Stumbling into sudden riches is often as overwhelming as it is invigorating! While having cash to spare isn't a bad thing, unexpected fortune can bring out the worst in those closest to you. They may anticipate a cut of the cash, sneakily withdraw your dough, or expect you to provide for them on command. Sometimes, lending this money may be a reasonable, empathetic decision. However, when demands become massive, wild, and even aggressive, the luxury of riches can become a living nightmare!
Unfortunately, becoming rich can come with plenty of relationship downfalls. When cash-vultures swoop in to attack, getting away from them can be a lengthy, frustrating, and even dangerous process. From fending off horrific lies to battling family members in court, the experience of protecting newfound riches can shake you to your core and shatter your connections. These are Reddit users who faced some problematic friends and family once money came their way!
Don't forget to check the comment section below the article for more interesting stories!
#1 Thieving Bonds For Brand New Home
I didn't inherit a lot. But, back in the early 90s, when my brother and I were in elementary school, my parents were trying to buy a house. They couldn't afford the down payment so they asked if they could borrow our bonds ($5000 each) and repay us later. They got the house but I never saw that money again. It was something our grandparents gave us for college one day.
#2 A Pissed Off Personal Trainer
A few years ago we inherited some money from my husband's grandfather. My husband's brother and sister also inherited equal amounts. His sister, who we had not spoken to in several years, emailed my husband and his brother asking for their portion of the inheritance because her part-time personal trainer job wasn't enough to keep funding her lifestyle.
#3 A Getaway Car For A Conman
I inherited a fair amount of money when my grandfather passed away - my husband and I were planning on using it to purchase our first house - we had been saving, but clearly could have a much lower mortgage with this windfall.
Well, my husband works a side business where he builds custom vehicles. One friend who was running out of money and his car was only about halfway done, found out about the inheritance. This 'friend' decided he was going to pull his car because he didn't have the funds to finish it and then sue us for $10,000. Unfortunately we got a lawyer and ended up spending over $3500 to have him say that the customer usually is right and we'd be further ahead to just settle and pay him, because the lawyer fees would be much more if we continued to fight.
#4 A Pushy Property Brother
Last December I got money that I didn't truly earn. Rest of my family is okay with it and congratulates me every chance they get. My mother likes bragging that her son is rich because he's so smart, even though what I did was pure luck. It's all fun...
... except for my brother.
He keeps trying to rope me into new real estate and investment deals. Says that this is a great property and keeps pressuring me to buy. Tries to manipulate me emotionally and belittles my intelligence for not taking it. The deals aren't bad, they're pretty good and any normal person probably would take an interest. But the stupid part is that my brother is a lawyer who still has more assets than I do. But he isn't willing to risk his own money. He wants me to pay for the deals and he gets to keep the profits. Basically, I'm just another source of loan money to him. Even worse is that he expects me not to charge interest or take a share of the profits because we're family. Sure he says the properties will appreciate in value and I believe him. But I also see through the lies when he says he's going to cut me a fair deal in future. Even though he's a lawyer, I can't even trust anything he puts down in writing since I'm certain there is some clause he can twist to get me.
#5 Breathtaking Casino Winnings (And Greedy Vacation-Mates)
My mom and dad won big once at a casino around 25 years back. One of those once in a lifetime medium level jackpots. Around $10,000. Most of the money went into bills and a few family fun things over the course of a summer. However, during that time my aunt and a few of my mother's relatives kept bullying her for cash.
Her relatives kept demanding she owed them some of the cash because the casino trip was with them, they invited my folks along and drove them. So by their logic, they were obliged to part of the winnings. My aunt on the other hand just kept begging so she could help out with her kids' debts. They are very spoiled kids and over the years have run themselves into the ground financially and every time their mother, my aunt, digs them out.
My folks never gave in even though. My mother's relatives threatened to sue, which they didn't and my aunt eventually just moved on. After this, no one on my mother's side would go with my folks without making it clear that if they won they would get some of the money. Needless to say, my parents never went with them again and for a time went on there own.
#6 Digging For Disability Funds
A friend of mine didn't even win the lottery. She finally got approved for disability benefits after years of jumping through bureaucratic hoops. Almost immediately, her family descended like vultures, demanding money for this or that. They didn't believe her that "benefits" in this case basically means the bare minimum necessities to not die of starvation. They thought she was sitting on a nest egg of thousands and started screaming at her and calling her a liar when she said she was actually broke after one trip to the grocery story.
#7 Lying About Gambling To Ruin Their Son's Life
I won around £5,000 on a soccer bet a few years ago. Not a lot really, but a lot for a 23-year-old.
To cut a long story short, because I didn't pay off my father's credit card debt with it he fell out with me and pretty much tried to ruin my life. He told my then partner I had a gambling problem (I didn't, unless spending £5 a week on football constitutes is a problem), got my mother to call my work to tell them I had a problem which resulted in work getting a counsellor in to talk to me, and basically preyed on my family's love for me by making them all make me feel horrendously guilty for ever placing a bet in the first place. It all reached a head when I came home to my partner in tears and my mother and father sat comforting her on the sofa, proceeding to tell me if she didn't know if she could trust me, and 'why couldn't I just admit how long I'd been gambling for'. I physically removed my father from my house that night and told him to never darken my doorstep again... All over five grand!
#8 A Firey Lawsuit And A Mother's Slow Burn
I won a lawsuit settlement after almost dying in a fire. I was under 18 at the time of the incident but was 18 when it finally settled. My mother told me unless I gave her half of my settlement, I would have to find a new place to live. I was in my senior year of high school when this happened. She said she deserved it because she was the only one in my life who was always there for me. I didn't give her the money, she kicked me out and tried to keep some of my personal belongings (not like I had much since everything was lost in the fire). We didn't talk for months until she randomly showed up at my house one day. She asked me for rent money and gave me some sob story. I wrote her a check for $5000 hoping it'd make her go away. It did for a time - she and I barely spoke until years later when I was pregnant. A few years ago I was in a bad car accident (hit by an 18 wheeler) and got some money. I told no one - especially my mom. She has insisted numerous times I was entitled to a settlement for it and should speak to a lawyer she found. She took it upon herself to talk to lawyers on my behalf - or tried to. I just ignored her for months until she finally gave it up.
#9 Brutal Abuse Of A Joint Bank Account
My aunt stole a large sum of money from me. When I turned 18 I was to get a check for 18 years of per capita with interest. Six months before my 18th, she quit her job and started working at a small five-location credit union. She asked me to move my accounts there to help her meet quotas since she just started and would do joint accounts so I could get the benefits too. Ten months later I thought she had a better job and was reaping the benefits when she started to remodel her house and spend her nights at the bar. I didn't think anything of it because she was my aunt and had a decent job. When I went to change banks because I was moving across the country she told me she already withdrew the money and I couldn't get it and since it was a joint account there was nothing I could do about it. But, the worst thing about it was that she claimed it was what my mother wanted and was in her will. Then when disproved, she said she deserved it more than me, and then eventually that because she did it in a legal way it was hers now. She convinced her boss that I was trying to ruin her life so I couldn't even go to them for help.
Eventually, I got 60% of it back from a settlement but she burned all the bridges she could in the family. She would cut off any contact with people who asked what the problem was. Or would threaten to if they talked about it. Since she was getting free childcare from her mom she said she would rather pay for childcare than listen to her mom talk about me. So my grandmother had to keep quiet or she would lose her other two grandkids and her last living daughter along with me because I was moving across the country. Total blindside.
#10 An Ungrateful, Leeching Roommate
I had most of my college paid for through scholarships and a fund my parents set up when I was a baby. My roommate junior year would always bring this up as an excuse to not pay for things. Example: “well you have a college fund so you should pay for my dinner too”, or “I have to take out loans so you should pay for my rent this month.” I ended up moving out and avoided her for the rest of my time at school.
#11 Manipulating An Ailing Woman's Will
My grandma is 90, in a nursing home, and has, at best, a couple semi-lucid hours a week. My aunt visits her daily. My mom visits 1-2 times a week.
My aunt brought my grandma to her house where she had a lawyer waiting and had my grandma sign a new will. The old will split the money 50/50. We have no idea what the new will says. When my mom asked if she could see the will my Aunt got mad and told her she never wanted to talk to her again.
My grandma doesn't remember signing anything and doesn't even grasp what a "will" is anymore. We're talking about a decent amount of money here, like hundreds of thousands. My aunt has always been pretty well off. Growing up she was always "the rich" relative to me. I have no idea why she'd destroy her relationship with her sister over this.
#12 Petty Issues
My mother was left a bed frame and a small pair of diamond earrings when her grandmother died and my great aunt lost her mind, complaining that my mom "got everything."
She was willing to strain her relationship with the rest of the family over a couple of items that could be bought for $200 at most.
#13 Revenge On An Enraged, Psycho-Spending Aunt
My dad has two sisters. One of them was an out of control mess that, after stealing and making her parents' life hell, they finally had to cut her out of their lives. My grandma died and she didn’t even bother coming to the funeral. My grandpa ended up in a memory care facility which blew through the last of what they had saved up and then my dad and his other sister took over the payments. When he passed away they had paid over $70,000 combined for him to live in a nice facility for the last years of his life. After he died the mess of a sister suddenly showed up demanding her share of the inheritance assuming that it would be a large sum of money. They sent her a bill for 1/3 of the $70,000.
#14 Crazy Cousin Enraged Over A Supposed Promise
It was so pathetic because it was so little money: My grandma lived off her pension after selling her house way too cheap to my aunt. After she died, my other aunt divided up her money and stuff, I think each grandkid got $1000, one piece of her inexpensive furniture, a few little things, none of it worth any money. But Cousin K, whose parents got a super cheap house that she keeps saying she wants, carried on about how she was promised everything. She wanted the ten year old freezer her sister with little kids got, she wanted the dishes, she wanted, wanted, wanted. Ten years later, I avoid talking to her because I’m sure I’ll still hear about all of grandma’s valuables that my other aunt threw away. I think the rest of us should have just gone in together, said, “take one thing then someone else’s turn” and we all would have left after round two and left the rest for Cousin K to take and saved ourselves a lot of accusations.
#15 Threatened By Estranged Family
I've got family coming out of the woodwork threatening to sue for the money. My family has "surprise" visits and looked like they thought I hid the money in the house somewhere. No point in telling them we inherited less than $500; nothing would make them go away. They did not believe it. Now they all just hate us and I no longer get invited to family outings.
#16 Dodging A Gold-Digging Step-Grandparent
I inherited my grandparent's trust after my father died just before the cut off date that it would be fully in his name. Basically, it meant that my dad couldn't access all of the trust for X number of years after my grandfather's death, meaning it stayed in the family when he died rather than pass over to his gold-digging spouse.
I had to change my phone number and move to avoid the phone calls and middle-of-the-night showing up at my door from his spouse and her children. Once or twice a year she tries to reach out to me still through Facebook or email. However, she has an old email address that I use for spam/joining websites. And I got her blocked on Facebook now.
#17 Harassing A Nostalgic Uncle T.
My grandmother died when I was a child, and my grandfather passed about three years ago. He left everything to my uncle T. "Everything" meaning a ramshackle old house, a small farm with a dozen or so cows and some chickens, a few broken down old cars, and a struggling small business. T inherited everything because A) he was the only one of my grandparents' kids who hadn't moved far away, and B) he had spent his entire life working the farm and the business.
This didn't sit well with the rest of my family. They knew my grandpa had no money, but they thought leaving everything to T was unfair. They wanted T to sell the house, land, and business and divide the money with the rest of them. That farm was their childhood home, and T didn't want to sell it, although none of his siblings seemed to care. T was still running the business, and had very little other income, so selling it would put him out of a job. He refused to sell, and the result has been that most of my family is no longer speaking to each other.
#18 Supporting An Uber-Wealthy Hubby's Family
Only vaguely related, but my parents think I'm a gold digger for loving my husband who stands to inherit half a million when his parents die.
I would pay more money than I'll ever see in my life to keep them alive and healthy as long as possible. These people have treated me like family - more than my actual family - and all my parents believe is I'm in it for the money that I guarantee I won't actually see any of, and don't really care about. My parents are trash.
#19 A Greedy, Will-Breaking Aunt
My Grandma had mineral rights in her name, and when she was on her deathbed she realized that all her kids were money hungry and entrapped in cycles of abuse. She decided to leave it to all of her grandchildren, and it grew in an account for each of us to take when we turned 18. If you know mineral rights, you know that the money continuously grows - you get a check from an oil company monthly. My aunt was the executor of the estate (only one without kids benefiting), so she got a cut as payment for her work. She is now currently holding up every legal proceeding to try to keep her cut. She was supposed to sign the estate off to us over 3 years ago, but still refuses to do WHAT THE WILL SAYS. Everyone hates that aunt now.
#20 A Rocky Family Split
My grandpa was pretty well off and he suddenly died of undiagnosed prostate cancer a decade or so ago. The kids from his second marriage immediately swooped in and started claiming everything as theirs, despite us being just as close to him as they were. It ended with a lawsuit and the family being split in half, with us not regarding them as family anymore. We ended up getting basically nothing and I'm frankly not impressed with how it was handled by either side. It's really sad seeing people you've known your whole life acting like that and ruining decades of being family in a couple weeks.
#21 Vying For A Veteran's Benefits
I received my back pay veteran benefits in a lump sum.
One "friend" joined a multi-level marketing scheme called Younique and tried to get me to squander my money.
Another "friend" tried to be my best friend so I would give her a $10,000 loan.
Some friendships fell apart because I saw how these people treated me and I wasn't about it.
No one understood that I was using that money to get back on my feet. I was paying off a lot of debt.
#22 Manipulating Spouse's Family For Millions
A few years ago a family member was killed, my parents secretly sued the persons/company responsible and we were awarded millions in a settlement. To this day I haven't shared this info with anyone because it's very personal. We don't want anyone to think we profited from their death because that wasn't our intention. We wanted to make sure the spouse was cared for financially.
After about 2 years of my parents being involved in court, the settlement was finalized. During this time, my sibling's spouse was cared for emotionally and financially by my family. After the case was settled, the spouse was awarded several million as one of the stipulations my parents set. Immediately after, they disappeared from our lives entirely. It was extremely disappointing to my family when that happened, especially considering all we had been doing to keep them going. Imagine having a son or daughter suddenly die and having to fight lawyers for years to give their spouse a happy life, only to have them take the money and run once it was all finished.
#23 Interrupting A Prayer For Promise Of Payment
When my great Yiey, or grandmother, was in the hospital on her deathbed, we had the monks come in and we were doing prayer (it was her request, it comforted her.) So, most of the family showed up and an estranged aunt showed up too. My Yiey wasn't even dead yet and my aunt was buzzing around my uncle (who would be the inheritor) about the money and asking for some while we were all doing prayer. The praying wasn't even loud so the only booming voice over the monks singing was her. It was incredibly embarrassing because she didn't attempt to even acknowledge Yiey at all in the hospital room on her last day. I can safely say she never saw an ounce of it and my uncle split it all up and put it in all the younger kids' savings.
#24 Coughing Up An Ice Cream Fund
I found $100 on the beach when I was 11 years old. It was on a camp trip. I was guilt tripped into buying everyone on the trip ice cream. I went home with a few quarters that were left over. Biggest mistake was someone else on the trip seeing me find it.
#25 Taken Care Of
I was lucky enough to have very successful grandparents. I'm also lucky enough to still have all of my grandparents at the age of 31. The grandfather of importance to this conversation only has an 8th grade education but he built a strong business in water well drilling. When each of his 7 grandchildren were born, he deposited $87k (the year I was born, I assume that's the same for the others) into a managed trust. We don't make a habit of discussing money, but there are a few requirements. Namely, I won't have complete control over it until I'm 50. I get a statement ever fall and I knew my retirement is take care of.
Be smart people, keep your bank accounts out of conversation.
#26 Advice For The Rich
From a very early age, my mother told us to never tell anyone our financial worth, "otherwise you may never know whether people want to be your friend for yourself or for your money."
#27 Can't Even Say Hi
My mom died. A friend of hers pestered me for money because he knew she had some.
Not, I miss your mom and I hope you’re ok.
Him: Guess who?
Me: I don’t know. Who is it?
Him: I’ll call back when you’re in a better mood.
Me: Don’t bother calling back if you’re not going to tell me who you are.
Yes, I had caller id. I was too upset to remember it. My father died first then my mom and I have no siblings.
Him: This is Louis. Can you help me out? I need some money. I know your mom had enough to fix this.
Me: How about hello? How about my condolences?
#28 This Land Is Our Land... Er...
My in-laws lived very modestly. He worked blue collar, she was a nurse. They never appeared to have money. But my father-in-law had inherited a bunch of farmland from his parents. When my in-laws passed, we, along with my brother-in-law, inherited that land. It was rented out to farmers so it was extra income every year. But we finally decided to sell it. It was a lot of land and we made a small fortune on it. There really isn't anyone left on my husband's side of the family and my side thinks my husband's side was poor and beneath them. We never told them about the land or the money we got for it. We also live modestly so no one knows. Knowing my family, that's for the best.
#29 This Old Thing?
When my grandmother died, my uncle asked my grandfather for his classic car worth about $30,000. My grandfather turned him down because he knew he would just sell it. He offered it to my father, but my father said no. Luckily, my grandfather still has it. I need to call him and convince him to give it to my cousin, my sister or me. Because other than my dad, we are the only ones who won't sell it. Heck, I still have my great grandparent's car that I won't sell. It looks like junk, but it runs and I'm slowly working in it.
#30 Apple POP
OK, I didn't win money but I did win 5 boxes of caramel apple pops (about 240 altogether) in middle school and lemme tell you. Word spread so fast that it wasn't long before everyone was coming up to me asking if they could have one or even a whole box. Even people I didn't know, I left with a lot more than I bargained for that day,
My fiancee's father received a very nice piano from his mother when she went into a nursing facility, it's "valued" at $24,000. He is a professional musician and teaches music. It obviously meant a lot to him to have a real nice piano. However when this happened, his brother *demanded* that the value of the piano be divided between him and their sister. The brother has no money, the sister is a professor, she didn't give a rip, and was happy her brother got a nice piano, but the brother was insistent that it wasn't fair. So my fiancee's dad had to cash in an investment simply to give his brother $8,000 as well as his sister.
They are not looking forward to when she actually passes on (for more than just sadness of losing a mother) because the woman is very wealthy, and has a lot of possessions. My fiancee's family were her fulltime care takers until she was put into a home, visit her almost daily, do all of her legal obligations, and store all of her stuff, either in their home or in storage lockers. When their dad (her ex husband) died, he was wealthy and it was a nightmare sorting his things, the greedy brother demanding money and for things to be sold so the proceeds could be split between them, and if someone wanted something for sentimental value, greedy brother demanded 1/3 of what it was worth.
As you can imagine, greedy brother is terrible with money, he keeps spending his money and losing it. My fiancees family is poor but they've invested well, they used their inheritance to pay off their mortgage and other loans, while also investing for their kids and future grandkids college funds. It's an absolute nightmare.
#32 Greedy Cousins
When I was 21 my grandfather died. His money was to be split between his 5 children, one of them being my mom. Since my mother had died years ago, her portion of his money was split evenly among her kids, my brother, sister and I.
My cousins were all upset that we got some money and they didn't, some haven't spoken to us since. I didn't understand. I would rather have my mom back than some money. Their mothers were still alive which is why they didn't get any money. How sad for them.
#33 That's Grim
My grandmother died when I was 19 and left me an insurance policy worth $50,000. My two first cousins and uncle told me that my grandmother had left some money to me and them (the two cousins) and that once I received the money, I was required to split it 3 ways. They lied and told me that it was money left to me in her will and the will specified all this.
Turns out, it was a complete lie. The will even specifically mentioned the insurance policy as an insurance policy with me as the sole beneficiary and made no mention of splitting it. The way they tried to get around it was they had the only copy of the will and wouldn’t let me see it.
Once I found this out of course, I was 'in the wrong' for refusing to split the money, not them for lying to me about what my grandmother wanted.
My grandmother did leave her house to me and the two cousins with the stipulation that I could live there for 2 years then after that, we could sell the house and split the proceeds or any one of us could buy the house from the other two for 2/3 the value and the time of sale.
To “get back” at me, when the time came, the two cousins decided they wanted an outrageous amount, $25,000 each for a house worth a total of about $45,000. Of course, I refused, and in the end, neither one of them got anything out of it. They refused to sell to me for any reasonable price and refused to put it on the public market. It sat empty for a few years and then one of the cousins passed away, and the other finally decided she didn’t want anything else to do with it so she signed her part over to me and I sold it and kept all the money.
#34 Something Has To Change
My grandparents left me everything, and my mom nothing. My mom has always been irresponsible, and acts like the world owes her something. She now pesters me daily to buy her things and tries to guilt trip me if I say no. And even when I help her with stuff, it's never enough. It sucks to think that this will probably be how things are for the rest of her life. I don't want to have to cut ties, but something has to change.
#35 Ghost Mode
I have seen family members fight over items left in a will, "so and so doesn't deserve that, I do!" type of stuff. It always breaks my heart that people who are suppose to be family who would fight over stuff like that. I can't imagine what they would do with large sums of money at stake.
That's why I always tell my wife when I win the lotto, we are going ghost mode.
#36 Don't Mix Family And Friends
When my biological father passed, he had left two life insurances policies in my name. One for $35,000 was pretty straight forward. The other, for $150,000, was set up to be paid out to a trust in my name, with my mother as a trustee until I was 21, all according to his will. He passed on my 19th birthday.
After my 21st birthday, I went to the bank to transfer everything and there was no money, or even a trust in my name. I called my mother and she insists that a man she never married and she despised intended the policy was for her and that there was no will. I have no idea where it all went because she is $250,000 or more in debt 11 years later. We fell out for a few years, but we’re good now. I just don’t mix money with family and friends anymore.
#37 It All Disappeared
My great-aunt died when I was 13. At 18, I was allowed access to the inheritance that she left me in trust. My girlfriend at the time had a lot of debt and managed to leech off most of my inheritance and fritter away the rest of it. My friends saw me as a softy tossing away $100 here, $200 there, the money quickly declined. By the time I was 22 it had all disappeared.
#38 An Apology
Guy I knew came into a wad of cash from his aunt because he was her only living relative. The money was in royalties from a book she wrote. When he got that cash he flew out to Vegas and blew the whole thing on expensive rooms, gambling and brothels. I was among a group of friends he bragged to about his adventure. When asked why he spent all his aunts money doing things she's obviously be offended by. He admitted he hated his aunt, that she was the reason his parents divorced since she meddled in their marriage until his dad couldn't take it. She had meddled in his life too, and humiliated him once in front a girl he liked. He had cut her from his life, and she probably left him the money like an apology after she realized why he cut her off. He decided that the best thing to do with the money she earned in her life was to waste it, to put all her life's work get squandered on the things she'd hated most.
#39 Not My Farm!
A family fight over a farm that my grandpa has been working on since he was a child. When it was made known that my grandpa and not his siblings received this piece of property, it essentially split that side of the family in half. I live 2000 miles away and I've worked on that farm more than they ever will. It makes me sick they think they are entitled to it!
#40 Bitcoin Baby
I'm currently 16. In my bank I have around $300,000 from an early investment in bitcoin. My dad gave me 12 BTC in 2012, which I forgot about until the massive spike last year. I sold them for something like $330,000 total.
I didn't tell anyone about my gains but someone found out and told everyone in my school. Everyone is constantly sucking up to me for money, its hard seeing who wants to be your friend and who wants money.
#41 Nobody Needs To Know
My dad passed away last Christmas and left my brothers and I $320,000 each. Only we know, and my girlfriend. Nobody needs to know.
#42 Good Boy
My son came into a good size inheritance from his grandmother. He told me about it and I told him to tell absolutely no one. I didn't ask him for anything at all because it was his money. He moved out for a while but now he is back home, working and he does help with the bills.