Nothing kicks up disagreements quite like a financial decision, especially a financial decision that involves family heirlooms or inheritance.
In a popular post on the AITA subreddit, the OP asked if they were wrong for selling the family heirloom against the family's wishes. They wrote:
I've recently found myself in a whirlwind of family drama, and I'm honestly unsure if I've done the right thing. My great-grandmother left behind a valuable family heirloom - a vintage grand piano. In her will, she bequeathed it to me specifically, stating that she wanted me to have it due to my deep passion for music.
I've been playing the piano since I was a child, and she always appreciated my connection to it. However, my current living situation doesn't allow for such a large item. I live in a small apartment in the city, and the piano has been in storage for the last 5 years, incurring monthly storage fees.
Recently, I've faced some financial hardships, and after careful consideration, I decided to sell the piano. I used the money to pay off some debts and set aside a portion for my future, possibly for a down payment on a house. When my family found out, they were furious. Many feel that the piano should've remained in the family and passed down to future generations.
They argue that its sentimental value far outweighs any monetary gains. I understand their sentiments, but I also felt burdened by the costs of storage and the practicalities of my situation. The piano wasn't being used or enjoyed, and I believed selling it was a beneficial decision for my future. So, AITA for selling the family heirloom, even though it was legally mine?
YTA. Not for selling it, but for not telling/asking them first. You knew it had sentimental value to them. You should've told them you didn't want it anymore for the reasons you listed and then told them if they wanted it to stay in the family, they could buy it from you or else you'd sell it to someone else.
I suspect they wouldn't have bought it and still would've been pissed, but then they would've had the chance and it's on them, not you.
YTA. It was left to you because your grandmother thought you would be the one to cherish it. If you are not that one, then you should find the one who will. Now, you shouldn't be burdened with the storage payments if you don't want the piano. But the right thing to do is to contact the other members of the family, and say that you cannot continue to store the piano.
Offer it to anyone else in the family who is willing to keep it around for the next generation. If no one took you up on the offer, then you could sell it with a clear conscience. But it appears you never gave anyone else in the family a shot.
YTA, and also set yourself up for unnecessary family drama, not for selling the piano, but for not offering to sell to a family member as long as they could meet the price.
If you had taken that simple step, even if no one could met the fair market price, every time someone one came after you with the it should be kept in the family bit, you could throw back you gave them that option. You also would have no reason to ask AITA.
I feel like you're definitely the AH. Yes, it was left to you, but it was something that had been in your family for decades. At the very least you should have talked to your family members and let them make an offer on the piano.
YTA, big time! It might have been “legally” left to you, but it seems as though you’re the one who the piano itself meant the least to. You should’ve been transparent with your family and let them know before you did this. Perhaps one of them would’ve been willing to purchase it.
OP is for sure the AH in this situation.