Cutting ties with family

William Wonka

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My nephew died without a will - at the time of his death his daughter was 11. He and the mother of the child had separated before the baby was born so my sister presumed that she was the executor with the daughter being the sole beneficiary. I think within 24hrs of the funeral the ex had engaged a lawyer and my sister was directed to hand everything over to the ex and that she was to be trustee for the daughter. We doubt this is what happened and doubt there’s anything left of the estate but what can you do.
Die without a will and its clear cut.
The government doesn't have time to deal with bullshit family arguments, the formula is simple and its set in stone:

Did the deceased have a Husband or Wife?
If yes, they get the lot.

If no, did they have any children?
If yes they get the lot split evenly between them.

Only if no children comes brothers/sisters- again split evenly.

Then nieces/nephews
If none, then cousins

If none then it goes into government coffers.
 

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Bomberboyokay

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Sibling sexual abuse

Sexual abuse at the hands of a brother or sister is not as uncommon as society would like to believe. But it is a crime that must be acknowledged – by parents and authorities – in order to help both victims and perpetrators. By Jane Caro.

In 1957, on an otherwise ordinary day in Victoria, a boy took his three-year-old sister across the road to a neighbour’s house where the little girl was sexually abused. It was the beginning of a nightmare that lasted until the girl was 16. But it wasn’t her adult neighbour who continued to abuse her. It was her older brother. The boy who delivered her to the paedophile in the first place.

In 1888, in fashionable, upper-crust London, six-year-old Virginia Stephen (later Woolf) and her eight-year-old sister Vanessa (later Bell) were regularly sexually abused by their older half-brothers – George and Gerald Duckworth.

Between 2002 and 2003 in small town Arkansas, Josh Duggar, the oldest son of a family with 19 children, molested five underage girls while they were asleep. Four of them were his sisters.

Sibling sexual abuse is the abuse that we rarely talk about, yet it is remarkably common for something that is so often ignored. A 2002 study by the United States Department of Health and Human services found that 2.3 per cent of children had been victims of sibling sexual abuse. The Australian Childhood Foundation reports that anecdotal evidence indicates more than half of the children attending their service for treatment for sexually problematic or sexually harmful behaviour are involved in this kind of sexual abuse. According to the foundation, this fits with the evidence of other similar services in this country. And this makes sense: younger siblings are easily accessible and often easy to keep quiet.

As we have at last started to acknowledge, child victims of all kinds of abuse are often silent about what has happened to them or, if they do speak up, their stories are either denied or ignored. This is perhaps not surprising. The stories they have to tell are so confronting many of us prefer to turn away. Easier to decide the child is making things up than face the consequences of believing them. How much greater must that temptation be when both the victim and the perpetrator are your own children?

The little girl in Victoria – let’s call her Margaret – did not tell her parents about the abuse her brother inflicted on her until she was a woman in her 30s. When she did finally pluck up the courage to confide in her mother, she received a very unsatisfactory response.

“We all have things we have to deal with.”

But Margaret was not prepared to leave the conversation there.

“It was your son,” she said in frustration. “Your son was a rapist and a cruel bastard.”

Worse was to come. After both Margaret’s parents had died, Margaret ran into a childhood friend she had not seen for many years. As they reminisced, her friend asked after her brother. By this time, Margaret was finished with lying.

“I don’t see him anymore. He abused me when I was a kid.”

It was her friend’s reply that floored her.

“I know.”

Apparently, her friend’s parents had been very concerned about Margaret’s brother’s behaviour and invited his parents over for a chat. They had talked to Margaret’s parents about his inappropriate behaviour.

“They are just kids,” was all Margaret’s mum said in response.

What burns Margaret to this day is not only that nothing was done to try to protect her at the time, despite the warning, but that all those years later, when she plucked up the courage to tell her story, her mother still denied any knowledge. Not only did this refusal to take action further damage Margaret, it also failed to help Margaret’s brother.

There is a frozen quality about sibling sexual abuse. There is a howling silence at the centre of the family. Author Julia Epstein lists some of the images Virginia Woolf used to describe her feelings about the abuse she and her sister suffered as children. They are images that evoke feelings of being muffled, stifled and trapped. “Enclosed in cotton wool”, “inside a grape” or a “ship frozen in ice”. According to Epstein, Woolf referred to this time in her life as her “Greek slave period”.

But it’s not just the fear of tearing their family apart that keeps victims silent. Margaret was also intimidated into silence as a child because her brother actively worked to present her as the bad kid – the black sheep of the family. As a younger sister, her chores involved taking the washing off the line after school and putting the briquettes for the fire in a bucket. She’d do her chores as required but her brother would often go to the trouble of hanging all the washing back out and emptying the bucket just so she would get into trouble and be seen as unreliable and a liar. That’s gaslighting and then some.

Abusers commonly work to undermine the reputation of their victims so they are less likely to be believed. As one of the women I quote in my most recent book, Accidental Feminists, revealed, her abusive adoptive father was quick to publicly and repeatedly label her, her sister and her mother as crazy liars so that he could continue to tyrannise them unchecked. When we routinely call women – or any victims – crazy or accuse them of over-reacting or of exaggerating or lying, make no mistake, we help facilitate continuing abuse.

When Josh Duggar told his parents – reality TV stars and devout evangelical Christians Michelle and Jim Bob Duggar – about the abuse, they tried to keep it as quiet as possible. Instead of getting professional help, Josh was sent to a Christian friend for counselling and the police officer they did contact gave Josh what columnist Jill Filipovic refers to as a “stern talking to”. That cop is now serving a 56-year sentence for child pornography crimes.

At least Duggar was eventually forced to face up to his actions as a result of the family being the stars of reality TV’s 19 Kids and Counting. His sisters eventually took civil action against him.

The damage of sibling sexual abuse is real. Virginia Woolf suffered recurrent bouts of “madness” throughout her life and famously drowned herself at the age of 59, unable to bear the thought of yet another descent into irrational despair. Her sister, the painter Vanessa Bell, fared better, but as her daughter Angelica Garnett reveals in her book Deceived with Kindness, the reverberations of unacknowledged muddled sexual boundaries echoed throughout the generations.

Margaret told me about her abuse at the hands of her brother because – although she has repeatedly tried to seek justice through our legal system, including recording her brother confessing to the abuse at the request of the police – she continually comes up against the statute of limitations because the crimes occurred so long ago. In January this year, she received another letter from the Director of Public Prosecutions declining to prosecute her case because, as they point out in the correspondence, the reason they rejected her application in 2004 has not changed. The Victorian DPP concluded “there were no reasonable prospects of conviction”.

Nevertheless, Margaret wants her story told so other women and men who have experienced sibling abuse do not feel so alone. You can’t shatter silence by staying silent. However, as she pointed out to me, it is more vital than that. Any child who lives in an abusive household – be it violent, emotional, psychological and/or sexual in nature – carries the scars for life. Children in such homes live with constantly raised levels of the stress hormone cortisol. Neuroscience is now beginning to understand how that can affect brain development, learning ability and even the prevalence of inflammatory diseases later in life. As the Me Too movement has made clear, taking the effects of abuse seriously, believing that it has occurred and doing whatever can be done to offer some kind of justice can be healing in themselves.

Sibling child abuse is something we do not want to talk about. As a parent and a grandparent, I can understand the reluctance, but we cannot silence one child to protect another. However painful it may be, we must speak up about abuse wherever and however it happens. To do otherwise is to condemn the abused to further suffering and the abuser to believe that he – or occasionally she – can do whatever they like and get away with it. Expert help is available at places such as the previously mentioned Australian Childhood Foundation.

Parents faced with the horror of such a revelation must continue to be parents to both their children. Because not only is it a tragedy to be abused, it is also tragic to be allowed to get away with being an abuser.

National Sexual Assault and Domestic Family Violence Counselling Service 1800 737 732

This article was first published in the print edition of The Saturday Paper on Feb 9, 2019 as "Sibling cries".

https://www.thesaturdaypaper.com.au/2019/02/09/sibling-sexual-abuse/15496308007406
 

Off The Couch

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Die without a will and its clear cut.
The government doesn't have time to deal with bullshit family arguments, the formula is simple and its set in stone:

Did the deceased have a Husband or Wife?
If yes, they get the lot.

If no, did they have any children?
If yes they get the lot split evenly between them.

Only if no children comes brothers/sisters- again split evenly.

Then nieces/nephews
If none, then cousins

If none then it goes into government coffers.
Everyone was aware the daughter was the beneficiary, that was never in dispute.

This was about who the executor/guardian of the estate was until she turned 18. They never married and weren’t together when the child was born.

Anyway it’s done now - it’s been 5 years. We only hope there’s money still in trust.
 

revo333

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My eldest daughter has recently done a nicky after a very traumatic period in her life after realising that she seemed to always be there for “friends” but the one time she desperately needed a friend quite a few went missing. She has done a massive cull and got rid of all the negative energy and those who disappeared - the change has been interesting to say the least.
.
Positive or Negative for her?
 

William Wonka

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Everyone was aware the daughter was the beneficiary, that was never in dispute.

This was about who the executor/guardian of the estate was until she turned 18. They never married and weren’t together when the child was born.

Anyway it’s done now - it’s been 5 years. We only hope there’s money still in trust.
A parent is always going to be made Trustee for a minor.
No requirement to keep anything but technically the money needs to be spent for the benefit of the child- however this is very broad, a gas bill is for the benefit of the child so is a new family car.
You would hope that a mother would spend money only for the good of a child albeit directly or indirectly.
 

Hawk Dork

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Die without a will and its clear cut.
The government doesn't have time to deal with bullshit family arguments, the formula is simple and its set in stone:

Did the deceased have a Husband or Wife?
If yes, they get the lot.

If no, did they have any children?
If yes they get the lot split evenly between them.

Only if no children comes brothers/sisters- again split evenly.

Then nieces/nephews
If none, then cousins

If none then it goes into government coffers.
Things get ****** up though

My shifty Liberal Party Lombard "mate"

MiL and SiL have cancer
Mothers money goes to 2 sisters if she dies with a will (she has a house)
SiLs money goes to her kids (she has peanuts)
MIL dies 2 weeks before SiL

Prick takes all the money ..he doesnt need it his nephew and niece do

I stop seeing him after that
 

William Wonka

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Things get ****** up though

My shifty Liberal Party Lombard "mate"

MiL and SiL have cancer
Mothers money goes to 2 sisters if she dies with a will (she has a house)
SiLs money goes to her kids (she has peanuts)
MIL dies 2 weeks before SiL

Prick takes all the money ..he doesnt need it his nephew and niece do

I stop seeing him after that
Cant follow that.
Anyway if there are wills involved things can be contested.

I was just talking about dying without a will.
 

Hawk Dork

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Cant follow that.
Anyway if there are wills involved things can be contested.

I was just talking about dying without a will.
This had a will
It just didnt take into account that the older women with the asett would die second
If the (grand)Mother lived 2 more weeks the (grand )kids would have got half their grandmothers house after inherting from their mum
Their mum died 2 weeks early and they got none as it went to my "mates" wife.

He could have been nice and gave them half as their grandmother wanted but he went to court to defend his legal right to keep the lot.

His reply to me is they can work for their money they dont need hand outs its legally mine (him and his wife)
 

William Wonka

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This had a will
It just didnt take into account that the older women with the asett would die second
If the (grand)Mother lived 2 more weeks the (grand )kids would have got half their grandmothers house after inherting from their mum
Their mum died 2 weeks early and they got none as it went to my "mates" wife.

He could have been nice and gave them half as their grandmother wanted but he went to court to defend his legal right to keep the lot.

His reply to me is they can work for their money they dont need hand outs its legally mine (him and his wife)
Understood.

What a complete ******* piece of shit.
Wonder what his dear ol Mum would think of him.

World is full of scumbags tho.
I know a bloke whose worth literally 10s of millions who is hassling his extremely elderly parents to change their will against their wishes just to benefit him more.
 

Perth gal

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I know someone on the opposite side.Womens husband dies, she has 2 kids to him. He has been married before , once to my auntie (2 kids ) and second time ( 1 kid). The third wife tracks down all the kids to make sure they get an equal share of his money. I thought that was nice.
 

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jason pm

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This had a will
It just didnt take into account that the older women with the asett would die second
If the (grand)Mother lived 2 more weeks the (grand )kids would have got half their grandmothers house after inherting from their mum
Their mum died 2 weeks early and they got none as it went to my "mates" wife.

He could have been nice and gave them half as their grandmother wanted but he went to court to defend his legal right to keep the lot.

His reply to me is they can work for their money they dont need hand outs its legally mine (him and his wife)
I had a vague recollection that there is usually a standard 30 day survival clause in wills, so I looked it up but it looks like it only applies to partners.

Wills 30 day survival clause
The rules can be ousted if inappropriate by an explicit provision in a will. Willsgenerally have a survivorship clause, typically of 30 days, so that both partner's estates are dealt with as though they were already widowed at the point of death; in cases of intestacy, the survivorship clause is set at 28 days.
 

Off The Couch

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I know someone on the opposite side.Womens husband dies, she has 2 kids to him. He has been married before , once to my auntie (2 kids ) and second time ( 1 kid). The third wife tracks down all the kids to make sure they get an equal share of his money. I thought that was nice.
I know someone who did this as well except she was the first wife. A daughter from a brief encounter lived overseas and hadn’t seen him since she was born and she made sure that she was included in the distribution of his estate. Just said that she felt it was the right thing to do
 

Hawk Dork

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I had a vague recollection that there is usually a standard 30 day survival clause in wills, so I looked it up but it looks like it only applies to partners.

Wills 30 day survival clause
The rules can be ousted if inappropriate by an explicit provision in a will. Willsgenerally have a survivorship clause, typically of 30 days, so that both partner's estates are dealt with as though they were already widowed at the point of death; in cases of intestacy, the survivorship clause is set at 28 days.
He had the money behind him to buy the the decision he wanted through the law, they were struggling and couldnt afford to lose more fighting it.
 

raskolnikov

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I've basically cut ties with my sister due to conflicting worldviews which came to a head with the plebiscite last year. We still see each other occasionally if we are both at mum's at the same time and we are civil to each other but I definitely don't go out of my way to spend time with her.
Update. My sister has moved to Ayr. Apart from possibly mum's funeral I doubt I will see her again.
 

Run n Spread

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Never have and while there are arguments it would have to be something seriously bloody drastic for me to cut ties like nill contact ever. Can't imagine a situation like it.

As for wills...................(I myself don't actually have one <to do list> thou when I went away recently and had a heebee jeebbeee feeling I gave my details to a trusted source) but I have never got the dispute thing. Something morbid about profiting over someones death. I can understand if it is like a widow/widower with 6 kids who are destitute otherwise really something I feel off about arguing over who got what,like vultures picking over a carcuss.
 

Caesar

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Nothing like a death in the family for bringing out the worst in people
I think it is generally a good reason to plan well for death. I have seen a bunch of people fall out over wills, and it is almost always at least partially the deceased person's fault. They don't explain the rationale for their estate planning, or they make vague references that encourage assumptions, or they tell individuals specific things without putting it in writing or informing others affected.

My parents were extremely good about being open with my brother and I regarding their assets, wills, financial affairs, retirement/estate planning and so forth. As a result there was/is no real ambiguity about how much they were worth and what they wanted to happen with anything they left behind. On the other hand my partner had a father who held financial and business matters fairly close to the chest, and died unexpectedly. The will was solid enough (everything went to the wife) but the mother was left with a large rural property she had limited experience of running - and three sons vying to influence her and take over. Things got incredibly acrimonious, and the mother was forced to liquidate a landholding that had been in the family for five generations.

I'd hate to lose a sibling through a rift on the heels of a parent dying. Pretty shitty 1-2 punch.
 

Hawk Dork

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My mate divorced from his wife.
She still had 2 kids,so he let her stay in the house and the will said, who dies first the other gets the house.
Eldest daughter works for lawyers
Gets lots of legal papers drawn up has the other daughter sign them on the mothers death bed forged her mothers signature the works.
Mother dies Eldest says everything is hers
It eventually goes through court
The husband gets half the daughters get a 1/4 and the eldest has already spent a few hundred g of her mums super (nothings done about that)
He was going to give them 1/4 each and keep the other half for super and give them that on his death

The dad and the youngest daughter speak and the eldest is cut off for life
The fathers other property all goes to the youngest now

It destroyed him and probalby both the daughters too
 

FRUMPY

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Feel sorry for people whose families don't get along to a point they cut ties with them. I don't have the type of family that we have to speak all the time (I can go a year and not speak to a brother etc). But when we do speak its like we spoke yesterday. Never thought we were a close family until Mum passed away suddenly.

Just recently someone I know had their mother pass away similar to mine and the fighting over assets/money began almost instantly between siblings. was disgusting to hear about it.
 
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