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Old 09-08-2014, 01:18 PM   #21
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Even though my parents always claim "what we do for one kid, we do for the other as well", the reality is quite different. Though they don't have solid numbers to rely on, it's not hard for them to see that I am doing well financially. My sister and her kid are not doing so well. So she gets a lot of help from my parents. My dad's will also favored her strongly in its first draft, though it was later revised after a lawyer pointed out the imbalance. I don't feel hurt by it because I don't think my parents are trying to penalize or spite me as much as make sure that my sister is going to be OK.
I agree with the sentiment.

I believe the OP has a good problem to have. As such, there is no need for the OP push it too hard. It may turn into an issue that will do more damage to relationships than the money is worth.
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Old 09-08-2014, 01:59 PM   #22
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I don't feel hurt by it because I don't think my parents are trying to penalize or spite me as much as make sure that my sister is going to be OK.
This is how I'd see it also.

As for all the grandchildren, those not including could be told the truth. "Grandma knows that Mom and Dad are ok financially and can always take care of you; your cousins aren't as fortunate and Grandma wanted to make sure that they would be ok also"
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Old 09-08-2014, 02:38 PM   #23
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Interesting topic.

I try, in every instance I can, not to infer too much personally from the decisions and action of others because I believe you can never really get inside someone's head. Thinking you know why people do things, especially things you can take as slights, is a recipe for misery in my opinion.

If I know a parent is upset with or disappointed in me I hope to address it long before they die :-)

If I inherit anything from anyone I'll be grateful. If I don't or if other members of my family get more, I'm going to be 100% OK with that, especially if it looks like the reason is an attempt to help another relative they see as having a hard time. I didn't earn the money in question, they did and I'll let them do what they want with it for whatever of their own reasons they choose when they die without hard feelings from me.
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Old 09-08-2014, 02:51 PM   #24
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The person (in this case the OPs mom) has the right to put whatever she wants in her will or trust. Does it have to be fair, heck no.

DH's brother has stated he "deserves" more inheritance because he's broke. He's broke because he has chosen to be unemployed for the past decade. MIL and FIL's wills didn't see it that way. Instead they are giving a slightly larger share to another brother... who's on disability. The remaining 4 kids (big family) can complain all they want - but the will isn't changing (FIL died, MIL has been declared incompetant - so can't change her will.)

My grandfather left more to my aunt than to my father. He knew my aunt had been financially decimated by a bad divorce, where my father had done well for himself. Since my dad & mom predeceased my grandfather, my sister and I inherited a much smaller amount... We were fine with it - even agreed with it. We signed over part of our inheritance (about half) to my aunt, since we felt that's what my dad would have done.

There are no rules that wills have to be fair. That said - we've got things split 50/50 for our two sons.

Scrambler - too funny about the gainfully employed part of the will. My dad had a similar line in his trust. The inheritance wasn't enough for me to retire on alone... but it did move my retirement date closer a few years. I always considered that Dad trying to control his kids from the grave. (He was very much a control freak.)
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Old 09-08-2014, 03:22 PM   #25
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Scrambler - too funny about the gainfully employed part of the will. My dad had a similar line in his trust. The inheritance wasn't enough for me to retire on alone... but it did move my retirement date closer a few years. I always considered that Dad trying to control his kids from the grave. (He was very much a control freak.)
This would be the reason I would have refused any inheritance. My mom is very controlling. If she had money to leave to her children, she would have used it to control them.
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Old 09-08-2014, 03:38 PM   #26
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OK here is the worst. My Dad, who was never a good dad and absent most of my life, needed medical help when he moved away and was being taking advantage of by his ex-wife (trying to get his remaining money). He was being nice and was telling me how proud he was of me and my sister for making good lives....and saying he hoped we had enough set away, etc. Stupidly, looking for approval, I told him how much DH and I set away and his comment was to "be sure to hold onto it". One week later after being persuaded by the es-wife, he called to ask me to loan him 300K temporarily, while he got her to sell the house he bought. UGH. Of course I said no, and he still hasn't got her to sell the house.

NEVER tell people, no matter how innocent it sounds, about how much money you have. You hear this from people who win lotteries.
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Old 09-08-2014, 03:41 PM   #27
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I read a couple books before setting up our trust, and universally the stories of kids being hurt after being treated unfairly really impressed me. We decided to split evenly, no matter what. We told the kids (blended family) this so there would be no surprise.

A good friend of mine makes really good money, her hub the same....when his dad died he left almost all of his money to a newish wife who did not need it, and the rest to a no'er do well sister in and out of rehab. He is smart guy, but was super hurt to not be acknowledged in any way.
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Old 09-08-2014, 03:47 PM   #28
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..........I don't think my parents are trying to penalize or spite me as much as make sure that my sister is going to be OK.
There ya go. It would be a horrible situation if parents could not help one child disproportionately to another because the rules said all must receive equally. I can't imagine having a struggling child and a very successful child where if I divided my wealth 50 - 50, there would not be enough in the struggling child's half to really help. Yet the extremely successful child would look at his/her half as trivial.
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Old 09-08-2014, 03:51 PM   #29
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OK here is the worst. My Dad, who was never a good dad and absent most of my life, needed medical help when he moved away and was being taking advantage of by his ex-wife (trying to get his remaining money). He was being nice and was telling me how proud he was of me and my sister for making good lives....and saying he hoped we had enough set away, etc. Stupidly, looking for approval, I told him how much DH and I set away and his comment was to "be sure to hold onto it". One week later after being persuaded by the es-wife, he called to ask me to loan him 300K temporarily, while he got her to sell the house he bought. UGH. Of course I said no, and he still hasn't got her to sell the house.

NEVER tell people, no matter how innocent it sounds, about how much money you have. You hear this from people who win lotteries.

I have an "evil" brother who believes that I am entitled to help him out financially. After bailing him out so many times, it's over. Unlike you, I could not say no until things have gotten really sad/bad. Now, he is out of my life (and my parents, my siblings, etc.). Some people are wired to take advantage of others, even their family members. Human nature, I guess.
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Old 09-08-2014, 04:06 PM   #30
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A good friend of my family died ten years ago . She left a will that was slightly bizarre . She left most people in the will and there were quite a few $100 and a personal item . By the time she died the assets had grown and the list got whittled down by death so instead of inheriting a $100 . I inherited $10,000 and my personal item was an original tiffany lamp . That inheritance gave so much joy . My niece went to law school . My daughter paid for graduate school . I took my Mother , my Aunt & my daughter on a cruise .That's what I would like my will to do bring joy .
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Old 09-08-2014, 04:08 PM   #31
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Sad for you. I do honestly believe my dad thought he would pay me right back, he has 350K in that house, and still had about 150K in a bank account....but it was so awkward. I knew the ex-wife would do everything in her power to stop or block the sale and I would never see the money. This has born out. (I will probably need to hire an attorney on his behalf soon)

I feel lucky that my only sibling has done as well as we have (she never worked but her hub has done well) so there is no awkwardness about money between us. Same for my hub, his siblings are all ok and supporting themselves.
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Old 09-08-2014, 04:29 PM   #32
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I have an "evil" brother who believes that I am entitled to help him out financially.
DW has a sister like that, and that foolishness stopped when DW was in high school when DW got stung for filling up the sister's car. It has caused some resentment on her part because we're not doing what she thinks we should do for her. But when DW earned $5 for babysitting and bought a blouse the sister was angry because she couldn't buy one too. That's the way her mind works.

As has been discussed before "wealth" is relative and relative to her I suppose we are indeed fabulously wealthy. To his credit, FIL's will spread what little there was equally among the four adult children. My mother did the same with me and my sisters although there wasn't a yawning gulf in income/assets between us.
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Old 09-08-2014, 04:34 PM   #33
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We never, ever discuss our financial situation with anyone-including our adult children. There is really no need for anyone to know anything other than we are comfortable. Any knowledge past that point can only bring us grief. Most especially from the n'er do wells. It only breeds resentment, envy, and a few other unpleasant things. So why enable that? We prefer to keep our mouths shut and our eyes and ears open.

I have been an executor and have probated wills. In our jurisdiction any person named for inheritance in the will must receive a copy of the entire will. The executor has to swear to this, in addition to other things, prior to probate being granted.

DW has been in the position where she felt that she was not treated in a fair manner. But at the end of the day it is someone else's money and they are entitled to spend it/bequeath it how they wish. There is no point being upset or dwelling on it-the only person who gets hurt by that is you. You have to make a conscious decision to move on.
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Old 09-08-2014, 04:43 PM   #34
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I am afraid my brother is one of those that defies logic. I was taking care my other brother who was dying of cancer. The "evil" one got really jealous of my dying brother's getting all the attention from me, and my financial support. The evil one started checking how often I am visiting my dying brother, cursing both of us out on phone, e-mails/texts (when we didn't respond, etc). He even faked some illness so that I can pay some attention to him. When my other family members rallied against his bad behavior, he started cursing his mom, dad, and just about everyone else. It got so bad that it ended up in a restraining order against him. Needless to say, no one invited him to his own brother's funeral. Hopefully, he is gone for good from our lives forever. The thing is, he refused to believe how mentally sick he is and will never change. Sad but true.

On the other hand, my RIP brother was a very nice man. Everyone who knew him is convinced how nice he is (was).

But I digress. Back to OP, if my mom had any money, she probably would leave it to me to distribute among her children as I see fit. I would not want that responsibility.
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Old 09-08-2014, 04:53 PM   #35
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We never, ever discuss our financial situation with anyone-including our adult children.
I generally agree with this but have made the following exceptions in our own case:

1. I have a special needs grandson (cerebral palsy) and have set up a significant trust for him. I have discussed this with his father, my son, in detail. This removed a burden from his shoulders and he directs his savings to other areas, mainly retirement.

2. I'll be paying for my other two grand children to go to college and have 529b's, Coverdells, etc., in place. I've discussed this with their parents so the parents can concentrate on retirement saving and not on college saving.

3. I fund my son's and my DIL's IRAs annually (have full POA) and they need to know for tax purposes.

Sometimes not communicating information can lead to inappropriate allocation of resources by the adult children so best to share some things, IMHO. I haven't shared all details of my entire financial situation with the kids and don't plan to. I do need to get more documented in writing so they can take over efficiently when the last of DW or I pass.
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Old 09-08-2014, 04:57 PM   #36
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....My mother knows my net worth. She is currently undergoing cancer treatment and her prognosis is uncertain. Since my brother and sister live 2 hours away, I am her main support person when she needs rides to doctors, help around the house, and I manage all her administrative needs, finances, taxes, etc.

We are now working with an attorney to create a new will and trust. When it came down to answering how she wanted assets distributed she wants me to be the executor of the estate and she wants all the assets put into a trust for my younger brother who is a nice guy but also a never-do-well who can't hold a job.
.....

She says that this is because I and my children don't need the money. I agree I don't but my children are not me. It hurts because it reinforces all the insecurities I carry about mine and my children's "rank" in the family. I actually lobbied her to put my children equal with the other grandkids in the will (not me, my children) but she wouldn't hear of it. ....
What a painful situation--so sorry. Do your children even have to know about it? It might be a difficult but helpful kindness on your part to let them have memories of a grandmother who loved them equally and not carry on insecurities about their rank in the family, so keep them out of the information loop?

I don't know how hard it would be to be executor of an estate in which logically you should share equally but in reality you are being cut out of it, but if you are able to just go ahead and do it, you would be giving your mother such a final gift. You really have all my respect for being there for her so far. If it helps, try to remember money does not equal love or happiness, and also that you "won" in the end on your own.
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Old 09-08-2014, 05:00 PM   #37
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To the OP....... don't have a suggestion for you, other to say, 'kudos' for your handling of a difficult situation.
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Old 09-08-2014, 05:08 PM   #38
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if you are able to just go ahead and do it, you would be giving your mother such a final gift.
Yes. OP's mom needs a trusted friend and confidant to help her do what she wants to do for her children and, apparently, that person is OP. Leaving unequal amounts of material possessions to children and grand children is NOT a ranking or ordering of a parents love for those children. It's an expression of the parents desire for all her children to be safe and happy in life. If one is well off and exceptionally able to cope in the world, he might get less. If another has coped less well and is threatened by circumstances, he might get more. But the parent isn't rank ordering love and affection. In fact, the parent may love and appreciate the capable one more for not being the one causing the worry and anguish but, of course, can't say so.........

As a parent, providing unconditional love to all your children while shouldering worry over their well being (some more than others) isn't an easy thing. OP, help your mom and be proud that rather than being a worry or concern to your mom, you're a benefactor and there for her when she needs you.
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Old 09-08-2014, 05:17 PM   #39
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BIL was executor of his mother's will. BIL has done well financially. BIL's brother was a loser and parents were always giving him money. Everything was left to brother in will. Brother spent all the money and doesn't understand why my BIL won't give him money, the parents did? BIL didn't care that he was left out. Said it wasn't his money. This happened a few years ago and my sister said they still get calls from brother asking for money.
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Old 09-08-2014, 05:18 PM   #40
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I am thankful that my parents don't have any asset to leave to their children. I have a couple of siblings who may never be happy with whatever the split they got.

To the OP, I support her decision. It's her money & will. It's not fair for you but that's life - refer to my 1st paragraph above. You also get indirect benefit from her "wealth" & decision. If she doesn't have money to leave to your siblings, maybe, the burden to help your siblings will fall on you.

Don't worry, be happy (with your problem - a good one at that).
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