that so often brings out the absolute worst in people, especially when that money travels from one generation to the next.?
My friend Sam told me about his grandmother’s case: Instead of apportioning her legacy equally among her three children, she gave more to her son Phil than to her other children, Jane and Alice. Alice didn’t blink an eye. But Jane, who ‘married rich’ as the saying goes and didn’t need any help, was furious. Phil, on the other hand, was struggling. After trying to keep the family dry cleaning business afloat, he went from job to job barely scratching a living.
Once the will was read and Jane learned of the unequal distribution, things were never the same between Phil and Jane. Mind you, Phil had nothing to do with it. It was their mother’s decision, pure and simple. But Jane couldn’t get it out of her head that Phil had to be ‘the favored child’ because he got a larger inheritance. Go figure.
Carolyn and I hear story after story similar to this. For example, the adult child who has assumed the lion’s share of caring for his or her parents, can’t shake a dime loose from the other siblings. Why? A hundred reasons: Will the money pay for their parents’ care or end up in the pockets of the care-giving sibling? Or, the care-giving sibling has plenty of money. Why come to me for a ‘hand-out?’ And so on.
The money issue isn’t easy to resolve. It can impact relationships for years. Have you had a similar experience? If so, let us know how it was resolved. Or. was it ever resolved? Add a comment or drop us a line.
Gloria Keeney says
I come from a family of 6 children. Both of my parents worked hard and wanted us in parochial school. We had enough but just barely. All of us learned so many lessons about how to live on little- we conserved water and energy (I can still hear Dad knocking on the door if our showers were too long :”Turn that off!”) in order to save money way before it was fashionable. When I married young our finances were tight for many years. Though I wished for more material things I was glad they weren’t in abundance since I’m sure I would have mis-used the wealth and spoiled our children. There is a gift in a perceived lack of money. This used to be taught widely but not anymore. Thankfully I don’t see any arguments with my siblings about what may be in my mother’s will after she passes. We have been tested a bit over the years but I believe we have retained the “gift of priorities.” Money is not worthy of the importance we give it.