This Redditor is her grandparents’ only biological grandchild. So, she was surprised when her aunt suddenly demanded she split her inheritance with her stepkids!
The One and Only Grandchild
When OP (Original Poster) was just a child, her paternal grandparents died in a car accident. Their will stated that they’d be leaving their house—a lakefront cabin—to their grandchildren, which, at that time, was just OP.
A Long-Term Plan
OP’s parents “barely hung onto” their own house in the recession and didn’t trust the stock market. So, they turned the cabin into a rental.
She added, “The plan was that when I went to college, I could sell it for a hopefully higher price, plus have whatever rental income it had made.”
Their plan worked well since when OP graduated high school, the cabin made enough to pay almost two-thirds of her tuition fee.
So, rather than selling the cabin, OP decided to use student loans and pay them off with future rental income. OP is a junior in college now, and if things go well, the loans will be paid off two years after she graduates.
Overstaying Their Welcome
However, a problem occurred after OP’s paternal aunt married a man with two teenage sons. They had used the cabin several times before the marriage, and OP always let her family use it, but then they started going monthly.
OP wrote, “I tried to be patient because I knew COVID-19 was making us all stir crazy, but their visits made it difficult for me to sanitize the cabin. We started having quibbles over when they could go.”
A Messy Cabin
One day, when OP went to the cabin to prepare for her new client, she was welcomed with a mess—one after she cleaned up from her last guest.
Per OP, “The keypad logs show my aunt’s code. She had not told me her family would be there. I called her to ask why she hadn’t asked to use the cabin or cleaned up, and she said we should talk in person.”
Breaking the Rules
So, OP and her parents followed social distancing protocols to her aunt’s backyard. Her aunt made her step-cousins apologize for not cleaning their mess in the cabin.
OP’s step-cousins admitted they were alone, and she reminded them such a thing could not happen. This is because anyone under 18 isn’t allowed to stay in the cabin unsupervised, as per the rental license.
Quite a Dispute
But instead of addressing that issue, OP’s aunt said that she was very frustrated with how OP treats the family cabin as if it was hers alone. Her aunt told her it was meant for all grandchildren and that her stepsons now owned a third each.
OP said, “I almost passed out, but my parents jumped in and told her, ‘No, that’s not how inheritance worked.’ They had specifically asked the estate lawyer about this, and she said that beneficiaries had a time limit to claim their inheritance, and once it was distributed, it was final. The cabin was mine alone, legally.”
Demanding Their “Rightful” Share
OP’s aunt freaked out and accused her of being “greedy,” saying that her grandparents would want them to share and that she should teach her step-cousins the cabin business so it could pay for their college as well.
The whole thing turned into a huge fight, and that’s when her uncle asked them to leave.
Blood, Sweat, and Tears
OP is extremely torn. After all, she loves her cabin and worked hard to build her business.
She said, “At this point, I handle all bookings, cleaning, and maintenance.”
What Would They Do?
However, she keeps thinking about what her grandparents would have decided if they had died, for example, yesterday instead of over a decade ago. She believes there’s a chance her step-cousins would truly be sharing the ownership of the cabin with her.
If so, refusing to give them a share would make her a “greedy a**hole.”
Specifics of a Written Will
Because of all the mess, OP’s paternal great-uncle stepped in, and he suggested that OP share the cabin, as he’s sure her grandparents would have wanted it that way.
Her great-uncle helped them write their wills almost a decade before OP was born. So, grandchildren—biological, adopted, or step—were theoretical back then and only included as they wanted a one-and-done document covering the next 60 years.
OP’s great-uncle believes that her step-cousins should have half a share since he doesn’t like the idea of anyone being able to outvote the other owners. Nonetheless, he thinks that the business is entirely owned by OP and is something that she shouldn’t have to share.
That’s What She Thought!
Apparently, OP’s aunt genuinely thought that her parents set up the whole rental cabin as a trust for all the grandchildren because OP’s dad discussed setting it up as a trust all those years ago. This was in case there were more grandkids.
OP added, “This was before they found out the will wasn’t fancy enough for a trust and that it was just mine. She admits she should have asked about it; she just felt awkward.”
No Cash Cow
OP also clarified that the cabin doesn’t even make enough. After taxes and expenses, OP earns roughly $3,000 a year, so the cabin is certainly not worth a big fight in the family.
Sadly, until now, nothing has been settled.
Redditors’ Two Cents
Many people sided with OP and think her aunt and step-cousins have no right to demand a share of what is legally hers.
A Redditor wrote, “Legally, that cabin belongs to you. This means you alone are liable for any damages or illegal activities that take place there, which I’m very sure your aunt and uncle would be happy to let you handle should it ever occur, thanks to their children. Their marriage and arrangements are up to them.”
The same person added, “Your inheritance is long since settled, and your parents are right to defend you. It’s not owned three ways. It’s owned by you, and if you need to protect your property, you should do so. You had no control over when your grandparents passed, nor any control over whether your aunt married again. These are not your concerns. Too bad for your aunt. Perhaps change your lock codes.”
It’s Entirely Hers
Redditors have also agreed with what OP’s parents said and how they defended her.
A commenter wrote, “Not the a**hole. Your parents are correct. That is entirely your cabin. Change the locks on the cabin and no longer allow your aunt or her family access. They are trying to take something of yours to which they have absolutely no right. Also, your aunt gave her code to her stepsons so they could party at your cabin without adult supervision. You need to respond by blocking their access.”
Another person said, “Not the a**hole. Absolutely not greedy at all. Your parents are correct in stating that that’s how inheritance works, meaning it’s settled at the time the probate is closed. Greedy is what your new stepsiblings are being. Don’t feel bad, and just tell them, ‘nice try.’”
What are your thoughts? Do you think OP should share her inheritance?
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This post first appeared as She Refused to Share the Lakefront Cabin She Inherited and Made a Business Out of With Her Step-Cousins, Although Her Aunt Insists They’re “Family.” Was She Being a “Greedy Jerk?” on Quote Ambition.