Sibling cuts off access to family photos
DEAR READERS: Happy Valentine's Day to one and all, along with our special good wishes to the veterans in VA hospitals around the country.
DEAR ANNIE: My older sister and I are both in our late 40s. After years of putting up with "Mary's" nasty, critical comments and her tantrums when she doesn't get her way, I am ready to cut all ties. The only problem is, Mary still has possession of a number of family photographs and jewelry that once belonged to our mother.
After our father passed away, we put all of the family stuff in storage. About a year later, Mary bought a condo in another city, packed everything up and took it with her. She never asked whether I wanted any of it or whether I minded that she took the contents of the storage locker. I had to fly to her city, rent a car and a trailer, and then go through everything, dividing up most of the estate.
Because I was living in a small apartment, we agreed that Mary would take care of the family albums until I got my own place. Fifteen years later, she still has them and ignores all requests to make copies. I have neither the time nor the money to visit her again, and I'm fed up. I can't afford to take her to court, but how can I get her to share without resorting to legal measures? -- FED UP
DEAR FED UP: Of course Mary should share these things with you, but she apparently has no intention of cooperating voluntarily. You will either have to find a way to visit her and go through the photographs and jewelry, or take her to court. Visiting is probably cheaper, so start saving your money.