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Woman inherits neighbors house on accident then refuses to give it back, says 'I think she'd want me to have it.'

Woman inherits neighbors house on accident then refuses to give it back, says 'I think she'd want me to have it.'


I received an inheritance from my childhood neighbor and now her kids want me to give it back.

Complex_Comet writes:

My mom (50) recently passed in an accident, and I (23f) received a letter from a lawyer a few weeks ago, stating that I am given a house and some money (low six figures USD) in my mom’s stead.

When my dad passed when I was 15, my mom and I moved. We managed to buy the smallest house in a nice neighborhood. Our next-door neighbor was Ella (now 62), who lived alone. She was divorced, and her two children lived several hours away.

Ella and my mom were fast friends, and they worked in the same building until Ella’s retirement (different companies). I knew they hung out often, though I was usually busy with my own things. I was often playing the errand girl, dropping and picking things up between our houses. Ella’s children visited every New Year, and they were cordial with us.

I got a scholarship for university overseas and since then didn’t visit much. I learned that Ella’s health was bad, and she was often in and out of the hospital.

I took a break from grad school and visited my mom in November. She got into a car accident a week after I went back. She clung to life for several days before leaving me forever.

I am still grieving even as I have to settle all her affairs. I’m her only relative, so naturally, I inherited all she had. I also learned Ella passed a few days before my mom in the hospital.

Ella’s lawyer reached out to me, saying Ella left the house she lived in and money for my mom in her will. Her children got her other properties and more money. Because my mom passed, as her next of kin, I am to inherit Ella’s house and money.

Ella’s children reached out to me. They said, though I have the right to the inheritance, I should relinquish it because I am almost nothing to Ella. They are OK with my mom receiving the inheritance because she has been an active part of Ella’s life. They said it’s greedy of me if I decide to take the inheritance.

I think back to all the nice things my mom did for Ella over the years. Ella would want my mom to live a comfortable life, and I’m sure my mom would want that money allotted for her to help take care of me.

Still, I wonder if I’m an AH for receiving the inheritance intended for my mom just because I’m the next of kin with no special connection to Ella herself.

Here are some of the top comments:

throwaway_goldilock says:

NTA (Not the A^#hole). It’s intended for your mom. There’s no way the money will ever return to Ella’s children after your mom takes her share, so it’s not like they lose out. My condolences for her passing and please use the money to live a happy life like your mom intends for you.

Particular-Try5584 says:

NTA. Ella made her choices. Get a lawyer to handle all of this going forward, and let them deal with the family. Most wills have a 30 day clause beneficiaries have to survive 30 days after the death of the deceased before they can inherit, so get that looked into.

Expect a legal challenge - Ella’s kids have nothing ot lose and plenty to gain. Politely leave all wrangling, offers and decisions up to the lawyer. Give the lawyer specific instructions “I want you to ensure I get this, but only up to the value of 50% of the estate” or whatever you think are reaosnable limits. If Ella’s kids cared they‘d have taken her shopping every week, and helped her clean her curtains and change her sheets.

ImpactBeneficial1989 says:

NTA. The only greedy ones here are them. I am truly sorry for your loss and also their loss, however Ella wanted your mom to have it. And therefore, you would have inherited it anyways down the line.

Unfortunately that came sooner than expected. Accept the house and money because Ella wanted your mom and as an extension you to have it. They can go kick rocks.

Successful_Bath1200 says:

NTA. Her children were remembered in Ella's Will, with properties and cash. I really wouldn't give this to much thought, she left it to your Mum and you were left everything from your Mum.

Trevena_Ice says:

NTA. Your mother was in the will and so are you. If the house has any special meaning for the children, you could consider to not accept this. But you don't have to refuse anything of this. Your mother had a good heart and was friends with Ella.

If your mother would have passed away a year after Ella it would be still the same constulation - you would get the things Ella would have left for your mother. If the children are unreasonable, only talk about this through a lawer.

SessionOk919 says:

NTA - how do her children know, you are ‘almost nothing to Ella’? They visited once a year! Petty me, would point this out to them. Take the gift that Ella gave you, & live everyday making her & your mum proud

What do you think? Should OP return what she inherited?

Sources: Reddit
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