For Clutch Magazine Online I tackle the on-going saga of Michael Jackson's family as they may (or may not) have hijacked their own mother, Katherine Jackson, in a bid to get better control over their dead brother's estate. But it's not just families who have millions at stake who go nuclear. It happens to regular broke folk like ourselves where long simmering hurts and fractures in our families rear their heads in the worst ways once grandma kicks it and a knife fight breaks out over $10,000.
Here's a snippet:
I've had friends accuse relatives of “manipulating” family elders into rewriting wills. I’ve seen people destroy property or steal items just to keep other relatives who they feel don’t deserve them from having those items. And we’re not talking priceless jewels or luxury cars. I’m talking couches and rugs and old, dusty savings bonds and dust collectors. I’ve seen a woman clean out her sister’s home – a sister with whom she feuded constantly – after her death and refuse to give anything of the house to the sister’s only grandchild. The grandchild and the sister were the only direct relatives, as the dead woman’s children had passed away long ago. The sister wasn’t wealthy when she passed and had a plethora of health problems that ate up what little savings she had. When she died she was on assisted living, owned no car, and lived in a one-bedroom apartment in a state-funded community for elderly below the poverty-line.
But those knickknacks and plastic-covered couches were hers, dang it. She hissed that she wasn’t even sure if the granddaughter was a direct relative, even though the girl knew of no other family.