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Woman refuses to return jewelry to late husband's family, 'it was a gift to me.' UPDATED 3X.

Woman refuses to return jewelry to late husband's family, 'it was a gift to me.' UPDATED 3X.


Dealing with shady in-laws while in the throes of grief is the worst of both worlds.

In a popular post on the AITA subreddit, a woman asked if she was wrong for refusing to return her deceased husband's jewelry to his family. She wrote:

"AITA for not returning my deceased husband's wedding jewelry to his family?"

So, the situation is complicated, and I'm really torn about whether I'm the jerk in this situation. My husband passed away recently, and we had this beautiful wedding jewelry set that was gifted to me by him. Now, his family is pressuring me to give it back, but it's not as simple as it sounds. First off, the jewelry wasn't some family heirloom; it was a gift from my husband.

He knew I came from a less affluent background, and he always tried to make me feel comfortable in his world. The jewelry set was a symbol of our love and commitment, not just a shiny accessory. The real issue here is the strained relationship I've had with my in-laws from the start. My husband was from a wealthy family, and they never fully accepted me because of my modest background.

They were always polite, but you could sense the judgment and the subtle digs. Now, my mother-in-law and sister-in-law are insisting that I return the jewelry set. They claim it holds sentimental value to the family, but I can't shake the feeling that it's more about their disdain for me than any genuine sentiment.

I'm stuck in this moral dilemma – do I honor my late husband's family wishes, or do I hold onto this piece that means so much to me? The tension has escalated to the point where they're threatening legal action, and I'm afraid I might end up losing something that means the world to me.

On one hand, I want to respect my husband's memory and our relationship, but on the other, I don't want to be seen as the villain in this family drama. So, Reddit, AITA for standing my ground and keeping the wedding jewelry set, or should I just give in to my in-laws' demands and avoid making a difficult situation even worse?

Redditors weighed in with their thoughts.

nome5314 wrote:

NTA. You should contact a lawyer to be sure, but a spouse typically gets the whole estate unless a will says otherwise. Your jewelry is yours by right, by his wishes, and most likely legally. You don't need to deal with them anymore. Cut ties and move on with your life.

extinct_diplodocus wrote:

NTA. Your post seems contradictory. "was gifted to us" vs "was a gift from my husband". If it was a gift from your husband, you own it free and clear. His family has no rights whatsoever. If it was a gift to the two of you, then you jointly owned it. The only possible claim his family has to anything of his is if he willed it to them.

Consult a lawyer. You probably owe the family zilch. Block them and tell them all communications will now go to your lawyer.

Docmarin wrote:

NTA. He bought it for you. They are not entitled to anything unless your husband specifically wrote it on a will. It has sentimental value to you, not to them.

MistressFuzzylegs wrote:

NTA. That was a gift from him to you. It is yours, period. They have zero claim. They are being greedy and cruel. Time to lawyer up if they insist on harassing you. And I’m sorry, but given their history of not accepting you, no matter what you do, you will always be the villain to them.

After receiving a lot of support, OP jumped on with a few updates.

First Edit/Update: I made a mistake in my story. The jewelry set was picked out and paid for by my husband but my sister-in-law collected it for him to give it to me.

Second Edit/Update: Thank you guys for the advice. This situation has been putting me under a lot of stress. It's even worse when trying to plan a funeral. My friends have taken some of the funeral load because of my health being at risk. I'm going to get a lawyer right after the funeral this Wednesday.

Third Edit/Update: I took your guys advice and searched through his study to find the receipt/invoice for the set. I found it in a file in his safe. It contains all the details of the purchase, including things that I didn't even know. I took it and the set and plan to give it to one of my friends so they can't get access to. By the way, no, my in-laws don't have any spare keys or access to our home.

I have 8ft walls around our yard, cameras, and security system. We also have a neighborhood watch chat just in case of any suspicious activity. Also, his will was read the day after his death. It stated I was the sole beneficiary of all his assets, before and during our marriage. That includes our home, cars, investments, etc.

Clearly, OP is NTA here - she just has some seriously shady in-laws.

Sources: Reddit
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