Connect with us

Company

My father left his estate to me and nothing to my 3 wealthier brothers. They now want their share. Should I do as they say?

Published

on


Dear Moneyist,

My dad, 96, passed away from kidney failure recently, and I’m the sole heir and trustee of the family trust. Both my parents changed their will from their four children to share the estate equally to me being the sole inheritor. I was their youngest and only daughter and I was unmarried at the time.

My parents believed that my brothers, who were all married and have their own children, should be financially more stable with two incomes that afforded them large houses, luxury imported cars, expensive vacations, Ivy education for their children. I, meanwhile, was laid off during every economic downturn.

I got married approximately a year before my dad passed. I’m thankful that my dad “gave” me away and grateful that he was able to spend time with me and my husband. Financially, we have not combined our finances.


‘Even though I’m married, I did most of the care giving for both my parents, and I do not feel like I need to revert back to the old will.’

One week after our dad’s passed, my brothers came to me and told me that I should share some of the inheritance with them. I disagree because I feel that my parents, while they were alive, already gave substantial sums of money to them.

However, if I were to give some of the estate, then should I give equal sums? My oldest two brothers are or will be retired from lucrative professions and received financial help. Their education was also discounted because our father taught at the university they attended. All kids paid for their own graduate degrees. The youngest brother has a retail shop which has been hit hard by the pandemic in California.

Even though I’m married, I did most of the care giving for both my parents, and I do not feel like I need to revert back to the old will. In addition, two brothers never called our dad while he was alive or even asked me, “How’s dad?” One brother complained about how much he spent on dad’s meals, although he received a sizable lump sum six years ago.

I’m concerned since I have friends who have their own older brothers who sued them for inheritance. Do I really need to give them any money on behalf of the estate? Shall I include a “no contest” agreement if I give them money?

Sister

Dear Sister,

No. And yes.

No, you don’t need to do anything that makes you feel uncomfortable, or because you are fearful of what reaction you will get if you don’t bend to their will. Listen to your feelings, and your gut. And, yes, if you do decide to give money to your three brothers, by all means give more to your younger brother and ask all three to sign a “no contest” agreement. Be warned, however, that once you open that door to an inheritance, they will peek behind it and see lots of other bits and bobs they would like, in addition to the sum of money you have offered them.

Asking them to sign a “no contest” agreement — which you should absolutely do if you decide to give them money — will also alert them to the fact that you are nervous that they will sue you. It will (a) give them ideas about suing you for what they believe is rightfully theirs and (b) leverage for further negotiations. Given what you told me about their financial status, and their lack of engagement with your father before he died, I suspect there was more to your father’s decision than merely your own modest financial means. Consult a lawyer. Listen to your gut.

The Moneyist:‘I lost my mom 2 months ago and I’m still in a fog’: My brother and his family moved into her home. They want more than half

Don’t do anything that makes you feel uncomfortable. This is the moment to step out of your brothers’ shadows and refuse to do what they say. It’s sometimes not easy for people who are used to getting what they want not getting it. They want you to do as they say. They want an equal share of your father’s estate. Learn to be comfortable with other people’s anger. Other people’s reactions to you are really none of your business, and your expectation of how others may react — accurate or not — should not influence your own actions. It gets easier with practice.

This is a good exercise in being your own person, free from the expectations of others. Your father, inadvertently or not, has given you an opportunity to do just that.

Quentin Fottrell is MarketWatch’s Moneyist columnist. You can email The Moneyist with any financial and ethical questions at qfottrell@marketwatch.com. Want to read more?Follow Quentin Fottrell on Twitterand read more of his columns here.

Hello there, MarketWatchers. Check out the Moneyist private Facebook
FB,
+2.10%

 group where we look for answers to life’s thorniest money issues. Readers write in to me with all sorts of dilemmas. Post your questions, tell me what you want to know more about, or weigh in on the latest Moneyist columns.





Source link

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Company

My boyfriend inherited a home and $700K. He pays me $500 monthly rent. Should I ask him for $86K to pay off my condo?

Published

on

By


Dear Quentin,

I have lived with my boyfriend in my home for over 20 years. We never married, and I have three siblings. I also own another condo in the Caribbean, which I paid for myself.

My boyfriend inherited a home from his dad in the South and a large sum of money, just over $700,000. We just got back from this inherited home. He is still deciding if he/we should keep it.

I owe $86,000 on my current home, and my boyfriend pays me $500 a month rent and he pays the electric and cable bill. We also mutually share groceries. I appreciate all his financial help.


‘His ex-wife will get half of his pension and Social Security in Connecticut. I will not receive that as we were never married.’

I am 65 and get a monthly pension of $800 and receive $1,800 Social Security every month.Together, we own three condos. I have no savings, and own two properties.

He is divorced with six adult grown children. I have only met two of his children out of the six. For some reason, he does not want to get involved with their cookouts and parties etc.

He is close with his children, and speaks to his ex-wife on the holidays as needed about any of the children and grandchildren. We always travel alone. His children never travel with us.

His ex-wife will get half of his pension and Social Security in Connecticut. I will not receive that as we were never married. What should I do financially to secure my future?

Should I ask him to pay off my condo balance of $86,000, and promise to leave the condo to him rather than my siblings in my will?

He does not want to get married, for some reason; he was married once and he said he does not want to do it again.

The Girlfriend

Want to read more? Follow Quentin Fottrell on Twitterand read more of his columns here.

Dear Girlfriend,

Your offer assumes that you will predecease your boyfriend, and that is not a given. If you do not die before he does, he is essentially giving you $86,000 because (a) partners should help each other out, (b) he has newfound wealth and he should spread it around, and/or (c) it’s not fair that he should have all of this dough landing in his bank account when you have had to scrimp and save all of these years. It has a faint ring of that school-days refrain, “If you give me one of your sweets, I’ll be your best friend.” In this case, you already are his best friend. So there’s no upside there.

You have been together for 20 years and you never married. The reason for that may be at least partly related to your respective financial affairs. Your boyfriend has a lot of financial responsibilities, one home (at least he had one home before his latest windfall), children, and an ex-wife, while you have two homes, and are free of your partner’s other financial burdens. He also pays you $500 rent every month, which was obviously a convenient arrangement for both of you. But it seems late in the day to draw a line connecting his financial future, that of his ex-wife’s and your own.

Sometimes, it’s good to ask for help. People often want to help, and it’s a privilege to help out a loved one. But to ask him for a chunk of his inheritance to pay off your home, especially when you have another condo in the Caribbean that you could sell, seems bad timing at best, and opportunistic at worst, which brings us back to the “I’ll be your best friend” sentiment. You are effectively asking your boyfriend for something with nothing in return. By not marrying, you have kept your finances separate. You have gotten this far on your own. There is a lot to be said for that.

The Moneyist:I have crypto FOMO! ‘I’m too old to sit and hope I can make up for the lost time by safely investing my little bit of money’

You can email The Moneyist with any financial and ethical questions at qfottrell@marketwatch.com.

By emailing your questions, you agree to having them published anonymously on MarketWatch. By submitting your story to Dow Jones & Company, the publisher of MarketWatch, you understand and agree that we may use your story, or versions of it, in all media and platforms, including via third parties.

Check out the Moneyist private Facebook
FB,
+3.50%

 group, where we look for answers to life’s thorniest money issues. Readers write in to me with all sorts of dilemmas. Post your questions, tell me what you want to know more about, or weigh in on the latest Moneyist columns.





Source link

Continue Reading

Company

My ex-wife passed away. I’m the beneficiary on her life insurance. Her family wants me to pay her funeral expenses and won’t leave me alone

Published

on

By


I am 32, and just a month ago I found out that my ex-wife, whom I haven’t spoken to since we divorced, passed away tragically in a moped accident. My ex-wife had life insurance through her job. My ex-mother-in-law informed my father that my ex-wife had kept me as her beneficiary on her life-insurance policy, and her family wants the money for funeral costs, bills, etc.

Not only did my ex-wife have me on her policy as the primary (and only) beneficiary, she updated my home address on the policy after we divorced. Also, I found out through the insurance company that my ex-wife had two term life-insurance policies, one for me and one for my ex-sister-in-law.

I blocked my ex-in-laws, and now I received a threatening voicemail from a blocked number, so I’ve taken it upon myself to notify the authorities. I live in New York, I am remarried, and my divorce was very simple and easy. We left the marriage with what we came into it with. The life-insurance company approved the check in my name, and is sending it to my home.

Am I legally in the clear? I have not spoken to or bothered these people once since we divorced five years ago. I just want to be left alone and move on with my life.

Thank you very much in advance.

Best regards,

Fed-Up Ex-Husband

You can email The Moneyist with any financial and ethical questions related to coronavirus at qfottrell@marketwatch.com, and follow Quentin Fottrell on Twitter.

Dear Fed Up,

First, I’ll deal with your life insurance concerns, and then the subject of your ex-wife’s funeral expenses.

The life-insurance policy was between your ex-wife and her insurer. It’s possible to overturn a life-insurance policy if it explicitly goes against the terms of a divorce decree, as happened in this case, but that too was a complicated lawsuit. Some states do have statutes that can revoke such beneficiary arrangements.

In “Kaye Melin and Metropolitan Life Insurance,” the children of the deceased were awarded the proceeds from the life-insurance policy, not the ex-wife who was named as beneficiary on the agreement. In that case, the law presumed that what her ex-husband wanted after their divorce was incorrect.

The ruling stated: “Thus, if a person designates a spouse as a life insurance beneficiary and later gets divorced, Minnesota law provides that the beneficiary designation is automatically revoked. At least twenty-eight other states have enacted similar revocation-upon-divorce statutes.”


‘I’m reluctant to say that you are ‘in the clear,’ given previous court rulings, and statutes in some states on the revocation of named beneficiaries post-divorce.’

I’m reluctant to say that you are “in the clear,” given previous court rulings, and statutes in some states on the revocation of named beneficiaries post-divorce. In your case, it seems clearer that your ex-wife wanted you to be the beneficiary. She did, as you say, update your address. It would be hard to see a more explicit sign of her intentions than that.

“Unless the policyholder of the life-insurance plan changes the beneficiary designation officially, the people originally named will remain the beneficiaries through the life of the policy,” according to Heban, Murphree and Lewandowski, a law firm in Toledo, Ohio. “Even if the policyholder was not on speaking terms with the individual upon his or her death, that beneficiary would still receive the income.”

“In the case of someone who divorced and remarried, the policy may name the first spouse as beneficiary. If the policyholder never changed the policy to reflect the divorce and remarriage, the ex-spouse could end up with the benefit. This can cause the current spouse and any children from the second marriage to dispute the beneficiary designation on the policy,” it adds.

But much, I suspect, would depend on what state you live in, and the specifics of your case.

On a separate issue, it’s difficult to glean from your letter whether your in-laws had little funds to pay for the funeral expenses, or were mad as hell that you were listed as beneficiary and felt you should contribute, or both. On the one hand, it seems like they are not in a state of mind to be reasonable and, chances are, if you did engage it would lead to further demands and acrimony.

Perhaps you could talk to your ex-wife’s lawyer and see if there is enough money to cover the costs of her funeral and, if not, you could make a contribution. But given the alleged harassing phone calls, their anger and grief, and their antipathy toward you, you would need to have all correspondence go through the attorney and refrain from any direct communication.

There is no excuse for their taking their grief out on you. Still, spare a thought for her family. If you are fed up, imagine how they feel.

The Moneyist: My boyfriend talked me into depositing my paychecks into his bank account, and paying for a car in his name. What can I do?

Hello there, MarketWatchers. Check out the Moneyist private Facebook
FB,
+3.50%

 group, where we look for answers to life’s thorniest money issues. Readers write in to me with all sorts of dilemmas. Post your questions, tell me what you want to know more about, or weigh in on the latest Moneyist columns.

By emailing your questions, you agree to having them published anonymously on MarketWatch. By submitting your story to Dow Jones & Company, the publisher of MarketWatch, you understand and agree that we may use your story, or versions of it, in all media and platforms, including via third parties.





Source link

Continue Reading

Company

These money and investing tips can help you when inflation is burning a hole in your wallet

Published

on

By


Don’t miss these top money and investing features:

These money and investing stories, popular with MarketWatch readers over the past week, focus on helping you make sense of the recent spike in U.S. inflation. Understand how rising prices can affect your investment portfolio, and taking appropriate steps now to respond, can prevent unpleasant surprises later.



Source link

Continue Reading

Trending