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Inheritance means test by relatives.
Old 10-31-2010, 07:44 AM   #1
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Inheritance means test by relatives.

This is sort of relative to a recent thread about talking nw with relatives. I have never talked nw with any relatives and my newest car is a 1996.

Several months ago I was at my parentís house wrapping up a landscape project I had done for them. My dad (81 yrs old) informed me he had just liquidated over 1/3 of his saving to buy a house for $155K cash. The house was for my niece2 and her boyfriend (and his daughter) of 6 months that she had met via the internet. They were living together and paying $1000/month rent which he said they would pay him now. This is SW Ohio where 2 bdr rent is ~$600/month. They could not qualify for a loan at the bank. There was nothing in writing about principal/interest/equity in the property. I was shocked. Niece1 and my sister keep 5 horses at my dadís and pay no board. This is worth about $1K/month and has been going on for 15 years.

They had done this 6 years ago with my other niece1 (married) who had filed BK. In that deal they had applied all of the rent to the principal and when the house sold gave all of the profit to niece2. I drove by their house (niece2) in my 1991 Honda every day on the way to work only to see 2 new trucks ($80K worth - leased) in their driveway. Below are the questions I raised and the answers I got. I have not been back since nor talked to them and donít plan to.

Q1. They are not married. They have no skin in the game. Why shouldnít they work and save like everyone else? A. We just wanted to help.

Q2. My son lives in Colorado and pays over $1000/month rent. Can he expect some help like you have done for my other 2 siblingís kids. A. You have plenty of money. Help him yourself. I donít plan on helping any of your kids. I pointed out that niece1ís father was a dentist and sold his vacation condo for close to 1 million, so I donít understand the logic. A. Silence.
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Old 10-31-2010, 08:36 AM   #2
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Hello Jay - Sorry but it seems your parents do not treat all their children and nieces equally. Do not let this affect your life and happiness. Forgive them, and move on - life is too short.

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A. Silence.
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Old 10-31-2010, 09:10 AM   #3
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People do what they want to do with their money and sometimes it seems pretty crazy. Often (as in my family as well) all the money is not left to the children and sometimes none of it is.

Don't ever expect a cent of inheritance, and you won't be disappointed.

Also, don't let these circumstances change your relationship with your parents if it is good. Good memories of your family is the real gift they can leave with you.
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Old 10-31-2010, 09:35 AM   #4
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Also, don't let these circumstances change your relationship with your parents if it is good. Good memories of your family is the real gift they can leave with you.
I disagree. Money speaks louder than words, and JayC has been shouted at. If I had children with different financial situations and saw a need to help one more than another, I would talk very frankly to the one I was thinking of shorting. My plans would not be a done deal; I would be trying to find out his/her feelings about the situation.

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Old 10-31-2010, 09:51 AM   #5
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I disagree. Money speaks louder than words, and JayC has been shouted at. If I had children with different financial situations and saw a need to help one more than another, I would talk very frankly to the one I was thinking of shorting. My plans would not be a done deal; I would be trying to find out his/her feelings about the situation.

Ha
Yes, but not all of us have the wonderful luck to have a parent like you. Brooding over bad feelings towards one's parents for decades after their demise is not a great outcome, and can ruin someone's life. You get the family you get in life and that can't be changed. Some parents do NOT see leaving their money to their children as the kindest thing they can do for them. And some parents do not think that what they plan to do with their money is anyone's business but their own.

IMO the best way to think about this is "God bless the child who has his own". If you do, then you are free and you can continue to love your parents and be surprised and happy with a partial inheritance if/when you receive one.
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Old 10-31-2010, 09:56 AM   #6
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While it is a delicate dance indeed, I think some good can come from the OP talking with his father about this.

On other topics, somewhat similar to this, I've found that the person who was trying to help just never realized how it was being viewed by or affected others. If done carefully, this can be brought to light. And if done correctly, and under the right circumstances the father might actually appreciate being enlightened. Maybe he had no intention of slighting anyone, and never intended to, but just never saw it.

Of course, it's his money and if this is what he wants to do, you have to accept it.

If it were me, I'd address some of the non-personal issues first. Tell him you're concerned that he has the proper papers in place to protect himself. If he gave up 1/3rd of his portfolio to buy this house, that is a big deal. He has to have some assurance that he will get that rent, and that his interests are protected.

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Old 10-31-2010, 09:59 AM   #7
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While it is a delicate dance indeed, I think some good can come from the OP talking with his father about this.
According to the original post, he already did.
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Old 10-31-2010, 10:04 AM   #8
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Yes, but not all of us have the wonderful luck to have a parent like you. Brooding over bad feelings towards one's parents for decades after their demise is not a great outcome, and can ruin someone's life. You get the family you get in life and that can't be changed. Some parents do NOT see leaving their money to their children as the kindest thing they can do for them. And some parents do not think that what they plan to do with their money is anyone's business but their own.
I appreciate your compliment. Family is more important to me than anything, even though I missed the storybook outcome.

I guess I see your point, but I do see it the way that I mentioned. Relationships work both ways. If there are to be reciprocal obligations, the parents/grandparents need to understand that shorting a child or child's family is an insult and a hurt. And when you hurt or insult someone, some part drops out of that relationship, even though they may still show up at your funeral. jayc was over at his dad's doing a landscaping project. He clearly has not been a neglectful son.

jayc felt hurt, but he had the nerve to ask about it.
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Q2. My son lives in Colorado and pays over $1000/month rent. Can he expect some help like you have done for my other 2 siblingís kids. A. You have plenty of money. Help him yourself. I donít plan on helping any of your kids. I pointed out that niece1ís father was a dentist and sold his vacation condo for close to 1 million, so I donít understand the logic. A. Silence.
To me at least, this is an FU response by a power-tripping old man. Parent's should not make FU responses.


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Old 10-31-2010, 10:07 AM   #9
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Q: How much does dad owe each of his children? Answer: Zero.

I can't think of any way to discuss this issue ("I feel like me and my kids deserve more of your stuff than you are going to give us") in any way that won't adversely affect the relationship.
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Old 10-31-2010, 10:16 AM   #10
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If he gave up 1/3rd of his portfolio to buy this house, that is a big deal. He has to have some assurance that he will get that rent, and that his interests are protected.

-ERD50
Hopefully he'll only buy the house and let them live in it rather than actually transfer ownership. That will allow him to sell it later if /when things don't work out.
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Old 10-31-2010, 10:32 AM   #11
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Q: How much does dad owe each of his children? Answer: Zero.

I can't think of any way to discuss this issue ("I feel like me and my kids deserve more of your stuff than you are going to give us") in any way that won't adversely affect the relationship.
This is not about helping me. You are right, he owes my nothing. But I take it real personal when my kids get a lump of coal under the xmas tree and the other grandkids get houses. What did my kids do wrong? My dad has 5 grandkids. He subsidized niece1 standard of living by $80K and then subsidized niece2 and 2 strangers by $155K. I think that says it all.
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Old 10-31-2010, 10:38 AM   #12
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According to the original post, he already did.
Yes, and I'm saying he could continue - but delicately.

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..., the parents/grandparents need to understand that shorting a child or child's family is an insult and a hurt. And when you hurt or insult someone, some part drops out of that relationship,
Agreed, and it is possible that the parent here does not even realize that they are doing this. They might think that their perception of 'need' evens everything out - in some cases maybe it does, or maybe it doesn't. Clearly, the OP does not feel it does.

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To me at least, this is an FU response by a power-tripping old man. Parent's should not make FU responses.
Well, maybe the parent really hadn't realized the effects. Maybe that was a knee-jerk response. Maybe the silence was him thinking...".....hmmm, maybe he's got a point?"?


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Hopefully he'll only buy the house and let them live in it rather than actually transfer ownership. That will allow him to sell it later if /when things don't work out.
And I think a good son would try to ensure that happened, rather than just "hoping" it happened. Again, it must be done delicately, and if despite that you start getting "none of your business" responses, well, you decide where to draw the line.


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Old 10-31-2010, 10:39 AM   #13
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Hopefully he'll only buy the house and let them live in it rather than actually transfer ownership. That will allow him to sell it later if /when things don't work out.
The process with niece1 was. Keep ownship. Buy house for $80K cash. Apply all rent paid to principal. Don't charge interest because 'I am not paying interest'. Sell house for $110K. Niece1 gets $30K profit plus ($80k minus all rent paid).
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Old 10-31-2010, 10:41 AM   #14
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This is not about helping me. You are right, he owes my nothing. But I take it real personal when my kids get a lump of coal under the xmas tree and the other grandkids get houses. What did my kids do wrong? My dad has 5 grandkids. He subsidized niece1 standard of living by $80K and then subsidized niece2 and 2 strangers by $155K. I think that says it all.
I think we have some confusion regarding niece2. Is you dad gifting her the $155k house outright and immediately? Or is he buying it and renting it to them perhaps to apply their rent to the house at some later date?

What is your recommendation for your dad in regard to his gifting to grandkids (it seems like he has now helped 2 out of 5) given the actions that have already taken place? What do you want him to do now? Try to be specific.
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Old 10-31-2010, 10:44 AM   #15
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I can't say that I am in your position, because my parents have neither the pot nor the window and none of their children have gotten or will get anything by way of inheritance. But even if my parents were wealthy and gave everything to my siblings, I would take pride in the fact that I have done well enough that I don't need anything. They do.
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Old 10-31-2010, 10:50 AM   #16
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This is not about helping me. You are right, he owes my nothing. But I take it real personal when my kids get a lump of coal under the xmas tree and the other grandkids get houses. What did my kids do wrong? My dad has 5 grandkids. He subsidized niece1 standard of living by $80K and then subsidized niece2 and 2 strangers by $155K. I think that says it all.

Did you tell him that? Maybe you should tell him what you feel. Get it off your chest and move on.
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Old 10-31-2010, 10:52 AM   #17
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I think we have some confusion regarding niece2. Is you dad gifting her the $155k house outright and immediately? Or is he buying it and renting it to them perhaps to apply their rent to the house at some later date?

What is your recommendation for your dad in regard to his gifting to grandkids (it seems like he has now helped 2 out of 5) given the actions that have already taken place? What do you want him to do now? Try to be specific.
He keeps ownership and does it as a 'rental'. He applies all rent to the principal, pays for all repairs and taxes, and in niece1's case gives them all of the profit from the sale if and when they move.
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Old 10-31-2010, 10:54 AM   #18
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He keeps ownership and does it as a 'rental'. He applies all rent to the principal, pays for all repairs and taxes, and in niece1's case gives them all of the profit from the sale if and when they move.
Is this what you would like him to do for your children?

What is it that you want, other than a vague concept of "fairness," from your dad? I don't think you can resolve this until you understand and come to grips with that.
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Old 10-31-2010, 10:58 AM   #19
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Did you tell him that? Maybe you should tell him what you feel. Get it off your chest and move on.
DW still communicates with my mom. She spent a couple of hours discussing it and declared, 'She just does not get it.'.
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Old 10-31-2010, 11:03 AM   #20
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Did you tell him that? Maybe you should tell him what you feel. Get it off your chest and move on.
Could this really be productive? It sounds like a great way to create a rift that will last for a long time.

About the only way I can see to get inside dad's head and figure out what he's thinking is a very indirect approach.
"Dad, DW and I met with a lawyer and are drawing up our will. We're not agreeing about how to divide up property between our kids. DW believes we should leave more to the kid that needs it most, and maybe start helping them before we pass away. I'm thinking this will lead to hurt feelings, and that all the kids should get the same thing. It's not a big deal, since we don't plan to die soon, but we've been discussing it. What have you seen your friends do, and how has it worked out."

But, since some "frank" discussion has already occurred, this is no longer an option as dad will get his defenses up immediately.
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