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'AITA for not forgiving my mom for stealing my inheritance?' 'She did what she thought was best.'

'AITA for not forgiving my mom for stealing my inheritance?' 'She did what she thought was best.'


"AITA for not forgiving my mom for stealing my inheritance?"

I (28M) recently found out about a huge betrayal from my mom (56F) and I don't know what to do. So, my grandparents were really great people, they worked hard all their lives and saved a lot of money. They weren’t rich, but they managed to save enough to leave some money for me and my siblings (30F and 25M) when they passed away five years ago.

My mom was the executor of the will. Not long after my grandparents died, she told us there were unexpected debts and expenses that needed to be paid off first. We trusted her, she’s our mom after all, and we didn’t really question her too much because we were grieving. But over the years, I noticed my mom’s lifestyle got way better.

She paid off her mortgage, bought a new car, and went on some fancy vacations. I thought maybe she came into some money or got really good at managing her finances. A few months ago, I was helping my parents clean out their attic and I found some old documents that showed the actual amount of the inheritance. It was way more than what my mom told us.

I was so confused and felt really betrayed. After thinking about it for a while, I confronted her. At first, she denied everything, but then she broke down and admitted it. She used a big chunk of the inheritance for herself. She said she did it for the family, she planned to pay us back eventually, and she used the money to make sure we had a stable home.

She even said the vacations were to relieve the stress and grief of losing her parents. I’m devastated. It’s not just about the money. It’s the lying, the breach of trust, and the fact that she put herself first. My siblings have been more forgiving.

They say she’s our mom, she did what she thought was best, and we should move on. They think I’m being too harsh and that holding onto this anger will only hurt me. But I just can’t let it go.

Every time I think about it, I get so angry and feel betrayed. It’s messed up my relationship with her to the point where I haven’t talked to her since the confrontation. Family gatherings are super awkward now, with my siblings and dad trying to make peace.

So, AITA for not forgiving my mom and refusing to speak to her? My siblings think I’m overreacting, but I can’t shake this feeling of betrayal. What should I do?

Here's what top commenters had to say about this one:

No-Neighborhood-7611 said:

NTA mom had a duty to disperse the funds according to the will, but instead she broke the law and your trust by stealing. She doesn't get to say the money was used on the family when she was the that benefited the most.

I would get attorney and see what can and should be done. Her parents had a will and made their wishes for their money quite explicit and by going against those wishes she also betrayed them.

Specific_Anxiety_343 said:

NTA. Her behavior was inexcusable and unlawful. She stole your money. That’s a crime - definitely theft and probably fraud. As executor, she breached her fiduciary duty to you and the other heirs.

Consult an attorney. ASAP. There is a statute of limitations that gives you a deadline by which to sue. Even if you eventually decide not to go forward, you should know what your rights and remedies are.

camkats said:

NTA contact the attorney that did the will and offer her a repayment plan. Or add your name to the house to ensure you get your cut. She stole and should be held accountable.

Additional_Prior_981 said:

NTA. And anyone who tells you otherwise can be reminded that your mother should be grateful that you didn't sue.

Kukka63 said:

NTA, your mother is a thief and does not deserve forgiveness.

KimB-booksncats-11 said:

You should be angry and feel betrayed. Your Mom stole from you and your siblings and then consistently LIED to you over the years. Families can be very quick to sweep uncomfortable subjects under the rug.

(I have WAAAY too much experience with this.) You are NOT required to. Heck, part of the reason we went no contact with my Mom's side of the family was because they refused to acknowledge their fault in anything. (And boy was there a lot of fault.) NTA.

What you do now is up to you. Personally I don't think I could trust her again after that. Low or no contact is fair. She should be thanking her lucky stars you aren't going nuclear and suing her for the money she stole. (Wouldn't blame you if you did that, too.) Kinda depends on what kind of relationship you want with her and your siblings.

Ok_Homework8692 said:

NTA get a lawyer, the reason you know is you accidentally found the paperwork. Your mother is a thief and the only reason she's sorry is because she got caught. You can give her a chance to make restitution after a lawyer looks over the paperwork but otherwise I'd be pressing charges.

Buying herself things and taking herself on vacation is not for the benefit of the family, it's for the benefit of the embezzler.

sanityjanity said:

It would be one thing if she used that money to save the house from foreclosure or to get someone some desperately needed medical treatment, but she used it for lifestyle upgrades.

So, sit down, and figure out how much she stole, and estimate that, if it had been in the stock market, it would have compounded at 10% -- figure out what she owes you, and write up a repayment document. Maybe get a lawyer involved. If nothing else, this document needs to exist, so you can collect against her estate when/if she dies. NTA.

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