Saturday, April 19, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Dead husband's mom wants all of his things

When my husband died, he didn´t have a lot of possessions. He died without a will, so what little he had is now with me. My problem is, my mother-in-law keeps asking that I return things she gave him.
When my husband died, he didn't have a lot of possessions. He died without a will, so what little he had is now with me. My problem is, my mother-in-law keeps asking that I return things she gave him.

DEAR ABBY: When my husband died, he didn't have a lot of possessions. He died without a will, so what little he had is now with me. My problem is, my mother-in-law keeps asking that I return things she gave him.

I wouldn't mind if she has them, but she has been giving them to his children, who hated him and were rude and disrespectful. They neither called nor came to see him during his long illness. They didn't even bother to come to his funeral.

I feel they want his things only because they think they might be of some value, not out of any respect or affection. My kids showed him more respect and love than his own did, and I'd rather they have his things.

Should I be honest and tell my mother-in-law why I won't give her any more of his possessions? I just don't know what to do.

- Oklahoma Widow

DEAR WIDOW: It's sad that your stepchildren ignored their father during his illness and chose to skip his funeral. Be sure to point that out when you tell your former mother-in-law that you have other plans for the items. She may not like hearing it, but once a gift is given, it belongs to the recipient. And because her son died without a will, the recipient is you, his widow.

 

DEAR ABBY: I am part of a group of neighbors who often go out to dinner together. However, one woman often talks loudly on her cellphone at the dinner table, and it makes the rest of us feel uncomfortable and insignificant. It has gotten so bad, we have stopped inviting her.

I feel sorry for her and wonder if I should explain the reason she's being excluded. What is the best way to handle this dilemma?

- Friend in the Neighborhood

DEAR FRIEND: If done discreetly and kindly, it might benefit the woman to know why she's no longer included. Frankly, you'd be doing her a favor because her behavior was rude.

Dear Abby
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