Resources for executors and Estate Administrators

“Grief or Greed? When Families Fight Over Material Possessions”, by What’s Your Grief

“Grief or Greed? When Families Fight Over Material Possessions”, by What’s Your Grief

August 1, 2021

“Grief or Greed? When Families Fight Over Material Possessions”

by What’s Your Grief

Reading Time: 2 Minutes

After a loss – fighting over material possessions.  Perhaps it’s the same as when you were fighting over something in the back seat of the car.  Mom and dad up front, you and your sibling in the back seat, and you’re sure you’re right.  But there’s only 1 GI Joe with the Kung-Fu Grip and there’s 2 of you – or more. Now take Mom and Dad out of the picture…

Eleanor Haley, one of the Founders and primary authors behind the What’s your Grief website explains,

“Some people are opportunistic and greedy. I won’t try and deny this reality. I’ve written for a grief website long enough to have heard the horror stories and, frankly, some of them will threaten to destroy your faith in humanity. However, I’m also aware of quite a few scenarios in which people’s actions have been labeled as selfish when, in reality, the motives behind them were far more complex than assumed.”

Understanding what may be behind what one may consider puzzling behavior is the crux of this article.  Haley frames out different responses that anyone in the midst of this phenomenon will recognize.  Thankfully we can benefit from Haley’s expertise as “the why” may not be obvious to everyone. So while the behavior that is strange to you and me might be dismissed or derided, it might be reconsidered as coming from a different angle, or “Grief Reaction”.  Perhaps your brother or sister is in a different stage of grief, or a different paradigm, reaction, or emotion. If not the behavior itself, one might at least understand the reasons why reactions to the treatment of “The Stuff” can be so wildly different.

Everyone grieves differently is a common reminder on What’s Your Grief and it bears repeating.  It’s important, and the notion bears itself out as we look at one of the more mundane, yet material experiences in the aftermath of loss.


Estate Personalty – Identification and Distribution