The question of inheritance

(263 Posts)
tiggerkid Mon 21-Jul-14 11:14:43

Hi all,

Not sure if this is really the right thread for this but can't think of any other to discuss the topic of inheritance.

Recently my sister-in-law and her husband announced that she is pregnant with her 3rd child and because they need a bigger house to accommodate, they will be moving into my MIL's house, who has a much larger property. Naturally, they understand that this move will raise the issue of inheritance, so they decided to sell their house and give us a small proportion of the value of their house on the grounds that they will still need money to look after MIL and renovate her house to their taste. The house is currently decorated to MIL's taste and, apart from the fact that it's cosmetically old fashioned, there is absolutely nothing wrong with it. MIL is certainly happy with it the way it is because she's been doing various work on and off in keeping with her own taste.

At present, MIL doesn't need any looking after. She is in excellent health and is of sound mind, so as far as we are concerned, they only want to move in to extend their living space so to speak. Because they live nearer MIL, they've had plenty of opportunity to talk her into this idea and convince her that it will be paradise on Earth once they all move in together.

While I completely understand and agree that the party looking after ageing parent absolutely needs a bigger share of any inheritance, am I being unreasonable believing that 1) it should be a discussion involving all parties affected by such a decision 2) any agreed value of our share of inheritance should be based on the value of MIL's property rather than the smaller house that my sister-in-law is seeking to move out of? and 3) the question of keeping large sums of money to redecorate the house to sister-in-law's taste should be out of the question because it has nothing to do with looking after ageing parents?

Sorry for the long message but I just find it so unfair that my sis-in-law just decided to move into a bigger house to improve her living conditions and keep 80% of the value of their own house to do whatever they want to do without ever discussing it with us or giving us any opportunity to speak about this. MIL has only mentioned it to us in passing and doesn't want to discuss this any further because she wants to avoid confrontation. The only thing she said was: well you, guys, are financially better off than they are anyway, which made me even more annoyed and upset. If there is a reason why we are financially better off, it is because my husband and I work our butts off while my sister-in-law sits on her backside playing on Facebook all day long. It feels like MIL believes that we need to be punished and penalised for our hard work while my sister-in-law needs to be rewarded for her Facebook efforts.

I know in the end it is MIL's decision and, unfortunately, one that appears to be driven by my sister-in-law exploiting MIL's fear of being left alone in her old age. Although I doubt that we can do much to change the situation, I am struggling to keep discussing this with my husband as I don't want to upset him but I do need some emotional support and understanding, hence this post. Thank you, all.

aurynne Mon 21-Jul-14 11:18:11

In my opinion, YABU. There is no point in talking about inheritance when the person is still alive. Until you MIL passes away, her house is not an "inheritance", it's her property, and she can do whatever she wants with it, including having anyone she wants living under her roof in any conditions she sees fit. If she decides to gift the house to your SIL, it's also her decision and her right.

I find you are quite mean thinking about her house as "inheritance", to be honest.

Trooperslane Mon 21-Jul-14 11:19:09

I can understand a bit, but yabu.

It's 100% MILs decision and if she's in sound mind, hers to make.

TheLovelyBoots Mon 21-Jul-14 11:21:53

Why do you think she will get a larger part of the inheritance?

Oldraver Mon 21-Jul-14 11:22:13

You dont have an inheritence..you have no rights to anything, nothing is unfair

tiggerkid Mon 21-Jul-14 11:22:23

Thanks, all. TBH, I didn't start discussing this as inheritance. MIL started the conversation with my husband and said she'd like to split the inheritance now while she is still around and basically what I described is the split.

EarthWindFire Mon 21-Jul-14 11:22:36

Yabu. It is your MILd money and hers to do with as she wishes.

I hate all of this 'grabbiness' and feeling if being 'entitled' to an I heritance.

It is all hearsay. Who knows what the future holds and if your MIL had to sell the house to pay for care in the future there would be no/little inheritance anyway.

headoverheels Mon 21-Jul-14 11:22:37

Sorry, I don't quite understand. Will MIL still own her house and SIL and family will just be living with her? Or is MIL passing over the ownership of her house to SIL?

PleaseJustShootMeNow Mon 21-Jul-14 11:23:17

YABU The living arrangements and financial agreements between MIL and SIL have nothing to do with you.

tiggerkid Mon 21-Jul-14 11:24:15

MIL is passing the house to SIL. She said she wants to split everything while she is still around and basically what I described is the split. She also said that SIL will decide everything seeing as they will be moving in and selling their house.

Is MIL likely to die soon? From what you say, she's fit physically and mentally, so it seems unlikely.

In which case it seems very premature to be worrying in terms of 'inheritance'.

It's just as likely that all living together won't work anyway, and they'll move back out.

Personally, I would avoid accepting any money from them. It really has nothing to do with you if they decide to sell their house, and if your MIL decided to let them move in with her. That is between them.

If your MIL decides to discuss her will with you or DH, you can talk about what might seem 'fair' at that stage.

NatashaBee Mon 21-Jul-14 11:24:59

So they are taking over ownership of MIL's house? If MIL ever has to pay for a care home it may be decided that she deliberately deprived herself of an asset. I think you all need to talk to a solicitor about possible implications of this plan.

bragmatic Mon 21-Jul-14 11:25:43

I was mum's career for a year when she was dying. I moved in with her.

I wasn't bequeathed a greater share of the estate, nor did it ever occur to me! I had two other siblings who loved her just as I did. I was in a better position to help, do I did.

Be prepared to be told you're being grabby, and it's up to your MIL what yo do with her estate, but the fact is that people do unfairly manipulate the elderly when they have $$$$$ in their sights.

This probably won't end well whatever happens, so I'd leave it to your brother to deal. You stay out of it. Perhaps suggest he and his sister seek independent legal advice, but leave it at that.

My elder DD is settled in her own house, with a living partner, they both earn a decent wage.

My Mum is leaving her house to me, which I don't want to live in, so I am allowing my middle DD to live there.

In my mind, my eldest doesn't need it, my middle DD does.

I can see why your MIL would want to do this for her DD.

The arrangement will work out well, as she ages.

This is an arrangement between a Mother and her Daughter, tbh.

Your DH can tackle the question of inheritance, but there isn't an automatic right to inherit.

Your MIL might be lonely and may want this arrangement, that is her right.

Stop thinking about this in terms of property and money and think about your MILs right to choose the lifestyle that she wants.
""

, I am struggling to keep discussing this with my husband as I don't want to upset him but I do need some emotional support and understanding,""

Why? Because you aren't getting the money you were banking on?

Well, if your MIL is likely to live another while, there are advantages to handing things over now rather than on death, from a tax point of view.

But if she is the one starting this conversation, maybe your DH should suggest involving a lawyer to make sure things are done 'properly'? A lawyer could maybe point out any potential problems in giving her house away!

SaucyJack Mon 21-Jul-14 11:27:14

Will you be prepared to go in and help your SIL change your MILs nappies if and when the time comes?

If not, I don't really think you can complain about the new living arrangements.

tiggerkid Mon 21-Jul-14 11:31:59

Thank you, bragmatic for your advice. It has never occurred to me or my husband to discuss inheritance until MIL started the conversation sort of in passing. I'd never start talking about splitting the inheritance money with either my own or anyone else's parents while they are still around. I am not that shameless. And maybe it it is unreasonable but seeing as MIL decided to start splitting inheritance between her children while she is still around and started discussing it, I would've liked to be part of the discussion. Instead, she left it to SIL to decide what happens but I suppose that's life.

Vivacia Mon 21-Jul-14 11:35:31

The only involvement I would have would be to get your mother-in-law an appointment with a professional. Then I'd run a mile.

Vivacia Mon 21-Jul-14 11:37:24

I would've liked to be part of the discussion.

You still can be. What would you say?

ChickenFajitaAndNachos Mon 21-Jul-14 11:42:07

OP I think it's something to be discussed by your MIL and her DC, not you.

kinkyfuckery Mon 21-Jul-14 11:42:15

How does your DH (her son I guess?) feel about it all?

OwlCapone Mon 21-Jul-14 11:42:25

Will you be prepared to go in and help your SIL change your MILs nappies if and when the time comes?

That's irrelevant. Why do you think the SIL is going to do it?

PleaseJustShootMeNow Mon 21-Jul-14 11:42:40

WTF! Are you for real? You've got the hump because you think you should have been included in the decision making process about you MIL's assets. I could understand if it was your mother, but it isnt and I think you've got a bloody cheek. If you were my daughter-in-law I'd be putting things in place to ensure you didn't get your hands on a single penny of mine.

OwlCapone Mon 21-Jul-14 11:43:04

Your DH needs to sort this out with is family. I think you need to stay out of it unless asked by your DH.

Orphanblue Mon 21-Jul-14 11:49:33

Honestly, none of your business at all. Tell your MIL you respect her explanation but it is her decision to make and her DCs to be informed. You have zero rights to her assets, especially if you are not involved directly in her future care.

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