to split DS1's money with DS2?

(138 Posts)
AbelMancwitch Thu 18-Aug-16 13:30:16

I've been mulling this over for nearly 10 years, so I thought it was probably time to get some outside perspective on this!

My grandad died 10 years ago when my DS1 was a few months old, and left DS1 £1000. I put this in an account for him for when he is older and have continued to save his birthday money in there (until he got old enough to want to spend it! This is an account that he doesn't know about and I'll be keeping this money back for him until he's an adult rather than letting him fritter it all on polos and tat now)

Two years later DS2 came along. Same thing, I've saved any money he's come into, but obviously what with one thing and another he has about £1200 less than DS1. This is partly because my "family" favoured DS1 over DS2, and didn't treat them fairly. (I am now NC with them, partly because of their behaviour to DS2.)

Perhaps because of this I have a heightened awareness of what I perceive to be unfairness, and I can't help feeling that DS2 has financially dipped out. I'm wondering whether I should split the £1k between both boys to try to even things out a bit? I imagine if I'd had children 2 years earlier, my grandad would have left money to both of them. However, if the money was left just to DS1, is it wrong to give half of it to DS2?

I literally can't get my head around what is the fairest thing to do. It also doesn't seem fair to try to boost DS2's money by saving for him, because if we save for one, we need to save for both, and then it will never even out anyway. I don't know if this is just one of those times where DS2 will learn that sometimes life isn't fair due to circumstance, or whether in 10 years time this will cause grief if DS2 feels like he is being treated differently - sibling rivalry is already a big deal. sad

See, I'm tying myself in knots. There's no urgent need to resolve this, as they won't get it for another 10 years or so, but I'd like to make a conclusive decision, rather than spend then next 10 years swinging from one side to the other on it. (I'm a Libran, can you tell?) wink

So Mumsnet, what do you think?

ophiotaurus Thu 18-Aug-16 13:31:47

I would split the money.

MrsMushrooms Thu 18-Aug-16 13:32:46

I would split it. I'm sure you're right, your grandad would have left the money to both children if he could have! It could be different if this was money that DS1 had somehow earnt or won, but as it isn't I think it's totally fair to share the inherited money between the two of them

scootinFun Thu 18-Aug-16 13:33:20

Split the inheritance between them, don't touch the birthday money wink

Stiddleficks Thu 18-Aug-16 13:33:32

Personally and I'm sure lots won't agree I would put it all in one pot, keep saving and split down the middle.

Stiddleficks Thu 18-Aug-16 13:34:24

Actually aside from birthday money that they get individually.

myownprivateidaho Thu 18-Aug-16 13:35:32

I don't think you can split it, legally. It doesn't belong to you, it belongs to your DS1.

AmandaIsHere Thu 18-Aug-16 13:35:33

I think that you should not split the money, it was left by your grandad and was his wish.

£1200 difference is not even that much considering the age difference means ds1 would have had more birthdays. It's hardly going to make much difference in the long run.

springwaters Thu 18-Aug-16 13:36:28

If it was left in a will then it is not your choice to make - you have to honour the will. Is the money in trust?

myownprivateidaho Thu 18-Aug-16 13:37:10

If you feel bad about it, I'd try to save £1,200 over the years so they each come into the same amount when they're 18.

badtime Thu 18-Aug-16 13:37:11

I wouldn't split the money, but I would save separately for your DS2.

Treating them fairly doesn't always mean doing exactly the same for them.

However, if one of your children was left some money, it would actually be theft to take half from him and give it to his brother.

sglodion Thu 18-Aug-16 13:38:14

I would split it. We save for both my children and my youngest has less than her sister (mainly due to massive discrepancies when they were born) but I think that over the years it will even out a bit and if it doesn't ill top it up myself.
As you said if your GF had died when you had two children then he would have left money to them both.

MatildaTheCat Thu 18-Aug-16 13:38:27

Buy premium bonds with the £1000 in one name and then share equally later on. The birthday money should probably kept separate unless you feel there is real unfairness. Are they allowed to spend any of the birthday money if they wanted something like a new bike?

( if there is a win on the PBs the money can be immediately reinvested so over time it could build. Of course there's a risk of no wins but interest rates are so low I would take the risk and hope for some wins).

Niloufes Thu 18-Aug-16 13:40:29

If it was left to DS1 in a will then you legally can't split it, it is his. If it ever came to a discussion between you and DS1 and DS2 then you'll just have to tell DS2 it was given to DS1 before DS2 was born, which would be the truth.

FelicityGubbins Thu 18-Aug-16 13:41:03

You can't split the money, it was given to one person alone and you can't rob Peter to pay Paul. I personally would save a little bit extra for ds2 and maybe ask him to do a little weekly task that you can then "pay" him for in savings with a clear conscience.

strawberrypenguin Thu 18-Aug-16 13:41:16

No don't split it. It doesn't belong to you to make that choice it belongs to DS1. It happens - my 4yo has an account that grandparents and us have put money into for him. We now have a 3mo as well - I won't be splitting the eldests money so far accumulated as it doesn't seem fair to take from what's his.

Wellthatsit Thu 18-Aug-16 13:42:36

I think, ethically, you shouldn't split the money. Your grandad gave that money to your DS.

However, I would try to make up your DS2's savings to match DS1's by putting a bit more in his every time you can in a bid to redress the balance. That way, you haven't taken any of D1's money from him, but you have helped the brothers to feel they are getting similar opportunity.

One way to look at it is to ask what if you DS2 gets given money or a gift in the future? Would you expect him to give half to his brother automatically? Probably not. But you might want to try to make it up to DS1 as best as you can by, say, helping him out financially if he needed it.

thelionsleepstonight Thu 18-Aug-16 13:42:53

Are you ever going to tell them where it can from?

If not I would put all (savings not bday/Xmas) money into ds2's account until they were equal ish

VeryBitchyRestingFace Thu 18-Aug-16 13:48:16

Another vote against splitting the money. It's not your money to split. It was a bequest to your son. You deciding to split it for the sake of your 2nd son would be a kind of theft.

The onus is on you to make up the difference in saving an extra £1200 for DS2 between now and his 18th birthday.

Propertyquandry Thu 18-Aug-16 13:50:23

I'd split it. I have a friend with 2 boys, one of whom does a lot of modelling. He is 7yrs old. He has been very very successful on the young child circuit and they've built up quite a nest egg. Her younger son has done one, not very well paid photo shoot which she deliberately engineered so she can say they both contributed to the pot. She plans to split it down the middle. It's a 5figure sum of money. Her reasoning is that the costs and time incurred to allow her ds1 to do it came out of available funds and weekends that could have been spent on ds2. I think either way would be reasonable. If you're sure your grandfather would have left it to them both then split it.

OnionKnight Thu 18-Aug-16 13:51:22

Don't split the inheritance, it's not your money to split and neither is the birthday money TBH.

AbelMancwitch Thu 18-Aug-16 13:52:18

Eeek, I was really hoping for a consensus! grin

Ok - the money isn't in a trust, I was given £1k in cash at the time and I put it into an account for DS1. I move their money every year or so to make sure that they get the best interest rates. (DS1 is currently locked into an account that is paying 4% for a year, but after that year is up and rates no doubt plummet I think premium bonds might be a really good way to go, and I like the idea of reinvesting any wins.)

I don't think there is anything legally to stop me dividing the money at this stage; it's the morality that's stopped me from touching it so far. I stopped adding to these accounts a couple of years ago when they were old enough to put their birthday money into their own accounts that they know about and do what they like with. So the disparity between them won't change, and I do think it's a big enough disparity to cause ill feeling...

davos Thu 18-Aug-16 13:54:08

I would and have. My grandad was quite emotionally abusive and he left money to Dd but not Ds.

He recently passed and this money is now available.

Dd is quite a bit older than Ds and we talked to her and she felt it was fairer to split the money. So we did.

ImperialBlether Thu 18-Aug-16 13:54:18

Is that legal, Property? I would have thought the 7 year old's money belongs to him.

Sparklesilverglitter Thu 18-Aug-16 13:54:48

I wouldn't split the money, the money was left to ds1 so that's who it belongs too

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