Everyone's favorite - and etiquette question. - Mothering Forums
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Talk Amongst Ourselves > Everyone's favorite - and etiquette question.
IdentityCrisisMama's Avatar IdentityCrisisMama 12:00 AM 02-18-2014

What is the typical way of passing heirlooms on if the family wants an object passed on to just one gender?  For example, if the family wants an item passed to just males with a preference for the oldest male?  Would it pass to the oldest male even if that male does not have sons?  And then pass on after his death to another male in the family?  Or, does it pass to a son who has male children?  

 

I ask  because our immediate family does not have sons and my DH was given something that his father wants passed to a male (after I guess my DH dies?). Am I go just keep this thing in my home and then after my husband dies give it to his brother or nephew?  I will admit that this gift is feeling a little like a burden to me ATM. Not to mention that I just don't love that my daughters are not welcome to it just because of their gender. :irked

 

I'd love to hear your thoughts. 



katelove's Avatar katelove 04:11 AM 02-18-2014
Sticking to the letter of the "law" as you describe it, then yes, after your DH died it would go to the next oldest male. His younger brother or a cousin probably, if your DH has no sons. However, unless there is some provision in a will or something then the item belongs to your DH and he can do whatever he likes with it. I wouldn't advocate this approach if it is likely to cause ill will in the family though.

Is FIL still alive? Is it possible to discuss his wishes with him? Who dose he envisage it going to after your DH? What does your DH think? Does he like having the item? Who does he want it to go to next? What about the extended family? Do they know about the item and your FILs wishes for it?
IdentityCrisisMama's Avatar IdentityCrisisMama 06:04 AM 02-18-2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by katelove View Post

Is FIL still alive? Is it possible to discuss his wishes with him? Who dose he envisage it going to after your DH? What does your DH think? Does he like having the item? Who does he want it to go to next? What about the extended family? Do they know about the item and your FILs wishes for it?

I'd like to know tradition in addition to getting some help about what to do about our specific situation. The reason I'd like to know "the law" is that will help me understand where my FIL is coming from with this.  

 

But, as far as this specific situation, I am not convinced that this is not a patriarchal tradition invented upon the gifting of this item to us. 

 

My FIL is alive and gave DH this heirloom last weekend while we were visiting. Here are the specifics: 

 

*It is a photograph of the village cultural event from the town that his father's family immigrated from in Italy. 

*As an object, it probably has some moderate monetary value if it is an actual photograph and as old as my FIL thinks it is, though the value to the family is that this picture hung in my FIL's grandfather's home. 

*My FIL said that his grandfather is pictured in the crowd. 

 

*I do not know the circumstances under which my FIL came to have the picture but he is the most passionate in his family about their heritage so I expected he just asked to have it. He is the first son. 

*My FIL has living brothers, all of whom have sons. 

*My FIL has a son who has a son (my DH's brother, obviously) 

 

*As far as I can tell the idea that this picture should be kept with male heirs is something my FIL decided - seemingly after he gave it to my DH. According to my FIL's own tradition he created, he should be giving this to his brothers. 

 

When my FIL told me that this should to to a male in the family after my DH I suggested that he give it to that person now.  That suggesting was sort of shushed away. I think my FIL thought I was just being polite but I did genuinely feel that that was the best choice given that we have no sons. I will admit that this "tradition" feels needlessly complicated, archaic, and dismissive of me and my daughters. 

 

And, if you can imagine, I am not interested in making a connection with this piece given the terms of the gift. It is actually something that is quite well gifted to my DH and our interests and values otherwise, which is a bummer. 

 

My FIL and MIL are very focused on gifting their quite large collection of stuff. I, on the other hand, do not feel ready to have a plan for giving away things from my home to other members of my DH's family after he dies. 


Ragana's Avatar Ragana 06:45 AM 02-18-2014

Not sure why you put "law" in quotes? If FIL wants things distributed a certain way, and DH after him, they have to write that into their wills. If FIL dies with no will, I believe the estate would be split half to his spouse and half to his children, regardless of gender. Same for your DH. Maybe one of the lawyers here can speak to that more specifically. Otherwise I think it's your DH's responsibility since it's his family. I agree that FIL's approach is disrespectful to your daughters, but then again, it's his stuff.


scsigrl's Avatar scsigrl 08:08 AM 02-18-2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ragana View Post
 

Not sure why you put "law" in quotes? If FIL wants things distributed a certain way, and DH after him, they have to write that into their wills. If FIL dies with no will, I believe the estate would be split half to his spouse and half to his children, regardless of gender. Same for your DH. Maybe one of the lawyers here can speak to that more specifically. Otherwise I think it's your DH's responsibility since it's his family. I agree that FIL's approach is disrespectful to your daughters, but then again, it's his stuff.

NOt a lawyer but in most cases the estate would go to the wife.  Not split with her and the  kids.

 

To the OP, honestly I would stay out of it.  It may seem archaic and patriarchal to you, but they are FIL's wishes. Like it or not.  If it's that big an issue, your DH should deal with it now with is Dad and call it a day.


farmermomma's Avatar farmermomma 08:14 AM 02-18-2014
I think you may have come to the wrong place looking for advice on patriarchal traditions, other than empathy. MDC does have its limits ;-).

My grandparents willed land to my brother and I. My uncle, with no children that he parented, had use of it till he died. My grandparents were very smart in this. My uncle would have most likely lost it if it wasn't protected. If FIL doesn't state who it goes to next do what you want with it.
IdentityCrisisMama's Avatar IdentityCrisisMama 10:34 AM 02-18-2014

The thing for me is that "staying out of it" is difficult because I'm a really visual persona and my home is full of art that has meaning to me. To have something hanging on my walls  that is a symbol of my DH's family and a tradition started by my FIL that reflects something about gender bias that I feel badly about...this is something that is difficult for me to reconcile. 

 

By "law" I thought we were talking about the "law" of etiquette. As of now and for the foreseeable future we do not have a will that is going to parcel out items in our home to anyone other than our children. FIL is SOL when it comes to any effort my part to be sure that his heirlooms legally pass to who he picks. For this, I do very much wish he would just give the item to the person he wants to eventually have it. 

 

At this point, I am considering asking FIL to clarify exactly what he expects will happen to this and if I am not comfortable with that, I may just mail the thing to the person he eventually wants to have it. I just don't see me making a healthy connection with this thing if it is going to be passed in a way that I feel is disrespectful of my children and I do not want to have something like that in my home. 


Good Enough Mum's Avatar Good Enough Mum 03:29 PM 02-18-2014

My thought is that you and DH should sit down and discuss between the two of you whether you feel able to accept the heirloom given that this is the condition placed on it.

 

If not, then your DH will need to either speak or write to FIL explaining that, while he is extremely pleased and touched to have been given this photo and likes it greatly, he does not feel able to accept it on the stated condition as he can't go along with an inheritance rule that excludes his own children on grounds of gender, and that he therefore feels he needs to return it to FIL for FIL to pass on to a different family member. (Writing this in a letter may actually be a better idea than trying to have it as a conversation, as it means he can spend time on drafting it, and it doesn't degenerate instantly into an argument with people saying things they regret.)

 

If the two of you do make a joint decision to accept it, then it should be entirely DH's responsibility to figure out who gets it after him and either to pass it on directly as he gets older in the same way that FIL did, or will it to that person. I agree that you shouldn't be the one landed with making that particular decision.

 

Hope the two of you reach a mutually satisfactory agreement on this!


Good Enough Mum's Avatar Good Enough Mum 03:30 PM 02-18-2014

Sorry, am going to add one further point I forgot: If the two of you do decide you can't accept it on those terms and do give that message to FIL, one other possible option is that, when he realises how strongly you feel, he'll rethink and agree that it can go to daughters rather than sons. Don't count on that, obviously, but do be aware if you contact FIL about it that that is one possible outcome.


Jennyanydots's Avatar Jennyanydots 03:41 PM 02-18-2014
Does he want it to go to male heirs because he wants it to continue to be with someone who will carry on the family name, and females frequently replace their last names upon marriage?
rachelsmama's Avatar rachelsmama 04:28 PM 02-18-2014

I'd be miffed about the sexism of the whole thing too, but here's my somewhat sideways idea:  it's a photo, photos can be copied, so one way to diffuse the situation a bit would be to have high quality copies made of it, have the copies nicely framed, and distribute these very nice copies to some related families as presents next Christmas.  It doesn't completely eliminate the etiquette conundrum, but if this photo with meaningful content is hanging on lots of walls, then the original on your wall should become a bit less special, and therefore less contentious.


Springshowers's Avatar Springshowers 04:50 PM 02-18-2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by rachelsmama View Post

I'd be miffed about the sexism of the whole thing too, but here's my somewhat sideways idea:  it's a photo, photos can be copied, so one way to diffuse the situation a bit would be to have high quality copies made of it, have the copies nicely framed, and distribute these very nice copies to some related families as presents next Christmas.  It doesn't completely eliminate the etiquette conundrum, but if this photo with meaningful content is hanging on lots of walls, then the original on your wall should become a bit less special, and therefore less contentious.

And give the original to that other male family member!!
manysplinters's Avatar manysplinters 05:02 PM 02-18-2014

I am a lawyer who works with a lot of people on wills and estates planning, and not to minimize your irritation, but this is a relatively small request, and in my experience it is far more often women who do this sort of sexist passing on, not men.  The number of boys who are cut out from family heirlooms without even a consideration for whether they may care to have them is astounding, and nearly always at the hands of women.

 

In any event, simply because your father in law wants your husband to hold onto the object doesn't mean it has to be displayed, or if displayed, it doesn't have to be front and centre.  I suppose if it is a huge picture and it is implied you are going to hang it over your dining room table or something, I can see it being more of a burden.  But it seems like this is your husband's issue to sort out with his father, not yours to necessarily veto as a gift.  My view would be that you can't required to pass it along - by law or by etiquette - unless you are asked by the gift owner (i.e. your husband).  Chances are your FIL will be long gone before your husband.  Given that, couldn't your husband just pass it along as he sees fit once your FIL dies (or instruct you as he sees fit, since this is his thing to deal with)?  I don't see why it is your burden and not your husband's to care for it, if it was given to your husband.  And, by allowing your FIL to make it your burden, you are buying in more to the patriarchal aspect of it, by being the wife that manages family issues on behalf of the husband - even when it is his family and his issue. 

 

In the end it just seems like a thing that wouldn't be worth causing a family rift over.  At most, if you're being asked for assurances you are going to do what your FIL wants, I would put up my hands and say "talk to H about this, it's not my issue if you're giving it to him and you don't want it to go to my kids."  I might even throw in a half-joke to the effect of "I take my orders from H about what happens to his stuff, so talk to him, not me."  I have found the "I am not getting involved" approach to be the best way to deal with my partner's dynamics with his parents.


IdentityCrisisMama's Avatar IdentityCrisisMama 07:27 PM 02-18-2014

Thanks everyone!  I really appreciate all these opinions. As is often the case when seemingly small issues are focused on by family members, there is more to this for me.

 

Yes, part of it is the practical, aesthetic, emotional issue I have with making a connection with an heirloom that is not intended for me and my children.  I realize this may seem like a small thing to some but it feels genuinely uncomfortable to me. It is in its own way a piece of art and a wonderful tribute to family and heritage (it is a picture of a festival that myself, my DH, and my youngest daughter traveled to Italy to attend as a tribute to DH's family). The photo is very large and in an imposing frame. It will be a feature and a conversation piece wherever it is hung. 

 

The other emotional issue is that my FIL's heritage (Italian American) overshadows somewhat his children's and grandchildren's other heritage. My own children are only 1/4 Italian American but they have an Italian last name. Because of the influence of my DH's FIL and siblings (not my DH so much), my own kids identify more with their Italian heritage than they do with that of their paternal grandmother and my parents put together. In some ways that's fine with me. But, this picture, that is very much expected to be hung in my home is something that will likely reinforce to my children the importance of that side of the family. Again, not a problem...except that I do not want them to be encouraged to embrace that side of the family (more than others) if that side of the family is not going to embrace them fully -- and fully to me means that they can share in the passing of heirlooms. 

 

One other tid-bit that is pouring salt in the wound is a mistake my FIL made when he was explaining who should have this photograph next. My FIL said it should go to a "X" (their last name) and he mentioned his other son and grandson and then he said his daughter's daughter (who was given the family name - a big source of pride for FIL). I know he feels slightly closer to his daughter's child than he does with my and my husband's children but you can understand that I felt that this comment made the issue less about gender and tradition than it was about who is a "real" "X"....my kids not being one. 

 

I plan to talk to DH tonight. 


IdentityCrisisMama's Avatar IdentityCrisisMama 07:41 PM 02-18-2014

Also, I wanted to add that another layer to this is that I am from a split family and I am a step-grand child to 4 grandparents. My FIL/MIL also have both male and female step-children (one male lives quite close to them).  My feeling protective of the children in the family does not stop with my own children but also extends to those step-children. I feel somewhat angry that they are not included in this. My DH and I have several things from my step-grandparents and the thought that we should be excluded for "blood-line" issues feels just crappy and archaic. /vent. 

 

As I write this I am feeling more and more strongly that if FIL has ideas about which grandkids should get what, especially if those reasons are inconsistent and not in keeping with my values, then I would like to be left out of it entirely. And I wasn't. This wasn't an issue of FIL giving something to DH for safe keeping (which I may have not even registered) but a case of him gifting (with fanfare) something that has a directive I'm not comfortable with. 


manysplinters's Avatar manysplinters 09:42 PM 02-18-2014

I have a whole better understanding of the context that you are dealing with, and I am sorry for seeming unempathetic to your situation - you are right, this speaks to other layers of issues and things going on with FIL.  I wish you the best in dealing with it.  And I think you're right about your first conversation:  DH.  Best of luck!


Viola's Avatar Viola 10:54 PM 02-18-2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ragana View Post
 

Not sure why you put "law" in quotes? 

I think it was just a shorthand for the rules the FIL wants to impose, that aren't actually laws, since she originally called this an etiquette problem.


IdentityCrisisMama's Avatar IdentityCrisisMama 05:04 AM 02-19-2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by manysplinters View Post
 

I have a whole better understanding of the context that you are dealing with, and I am sorry for seeming unempathetic to your situation - you are right, this speaks to other layers of issues and things going on with FIL.  I wish you the best in dealing with it.  And I think you're right about your first conversation:  DH.  Best of luck!

Oh, no, no worries at all. To tell the truth, I read most minor vents about family and think, "Is this the hill you want to die on?" (a favorite saying).  And, I did ask and genuinely want to know what others think and would do. 

 

A big part of me also wants to understand how tradition and etiquette should be employed by FIL. Issues with gender, biological children, and favoritism aside, it still feels to me like he is somehow *wrong* (from and etiquette standpoint) in how he is going about passing on this object. My FIL wants us to pass this object on in a way that even he himself is not honoring. He is not giving it to his younger brothers or nephews, for instance. He is giving this to a child in his immediate family, something he does not want me and my DH to do. Part of me wants to ask him if he would prefer me mail this thing to his brother to help him see that what he is asking of us would seem wrong and unreasonable to him if he were in our situation.  

 

Issues aside, I'd love an Emily Post type response (or just general opinion from folks) about how someone like FIL is "supposed" to pass heirlooms on if they want it to eventually go to a specific person or gender. Seems to me that it should go directly to that person or to that person's parents if they are not ready to receive it. 


pumabearclan 07:39 AM 02-19-2014
I will offer an Emily Post type answer:

Your FIL is breaking etiquette by being insensitive to the realities of his modern family and by imposing his patriarchal values on others. He isn't interested in pleasing the recipient, he is demanding attention in both in the present and posthumously. Even royal houses allow themselves flexibility in the rules regarding succession and privileges within the family. So you have some leeway in dealing with this.

I would be utterly polite and neutral about this matter until FIL's sphere of influence wanes, at which point you can do what you like. Any explanation should be "this is what Dad wanted" until you are able to say "This was Dad's legacy and was important to him, so it's best if this item [goes to his eldest granddaughter; is donated to a museum; is kept in the bank; etc]."
grahamsmom98's Avatar grahamsmom98 08:27 AM 02-19-2014

This is not a problem, it is an opportunity!

 

You have something that can be copied easily, not like a vase or chair or piece of original art.

 

First, regarding the old photo:

 

Have multiple, professional, copies made of the photo.  Do not use Kinko's or other one-hour-type places.  Look under photography in the Yellow Pages and find a reputable photography restoration/conservation business!!  Call a local museum or college that has a photography department if you want some recommendations.  Do NOT use anyone that will send the photo "out of house" (to another conservation source) to copy it.  

 

The copies can be smaller than the original, which would be easier to frame and display.  You don't have to make copies (or, pay for framing) for every grandchild in the family.  Just give the copies to the relatives that will appreciate this gesture (they can choose to frame it or not).  Your fil would be happy in knowing they, too, have it.

 

These same professionals can, often, also help with conservation of the original.  If it is in the original framing, over 25 years ago, the photo was probably taped in place and that tape could damage the photograph.  It should be in acid-free corners and have acid-free backing and matting.  If glass is resting directly on the photo, that can be damaging to the photo (old photos need matting!).  And, the current glass should be replaced with conservation glass.  The frame can be left, as it looks, but have the corners checked for signs of separation and have them repaired properly, if needed.  I wouldn't do anything else to the frame, let it keep its aged look.  You simply want to protect the photo, not change it!! 

 

After the original has been properly conserved, give it back to your fil, as your gift to him.  Tell him you want him to continue holding onto the photo and enjoying seeing it and knowing its history.  Ask him to write out as much as he knows about the image (where, when, who, etc.).  If he can actually write, it is nice to have the description in his own handwriting, rather than typed (for future generations).  If he can't, offer to type it out for him, asking everything you can think of about the picture.  Make copies of his description and give one to everyone that is getting one of the copies.

 

Now, you have multiple copies of the photo to give to ALL the relatives, male AND female.  EVERYONE has a copy of the photo to display (or, put in a safe place), your fil has the original (and, it safer condition than before) and nobody has hurt feelings.  YOU come out smelling like a rose, because your thoughts were about keeping the image in safe condition and  alive for everyone in future generations (and, not about who gets what when...).

 

Win-win for everyone.


IdentityCrisisMama's Avatar IdentityCrisisMama 09:05 AM 02-19-2014

Yes, that is a good idea (and I think RM mentioned it earlier). Unfortunately, this has been done in a variety of ways already. FIL is a massive ancestry person (some may call him obsessed :wink) so his family stuff has been distributed to everyone in every way imaginable (books, photos, online family trees, and etc). I think the gift is very much about "the original". 


grahamsmom98's Avatar grahamsmom98 09:11 AM 02-19-2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by IdentityCrisisMama View Post
 

Yes, that is a good idea (and I think RM mentioned it earlier). Unfortunately, this has been done in a variety of ways already. FIL is a massive ancestry person (some may call him obsessed :wink) so his family stuff has been distributed to everyone in every way imaginable (books, photos, online family trees, and etc). I think the gift is very much about "the original". 

 

Then keep the photo, hang it or don't (put it under your guestroom bed...), and then give it to whatever relative he wants it to go to.  Be done with it. 

 

Or, stand up to him and tell him what you think of his view............


Good Enough Mum's Avatar Good Enough Mum 09:15 AM 02-19-2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by IdentityCrisisMama View Post

 

A big part of me also wants to understand how tradition and etiquette should be employed by FIL. Issues with gender, biological children, and favoritism aside, it still feels to me like he is somehow *wrong* (from and etiquette standpoint) in how he is going about passing on this object. My FIL wants us to pass this object on in a way that even he himself is not honoring. He is not giving it to his younger brothers or nephews, for instance. He is giving this to a child in his immediate family, something he does not want me and my DH to do.

 

Well, it seems that what he's trying to do is to pass it down in a father-to-son bloodline as best as possible, using collateral branches only when no son is available in the branch of the family holding it. As far as I can see, it's similar to the Salic Law (except that that also contains a proviso that the handing-down can't take place through a female offspring, and I don't know whether your FIL has made that proviso or not). I don't agree with what he's trying to do, but it sounds as though he's got a set of logical rules for it, even though some of them are objectionable.


AAK's Avatar AAK 09:16 AM 02-19-2014

If your dh doesn't die for awhile yet, he may have a grandson to pass it to.  If not, I would do the oldest nephew.  

 

Generally, by "oldest" male, they mean within a sibling set.  At least in our family. . .so it would like saying "first born male", assuming he was still alive and well. 

 

Amy


Good Enough Mum's Avatar Good Enough Mum 09:21 AM 02-19-2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by PumaBearclan View Post

I will offer an Emily Post type answer:

Your FIL is breaking etiquette by being insensitive to the realities of his modern family and by imposing his patriarchal values on others. He isn't interested in pleasing the recipient, he is demanding attention in both in the present and posthumously. Even royal houses allow themselves flexibility in the rules regarding succession and privileges within the family. So you have some leeway in dealing with this.

I would be utterly polite and neutral about this matter until FIL's sphere of influence wanes, at which point you can do what you like. Any explanation should be "this is what Dad wanted" until you are able to say "This was Dad's legacy and was important to him, so it's best if this item [goes to his eldest granddaughter; is donated to a museum; is kept in the bank; etc]."

 

I have to disagree with that last paragraph (or at least what you seem to be saying in the last paragraph). I think the OP is certainly not obliged to accept the male-only rule if she isn't happy to do so, but what you seem to be suggesting here is that she should let FIL think she's going along with it, in a silence-implies-consent way, and then do something different after his death. If she isn't intending to honour his wishes, I think it's only fair for her to make that clear now and for him to have the option of finding another way to carry them out if they're that important to him.


IdentityCrisisMama's Avatar IdentityCrisisMama 09:38 AM 02-19-2014
The most likely scenario I see happening is me telling FIL that I think the photo needs to be professionally restored (I had a look and it does) and asking him for clarification about exactly who he would like to have it after my DH as if determining that will help us decide who should be the person to take charge of the restoration. I am going to remind my FIL that he mentioned his other son and his grandson from that son as well as his grandaughter from his daughter as potential recipients. This will give him a chance to get more clarity on the issue (he made these comments after he gave it to us and it was sort of an afterthought, which is adding to the confusion).  I also plan on telling him that I love it and would love to have it as a gift from his family to mine and my children. If he decides that he would like some other grandchild to have it, I will pass it on to that parent now to hold and restore. I have no problem being direct about this issue. I just want to spend some time really thinking about all the issues that are going into this for me. This thread and all your ideas are really helpful!  

pumabearclan 09:41 AM 02-19-2014

Good Enough Mum, you did interpret my post correctly. However, I don't imply that FIL is deceived behind his back. OP can implement the suggestion with humility, respect, and even humor. She can love and honor FIL while knowing that for the Family, what he has directed is unwise. 

 

Society and families change, must change, over time, or "die off." FIL is hoping to avoid change, not to promote the longevity of his Family. The real goal of succession and primogeniture, estate planning, etc is to ensure the survival of the Family in an identifiable way. If it was his goal he should have willed it to a trust that would oversee the terms of use. Instead he gave the item as a gift, with stipulation. A gift with string attached isn't legally binding. He could have stipulated that the item be owned only by someone with the family name, in which case an unmarried woman or married woman who kept the family name could legally own the item. Instead he relied on patriarchy which is offensive to his family members.

 

In order for FIL to leave a legacy that honors him and the Family, he should work to earn respect, loyalty, and affection from the members. His divisive actions undermine what he claims to intend. Rules are inadequate substitutes for leadership. The OP or others will succeed FIL as senior family members, so perhaps they can do better than FIL with this issue when the time comes.

 

(OP posted as I was posting... Good leadership decision. Your heart is in the right place.)


IdentityCrisisMama's Avatar IdentityCrisisMama 09:41 AM 02-19-2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by Good Enough Mum View Post
 

 

Well, it seems that what he's trying to do is to pass it down in a father-to-son bloodline as best as possible, using collateral branches only when no son is available in the branch of the family holding it.  

Yes, I think this is his thinking. He does have a son with a son (his only biological grandson), however, and I think that if there are a few things he would like to only go to the males, that those things should pass directly through that branch of the family. 


IdentityCrisisMama's Avatar IdentityCrisisMama 09:49 AM 02-19-2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by PumaBearclan View Post
 

In order for FIL to leave a legacy that honors him and the Family, he should work to earn respect, loyalty, and affection from the members. His divisive actions undermine what he claims to intend. Rules are inadequate substitutes for leadership. The OP or others will succeed FIL as senior family members, so perhaps they can do better than FIL with this issue when the time comes.

I was trying to avoid venting too much on this thread but this is very much my feelings on the matter. In my family there is no need to stipulate who gets what or control the passing of family stuff. Everyone is just respectful and generous. The idea that this process needs to be controlled in an authoritarian way is irksome for the reasons you mention. 

 

The reality is that I have a background in photography and art. The art on my walls is cherished far more than anyone else in the family. These aesthetic values are being passed on to my children. This particular heirloom is well chosen as a gift to my family and I was seriously, deeply grateful that my FIL thought of us to have it. It wasn't until right after I expressed that gratitude to FIL that he told us that we should give it to his other son, nephew (and that crazy mention of his other grandaughter, which I am still trying to get my head around) after DH was ready to pass it on. I'm not going to say that my feelings weren't pretty hurt. 

 

I do not plan to keep it w/o getting permission from my FIL, however. Not because I am all that worried about his wishes (because I honestly don't even think this was a deeply held wish and I don't believe it is a tradition - I think he made this up on the spot) but because I wouldn't want to keep it from my nephew if my nephew thought he was going to have it. 


pumabearclan 09:52 AM 02-19-2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by IdentityCrisisMama View Post
 I'm not going to say that my feelings weren't pretty hurt. 

 

 

:(

 

Sorry you had to experience that. Once you've made up your mind about this issue and future actions in this vein, hopefully you will be able to just let it roll off your back. Possibly he doesn't understand what affect his behavior is having.


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