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The Vultures Are Real

I have a doozy of a Gimme story to share with you. People have wondered if it is true, but I and others will swear all of this IS true and has happened over the course of two and a half years. I strongly doubt anyone involved goes to this site to read the stories but I wish to remain anonymous.

Both my parents died young and from disease. Dad had been long distance friends with a woman called P for about thirteen years before Mom died. During the time Mom was sick P was very supportive and a person you would WANT around you. She called, sent letters, and offered a huge amount of support.

After Mom died Dad had casually mentioned how much money he received from her life insurance policy. About ten days after that P asks for some money saying she’s fallen on hard times. At first no one thought anything of it because everyone falls on hard times at one point or another in their lives.

P also tried to horn her way into a relationship with Dad VERY quickly and even visited here. Almost immediately she gets expensive items and has her hair professionally done…all done on Dad’s dime. People even confronted P asking why doesn’t SHE pay for her items or professional services? No one ever got an answer for that.

I’m deathly allergic to cigarette smoke. If I’m in an enclosed area around it then I get migraines, and in extreme cases, is hospitalized with breathing related problems. P smokes like a chimney. At first she was told she’d have to smoke outside, however, after A LOT of complaining Dad caved and let her smoke inside. After I was nearly hospitalized with breathing problems her smoking was confined to the guest bedroom.

P had a lot of problems with Dad donating money to the church or to help out friends. At least once a week she’d accuse him of cheating on her.

She’d ask for at least $100 each month which Dad handed over.

People asked him WHY he was doing this but he would answer that she needed help and if he didn’t do what she asked she’d commit suicide.

So this went on until my Dad became sick. A few family friends and I spent two months caring for him. Dad had asked that I post the news of his illness on his FaceBook page because his friends deserved and needed to know.

Because he was unable to care for himself we saw the lawyer and I was made legal caretaker and in charge of all the bills, paperwork, and everything else.

P wrote saying that she needed money and I wrote back that it wasn’t possible at this time, which it wasn’t. She made Dad’s illness all about her and saying how “mean” I was being because I wouldn’t give her the money. When people wouldn’t entertain that idea it stopped.

After Dad dies it’s quiet for about two days and then P comes back with a vengeance. She finds a way to get in constant contact with my family, God only knows HOW she got their numbers and addresses because it wasn’t from me. She started prying for information on Dad’s will and telling people that I’m mentally incompetent. She claims that she “cares” which is why she’s saying it.

When people won’t give her the answers she wants she claims that Dad promised her his life insurance money. After the bills were all paid Dad’s bank account was pretty much wiped out and people knew this. She says “Don’t tell [my name] but he promised me X amount of money.” She says first it was e-mail then a verbal promise and then back to e-mail.

P also says that she’s entitled to Mom’s and Dad’s belongings because Dad allegedly promised them to her.

My lawyer and I both demand proof of these claims and none comes.

P then goes to Dad’s best friend and whines about it and writes a very long e-mail about how I’m oppressing her, not giving her the money Dad allegedly promised, and that I’m not mentally and emotionally competent.

She was also giving out my phone number, e-mail, and physical address to people so all of a sudden I’m getting nasty texts, e-mails, and letters. It got so bad I had to get the police involved because I was being told to commit suicide and receiving death threats. I don’t know what was sent to them but I know what I received.

I don’t know what P said but half my family despises the very ground I walk on and my reputation here is mostly shot. Some very bad damage was done.

The last thing I heard was a few months ago P wrote my lawyer demanding that he force me to give her the money she’s “owed.” My lawyer has the patience of a saint and politely wrote back that he had reviewed the will and as she was NOT on it there was nothing that he could do. He also mentioned that if she did not stop harassing me he was going to file the paperwork to press charges against her.

So far that’s gotten her to back down. I PRAY that it keeps her away from me and that she leaves us all alone.

Oh, I believe you.  I have my own similar story of death bed greed that people would not believe unless they knew me personally and which is substantially documented in a 4-inch pile of legal documents filed with the Superior Court. My “P’ believed he was a victim entitled to far more than the Will stipulated and he engaged in illegal actions to get what he believed he was owed.

My suggestion is to conduct yourself and the probate matters with a high degree of ethics and justice, even depriving yourself if necessary.   Not one hint of self-serving allowed since looking out for yourself first instead of matters of the estate gives ammo to one’s detractors.    You will rest easier knowing the truth that you did the best job you could and if people still want to believe the worst of you, at least you will know they are sadly wrong.



Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Lo April 3, 2014, 8:18 am

    I believe this story.

    There are people in the world who will do anything for a free ride. Anything. The trick is to identify them immediately and get away from them, as far away as you can get. I feel for you, having your father sucked into a relationship with this woman that affected your family in such a negative way.

    On a much much smaller and less significant scale, I once met a woman of this type who I became friends with very quickly. This was an online relationship. Money never came up until one day it did because she needed a little because she’d lost her job and didn’t know what they were going to do and this was when the economy first took a turn for the bad and so I sent her a small amount of money to buy groceries with. That was a turning point. Every further conversation we had it would come up how just a little more money would be so useful. Though I didn’t volunteer to give her any more she could not be shaken from that line of conversation. She had no shame. I saw immediately that I had been targeted and felt ashamed of myself and I terminated all contact immediately; no further emails, conversations, anything. I cut her out quickly for my own safety.

    When you find people like this, label them as such and lock them out of your lives. Cease communication. They are dangerous people.

    • AthenaC April 3, 2014, 10:01 am

      There are people in the world who will do anything for a free ride. Anything.”

      Indeed. Mysteriously, it never seems to occur to these types that it’s much less work in the (not too) long run to just live an honest life.

    • lakey April 3, 2014, 11:15 am

      I absolutely believe you because I can think of 7 people off the top of my head who are continually in financial problems because they won’t stop spending money on junk they don’t need. These are people who have the emotional development of 5 year olds, and expect others to bail out their poor behavior.
      The problem is that when anyone falls for the hard luck story and gives them money, it convinces them that they are entitled to it.

      Don’t get me wrong, I’m not talking about people who really do have problems beyond their control, such as medical issues, unexpected loss of a job, and so on.

      What I don’t understand about OP’s situation is why half her family and friends buy P’s stories. In my experience, when someone is a scavenger for other people’s money, almost everyone sees them for what they are. A woman who was not married to your father or related to him has no right to his money. A will is a legal document and must be followed. If your dad had wanted her to get money or personal items he would have put it in the will. If he wanted her to get a life insurance policy, she would have to have been listed as the the one who gets it. Why do half of your family and friends not get this?

      Sorry about your loss, get yourself through the settlement of the estate, and once that is accomplished, make some decisions about whose emails and phone calls you will be accepting. You might want to consider archiving some of the nasty emails in case anyone in the future questions what you do.

    • kingsrings April 3, 2014, 3:31 pm

      I also sadly have known people like this. Women who pay their bills by charming and manipulating men to give them what they want. It’s almost like prostitution of a different kind. One friend I had did this. She claimed she needed to find a man because she had multiple children to support, so she needed money and material items from men to provide for her children. Geexz, how about getting a job or confronting your many ex’s to pay some child support in order to do that? I felt so sorry for the men who fell for her manipulative charisma and handed over what she wanted. Although they should have known better, too.

  • Brit April 3, 2014, 8:24 am

    More Ps…my great-granny died one morning and within two hours her DIL was on the doorstep banging on the door. She then asked my great-grandad if there was anything she could have for the house now his wife was dead.

    He slammed the door in her face.

    I’m sorry some of your family would believe this. Can’t stand those ‘no smoke without fire’ types. Stay strong.

    • MamaToreen April 3, 2014, 12:48 pm

      Your Great-Grandfather’s response will be filed away for future reference. I’m sure my mom’s brother’s wife will show up with her hand out when they go. I will honor his memory gleefully when she does

      • Brit April 4, 2014, 3:59 am

        He’d be happy to know this, I am sure!

  • Michele K. April 3, 2014, 8:51 am

    To the OP, first, my sympathies for the loss of both your parents and for what P is putting you through.

    I completely believe your story because death seems to bring out the worst in some people.

    When my great-uncle died without a living spouse, children or siblings, yet leaving a decent estate, the vultures came out of the woodwork. He had planned his estate very carefully. He gave specific bequests to some family members and friends. The rest he left to specific charities.

    A few of his nieces and nephews were deliberately omitted from his estate. Those where the nieces and nephews who were always looking to get something for nothing. They were not part of my great-uncle’s life. They never communicated with him or had any interest in his life. They only saw him at extended family gatherings. I don’t think they ever even sent him a Christmas card. Yet, they thought they should have been mentioned in his estate.

    After he died, the wailing and gnashing of teeth from these individuals was quite impressive. You would have thought they were the closest family members to my great-uncle, the way they were carrying on. Their true colors came out when the details of his estate came out. One of those who did not receive a bequest tried to blackmail a sibling into sharing his (he didn’t). A couple of others filed paperwork with the courts contesting the estate. Fortunately, my great-uncle was very savvy with his estate planning and their claims didn’t hold any water.

    • essie April 3, 2014, 1:24 pm

      My MIL was so concerned about one of her siblings being a “P”, that her will states that anyone who even tries to contest her will gets nothing. That is no longer an issue.

      I have also heard that it’s wise to leave a token amount, even $1, to those you want to leave out, so they can’t claim that you forgot to include them or that their name was left out accidentally or that it was typo, etc.

      • mechtilde April 4, 2014, 8:04 am

        That can lead to estate problems, and having to spend a lot of money tracking the person down to give them the $1 they are entitled to. Always take legal advice from a qualified lawyer in your juresdiction before writing a will, and they will let you know how to deal with any issues like this. .

        • Margaret April 4, 2014, 12:40 pm

          Another problem with leaving $1 to the outcasts — the executor needs to get the beneficiaries to sign releases. Someone being cut out of the will except for $1 could tie the estate up for years by refusing to sign, and they could cause great difficulty and expense to the executor personally.

      • Pam April 5, 2014, 2:46 pm

        You could also say “to my dear niece/nephew/whoever, I leave nothing” 🙂

  • MamaToreen April 3, 2014, 9:32 am

    Considering how many people wondered about her, I’m surprised to many took her side in this matter.

    • Shoebox April 3, 2014, 9:55 am

      It sounds like ‘P’ is quite capable of being a nice, even considerate person, right up until her needs aren’t met. It’s also possible the OP has/had some well-known existing issues (depression, etc.) that ‘P’ was able to play on to make her claims of mental incompetence seem plausible. Never underestimate the manipulative skill of a leech who’s been pushed into a corner.

    • David April 3, 2014, 10:52 am

      I’m not.

      True story: At one time I was involved in an organization that my ex-girlfriend was also involved in.

      One night there was a fund-raising function for this organization. While getting ready for the function there was an chain-reaction accident involving the cat, stairs, my then-girlfriend, myself and the glass at the side of a door. Luckily, my girlfriend , the cat, the stairs and the walls escaped injury; however the glass got broken by my elbow so it needed repair and I needed stitches . It was late enough no doctors were open so we went to the hospital. Since I was bleeding all over I asked my girlfriend to call the organizer of the fundraiser explaining the situation. We didn’t get home until very late, the hospital was busy.

      My ex-girlfriend started a rumor that I must be drinking in some dive bar instead of being at the function. I didn’t find out about it until my then-girlfriend, who had gone with me to the hospital after she had accidentally pushed me off balance while trying to avoid tripping over the cat came home from work spitting mad at me because I had skipped an important fund-raising function to go drinking in a dive bar.

      Yes, the woman who had gone with me to the hospital and knew because she was sitting right next to me that whole evening that I wasn’t sitting in a bar drinking decided to believe the lie.

      So no, I am not surprised that people choose to believe the con artist in this.

      • Molly April 3, 2014, 11:42 am

        I hope the “then girlfriend” is now also your “ex girlfriend!”

      • Cat April 3, 2014, 3:07 pm

        I’d have kept the cat and ditched the girlfriend. You would not want anyone with that poor of a memory to have your children. Heaven knows where she’d put them down and forget where she left them.

      • RC April 3, 2014, 4:08 pm

        Oh my. Was she not the sharpest, or did she just get caught up in the drama? I am struggling to understand this one.

        • David April 3, 2014, 7:10 pm

          My then-girlfriend did become an ex soon after this, unfortunately she took the cat with her.

          I’ve never quite understood why she believed my ex even though she had been with me that evening. A lot of people thought my ex was ‘cool’ and ‘part of the in crowd’, I’m not and have never been seen as being, so maybe she was believing it as a means to be ‘cool’.

          • Otterpop April 4, 2014, 9:48 am

            Baffling! Your ex must have been a hypnotist as well. For your “then” gf to believe your ex gf over her OWN eyes, ears, experience, memory, must have taken some master manipulation. Either that, or your gf must have had the brain of a goldfish.

  • ketchup April 3, 2014, 9:41 am

    (I hope) truth will out.

    In my experience, people are very susceptible to negative gossip.

  • inNM April 3, 2014, 9:42 am

    Wow. I am concerned that your family takes the word of a virtual stranger over you. Were you not close to your family before P showed up? If so, what could this woman have said to make them choose her over you?
    I would also advocate changing your number. Go to a store outside of town if you have to. Give this number on a need to know basis only. I never understood the mentality of people who had no business in the matter jumping in and fighting other people’s petty battles for them. You can bet if I have no skin in the game, I am not going to do anything for you that may involve jail time.
    You are doing the right thing: legally, any matters of the estate are to be handled by the executor’s lawyer until the probate has been settled. All correspondence goes straight to the lawyer. If she calls, you politely but assertively tell her that she must speak to your lawyer.
    There is a man who lives in my home country that is doing something similar with a piece of beach front property my father left to me. He has been actively seeking out my mother, telling her that my father promised him the property. In the will, my father left the property to me. I told mommy to simply state that the will was still in probate (it still is) and that she cannot legally sell it to him at this time, and he should direct all contact to her lawyer. I also added that, if he wanted to purchase the land he could do so at full market value (of course you know he doesn’t want to pay that much, he wants it for free, or pennies on the dollar), or she could quietly sell it on my behalf to someone else who would pay for the market value, and let them deal with the crazy neighbour.

  • Cecilia April 3, 2014, 9:54 am

    My sympathies on the loss of your parents and having to deal with this woman.

    Death brings out the worst in some people. Hopefully, with your lawyer involved, she will get the message and leave you alone. Considering her behavior, I’m surprised that members of your family believe her claims. It’s amazing what family will do to each other. 🙁

  • Mya April 3, 2014, 9:58 am

    I feel very sorry for you, OP, that in this time of grief you are having to cope with this. Even worse is how she’s turned your family against you. Having witnessed what greed, fraud and selfishness on the part of my Aunt A has done to our family I can well believe the account you post here. Ultimately, unless the complainant (P) can prove her claim – either to money or to the fact you are mentally incompetent, and has a basis for challenging the will (such as a marriage certificate to your father) then she will get nowhere. However you deal with her harassment I hope you manage to overcome the damage she has done to your relationships before it damages your health further.

  • Shoebox April 3, 2014, 10:07 am

    Poor OP. What an awful complication to what already sounds like a very rough time for you. Far from questioning your competence, I’m a bit in awe of how efficiently you’re handling ‘P’s stalking campaign in the meantime. Please accept a warm hug of support.

    Continue to call in legal aid as needed, respond with the simple truth (possibly augmented by copies of those letters from your lawyers, and any other records of law enforcement being called) if/when those ‘P’ has manipulated ask for your side of the story, and eventually, those worth keeping close to you will see through her. You might also want to reflect profitably on how incredibly pathetic this woman must be, to have turned herself into a full-blown stalker over what sounds like not a whole lot of money.

  • Cat April 3, 2014, 10:09 am

    I am always sorry when I hear that family members willingly believe lies about an innocent person, but, believe me, you are not alone. A half-sister I had never known existed was told that, “None of my siblings liked me and I didn’t get along with any of them.” I happened to get her number and called to tell her how happy I was to have her as my sister.
    Curious about what she had been told about me she said, “Well, tell me about our brothers and sisters.” (They are all half-siblings) I told her the truth, “I can’t help you there. I have only met one of them…” She cut me off to say, “But I was told you don’t get along with them.” I told her I had never seen or spoken to most of them and would not know them if I passed them on the street. I had met only one half-sister once,but she has major mental problems and is not in contact with reality most of the time. The rest were total strangers.
    So, it happens and we don’t know why people want to lie and to believe lies. There is nothing to be done about it. As long as you know that you did what was right, you have nothing to defend. They will believe whatever they want, regardless of the truth.

  • acr April 3, 2014, 10:12 am

    OP – my heart hurts for you. How awful and sad. Like MamaToreen, I too am surprised that half of your family members sided with this stranger over you. Were these people with whom you had good relationships prior to this? Perhaps there is a family “leader” who is on your story who could intercede on your behalf with them, if you feel that this is worth pursuing?

  • Lisa April 3, 2014, 10:14 am

    Please accept my condolences. And know that P is a viper and to everyone else taking her side, well it’s just none of their darn business. Stay strong. Truth trumps evil.
    I am thankful to God that my parents raised my brother and I the way they did; upon their passing we were able to take care of business with not one hint of ugliness.

  • Wendy B. April 3, 2014, 10:19 am

    Get a restraining order on this woman now! And maybe a lawsuit for slander wouldn’t be a bad thing to consider…

    It’s amazing what people will do. We’re settling an estate for a friend. She didn’t have children, only some cousins and five nieces and nephews who ignored her until she died and then were all boo-hooing about how wonderful Aunt A was. When it came out that we were in charge of the estate and they were getting very little, their cousin instigated a lawsuit, which was settled, but now we are working to get everything finished and off of our hands while watching over our shoulders. This cousin was someone we considered a friend until this all happened and her true colors finally showed.

  • just4kicks April 3, 2014, 10:27 am

    I absolutely believe you, and have gone through something similar. My deepest condolences to you, my Dear. If it’s within your means, I would file a protection of abuse order against P, so it’s on the record. How sad some of your family chooses to side with this wing nut. Hopefully they come around, if you even want them to. Blessings to you…. 🙂

  • Shyla April 3, 2014, 10:40 am

    This story is very sad. Some people do not have a conscience that tells them to behave. You were unfortunately involved with one. Do what admin said. Then get yourself some counseling. Your life has been turned upside down and you need someone to help you deal with it.

  • EllenS April 3, 2014, 10:49 am

    I am very glad you have a competent lawyer, because when common decency fails, we must fall back on the law to protect us. I certainly hope there is a quick resolution to the criminal harassment you’re enduring.

  • The Elf April 3, 2014, 11:07 am

    I believe it because I’ve seen the vultures circling too. Admin’s advice is spot-on; you need to make sure to dot your i, cross your t, and document everything. Keep things transparent and above reproach and the only action she’ll have is harrassment, which you can get a restraining order for.

    Don’t worry about the half of the family that despises you. Either they’ll come around or they’re no great loss.

    I’m sorry for your losses.

  • darqmommy April 3, 2014, 11:31 am

    OP, this is not an etiquete breach; it is a carefully planned and organized attack by a sociopath. You just happened to be in the way of her complete takeover of your poor father’s life. a great deal of the behavior that i see catalogued on this site should actually be atributed to socipaths and narcissists, who effortlessly thrive on the kind of brazen manipulation that causes the rest of us to gasp. once you have examined a person and found her lacking basic humanity, it behooves you to run, not to walk, away. you do not have to afford her the niceties of contact or the consideration that is due to any other human being. i can assure you that she considers you, along with everyone else in her life, just a means to an end. if a narcissist or a sociopath enters your life, you WILL be damaged. the extent of the damage depends only on how quickly you can put a locked door (literally or figuratively) between yourself and that person.

  • Enna April 3, 2014, 11:31 am

    I am really sorry for your loss OP: also for this vulture treating you so badly. I agree with the Elf about your family. If they don’t come round you are better off without them. Make sure you stand your ground. I would be incinced in your situation if she did something illegal to press charges: if she has done something you could su her for like the slander I would be tempted to sue for slander – your lawyer has already given her a warning about her behaviour I think you should see if that could be persued.

  • Ashley April 3, 2014, 11:36 am

    I’ll believe this story because I was a first hand witness to a similar story when my husband’s grandmother died. His aunt has some rather notorious problems, including the inability to hold a job because some of her other problems. While I don’t doubt that she was sad that her mother died, her sadness was frequently interjected with “Well what is going to happen to all of mom’s jewelry?” She wasn’t left as much as she wanted, and other family members had to hide the rest of it so she didn’t take it ALL and pawn it. Even when it doesn’t involve death, that woman will try anything she can to get money without having to do any kind of work for it.

    In OP’s case, I’m very sad that people chose to believe the word of a complete stranger over you. It is good that you have a competent lawyer though and that he’s doing his job and fighting for you the correct way. Have you considered any sort of no contact/restraining order against P? Or changed your number and made sure it’s not public? It certainly would suck to have to go to those lengths but it might cut down substansially on how many weird phone calls and texts you get.

    • Library Diva April 3, 2014, 3:25 pm

      Sounds like my husband’s aunt. His grandfather (her father) lived with them for the last 15 years of his life. She would often come over to take him out places, which would have been nice…except the day she came over always coincided with the day his pension check came in. She managed to weasel a ton of money out of him over the years. Other than a check for a very dubious disability, it was her sole source of support, so she was hardly living high on the hog, but it left him with even less. She was the type that always had a hand out.

      Now that her father is gone, she’s moved on to trying it with my father-in-law and his brother. For some inexplicable reason, it works on them. They say they don’t want her to starve, and she’s always smart enough to ask for a relatively small sum of money with a massive sob story attached. She’ll tell them that she has no food in the house and no money and could they give her $20. She’ll go first to one, then to the other, then take the $40 and buy smokes and lottery tickets. They have caught her doing this, but haven’t yet been able to harden their hearts.

      • Yasuragi April 3, 2014, 8:10 pm

        I have a relative that was like this. She had young children she used for sympathy. “Oh, woe! I haven’t any money to buy food! My children shall surely starve! Oh, woe! I haven’t any money for bills to heat my house! My children shall surely freeze! Please! I’m only asking for $20! What kind of monster wouldn’t give $20 for a child?” But, $20 from four or five people adds up pretty quickly.

        So people would give her money for the children’s sake only to see it go to cigarettes, shopping sprees and drugs.

        The behavior stopped when the money stopped flowing. Oh, you need groceries? Here, let me give you a ride to the food bank. Or, your heat will be shut off? Here, I made you an appointment with social services to arrange for electricity assistance. Here are the forms you need to fill out.

        Luckily (unluckily?) the relative withdrew from the family when they stopped giving her cash. She had a pretty nasty two or three years before she finally hit bottom and turned her life around. She went through therapy, rehab and now, several years on, is doing pretty OK for herself and her children.

        • The Elf April 4, 2014, 7:00 am

          Oh I think everyone’s got one those in their family or among their friends.

      • Ashley April 4, 2014, 11:27 am

        Oh this relative wheedles money out of grandpa (her father) too because he’s still alive. I’ve lost track of all of the lies she’s told, and a bunch of us have tried explaining to him that he’s not helping her if he’s just giving her the money that helps feed her main problem, but he continues to buy her lies, and send her money.

        I honestly don’t understand how he keeps falling for it, because most of the lies are medical things, that could be disproved with ten seconds of research. For example, she once said she had to go to the hospital because her blood pressure was at some outrageously high level. Like, the chart doesn’t even go as high as she was claiming her blood pressure was. Due to my own recent medical adventures, I knew right off the bat that she was lying, and a ten second internet search would have confirmed it, but grandpa didn’t do that search, he just sent the money to her for the whatever the ambulance ride supposedly cost. I suspect part of it is because she’s his daughter and yeah you worry about your kids, but he falls for EVERY. LITTLE. LIE even when presented with damning proof she’s lying. Because believe me, we’ve all tried to stop him from sending her money so he can actually live out the rest of his life with some sense of security.

  • Stacey Frith-Smith April 3, 2014, 11:38 am

    So sorry this happened to you, OP. You cannot do anything about the past- but if there are any steps you can take to secure the peace, NOW is the time to act. With your attorney’s advice, consider a restraining order, complaints of stalking, harassment, and anything that you can substantiate. And THEN, don’t give this crazy one more moment of your time than is absolutely required to secure your own peace and move ON. If she has succeeded in bamboozling some of your nearest and dearest- well, that’s on them. She is an unspeakably disturbed and evil person whose wiles have fractured enough lives. Live well, live happy and don’t look back. It’s the best possible revenge.

  • Phoenix April 3, 2014, 12:39 pm

    Get a restraining order on P. She revealed your personal information so that you can be harassed, which is illegal. Since your lawyer is definitely on your side, you should have a good case against her.

    I don’t think you can charge her for slander unless her rumors keep you from getting work. But the rumors probably could help with building a restraining order case along with the other info.

    Also keep note Of all the threats: print emails, record calls, keep letters,
    Photograph any damages, etc.

    Regarding the family, explain the situation and keep close the people who do believe. The important thing is to make sure Team You is strong, and eventually a good chunk of the family will see the truth.

  • Rox April 3, 2014, 12:47 pm

    Oh this story from the O/P is such familiar territory – on both sides of my very dysfunctional “family”. I try to make the “stories” humorous for myself because that is how I have coped and in essence gone forward with my life, a life that no longer includes the “family” I was assigned at birth, but with my chosen family of close long-time friends. My very wealthy dad remarried for the sixth or seventh (and final) time at age 70 to a woman barely older than I am – I am the elder of two siblings. My younger sister became extremely close to Dad’s new wife. My younger sister never worked a day in her life – as daddy’s darling baby girl she was regularly handed money, lots of it, on – literally – a silver platter. Sterling, at that!(Gorham. I peeked.) Sister had estranged herself from my mother and I (at Dad’s behest) for some three decades. Dad passed, arranged his considerable estate to benefit the widow and my sister. The estate was not ever probated so suspect Dad’s estate was in some sort of trust but the widow (and of course sister) refused to provide information on the distribution to me – not even to my attorney. Fast forward a few years and my mother was diagnosed as terminally ill and also with mild dementia (guardianship had been filed). All of a sudden Sis reappears in mom’s life, finds a lawyer who turns a blind eye to mom’s obvious incompetence – court filing on guardianship notwithstanding – and redoes the will to benefit Sister 100%, just before mom passed. My sister is now an extremely wealthy woman. Good thing she’s already used to not working for a living–otherwise, gee, she’d have to learn to “adjust” to not having to work the rest of her life. She celebrated by buying another luxury car and then taking a three-week cruise with several of her closest friends, whose cruise tickets she also paid for. As for me, I tried to contact the attorney who prepared mom’s “new and improved” will. Good thing I am used to stonewalling already, so I didn’t have to relearn the skill of coping with same when I got the identical routine from Sister’s attorney who prepared that “new” will benefiting, exclusively, Sister. While it is hard to be humorous and candid about the blacksheep status which seems to have descended upon me without my permission, when people rudely inquire why I didn’t benefit from either deceased parent’s wealth, I do strive to put it in perspective and set aside the hurt – the hurt which is far worse than the deprivation by design of mere cash.

    • Vrinda April 3, 2014, 11:56 pm

      Rox, you can’t let these crooks – your sister, your dad’s widow, and Sis’s lawyer – get away with this. Where is your dad’s lawyer? If your dad’s will leaves something to you, no one can take it. For her lawyer to rewrite your mom’s will and take advantage of her ill health is criminal. Where were you when this was going on?

      • Rox April 4, 2014, 6:41 pm

        Where was I, I was living about 200 miles away confident that the court-appointed “handlers” for my mother was taking care of things properly. I found out after the fact, of my mother’s passing, which was not unexpected but was not preceded by the usual multiple hospitalizations, etc. for which they would probably have notified me if it was not for the influence of Sister. As for my father’s lawyer, I have no idea who that is, and my father’s widow refuses to provide any information whatsoever. I believe that his estate likely was transferred to an irrevocable trust – given the very considerable size of his estate that would have been the smartest thing to do to manage the inevitable taxation issues. However, the trust documents were never recorded with their county of residence so I would have no access to the information in that fashion. And the only thing from my mother’s side was the filing of the will with the court – NOT a probate, just putting the will on file. And as the executor has a very “generic” name and there is no further information whatsoever on the document. Like I say – stonewalled.

  • Kat April 3, 2014, 1:12 pm

    I send my condolences and sympathies to the OP! What a horrific situation to be thrust into.

  • Lisa April 3, 2014, 2:48 pm

    I believe this b/c I am related to a “P”. She is my cousin on my Dad’s side and keep in mind when reading this that this is a middle-aged woman, not a child.

    This P had an elderly uncle whom I’ve never met b/c she was on P’s Mom’s side of the family. Uncle was very generous in general as I understand but particularly with P. Uncle’s wife had passed some years ago and he had been in another relationship for about 20 years.

    Somehow P found out that ill uncle had named his long-time GF as his main beneficiary in his will. She told my mother that she confronted Uncle about it and told him that whatever he had “belonged to the family” and thus was rightfully hers. She also told my mother that she went to their house and “packed up everything she could get her hands on” and took it and told her that she was hiring a lawyer to contest the will.

    Sigh. We don’t talk to her anymore.

    My condolences to the OP.

  • JO April 3, 2014, 2:51 pm

    I too can indeed believe this story, having known people like this myself – sad to say many were members of my own family. In the words of the great artist Bob Dylan, “money doesn’t talk. It swears.”

  • cashie April 3, 2014, 4:00 pm

    I can only imagine the sorts of things P said to the OPs family to turn them against her. Op said that P called and emailed a bunch of them, and most likely told them that the Op was the source of their personal information and similar tactics. I know, I have a family member like this and I’ve seen her at work destroying reputations wherever she goes.

    The only way to stop people like P is with a restraining order. That the Ops lawyer has documentation on P is good, the Op should be able to use that.

    How awful it is that the malicious willfully and deliberately pit grieving people people against each other for what seems like pure enjoyment. They come along to exploit vulnerability. No grieving person should have to endure that. Society used to have cultural safeguards against vultures. Sadly, it seems we no longer do.

    Op, I am so sorry you’re having to deal with all this. It might seem like a platitude, but the phrase “this too shall pass” is very true and can be a comfort.

  • kingsrings April 3, 2014, 10:25 pm

    I worked at a senior care home for 2 years, so we ran into the problem of people preying on the elderly’s money and vulnerability once in a while. It was the saddest when the predator was the elderly person’s own family member! Like the one woman who had to take out a restraining order against her own son because he wouldn’t stop coming to the home and trying to get stuff and money out of her. Once in a while we’d have to chase attractive young foreign women from our facility as they were there trying to prey on elderly men. Or people who become Meals on Wheels volunteers simply so they can take advantage of those they serve.

  • Rebecca April 3, 2014, 10:46 pm

    Oh, I absolutely believe you, OP. There was a P in my dad’s life, too. Until she came along, I had no idea that women like this existed, but they do (I know it sounds sexist, but it really was gold-digging women I had a hard time believing the existence of. My reasoning, on some level, was that since *I* would never be with a man just for his money, then it extended to “women in general don’t do that.” I thought it was a myth created by bitter males).

    Our “P” managed to scout out my dad and take over his life shortly after his wife died (they are good at that, sometimes descending like vultures at the memorial service, or, in your case, a few years before that).

    Trying to get rid of her was hell, because my dad believed she was a nice person, even though he felt intimidated by her, and couldn’t say no to her. She got a ton of money out of him.

    It would take a novel to describe all the stunts she pulled to try and turn him against us (his kids) and to isolate him from his family, and, most importantly, get the maximum amount of money out of him. Long story how I finally got rid of her, but I did, because she finally got so greedy that even he could see that maybe, just maybe, she was asking too much. Even after I got rid of her, she almost managed to make a reappearance. She really did have him wrapped around her finger. It took an army of allied friends to help me, too. People who had known us for years were astonished that this could be happening in our family. I was cast as the evil daughter for a time. He believed everything she told him. But you know what? If I hadn’t got rid of her, he’d be BROKE by now, and he needs his money for the very expensive care home he is in now. Last I heard she’d been asking people where he is now, and nobody will tell her. His money is safe from her now, but she doesn’t know that and she is still trying.

    Luckily, she did not succeed in getting him to change his will, though I have reason to believe she was working on it. All this stuff happened in the space of about a year or two.

    And when this happens in your family and you talk to others, you find out it’s a very common scenario. These people are out, everywhere, looking for lonely widows/widowers to take advantage of, and they know exactly how to manipulate their weak spots. So no, the OP’s story does not surprise me at all, and I hope she can get a restraining order of some sort before she can do any more damage.

  • Kate April 4, 2014, 4:51 am

    ‘P’s tend to come out when families are dealing with grief or tricky situations. I think anyone who doesn’t believe OP’s story is very lucky, as they obviously haven’t encountered their own ‘P’.
    I have some ‘P’s in my family – my grandmother, while not in particularly ill health, moved into a nursing home a few years ago as she was unable to safely live alone. A couple of my relatives then started sorting through her belongings, earmarking things for themselves. Then one of my aunts offered to sell Grandma’s car and transfer the proceeds to her bank account, a process which seemed to take an extremely long time. Turns out they just kept it and didn’t pay her a cent.

  • Anne April 4, 2014, 6:19 am

    I am anticipating this scenario in my future. My x SIL (she and my brother divorced and he died several years in an accident) will be coming after me when my parents die. Her children will be line for a good portion of the estate, since they will be getting my brother’s part. She has this unrealistic amount in her head regarding the wealth of my parents. She and my brother had talked about this and he relayed this to me. My mom and I had quite the chuckle over this. I know that I am going to be accused of hiding money and she will want my whole financial story spread out for her to pick apart every transaction.
    I watched her rake my brother over the coals during their divorce, insisting that he was hiding money or my parents were hiding it for him. He didn’t make that much and she did all the shopping and bill paying throughout their marriage, she knew how much he made. She was the one who hid money by using her maiden name on an account and had the statements to go her mother’s house. There was an emergency acct set up for my brother and I, because my parents were traveling south in the winter and they wanted us to access to money in case something happened to them and we needed to fly down to get them or fly their bodies up north (if they were in an accident). My SIL knew this and still tried to get her hands on 1/8 of that account because it had my brother’s name attached to it.
    Talk about a witch.

  • JeanLouiseFinch April 4, 2014, 7:49 am

    My condolences to the OP and I hope the harassment has stopped at this point. One thing some of you should know is that there are evidentiary statutes in many states, often called “the Dead Man’s Act,” that preclude testimony about an alleged conversation or act of a deceased person where the party is an “interested party” and the outcome of the conversation would be that the person (i.e., “P”), would be benefited. These laws were enacted to prevent people from testifying after the death of someone that the deceased person gave them everything before they died, or promised to pay them before they died, when the deceased person is no longer there to testify.

    The version in my state provides, in part, that, “…no adverse party or person directly interested in the action shall be allowed to testify on his or her behalf to any conversation with the deceased or person under legal disability or to any event which took place in the presence of the deceased or person under legal disability, except in [certain enumerated instances].”

    There are exceptions, but unless there is a document that would be binding without any testimony (such as a duly witnessed will by someone competent to make a will), or an executed deed, both of which require no testimony to establish the deceased’s intent, then testimony concerning pre-death “promises” etc., should not be allowed in a court to support a claim, for instance, that a deceased man “gave” someone a piece of land. If it’s not in a will, or established by a deed, then the person claiming the land is SOL, unless there is an exception that applies. This is probably over simplified, but all of these stories confirm my conviction that it was a good thing for me that I went into a field other than estates and trusts when I started my law practice! Too many vultures out there!

  • PWH April 4, 2014, 8:29 am

    Suffice it to say, as noted a number of times on the e-hell forum, death brings out the worst in people. In quite a few cases, elders are taken advantage of prior to their passing as well. Amongst my family, I’ve heard several stories and even seen first hand where various relatives have tried or taken advantage of seniors. My Maternal Grandmother suffered from dementia prior to be transferred from her home to a long-term care facility. My Mother and I lived on the other side of the country, but we heard what was happening from my Uncles (mom’s brothers). Two Grandchildren, both banned from visiting after the Uncles found out, were stealing from G in addition to showing up and asking for money on a weekly basis. When the Uncles were packing up the house to sell, after Grandma had to be moved into the senior’s home, another family member came over and helped themselves to whatever they wanted. This came to light when my Grandmother’s will was reviewed to establish the division of property and if there were specific items that were supposed to go to certain people and quite a few items were missing. It’s a sad world we live in that people like this exist.
    OP, I’m so sorry for your loss and that you have to deal with all this additional stress. It is so disappointing that your family has chosen to believe this horrible woman over you. Hopefully, once she realizes she isn’t going to get a dime, she moves on and you are able to reconcile with your family (if you want to). Keep on top of things and discuss next steps with your lawyer. If you are able to get a restraining order, I would recommend doing so. I would also recommend looking into sending the woman a cease and desist letter asking her to stop spreading the false accusations about you. Best of luck.

  • Starr April 4, 2014, 8:33 am

    My grandpa’s (really step-grandpa but he has been there my whole life) children, took him to change his will without telling my grandma. They hadn’t had anything to do with him in years so he went a long with it, being quite old and senile. They put a lot of horrible stuff in it regarding my grandma, who they can’t stand and treat horribly. Changed it so she got nothing. Their mistake was using a daughter in law (a lawyer) of one of my step uncles to draw up the will, someone who was going to profit from the will, and she kept the original will which is highly illegal anyway. They also didn’t realize my grandparent’s house was in both their names and tried to make it so my grandma couldn’t live there if something happened to my grandpa. People are sick.

  • kjr April 4, 2014, 9:32 am

    Ugh… these scenarios make me so sad to hear. I have an aunt who’s main concern in her life is herself, and how other people can take care of her. My grandmother is not rich, but has done well for herself through investments. A while back my grandmother decided to move into a retirement community. As she doesn’t drive, and her husband is not doing well, I, along with my family, thought this was a great idea. It keeps her social and it is peace of mind for the rest of the family. My aunt not only hated this idea, but fought it tooth and nail. Turns out she didn’t like this idea as it was expensive, and would mean there would be less to leave her in the will after my grandmother was gone. Sigh.

  • Wild Irish Rose April 4, 2014, 9:41 am

    Several years after my grandmother passed away, my grandfather began seeing a woman I shall call “Lola.” Dad (my grandfather) didn’t have much in the way of worldly goods, but he was a kind, gentle, honest, loyal, faithfully Christian man and we all loved him very much–couldn’t care less what he did or did not have materially. However, Lola cared. After they had dated for a while, she started hinting (broadly) that she expected a ring, which never did materialize, and that made her angry, but her true colors really came out when Dad was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. That was pretty much the last we ever saw of Lola, which was fine by my sibs and me. Some people are just not to be believed until the crises set in, and then you know who they really are.

  • Otterpop April 4, 2014, 10:09 am

    My mother’s SIL and her daughter (mom’s niece) had very little to do with us while mom was alive. We were not of their social class, had no discretionary income (my mom was a widow from a young age) and couldn’t compete with their material acquisitions. My mom was a hard-working, self-reliant individual who gave me a good education and taught me to become independent and self-reliant as well. Aunt and niece were basically “princesses” who had every need and whim taken care of by uncle.

    When my mother died the two women were all over me like a rash, asking questions about mom’s will, her house and financial disposition. I thought they were concerned for me as her only child and executor of her will. When I told them that she had little money left but the house was transferred to me and would be rented out to a friend of hers (I’m a property manager), they ended all communication. Now I know they were hoping for a piece of the small pie. Since uncle died their lives are considerably less comfortable and they’ve become vultures.

    OP I feel for you. Having a family member preyed upon is distressing. I’m not surprised at 1/2 the family believing her. Some people are practically hypnotic in their manipulations. Protect yourself.

    • Cat April 4, 2014, 5:25 pm

      This brings back memories. My sister-in-law demanded that I turn over my half of my dad’s estate to her and my brother on the grounds that, “We all know that he would have wanted his grandchildren to have his money.”
      I agreed and asked her to send me the names and Social Security numbers of her children as we were living in different countries and I had not seen them in years. She and my brother never had children so that stopped her.

  • PatGreen April 4, 2014, 2:04 pm

    I could be on this site for the rest of the day telling stories about my uncle. Neither he nor his wife have stable jobs and continue to beg relatives for money they swear to pay back “later”. They have two young children and almost all of the emails/phone calls involve the kids needing something desperately. Then the money is never paid back or spent wisely. Case and point, my aunt posted pictures of herself and the kids at an amusement park then at the end of the month was begging for money to pay the phone bill.

  • Bunny April 4, 2014, 5:30 pm

    OP: First my condolences to you for your lost.
    Second: My strength for you to withstand “P”.
    Third: If you receive such mail through the USPS please report it to Postal Inspectors as hate mail is a crime and this falls under it. Take it from a letter carrier who was almost supeoned one time to say I did deliver the stated letters to the plaintiff.

  • InTheEther April 5, 2014, 12:45 am

    Ditto with people coming out of the woodworks when they sniff an inheritance . My great-great-aunt W died at 96. My great grandmother was married off really young and wasn’t really happy with circumstances, and so couldn’t handle it when my grandmother was born. My aunt W along with a couple of other maiden aunts completely raised my grandmother, different household and all. As far as I am aware they lived in the same household for almost all of my grandmother’s life. My grandmother was her caretaker when her health started to fail, until it got to the point that aunt W needed 24/7 watching and quick access to medical attention and they had to put her in a nursing home (at 92). Even then my grandmother visited daily.

    My grandmother has a lot of 1st cousins that we purposefully don’t have much contact with, nor is there much contact with her younger brothers (who were raised by their mother) and their families, though there are some shining exceptions. My immediately family was living in a different state at the time and I’m pretty sure we saw my aunt more than 3 times as often as any of my grandmother’s relatives who live within 1/2 an hour of her. In short, it makes since that my grandmother got basically everything when my aunt died (my understanding is that it was mostly just land at that point).

    One group of relatives invited my grandmother out to one of their houses not long after (all women in this group). They then proceeded to try and bully my grandmother while she was away from everyone else, insisting that they somehow deserved some of or more of what my aunt had left. My grandmother walked out and they got completely stonewalled from that point on by my mom and granddad, who were furious. They also got chewed out by one of my grandmother’s younger brothers (if I remember right one of his daughters or DIL were in on it), and general ill will by they more decent (and not painfully nonconfrontational)members of the extended family.

    • InTheEther April 6, 2014, 11:08 pm

      I forgot to note that these relatives actually had paperwork they were trying to bully my grandmother into signing. Don’t know how they got ahold of it or how legal it would’ve been even if she had signed it, but … yeah, there’s good reasons why I haven’t even met most of that branch.

  • KMC April 5, 2014, 8:35 am

    It’s amazing that when some people hear of a death, the first thing they think about is money.

    My FIL died in February of last year. The day his obituary came out in the paper, a former girlfriend of FIL’s contacted my husband. She started out saying how devastated and heartbroken she was and she felt she would never get over it.

    But what might make her feel better is if she could have a little something to remember FIL by. Like his mother’s diamond ring. Oh, and he had told her several times that he wanted her to have it anyway. And if only she could live somewhere where she would feel close to FIL. Like his house. Rent free, of course. Actually, he mentioned several times he wanted to give her the house when he died anyway. So….

    Yeah, she actually expected my husband to hand over a diamond ring and FIL’s HOUSE!

  • psyche April 5, 2014, 2:31 pm

    I am reminded of a romance novel my mother once read.

    This woman meets this elderly woman who is the owner of a historic home that she loves. She knows that when she dies, her greedy relatives will either plow the house down and sell the land it was on or take the house and rip up all the nice, distintive features it has to something they might find more aesthetically pleasing. So, realizing this woman appreciates it as much as she does, she gives the younger woman her house in the will. As a precaution, the old lady had herself checked out before she died so that the relatives couldn’t contest the will by trying to claim the old lady was senile. It works, and the younger woman converts the place into a wedding venue.

  • babs April 5, 2014, 6:25 pm

    OP, I believe you, as we went through a similar situation when a neighbor friend of ours died suddenly of a heart attack. He picked a up a woman in a bar and allowed her to move in and then couldn’t get her out. She was hysterical when we arrived and claimed that our friend told her that my husband and I would “take care of her” if he died (we hardly knew her, but were close enough to him to know that conversation never took place). We were as compassionate as we could be under the circumstances after being called by police in the middle of the night to go to his house, but after spending a few hours waiting for the Coroner’s office to come, we started figuring her out for what she was. When we refused to take her in, I started getting nasty, rambling and foul phone calls cursing me out. I was scared for a long time because I didn’t know who she was associated with or who her friends were. I know what people mean when they say that death brings out the worst in people, but more often it EXPOSES the worst in them. “P” was a user who lost her meal ticket, just like our friend’s “girlfriend.”

  • Marozia April 6, 2014, 3:34 am

    P for Pathetic. That is exactly what this woman is.

  • Mabel April 6, 2014, 8:31 am

    You did the right thing getting the lawyer involved when you did. What a total scam artist. I’m sorry your dad and your family got sucked into her crap.

  • Lily May 17, 2014, 3:27 pm

    While there are sometimes vultures, there are also other stories:
    When my brother died, it was a shock for everyone (young, suicide). Some days later, my mother asked if anyone knew what his will said, as the police had taken it with them and we had not be able to read it yet. I answered that the only thing I knew about it was that my other brother and me were the only persons mentioned in it.
    She snapped at me in a hateful tone: “Well, as you know, the heir pays the funeral!”
    (My brother didn’t leave much, and at this time, I wouldn’t have been able to pay for a funeral.)

    When some days later I confronted her about it, she accused me of “being so cold” about the whole story. Well, I wasn’t cold, but felt still completely frozen from unexpectly finding my brothers dead body that I barely managed to speak at that time.

    … she later apologized for it (it had reminded her of her own relatives behavior when her father died), but it still hurts.