“I read within a poet’s book
A word that starred the page:
‘Stone walls do not a prison make,
Nor iron bars a cage!’
Yes, that is true; and something more
You’ll find, where’er you roam
That marble floors and gilded walls
Can never make a home.
But every house where Love abides,
And Friendship is a guest,
Is surely home, and home-sweet-home:
For there the heart can rest.” — From the poem, A Home Song, by Henry Van Dyke
Yes, for many of us, regardless of how it looks, whether a chateau or a shack, home is the most precious place under the sun.
To us, it’s a haven in times of distress and an eternal trove of unforgettable memories. No house or family is perfect. But what matters about a home is someone painstakingly built it for us with love, tears, and dreams as materials.
That’s why you will understand the feelings of this young woman who’s been asked by two close relatives to leave the apartment where she and her mom had lived for years, so one of them could experience some comfort. After all, her old aunts reasoned that she could afford another place with the large inheritance she and her brother obtained after their mom’s demise.
Here is the story of this young woman, who published her emotional dilemma on Reddit’s r/AmItheA–hole forum under the handle u/Ok_Oil_324: “I (25F) recently lost my mother to cancer. Me and my brother (35M) are her only children. For the past 7 years, I’ve been staying in an apartment my mother bought. She always told me that when she died, she wanted me to have it because she worked so hard to ensure I always had somewhere to live. So when she died, she left me the apartment in the will. My brother has no issue with this; he makes more than enough of his own money and actually owns an apartment in the same building.”
But conflict arose when their aunts (A and B) paid her a visit concerning the apartment. According to OP, her aunt A has always had financial problems, and her mom was constantly helping her out when she was still alive. Her aunt B has a more stable life, but she couldn’t support her aunt A. Now, the two older women claimed that it was the will of OP’s mom for her aunt A to live in the apartment, since OP could easily rent a new place.
But OP answered no. She told her aunts about her mom’s wish for her to have a place of her own. She has been saving, too, so she could buy a house someday.
However, since they could not oblige OP to give the apartment to her aunt A, the two women said that OP should instead give them a part of the money she inherited. She and her brother have received a considerably large sum from their mom’s two life insurance policies, including her car and the apartment.
OP continued to share in her post, “Basically, everything was split between my brother and I, and no one else got anything. My aunts feel that this was wrong and that they, especially A, deserve some of the money. My brother blocked them all on platforms when they asked this of him and suggests I do the same, but I feel guilty about cutting off my family. But I also feel strongly that if my mother wanted them to get money, she would have left them something. But she didn’t.”
Her aunts tried to convince OP that her mom didn’t include them in her will because she presumed that her children would share their inheritance with them. But OP didn’t believe this because she knew her mom. She would have said something to her if there was anything she wanted OP to do for their aunts.
But, according to OP, “All she said was that she wanted to die knowing that me and my brother would be able to support ourselves.”
And so, in her emotional dilemma, OP wants to seek the opinion of the AITA community regarding whether she was being unfair for not allowing her aunt A to live in her apartment and for refusing to share her inheritance with them.
The opinion of the AITA members? NTA.
From spiritualskywalker: “There’s a backstory here that the mother never shared, and the aunts don’t want to talk about. There’s a darn good reason why the mother didn’t leave even a token amount to those two. We’ll never know what it was, but her intentions were clear. NTA.”
From garrettf04: “I’m sorry for your loss, and you are NTA. Your mother made her wishes exceptionally clear by writing a will in which she did not leave the apartment nor cash for your aunts. I mean, that’s what a freaking will is for! There is absolutely zero ambiguity about what your mom wanted, because she literally spelled it out for everyone! So your aunts claiming to know otherwise are just being selfish, manipulative, and predatory. As much as I hate to say this, honestly it sounds like your brother is correct and you should disconnect from these aunts.”
From IRoastRudePeople: “NTA, your aunt wants you to RENT a place? And give HER your apartment? The one you’ve been living in for years? The same one your mother wanted YOU to keep? The audacity…. I wish you good luck with such relatives. I’m really sorry for your loss…”Whizzco