TL;DR - Get things in paper. Even with family. Got screwed out of $50,000 because my grandmother trusted my scumbag dad.
Short backstory - My parents split when I (now 24) was 10. My dad and I lived 350 miles apart ever since. My dad's side of the family had always been small, it was me, him, his fresh off the boat from Italy mother, and the African-American sargeant she met and married when he was stationed there, who took the place of my dad's father. His biological father was another American private who ended up receiving a dishonorable discharge for knocking up a local. Probably because his sargeant was my aforementioned grandfather. Grandfather retired after 20 years in the Army, worked for the FAA designing planes for another 20 years. He passed from cancer in 2007, leaving my grandmother with a comfortable lifestyle.
My grandmother and I were as close as can be. She was the perfect mix of BAMF, sweet, funny, wise, etc. In 2011, she told me she was sick. She had cancer for the third time in her life, and with my grandfather gone, she didn't want to fight it. She planned a trip around the world to do everything she wanted before her life was over, and she wanted to let me know she's leaving everything in my possession, as long as I promise to be the first in my family to graduate college. I was already a Sophomore at this point.
When she returns from her trip, she begins taking massive amounts of painkillers to make for an easy exit. My dad lived a town over, so he was the one taking care of her. This is where things get fishy. Sometime in the few months she was back, before she passed, she "changed her mind", and "didn't want to put the burdon on me" of owning ~$100,000 and a ~$500,000 house, and left it all to my father instead, with the condition that I get a $50,000 check when I graduate. The thing is, she trusted my lying father to do that, and put nothing in ink. A pretty easy thing to overlook when you're loaded on Percocet.
I graduate, my dad suggests I buy a car, but also not to go overboard and save the rest for a down payment. Solid advice. I get a nice used car for $10,000. Bam! $40,000 is a pretty good chunk of a down payment. I got a car payment in the mail, and my dad just said "don't worry, I'll take care of that". A month or two later, I'm getting calls from collections agencies. I've been paying my car payments ever since. Thankfully I have the money to pay them with that engineering degree. Three years down the road, I have another $20,000 saved up, and I'm looking to buy a house. I mention fourty, and he acts like he never said that. He insisted it was twenty, and because I "got greedy", he took my money and threw it into his stocks account. I've seen nothing.
Let's face it, he never had any intention of giving me that money. People don't change. Even the few people you're told you can trust with anything, you can't. If you want something to happen, put it in ink, don't trust anyone to follow through with your requests, even if they're your last wishes.
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