We recently asked the BuzzFeed Community to tell us about a time when money caused serious drama in their family. Here are the shocking results:
1."My sister is notorious for doing outlandish things. My dad started an LLC that was supposed to be for all of his children in the future (there are four of us). Since all of our names were on it, my sister realized she had drawing power and emptied the account. She took $7,100, and it was gone within about a month."
2."My family is from Nicaragua, and my grandpa died in the civil war when my mom was an infant and my two aunts were kids. He had a lot of property and money and had left an inheritance for his 23 kids (he had them with different women). When the oldest (A) was left to distribute it, she cut my mom and two aunts out, saying that 'they weren’t [her] sisters.' My aunts and mom hate her for this because she left them with nothing."
"About 30 years later, my mom was living in the US. It was her birthday, and my grandma came for a surprise visit in the morning before I went to school, and she brought A with her, who acted all buddy-buddy, as if she didn’t do anything. My mom was furious and kicked them out. I asked who that strange lady was, and she explained everything to me on the way to school. To this day, I don’t know any of my half aunts, uncles, or extended family from that side; all I know are my mom and her two full sisters."
3."My grandfather died in the early 1970s, long before I was born. He left $120,000 to be split among his six kids, but with two conditions: 1) His second wife was entitled to the interest on the money for the rest of her life, and 2) The oldest and the youngest kids were entitled to $500 a year for serving as the executors of the estate until it could be dispersed. My god, did this cause drama."
"The wife lived another 30 years, which substantially diminished the value of the money. No one said they wanted her to die earlier, but they sure felt that she should give up her claim. But most contentious is that my aunt and uncle each collected about $15,000 in fees, again in $500 installments. Several of their siblings felt they should deduct their riches from their inheritance, which, of course, they refused to do. Finally, there was about $4,000 extra after all was said and done. My mom suggested donating it to cancer research, since both of their parents died of it in their early 60s — but no, it became another six-month fight over whether the executors should get a part of it or whether the other four should get a cool thousand bucks each."
4."Money has torn my in-laws apart. My husband’s grandfather and his three adult children have been at each other’s throats for nearly two decades over his money. My husband wants nothing to do with them or the money. His grandfather isn’t rich — he just invested well and worked hard. Instead of getting the golden years he deserves, he has to watch two daughters disinvite each other from holidays, rip each other on social media, and refuse to see each other."
"The other is always trying to position herself to oversee the will. There have been ruined dinners, physical altercations, and people not speaking for years. It’s awful."
5."My aunt's husband, his brother (and his wife), and sister in Ireland are feuding over their late father's debt. They had no idea that their father had a seriously huge debt until his death from COVID last year. Despite not knowing what the hell he did to rack up such a huge debt, they sold off his house, entire house contents, car, and two antique motorcycles to pay for the funeral costs, legal fees, and most of his debt."
"There is nothing left in their dad's estate to pay the rest, which is apparently around 40,000 euros. The last I heard, the brothers are pushing their sister (youngest sibling) to sell her house because she's divorced and child-free and her house is unencumbered. Quelle surprise, she's pushing back. Hence, the feud. It's also affecting the second brother's marriage. His wife believes the siblings should pay equally, but he reacted as if she stabbed his back, so she's staying at his sister's with their kids. The second brother reacted badly when his daughter offered her savings to help pay the debt. His reaction makes it another reason his wife left him, taking their kids with her. I feel sorry for the whole family, actually. Granted, I don't know them that well, but they seemed close at one time."
6."My mom has been out of work since 2018, and money has always been a sore spot for us. When I first started working (at 15), I was told that I would be expected to help pay for rent, and the same went for my sister. In late November, I quit my casual job due to mistreatment, and my not paying rent is always an issue that is brought up. I'm always being told to find a new job, but it just isn't that easy."
"My mom has found a job but is still not earning enough or more than enough to live. We can afford rent, but then groceries are out of the window. We are constantly having to eliminate one or the other, and life is just not easy to live unless you have a bunch of money. Learned that the hard way."
7."My aunt (Dad's sister) and her family felt very entitled to my dad's and grandma's (my aunt's mom) money, especially at the time of her older daughter's wedding. I'm scared she's going to do the same thing when it comes to her younger daughter's wedding."
"I'm not going to lie, the hate is burning and festering inside me. They've always been extremely judgmental. They also never invested their money in anything in the past 50-plus years, not even real estate. I tolerated them for many years, but now I'm so fed up. I'm scared I'm just going to blow up at them if they pull this again."
8."Our mom blamed us for her gambling addiction, saying that we abandoned her. (We stopped talking to her only after we found out that she'd wiped clean all of her and Dad's savings and the money entrusted to her by our dad's sister.) She also blamed our dad for it because she said she knew he was cheating on her. They had to sell all of their property to return the money to our aunt."
"It took a year to resolve the issue and help everyone to get back on their feet (financially and mentally), only to learn that she 'borrowed' money (invested the money on a farming business with the intention of keeping the gains) from a cooperative where she is a member and was tasked with keeping the money safe."
9."My grandfather had a very healthy trust fund. When he passed, of course it went to my grandmother. She used to be very thrifty and saved a lot of it. Then my sister and cousin got pregnant, and my grandma fell for every single story they would give her: 'The baby needs this,' 'I need to get this,' 'I'm not getting paid until such and such, but the BABY.' It's dwindled down to almost nothing, and my cousin still has the nerve to ask her for money every chance she gets. This has caused a huge rift between everyone, as we were all set to get a share of the trust."
"Now that they have depleted it, no one talks to them. Everyone is trying to force my mom to stop my grandma from just hemorrhaging money at them. It's been a nightmare."
10."We had some money problems when I was growing up, so I tried to be frugal in college. I graduated a year early to help save my parents and myself some money, and I've been paying my own way during and after college. I'm now a 30-year-old adult with a family. Both of my sisters look at my parents as a money bank, and despite being 27 and 25, they expect (and are correct) that my parents will pay for their housing, food, educational expenses if any, insurance, etc."
"Everyone gets so touchy when I bring it up because I 'don't know how hard [they] have it.' So yeah, there's drama and resentment."
11."My grandfather grew up super poor but started his own company, which went on to make him pretty wealthy. A lot of his family struggled with money, and he did his best to help them out. He helped his brother buy a farm and owned half the farm. After his brother died, his brother's wife sold the farm out from under him; my grandfather essentially had to buy the farm again. This same sister-in-law harbored incredible resentment toward my grandparents, and she was really nasty to my grandma, who was such a sweet and pretty shy woman. My grandma actually insisted that she and another sister-in-law could not attend family dinners at the same time because they would gang up on my grandma. These same two women also believed that my grandparents had money in jars in their cellar."
"Eventually, my mom and her sister ended up taking these two aunts down to the cellar so they could see with their own eyes that there weren't any jars full of cash. But yeah, basically my grandma got bullied by her two sisters-in-law because her husband just happened to have more money. I grew up hearing these stories, and it really reinforced the idea that money can make people act just awful, even to their own families."
12."In the red-hot housing market of Seattle, I decided to invest in a rental property with my sister. We found a relatively inexpensive fixer-upper, and that's when the problems started. My sis demanded that everything be high-end because she believed it would get us better renters. She wanted to replace all appliances, add new ones, and redo the kitchen and bathroom. The house needed some TLC, but there was no reason to spend thousands of dollars; we ended up renting to someone she met at a neighborhood bar. A few years later, we learned my sister had rewritten the lease without informing us."
"We had to hire a lawyer to receive a copy, and that's when we learned she had raised the rent and was keeping the extra money for herself. We had to go to court to receive money owed to us, and it destroyed our relationship. (It turned out that she'd been doing the same thing with a property she volunteered to oversee for our parents for almost a decade.) We are in the midst of selling the property. We do not talk. It has changed how our family and friends see them. It destroyed all trust and exposed where she puts her priorities: money over family."
13."My sister and I were hit by another driver who ran a red light and hit my side. The other vehicle was an ambulette, and my sister was driving a Smart car. The accident was deemed the other driver's fault 100%. I sustained broken bones as a result of the accident and took a year to recover. I had to do physical therapy three times a week and everything. I wanted to be compensated for the accident, so I lawyered up. I was told by the lawyer that in order to get money, the lawyer would have to sue my sister’s insurance company — and that it was not a personal issue and that she shouldn’t take it personally. Well, she did."
"She demanded that I give her some money. I told her no because I was the one injured badly, not her. She stopped talking to me for a while, then called me out of the blue to ask if I could cosign a $40,000 school loan for her. Nope."
14."My sister never wanted to be a teacher until it was clear that pursuing it would make my controlling grandmother happy, since she had spent her whole career as a special education teacher. I was even told, 'Your sister wants to be a teacher just like Grandma. Isn’t that great?' My sister spent 10 years at a public and a private college for a four-year degree (full-time student!) — 10 years of living with my parents and barely working, being put on academic probation once — and my sister ultimately graduated WITHOUT a teaching degree."
"Her degree is very generalized (educational curriculum, or something like that), and she works for the college now in a job that didn’t require a degree. Money well spent, right, family? Meanwhile, my brother and I never received aid of any kind. Money ruined my relationship with my sister."
15."My dad's family was the worst. My brothers and I were all under the age of 10 when he died. Because he and our mom were in the midst of a nasty, not yet finalized divorce, his family decided that we should not be entitled to any inheritance, including the house we lived in. At the time, my dad supported our family and my mom only worked part time, so money was tight, and we couldn't really afford lawyers — while his family had a successful business (read: money). My mom suggested that all of my dad's insurance money go into trust accounts, divided evenly among me and my brothers, but my dad's family was so afraid she was trying to steal from them that they took her to court over it."
"After 18 months or so, a judge convinced my grandparents that trusts for us kids were the best use of the insurance money. So thousands of dollars in legal fees later, they decided to do exactly what my mom had suggested in the beginning. We don't talk to them anymore."
Can you relate to these stories? Have you experienced family drama over money? Feel free to use the comments to share your story. Or, if you prefer to remain anonymous, you can submit your response using this Google form.
Note: Some submissions have been edited for length and/or clarity.