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What is the "right" thing to do.
Old 09-05-2014, 11:08 PM   #1
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What is the "right" thing to do.

This thread made me wonder, not the legalities but the ethics.

One of my mother's sisters died a month ago. I got an email from my cousin today asking for my correct mailing address since she had left me $5K in her will. To be honest, $5k would have been pocket change to her, it is to me as well, and I doubt it would mean a thing to her two kids. I also suspect that her will looked after her 3 grandkids. There are 3 GGK's, they may or may not be mentioned.

I could "renounce" the bequest but I don't want to look like I'm ungrateful. I want to do something. What would you do and why?

1) "Renounce" the gift.
2) Take the money and send a cheque for 1/3 of it to her grandkids.
3) Take the gift, set up a separate investment account with it, and leave that portion of my estate (in my will) to her GGK's. Hopefully, I'll live long enough that it may be woth something when I die.
4) Use the gift to hire a few "escorts".
5) Donate it to the political party I like least.
6) Other, please elaborate.
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Old 09-05-2014, 11:18 PM   #2
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I'm compelled to ask, why in a thread that talks about 'ethics' and 'the right thing to do', one of the options is not, "give the money to a deserving charity in my Aunt's name?"
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Old 09-05-2014, 11:25 PM   #3
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You should take the money and decide what to do with it at a later date. She wanted you to have it.
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Old 09-05-2014, 11:26 PM   #4
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I like #4; make a few fantasies come true
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Old 09-05-2014, 11:30 PM   #5
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There is no "right" thing to do. Your Aunt wanted you to have the money. I don't think you should feel guilty about accepting it and you should do what ever you want with it.
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Old 09-06-2014, 12:26 AM   #6
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There is no "right" thing to do. Your Aunt wanted you to have the money. I don't think you should feel guilty about accepting it and you should do what ever you want with it.
+1

I had an inheritance like this (slightly larger) in 2013. I certainly was not expecting it, but was pleasantly surprised. I saw no reason to disrespect the wishes of my late aunt-in-law. I used the money to fund my TFSA.
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Old 09-06-2014, 12:35 AM   #7
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I'm compelled to ask, why in a thread that talks about 'ethics' and 'the right thing to do', one of the options is not, "give the money to a deserving charity in my Aunt's name?"
I hoped that was covered by #6. I'm glad someone mentioned it.
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Old 09-06-2014, 01:21 AM   #8
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Take it and invest it or bank it. Every year, use a portion of it to honor your memories of her in some way, so it is an ongoing process which can evolve throughout your life.
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Old 09-06-2014, 05:36 AM   #9
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Wouldn't give it to the GGK, there may be more of them in the future and then they get left out.

I'd probably just add it to my savings. Or spend it on a family event that celebrates dear Aunt.

Since it was pocket change for the both of you I wouldn't think about it too much. She probably meant it as a gesture of recognition (or an underhanded insult )

Don't renounce it though, that'll just generate unpredictable emotions.
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Old 09-06-2014, 08:55 AM   #10
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I would accept it and use part of the money to buy a splurge that I wouldn't otherwise do and think of Auntie every time I used that item and use the remainder to make period donations in Auntie's memory.
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Old 09-06-2014, 12:35 PM   #11
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If your Aunt died of a specific medical condition (cancer, heart disease, etc) then accept the bequest, but donate in her memory to a related charity or institution (cancer society, etc).

Otherwise, I'd probably donate it to a worthy charity in her memory, or my church.
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Old 09-06-2014, 03:29 PM   #12
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I agree with the position that renouncing it would appear disrespectful to her wishes, and you don't indicate any compelling reason to do so.

So accept it graciously and be creative - perhaps the act of spending it/giving it away will give you some good memories to honor your Aunt.
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Old 09-06-2014, 06:44 PM   #13
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Sign the back of the check and forward it to me. Done.
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Old 09-06-2014, 06:48 PM   #14
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There is no "right" thing to do. Your Aunt wanted you to have the money. I don't think you should feel guilty about accepting it and you should do what ever you want with it.
Exactly.
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Old 09-07-2014, 06:04 AM   #15
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There is no "right" thing to do. Your Aunt wanted you to have the money. I don't think you should feel guilty about accepting it and you should do what ever you want with it.
+1
I have never received any type of inheritance but if I did I would assume they gave it to me because they wanted me to have it and they wanted me to enjoy it. I wouldn’t ever consider refusing it as that would just feel wrong to me.
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