Dear Annie: I have a complicated relationship with my siblings. I’m the youngest of four. Now, in my late 40s, I don’t speak to any of my siblings or their kids. It’s like I’m an only child and they don’t exist. My dad has passed, and I’m close to my mother, and there’s always been jealousy due to that. Jealousy growing up, jealousy with my children being spoiled over theirs, and I understand that. But that’s not why I don’t speak to them. I don’t speak to them because they all talk smack about each other and do nothing but lie about each other.
I stepped away from that toxic crap many years ago. I don’t have social media, but between us four, we do have mutual friends and aunts and uncles and cousins. And they still talk trash and make up lies about me like they saw me last week when I have not seen them in years. I don’t know anything about them or my nieces or nephews because I don’t care, and I also don’t bring them up in conversation.
My mother has made me executor of her estate when she passes, which is sure to cause an issue because last year she changed it from my oldest sister to me, and I don’t think she told her. I already told my mother since I see her several times a week, vacation with her and help her often that when she passes, I won’t be going to her funeral, and she is very OK with that.
I am asking if it is possible that she have the lawyer put in writing upon her death that my siblings only contact the lawyer about questions pertaining to the will and not me? Is there such a thing? I just don’t want to have to associate with that when I am grieving.
-- Is It Possible?
Dear Possible: You will have to consult a lawyer to see if such a legal protection is even an option in your state, but I would advise you to address your relationship with your siblings directly rather than roping your mother into it.
It sounds like you’ve made your peace with the estrangement, and you clearly have a wonderful relationship with your mother, but demanding a guarantee from her from beyond the grave that you will never have to interact with your siblings would be a painful request for any parent to receive. After your mother’s death, if you don’t wish to discuss legal matters with your siblings, you can communicate with them through a lawyer.
Dear Annie: My son is the manager at a nice established restaurant. The owner is absent and only communicates through texts and calls to my son. The problem is he does so 20 to 30 times a day! He watches his camera system from home and nitpicks everything he deems wrong.
My son has been managing for four years, and in that time, the restaurant has flourished and grown substantially. The real problem is the owner doesn’t have any idea what it takes on the floor to run the place; it’s a whole different view from a camera. Due to this insane micromanaging, the staff is under-appreciated and overworked, and my son is starting to develop stress-related health problems. How do we handle this man and his insane ways? Quitting is not an option.
-- Out-of-Control Restaurant Owner
Dear Out of Control: Quitting is always an option. Your son sounds highly competent with a track record of success, so he should apply to other high-end restaurants or hospitality groups in the area, assuming he has already attempted communicating his frustrations with the owner.