Find answers to some of the more frequently asked questions on the Forums.

Forums guidelines

Our guidelines keep the Forums a safe place for people to share and learn information.

Self righteous family member

Community Member
My partners mother died recently, very sudden and out of the blue, she was not sick at all. Just went to sleep and didn't wake up.

As yet, there has been no will, or final wishes found.

His brother, who is the second oldest sibling (sister being the oldest) has taken it upon himself to organize and direct EVERYTHING and EVERYONE. There are 6 siblings all up. One of which is completely disabled and needs full time care (deceased mother was full time carer).

His brother ALWAYS been a self righteous and narcissistic person. And this shocking and traumatic event of their mother passing away, has made him 200% worse.

Sending nasty, abusing messages to my partner, which are completely unwarranted.
Making threats over the estate. Really nasty stuff.

It is like his brother believes that he is the only one that has lost his mother.

I was just wondering what people's thoughts are on how to deal with this situation. My partner is going through hell.

3 Replies 3

Community Champion
Community Champion

Welcome to beyond blue.

As I write this reply I don't really have anything to help (?) you except to listen. I can imagine this would be extremely raw and painful for you and your partner. Having to deal with the loss of her mother and in the middle of her grieving process having to deal with her siblings, or one in particular, and emotionally making things worse.

In recent memory I can recall two instances where battles between siblings over an estate made things worse for all concerned. Made worse by the fact that if a party wanted to go down a legal path, the financial and emotional toll was not worth it. :(

Sometimes, even having a will does not seem to be enough.

You could get some ideas by doing a Google search for

How to deal with a ....

And that would give you more ideas than I could write here. Yet I think that at the end of the day, being able to talk to someone about it, either family, friends, or professionally, you might find the answer you are looking for?


Community Member
Hi Smokeydangerous. Obviously your partner is in shock with losing his mother, finding she died intestate (no will), then this unwarranted and vicious attack on the part of his brother, that's a lot of stuff to deal with, all at once. I understood if someone had knowledge of the deceased wishes they could arrange the funeral etc. to the best of the deceased's wishes. If she in fact did not leave a will, this can make things hard as I believe The Public Trust usually takes control. Was the brother close to the deceased, in other words did he maintain regular contact? It sounds as though he is strong-minded and wants to oversee everything. I think maybe it might not be a bad idea to leave the arrangements to him. He could be in for a bit of a shock when he's presented with the bill by the funeral director. If he wants to arrange everything, let him, but inform him, he has to pay for everything. I also think he is in a state of shock where he's not really thinking clearly. Often people in shock do act as though they're the only ones hurting. By all means talk to your partner and explain that if his brother wants to arrange everything, let him, but he has to be told, he has to pay. Arranging a funeral is not an overnight thing. So much has to be arranged. If she is being buried, where and who is going to arrange the grave? If she's being cremated, is it going to be private or a service first?

Summer Rose
Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member

Hi Smokeydangerous

I am so sorry for the loss of your mother-law. This is an incredibly difficult time for everyone and I am sending kindness and care to you and your husband.

I'm wondering if it might help for your husband to call a family meeting. Those interstate or abroad could participate via skype or speaker phone.

I say this because it's important that all siblings have a say in dealing with the estate. Most importantly, of course, is organising life time care for the disabled sibling.

It might be easier for your husband to manage his brother with the support of others.

If your husband's brother is thinking he will unfairly take control of the estate, I suspect he is in for a shock. I am not a lawyer but I have seen how this works.

I believe that with the absence of a will and a severly disabled beneficiary that the State Trustee may step in. Their goal will be to distribute funds based on need, to ensure the disabled sibling is provided for.

It might pay for your husband to get some legal advice. This way you will all know where you stand and knowing the facts may help to pull your brother in law into line.

I'm really sorry you are facing such a difficult time. Kind thoughts to you