Disinherited Daughter. Like Cinderella, the little girl named Margaret worked to earn her room and board. She washed and swept and did what she was told.
By the time she was five years old, her mother already passed her from home to home.
Now she slept behind a curtain in a dank basement and tried to be obedient. When she wasn’t she was whipped by a switch.
The woman she had been dumped with collected her baby bonus cheques, plus $20 a month from Margaret’s mother – and her mother was no more generous in death than she had been in life.
She disinherited her daughter she had given birth to and abandoned. Margaret Austin was left just $100 in her mother’s will.
The rest of her substantial estate went to two daughters she had later adopted and raised.
After a lifetime of quietly struggling to move beyond a childhood of abuse and neglected, Austin had enough.
She decided to fight back. She contested the will.
“This wasn’t about money,” said Austin, now 66. “This was about my relationship with my mother.”
Trevor Todd, the Vancouver lawyer and estate expert who represented Austin in her case, said, “People always say it’s not about the money. Well, actually, it is. If someone is left out, they feel really unloved.”
Money and love are difficult threads to untangle.
“Inheritance is a big deal,” said Todd. “A lot of parents just want to get one last kick from the grave. People are victimized and they are hurt.”
Since setting up his bustling website disinherited.com 13 years ago, Todd says, business has doubled every year.