Connect with us

Company

My son inherited money after his father was killed in an accident. A woman has come forward with another legal heir. Are we obliged to give him money?

Published

on


Dear Moneyist,

My ex-boyfriend was killed in an accident. With him being unmarried and my child being his only surviving child, he was awarded a large sum of money in the subsequent lawsuit. As he was 10 at the time, I set up an annuity to be dispersed between the age of 18 and 35. He also will accrue a hefty amount of interest because of this.

Two years after the settlement (4 years after the accident) my lawyer received a letter stating there was another child, whose mother wanted him to be included in the settlement. We never knew of this other child because the relationship ended badly between them, and the mother told my ex he was not the father and never allowed him to see the child. She named the child after another man.

She knew about the death, but did not come to the funeral or send the child. As it turns out, she knew about the lawsuit ahead of time and was instructed to wait until it was over and swoop in. She went on to prove paternity through a test with the grandfather. After exhausting all efforts, and suing me personally she is left with no legal avenues. She has now asked if the two can have a relationship.

The Moneyist: Why do I need to wear a mask if I’ve had COVID-19? Who is it protecting? Can I really be reinfected?

My child is still a minor and her child is now 20. I feel like it wouldn’t be that appropriate considering the bad blood between us and the two children never meeting (they have never spoken over the phone and they have never seen each other in person). She has also asked if we could give the other child ‘something’ from the settlement.

The timing is also suspicious to me because my child will turn 18 this year and will start receiving money from the annuity. But the annuity is set up so that my child does not get a lot of money early on, and if It is broken to give them a piece, it will cost almost $500,000 in interest. I know he can probably start up another one, but I doubt the interest will be the same.

My son has said that he doesn’t want a relationship, and does not want to give the other son anything from the settlement. He feels he has other siblings (my other children) that he could help before (in his words) “a stranger.” I feel like both young men are suffering. I don’t know what I should do. I want my child’s future secured, but I also think the other child should get something.

I feel like this mom should have secured her child’s future like I did with mine. Do I have a moral obligation to encourage my son to have a relationship with him or to give him any money?

A Mother Who Doesn’t Always Know Best

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

Dear Mother,

No. Your duty is to protect your son. This woman’s duty was to do right by her son, and her son’s father. She lied about his paternity when your ex-partner was alive, and she waited until the lawsuit was settled before coming forward to sue you for a share of the money she believed rightfully belonged to her son. They were two big mistakes on her part. The statute of limitations on the case has expired, and she has created enough turmoil for you and your son.

Her final avenue is to try emotional blackmail. Your son has made it clear that he wants to keep the settlement, and he does not wish to have a relationship with her son. Also, he rightly suspects that this boy’s motives and those of his mother are not pure. By developing a relationship with you and your family, this woman appears is endeavoring to involve herself in your life, not with a lawsuit but with a guilt trip and a smile. You are not responsible for her son. You have endured enough.

It’s time to move on with your lives. Tell this woman the truth. Wish her well, stop replying to her emails, letters, calls or text messages, and move on.

The Moneyist: I pay my gardener $100 a month. Should I pay him less if he misses a week here and there because of rain?

Hello there, MarketWatchers. Check out the Moneyist private Facebook
FB,
-0.44%

 group where we look for answers to life’s thorniest money issues. Readers write in to me with all sorts of dilemmas.

Quentin Fottrell is MarketWatch’s Moneyist columnist. 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.





Source link

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

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

Company

‘I could live on my Social Security and still save money’: This 66-year-old left Chicago for ‘calming’ Costa Rica — where he now plans to live indefinitely

Published

on

By


Editor’s note: This article was first published in September 2019.

A school break changed 66-year-old Martin Farber’s life forever.

In 2007, his daughter — who at the time was attending Illinois State University — decided she wanted to spend a college holiday volunteering in Costa Rica and staying with a local family, he explains. She came home raving about the experience, so, in 2008, Farber — who at the time was living in Evanston, Ill., just outside Chicago, and selling cars — took his first trip there.

“It was a big surprise to me — bumpy roads, dogs barking in the streets,” he says. “I wasn’t enamored at first.”

But as his daughter began traveling there more and eventually moved there for a year, he took additional trips to Costa Rica. It quickly grew on him — in particular, the people. “The Costa Rican people are warm, open and friendly. I felt less invisible in a strange country in a strange town where I didn’t speak the language than I did in Evanston.”

And the more time he spent there, the more it impacted him: “On one of my trips there, I thought: My daughter’s life makes more sense than mine,” he says. “There was nothing wrong with my life, but I felt that my life was out of context with who I’d become. … I would have bills and make money to pay them, but that had ceased to be satisfying,” he recalls. “I knew I needed to change my life — there was no more joy in what I was doing.”

What’s more, when he’d return from his Costa Rica trips, people noticed. “I would come back, and my friends and therapist would say: You seem better after you go,” he says with a laugh.

A view from the hot springs near Martin Farber’s home in Costa Rica.


Martin Farber

So in 2014, he packed up and moved to Orosi — a picturesque, lush small town with waterfalls and hot springs a little over an hour’s drive from San Jose — promising himself he’d stay for two years. It’s been five, and he now plans to stay in Costa Rica indefinitely. (Though Farber notes that, to him, “it’s not a retirement; it’s a chance to lead a new and different life.”)

Here’s what his life is like, from costs to health care to residency to everyday life:

The cost: While many expats spend way more living in Costa Rica, Farber says: “I could live on my Social Security and still save money.” He says “a person can live on $1,200 per month, two people on $2,000.” The key, he says, is to live more like he does and as the Costa Ricans do — in a modest home, eating local food and purchasing local goods.

Indeed, Farber himself spends just $300 a month for rent (he rents a home from a friend who moved recently and gave him a good deal), roughly $225 a month on groceries and just $50 a month total on water and electricity (the temperate climate in Orosi means you rarely need heat or air conditioning). The veteran Volkswagen
VOW,
+0.96%

 
VLKAF,
+0.98%

salesman saves money by not owning a car (those over 65 ride municipal buses for free), which can be a significant expense in Costa Rica; for his cellphone, “I pay as I go … roughly $10 may last me a couple weeks or more,” he says, adding that “many people handle there their cellphones this way. You can get them recharged anywhere.”

His major expense is travel: He goes back to the U.S. to visit his mother in Florida several times a year and lately has spent part of the summer in Chicago helping out a friend with a dealership there. He also spends a good amount of money on health care. He says that while flights can be had for as little as $350 roundtrip during offseasons, the cost can be much higher the rest of the year.

In the saddle.


Martin Farber

Health care: Farber, who has permanent resident status in Costa Rica, says he pays about $90 per month to participate in the country’s health-care system — adding that the health care he’s received has been very good. (A 2018 study of health-care quality and access in more than 190 nations ranked Costa Rica No. 62.)

When he developed a detached retina, though, he paid for the procedure out of pocket so that he didn’t have to wait for the required surgery, he says — adding that the entire procedure cost him about $5,000. “I would have had to have waited four days,” he says, if he had not paid to expedite matters. “That might have been fine, but it might not.” And he adds that the quality of care depends on where you get it in the country.

Lifestyle: Though Farber says that he “moved here with no goals and no agenda,” he’s found plenty to do. “I take Spanish lessons two days a week for two hours a day. It’s been great. I never thought I would acquire a usable language in my 60s,” he says. He also rides his bike all around the area, does some writing and belongs to a community group that undertakes projects to improve the area.

And he often simply takes in nature, which he says has been an essential part of why he feels calmer and more relaxed in Costa Rica than in the U.S. “I live at 3,000 feet but in a valley surrounded by coffee fields and lime trees and water. At night, if I open the windows, I can hear the river rushing by,” he says. “It is very calming … hundreds of trees everywhere … you know the Earth is alive.”

The historic Iglesia de San José de Orosi.


iStock

Cons: “I don’t want to overglorify. It’s not without its problems,” Farber says of Costa Rica. “There are social problems and downsides.” He notes that crime and petty theft can be a problem (“I am cautious,” he says of his approach) and seem to have increased since he moved there, and adds that he misses out on some cultural things because of where he lives. And, he says with a laugh, “I can’t order Thai food at 9 at night.” But, he adds: “These are trade-offs — in the afternoon, I get to walk in the coffee fields and see flocks of parrots.”

Residency: To qualify for Costa Rica’s pensionado visa, expats must prove that they have a pension of at least $1,000 coming in each month. (Here are the details of that program.) Once you have lived in Costa Rica for three years, you can apply for permanent residency. Farber used a lawyer to help him figure out the ins and outs of residency options; his entire path to permanent residency took about a year, he says.

The bottom line: “After five years I am still amazed and surprised that I made the decision to lead a life I never thought I would,” he says. And while he may not stay in Orosi forever — “the town doesn’t have an ambulance, [and] I don’t know what it will be like to be 80 there,” he says — he does plan to stay in Costa Rica in no small part because of the people and sense of community. “I have the feeling that life is good here,” he says. “It’s hard sometimes, but we are all in it together.”



Source link

Continue Reading

Company

Mutual Funds Weekly: These money and investing tips can help you read the market’s signs and stay on your path

Published

on

By



These money and investing stories were popular with MarketWatch readers over the past week.





Source link

Continue Reading

Company

Mutual Funds Weekly: These money and investing tips can help you read the market’s signs and stay on your path

Published

on

By



These money and investing stories were popular with MarketWatch readers over the past week.





Source link

Continue Reading

Trending