Dear Blake,

My grandmother had beautiful but simple emerald jewelry. When I was 10, she told me that because I was her only grandchild who shared emerald as a birthstone, when she died, the jewelry would be mine. Fast-forward 30 years. A year before her death, my grandmother asked my mother if there was anything of hers we wanted. Mom immediately mentioned the emerald jewelry for me. Grandma then informed Mom that we were “too late,” she’d already given it to my aunt, her daughter-in-law. I never let on to my grandmother how upset I was, but I was devastated. A year later she passed away at 86. It’s not her fault that she forgot she’d promised the jewelry to me. My aunt has no daughters, and the odds are slim that she’ll have grandchildren. I don’t want to ask her to give me the jewelry. My grandmother was precious to her, too. But would it be wrong to ask her to not promise it to anyone else, and to leave it to me in her will?

Signed, Della
From Casper, Wyoming

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Dear Della,

Consider your grandmother’s advanced age, it’s entirely possible she simply forgot that she promised the emerald to you. And given the fact that it’s highly unlikely your aunt is going to willingly give it you, you must find another way to get it, even if it involves committing a long list of felonies. Ok, here are some of my suggestions. Break into her place and steal it. Even if you get caught, it’s not likely that you’re aunt will press charges, because if she does, your family will hold that against her, even though you’re the crook. Or, you can tell your aunt that your grandmother said it was cursed, and the owner of it will die within a year of possessing it. You can enhance that by telling your aunt that your grandmother bought it 8 months before she died, and then tearfully tell her to give you the emerald so you can “get rid of it”. And this idea might work. Convince her into letting you get it appraised, and afterwards, tell her it was actually costume jewelry. And when she asks you where it is, tell you threw into the streets because you were so upset that your grandmother lied to your “favorite” aunt (wink), regarding it’s authenticity.  But if you want your aunt to voluntarily give it to you, then do this. Create a fraudulent document that you allege was composed by your grandmother, about what the requirements are to keep the emerald. Include that you were her favorite granddaughter, and your aunt is now your servant for life. And she must immediately turn over her car keys, her ATM pin number, and dress like a Hebrew slave in your presence as they did 2500 years ago. It will be just a matter of time before her husband orders her to give you the jewel, after you inform him that you will soon be picking out his butler uniform. I hope this helps.