View Full Version : Greed Doesn't Pay

06-27-2015, 10:33 AM
In Ghel's BETTY THE RESTAURANTER thread we were discussing inheritances and I mentioned one I knew. earl colby pottinger asked I post it and here it is.

This is absolutely bare-bones with a lot of details left out, otherwise it would go on for over a page. I didn't get the details until after this was all over but it was quite the tale...

'Willy' was an elderly gentleman who went to my church. He was the last of seven kids. His father held several patents and had been wealthy; the money was in a trust for his kids - worth some $4.5-5 million. Willy's sole relative was a great niece ('Wilma') who was married and had a son. Son was about as bright as a turnip, which comes in later.

Willy was already in the early stages of dementia/Alzheimer's and finally had to go into a home. Wilma goes to court to get Willy put in a cheaper home as "the cost of the home in was in was draining the trust". Judge threw that out pretty quickly but the law office knew this woman was going to be nothing but trouble and beefed up the administration account. The senior partner was adamant that any time spent dealing with this woman was to be paid for.

Willy didn't do well in the home and passed on. Wilma couldn't be bothered to attend the funeral but was there for the reading of the will. It was obvious that as she was the sole heir she expected she was going to get it all.

Wrong. Willy left her and her husband $10,000. And he'd rewritten the will to set money aside for the great great nephew for college - tuition, room and board as long as he attended. The rest went to various charities. Wilma went berserk. She had a copy of the will and wrote all of the charities (including our church, an old historical building with foundation problems). From what I heard the letter was totally vile - accusing the charities of stealing from her poor family on the verge of starvation (totally untrue, her husband had a fair bit of money he's gotten from his parents), of Willy being brainwashed by the law firm and the charities, etc. The senior partner had to get involved to calm down the storm she created. And Willy had left his home to the county for a park, I heard that Wilma kept complaining to the Governor until the State Attorney General had to write and tell her to stop - the land was never hers and they weren't about to pay her for it.

Meanwhile son took a few classes at the community college, Wilma tried to get paid room and board but as he was living at home the law firm said no, which didn't sit well with Wilma. Son didn't abide by the rules of the trust and failed to let the law firm know of his plans despite two certified letters (one of which was hand-delivered). At this point the money was now earmarked for a second round of charities. Wilma went completely apeshit, the law office had to hire security to keep her out of their building as the situation got so bad.

Wilma wrote the second round of charities and again accused them of anything and everything, demanding they give her the money. Again, the senior partner had to get involved, and IIRC $500/hour his time added up.

Finally the last of the money was distributed. Wilma was told to come in, security had been hired and two beefy guards stayed with her at all times. The senior partner told Wilma she was entitled to the last of the administration fund and would she like it? Hell yes, and NAO! Senior partner said she would have to sign a waver indicating she understood the trust was dissolved, this was the last of the money and under no circumstances could she contact the law firm again. She readily signed, she wanted that money. And she got it - something like $1500. It would have been more like $30,000 but so much had been spent dealing with her it had drained the account. Wilma wasn't happy, but she was told her signature meant she couldn't harass the law firm anymore. The senior partner got up, told the guards to escort Wilma out and left.

Wilma wrote some letters to the law firm which were tossed into Willy's file unread. She tried to call and was hung up on after being reminded she could not do so. She finally went away, much to the delight of the law office and my pastor whom she harassed for the church's money...

As I said, I had to leave out a lot but even so...

earl colby pottinger
06-27-2015, 09:16 PM
Thank you for posting and telling the story.

I had to laugh at the fact that if she had not scam the system in the first place she would have collected about $28500 more.

And the son was really dumb, he could gone on a 5 year course or longer and had all his expenses paid for. There are students working themselves nearly to death just to pay for one more year of schooling and this idiot could had have it all for free.

Of-course charities are always short of money and there is no way they are going to give any money back unless they received a legal injunction from a lawyer/judge, aside from that the nastier the letter she sent, the more they would laugh at their contents.

What gets me is not only was she greedy, she was also very dumb. Any good lawyer would have told her not to personally communicate to the charities (always do thru the lawyer) and that her constant calling the will's lawyer's company was just causing extra billing. But she clearly was blind to all the facts except the money and now has paid the price.

Slave to the Phone
06-27-2015, 09:37 PM
Yes, thank you for telling the story. Willy sounds like a very smart and kind person.

Some people are just idiots about expected "windfalls". Someone I used to work with 70-something father died. She wasn't upset over that. Like Wilma, she didn't bother going to his funeral. She was upset because he left everything to his wife of over 50 years. She was all "Poor me, what about meeeee! I didn't get anything!" I didn't have a whole lot of sympathy for her.

06-27-2015, 10:18 PM


Sorry, couldn't resist.:D

06-27-2015, 10:32 PM
I'm really happy that she didn't somehow try to get the will thrown out... Like saying that he wasn't in his right mind or something. It's amazing to me how greedy people are. And that bit about her trying to get him into a cheaper facility? Scum.

06-27-2015, 11:09 PM
As I mentioned, I had to leave a _LOT_ out...

Willy was one of the nicest people I've ever known. A lot of us at the church helped him as much as we could, we kids picked up groceries and other stuff for him (he never drove and had trouble walking in his later years).

Great niece, from what I heard, had always planned on getting her hands on everything when Willy died. Even though Willy had supposedly told her she wasn't.

She DID hire a lawyer to try and get the will overturned. But when the case got to court the judge all but laughed at her before throwing the case out. The fact she and her husband got $10,000 (actually it was $10,000 for each surviving relative but she was the only surviving one) meant she certainly wasn't forgotten, nor was the fact the son got an almost priceless gift which he all but completely wasted. From what Bill (a member of our congregation and one of the firm's lawyers dealing with the trust - he's the one who kept us in the loop and told us the full story when it finally ended) told me it was obvious she'd sandbagged her lawyer who walked in with a case he was never going to win. When they left court he chewed her out, told he she wasn't getting the rest of her retainer back and to go to hell.

I'd only met this woman once, but it was a meeting that still pops up in my nightmares from time to time...

06-28-2015, 12:04 AM
The moral of the story boys and girls, inheritance is a privilege, not a right.

06-28-2015, 12:12 AM
Yes, thank you for telling the story. Willy sounds like a very smart and kind person.

Some people are just idiots about expected "windfalls". Someone I used to work with 70-something father died. She wasn't upset over that. Like Wilma, she didn't bother going to his funeral. She was upset because he left everything to his wife of over 50 years. She was all "Poor me, what about meeeee! I didn't get anything!" I didn't have a whole lot of sympathy for her.

As someone who's been a stay-at-home caregiver for my wife for fiveish years, let me take a crack at this.

I'm just gonna take a wild hunch that her father wasn't in the best of health and it was up to his wife to care for him and be there for him those last few years while the daughter very seldom if ever even so much as checked up on them. So when the wife got all the goodies, gee I wonder why!:rolleyes:

06-28-2015, 12:17 AM
What a greedy piece of work. Also dumb; you can see why her son isn't so bright.

06-28-2015, 12:26 AM
Some people are just idiots about expected "windfalls".

One that I've heard (might just be an urban legend) is that a guy REALLY needed to use the washroom, and the only one around was at a funeral home. Not wanting to be seen to "go & go", he signed the guest book. Turns out that the deceased figured that his family didn't care about him, just the money, and thought that they'd skip his funeral (when the time comes, most of my father's long-time friends won't be attending his funeral - that's pretty ungrateful, considering he attended theirs:D). His will specified that his estate be divided among those who attended his funeral - and bathroom guy was the only one who showed up.

Anyone else like the song "People are Crazy"? Touches on the same issue.

06-28-2015, 02:06 AM
Urban legend, says snopes. Last Writes (http://www.snopes.com/luck/will.asp)

Agent Paperclip
06-28-2015, 03:31 AM
About the son wasting a perfect opportunity for a paid for college education... what an idiot!!:doh: he reminds me of a friend I had whose dad was in the military and if anyone knows if you're a child of a someone who served then you get something like 80% of your tuition paid for by Uncle Sam here in the US. It's like the GI Bill for the enlisted but as a child of a enlisted you get it too without having to serve. I'm not sure the exact numbers and what the criteria are to get it but I do know anything that helps you PAY for your tuition is a wonderful thing! Anyways, my friend wasted it. Went for about one semester and dropped out because... he was bored and would rather just work at the t-shirt shop he'd always had a job at. :rolleyes:

PS I don't have a problem with people working in t-shirt shops or whatever but to pass up the opportunity at having most of your college education paid for is just stupid. At least get a business degree or something!

/rant mode off :p

06-28-2015, 02:00 PM
Speaking of wills, although its fiction, i do find the one in Bandit quite funny. Bandit's Uncle Cyrus dies, and promised to remember him in the will. At the reading of the will, the lawyer gets to his part, "And to my nephew Bandit whom i promised to remember in my will... Hello Bandit."

06-28-2015, 03:45 PM
In a way I'm glad my dad had no money when he died. There was no worrying about who gets how much, or why such and such wasn't fair. And it sounds like the guy in the OP made his wishes clear in advance. At least charities benefited from it. :(

06-29-2015, 04:57 AM
******* RM drops the link here and runs away **********



06-29-2015, 08:04 AM
Eh, I have spoken about how my paternal line were minor robber barons [ok, fine a dozen assorted mills does make one a minor robber baron, except we had a habit of treating the employees and their families like family to the point the gathered employees would run union organzers out of town themselves. Go figure.] but *I* personally have no money. I am not particularly fine with how it happens, but I accept it was my grandfather's doing. The business was sold to another fabric concern because my grandfather was getting on and my father was career military and my other uncles were not particularly suitable to running any sort of business. So we took the money and ran, in a manner of speaking. My uncles blew their portion, my Dad invested his, my grandfather lived off his, and the remnants were given to various charities *including major enough bequests to a particular Baptist university* that there are buildings and stuff named after him on campus. And for a number of years they sent letters to us various grandkids wanting us to donate money too.

You have *no idea* how tempted I have been over the years when money was tight and Rob was out to sea to shoot them back letters requesting the full ride with full housing and food and books and lab fees and anything I could manage to figure out that they would normally charge a student for and go for a degree in comparative theology all the way up through doctorate based on the grounds they left an heir in 'poverty'.

Not that I would actually want to attend the place, but it would have beat living in housing and being broke all the time when he was still an E3 in Norfolk...I have major issues with the idea that they don't even allow *radios* in the dorms and require church attendence and such. How you can try and lock down the burgeoning brains of kids you are trying to educate to nothing but what you want to slam into their brains depriving them of learning how to chose the right path through understanding your choices is beyond me.

And my brother and I still get letters from these idiots wanting to send lawyers over to help us 'estate plan for when we pass on to God'... *sigh*

06-29-2015, 04:16 PM
It sounds like the son would have flunked out anyway:devil: Seriously, he could have gone for a degree and blew it--even if he took five years of blow-off classes; that's a five year free ride.
Didn't Wilma hear about Dickens's Bleak House? Did she really expect to gain any more? Never mind, I think I answered my own query:rolleyes:
Wilma did not gain much more than my mother along with her brother (M) and cousins did from great aunt & uncle's (E&O) estate (low 5 figures). It is interesting to note that M wanted to decline it due to mother and her cousin taking care of E&O for those years.:respect: I suggested that M spend the inheritance on mom.:angel:

06-29-2015, 05:58 PM
******* RM drops the link here and runs away **********



Post 4 says you were too slow. :devil::lol:

06-30-2015, 03:16 AM
In a way I'm glad my dad had no money when he died. There was no worrying about who gets how much, or why such and such wasn't fair. And it sounds like the guy in the OP made his wishes clear in advance. At least charities benefited from it. :(

Oh, if my parents do leave anything, it's going to be horrid. At least there's just me and my brother and my brother's kids. If I can manage to accept that it's going to be unfair, and be all zen and calm about that, I can reduce the stress.

06-30-2015, 10:12 AM
My Father learned well from my Grandfather. Grandpa did not believe in Trusts, he thought they were some type of scam. (in his defense, Grandfather farmed during the "Dirty 1930s" on the Kansas/Nebraskan boarder. I too would also be very skeptical of lawyers and/or the government if I managed a farm in those days.)

After a few lean years due to my Grandpa mismanaging land, Father managed to keep the farm together. Grandpa sold a 'quarter' of land to help pay the nursing home bills, without realizing that disqualifies you for medicare and that Father was trying to raise a family on that land. We know now, it was due to early stages of dementia.

Worse, in Grandfather's Will, he left me and my brother land. :banghead: If you are thinking "That sounds great though." No, it was horrible. It disqualified us for a lot of financial aid when we went to college. If we sold the land, Father would make a lot less money. So we would get less than $2000 a year in rent from Father. Grandfather was confusing 1950's costs with 2000's. He actually thought that would be enough to send us to school for a year.

My Father was brilliant though set up a long term Trust with me as the Trustee. This protected the land from medicare making us sell it to pay for "end of life" expenses, and will allow me and my brother to keep the land (and get a few thousand from rent every year).

07-01-2015, 06:04 AM
Post 4 says you were too slow. :devil::lol:

darn it this is what happens after a LOOOOONNNNGGGGG and busy Monday night (we were literally bored for the first 6 hours the we got slammed very late in the evening) :lol: