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'AITA for "scamming" my cousins out of their inheritance?' UPDATED

'AITA for "scamming" my cousins out of their inheritance?' UPDATED


"AITA for scamming my cousins out of their inheritance?"

Here's the original post:

Those are my cousins’ words, not mine. I don’t think I’m wrong. Years ago our grandfather passed. In his will, he left our family’s traditional homestead to me and my cousins. This homestead has over 100 acres and is about 90 mins from a very large city. We all had equal shares of the homestead so my cousins wanted to sell it and take the cash. I didn’t.

The homestead has sentimental values to me and tbh, is quite beautiful. There’s a large pond on it that is fed by a spring and several forest patches randomly throughout the land. I spent some of my best years and some of my most precious memories were made on this land. The best part was that the land was given an agricultural tax designation so the yearly property tax was very low.

I also wanted to keep it because I thought it would increase in value due to its location. Back then several out-of-state companies were talking about moving to our state. In addition, the cities in the area was trying to turn the surrounding areas into Silicon Valley 2 so they were courting tech businesses with tax breaks. I thought the land was going to be in a prime location if any of that comes to pass.

I want to make it clear that none of the businesses moved to our city at point and they didn’t even said they were moving to our state. In fact, our state was one of many on their lists. I didn’t have any inside information and everything I knew was based on the public news available to everyone. I didn’t bring it up to the cousins during our talks.

To make a long story short, I bought out their shares at market value. Everything was done legally and everyone was happy at the time. I held on to the homestead through good times and bad times. I held on to it through many offers from many developers. After about a decade, companies started to move to our state and many to the areas where I predicted they would.

My land’s value has soared and developers call me daily with some even visiting in person weekly. While I plan to keep the bulk of the land and am living in the house my great grandfather built, I recently sold 2 acres for 100x the price I paid my cousins for the entire land. When they found out, crap hit the fan. The family exploded and they are screaming I cheated them out of their inheritance.

I pointed out it took a decade for anything to happen so it was the very definition of a gamble and I just happen to come out on top. They argue that I should have told them that this could have happened and I argued I made my decision on publicly available information. Many in the family want me to update their shares but I refuse. I view it as a business gamble I won. AITA?

What do you think? AITA? This is what top commenters had to say:


NTA - they have sellers remorse. Property does tend to increase in value and they chose to take the money 'now' rather than see their inheritance as a long term investment. You're fine but could cut them a 'tip' as goodwill to get over it and move on.


NTA. I’m sorry but how was this a scam in any way? They wanted cash and you wanted the land at the time and you gave them what they wanted. The only reason they’re blowing up at you is because they know you and you’re not a random person they sold the land to. However, stop telling family anything about your finances!


Oh wow, who would have thought land increases its value as time passes? what a wild concept! NTA. I'm pretty sure they haven't invested a single penny since they sold you the property, but you did. It is yours, and you can do whatever the hell you want with it because they sold it when it was theirs.

You don't owe them for their bad decisions and the fact that they think you do says a lot about the kind of people they are.


NTA there was always a possibility of land becoming more valuable, how that did not occur to them i have no idea.


NTA, you legally bought out their share and especially with the time frame of how things progressed, it's absolutely absurd they are mad about this. They are the ones who originally wanted to just sell the property in the first place. Their fault for not doing any due diligence


NTA. They took their money, probably didn’t help you during lean times. NTA.

Commenters overwhelmingly agreed, NTA. Do you agree?

OP later shared this update:

Edit: I’m going to answer some questions asked.

1.) At the time I was the youngest of the cousins. I was a senior in college while the others were between their mid 20s to late 30s.

2.) At the time I was pursuing my finance degree. Some of the cousins didn’t attend college while others had degrees.

3.) Our grandfather had kids and he left them money, other properties, and stakes in his business. He left the grandkids the homestead because we all spent our summers there riding horses, fishing, camping, etc.

4.) Had I refused to sell, they wouldn’t have been able to sell. However it never got to that point. When they told me they wanted to sell, I asked for a week to think about it. When the week was up, I came back and told them I would buy their shares. We got the property appraised and we all agreed on the appraised price.

5.) I sold everything I had including my car. I borrowed the rest from my parents. They loaned me the money without interest so as long as I keep the house. That wasn’t a problem since I love that place.

Sources: Reddit
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