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To take this money to protect my Mum (long, sorry)

(15 Posts)
Tailtwister Sun 08-Dec-13 16:43:33

To cut a long story short, my brother has always loved to spend and to be fair he's had the income to do it. He lives in a very exclusive part of Surrey in the catchment of an excellent state school (this is a relevant detail).

He hit hard times during the recession and was made redundant from a very senior position, had a generous package and was out of work for around 1 year. He continued to spend as he had before, membership of a specialist club, very expensive holidays etc. I have recently found out he borrowed money from both my parents (they are divorced) over this period.

He is married with one child and has since got another job although not quite as senior as before and like us all, he's taken a hit to his income.

His child attended a very good state primary, but due to 'differences' between his wife and the head teacher they decided to move her to a prep school. The problem is, they can't really afford it.

This is where it gets problematic. I don't have an issue with where he educates his child, but I have recently found out my mother is funding a significant portion (if not all) of the fees. She is NOT well off, but will go over and above the call of duty because it's her Granddaughter. I know my brother has also gone to my father looking for money for the same purpose, but was refused (incidentally my father is much better off financially than my mother).

Now, I'm angry about this because it puts my mother in a shaky financial position. She has some savings and a small monthly income from my father but that's all apart from a tiny state pension. I am worried she will also put herself under undue pressure from giving my brother money (which she won't get back) and also I know for a fact I will be the one responsible for her should she become ill and have to be cared for.

Now, we have one child currently in private education and another due to start in a few years. We have factored in these costs and don't require any financial input from other sources to fund it. However, being the fair person she is, my mother has insisted she fund the first year. WIBU to take the money but put it in a savings account just to keep it safe? Then when she needs it I can give it back? I can't stop my Mum from giving my brother money, but maybe I can 'rescue' some of it?

I don't know. It seems terribly underhand, but I don't quite know what else to do. I'm very worried for her.

Guiltypleasures001 Sun 08-Dec-13 16:50:42

Hi Op

I am a great believer in plan B you are in a unique position of seeing in to the future, personally I would do it I doubt that talking to your brother would do anything other than cause arguments and your mum would be hurt by this.

Fore armed is fore warned I try and live by that mantra as much as possible, I think it your plan shows a depth of love for your mum and excellent planning skills.

LynetteScavo Sun 08-Dec-13 16:55:30

I think you need to have a serious chat with your DM about how her care will be funded when she is elderly, and help her plan financially, rather than take the money and save it.

Tailtwister Sun 08-Dec-13 17:02:14

I have tried speaking to her Lynette, but she just won't discuss it. We don't live an extravagant lifestyle (apart from school fees, which we consider our luxury) and I certainly wouldn't have huge amounts of spare cash to make up any difference. I know my brother wouldn't be any help either should issues arise.

Of course I would much rather my Mum managed her own money and had a proper plan in place, but I just can't get her to discuss it. Taking this money from her under the pretence of using for fees is the only way I can think of, but it is a relatively small amount and I imagine a drop in the ocean should issues arise.

There are other things at play which I can't really discuss, but I'm extremely reluctant to rock the boat by speaking to my brother. Relations are extremely tenuous all round and have only just got back to a point where my Mum is getting any access to her Granddaughter.

QuintessentialShadows Sun 08-Dec-13 17:06:14

I dont think it seems underhand at all. You keep it in a savings account, and nobody will need to know where the money came from in the first place. Money is money, and who is to say what money goes to school fees, and what money goes to the savings account....

MammaTJ Sun 08-Dec-13 17:07:10

YANBU!! That sounds like a really sensible solution. Well, part solution anyway!

shewhowines Sun 08-Dec-13 17:10:53

I agree that your mother needs protecting from her own generosity.

lisad123everybodydancenow Sun 08-Dec-13 17:11:20

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

LynetteScavo Sun 08-Dec-13 17:11:27

but it is a relatively small amount and I imagine a drop in the ocean should issues arise.

You are quite right there!

Timeforabiscuit Sun 08-Dec-13 17:12:21

Yanbu sounds like a really sensible move given the situation.

However your brother sounds like he may try and tap you next if he gets wind of the situation.

DeckSwabber Sun 08-Dec-13 17:14:02


Do you think your mum is paying the fees to secure contact with the granddaughter?

thebody Sun 08-Dec-13 17:17:45

sensible plan.

but ultimately your dm is an adult and can downs how she likes.

totally understand your fury though and your brother sounds a leech.

have to add though personally I think paying for private education when there are outstanding high schools is the daftest way for all of you to waste your money but that's completely my personal opinion and it's your money.

you sound a lovely daughter.

WeWishYouAWelliesChristmas Sun 08-Dec-13 17:18:23

That sounds like a really good idea to me.

Tailtwister Sun 08-Dec-13 17:18:53

OK, I have made up my mind to do it although like Lynette says it's unlikely to be a huge help if she requires outside care in the future.

I am angry with my brother. He's always been the same with money and it hasn't really mattered up until recently as his income has been so good. There are many, many factors at play which if I explained them would make it all much clearer, but I can't. It was a real shame things turned sour with the first school, as it's an excellent one and people pay way over the odds for property just to get into the catchment. If things had been handled differently then we wouldn't be in our current position.

Tailtwister Sun 08-Dec-13 17:23:52

Do you think your mum is paying the fees to secure contact with the granddaughter?

In a way, yes DeckSwabber. I think the issue with the school galvanised the reconciliation and her presence is suffered out of necessity. Unfortunately I suspect it's all partly my fault as I partly initiated the whole thing as my mother was so hurt by it all and sadly this is the result.

I see your point and agree thebody. If we lived in a good catchment our children would be going to the local state school.

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