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Old 11-01-2019, 02:14 PM   #41
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OK, sorry to hear it. A good friend of mine had to pay out of his own pocket when his dad passed away because, despite his dad having a good pension, every check he received went straight to the local liquor store, just like his paychecks did when my friend was growing up. At least I was able to advise my friend that he wasn't responsible for his father's debts, and to just ignore any threatening letters from creditors.
It is possible that they are out of debt, and they have basic insurance to cover funeral/burial expenses. But given the meager leftovers from that, and their long stay in assisted living, I'm sure there are plenty of opportunities to take those leftovers as close to zero as possible. And then there are the *surprises* of which I'm sure there are at least one or two out there. At least my brother is on their bank account and has POA.
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Old 11-01-2019, 02:27 PM   #42
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Originally Posted by dixonge View Post
It is possible that they are out of debt, and they have basic insurance to cover funeral/burial expenses. But given the meager leftovers from that, and their long stay in assisted living, I'm sure there are plenty of opportunities to take those leftovers as close to zero as possible. And then there are the *surprises* of which I'm sure there are at least one or two out there. At least my brother is on their bank account and has POA.
From my point of view, your situation is fortunate from a financial standpoint. In our case, DW and I received a negative inheritance since we needed to help our folks financially in their final years. And we did so gladly since we could afford it and they had provided for us as best they could when we were growing up.

Since you don't need the money and since you want your folks to enjoy what little they have themselves, knowing they're paying their own way in assisted living and spending anything left beyond that would be a good thing.
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Old 11-01-2019, 02:53 PM   #43
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In our case, DW and I received a negative inheritance since we needed to help our folks financially in their final years.
The concept of negative inheritance can be extended to wealthy people who die leaving an estate in disarray. It's true that at least the executor is well-compensated for straightening out the mess, but what if time is more valuable than money to the executor? Some executors feel a moral obligation to serve, so declining is not always an option.

Getting back to the original question, my long range financial planning does not include the receipt of an inheritance. I can't say 'retirement planning' because the most I will ever do is semi-retire, not because of financial constraints but because working in the family biz is intellectually stimulating and not too burdensome (except during tax time). My Dad is still working in the family biz in his 80s.
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Old 11-01-2019, 03:23 PM   #44
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... I would prefer one with no children, so that the assets are not dissipated...
Is it possible that an heir with children might be able to use the money to raise the children to be productive, lawful, tax and SS-paying citizens? Would that be as good as donating to charity?
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Old 11-01-2019, 03:34 PM   #45
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I recognize that in some families, money is a taboo topic, fraught with emotion wrapped in insecurity

However, for those who have been fortunate to be able to have frank and open communication with family about money, inheritance and legacy, how much are you expected to inherit?
The OP asked about the money that forum members expect to inherit.

I and my 3 siblings all have a rough idea of what my mother's assets are. My youngest brother was assigned to look after her day-to-day finance, and would know more details. Besides her bank accounts which my brother is a co-owner, we all know she hoards some unknown cash in her safety box in the bank vault, but it probably does not exceed $100K.

At this point, we are all fortunate to have more than a 7-figure networth each, according to my estimate although we do not share personal financial info. As the result, no one is looking to get anything from my widowed mother.

PS. My mother's financial situation never comes up in our sibling-to-sibling talk, except for some time in the past when my mother complained of cash-flow problems. My youngest brother dismissed our concern, saying she had more money than she spent.
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Old 11-01-2019, 03:52 PM   #46
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We did not have open communication but my father had me type up a paper that said a certain stock that he owned would be given to my sister and I upon his death. The rest of his estate went to his second wife.
After he passed she tried to hide the total amount of that stock holding by turning over only the certificates that he had not the stock account. We froze the account so no one could transfer out funds but it took a year to get settled. The amount turned out to be more then expected . It was about a third of what my portfolio was at the time $145,000.So very helpful to me but not a make or break on my totals. If I had known it would not have changed how much I was setting aside. I always worried about my future and stashed away what I could.

There was a phrase "per stirpes" that I did not recognize. He joked that it was so my sister and I did not kill each other off, but also said since I did not have children that she would inherit anyway. Somehow that hurt my feelings so much that I never appreciated the inheritance and have been frustrated trying to untangle myself from it.
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Old 11-01-2019, 10:49 PM   #47
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On Mr. MM forum it’s interesting how many people are worried about having to support their parents in old age. Many financial train wrecks out there.
A lot of people on MM plan on retiring early on a bare bones budget. Supporting their parents would definitely throw a wrench into their plans...but just as likely some of them could end up being supported by their kids.
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Old 11-02-2019, 12:51 AM   #48
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I have tried to warn them that is dangerous. In my family we all live on what we have and don’t expect others to support us.
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Old 11-02-2019, 02:04 AM   #49
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Like everyone here, we never planned for anything. I wish our family was more open about finances and everyone was doing well. At one point, (perhaps 20 years ago) my parents (and DWs) had considerable assets, considering both parents came from nothing, neither had a HS diploma, and DM was a SAHM that “handled” the family business. They FIRED in their early 50s, and were pretty clueless about investing. They lived well and we thought, pretty happy, for maybe 15 years & lived a large but relatively simple life. Unfortunately boredom got the best of them both, DM turned in to a gambler, DF got bitter and they divorced. I suspected we (5 siblings) would have to help out DM eventually but she passed away at 69, 11 years ago, and left us each about $35k. It was one of the factors that kept me working so many years beyond a comfortable FIRE. You never know what can happen. I envy really close families.

At the end she got all concerned about how she blew money on gambling and a “boyfriend” and like everyone else here, I told her it was always her money to enjoy as she wanted. At the end, when she saw us all getting together to help her out, she was so happy (and we were a bit out off that she was surprised at that) and felt like she had screwed up. It didn’t matter to us, and we all were glad she didn’t suffer. She was very human with human demons and weaknesses. Like many here, I would rather have had more memories of great times.

Then DF turns around and does practically the same thing, after she passed away, blowing even more on girlfriends and gambling, over the next 11 years, but he had a different take on his money, and put aside an (random number be thought would be enough) amount specifically for his long term cate that we would split if he didn’t use it. That was his way of making sure one way or the other he would be taken care of by one or all of us, He remained bitter about DM till the end, even though the truth was he would have nothing if not for her. His parents (as was DMs father) were terrible parents, and while he always welcomed the kids & grands on a visit, he was only really glad to see them when he was still married and at the end. In between he made it clear he wanted to live “his” life, as he felt like he had spent his whole life living for DM or to raise kids. He was also very human with his own demons. He also passed quickly , just last month, and like my mother was surprised at how we all came together. He ended up spending the last 3 months living with my retired sister, which we insisted she get paid for.

The irony is that for years, as the only one local to him, she tried to get him healthy and involved, and he told me many times that she drove him crazy and he just wanted to live his own life. We all live at totally different parts of the US, much inspired by the desire to get away and be on our own, away from good, but difficult at times, parents. I totally regret not visiting and calling them more often when I was working. The times I did visit (no grands from me) it was never really awkward or felt unwelcome but there was that “well, thanks for the visit, but there was that “don’t you have things to do?” in the air. I’m not sure why I am even writing this. Just thinking to myself. In the end, DF left us a bit more than DM. We all would have preferred more memories of better times together, as they were fewer than they could have been. Ironically, trying to have more memories with step son & daughter are few, as DW is more along the “this is my time” as well as difficult issues. Sigh.
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Old 11-02-2019, 04:44 AM   #50
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Originally Posted by nancyfrank232 View Post
I recognize that in some families, money is a taboo topic, fraught with emotion wrapped in insecurity

However, for those who have been fortunate to be able to have frank and open communication with family about money, inheritance and legacy, how much are you expected to inherit?

More importantly, how do you plan to benefit society with this fortunate windfall?
1. For 15 years I took care of inlaws finances, so I knew the total that would be split by their children. I was able to guide the will preparation too, so that the split would be even for each child. Spouse's inheritance added 15-20% to our total portfolio. It gave us a margin of comfort.
2. Our immediate family will benefit from the inheritance. In a limited way we'll help extended family when they need assistance. We'll benefit the neighbors by upgrading our house exterior.

The plan is to leave at least 2-4 times the inherited amount to be split 2 ways. We don't burden our kids with too much about this, although it's right there for them to look at.
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Old 11-02-2019, 04:47 AM   #51
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A lot of people on MM plan on retiring early on a bare bones budget. Supporting their parents would definitely throw a wrench into their plans....
As Warren Buffett says "when the tide goes out you see who's swimming naked".

I'd say that true FI should be able to absorb or adjust to such a hit. A lot of folks out there gleefully proclaiming FI when, just like many in the working world, are one small expense away from not being able to hang on.
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Old 11-02-2019, 07:17 AM   #52
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My brother and I are blessed to have loving parents who raised us to be independent and financially secure. I don’t speak about specifics with my parents on their financial situation but they are living a comfortable and happy retirement.

My father was a lawyer and he spent a lot of time planning their estate and spelling out their will. The rather detailed document is at my parent’s home. While neither my brother nor myself knows any details what we don’t have to worry about is what they wanted which is a gift in itself.

I’ve told my dad that he should enjoy retirement and spend their money to enjoy life with mom. When they had their mountain cottage he would joke that “we’re spending your inheritance” any time they’d spend money making improvements. They’ve recently sold that cottage so I think the plan for them now is to travel a little more.

My wife’s family has some money related to her grandfather and my FIL owns a business. My wife has no idea what/if anything will be coming to her or her sisters.

We’re both of the mindset that our parents don’t owe us anything that might be left. As it stands now I could never repay my parents for all they’ve done for me. That is their legacy more than any money they might have accumulated.

I hope my parents live so long they can spend all they’ve accumulated. I would gladly pay for their final expenses. I’m sure though my parents have been smart with money and will pass something on to myself and my brother. That’s what I expect and hopefully that is still many happy years from now.
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Old 11-02-2019, 09:00 AM   #53
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When my oft-mentioned grandfather was alive, if it wasn't for money, we'd have nothing to talk about!

Investments, taxes, rates, trusts, disclosures, stocks, interest, dividends, his money, my money, family money, wills, legalities on and on.

In a way, he was kind of boring that way; maybe he was just lonely.
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Old 11-02-2019, 09:21 AM   #54
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@ age 83, we're at the other end of the question.

My kids all have copies of our will, and we update them on our financial situation on a regular basis. Not that much to distribute, but have full support and agreement for our wishes.

A very happy extended family that stays in touch daily. Four sons who get along as best friends.
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Old 11-02-2019, 09:30 AM   #55
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My guess is that my 88-year old widowed Dad has about $500K in investments; I haven't seen the bottom line since he asked me about 8 years ago how to calculate an IRR in Excel. It will be split among my 4 siblings and me, so nit life-changing. Whatever I get will go into the grandkids' 529 accounts. Dad knows that and is happy with it.

DS and DDIL know my bottom line, which WOULD be life-changing for them, but they're frugal and live a pretty modest life. I can't see them going hog-wild with the windfall. My main priority is making sure I have options if I become old and frail that don't thrust them into a caregiving role.
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Old 11-02-2019, 10:20 AM   #56
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My parents were born in the early 1920s and had the traditional Husband does the finances and Wife doesn't really know much about them. My Dad always kept my sister and me appraised with a list of his assets and the dollar amounts. That list helped me find all his accounts when he died last year. I had been added to his two financial accounts a few months before he fell ill, which helped.

Since my adult children received a copy of the will and inherited a percentage of my parents estate, it was pretty clear how much I inherited also.

So, I will be doing the same. Listing my accounts with enough information to access one of them and contact the others. Both of my children live out of the country so I want to make it as easy as possible for them. I will probably add them (or one of them) to my Vanguard account to give them easier access to change the account for distribution.

Since they inherited a nice chunk of money from my parents, they are learning how to handle it in advance of inheriting more from me. Hopefully by the time they inherit my estate, they will be wiser.
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Old 11-02-2019, 10:39 AM   #57
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Mom will most likely out live us all. Otherwise I will receive 1/4 of few million. House alone is worth 2 mill. Since mom has the longevity gene and we are our fathers children I don’t count on seeing any of it.
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Old 11-02-2019, 11:14 AM   #58
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Originally Posted by lemming View Post
We did not have open communication but my father had me type up a paper that said a certain stock that he owned would be given to my sister and I upon his death. The rest of his estate went to his second wife.
After he passed she tried to hide the total amount of that stock holding by turning over only the certificates that he had not the stock account. We froze the account so no one could transfer out funds but it took a year to get settled. The amount turned out to be more then expected . It was about a third of what my portfolio was at the time $145,000.So very helpful to me but not a make or break on my totals. If I had known it would not have changed how much I was setting aside. I always worried about my future and stashed away what I could.

There was a phrase "per stirpes" that I did not recognize. He joked that it was so my sister and I did not kill each other off, but also said since I did not have children that she would inherit anyway. Somehow that hurt my feelings so much that I never appreciated the inheritance and have been frustrated trying to untangle myself from it.
Your MIL sounds like a greedy horrible person.

As for the "per stirpes", that phrase is a common legal term in Wills, as I'm sure you looked up. It really protected both of your offspring if you had any later after the Will was written.

You Dad's joking way of referring to it, was poorly chosen words for sure, and not actually accurate.

Assume you and your Sister both died before your Dad.
When he died.
You would not inherit anything as you are dead first.
Same for your Sister. (this is where your Dad was inaccurate).
However, since your Sister had children it protected her share by passing her share on to her children.

Since I joke with my kids, you have made me wonder if I might have said something to hurt her feelings, when explaining to DD about something she will inherit... I will have to ask her.
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Old 11-02-2019, 11:16 AM   #59
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As for us inheriting.
Way too early to tell, and doesn't matter.
Never count your chickens before they hatch is how I live.
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Old 11-08-2019, 05:31 PM   #60
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Long ago I heard my aunt complain that my grandfather was spending their inheritance. I replied that he was spending HIS money, and that her inheritance would be what was left over after he was through spending. I'll probably inherit something from my mother, but with six kids in the family it won't be a lot. My wife and I are probably better off than 90% of the people on this planet, so I don't worry about it.
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