A teenager has been backed for deciding to keep her late mother’s ring, despite it being “promised” to her stepbrother.
In a viral post shared on Reddit, u/ AITA_colh88 has received 7,000 upvotes after the 19-year-old woman wrote that her mom passed away three years ago and she is her only biological child.
However, her mom married her stepdad when she was 2 years old, so she grew up with three stepsiblings, who are now 30, 26, and 25. They received money in the will, but the rest of her mom’s belongings were left to the original poster.
According to Legacy, a US-based commercial provider of online memorials, jewelry is the most common family heirloom, because of monetary value or the stories that come with it. Other common heirlooms include furniture, timepieces, family properties, and even recipes.
Ameriprise Money & Family study polled more than 3,000 Americans between the ages of 30 and 70 with at least $100,000 in investable assets, and 18 percent said they don’t want to be transparent with family about the assets they will be passing on, to avoid conflict.
The original poster wrote that the youngest stepbrother, whom she refers to as Jon, says he was promised a ring that has been in the family for 200 or more years and he wants it so he can propose to his long-term girlfriend.
“My mom and Jon were really, really close, closer than me and her maybe, I knew she loved him the most and it hurts.”
The teen went on to explain Jon shared old text messages from her mom saying he could have the ring and that it is kept in a box for him.
“She never actually changed her will for the ring to be left to him and she had plenty of time to do so because she did leave them money.”
This led the OP to seek legal advice, and it turns out she is “legally in the clear” as the will states “the rest” of her mom’s stuff can go to her. So, the teen told her step-brother he couldn’t have the ring but could have another piece of his mom’s jewelry.
“Everything exploded, Jon and his brothers are calling me an a**hole because ‘she promised him’ and I don’t know what to do, he’s calling me a thief and a jealous sister.”
‘The Ring Is a Special Keepsake’
UK-based grief and recovery coach Lucy Cole told Newsweek: “I feel your stepbrothers are being inconsiderate to expect you to give up a ring that has been a family heirloom for many years.
“Regardless of how close Jon was to your mum, this is a part of your family heritage and it should be passed down to you, as it has for many generations.
“The ring is also a very special keepsake and holds dear memories of your mum. This was a part of her and this should not be taken away from you,” Cole said.
“Do not allow your stepbrothers to bully and manipulate you. You are most certainly not jealous or a thief. Your stepbrothers should understand that she was your mother and you want to keep the ring for you and your children in the future.”
“You have done absolutely nothing wrong, stay strong to your emotions and what feels right for you. If they decide to fall out with you, remove yourself from them and the negativity until they understand and apologize.”
What Did Redditors Say?
The top comment alone received more than 10,400 upvotes: “She ultimately decided not to give it to him apparently. Also, the texts could be fake.”
Another Redditor wrote: “Do you really think it was about the rings in question? First, it was plural not singular and you are talking about one ring. Second, you stated that she always had this ring on her finger, and in the messages , she talks about a box. I am not saying the texts are fake but are they about this ring?”
Another Reddit user commented: “It sounds like she offered, but he never took her up on it. Or they discussed it, but no definite decision was made. Otherwise, she would have just given it to him herself. There was never anything stopping her from physically handing it to him. The will is clear.”
Newsweek reached out to u/ AITA_colh88 for comment. We could not verify the details of the case.