Dear Sheila,

Your tale touched me because it speaks to who you are as a person. You have made amends with your daughter and you have someone special in your life. On top of that you have transitioned for the last quarter of a century and faced all of those challenges through the strength of your own character.

I have no idea as to your legal standing when it comes to the lies told by your siblings to the executor of the estate. There may even be a statute of limitations that further complicates any claim that you might have.

However I do have experience of dealing with protracted legal issues where ownership is contested following the death of a business partner. If it is possible I recommend trying to reach out to your sister Ruth to obtain some idea of what share she received in the settlement. Whatever that amount was you would have been entitled to 2/3rds of that figure.

Once you know how much that is you can make an informed decision as to whether or not this is worth pursuing legally given that you will be paying legal costs without any assurance that you will win all of your cases against each of your 3 siblings. Will one third of what they received even cover your legal bills?

Then there is the emotional toll that this is going to take out of you for who knows how many years to come? Do you have the emotional energy to get through this? Will that drain on your resources jeopardize your current relationship with your significant other and your daughter?

Draw up a list of pros and cons, what you might gain versus what you it will probably cost you? Unless the reward significantly outweighs the cost the legal route could end up costing you more than it is worth.

My own experience is that the world is full of people who cheat others without any qualms because they believe that they have some right to whatever they take. They are not the people you want to have in your life and lawsuits will mean that they will be in your life for as long as it takes for this to resolve itself.

Do you really want them back in your life after what they have done to you? If you don’t then my advice would be to get on with the life you have made for yourself because that is something that you can be proud of since you have become who you are without them.

Kind regards, Rowena 👩‍🦳

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