Sibling rivalry is pretty common, with most having the occasional conflict. However, they usually try to maintain civility for the sake of the family but in some cases there is an event that can tear a family apart.

This was the case with two brothers where one failed to pay rent to the other. It’s just money right? So what could have been so bad that it couldn’t be solved easily? Let’s dive in and see what really happened between them.

A Dark Secret

Todd Burkemper had a secret that he was hiding from his family. The secret wasn’t that he allowed his brother to live with him for 2 years, or even that he charged him rent. Tod hid the rent money and no one understood why.

Source: Reddit

It’s completely reasonable to charge rent for a house that is a mere 25 miles outside of a major city like St. Louis, Missouri – so why did Todd hide the money? Unraveling the truth behind Todd’s action is the key to understanding the mystery.

Helping a Brother Out

After finishing his education and getting his degree from university, Todd’s brother Alex found himself in a predicament. He needed to find a place to stay while he looked for a job. Luckily Todd had a solution.

Source: Reddit

Amidst Alex’s stress about his limited options, Todd reached out and extended a helping hand, with an offer of his home as a place for Alex to stay. Todd’s welcoming Alex into his house really highlights the bond and support between siblings in times of need.

Accepting the Offer

Without many options Alex eventually agreed to Todd’s offer and moved into Todd’s Wentzville home. Initially, Todd offered his brother a rent-free place to live for the first 6 months but eventually circumstances changed and Todd needed rent. The two discussed new terms, and Todd asked Alex to start paying monthly rent to which Alex agreed. Although Alex understood the unexpected change in agreement had its challenges.

Source: Wikimedia Commons

Alex was saving for his own home and that suddenly became more difficult with the added expense of rent. As a result, Alex had to postpone his dream of buying a house, because his first priority now was paying his brother the rent he needed.

Life Gets Complicated

Life can get very hard once you leave behind the comfort of your parents home and venture out on your own – a lesson Todd learned first hand. Landing the high-paying role as an app designer and software developer at Buildium was a dream come true. However the financial challenges of car payment, monthly expenses and the added weight of student loans was a lot for Todd to handle.

Source: Robert Alexander

On top of all that he lived in a house that was a bit out of reach for a recent graduate. Todd secured the house on favorable terms initially but was now having trouble keeping up with all of his financial obligations making life a bit harder than he expected.

It Was a More Complex Situation

Todd’s situation wasn’t a simple one. He didn’t just search high and low for a dream house and then secure it. He took on the monumental task of building one from scratch by financing the construction. This was no easy feat especially with not only the task of managing construction but also the weight of the financial burden of the loan.


But Todd took on the challenges, coming out stronger and more experienced than before. The adversity had strengthened his character, bringing out the best version of himself. As his brother Alex struggled with his own challenges, he was lucky to have Todd’s support, a roof over his head, and a stable presence in his life to help him navigate life’s obstacles.

An Unbreakable Sibling Bond

The bond between these brothers was clear and proven by Todd’s willingness to help out by providing his home as a place for Alex to stay. Although Todd asked his brother for rent, it was also beneficial for Todd to live with a family member rather than a brother.

Source: Reddit

Todd was open about the amount he charged Alex, revealing on the Kelly Clarkson Show that it was $350 a month, which was a bargain. That came to a yearly total of $4,200 which was much less than he’d be paying anywhere else.

The Harsh Realities of Paying Rent

Rent in Missouri averaged for $500 to $600 monthly in 2020, while a three-bedroom home can go for around $1,000. Opting for a four-bedroom place could set you back about $1,200 in rent.

Source: Pinterest

Meanwhile, two-bedroom houses could go for $800 per month. It’s important to note that these figures vary based on location. In Todd and Alex’s case, being brothers added some unique aspects to their landlord-tenant relationship.

It Can Get Pricey

Rent rates for two-bedroom houses can really vary depending on location in Missouri. In Adair County, the average monthly rent for such properties is around $700, while in Kansas City, it jumps to $900 for a similar place. This made Todd’s request for $350 per month from his brother a really reasonable rate compared other properties in Missouri.

Source: Facebook

Todd could have asked for more especially considering the financial burden of the loans for the property.

Time to Unravel the Secret

On an episode of the Kelly Clarkson Show, Todd opened up about a heartwarming secret he has been keeping. He had been saving Alex’s rent money for two and a half years without Alex ever suspecting a thing. But why? Todd had a plan in mind for his younger brother.

Source: Youtube

Todd had been saving this money because he wanted to help his brother buy a house. He even enlisted their parents’ help to keep it under wraps.

A Prideful Mom

Barbara Burkemper, the proud mother of Todd and Alex, was so happy when she found out what Todd was trying to do for his brother. She knew better than most that her son Alex had always had dreams of owning his own home. She understood how important it was that her sons were independent.

Source: Reddit

Barbara discouraged Alex from taking a loan from the bank, because she knew what her eldest was doing. She also worried that Alex might overextend himself and damage his credit.

Letting Go

Being the good mom that she was, she always encouraged her son to go out on his own and pursue his dreams. However, knowing what she did about her eldest son’s plans, she attempted to dissuade Alex from venturing out too quickly.

Source: Reddit

Finally, in May 2020 both parents urged Todd to reveal the secret they had been keeping.

A Unexpected Revelation

Todd and Alex’s parents joined them at Todd’s Wentzville home, camera in hand, ready to capture the big reveal. With a huge smile, Todd showed Alex his phone, revealing the accumulated amount he had saved and told Alex that all the money was for him.

Source: Reddit

Todd told him that all the money he had paid in rent, he had been saving over the years for a down payment for Alex on his first home. But that wasn’t all, Todd had an even bigger secret – he had been adding some of his own money into the account as well, unbeknownst to their parents.

The Story Went Viral

Alex was overwhelmed by this huge gesture from his brother and couldn’t hold back. He threw his arms around him in a moment that his parents captured on camera.

Source: Youtube

Barbara, proud of her sons, shared the video on her Facebook and from there it caught on like wildfire.

Sharing the Good News

The video Barbara shared took off garnering 130 comments and 180 likes. Pleasantly surprised by the public reaction she send the video to the Good News Network, explaining the story and her motivation behind sharing it.

Source: Facebook

She did an interview where she expressed how she hoped that the story would inspire others to perform acts of kindness. She recounted how she read the heartwarming responses that night and felt compelled to share them with a wider audience, eager to spread positivity.

The Brothers Became an Online Sensation

The Good News Network published an article on their website recounting the heartwarming story featuring the original video. The video quickly gained traction, with over 100,000 views and continued to receive an outpouring of positive responses.

Source: Wikimedia/JacoTen

Other publication outlets such as Epoch Times, LADbible, and Evening Standard also picked up the story. Little did Todd and Alex know that their story would reach even greater heights.

Instant Savings Account

During their appearance on The Kelly Clarkson Show, Todd explained that the idea to help his brother purchase the property came from his mom, Barbara.

Source: Facebook

Todd shared the details of how much he added every month which was $150 bringing the total monthly savings to $500. Over two years, the savings grew to a hefty $14,000.

Overwhelmed with Emotion

While on the Kelly Clarkson Show, Alex shared his side of the story as well. He explained that he had been completely clueless about his brother’s surprise. When he finally found out, he was overwhelmed and in shock.

Source: Youtube

He burst into tears when he realized what this meant for him. It was a genuinely life-changing experience that he would cherish forever.

Selfless Brotherly Act

During their interview on The Kelly Clarkson Show, Alex couldn’t stop gushing about his big brother. He described how his brother had always been very giving, going above and beyond during birthdays and holidays.

Source: Reddit

This was far more than anything he had ever done in the past. The video of their appearance on the show was posted on YouTube quickly garnering over 6,000 views and endless positive comments. But the question remained: Did Alex use the money to purchase his dream house, or did he have other plans in mind?

Sharing the Awesome News

Barbara’s Facebook update sharing a photo of a very happy young Alex in front of his very own house, holding a key with a “SOLD” sign at the top was just the update everyone wanted. Thanks to Todd’s selfless act, Alex’s dream of becoming a homeowner came true.

Source: Reddit

In the caption, Barbara wrote her congratulations and pride for her son. The post got attention from people keeping up with the brothers’ story with 150 likes and comments. Although the brothers now lived in separate houses in Wentzville, their bond remained as tight as it had always been.

Others Had It Different

As Todd and Alex’s story exemplifies, siblings can go above and beyond to take care of each other. Alex was really lucky to have a big brother like Todd but not all siblings are a slucky.

Source: Reddit

For example, the story of Louis Passerini paints a very different picture. Louis, spent his final days as a recluse at Bellevue Hospital. He had two brothers who barely kept in touch with him and were completely unaware of his whereabouts until his passing.

A Sad Relationship

Louis Passerini’s two brothers, Joseph and Henry, were completely unaware of his passing until six years later when they were notified by an agency that handles uncollected assets.

Source: Flickr

The agency informed Joseph that Louis had left behind two bank accounts totaling $81,155.17, as per the filed papers of Manhattan Surrogate’s Court.

A Private Person

Louis Passerini’s brothers, Joseph and Henry, were baffled about how they were completely unaware of their brother’s secret wealth. Joseph revealed that Louis was a very frugal and extremely private person.

Source: Youtube/Historical Machines FreeView

Henry could help but be curious and took it upon himself to investigate further. The brothers thought that the money might have come from Louis’ 30-year service in the Air Force and US Army.

Trying to Investigate Further

Henry was determined to uncover where all of Louis’ money came from. He sent out hundreds of letters to banks in all neighborhoods Louis had lived in.

Source: H. Armstrong Roberts/Retrofile

He also reached out to unclaimed funds administrators in every state, as well as the IRS.

A Trove of Bank Accounts

Henry’s dogged determination paid off when he found 30 bank accounts scattered across different states like Connecticut, New York, and Virginia. But that was just the beginning, he also found four safe deposit boxes held 19 savings passbooks, keys to more deposit boxes, and shorthand notes with clues to more discoveries.

Source: Mario Tama

In total, Henry unearthed over $900,000 left behind by his late brother. The search cost Henry $100,000 but was considered a profitable investment.

Issues Were Beginning to Arise

The tension between brothers reached a boiling point when Henry asked Joseph to reimburse him for the inheritance he had uncovered. Josh refused leaving Henry furious.

Source: Josue Decavele

Henry retaliated by refusing to pay the estate taxes on the entire sum, effectively holding the money hostage. The standoff between the two brothers intensified as they fought over the fortune.

Overcoming a Boring Process

Louis’ lack of a clear-cut will, caused major problems when resolving his estate. The process would have been more straightforward if he had designated his assets to specific beneficiaries. However, it appeared that Louis didn’t plan for what happened to his wealth upon his death.


The absence of an estate plan left his brothers, Joseph and Henry, fighting over Louis’ financial legacy.

He Wasn’t Considered Family Anymore

Louis was estranged from his family for some time before his death. His brothers hadn’t maintained contact with him, but had they things may have turned out differently.

Source: Wikimedia/Natalia Rivera

The fact that his brothers only learned of his passing after six years is a clear indication of their fractured relationship. When Joseph discovered Henry held back estate taxes, it sparked accusations that he was holding the money hostage.

Taking It to Court

The legal battle over their brother’s estate continues as Joseph tries to remove Henry as the administrator. Both brothers would ultimately split the substantial $912,000, with the remaining portion for six nieces and nephews.

Source: AdobeStock/Scopio

The importance of clarity in estate planning is really important as ambiguity can lead to complications, confusion, and protracted legal proceedings that can span years.