Unreasonable favouritism

(66 Posts)
Lexie1970 Wed 13-Aug-14 21:26:01

DP is 5 years older than his brother. They are totally different in personality and achievement. DP has a family, brother has had several relationships that have failed and has no children. DP is 46 his brother 41.

Their father died last year after many years of illness but made savvy choices when buying property and their mother is now very comfortably off.

Now here is the problem. The mother has sold one property to fund a move (near us and her sister) but has substantial cash in bank. The brother has now sold his property and has put an offer on a purchase in our area however the difference between what he will make and what he requires to fund new purchase is approx £70k.

Without discussing the proposition with DP, the mother has agreed to fund the difference so brother doesn't have to take out mortgage and pay interest. The idea was vaguely mooted to DP at weekend and he said he wasn't happy with the offer as she is not treating the brothers equally.

It has now been presented as a fait accompli with other members of the immediate family saying brother needs the help, he is on his own and he is lonely.

DP feels upset and slighted because all are assuming that he/we are fine and don't need the same financial assitance but they appear to be ignoring the fact that DP has a family to support, why does his mother not seem concerned that we are paying a mortgage and we have to pay interest? We don't need the money DP Works hard for the nice house and treats we have - but why is his brother being handed the money with absolutely no discussion about how DP feels - he gas had money in the past that he should have paid back, didn't and now mother said she never expected it back - DP hasn't been given the same amount of cash...

The mother now has a monthly rental income coming in as well as various investments so helping the brother is not causing her to compromise her lifestyle.

There has been other instances where the brother has been favoured but this is the icing on the cake.... Is DP unreasonable to feel upset about this? I would always think what you do for one you should always do for the other.

Thanks for reading btw - we found out about house purchase via internet / knowing estate agent well and not a peep from his mother today.

Onesleeptillwembley Wed 13-Aug-14 21:28:18

Why in earth would she discuss her decisions about her own finances with your DP? Yes, it may seem unfair but it's her money, her decision.

Salmotrutta Wed 13-Aug-14 21:33:03

Your MIL money is hers to dispose of as she wishes.

It may be unfair - we only have your side of it - but that's tough I'm afraid.

How do you know she isn't going to leave the brother nothing I her will but everything to your DH?

And it's very suspicious that you know an estate agent who blabs about clients.

BackforGood Wed 13-Aug-14 21:34:39

I was going to say exactly the same - the only issue here is that what she has chosen to do with her money, has been discussed with someone else.

WaffleWiffle Wed 13-Aug-14 21:36:08

If your partner has not had a full and frank discussion with his Mum and brother (something he should do) then how can he know the ins and outs of this?

It may be a loan from the mother, not a gift.

Ujjayi Wed 13-Aug-14 21:46:39

As someone caught up in similar inheritance/living parent offering help type situation myself, OP I would say YABU. To clarify, I am not in same position as your BIL so therefore not just siding with him & your MIL because it supports my own situation, IYSWIM.

You don't have the full facts. You have one side of the story. It is your MIL's money and hers to do with what she will. She is answerable to nobody other than her own conscience & bank account/financial needs.

I'm sorry but I find any discussion of this type completely unreasonable (and that is putting it mildly) - as though she is somehow frittering away what is "rightfully" your DH's. Do you feel you should be accountable to your DC in terms of how you spend your money??

TattyDevine Wed 13-Aug-14 21:50:49

I can see how it makes you feel overlooked, but there really isn't anything more than can be felt than that of being overlooked.

It might be a case of if you don't ask you don't get.

That said don't assume he won't be seen to in another way in the future.

Strictlyballroom Wed 13-Aug-14 21:53:44

Nobody likes favouritism so I get why your miffed.
But it is your MIL money to do what she wishes with.

Can anyone explain WHY families seem to know so much about each other's finances? My family do not have a clue how much money I have and never will until the day I drop off the perch and my estate is dealt with. I haven't even told them I took early retirement last year, I just said I stopped working because I had a lump sum pay out and I know one of my sisters would be sniffing around expecting something.

Lexie1970 Wed 13-Aug-14 21:58:06

I fully support that as it is her money to do as she wishes and take on board your comments about it only being my side you are hearing.

I just feel that what you do for one son you should do for the other irrespective of their individual life circumstances albeit if one us more successful than the other. We only have one child so it is not a situation that could affect him. I have one sister and my parents have made it very clear, in writing that should anything be left then it is split equally 50/50.

DP's father went through a very similar situation where the sister was given financial support to spite him and the animosity and unfairness ate at him until the end - I suppose this also has some bearing on why DP cannot understand why his mother doesn't get why the situation upsets him so much - she had decades of her husband complaining bitterly about HIS mother and sister sad

Lexie1970 Wed 13-Aug-14 22:05:50

Tatty - whilst DP father was alive we knew they were comfortable but when he died his mother needed help ploughing through the minefield of accounts and investments. DP helped with solicitors etc - hence knowledge of private financial affairs.

Ujjayi Wed 13-Aug-14 22:09:06

I can see why you feel the way you do OP - given family history with your FIL and consequently how that may compound your DP's sense of inequality. However, IMO family are there to support each other. When FIL gave BIL a substantial loan (actually v v unlikely ever to be repaid), I felt proud that we are a family who are there for each other. It never entered my head to feel "where is DH's share?".

You both need to one to terms with this otherwise you risk causing huge animosity within the family. Is it worth it? Is MIL otherwise generous towards DP, you & DC in terms of time, affection etc (not just cash-wise)?

Ujjayi Wed 13-Aug-14 22:10:28

come to terms not "one". Doh

arethereanyleftatall Wed 13-Aug-14 22:28:58

I think you're bu, I'm afraid. My parents help out whichever of me or my siblings need it. So that means my younger sister has had 2 cars and £10k to pay off a loan. My elder sister has had a deposit for a flat. I have had nothing, which I'm very happy about, and agree with, because I don't need it. It's their money to do with as they like.

wheresthelight Wed 13-Aug-14 22:35:16

I am going to go out on a limb and say YANBU - if his mum is aware that your FIL felt like that then I think she is being a bit shortsighted to not pay heed to past mistakes. Has your DP explained it to her in this way?

I am not sure there is a lot that you can do IMHO as it is her money to do with as she pleases, but YANBU to feel it is unfair

WooWooOwl Wed 13-Aug-14 22:35:50

She may well have plans to leave her two sons differing amounts in her will to make it more even.

It's completely understandable that your DH feels hurt by this, and he has to decide whether he wants to actually tell his mum that that's how she's made him feel and then listen to her response, or whether he wants to let it go and move on.

fairylightsintheloft Wed 13-Aug-14 22:49:17

I understand why your DP and you feel as you do but I think you are being U. It is HER money, not the two brothers' by right and I disagree with the principle of what you do for one you do for the other - it goes as according to need / circumstance etc. My parents have bailed out my sister a couple of times when she has got herself into CC debt. They paid my living costs when I was at Uni but she had to fund herself when she went later in life. They have contributed to both of my weddings, but so far as I know, have not given her a sum just to "even things up". Presumably when your MIL dies, he will get a share at that point, including whatever is left of his father's estate. Money is a necessary evil - it shouldn't cause family rifts.

Viviennemary Wed 13-Aug-14 23:40:59

I can see why your DP is annoyed that his brother has been given this money. But there's not much you can do about it as it really is her decision and no need for her to ask your permission. But this kind of thing does cause rifts in families. Maybe she feels you don't need any extra money.

Cheeky76890 Thu 14-Aug-14 00:45:20

I think its extremely unfair and shows favouritism.

I don't believe they have to discuss finances with you but I do think they need to be equal.

Alisvolatpropiis Thu 14-Aug-14 00:52:29

Yabu

50/50 is only just if all children are doing equally well. If your dp is going very well for himself then it is right that shares/financial favours are shared equitably.

Are you my aunt, op? You sound a similar kind of person. If you have a niece by married who has done a law degree, I see you and plans have been made.

Lexie1970 Thu 14-Aug-14 06:33:42

Thanks for the responses. It is quite interesting that the majority feel that favouring one child over another when money is concerned means that the one who is not being treated equally should be the bigger person and let it go.

A lot of it is probably the secretive nature of how it has been handled and I think this is probably the crux of the matter.

I'd just like to add that the reason they think ge doesn't need the same help is we sold our London home and substantially reducedour mortgage to a little more than his brother is being given - the excuse that the brother will have to pay interest - well that us what we have to pay? ! I know this may sound like sour grapes and this is MY view not his and this is wjy I think what is done for one should be done for the other.

Alis - no I am not your aunt - my niece is still at primary school.

Tried to correct bloody typos and failing miserably on my phone ;-)

KoalaDownUnder Thu 14-Aug-14 06:50:33

DP is 5 years older than his brother. They are totally different in personality and achievement. DP has a family, brother has had several relationships that have failed and has no children. DP is 46 his brother 41.

DP feels upset and slighted because all are assuming that he/we are fine and don't need the same financial assitance but they appear to be ignoring the fact that DP has a family to support,

The way you write about your brother-in-law really rubs me up the wrong way. What have his 'several failed relationships' got to do with it? You seem to look down on him because his life is different to yours.

You have only one child? Well, since you have two adult incomes and your BIL only one, then yes, I do think it's more difficult for your BIL to pay off a mortgage. Maybe that is your MIL's logic, too.

Honestly, I think it is your MIL's right to allocate her money as she sees fit. 'Fair' does not necessarily mean 'equal'. I disagree that 'what is done for one should be done for another' in all circumstances.

Lexie1970 Thu 14-Aug-14 07:09:26

I put his relationship status in the original post to show how the different lives the two brothers have, not as a put down on his situation. Actually I work part time so not as much dual income as you are assuming.

You are right - sadly fair doesn't mean equal.

Strictlyballroom Thu 14-Aug-14 07:13:20

I am also amazed at how many parents assist their adult dc with money, is it really that common? We have received zilch from ours and my Mother is really quite well off.

KoalaDownUnder Thu 14-Aug-14 07:14:54

Okay, but you have two potential full-time incomes under one roof, and only one child, at least for now.

Maybe your MIL would have looked at it differently if you had three kids, or if your BIL lived with a partner. But she's probably just seeing it as, First Son seems pretty sorted, but Second Son is on his own financially AND seems unhappy. I'll give him a leg up.

I don't blame you for being a bit peeved. Just trying to show the other side.

MrsBigginsPieShop Thu 14-Aug-14 07:54:42

I can understand how you feel, having been through something similar when MIL passed away. But unfortunately it isn't 'your' money to assume a right to. I don't really know why there is an expectation of inheritance in a lot of families - isn't the MN favourite to teach children not to expect or ask for gifts? Also, as pp said, there may be financial arrangements in place you aren't privy to and the money is a loan. Would seem quite likely if they were so savvy wth property/money in the past. Yabu.

If it's protecting your MIL that you're concerned about then make sure she gets independent legal advice when BIL buys the house so her contribution is protected. If BIL is having a mortgage the lender will want to know where all the money is coming from anyway and will investigate.

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