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I've inherited some money and don't know how to share it.

(224 Posts)
Snowme Mon 01-Apr-13 23:29:54

I've inherited a significant amount of money. Not enough to buy a house or anything like that,but certainly enough to drastically improve the lives of myself and my two young children.

I have three step siblings but as I grew up with them from the age of 2.5 none of us have ever referred to or considered eachother stepsiblings.
Our Dad (my stepdad) died about 18 years ago and at the time I vaguely remember it being common knowledge that because I was the stepchild and I was going to inherit from my paternal grandparents one day, anything from my stepdad's will would not include me, as I was kind of catered for already. I believe the same is now also true with regards to my Mum's will.

Although my siblings spent an occasional school holiday with me and my paternal grandparents, and always received birthday presents with money and gifts throughout their childhood from them, they were not mentioned in my late grandmother's will. So whilst they were not especially close to them, they were familiar with them.

As there are no other beneficiaries to the will except myself, I would like to give some of the money to my siblings. But dilemmas keep presenting themselves. I'm also asking advice from a more practical forum, but Mumsnet will provide more direct views.

Basically, I'd like to know how much to give them.

Briefly, my recent background is that I left a DV 8 year relationship a couple of years ago and left their father with my then 4 week old newborn and toddler.

I've had massive financial problems since, inherited debt from our time together where he did not contribute financially, etc etc. I've recently filed for a Debt Relief Order (similar to bankruptcy) as it got to the point where I was evicted for arrears and then couldn't even afford to bus my daughter into school in the next town. The debt isn't huge and this inheritance could finally take away that 5 year long noose from my neck.

My youngest starts school this Autumn, so this money also makes the transition from depending on benefits to finding full time work again much easier.

But as I'm currently still on full benefits until the probate process is completed in several months time, once the benefits agencies are aware, I won't be eligible for housing benefit, income support or council tax benefit, so as I'm not working and it's unlikely I'll find a full time job quickly that can also cover childcare costs, I'm going to have to pay my own rent, living expenses, etc once I have that money, so at around £900 a month or whatever the cost is rent, food, utilities, council tax, etc that inheritance will trickle away very quickly.

The idea of stashing it for my children's future is becoming less feasible if I have to live off it instead until I find work.

So, with that in mind, firstly what amount should I be thinking of giving my siblings, and secondly, do I explain my reasons for that amount (ie that I need to think of my own children first and that they have already inherited from our Dad when I did not)
or not declare the full amount at all?

I want to be able to give the, something of course, I just don't know how much. I'm aware this is such a once in a lifetime blessing. What do you think ? Do I need to declare the amount here or can you figure out a reply without knowing it? It's to enough buy a house, nowhere near,for instance.

IWishIWasSheRa Mon 01-Apr-13 23:33:17

You sound lovely and I think that as one d

Annunziata Italy Mon 01-Apr-13 23:34:06

If I were you, I would pay off your debts and come back to this look at how once you have found a job.

IWishIWasSheRa Mon 01-Apr-13 23:34:37

Oops... Door opens another closes re the benefits so you should not be too generous- how about taking them away for the weekend instead?

Annunziata Italy Mon 01-Apr-13 23:34:41

I must be more tired than I thought, sorry blush *come back to look at this once

ImperialBlether England Mon 01-Apr-13 23:35:51

I think you should never tell them the amount that you got. How lovely that you've inherited at a time when things are so hard for you financially.

How much could you keep and still have the support from the state that you have now?

aldiwhore Mon 01-Apr-13 23:36:23

I don't think you should give your siblings anything other than a token gesture, they don't need to know how much you've inherited, they don't expect it, so maybe enough to buy themselves a break away? It really does depend on how much you inherited.

If I were you I would concentrate on you and your children. The money could set you up for a long time if spent wisely could it not? Then that is what to do.

For myself I would probably separate the money into 'money to be used usefully' and treat money... so if, out of that treat money I was to take myself and the children to (for argument's sake) Centr Parcs for a few days, I might consider giving the equivalent to my siblings.

You are in danger of offending them whatever you do or don't do, so it really is down to you isn't it?

I am sure you will use the money wisely. I will say though that you really should use some of it to treat youself and your children, my Granny wanted me to buy a piano with her inheritence, but we were so so strapped for cash when she died we had to use it to live... I still wish I'd at least stubbornly spent some of it on a second hand piano. x

Gruntfuttocks Mon 01-Apr-13 23:36:23

If you were financially secure yourself, then it would be a nice idea to give your step-siblings a bung, but from what you're saying, it sounds like you really need this money for yourself and your kids. For goodness sake, be sensible and use the money for your own family. Will your step-sibs be looking to give you money when they inherit? The money was left you you, presumably with the intention of taking care of YOUR needs. Why not go with the wishes of the person who left it to you?

WafflyVersatile Mon 01-Apr-13 23:36:44

I think you need some proper financial/legal advice about gifting money and being on benefits etc. for starters.

Beyond any legal issues that might vary according to amounts gifted then it's totally up to you.

10% of the total amount between them?
50% of the total amount between them? How can we possibly advise?

Geordieminx Mon 01-Apr-13 23:37:44

Look after your own needs and those of your children first.

My advice would be to give nothing away at the moment as you don't know what the future will hold wrt benefits/finding a job etc

Take them out for a nice meal or something, then put the rest away, spend wisely and hopefully it sil enable you to change your life and those of your dc. If in a years' time you find yourself settled, with a job and no debt then that would be the time to look and see what you have left and perhaps give your siblings something.

The last thing you want to do is hand over £xx then in six months time be struggling yourself and end up back in debt.

See this as a new start for you and your dc, it sounds like you deserve it.

beanandspud Mon 01-Apr-13 23:38:53

FWIW I would wait until you actually have the money,pay off your debts and then see what's left and make a decision.

If at that point you feel that you can make a gift of a couple of hundred/thousand (?) pounds to your step-siblings then do it. Alternatively, if it's not possible then don't. I hope that you don't have to explain your decision. Try to think ahead and plan for the future. You sound lovely, please don't let an inheritance spoil the relationship that you have with your step-siblings.

Geordieminx Mon 01-Apr-13 23:40:10

Xposts with everyone grin

ImperialBlether England Mon 01-Apr-13 23:40:27

I think you can only have about £16000 in savings (I say "only" because of the context of inheriting) but assume you could pay off all debts and still have £16000 before you need to worry about losing any benefits.

I think a lot depends on how much you have inherited. I'm not saying this to be nosy, but when you say it won't buy a house, a lot depends on where you live!

Lovelygoldboots Mon 01-Apr-13 23:41:13

You need to be sure when you are definitely getting the money. But the money has been left to you. That is the point of a will. It is not up to you to change a persons last will and testament. Keep the money. It's noone else's business.

BreconBeBuggered Italy Mon 01-Apr-13 23:41:32

Until you've found yourself a permanent job, I don't think you should be in a hurry to give any cash away. Your children's security has to come first.

If you happen to know you're related to me, on the other hand, a few grand wouldn't go amiss.

Keep quiet about it for now. The thought of a legacy does weird things to people.

ImperialBlether England Mon 01-Apr-13 23:41:32

But I agree with the others - look after yourself first. You've had really hard financial times and they did inherit from their father.

ImperialBlether England Mon 01-Apr-13 23:44:03

Legally, I'm not sure whether you can give money away in order to remain under the threshold. I've just been reading about a woman who saved up more than £22000 whilst on benefits and she had to give the money back to the state. You have to be really careful. What if you gave away half and then the state claimed it back from you?

LazyMonkeyButler Mon 01-Apr-13 23:44:07

I honestly think it depends on how much you have inherited and how much your siblings stand to inherit from your Dad. As awful as it sounds, you cannot guarantee that they will share with you as you have (or are willing to) with them.

I agree with other posters that you must sort your needs out first and then see what is left over for potential sharing. If that is nothing then so be it.

cece Mon 01-Apr-13 23:44:29

I agree you need specialist advice on the legalities of all this with regard to your benefits and the implications of gifting the money.

I do agree thought that you should not tell your siblings the full amount of the inheritance.

I also agree that it should be more of a token amount or pay for a holiday/weekend away/meal.

I also agree that you need to focus on your own and your DC financial secutiry before considering your siblings.

MagicHouse Mon 01-Apr-13 23:44:59

If it's not enough to buy a house, then realistically, you don't have enough to be handing out huge sums. Especially of you have debts to clear and you will need to live off it. I also think you should get yourself settled and wait to see how much you can really afford before comitting yourself to anything.

As for the amount, no-one can decide that except you really. Are you worried about what your family will think of you if you don't share it? If it really bothers you, when you are clear about what you can afford just be honest and say you need most of it to live on as having it will affect your benefits and you also need to settle your debts but you would like to give them enough for a great holiday maybe? You have nothing to feel guilty about in receiving this money, or in using it to make a less stressful life for yourself and your children. It sounds like you deserve it :-)

Tortington Mon 01-Apr-13 23:45:39

whya are you giving away money?

sounds really daft to me.

not enough to buy a house - might be a significant deposit on a small flat or something?

I guarentee you - they wouldn't do the same

RaisingGirls Mon 01-Apr-13 23:45:52

It might not buy you a house outright, but once you have a job, maybe it could be a deposit with a mortgage.

I agree with others above, pay off your debt and wait until you are on your feet and then revisit.

If I understand properly from your OP, when one day in the future your mum dies, you will inherit from her? That might be the time, whenever in the future it may be, to think about this again?

TheCraicDealer Mon 01-Apr-13 23:47:03

Callous as this might seem, your step siblings are adults, with their own lives, jobs and potential inheritance some time down the line. Your kids are...well, children, and they rely on you for food, clothing, and a home. As well as love, which thankfully is free and appears to be in abundance in your house if this is something you're selflessly considering.

I'd keep the money until I had a proper permanent position and then turn back to this again. If the money's gone by then, better you used it to keep your home and feed yourselves rather than give away.

You should ask yourself why you're doing this. Would you expect the same off your siblings if the situation were reversed, if they had had a windfall after being forced from their home and in a difficult position financially for a long time? Because it sounds like you're trying to avoid making them angry at you rather than because you wish to share the money fairly.

Chandras Mon 01-Apr-13 23:53:17

Pay your debts, you will come out of benefits but can come back to them if needs be. But try to use the remaining money to improve your job prospects, perhaps investing some of it in gettting a new qualification, a more work oriented wardrobe or stuff your children need.

Don't discard the idea of using that money towards their child fund.

And don't discuss what you got with anyone. You will need that money to cover your expenses if benefits are suspended for a while. It is not that there is plenty of money to spare, is it?

Snowme Tue 02-Apr-13 00:01:07

Yes, it is over the £16,000 cut off so I will definately lose all entitlement to my current benefits.

It wouldn't even buy a third of a house,ImperialBlether, I'm in the East Midlands.

I've also discussed this with another person (non family member) and they also suggested treated my siblings to the cash equivalent of a holiday each could be a good use of the money. They could certainly all use a good holiday each, all in stressful employ really and two of them particularly deserve some quality time away together!

I haven't even begun the probate process yet so it will be end of summer I expect anyway before any money is ready to be credited to my account. So as someone has already said, perhaps I need to make a decision much nearer the time, ie when the money is through, because presumably my benefits will not stopped until then. I don't/didn't plan to find full time work until my youngest started school anyway, not because I'm being a dole scrounger, but because practically and psychologically even, I wanted to be a stay at home mother for them, being a one parent household, to bolster their early years really, more so for my eldest who does remember some of the bad times when I was with their father.

Also, should I actually discuss with my siblings/Mum whether they did actually receive anything from Dad whenhe died, as it was only vaguely referred to, I don't actually have it in concrete. And that should impact my own decision surely on how to share my money?

In January this year I had a bit of a brief breakdown I think, I just couldn't function physically or mentally for a week or so, my financial troubles, not processing my recent past, all came to a head. Then 2 weeks later my Gran died and suddenly I've inherited this money that takes away all my financial troubles and cushions the future for myself and two children. I feel blessed beyond belief. I want to do the right thing with this blessing, for all concerned around me, that's all.

I'll keep reading all your replies, Thankyou for your views so far.

DramaLlamaFarmer Tue 02-Apr-13 00:02:41

You could buy me a Russell Brand for the evening? I think that would be incredibly charitable of you.

Apileofballyhoo Tue 02-Apr-13 00:02:58

Echoing everyone else - keep it until you have a job. Your DCs come first. You may be in a better position to share at a later date. (did they share with you when your Dad died?) It might also be a comfort to your siblings to know you have savings if they have an emergency that you would be able to lend (assuming decency about paying back etc). My Mum has this arrangement with us - interest free loans, provided she has the money to lend and we have the wherewithall to pay it back.

sayithowitis Tue 02-Apr-13 00:06:04

How much did they give you when your step-dad died? Since you did not mention receiving anything then, I will assume that you got nothing. Why on earth would you be thinking about giving away an inheritance when you clearly have financial problems and this could help get you back on your feet? It is very generous of you, but I would think, unnecessary. If you really wanted to give them something, then treating everyone to a family day out or buying them something small that you know they would like, should really be sufficient.

I am all in favour of being generous with money in situations like this, but only after you have ensured a financially settled future for yourself and your own children.

steppemum Netherlands Tue 02-Apr-13 00:09:24

How lovely, you sound as if this is just the break you need.
How lovely of you to think of giving it away too. Do think carefully about it though, money doesn't go as far as you would like it to.

Be careful about who you talk to and be careful saying how much. The more people know the more they put their expectations on you.

If you want it for your children's future, you may be able to put it into a savings account for them that means it doesn't count for benefits. You need some professional advice on this. Get yourself an appointment with an adviser, both for the benefits and for financial advice.

Snowme Tue 02-Apr-13 00:11:32

A couple of you have asked if I'm worried about what my siblings will think. Yes. I am.
they've always been of the opinion my Gran was very comfortable because their childhood memories are of her living in one of those London 'mansion flats' but they thought it was the entire building (what was then a very run-down Streatham Hill before you ask, not Kensington!) was her house, not the actual tiny one bedroom flat she had in one corner of it.
And no, I wouldn't expect them to do the same thing if they were in my financial position. Although they all have secure jobs and as far as I'm aware no debt, I just want to be able to give something to bring them a bit of unexpected joy.

I want to learn to drive as this will improve my job prospects and hopefully buy a secondhand car, and yes it could be enough for a deposit on a small house, I didn't think of that actually, but even then if they saw me buying a cheap car or deposit on a house, would they feel cheated or that I didn't love them enough to give them more of an equal share of the money?

lottiegarbanzo Tue 02-Apr-13 00:11:43

Ok, agree you should not discuss the amount. Context is all, so the same amount means very different things to different people. The resulting perceptions and inferences are a can of worms you needn't open. Do you know how much they inherited from your shared Dad? Doesn't sound like it. Why should anyone need numbers?

What to do with it? Definitely seek independent financial advice. Given your situation, the course that appears obvious to my inexpert mind is:
- Clear your debts
- Put what you can, without losing benefits, into suitable savings.
- Put what remains into accounts in your children's names. It is then not yours.

It really isn't, it's not just a ruse. This results in them owning the money at 18 though. You might want to think about not telling them until later, as 21 or 25 might seem a more sensible age - or age when they might be more sensible with money. Not sure you can stop them knowing though.

That deals with everything without affecting your benefits (caveat, get proper advice) as you would be openly declaring everything that was yours and operating within the rules. Actually, I bet it's set up so you can't do that and, as the full sum will come to you initially, you'll have to declare it. If you do then give some away to your DCs though, then what? Again, seek advice! Morally, I wouldn't have a problem with that, as the money for your DCs could just as well have been a direct inheritance of their own.

If that's not possible, then consider costs of living until you can get a job, setting something aside for your DCs, retaining a cushion of at least six months costs of living, preferably a year - such peace of mind, just in case of all sorts of eventualities. You say not enough for a house but enough for a deposit once you're earning?

Think all that through, then consider a gift for your siblings. So, not a fixed proportion of the total but of what's left after you've made yourself and DCs secure.

Alibabaandthe40nappies Tue 02-Apr-13 00:12:51

For now, do nothing.

Wait for the money, then pay your debts and then look at what you've got left.

You need some legal advice, for example it might be possible to pass some of the money directly to your children and thereby avoid losing any benefits in the short term.

I really hope you aren't doing this hoping that they will do the same for you when their turn comes. Because it may not come, and when it does they will in all likelihood prioritise themselves and their families - which is what you should be doing right now.

If your grandmother - is that right? - had wanted them to have something then she would have made provision in her will, but she didn't. She wanted her money to go to you and your children.

Apileofballyhoo Tue 02-Apr-13 00:13:33

I thought of something else OP - my DH and his siblings have issues where his parents gave time/gifts to their own siblings/nieces/nephews rather than to them. If you are giving out money for your siblings to go on hols will there be enough for your DCs to go on hols? I don't mean to sound harsh, I think you are very generous and loving. I hope you are appreciated within your family and that they would do same for you.

Snowme Tue 02-Apr-13 00:14:11

I wasn't given anything when my stepdad died, sayithowitis. I don't know how much they were given, if anything, I've never asked :/ it was always just an unspoken intent. Do you think I should establish this fact before I make a decision??

Lovelygoldboots Tue 02-Apr-13 00:14:45

Keep your counsel on this OP, until the money is yours. If you discuss it beforehand and it causes animosity then no win no fee solicitors can come out from under their rocks and halt the probate process in its tracks. Just my experience with family.

TheCraicDealer Tue 02-Apr-13 00:16:11

Ok so it's not enough to buy a house outright, but if you start looking at roles now (with a view to starting work once the little one's in school) you could work a few months and then use the rest of your Nan's money for a deposit. A bloody good deposit on a house that would mean real security for you and the kids.

Remember as well that this is your Grandmother's money. You say in your OP that she knew of them but they weren't what you'd say "close". You have to consider whether it would be her wish that you sort yourself and your children out the best you can, or whether three other people who occasionally visited might have a nice, well deserved holiday.

Alibabaandthe40nappies Tue 02-Apr-13 00:16:46

I don't think you should discuss it with anyone, in all honesty.

malovitt Tue 02-Apr-13 00:17:26

Probate for my father's estate, which was very straightforward, took nearly nine months to complete.
So definitely wait until nearer the time.

cantspel Tue 02-Apr-13 00:18:15

If you give a chunk of the money away then at a later stage need to claim benefits again you could be treated as though you still had the money. Google
deprivation of assets for further info and to see if it is likely to apply.

But imo you should keep the money as frankly you are not in a position to be giving even small chunks of it away.

happyAvocado Tue 02-Apr-13 00:19:05

apart form good advice above I suggest you have at least 6 monts worth of monthly income (or expenses) put aside for rainy days, make sure you have at least that much in a separate account

you are hoping to share some money with them - have they shared money with you when you didn't have enough to pay your bus fare?

Snowme Tue 02-Apr-13 00:19:51

This is all really helping,thanks everyone thanks

What I'm taking mostly from it so far is that I should clear the debts first, get some financial advice on how it affects my current state benefits, and then make a decision on how much to give my siblings when that's all in place. I just hope they won't think I've decoded not to give them anything at all in that meanwhile because it will be several months away yet! I don't want them to think Ive just kept it all! I'll perhaps have to have a semi formal discussion with them soon, to explain there is enough money to be ale to share with them, but I don't know how much yet, or when.

Casmama Tue 02-Apr-13 00:20:06

I think your siblings didn't feel the need to discuss any inheritance with you so don't feel obligated.

allagory Tue 02-Apr-13 00:21:11

You sound very generous - but this was your grandparents' money. I am sure they they worked hard for and their wish was for you to have the money. They could have left money for your step siblings, but they chose not to. I think you should honour their wishes. Make your plans carefully and only spend for a better life for you and your children, not just a better day or week.

Alibabaandthe40nappies Tue 02-Apr-13 00:21:38

Really not understanding why you are so keen to share. Did they share with you?

CocacolaMum Tue 02-Apr-13 00:22:30

I think you should give yourself a year, maybe even 2 to sit on it and see how life takes you.
You were left that money. Your Grandmother knew of your siblings but it was her wish that YOU have her money and it is clear from what you have shared that she was correct in her decision.

Don't give it away. Your siblings are able to provide a secure future for themselves which means I am sure they can budget for a holiday, until you can say the same then use it as a cushion.

StuntGirl Tue 02-Apr-13 00:24:00

They obviously kept the money from their dads will though, why are you so worried about what they'll think?

You don't sound in a strong enough financial position to be giving it away. Wait and see what happens in the meantime, it doesn't matter what they think while probate is going in.

Lovelygoldboots Tue 02-Apr-13 00:24:33

You don't need to discuss anything with them. It's your money. Left to you. Your gran wanted you to have it. Not them. That's why she bothered to make a will. It's what she wanted. Let her have what she wanted as her last wish.

Snowme Tue 02-Apr-13 00:25:02

happyavocado Sadly no, I've lent one sister large sums of money in the recent past and she hasn't repaid it. I was evicted for rent arrears last year and she continued to borrow money from me then, she must have known my money was tight then :/ Ah well. That doesn't stop me from wanting to gift her though. I might look a mug on the face of it, but it's only money, not worth holding grudges for. Life's short and precious, is the only good thing that came out of my recent past's experiences with the children's father.

Alibabaandthe40nappies Tue 02-Apr-13 00:26:14

See now I think you are a fool. Are you trying to buy affection?

I am genuinely confused confused

lottiegarbanzo Tue 02-Apr-13 00:26:21

Why would you want to be trying to sustain an illusion you think they had about you grandparents' home? Why the sense of guilt and sensitivity about appearances? If they care about you as much as you clearly care about them, they will be really pleased you are more secure. It may be quite comforting to them, given your recent history. I think you need to allow yourself to be loved and cared for now.

I'm going to be blunt. Your Gran left this to you, they may already have inherited when you didn't, they are not in debt and struggling and you are. I wouldn't think about anything other than a token. You sound lovely but this money could change your life and that of your children.

Get good financial advice and don't discuss amounts with anyone except a financial adviser for the foreseeable. It is rare that when we really need it, something like this happens. You gran would have wanted you and your children to be OK after she passed. Make sure you don't endanger that.

AnnandBarryAgain Tue 02-Apr-13 00:27:51

Also not getting why you are so keen to share with step siblings. So what if they think you have kept it all. It's yours to keep. You are not obliged to share it nor should you be expected to share it.You need to think about you and your kids and nobody else!!! grin

TheCraicDealer Tue 02-Apr-13 00:28:12

Snowme, that is not a good idea. You've said yourself that they have an overinflated estimation of your GM's finances, you do not want them expecting a sizeable windfall and then be disappointed when presented with whatever figure you've decided on. Because, more than likely, it will never be "enough" in their eyes.

It seems like you're trying to buy their affection/goodwill. And believe me, if you were on the bones of your arse and they didn't help, you don't need their goodwill. Sort yourself out, you've had a hard enough time of it. It's time to put yourself and your kids first.

Lovelygoldboots Tue 02-Apr-13 00:29:51

<gives up.>

Snowme Tue 02-Apr-13 00:29:54

alibaba Because I've been in the most horrendous financial straits imaginable for 5 years and it resulted in what I presume was a bit of a breakdown this January mostly because of that, so I poignantly understand the value of money and I believe I know how much joy it would bring the to be given some money, to have a holiday or whatever they choose to use it for. It's like I am putting this blessing to good, productive use, I genuinely want to give them a bit of happiness, as my Gran has done by leaving this to me.

CandyCrushed Tue 02-Apr-13 00:30:03

You are right not to discuss it with anyone. I agree with everyone else that you should do nothing until you are up and running in a new job and have bought everything you need. You might find that you spend more than you think you will. You may also find you end up with less than you think.

If anyone asks you about the money be very vague and mutter about solicitor bills, your Grans debts etc, etc. You could also lie be a little creative and say that your Gran wanted some of the money to go towards your DC's University fees.
I think I would keep it all.

MagicHouse Tue 02-Apr-13 00:31:26

I think you might be over thinking things. I'm sure most people wouldn't assume the amount that has been left in a will. It sounds as though you think your step-siblings will be assuming you have been left the equivalent value of a massive London house and that you are desperate to put them right in case they think you are mean. You don't sound at all mean and I'm sure the people who love and know you best will know this about you.

What they received from your Dad is nothing to do with anything. If you were settled and were in the position of spending all the money on luxuries then maybe that would be different and you could share more of it out if that made you happy. But it sounds like this is a real break for you and you and your family need this money to get settled. You're simply not in a position to give masses of it away.

In your position I wouldn't discuss it. If you really wanted though, you could let it be known that it was enough to pay off your debts and live off while you find a good job to support you and your children (which is entirely true). The reality is they will probably be chuffed to bits for you that some good luck has fallen your way.

cantspel Tue 02-Apr-13 00:31:31

Their is an old saying that goes A fool and their money are soon parted. Dont be a fool.

When you have been in the most horrendous financial straits imaginable for 5 years and it resulted in what I presume was a bit of a breakdown this January mostly because of that did they give you money? A place to stay? Support you and the DC?

Alibabaandthe40nappies Tue 02-Apr-13 00:33:40

Ok, that is fair enough.

But - if you give away a load of it, then in another couple of years you could be back where you started. Don't your DCs deserve better?

I am really struggling to understand your thinking. Your sister took money from you, knowing that you were being evicted?

Why would you want to bring joy to her, over and above the joy that a stable home could bring your children?

Forgive me, but you seem to be very focused on short term things you could do with it. Please speak to a professional about what could be possible in terms of giving your DCs a better start in life before you start promising your step-siblings money, although I'm getting the impression from what you have said that you have already made some promises?

Snowme Tue 02-Apr-13 00:33:55

Erk. Ok a few people are becoming shirky and resigned - sorry! I'm not trying to buy anyone's affections at all alibaba, I just want to use it wisely and with good conscience.

I agree I will sit on it until I'm more aware of priorities such as how it affects my state benfts, my likely employment situation when youngest starts school, etc etc.

zzzzz Tue 02-Apr-13 00:34:27

I think you should keep it and try to pass some on to your children in time.

Learn to drive. Buy some work clothes. Get a job. Put down a deposit for a modest home. Work and save hard and one day you will be in a position to give your children a hand up. Your siblings don't want your money, they want you safe and making a success of your life.

CandyCrushed Tue 02-Apr-13 00:34:32

Yikes, I hadn't refreshed my page before writing my post and can now see your post about your sister borrowing money from you and your suggestion of having a meeting with them. I think it would be a VERY BAD idea to discuss this with them. I really would not tell them ANYTHING. Tell them it can take years to sort out and your solicitor is dealing with it.

ImperialBlether England Tue 02-Apr-13 00:35:41

Are you worried that they won't think you're one of their family if you don't share your money? They didn't share their money, nor should they have. You shouldn't either.

I think you're assuming that if you gave them money, you would then be able to continue to claim. Please, please check this out.

Let's assume you got £40,000. You are allowed to have £16,000 and still have housing benefit, so you think you'll get rid of your debts, let's say £9,000 and give them £15,000 between them.

The government, on the other hand, sees that you have had £40,000. It sees that after the debts were paid off, you had £31,000 in savings. It then says you can't have benefits until you only have £16,000. However, you've given away the £15,000 by then, but the government says no, that was for your rent etc.

Can you see that you could end up in a really awful situation?

Snowme Tue 02-Apr-13 00:35:52

MrsTerry No, they didn't. But they couldn't really have spared the cash the,selves anyway, so I wouldn't have dreamed of asking them to help.

Catchingmockingbirds Tue 02-Apr-13 00:36:58

Use it to pay off your bills, your siblings have had inheritance from their father already and everyone was aware that this inheritance would be just for you.

cantspel Tue 02-Apr-13 00:37:53

But you will not be using it wisely if you give chunks of it away when you have 2 children, debts and no job.
Your Nan left you this money as she wanted to see you alright. She had the option to include the steps but didn;t so if you give some of it away your are not listening to what your Nan wanted.

It would be different if they shared their windfalls in the past but as they didn't why should you take from your babies to give to them?

defineme Tue 02-Apr-13 00:38:27

I appreciate that you're a kind and lovely person, but I think you're getting carried away with wanting to make everyone feel good-that's not really your job though is it?
Your job is to look after your children.
As for the sister that's in debt to you-are you really truly unable to see that you're simply enabling someone who's crap with money/dishonest to keep being that way by giving her more money-that's not help...
I'd feel ashamed of myself if I used money that could secure a home for my kids on a holiday for a feckless sister that didn't help me when I was down but continued to leach off me.
Respect the memory of your Gran and spend the money on solid things to secure your children's future-driving lessons/house deposit and so on.

Snowme Tue 02-Apr-13 00:39:24

Imperial No, I can't even barely cope with mental arithmetic let alone fiddle a way of gifting inheritance to avoid losing benefits confused that isn't what this is about. I know I'll lose benefits, I'm prepared for that. But your figures are very close to the mark, so yes, I do see how it could all go pear shaped if I'm not careful and get some good advice.

happyAvocado Tue 02-Apr-13 00:40:37

I don't want to sound horrible but instead of giving them money perhaps pay for a series of counseling sessions for yourself to understand why you fee yo udon't deserve this money?

If you aren't careful in another 5 years you'll again get back to the same situation where you were few months ago.

Learn to use this money to your advantage - I guess your GP's wanted you to have money because they cared for you.

Your Mum decided she isn't giving you any share in her inheritance - why would you give your share to anyone?
Save that money for your kids education, as they grow older they may develop hobby which otherwise will be beyond your reach (most hobbies are expensive sad ).

Don't you want to have feeling that you have that ability to share your GP's money with your kids and make their life a bit better?

TheCraicDealer Tue 02-Apr-13 00:41:34

You might not have dreamed of asking them, but your sister thought of it. And then did it, knowing your predicament. Then, when you were about to be evicted she refused to pay you back.

Can you see now why other posters are wondering about your thought process here? Because a bunch of strangers on a forum seem to be more concerned about you than she did when you needed her.

cantspel Tue 02-Apr-13 00:41:36

You dont need to be good with figures all you have to bear in mind is that if you give it away the council will treat you as though you still have it. So if you get to the stage where you need to claim again you wont be able to.

Snowme remember what it took to leave the DV situation. You had to put the DC and yourself first for once. You had to protect your DC. Please try to do that now. By all means give a token if it works with your benefits but don't put yourself in a situation where you gave away the means to support them in the future to make other people happy briefly.

MagicHouse Tue 02-Apr-13 00:43:32

hmm, your latest responses do seem to put you in a more vulnerable light. People who borrow from you when you are being evicted are defintely not putting you first.
I agree don't mention anything about sharing - if they are interested in your money they will be imagining huge sums. It sounds like you could be in a position to be exploited (this has already happened with your lending money when you couldn't afford it). Keep your mind on your children and how this will impact them. Also second the advice to look into seeking advice on ways to use the money wisely so that it really supports you and your children. It sounds like you might start to be asked for "loans" anyway, so you need to think about avoiding this scenario.

You may say 'it's only money' and want to dole it out to them but it won't be long until your dcs need driving lessons, uni fees, and so on. They get more expensive as they get older. Time really does fly.

And sorry it does seem as if you're a bit in fear of their reactions towards you.

Tortington Tue 02-Apr-13 00:45:18

inperial isnt talking about gifting money to avoid losing benefits - shes saying it doesn't matter if you give it to the easter bunny fund - the govt will say you should have paid your rent with it rather than give it to a relative/easter bnny

Glad you're listening and going to get financial advice.

SavoyCabbage Tue 02-Apr-13 00:47:05

I think you need to keep it because of the situation you are in. Use it for a deposit on a house.

happyAvocado Tue 02-Apr-13 00:48:50

if you feel you are going to be tempted to just withdraw money and give it to them just to shut them up - put most of them in an account where you need say 30 or 60 day notice

keep some money accessible - but not all

that is why you need advice from someone independent to help you work out how to manage it

lottiegarbanzo Tue 02-Apr-13 00:49:23

Please prioritise your children. Think about their future. You need to start thinking longer term.

I can see how a hand to mouth existence on benefits would give you a very short term attitude to money and a heightened gratitude for treats. You need to shift that. People who have money plan ahead and they do what they can to hold onto it. They spend on things they can keep, like houses, not blow it on things that are instantly gone.

Yes, there's value in enjoyment and happy memories but I think your sensitivity to this is too great, because you've been struggling. Think less about momentary happiness, more about contentedness, comfort, security.

If you must focus on holidays, what about the French exchange trip your child will want to go on in ten years time, with their friends? Will this windfall have placed you in a better position to afford that? Extra tuition they might need or A-levels? University? If you invest in a more secure future then yes, it can.

Longdistance Tue 02-Apr-13 00:50:33

You are soft op. Seriously, your siblings inherited their money from their father, you didn't receive anything, and it is YOUR turn now.

Your gm left YOU that money to put to good use.

You said in your pp that your siblings could ill afford to part with their inheritance at the time. You can't either, you have debt to pay off. You can have a lovely holiday with your dc, or some lovely treats. You'll be able to start off in a new life without being on benefits and getting back to working.

Listen to lottiegarbanzo.

Could you get someone to 'look after' it for you ?? Ie not spend any until you are financially stable and looking at buying a house or whatever ??

SomeBear Tue 02-Apr-13 01:03:29

Is there any possibility that your siblings have also inherited an amount from this will? If I was in your situation, as other posters have said, I would pay off my debts, have a holiday / buy a car / invest in a college course, and put some aside for my children's future. My less immediate family wouldn't enter into the equation other than perhaps a more generous than usual Christmas or birthday present. Harsh, perhaps, but it's a hard world and sometimes you need to give yourself permission to be selfish.

ICutMyFootOnOccamsRazor Tue 02-Apr-13 01:15:42

I would far, far rather give money to my children (or invest in their future in a tangible way) than give it to anyone else.

Earlybird Tue 02-Apr-13 01:23:47

You need to honour your grandmother's wishes and her intent. She left the money to you for your use. If she had wanted them to have some of it, she would have left some of it to them.

What percentage of the total will you have left after you have paid off your debts?

How many dc, and how old? Realistically, when would you be able to work? And when you are able to work, realistically how much would you estimate you'll earn per year? How does that compare to your likely outgoings?

You need to be methodical about figuring this out.

Do not speak about the money to anyone. Envy will eat them up, and they can easily make you feel guilty about having some good luck. You should not feel guilty. Don't lie, but be vague and non-commital with anyone who asks. It is none of their business.

Be aware that what sounds like a huge amount of money right now, can disappear more quickly than you'd expect. You must be shrewd and astute. This is likely your one chance at real financial security. Don't blow it.

VestaCurry Tue 02-Apr-13 01:25:01

Please honour the will. The money was for you and you have young children to support. If you want to be selfless, direct it towards those you are responsible for. You have been through v difficult times so use this inheritance to secure as much of your future as possible. You already know how unstable life can be, this money could be the buffer you need against some of what life throws at us. Good luck.

"Our Dad (my stepdad) died about 18 years ago and at the time I vaguely remember it being common knowledge that because I was the stepchild and I was going to inherit from my paternal grandparents one day, anything from my stepdad's will would not include me, as I was kind of catered for already. I believe the same is now also true with regards to my Mum's will."

OK, so despite this man being your dad from the age of two and a half onwards, you were excluded from inheriting from him. Sorry, but IMHO your stepsiblings have already been 'catered for'. And you "believe the same is now also true with regards to my Mum's will."? Fuck me angry! I can only imagine how that little piece of information wormed its way to you, and I have to say it doesn't paint your family as very nice at all. And I do wonder if the conviction that you should be sharing your inheritance from your grandmother wormed its way into you the same way.

You are far from financially secure, and I really don't think you should be considering sharing your inheritance with them. Had your grandmother wished it, she would have willed it so. She didn't, she wanted you to have it.

Selvedge South Korea Tue 02-Apr-13 01:41:57

Don't feel bad for wanting to share your good fortune, but don't feel obliged either.

How old were your siblings when your D(S)F died? Did his estate pass to your DM? If so, how has she decided to leave her estate? Ask her about it!

Don't mention figures for now. You don't know how much it will be eventually...

There is a way to gift inheritance to others not included in a will officially.

Will come back with more detail when not so late.

A Deed of Variation is how you do that. I wouldn't but if you must...

The best thing you can do is keep the money for you and your DC. It is a deposit on a small house for you all, to secure your future. Get advice to see how that can work out for you. It's not enough to be handing it around and treating others when you and your DC are in need.

BlueStarsAtNight Tue 02-Apr-13 03:31:18

It sounds like you are placing a massive emphasis on making other people happy and how wonderful it would be to give your siblings a windfall. That's understandable given how much it would have meant to you, but I'd worry from what you've said that no matter what you gave them, be it £50, £500 or £5000 each, that your siblings might be more focussed on what they haven't been given (ie a large share of the massive London house) than what they have. I don't think you'll find an amount that makes you feel like you've really 'shared' it with them, whilst still leaving you enough to secureyour and your childrens future. It's a lot of money yes, but it will disappear shockingly fast if you are using it for basic living expenses. Please please focus on making it go as far as possible to provide real security for your children, and stop worrying about what your siblings will think of you. Just don't mention it at all, like they never mentioned your dads money.

Daughteroughter Tue 02-Apr-13 03:43:53

Hi - my mil died recently and she left her estate mainly to my sil having discussed with DH and I as sil has v little and we are ok. She left all GC same sour ds has same as his cousins. Sil life is tough financially and also has an it's only money attitude.....frankly DH and I find it irritating we didn't mind her having the majority at all. We do mind that she is frittering DMiL (and fil) hard earned money when she (they ) so wanted to help her and her kids. Don't let your grandmother down

MrsHoarder Tue 02-Apr-13 03:56:07

If it would buy 1/3 of a house then that is a good sized deposit once you are working again. Maybe your gp only left money to you as they knew your dsf hadn't left you anything and were looking to right this.

Seriously, don't give your siblings any of it. Your children's financial security has to come first, and if you lost benefits due to the inheritance but didn't have it to pay living expenses then you would have real problems.

BlueStarsAtNight Tue 02-Apr-13 03:57:21

I'd also encourage you to think practically about how you would break down that money, e.g. say you have £40000 - driving lessons and a decent reliable car are going to be at least £5-7000 ish (remembering you have to insure and maintain it too). Living costs at £1000 a month whilst you look for work, which could easily take 6 months to a year in this climate, that's another £12000. Put £5000 in q savings account for each child to give them a start when they leave home. That leaves £11-13000 to pay off your debts, have a holiday, and put the rest in savings just in case you are in trouble again in the future, e.g. lose your job etc. That's a nice position to be in. If you want to give your siblings some, which pot would it come from? Your children's savings? Your living costs? Your car money (meaning you have to get a less reliable one and have more maintenance costs for it)? Or your savings for the future? Thinking of it like that might help you see it not as just a big pot of money ready to help you make people happy, but actually real tangible things that your family needs.

Pagwatch Tue 02-Apr-13 04:04:39

I think you also misunderstand how this works.
Surprisingly only a few people accept a gift of money with a cheery 'great. Thanks'
More often people get very odd about it. It can change relationships, especially if the relationship is not a good one in the first place.

I think you should not discuss this with anyone. You should , in order,
get the money
Pay your debts
Sort out the financial implications re benefits etc
Wait a year
Then gift

For 'how much do I give these people - these people who have not really helped or supported me' to be your first thought is a bit odd.

You know you could take out isas for your dc to help them in the future? A really great investment for which they would thank you when they need driving lessons or money at uni..

saffronwblue Tue 02-Apr-13 04:12:37

I would stop using the term "share" about the inheritance. You are not going to share it. You may, after advice and after your and your DC's needs are catered for, make a small gift to your siblings.

You sound lovely. Just look into the future and think about how money invested now could help your DC, for example, study in another country or start a business...

HermioneHatesHoovering Tue 02-Apr-13 04:13:35

Your gm wanted you to have this money, if she had wanted your stepsiblings to have some she would have left them some.

You owe it to your children to secure their future, not these other people.

HermioneHatesHoovering Tue 02-Apr-13 04:14:34

You might want to ask yourself why you think your stepsiblings deserve this money more than your own children?

JustinBsMum Tue 02-Apr-13 04:41:02

Inheritances bring out the worst in people ime and no matter what you give siblings it might be seen as miserly rather than generous.

Perhaps your DC might want to go to uni, that's 9,000 per year, plus 9,000 a year living allowance, x3 for a 3 year course, that's 54,000.

I would just tuck it away for the future.

Tenacity Tue 02-Apr-13 05:05:48

OP You are looking a gift horse in the mouth.
I'm all for being generous whenever possible, but I think you need to be very careful how you approach this.
There does seem to be a few red herrings judging from your OP- for one, why do you feel you owe your siblings something? hmm What has led to this?
Your GM has done a wonderful thing for you, and you might never get another chance again. Use the money wisely, and you will benefit in the long term. You never know, the ripple effect might mean that your future grand kids will get an inheritance too. wink
On the other hand,I suspect you might do more harm than good by rush into tellling/ involving your step siblings in this. Ironically, the very same people you are trying to help could become resentful towards you.
If you are on benefits, things are about to get tough soon, and you cannot afford to waste such an opportunity. Make your inheritance count for something. It you invest in the rights, the returns will be tenf

Tenacity Tue 02-Apr-13 05:09:18

Sorry posted too soon (iPhone malarkey).
I was going to add that the returns will be tenfold with the right investment, and both your kids and step siblings will benefit for longer!

lisianthus Tue 02-Apr-13 05:13:26

Please use some of it to get good legal advice about how best to use this money in the context of your benefits.

Then, use it to benefit you and your children, or just your children, if you don't want to have any of the benefit of it yourself. If you want to make a generous geature towards your sister, you could forgive the debt she owes you. If they care about you the way you care about them, knowing you and your children have this good fortune and will be OK financially in the short term will bring significant joy to them, and you will cause them embarrassment and worry by forcing them to take money from you and your children when you are in need and could use this.

And think of your grandmother- she gave you this money knowing that your stepfather and your mother would not be looking after you but after your siblings when they died. Think how upset she would be knowing that you would also be choosing to look after your siblings rather than after your own children. Please honour her wishes and use the money for your children. Your parents, also, set up their wills in the knowledge that you would be inheriting from your grandmother. That knowledge is the only thing that makes their wills in any way fair- giving your and your children's inheritance away makes their wills monstrous in unfairness and makes them look very bad indeed.

If you are worried that your siblings will be envious rather than happy and relieved for you, tell them your grandmother left you a token amount and the rest to a cats' home.

BellaVita Tue 02-Apr-13 05:22:33

OP, I would keep quiet. Sort your own finances out. Put some by for your own children into an ISA (my grandad died last year and left a set amount for all of his grandchildren and great grandchildren and we opened ISA's for our boys).

The money was left to you, you sound like lovely, but keep the money.

SocialGrace Tue 02-Apr-13 06:43:46

Do not mention anything about this to your sibs until you've worked out what to do. And then please listen to the above advice and reconsider giving them anything; it may seem like a fortune but it won't go that far, and I'd lay money that you won't get the gratitude or bring the joy that you expect.

Timetoask Tue 02-Apr-13 06:59:35

In your OP you mention that is has been common knowledge all throughout your life and that of your siblings that you would inherit money from your grandparents and BECAUSE OF THIS you were not included in your sepdad's and your mum's will.

So why do you think your siblings would expect anything from your inheritance now? If they are good family, they will simply be happy for you to find yourself in better position financially after all you have been through.

Your grandma's wishes are clearly stated in her will, she wanted you and ONLY YOU to make use of her assets. I don't think you should go against her wishes.

HollyBerryBush Tue 02-Apr-13 07:03:54

First of all pay off all your debts, that is your main priority.

Secondly, sort out what you need now to make your life more comfortable, all the things you need replacing and bills that will be coming up like school uniforms.

Thirdly, have a break yourself.

Fourthly, there are tax implications for gifting money also - siblings do not count as close family - so you can gift them £250 per annum each, but that gift cannot exceed £3,000 per tax year for you. However you can gift larger amounts to your children £3,000 per year (into an ISA)

If you have your money today, you can put in £3,000 and £3,000 again later in the week when the tax year rolls over. You can do the same with your personal ISA, £5,000.

Lastly, whilst I appreciate your motives, money makes devils of some people. Would your siblings include you if someone from their blood family died and factor you into the split? Plus, amongst your siblings do you have one who is just that little bit needier than others? One who is always cap in hand?

Never discuss money is my motto.

TheFallenNinja Tue 02-Apr-13 07:14:52

At the first sniff of inheritance families turn into buzzards. It's important that you protect your own interests first.

If you have filed for a debt relief order there will be conditions on if your circumstances change.

It's a lovely gesture but like I say, your own interests and obligations must take priority.

Lueji Tue 02-Apr-13 07:14:55

Do not sweat it at all in relation to your siblings.
You have already explained why.
One of them even borrowed from you when you were in debt and hasn't paid.

Personally, I'd be inclined to give the same amount to the other sibling and write off the debt and that's it.
Do not give or lend any more money!

Save if for you and your children.
You can put some in trust for them, or a savings account for each.

Remember that you may well need it at some point again, should you fall ill or something.
Make sure you invest in good insurance for you.

yummymumtobe Tue 02-Apr-13 07:58:39

You should keep it (i agree with not sharing unless you have an agreent with your ss that would eluld all share regardless of the wills) use it to live off then you won't need to claim benefits. That would be very liberating for you and from what it sounds like this has given you the perfect opportunity to be independent and get back on your feet.

Sianilaa Tue 02-Apr-13 08:12:05

I wouldn't give them anything unless you are 100% sure they will share with you... I like the suggestion of writing off the debt your sister owes you and giving the same amount to the other sibling but tbh you and your children come first and that money was meant for you. Don't give it all away without ensuring you're taken care of.

KatyTheCleaningLady Tue 02-Apr-13 08:16:55

OP, I don't understand this. It is like you are deliberately putting yourself in a bad situation.

You cannot buy love and affection. Your siblings feelings about you will be the same no matter what you do with the money.

You have an obligation to your children, your creditors and the state that comes before any filial affection.

Pay debt, get yourself financially secure, and squirrel the rest away into savings or a house deposit.

The amount of money is significant only if used wisely. It shouldn't be frittered away on holidays when there are genuine needs.

A second hand car is not a luxury by any means. It's a very useful thing to have that can change your life for the better.

thegreylady Tue 02-Apr-13 08:21:23

I am a step parent and my will does include my steps but they received nothing from my parents and nor should they. I wouldn't mention the will at all nor would I give them anything at all. If your grandmother had wanted to include them she could have done. If they were in need it might be different but they are not and you are. Think of your children. If there is money left after debts are cleared then use it for them.

Inertia Tue 02-Apr-13 08:25:09

My condolences on the loss of your grandmother.

My first thought is that you shouldn't even be giving the time of day to the sister who wouldn't even pay you back when you needed the money to pay rent and ended up being evicted.

Your siblings have already been provided for in two other wills . It doesn't sound as though they shared when your stepfather died - why do you feel that you should ?

Remember that the money from your grandmother was intended for you and your children - you want to take money from your children to give to a sibling who saw helped make them homeless ? Your priorities are seriously skewed.

In terms of how the authorities see it - you might well find that all their calculations are based on the full amount you inherit - so they'll still regard you as being in possession of the full amount regardless of how much you've given away.

I would say that your priorities are to pay off debts and get securely housed. Driving lessons and a car are good ideas , especially if this then allows you to get a job. Then you can think about house deposits and your children's future.

If siblings hassle you, tell them that you hope it will be enough money that you can pay off debts and write off debts owed to you by your siblings.

Snoopingforsoup Tue 02-Apr-13 08:27:15

Sounds harsh, but don't give them anything. You've had a hard time financially. Put yourself and DC first, find yourself some work and as said above, then consider your step sibs.
Preserve every penny until you are back to work.
If I were your step sister, it's what I'd be telling you.

I agree with everybody grin Op - this money has been left to YOU and you need to consider your children's future above all. Your siblings won't be leaving anything to your dcs, I assume they have their own dcs to pass money on to? What you receive now is all your dcs will ever be able to inherit. Do not give away their future out of a misplaced sense of generosity. You can't afford it.

dopeysheep Tue 02-Apr-13 08:32:41

Don't give them anything. Don't say anything. They won't love you any more if you give them the whole bloody lot.

dopeysheep Tue 02-Apr-13 08:34:32

Buy a house. Or put a deposit down on one.

This is a small sought after island - property is a good thing to own.

cees Tue 02-Apr-13 08:52:17

I wouldn't give them a penny, they didn't run to help you out when you got evicted so why bother, they didn't rush to hand over any of their inheritance to you either so I'd just keep it and sort your own children out for the future since your dying to get it off your hands rather then give it away to siblings who are not entitled to any of it and didn't bother doing the same for you when you needed it.

Coconutty Costa Rica Tue 02-Apr-13 08:54:13

So it's been common knowledge throughout your life that this money will be given to you as no-one else has put you in their will. Because of this inheritance.

Your SD died and they all got money and you didn't because of this inheritance. They didn't give you a penny from their inheritance.

If you do anything other than keep the money for your own kids, you are daft.

dopeysheep Tue 02-Apr-13 08:56:51

If you really think it's "only money" then it won't matter if you don't give them anything.
Please secure your own and your children's future as your grandmother intended.

archfiend Tue 02-Apr-13 09:04:08

I agree with the others on this thread. It is lovely that you are thinking of others, but you and your children must come first. It sounds like you have had a horrendous time of it recent and have coped without financial support from family, indeed you have been supporting them in one case!

Get some legal advice, once probate is complete then pay off your debts and prioritise stability for you and your children. If there is something left over then why not look into hiring a nice cottage for a weekend for everyone or take them out for a meal? That way, you show that you care but with an experience rather than a 'thing' like cash. If your step siblings are reasonable people they will understand that you have been fortunate enough to put your life back together and have thought of them in some way but it won't lead to fighting over money. If they aren't reasonable people then all you have lost is the cost of a meal/weekend away and your family are still secure.

ShatnersBassoon Tue 02-Apr-13 09:13:06

I don't understand why you've created this quandary. Your grandmother took any uncertainty out of the inheritance by making a will. She made her decision, you should go with that.

Squitten Tue 02-Apr-13 09:23:06

I don't know why you are insistent on bending over backwards to make your own life complicated!

This is YOUR money. What your siblings may or may not expect is entirely irrelevant. Do you think these people will be flogging themselves to give you some of their money when the time comes?!

Keep the money and use it for your benefit and for your children. It's what your grandparents wanted!

hellonewworld Tue 02-Apr-13 09:29:31

I think your own family should be your priority right now, do what you've got to do for you. If they are decent people they will understand.

quietlysuggests Tue 02-Apr-13 09:31:28

Someone once gave me 1000 from their own inheritance.
I will never forget the feeling.
I drove 2 hours to the nearest town and bought some things I had been wanting for for years. I am looking at them right now, and I still remember the thrill of having a sudden 1000 in an envelope!
It was wonderfully generous and I appreciated it so much. It made my year.

Doyouthinktheysaurus Tue 02-Apr-13 09:35:34

Op you sound very vulnerable and really don't seem to value yourself in all this!

Keep the money, keep quiet about it, it's no one else's business! Take note of the fact you have no idea what or if your step siblings received an inheritance after your stepdad died, and model your behaviour on that.

Sounds like you have had a tough time and as others have said some counselling sessions would have much more long term benefit than sharing money you can ill afford to share.

Over the years DH and I have received a significant payout from a critical illness policy after I got ill, and an inheritance of probably a similar amount you are talking about.

That money is for the future and our dses future.

That's how you need to think about your money. It's for yours and your dc's future.

HoldMeCloserTonyDanza Tue 02-Apr-13 09:36:17

Sadly no, I've lent one sister large sums of money in the recent past and she hasn't repaid it. I was evicted for rent arrears last year and she continued to borrow money from me then, she must have known my money was tight then :/

I just cannot get over this. And you want to give MORE money to siblings who offered you nothing when you fled domestic violence?

You seem so resigned to inheriting nothing from either the man who raised you, or even your own mother. And you honestly seem not to feel like you deserve this inheritance from your grandmother.

Why do you value yourself so little?

aurynne Spain Tue 02-Apr-13 09:38:44

To be completely blunt, Snowme, you are behaving like an utter fool. I will tell you exactly how this is all going to end: you will give your step-siblings money. regardless of the amount, hey will assume you have inherited heaps more and will think you are tight-fisted. They will either refuse to talk to you or try to get more out of you. I hope it's the first option, because if they ask you for more, I can perfectly picture you giving them all your inheritance money just to please them. Then you will be broke again and your children will have nothing, your siblings will spend your money and your relationship with them will be worse off than before.

Why exactly are you so insistent in giving these people, who don't seem to give a fig about you and your children, money that your grandmother wanted you to enjoy? Why??? It defies reason!

Inertia Tue 02-Apr-13 09:40:16

Quietly - that's lovely.

I hope that the person who gave it could afford to give freely, rather than being jobless, debt-ridden, recently homeless, owed money by you, and with their own children to support.

MrsHoarder Tue 02-Apr-13 09:40:27

OP you really shouldn't be trying to give your siblings "unexpected joy" which they will see as coming from your GP (rather than you) unless you are very financially secure. To be so I would need to own outright my own house and have a few months living expenses. Other people's definitions may vary, but having to live off savings whilst in rented accommodation is not financially comfortable.

You owe your children security, not a bit of bonus happiness for your siblings, and if they are better off than you the money will be worth less in terms of adding to their happiness than it would to you anyway.

Alibabaandthe40nappies Tue 02-Apr-13 09:42:15

quietly - had you previously inherited and not shared with that person? Had you previously borrowed money from that person and not paid it back despite them being evicted for arrears? Was that person in debt? On benefits and with small children?

Unless the answer to those questions is yes, then the OP should completely disregard your input to the thread.

CecilyP Tue 02-Apr-13 09:44:47

You shouldn't give them anything. You really don't need to. You have already said that they have secure jobs whilst you are on benefits. Yet they did not help you when you were in real financial difficulties. They also inherited from their dad and did not include you. While your gran obviously did not own an entire block of flats, if there is not enough money even to buy a small house in the midlands, it does not sound as if she owned her one bedroom flat in Streatham either. Therefore, the only discussion you need have with your sibblings is that - that the legacy is far less than might have been expected. Then if you are feeling generous just take them for a meal or a weekend away. There really is no reason for them to expect anything from you.

As others have said, if you are on benefits and you have money that puts you above the benefit threshold, you can't just give that money away and expect to continue to receive the same benefits - the system simply does not work like that.

Once you have the money, use it to pay off debts. Then buy any large value items you need for your home. Things you have needed to repair or replace and have put off because you couldn't afford it. Driving lessons are an excellent idea along with the purchase of a good reliable car which will improve your work propects no end when your children are older.

It doesn't sound like a sum where you don't have to work for the rest of your life! Keep it all. Pay debts, get a car and save the rest. You might not get a job for a while in this economic climate.

Be sensible for your kids.

lottiegarbanzo Tue 02-Apr-13 09:51:41

Coming back to say two things, one ethical / emotional, one practical.

First one. For some reason you have allowed your siblings to continue to think your GPs' flat was vastly bigger and more valuable than it was, rather than setting them straight (easily done, so why have you not?). So, they will assume your inheritance is much, much bigger than it is, ten times as much or more. So, any gift you give them, even if very generous, will be perceived as small.

When you mother dies they will not share any of their inheritance with you. It's likely they wouldn't have anyway, as the arrangement is that you've been catered for already and they will, reasonably, prioritise their children anyway. The fact that they believe your inheritance to be enormous only makes this more certain. In fact, it opens you up to silly jibes along the lines of 'are you treating us today', whenever you do anything together. People are weird and often petty and tactless about money.

I think you do need to let them know the flat was 'it' and the inheritance is not huge - without getting anywhere near actual numbers, there are so many possible reasons your GPs might not have had much left - perhaps talk to your mother and ask her to convey this subtly?

Littlefish Tue 02-Apr-13 09:56:19

I've just re-read your OP. Is this right. Your step siblings inherited from your step father, you inherited from your paternal grandparents.

You believe that only your step siblings will inherit from your mother....

I think that all of you should be inheriting from your mother, regardless of any amounts you have inherited from other family members, unless all/the vast majority of your step fathers estate went directly to your mother when your step father died, and they haven't inherited anything yet.

In your position, I would not be giving anything to your step siblings. It sounds like your parents/step parent/grandparents had a plan in place to try and keep things equitable. Please think of yourself and your dc.

indyandlara Tue 02-Apr-13 10:04:41

Your children, not your siblings, should be your priority. You really cannot seriously consider giving away money when you have a level of debt which has driven you towards a breakdown. You say you want to stay at home until your youngest is at school partly to support your oldest who witnessed some of the DV which caused you relationship to break up. You have got to put your own children's financial future first. It is all good and well giving money away but if you then hit further problems in a few years, you will have no financial safety net and your children will have to witness the resulting turmoil. If your siblings, who you say are comfortable, did not help you at your lowest then this is one time you need to put yourself first. Who says they even expect a share?

LondonNinja Tue 02-Apr-13 10:35:31

This is a frustrating thread to read.

You have in your hands, security. This, following DV and a breakdown is worth its weight in gold.

Charity begins at home - and by that, I mean YOUR home, your children. What would your grandmother think if she knew you planned on divvying up her money after what you have been through?

And where were these siblings when you were going through hell? You need to be responsible here - you sound lovely, but a tad naive.

Please, please don't be some kind of martyr just to 'be nice'. Your grandmother, I am almost certain, would disapprove of such cavalier behaviour when your needs are so great.

As for your sister who took and took, well, words fail me. Maybe, as lisianthus said, write off that debt. But don't be a fool. Your siblings will be provided for from your mum and stepdad - you won't/weren't. Think on.

Wishing you the best.

lottiegarbanzo Tue 02-Apr-13 10:39:10

My practical point is, yes to driving lessons but don't rush to buy a car. Lots of jobs expect you to drive but some provide pool cars. You could wait and see but keep money aside to buy one if needed.

I am a natural saver and investor, so car signals 'depreciates, costs a lot to run, not an investment', though it may be a necessity to enable you to work, in which case you cost realistic running costs into your 'what is this salary actually worth' calculations.

Assuming everything will be counted against benefits, you are aiming to find a job to coincide with your DC starting school and probate going through, which will all be within a few months of each other. So I'd suggest, in priority order, going as far down the list as the numbers allow:
- Eliminate debts
- Contingency fund to keep going while job hunting (six months?)
- Savings for future similar contingency (I know what peace of mind this sort of buffer offers, it's great).
- driving lessons, as there's some urgency to aid job hunting.
- Fund for house deposit, at least 5% preferably 10% of what you'd need.
- savings funds for DCs.
- if there's anything left, have a holiday.

Remember, once you have an income, you can add to the savings, get life insurance etc. First, it makes sense to minimise your outgoings, by keeping your rent or mortgage as low as possible - small, well insulted house, with large deposit, if you can. That will allow you more discretionary cash from income later.

LemonBreeland Tue 02-Apr-13 10:55:40

Please please think of yourself. That is what at least one of your siblings currently does.

DOn't tell them about the money and look after yourself and your DC. You don't have enough spare to treat others.

CandyCrushed Tue 02-Apr-13 11:05:00

OP, I am laughing at how united MumsNet is on this thread. Practically Everyone is telling you EXACTLY the same thing. Keep the Money and Keep Quiet

I really hope you are listening. smile

I quite like the suggestion someone made earlier or writing off the greedy sisters debt and quietly giving the same amount to your other siblings.

I am sorry for the loss of your GM. thanks

RivalSibling Tue 02-Apr-13 11:16:39

Snowme, I think something as life changing as this is a shock and it does you credit that you are trying to think of how to make the best possible use out of it.

My advice is to leave it until you know exactly how much you are getting, pay off your debts, THEN think about what to do next.

The thing is that money will sort out your money troubles but it won't fix everything in your life. It could even make some things a lot worse. So don't expect too much.

houseworkhater Tue 02-Apr-13 11:18:41

I wouldn't give them anything.

Clear all your debts.

Buy yourself and dcs something, whatever you like, may be a small toy or comic for dcs a bottle of bubbly for you to share with a close friend.
Treat yourself to something rewarding, perhaps go out for a meal with a friend and pay for it.

Then make a financial plan, how much do you need every month that sort of thing.
Then put some money aside for your future and your dcs future.

At the most I would perhaps treat your siblings to a meal but after reading through your posts, I wouldn't feel obliged to do even that.

If I came into money the first thing I would do, after the small treat thing, would be to pay off all my debts, mortgage etc.
Then I would buy a new car and book a good holiday.

I wouldn't dream of giving anything away until i had done all of the above.

Toasttoppers Tue 02-Apr-13 11:26:56

Happyavacado makes a good point about counselling, I think you are so ground down by life you feel as if you don't deserve this.

Pay your debts, have a little holiday and get some financial advice.

DontmindifIdo Tue 02-Apr-13 11:30:54

OP - this is what you've told me:

a) Your stepdad didn't treat you like his biological children when it came to his will, leaving you nothing, neither they or your mum felt the need to give you anything from what they inherited

b) your biological mum is also planning on cutting you out of her will and everything will go to the step-siblings, so they will inherit twice. (or is it the case that they inherited your step-dads house but your mum is allowed to live in it until she dies? That would mean she has no choice for any of it to come to you as it's not hers, it's already theirs). There has been no suggestion the other siblings will give you anything in that situation.

c) you have been in hard financial situations and rather than help, your siblings have taken money from you - one sister still owes you money, has made no effort to repay it.

d) your grandparents were not related to your step siblings, had far less to do with their upbringing than your step dad had with you, they were nice to them but wanted to leave their estate to their biological child

e) you are still in a tricky financial situation

My conclusion, there is no reason to give anything to your siblings. At best I might right off the debt my sister had. But keep it to set you up and have some money for your DCs should they want to go to uni.

As said up thread, if you aren't used to having money to save, that you are used to looking at money coming in as something to be allocated to go out again, then it's hard to get your head round not doing the same with this money. You don't have to spend it.

I would hold off giving them anything. I wouldn't tell them how much you got, if they ask, be vague, solicitior fees, mention that you have large debts and they "should" be cleared by this, give the impression it's not a lot.

Think about yoru own DCs, wouldn't it be nice to be able to in 10 years time say "here you go, here's the money for your deposit/wedding/uni" - why should your siblings get that? Will they give your DCs anything out of the money they inherit from your parents?

DontmindifIdo Tue 02-Apr-13 11:33:06

BTW - your sister, knowing you were goign to lose the roof over you head, took money from you - this is not someone who would ever put you or your DCs first. You need to do that.

HazleNutt Tue 02-Apr-13 11:38:05

As some other people have suggested, you might benefit from a bit of therapy, to examine why you feel you owe your step-siblings something. When your sister was asking to borrow money while you were being evicted because you didn't have money for rent, why did you feel you had to lend it to her? Why do you even think you should share the inheritance, even though your siblings never shared theirs?

Chandon Tue 02-Apr-13 11:42:43

Op, I would not tell them ypu had inherited, or keep very very quiet.

I would use the money for my own DC or myself.

IME, if you give money they will start out being grateful, then start wondering why they did not get any more?! Then wonder how rich you must be to eb handing out cash, then they will expect more, or ask for loans (!).

Just don't.

If your mum had it intended it for them, it would be stipulated in her will.

My advice is to keep quiet, and use the cash wisely for yourself. It is not as if you are rich and without financial worries.

ImTooHecsyForYourParty Tue 02-Apr-13 11:43:58

I honestly wouldn't give them anything.

If you share that money out, through choice, what do you think will happen when you notify the benefits people? Will they consider that you should have kept that money to live on? Will they penalise you for that in the future?

You weren't given anything in one will because you were to be given something in another one.

Now you want to share?

Did they share?

I think that you should clear your debts and have a sum to live off. That's how it was all planned out to be. It's not unfair.

Dps sister was given a huge some of money as the result of an accident, think closer yo half a million than a quarter. She has 2 brothers. One single and dp with three children.

Dps brother was offered a few thousand but told her he didn't need it, we were given seven thousand (she had planned five thousand but decided at the last minute to give us his share as well).

We were incredibly grateful and overawed at the amount.

For the amount you're discussing I wouldn't expect anyone in their right mind to share it. What you've inherited is less than many peoples annual salary, a nice amount to help you out of a bad financial situation but certainly not enough to go overboard spoiling yourself or yo share out willy nilly.

You really need to readjust your attitude towards these people. Have you considered that their treatment of you probably contributed to the mindset that caused you to end up in a dv relationship.... If you've been treated badly all your life by those who supposedly love you it makes you far more susceptible to accepting bad treatment from a partner.

Wake up and use that same strength you used to leave him to do the right thing for you and your children now. It's your money and they have no legal or moral right to a red cent of it!

digerd Tue 02-Apr-13 12:05:08

The step-siblings inheritance from their father is their business, you have no inheritance from your father, so your grandparents made you their sole heir.
That is all fair.
Your step-siblings will give you none of their inheritance, and you are not obliged to give them any of yours.

I don't see why you think you are obliged to give them anything, especially as one still owes you money .
Spend it all on you and DCs.

AThingInYourLife Tue 02-Apr-13 12:06:26

You aren't rich enough to be giving expensive gifts to your siblings.

Even after the inheritance.

What you are planning to do is irresponsible

MorrisZapp Tue 02-Apr-13 12:14:06

OP, I agree with everybody else but I will go further. I think you know yourself that you should keep all the money. Respectfully, I can't see why else you included details in your OP about your experiences with dv, debt etc.

You wanted us all to tell you to keep it, and we are!

sarahtigh Tue 02-Apr-13 12:17:20

I would not advice on locking money out of your control,

firstly if when inheritance has gone and you perhaps needed benefits again if you have put money in trust for your kids or given to siblings you will be considered to have deprived yourself of assets and therefore will not be eligible

secondly even if you intend using money for your kids keep it in your name as they may not be responsible enough to use it wisely once they reach 18 and there will be nothing you can then do about it

if it is not enough to buy even a small house it is not enough to give away,
you have debts which need clearing, probably should set aside an emergency fund of at least 6 months salary

if it is as much as 50K that would only be a 25% deposit for moderate house but might make owning a house possible in the future

do you have a pension? you can put upto several thousand a year in ISA tax free so use that

at present a 100k saved would give an annuity pension of 4-5k a year

take siblings and your family out for a decent meal that is good, tell no-one how much you got as 100k can seem a lot but over the rest of your life it is only 2000 a year extra which is very nice but it is not enough to need inheritance tax planning if it was that much you could easily buy house

Selks Tue 02-Apr-13 12:19:15

Why not look into shared ownership property, if you would like to get your foot on the housing ladder?

Lueji Tue 02-Apr-13 12:25:32

If you put some of it on savings accounts for your children, you can take the money out at any point yourself before they are 18 (check it).
It's mostly that it's earmarked for them.

If in trust, then you can't. But it doesn't have to be a large amount. It could be just a few thousand pounds,

hellymelly Tue 02-Apr-13 12:31:20

I haven't read the whole thread yet, but while I think its important generally to share good fortune (i.e. a lottery win), to share out money that someone has left for you is rather different. Your Grandmother chose not to leave her money to your step-sibs, so to pass on chunks of it which i imagine she wanted for you and your children seems a little bit wrong to me. Shame she didn't leave some to your children directly as that would avoid the benefit problem and allow for their future. I'm not sure if you can now put money in trust for them, perhaps someone has already covered this. I wouldn't tell your siblings the full amount, but say you are delighted to be finally debt free, that you need to be very careful to keep some money in case of future problems but you would also like to treat them all to something, I would think up to £1000 each would be more than generous.
Why are you not all going to be equal in you mother's will? That should be completely fairly split, you will all have different circumstances, but that shouldn't count. I'm a bit shocked that this money could mean that you aren't included in your own mother's will.

raisah Tue 02-Apr-13 12:32:51

Lock away some money in a child ISA. See if you can buy a house via auction which will be much cheaper than buying it on the open market. Don't go on a spending spree before getting good financial advice from an independent advisor and pay off your debts as it will improve your credit rating. Put some money away to buy your step siblings a lovely gift at Christmas, they don't need to know how much you got. It is lovely that you want to treat them but equally you need to look after your kids first.

LondonNinja Tue 02-Apr-13 12:34:17

Actually, yes, why isn't your own mum including you in her will?

It's all very weighted to you getting bugger all apart from your dear grandmother's inheritance. Keep this money. ALL of it!

lottiegarbanzo Tue 02-Apr-13 12:35:24

Oh, I forgot to include the car in my 'practical' post above. Add it into the job-hunting contingency (similar to another six months worth?). Then if you don't need it, it passes down the list, so probably gives you a bigger deposit and may allow the DCs savings.

I know I'm being a bit over-involved here but you said you're not great with figures, whereas I like domestic-scale financial planning and am used to having a longer-term perspective, so I just wanted to give you an illustration of what someone like me would do in your situation.

Btw, the treat for your siblings comes in the 'holiday if you can afford it' line.

Once you start looking at mortgages and see the difference between your payments with a 5, 10 and 20% deposit, you'll see the sense of making that deposit as big as possible. You'll save money each month as a result, so that you then have something left at the end of the month to treat a sibling to lunch now and then, if you want.

I completely agree with the poster who asked which pot you think the gift should come out of; your car fund? Your house deposit? Your DCs savings (which can otherwise accumulate tax free interest for many years, gaining considerable value)?

ImTooHecsyForYourParty Tue 02-Apr-13 12:38:12

I agree with that, London.

I really would keep it and not disclose the amount to anyone. Pass it off as a small amount.

I really don't think the OP will be on the receiving end of such thoughtfulness and it has the potential to really screw things up for her. At the end of the day, she's got to look after her children first.

If it was millions, then chucking it in all directions would be great.

but a few thousand is not as much in reality as it seems on paper.

TanteRose Tue 02-Apr-13 12:39:01

MorrisZapp totally agree!

OP, you wanted validation to keep the money, and now you have it smile

Tenacity Tue 02-Apr-13 15:58:37

Rereading your OP, I think you are very vulnerable to financial exploitation, and probably exploitation in general.
Your Ex left you with a lot of debt, and then you also talk about your sister borrowing money from you when you couldn't afford it. Why did you lend her money you could not afford??? Why jeopordise your future, and your children's future in such a way?? I also imagine other people have borrowed money, and not returned it? Perhaps by thinking about this, it will help you reflect on your actions.
As others have suggested please get some counselling. You remain vulnerable to others exploiting you.

StuntGirl Tue 02-Apr-13 16:05:35

"Rereading your OP, I think you are very vulnerable to financial exploitation."

I agree tenacity.

charlearose Tue 02-Apr-13 16:36:19

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Viviennemary Tue 02-Apr-13 16:42:25

You should think carefully about giving this money away if you intend to continue claiming benefits after you get the money. It could be seen as deprivation of capital if you are on means tested benefits. I think you should get your own finances in order first and then worry about how much to give to who. Sometimes when people get a large sum of money it seems like a fortune but they realise bills still have to be paid and so on. I would wait a year before doing anything.

mumofweeboys Tue 02-Apr-13 17:00:24

If it were me I would pay off my debts, put a large deposit down on a house say with 10 year fixed mortgage - got to be cheaper than rent, put aside money to get a one year old car - so it will last.

If you are wanting to treat family I would pay for weekend away or perhaps cheapie all inclusive abroad for a week or even a nice evening out depending on whats left. I wouldnt be handing over wads cash esp you will need the money to live on or perhaps pay for uni for your kids ect.

thezebrawearspurple Tue 02-Apr-13 17:12:06

Please don't give these people a penny, they didn't care to help you when they got theirs, they didn't care to help you when you really needed help and I bet they've earned more money over the last few years while you were financially crushed than you've inherited. Keep the money to build a good life for yourself and your kids, don't waste a penny of it on them.

Don't foolishly throw this chance of a better life for you and your kids away on trying to buy love from people who don't have any for you. It will just result in your family thrown back into poverty while your step siblings continue to not give a shit.

Your children do love you, why take from them to give to those who don't?

digerd Tue 02-Apr-13 17:15:41

Her DM has not inherited anything from her parents, OP did. I assume she brought little or nothing into the marriage, and her DH has already had his inheritance from his parents. His children have already inherited his share, and the rest op's DM inherited, to be given to the step siblings when she dies.

ILoveFrogs Tue 02-Apr-13 17:17:38

I personally wouldn't give them anything, get your self sorted, start building a secure future for you and your dcs. If you really feel you have to give them something then I'd go for £500 each, considering it is over £16000 you have. I'd be over the moon if someone handed me £500 for nothing. No explanation needed, and certainly don't tell them how much you have.

morethanpotatoprints Tue 02-Apr-13 17:30:00

It was given to you and if I read right your step siblings have already received their inheritance. Why would you want to give it away?

Ok if this was me, not telling how I know either.
Give the money to your dc in trust equal share, or buy a house in another cheaper area and rent it out. You have an income then but take off the expenses and your gain will be less, as this is classed as income you should get UC.

clippityclop Tue 02-Apr-13 17:35:41

If your grandmother wanted them to have a share she would have left them some. There's some great advice here, take it, put your own children first please, invest in the future, go on a training course or something but don' feel guilty about the others Good luck in everything you do.

formicaqueen Tue 02-Apr-13 17:48:53

What about buying an experience for them all? A huge UK cottage during the summer and a memorable week spent together - children included?

formicaqueen Tue 02-Apr-13 17:50:26

Otherwise don't give them anything. Just a bigger Xmas gift next year as a one off?

formicaqueen Tue 02-Apr-13 17:52:49

But actually can you use it as a deposit on a small tiny flat to let to buy? Not sure if this is possible but it might be better to invest after paying off debts

ModernToss Tue 02-Apr-13 17:56:08

I agree with those who suggest that you tell your mum to pass on the (relative) smallness of the sum, otherwise they will indeed think you inherited a large chunk of London. It is clear that at least one of your step siblings wouldn't think twice about exploiting you for as much as possible.

I would then give them all a particularly nice gift next Christmas, and leave it at that.

It's your money; they have had (and will get) their inheritances. You won't have another windfall like this; preserve it, and get the most out of it for you and your kids.

OP
I want you to think how you are going to explain to your own children why you gave away money that could have made your lives more comfortable. Think what you will say about how you felt your step siblings (who have already inherited) deserved a share of the money specifically left to you by a loving grandmother, and that's why you felt it would be OK for your children to miss out.

MmeThenardier Tue 02-Apr-13 18:19:34

Why do you place the needs of your siblings over those of your children?

The former have no debts, secure jobs and may have had their own windfall in the past.

Your dc are relying solely on you and you're in a tough situation. Sort it out then make plans to give the dc the sort of advantages/treats they may not have had. Tutors, uni, car, school trips, holiday, piano lessons! ? qualification for yourself.

Which is prob what your Grandma had in mind.

comingintomyown Tue 02-Apr-13 18:20:14

Hi OP

I would add that I was in a situation of great fortune financially and wanted to gift my DB some money and felt it needed to be a very substantial amount or he would think me mean.

I cant say I regret doing it but in hindsight I was far too generous and actually probably would have been better off helping him out here and there particularly as I think he expected it.

Also you will find money never goes as far as you think and now you may feel you can be generous but as you arent working and have other financial matters to settle then I would hang on to every penny.

In short I would quietly carry on with your life and wait until well into the future before making a decision about this

HoldMeCloserTonyDanza Tue 02-Apr-13 18:23:05

I hope you don't feel got at or ganged up on, OP.

It's just that you seem really lovely and it's very worrying that you might have the means to permanently massively improve your life and your children's lives and you're considering passing that opportunity up for the sake of people who neither need nor deserve the money.

I have been worrying about you all afternoon. I hope you're ok?

AshokanFarewell Tue 02-Apr-13 18:23:26

I normally think that inheritance is a privilege, not a right, and that people should be able to whatever they please with their estate, but it seems really unpleasant for you to be left out of your own mother's will and for it to be common knowledge amongst your family! I can sort of understand that your step father left his estate only to his biological children and to his wife, but then I would expect your mother to leave her estate only to her biological child.

Your siblings didn't share their inheritance from your stepfather with you, and I doubt they will share anything they get from your mother with you either. The money from our grandmother was left to you, to make your life better and provide a future for your children. For example, student loans do not cover the full living costs at university, people either have to borrow from their parents, take out an overdraft, live on 30p instant noodles or get a part time job to fit in with their studies. You could save this money and use it to help your children through university if they want to go. Or to fund a special course or training programme for a hobby or sport that they are particularly good at. Or help them to put a deposit down on their first flat. Or even put a deposit down on a lovely small house or flat for you all to live in now.

I was evicted for rent arrears last year and she continued to borrow money from me then, she must have known my money was tight then

That's from your earlier post. Do you mean that whole you were unable to pay the rent to put a roof over your children's head, you were continuing to lend more money to your sister? Or do you mean she just wasn't paying back what she owed? Either way, the way you've said that she borrowed from you rather than you lent money to her, makes it seem like you didn't really feel you had a choice. Did you feel pressured into lending her money you couldn't afford? It sounds like she has really taken advantage of you.

It seems like you have been made to feel, by your siblings and your parents, that you are in some way better off than them and that you owe them something. Apologies if I've got this totally wrong but that's how I've read your posts. You don't owe them anything.

Personally I'd wait until you have a secure full time job, and you've passed any probation period, been there a year or so, got all your debts paid off, invested some money for your children's future, and then think about buying a small token gift for your family. Maybe a framed print of a family photo with your grandmother? Or a family day out to a special place that reminds you of her? Something to remember her but without much monetary value. And whatever you do, do not mention the inheritance or the amount to your family.

You sound lovely but please put your children's future first, rather than your somewhat selfish sounding siblings! smile

nkf Tue 02-Apr-13 18:28:22

I'd pay off debts, sort myself out and then take stock. Probably I wouldn't pass on anything. It sounds as if this is the only inheritance you are likely to get and you have financial worries. Lucky you by the way. I hope it eases everything.

ssd Tue 02-Apr-13 18:31:38

op, your gran wanted you and your kids to have that money, respect her wishes and keep it

BooCanary Tue 02-Apr-13 18:42:20

OP - you sound lovely and a bit too kind for your own good tbh!

Keep the money. It's no one elses business, and you and your DCs deserve this.

My DSis and DBIL inherited from DBIL's DF (IYSWIM). I have never asked how much, they have (of course!) never given me any of the inheritance, and I would never presume to have any involvement in any of it.

Just as your DSS and DSB have no involvement in the money you get from your grandmother, who is absolutely no relation to them at all (if I understand correctly).

Sometimes people who have had the hardest time, are the very people who find it hard to accept good fortune. Look after yourself OP.

LinusVanPelt Tue 02-Apr-13 19:00:10

I don't think that OP should give any of the money to her siblings. She can't afford it, they shouldn't expect it, and her grandmother's wish was for the money to go to her, not to them.

But comments like these from other posters are really out of order:

I will tell you exactly how this is all going to end: you will give your step-siblings money. regardless of the amount, hey will assume you have inherited heaps more and will think you are tight-fisted. They will either refuse to talk to you or try to get more out of you.

Why exactly are you so insistent in giving these people, who don't seem to give a fig about you and your children, money that your grandmother wanted you to enjoy?

Your children do love you. Why take from them to give to those who don't?

OP does sound lovely, and maybe a little bit naive and vulnerable too. How exactly does telling her that her family doesn't love her help? And how on Earth can any of us presume to know how her family feels about her, anyway?

We know a small selection of facts about the family. Yes, it is a bit hmm that her sister borrowed money and didn't return it, when she knew that OP was in dire financial straits. It doesn't reflect well on the sister at all.

But family relationships are often complicated, and it is a very big and unfair leap to go from "your sister seems to have taken advantage of you financially in the past, whether intentionally or thoughtlessly. I think you should really put yourself first this time" to "they don't love you, OP."

What a horrible and hurtful (not to mention baseless) conclusion to jump to.

Lovelygoldboots Tue 02-Apr-13 19:17:06

The trouble is there is clearly more of a back story then the OP has told us and other posters are filling in the gaps.

My partners mum inherited a lot of money. When other relatives found out what was in the will they got no win no fee solicitors involved. The situation came to a deadlock for months, until both parties agreed to mediation. My dps mum refused to back down and share the inheritance and her solicitor got a barrister involved and eventually, they backed down. It cost thousands. No win no fee solicitors so unscrupulous in these matters and unless you can see it through to the end financially. I feel the OP is probably being pressured into sharing. She shouldnt have to. Legally they haven't got a leg to stand on and Wills cannot usually be changed if they are prepared correctly. This is one area of law which can leave people very vulnerable. OP stay strong. Do not share this money. It's yours.

formicaqueen Tue 02-Apr-13 20:51:14

Why don't you just mention in passing that your gran owed a bedsit in the mansion and sadly not the whole mansion. Why should there be a formal discussion about the inheritance?

You should pay off your debts, put the rest on a deposit for a small flat to secure your childrens/your future. Your children should come first.

Your siblings might inherit once or twice. You only have this one small inheritance.

Your Gran left the money to you and not them. What would your Gran want you to do?

If my SS had escaped domestic violence and was getting back on her feet, I would be overjoyed if she inherited. I wouldn't want a penny but would want her to spend it wisely.

kungfupannda Tue 02-Apr-13 21:03:39

OP, please do NOT do this.

I very much hope that your parents/grandparents have given very careful thought to a fair distribution between the four of you - otherwise you are in a situation where you have been treated less favourably than your siblings, not only by your step-dad, but also by your own mum.

Either there has been careful attention to fairness, or your grandmother has tried to rectify a huge unfairness. Either way, by giving away any of this inheritance, you are voluntarily putting yourself in a less favourable position than your siblings.

Whatever the reasoning, you have what sounds like a relatively modest sum - not the kind of money which is going to set you up for life. This money is going to be needed to get you back on your feet and able to give your children some of the things you would no doubt like them to have. Sooner or later it will be gone and you are going to want to know you've used it in the best possible way.

Spending it on family members who haven't bothered to lift a finger to help you when you were in dire straits is not the best possible way. They're not suddenly going to realise the error of their ways when you give them a gift. They're not going to clasp you to their bosoms and swear to look out for you for evermore. At best they're going to say "ta very much". At worst they are going to start asking some questions about this inheritance and whether there is anything else that should be coming their way.

One of these people has already financially exploited you in an utterly callous and selfish manner. Is that really the kind of person with whom you want to open any sort of dialogue about this money? Or to whom you want to give any sniff of an entitlement to this money?

If you do this, I would be willing to bet that all that will happen is that one or more of them either actively tries to get more out of you, or at least starts all sorts of talk within the family about your selfishness in sitting on your massive inheritance and giving them a measly couple of hundred.

But all that aside, you cannot afford this. It's not silly money. It's not a lottery win. It's money that will be absorbed by normal life and getting you back on an even keel. You need it. Your children need it.

Don't screw this up for yourself just because you think they will think badly of you. You should be thinking badly of them for not helping you when you most needed it.

kungfupannda Tue 02-Apr-13 21:04:56

I meant to add that I don't think you should enter into any dialogue about this money whatsoever - it's difficult for them to come and ask about it out of the blue, but if you start talking about it, it's pretty easy for them to read between the lines and start asking questions.

Corygal Tue 02-Apr-13 21:07:56

You must prioritise your children - no one else will.

foreverondiet Tue 02-Apr-13 21:16:37

It sounds as if you really need the money; plus I agree with the other posters that whatever you give won't be enough. If your grandparents had wanted to give them they would have specifically left it to them. Don't do anything for now and don't let them know how much you got.

gobbledegook1 Tue 02-Apr-13 21:29:41

If you are next of kin with no will in place or the money has specifically been left to you by name and you are on full benefits then give them nothing.

Legally the money is classed as yours and If you inherit money and share it out to unnamed persons the benefits agency will consider it purposly disposing of assets in order to gain or regain entitlement to benefits sooner if you need to go back on them if you can't find work and you then leave yourself wide open to prosucution for benefit fraud. If you need to go back on benefits after the money has ran out if you can't find work they calculate how much you had and how much you would have got per month in benefits to decide if you are, in their eyes , re-elligable if not they can ask where the money has gone that you should still have and then decide if the expenditures were reasonable. Sharing it with family members and paying off non-priority debts are not considered reasonable. If any of your expenditures are not considered reasonable they will take each cost add it up and class it as notional capital (imaginary money) and class you as inelligable fir help until your imaginary money has ran out at the going rate of what you would get a month in benefits leaving completely pennyless.

I am talking from a personal similar experience.

OP, my aunt died last year. She had no children and my siblings and I were very close to her. She left some money to my brother and me and she left her house to my sister. My sister feels bad about this, that she got 'more' than us but I feel absolutely NO resentment toward her or my aunt. My poor aunt handwrote on her will 'I wish I had three houses.' I think you should absolutely never tell your siblings the amount you've inheirited. Your Gran's wish was that that money should go to you and you should respect that. And it sounds like you need it.

Spend it and save it. On yourself, guilt free.

SamanthaBarnesArtypops Tue 02-Apr-13 22:42:57

Please Please Please take time to sort your own financial security out first... x Best of luck x

Snowme Wed 03-Apr-13 02:50:58

Er, MorrisZapp No, I did not start a thread hoping for that kind of validation. Quite the opposite. I do not want to keep all of it, I want to gift some of it to those close to me. I appreciate my children come first, but the advice to not bother sharing even a tiny bit wasn't the reaction I expected at all confused

What I asked, was how much would be an appropriate amount so as not to cause offence. That doesnt need in-depth analysing, its nothing to do with not feeling I deserve it (Im sure everyone feels that way in a similar circumstance).

But I can see its a can of worms. There's many, many variables on dealing with a small inheritance I wasn't aware of before, so financial advice is my first step.
Thankyou for all your views everyone, there has been some really helpful stuff here and I can move forward with a clearer idea at least thanks

Snowme Wed 03-Apr-13 02:53:55

Thankyou HoldMeCloser for your warm concern, I appreciate that kindly smile
No, I don't feel ganged up on (veteran Mumsnetter!) but I've posted here and on another financial forum for contrasting views. It's all good stuff and is helpful indeed.

Lovelygoldboots Wed 03-Apr-13 08:25:34

Hi snowme, I have seen a very ugly side to families in these circumstances. My dp s mum had every intention of sharing the money she inherited. But she was not given the opportunity because other family members got a solicitor involved. And they said some terrible things about her. She is enjoying the money she has and bought a new car, treated us to a holiday with DP s sister. But we never expected any of the money. We never questioned what she was going ti do with it. Your siblings really should leave you to get on with it. I hope this helps. This really is a wonderful opportunity for you. Enjoy it when you get the money.

lisianthus Wed 03-Apr-13 08:29:21

Snowme, given the circumstances, your siblings could not reasonably be offended if you do not give them any of your inheritance. Should they choose to take offence, that should not be your problem. Further, as it would be highly unreasonable of them to choose to be offended, it is not possible to state an amount which would prevent them choosing to be so, particularly as they seem to think that the inheritance is much larger than it is, and at least one of them has the hide of a rhino and no shame whatsoever as she was happy to take money from you when you couldn't afford to feed and house your children.

Someone like that may well choose to be offended whatever amount you give her, so give her nothing and concentrate on the fact that your children are warm and well fed because of your grandmother's legacy, and hanging onto the lot allows that situation to continue longer.

HazleNutt Wed 03-Apr-13 08:30:34

OP, your comment is very interesting, you are worried that you will offend your siblings by giving them too little. Meaning that you think they expect quite considerable amounts. And that's the issue here - considering that a) there were different arrangements made for them, leaving you out and b) they didn't share any of their inheritance with you - they should not be expecting anything, at all.
Therefore, whatever you decide to give them will likely not be enough.

Inertia Wed 03-Apr-13 08:32:51

Ok, if you are insistent on giving money to your siblings and only asked about a suitable amount - as a starting point, I'd look at what proportion they gave you of their inheritance from the man you considered your father.

Something that's just occurred to me- you were left out of the wills of both your stepfather and your own mother because you alone would inherit from your paternal grandmother. Did your parents also consider whether your siblings would inherit from their paternal grandparents ?

AThingInYourLife Wed 03-Apr-13 08:37:34

Your siblings have no cause to be offended here.

You should only give them as much as you can comfortably afford.

Which, given your straitened circumstances, is very little.

I would go with extra nice Christmas presents.

QuintEggSensuality Wed 03-Apr-13 08:44:57

You sound very kind and thoughtful.

But I dont think you should discuss it with anyone, nor share it.

They would not shared with you. They are financially secure - you are not.
If you think that a holiday would bring unexpected joy, as opposed to cash to buy food and essentials, you are I fear, doing this for posterity and not looking out for your own and your dc interest.

You risk opening a can of worms.

Keep the money, invest it as best as you can. Pay your debts and look into spending the money on a home one day.

LemonBreeland Wed 03-Apr-13 09:28:21

snowme I'd be interested to know what the views were of people on the financial forum. Do they differ greatly from the ones on here?

Also can you please clarify about your Mums will from your OP. Many people are assuming you will be left out of your Mums will as you are inheriting from your paternal GPs, I had originally read it as you would be the only recipient from your Mums will. It remains unclear ot me, but if you are not in your own DMs will that is not very fair treatment.

lottiegarbanzo Wed 03-Apr-13 10:08:12

Hi again OP, I think it's impossible for us to understand your motivation as we don't know about your family relationships. We can just offer general financial advice and try to assess fairness, as asked, based on what you've told us.

An obvious inference is that you think your siblings will inherit less in total than you have, so you have some obligation to make up or at least acknowledge the difference. Have you talked to you mum about that? Would she give you some indication of how much they inherited from their father and are likely to from her? Or is that not the point at all?

lottiegarbanzo Wed 03-Apr-13 10:20:31

Also, are these actually step siblings or are they half siblings, sharing your mother? If step, what happened to their maternal grandparents? If step, the idea that they but not you would inherit from your mother is much harder to understand.

Snowme Wed 03-Apr-13 22:21:42

LemonBreeland

The other forum is much the same,I was surprised to find.
No, the unspoken consensus was that I would not be included in my Mother's will as I was 'catered for' already by my paternal Grandparents. I don't actually know if this is concrete, I'd have to ask my Mum. Not a conversation you can exactly open with ease!

lottiegarbanzo

I wasn't aware of variations on the terminology :0
We share the same mother, that's all.
Their paternal grandparents died around 10 years ago, after their father.

In that case, your step siblings have most likely inherited from their father, their paternal grandparents who outlived him (without saying or sharing anything with you) and are also set to inherit your mother.

Not quite sure why you want them to share in a 4th inheritance from somebody that is not a birth relative to them, even though they are already financially secure?

Snowme Wed 03-Apr-13 22:30:53

I have had a lot of useful advice and views on here for which I am warmly thankful.

Summarily, what I have taken from this is that I need to re-evaluate circumstances nearer the time of Probate completion, as at this stage it hasn't even begun and I don't actually know what the total figure is, I was just going on figures already trickled in and a presumption.

Someone most succinctly made me aware today that as my lone parent benefits will all be stopped immediately I declare the inheritance, until I find emploment I will have to use this money to live off, and it will barely give me a couple of years in that case.
So I think for the time being, unless the total figure increases significantly or until I am in a more stable financial position working and securely housed with my children, my siblings may well not be receiving any amount at all just yet :/ or at the very least, a much nicer Christ,as present this year. Believe it or not, I have £1.86 in my bank today, no savings, overdrawn to the max, and cannot spend anything until Child Bemefot is paid in this Friday. Yet I have thousands of inheritance sat in the system waiting for probate to start. I think you have all helped me to see much more clearly indeed. Thankyou.

DontmindifIdo Wed 03-Apr-13 22:31:16

So, they've inherited from their dad and didnt offer to share that with you because you'd be getting this inheritance, and theyre going to inherit from your joint mum, but you are also being left out if that because of this inheritance, and they potentially have also inherited from their grandparents that you don't share, but you don't know about that and again, they didn't offer to share any of it...

It does rather sound like the assumption is you will be getting a larger sum than you are and the whole family have based their financial inheritance planning around the idea you would be getting a lump sum that you wouldn't be expected to share.

DontSHOUTTTTTT Wed 03-Apr-13 22:52:26

Snowme. I am glad that you have found the advice given to you useful and I hope everything gets sorted out sooner rather than later.

Good luck for the future. I really hope you get to 'enjoy' a little of the money rather than it all being tied up with necessities.

I hope you are not pressurised into lending anymore money to your sister.

Murtette Wed 03-Apr-13 23:01:00

Snowme - I'm relieved to see that you're already finding out what benefits will be stopped when you declare your inheritance as, I've just read the whole thread, and alarm bells were ringing for several pages about the position you'll be in if/when you lose your benefits.
You say you're going to look for a full time job when your youngest DC starts school this autumn but, realistically, how easy will that be to find and what is your earning potential? What hours will you be available for? What about during school holidays? What qualifications do you have? Will you be able to earn an amount equal to or more than you receive in benefits? And what about where you live? Will you still be entitled to live there if you have capital savings?
If the answer to either/both of those is no then you're actually going to have to live off the inheritance and it may be used up much faster than you imagine. You'll spend at least as much per month as you do now and possibly more as you'll know you have more money & so may treat yourself more often. Whilst I agree that having your own house gives you a huge feeling of security, remember that you will be liable for everything in it, so, stating the obvious, if something breaks or is in poor repair (and its amazing how easy it can be to overlook something in the excitment of viewing a property which you like & can afford) you have to pay for it.
I'd also be cautious about putting too much money aside for your DC. Once in an account, you probably can't access it again. Yes, it would be nice for them to have a lump sum when they're 18 but very few DC actually have that and, by the time they're that age, they have earning potential themselves. Over the next few years though, they're entirely dependant on you & may well be happier if you can afford to go on the odd holiday/day out, have nicer Christmas presents etc or simply grow up in a household with a mum who isn't constantly worrying about how to stretch her money to last the week in a way you are now. Essentially, what I'm saying is, whilst it may go against your generous nature, I wouldn't get too carried away giving out gifts here & there when you may need the money just to live on or to make the difference between a lifestyle where you are surviving from day to day and a lifestyle where you can be a bit more relaxed.

olivertheoctopus Wed 03-Apr-13 23:06:45

I think it depends on how much you have inherited and how much they inherited from your dad if you want it to be fair. That said, given what your father intended, I don't think you could be criticised for not giving them anything at least until you have sorted out and stabilised your own financial position.

Snowme
I'm really glad you've had a further think about this.

I think Murtette makes some very good points. Just imagine the difference between your DC coming in with broken school shoes today and them coming in with broken shoes when you know you have cleared your debts and have a safety net of cash behind you.

Good.

HazleNutt Thu 04-Apr-13 06:51:37

Oh and I would be asking the sister who borrowed the money to pay it back now. You have 1.86 in the bank!

tholeon Thu 04-Apr-13 07:13:51

If you had won ten million in the lottery then maybe share it with your siblings. Please keep what your dgm left you for you and your children, you need it. Use it to help put yourselves on a secure financial footing and off benefit dependence. You deserve it. Repeat: you need it and you deserve it.

TeWiSavesTheDay Thu 04-Apr-13 07:29:43

Good decision snowme.

ediblewoman Thu 04-Apr-13 07:44:40

I am sorry if this has been mentioned already but the other benefit issue is that were to gift any money to your siblings (and given the way their inheritances have worked I wouldn't in your position) and needed to claim benefits at any point the gifts would be seen as 'wilful deprivation of capital' and you could be treated as if you still had the money.

Welovegrapes Thu 04-Apr-13 07:50:35

Good decision snowme and I am so pleased you have inherited this money.

Hopefully this will be a great new start for you and you will be able to find a new job asap and get financially independent.

Welovegrapes Thu 04-Apr-13 07:51:15

Just make sure you check the rules very carefully and disclose everything you need to to the benefits people.

MyDarlingClementine England Thu 04-Apr-13 10:01:21

you are going to be in an extremely precarious position, your first duty is to steady your own boat before going on to be helpful to others.
money unfortunately is very emotive, if you gave a grand each., that might not be enough.... in their eyes, its human nature sadly.

I wouldn't mention anything to anyone yet and you do not know what debts the estate has incurred.

Keep your own counsel and think about yourself first.

whatever you have been left may sound like a lot. but trust me - it dwindles.

Owning property is expensive. It is much better to rent and have a decent landlord who can fix things for you.

We will need to replace our boiler soon, it is nearly 10 years old, and that is another 1.5k. We recently had to spend 8k on new windows. sad The joys of property ownership.

Maybe the inheritance means you dont have to put up with living with a crap landlord for example, but can budget a bit more for rent, or a different neighbourhood.

Remember that you have TIME to think about what you want to do. Use it wisely. But dont go and spend a fortune on paying a financial adviser... wink

LemonBreeland Thu 04-Apr-13 12:25:34

snowme I find it really quite shocking that you inherit from your DFs family. Your half-siblings inherit from their DF, and they will also inherit from your Mother but you won't. Surely as you share the same Mother you should all inherit from her.

You really don need this money for yourself. You are obviously a lovely generous person but be generous to yourself.

maninawomansworld Thu 04-Apr-13 15:32:45

First of all, sorry to hear you've lost your gran. It's a horrible time and making big decisions while you're emotionally wrought up is a horrible thing to have to do.

My 2p worth is as follows:

I think that you should use the money to get off benefits, retrain and enter a profession which enables you to support yourself without drawing any more benefits from the state. If you've inherited more than the threshold for loosing your benefits as you say then you should have enough to bankroll yourself for the next couple of years through whatever courses are necessary to enable you to enter a reasonably well paid profession.

Then and only then should you think of giving any away / blowing it on luxuries.

I'm not trying to be harsh or start a debate on here but you have a chance to set yourself up to be able stand on your own two feet forever more and ease the burden on the welfare system (and the rest of us who work all the hours god sends only to loose half of it to the state!).

If you choose to blow it / give it away without attempting to use it to set yourself up for the future I don't think you should ever be allowed to claim benefits again.

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