger than anyone else’s. The money is basically untouchable for me until I become 22.”
Not everyone was thrilled.
“As most of my family (parents, aunts, uncles, cousins, etc) have been living extremely luxuriously on my grandparents money and not really working, they are not happy with the way the estate has been distributed and are trying to make me sign over the money.”
Then OP brought up a key detail.
“Here’s where it get’s complicated. I have a half brother (7-year-old male) from my father’s affair. Three years ago his mother died and he showed up on our doorstep.”
“I can kind of get why my mother and her family hate him, but it’s not his fault he’s just an innocent kid. As an illegitimate child he’s really bullied and looked down on by my stupid snobbish family.”
“The only one who cares about him at all is me.”
The family tried to cut a deal.
“My parents have offered to sign over custody to me now in exchange for the inheritance.”
“I refused because I figure I will be able to sue for custody once I have the inheritance (can hire good lawyers) and raising a kid is expensive, I need everything I can get for him.”
“My aunt says I am the a**hole because two more years of my brother living as a bastard child while I’m in college will destroy him, and I can save him if I just give up my inheritance.”
Anonymous strangers weighed in by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
- NAH – No A**holes Here
Redditors wholeheartedly supported OP.
“NTA, and fu** the lot of them, blaming a kid for the sins of his parents. They’re manipulative, greedy fu**s. Cut contact if you must. They’re horrible people.” — YourImaginaryFried
“NTA. Your family sound like heartless people. If you can, hold out and wait for the inheritance. Your grandparents left it to you for a reason. Can you see a lawyer now to figure out the best course of action for your brother in the meantime?” — xpotential31
“NTA. All your family cares about is money. That is very clear. Stick with your plan to keep your inheritance. If you do end up taking care of your little brother, you’ll need it.” — Feisty_Brunette
“Wow. So much to unpack here- but you sound like the brother everyone needs in their lives. You are 100% correct. You can fight for custody and any family that would hold a child hostage for money doesn’t have their interests at heart. If I were you- I’d get a lawyer.”
“I’d do it immediately and make sure they are aware of the full situation. It sounds like your family isn’t exactly trustworthy and you probably need to set up some safeguards and plans to protect yourself and your half-brother.”
“In case your family doesn’t say this- I am proud of you kid. You are showing a lot of grit and compassion for your bother and I have no doubt you’ll both be better off for it.”
“Family isn’t always who you’re born with- there’s also the family you choose. Lots of people will choose someone like you to be in their family!” — UpperLeftC0ast
Some people recast the situation in stark terms.
“NTA. Get their offer in writing – you know, the one where they offer to sell this kid to you. Should make it easier to sue for custody later.” — NUT-me-SHELL
“They’re trying to sell you a child they don’t want in exchange for the foundation of financial stability for the rest of your (and potentially his) life? You’d have to be a moron to take that deal.”
“Stand your ground. Hire great and carefully-vetted lawyers, and cut that toxic family out of your life forever. Your grandparents knew what they were doing. Don’t sully that by giving into your family bullies. NTA” — strawberrywine21
“NTA, don’t let them bully you. See if you can get them to make that offer in writing or record it if possible, that’s super illegal and will make getting custody much easier.”
“You can not sell a person, which is what they are trying to do.” — jinxdrain
Others shared similar pragmatic advice.
“NTA, try to get everyone to send texts and emails and spell out what they want, like you need time to look it over and think about it, Then get that money and hire a good lawyer and pass along everything to them when you sue for custody.” — whatsmypassword
“NTA. And get yourself a lawyer now to help you take any steps necessary to protect your inheritance. Start documenting everything regarding your parents’ attempts to get you to sign over your inheritance in exchange for your brother.”
“It will help you when the time comes to fight for custody. It’s going to be a hard couple of years but you need to think about the long term needs you and your brother will have, not the short term needs of relatives to get their hands on your money.” — Janetaz18
“Be sure to write a will for yourself. Often life takes us by surprise and If you die intestate, then your parents get everything. Since your family is well connected, try to get a lawyer in another state/jurisdiction.”
“Some big firms often can practice in several states. Good luck and kudos to you for being a good sibling!” — Gostitch3121
If Reddit advice is any indication, we can expect OP to keep his cards close to the vest when dealing with family.