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Woman Irate After Stepsister Tries To Trick Her Into Gifting Her Late Dad’s Painting To Sell It

Woman observing painting
Iain Crockart/Getty Images

Being the executor and sole beneficiary of a parent’s estate may sound glamorous at first, but it isn’t without its challenges.

Redditor Such-Date89 recently found this out first-hand after her father passed away.

The Original Poster (OP) found themselves in charge of a valuable – both monetarily and emotionally – piece of artwork that her late father had gifted to her late stepmother.

The OP was approached by their stepsister about receiving the piece which ultimately led her to subReddit “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA).

Here she revealed her quandary.

“AITA for refusing to give my stepsister a piece of art after finding out she was planning to sell it?”

She went on to tell her story.

“My [26-year-old Female] dad passed away a few months ago. He and my mother were divorced, and his second wife passed away a couple of years ago, so I was the sole beneficiary of his will.”

“Among his possessions was a painting which was chosen by his late wife to decorate their marital home, it was something of a wedding celebration present.”

“His wife didn’t work, my father bought the painting, the paperwork was all in his name etc. so it was included as part of his estate.”

“His late wife had a daughter, “Ellie” [27-year-old Female].”

“Ellie contacted me some time ago asking if there was any way I would consider letting her have the painting since her mother loved it so much and it had sentimental value to her.”

“I was a little suspicious of this because if this was the case, surely she could have asked my father for it after her mother’s passing, but nevertheless I considered it.”

“The piece is worth – by most standards – a lot of money and it’s beautiful, so I wasn’t pleased to part with it but since I never planned to sell it and it was not a piece that held any special significance to me amongst my father’s collection, I decided I would gift it to her.”

“I let her know I would make the arrangements to have it shipped, and straighten out all the paperwork.”

“About a week ago, I got a call from a friend of mine, who works at the gallery where my father purchased a lot of his art (she was his dealer, that is how we became friends).”

“She let me know that Ellie had contacted her, looking for a valuation and information on selling the artwork that I was going to give her.”

“My friend called me because she didn’t know who Ellie was, but she knew the piece belonged to my father and it is one of a kind, so she was concerned about someone trying to fence it.”

“This made me feel like a complete idiot, because I thought I was gifting Ellie what she considered a piece of her mother, to essentially gifting her a large sum of money got by subterfuge.”

“I called Ellie to ask her what was going on and she reluctantly confirmed that she was planning to sell it.”

“I said I wouldn’t feel good about giving her one of my father’s possessions just so she can sell it (especially after being lied to) and she said that was none of my business, and I should give it to her anyway since that money would mean more to her than the painting ever had to me.”

“Everyone I’ve asked for advice on what to do has some skin in the game, so to speak, so I just want an outside opinion.”

“AITA for not giving her the painting?”

“EDIT- everyone is asking if Ellie got any inheritance from her mother. She received her mother’s small life insurance policy, and all her mother’s personal belongings.”

Redditors weighed in by declaring:

    • NTA – Not The A**hole
    • YTA – You’re The A**hole
    • NAH – No A**holes Here
    • ESH – Everyone Sucks Here

Redditors decided:

“NTA – She wanted to sell something that was super valuable in your family and try to hide it?! Absolutely not. Definitely stick with not giving her the painting.” – petuniaplant

“NTA. She lied to you and just wants money. If your father wanted her to inherit anything, he would have structured his estate accordingly” – Maximum-Ear1745


“She has lied and is trying to get the painting under false pretences – that s all you need to consider.”

“It has no sentimental value to her. If it had originally belonged to her mother then she could have left it to her in her will, but it didn’t.”

“It belonged to your father and she has no rights to your fathers belongings.” – JayEll1969

“NTA. If she wanted money she could have asked for money. She deliberately concocted this plan to play on your kindness for financial benefit.”

“It’s a con that got found out in time to stop it. Now you know why she didn’t get the painting after her mother died.” – LeilaDFW

“YTA. Once again, this thread is about MORALITY not what you have to do legally.”

“Your father married a woman with a child. That child became his child in marriage.”

“Since you have told us that he established a trust to go to his wife until her death if he died first, Ellie, as the wife’s only child is MORALLY entitled to that money.”

“Your late father was an a**hole nor providing for her. Now you, knowing this and being rich, with all the inheritance and estate, refuse to even give her a painting that was sentimental to her mother.”

“Why? Because she was going to sell it? So what? You conveniently shuffled past the value of the painting in your original post to gain sympathy and muddy the waters.”

“€100,000 is a life changing amount of money for almost everyone. And yet you would deny this to your neglected step-sister why? Maybe there is a reason she lied.”

“You sound like a selfish, gate-keeping pedantic a**hole. My condolences for your loss.” – Routine_Comedian4751

“I feel like anyone who’s trying to judge this properly would need to know Ellie’s financial situation.”

“It certainly doesn’t sound like you need the money, but if that much money would make a difference in her life then that does sort of affect whether or not you are walking away from this smelling like a rose.” – Sensitive-Bat-5629

“NTA. My parents died last year and my auntie asked for some things for ‘sentimental reasons’.”

“Just before she left the house with something I classed as precious, she joked that she was probably going to sell it.”

“I was in shock and couldn’t respond. I regret not speaking up. Gifts can always be given at a later date, but once they are gone, they are gone and you’re the one who has to live with that.” – BelleDreamCatcher

“My MIL has a large painting by a local artist, who is fairly well known for her fantasy art. It is NOT to either of her son’s taste, but I love it.”

“I would be heart-broken if either son (one of whom is my husband) decided to sell it. If my BIL’s wife or daughter wanted it as a momento, ypthen I would be happy for it to pass to one of them.”

“BUT if I heard either my husband or my BIL suggesting that it should be sold, I will be raiding my savings to buy it off of them.”

“NTA” – Future_Direction5174

“NTA. Your painting, your decision.”

“(1) People can ask, (2) Lying should never be rewarded.”

“OK, if you give, really give something, it is out of your hands, and the other can do with the gift what they want, but that supposes honest and real communication with regard to the gift – and that was not provided in this case.” – OrangeQueens

“NTA. Does it belong to her? No. End of story.”

“What you could do is tell her she can sign a contract saying the piece of art belongs to u and she is allowed to hang it in her house.”

“At any point you can take it back and if she loses the piece of art, she has to pay you.”

“See how she thinks about this” – HairyCallahan

“NTA, she was dishonest, but if it’s not sentimental to you and you’re in a position where $100k (!) doesn’t make any difference to you, I do wonder why you care what she does with it.”

“Whether she keeps it or sells it doesn’t seem to make much difference to you and it doesn’t sound like she got anything much from the rest of her mothers estate.” – gftz124nso

“Okay so… I agree with OP mostly out of principle BUT if you could part with a $100,000 painting easily and don’t care much for it and would’ve given it to her anyway, the step sister is kinda right (but shame on her for making up a lie like that for 100k).”

“Still gonna go with NTA.” – mirkywoo

“Don’t do it. You will always think about it later and it doesn’t sound like she is all that involved.”

“If she wants the money to help with education or health it might be nice to find a different way to help fund, if you have a good enough relationship.”

“There’s no reason to literally give away something so sentimental” – Grrrmudgin

Hopefully, the painting will be valued by whoever ends up with it.

Written by B. Miller

B. is a creative multihyphenate who enjoys the power and versatility of the written word. She enjoys hiking, great food and drinks, traveling, and vulnerable conversation. Raised below the Mason Dixon, thriving above it. (she/her)