Dear Annie: I am devastated. I just found out that my baby sister, as executor of my older sister’s estate, sold the family house and possessions without discussing this with family or other beneficiaries.
There is nothing we can do to recover the assets unless we initiate legal action to stop her self-serving behavior, and I don’t want to do that. We know she also has mixed personal and estate financial matters. She seems to be on a real power trip.
She isn’t willing to discuss the issue. I do not want this horrible experience to ruin our family relationships, but my other sisters and I are shocked and furious about this betrayal. Do you have any advice other than seeing an attorney? How can we get our sister to make amends and come to her senses? What should we do?
— So Sad in the Heartland
Dear Sad: If your sister will not listen to you about the assets and continues to commingle personal and estate monies, your choice is to take legal action or let it go. Would she be more forthcoming if you and your siblings confronted her and threatened to speak to a lawyer? Is there anyone else she might listen to? Will you be able to forgive her? We know you value the relationship, but sometimes a betrayal is so sharp that it is not possible to salvage anything when all is said and done. We suggest you discuss your options with your other sisters and make a joint decision that all of you can live with.
Dear Annie: My wife died two years ago, after a long illness. I recently started dating again. I went to one of those websites and began seeing a nice woman. Once I told people that I am back on the dating scene, others started giving me phone numbers of women they wanted me to call.
So I started seeing another woman along with the first. They know about each other. I told them I am not ready to settle down. I don’t want to hurt them by being dishonest. Right now, I don’t wish to marry again. They both said that is OK. Now a third woman has asked me out.
The problem is, some of my friends think this is immoral and that I’ve become a “player.” But I have been upfront with these women. We all have been married before and have kids and grandkids. We are lonely adults wanting companionship.
This is a new area for me, and I am not sure what to do. I have a lot of health problems and figure I have 10 good years left. I just want to enjoy them. I don’t want to marry and stick one of these women with taking care of me when I get sick. What is the proper thing to do?
— Confused Grandpa
Dear Confused: As long as you are honest about your intentions and respectful to these women, and they each understand that the relationship is not exclusive or likely to lead to marriage, you are free to date whomever you wish. They are grown women and can choose to be with you or not. What your friends think is irrelevant.
Dear Annie: I had to respond to “Still Hurting in Texas,” whose husband seemed unsympathetic when she thought she had a terminal illness. I could have written that. I thought I had pancreatic cancer. At first, my husband clammed up. I, too, thought he didn’t care.
But after thinking about it and weighing my husband’s good and bad qualities, I did the only right thing. I sat him down, and we both talked, cried, prayed and admitted how scared we were. But we faced it together. We were blessed that the diagnosis was not cancer, but fear becomes as nothing when there is a hand to hold onto and help you through the darkness.
Annie’s Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Please email your questions to [email protected], or write to: Annie’s Mailbox, c/o Creators Syndicate, 737 3rd Street, Hermosa Beach, CA 90254. 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.
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