Ask Auntie Linda, November 12, 2915

Auntie Linda

Dear Auntie Linda,  My husband  Joe and I shared ownership of a farm until his death three months ago.  Joe’s brother Bob had borrowed our truck, trailer, and tractor just days before Joe’s death.  I am now ready to sell our property, equipment, and livestock.  I sent a prospective buyer over to Bob’s place to see the truck, trailer, and tractor and Bob turned him away, saying Joe had sold  them to him.  I know this is not true, I manage the business and finances, and have the titles in hand.  I am now concerned that Bob’s shenanigans are not over.  I would like to settle this without involving Joe’s and Bob’s mother, with whom I have a loving relationship.  What is the best way to handle this?  Worried Widow

Dear Worried, Get a lawyer.  If Bob wants to settle this quietly, it’s up to him.  He obviously can’t be trusted.  Auntie Linda

Dear Auntie Linda, My mother-in-law Joanie lives with me and my husband John.  She socializes and goes out with us quite often.  Most of the time things go smoothly, but she can be “moody” when she’s upset.  My brother-in-law of two years recently invited all the siblings, their spouses and his and her parents  to a surprise birthday party for my sister Beth at an exclusive restaurant near thei home about a hundred miles from here.  He’s also booked a block of rooms a hotel for family.  Not even nieces or nephews are invited.  Today, I heard Joanie describing what she’s wearing and the gift she’s taking to Beth’s party.  She is not invited.  I asked John to tell her and he’s waffling, dreading a “mood.”  What is the best way to handle this?  Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea

Dear Between, John should handle this, but if he is reluctant, bring it up when you are together.  Be definite and leave no question.  “Joanie, unfortunately the invitation did not include you.”  You have nothing to be apologetic for.  Oh yes, be prepared for a “mood.”  Auntie Linda

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