Posted: Monday, August 23, 2010 8:01 pm
Dear Annie: My father died last year at the age of 90. My brother was named executor, and when all the paperwork was mailed, everyone was satisfied.
However, the day after the paperwork was filed, my brother called and asked for what I thought was a large sum of money for handling the estate. From the beginning, my brother insisted he didn’t want to be paid for doing this, so to express my gratitude, I was extremely generous with gifts for his three children.
Now he says he and his wife need the money to refinance their condo in Florida. I sent a check, as I didn’t want to start a fight with the only brother I have.
While I don’t regret giving his children the money, a friend told me she thought he misunderstood and assumed I was giving the inheritance money away. Am I wrong to be upset about this? I have no idea how much time and effort was spent on his part, but I certainly don’t feel responsible for his condo. — California
Dear California: This is something that should have been firmly settled when your brother took on the responsibility of handling the estate — a thankless job that deserves some type of reward. Of course, he should have kept his end of the deal or at least discussed it with you. You’ve sent him the check, and there’s nothing you can do about the gifts you already sent his children, but feel free to scale back in the future. And try not to hold a grudge.
Dear Annie: This is a response to “Green Eyes,” the athlete who is jealous of her friend’s achievements.
I was incredibly inept at sports in high school. I jumped at the opportunity to join the track team in lieu of attending physical education classes. It was the best decision I ever made. The coach stressed that I was not to compete against the other students, only against myself. I was to improve my own running speed and throwing distance. During inter-scholar competitions, I was his helper with the first aid kit and keeping track of the other athletes’ times, schedules, etc.
Please tell her she can achieve in other ways, without comparing herself to anyone. My self-esteem improved greatly thanks to an understanding coach. — Ralph in Kansas City
Dear Ralph: Our thanks to you and all the others who wrote with wonderful suggestions.
Annie’s Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Please e-mail your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org, or write to: Annie’s Mailbox, c/o Creators Syndicate, 5777 W. Century Blvd., Ste. 700, Los Angeles, CA 90045. To find out more about Annie’s Mailbox and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.
Published in The Messenger 8.23.10