The Inheritance

My mother-in-law died recently, and my husband and I have been spending evenings and weekends going through her things. It’s a lot of work! I found a silver candlestick with a note from a deceased cousin: Apparently, the candlestick is part of the family’s immigration story, and the cousin asked that it be kept in the family. My husband plans to call around to see who wants it. But I think I deserve it. I’m family, and I found it. I want to sell it and use the money to refurbish my flute. Thoughts?

Pair of Antique Georgian Silver Candlesticks 1769 Ebenezer Coker Candle  Holders For Sale at 1stDibs

I had to read the last line of this query twice, as I was not expecting it to end the way it did. I echo Philip’s reply “This candlestick is a family heirloom, not $20 you found in the pocket of an overcoat. You are indeed part of the family by marriage, and assuming the candlestick is not conveyed to someone else in your mother-in-law’s will or by the laws of succession, you and your husband may have a reasonable claim to it (Finders keepers does not govern here.)”. Selling it, though, would be disrespectful to the wishes of your husband’s cousin and his family.

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6 Responses to The Inheritance

  1. babsje says:

    Do not sell it. A tie to a family immigration story is priceless. I am an adopted person with no family story – what I wouldn’t give to be able to touch just one small something concrete from my heritage. Plus check eBay – tons of silver out there and not much demand. Good luck whatever you decide. Best, Babsje

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  2. I say do what makes you happy! We make out of a situation then what we need to. If it’s not going to be used get rid of it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • msw blog says:

      This is not my personal story, but a query that appeared in the New York Times. I do however think this couple should seek out a relative who may want this family heirloom and respect its historical value over monetary value. On the off chance they cannot find such an individual in their family. Then it is their right to sell it, but somethings just belong in the family.

      Liked by 1 person

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