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Am I being naive?

(37 Posts)
catsharingmychair Sat 13-Dec-14 11:08:03

Any thoughts gratefully received!

Two weeks ago my mil/fil came for dinner and chat, chat, chat, my dh says we are redoing our will as it is so old our youngest is in it, but is not named personally. He (rather stupidly) mentions that he'd heard there were all kinds of trusts these days you could consider which point my mil pipes up and says 'yes our solicitor told us to set up a safeguarding trust around the inheritance to stop a daughter in law running off with the children and taking all the money with her'.

I don't know if they've done this and to be honest this is entirely their prerogative. I appreciate that solicitors will suggest his and of course many will choose to adopt this approach.

However I am deeply upset by the connotation that I am untrustworthy and would leave their son - taking their money with me. I can't believe they don't know who I am after 16 years of being married to their son.

I am honestly not (I hope) materialistic - I have no designer anything, no jewellery apart from engagement and wedding ring, no flash car - I work with young people in a low paid job (for which you need a Masters). I am happily married and have only sought to support and love the in laws- I looked after my dh's 96 year old G'ma by doing her shopping and taking her out. I gave up my corporate career (I earned more than him) as one of us had to - or we'd never see the kids as both roles involved travel). I don't understand why I am seen as a financial threat when all I've ever done is help and support them.

What is even more upsetting is that they clearly don't trust me ..ironically by the time they both pass on they'll likely be in their 90's so I'll have been with dh for 36 years and probably helped them just when they need it most (in old age). I think they think I'll be around to help every step of the way as their daughter lives far away (she does have designer shoes, lots of diamonds, executive lifestyle - no kids).

I feel they do not like or trust me - but they are very able to come often to dinner, ask for and accept my help, come to Christmas lunch.

I honestly feel like telling them to do their own Christmas lunch if I'm such a pariah!

Am I being naïve here? Is this the way the world is going?

Alisvolatpropiis Sat 13-Dec-14 11:12:02

The way the world is going?

This has been standard advice for a while now.

I think you're taking this too personally, at the end of the day you are not their child and they do not think of you as such.

DaisyFlowerChain Sat 13-Dec-14 11:23:06

Standard advice and very sensible. It's what I would do in future if I have anything to leave to my grandchildren. It's safeguarding their inheritance. By the time the children get it you could be divorced etc. No marriage is cast iron and they would have no control over how you spent the money.

I don't get what your shopping habits or Christmas lunch has to do with it. They want to ensure their grandchildren have a legacy and the solicitor will have advised them the best way to do that given its what they're are being paid to do.

CwtchesAndCuddles Sat 13-Dec-14 11:23:54

You are being naive and taking this much too much to heart! It has nothing to do with not trusting you, they are being sensible in protecting their grandchildren. I know of a family where wife died leaving everything to her devoted husband and nothing to the children. A few years later he remarried and a year or so later he died in an accident and the children had nothing, there was a huge amount of ill feeling.

My inlaws have done this and I am not in the least bit offended - they are just being practical.

pictish Sat 13-Dec-14 11:26:26

You are being very silly taking it so personally.
Our will will be the same.

catsharingmychair Sat 13-Dec-14 11:30:02

ok - thanks for this. Can't help but be upset though - you are all obviously much more emotionally robust than me! Thanks for your thoughts. x

OfficerKaren Sat 13-Dec-14 11:32:48

I see your point and would have been shock at their use of "a daughter in law" as the mentioned threat to their inheritance, when their actual daughter in law was with them.

OK in dealings with a solicitor who is dealing with abstraction and needs to look at potential problems; but awful to say it within the family where real relationships should be nurtured.

Fiftyplusmum Sat 13-Dec-14 11:33:11

Well I think they were rude to say it in front of you.

catsharingmychair Sat 13-Dec-14 11:33:12

Can I just say in my defence that the crux of it is that they said it in my company ....when they could have just told their son privately. The fact they just came out with it was the hurtful bit.

Tryharder Sat 13-Dec-14 11:36:21

People divorce and remarry.

Even the seemingly solidest of couples can break up

They are ensuring that their DS inherits (and you by default if your marriage remains solid). They are protecting their assets in the unlikely event your marriage fails.

I think you will feel the same when it comes to your own assets being passed on. Marriages are not always for life anymore. Rightly or wrongly.

So yes, I think you are being naive. Your MIL was being crass not to keep her big trap shut though.

Guiltypleasures001 Sat 13-Dec-14 11:36:24

Hi op

Everything you said in your post would have been repeated verbatim to them leaning against the kitchen surface arms crossed and in their direction. Their response would tell you everything you need to know.

I'm pretty direct when needed and that would have passed me right off, both guns blazing.

Yanbu thanks angry

ILovePud Sat 13-Dec-14 11:36:29

I think the inheritance planning is reasonable but I think the way they said it was rude and insensitive. brew

GraceFox Sat 13-Dec-14 11:38:03

I can see why you're hurt. What they have done is normal but what your mil has said is superfluously rude.

RJnomore Sat 13-Dec-14 11:39:34

Is he their only son?

ZenNudist Sat 13-Dec-14 11:43:26

I think it's not even a new thing but just common sense. It's not reflecting badly on their view of you, nor should it affect your view of them.

It would be my expectation that in the future my parents and ILs may one day leave money to my dc. In the event I divorced dh (god forbid) I wouldn't expect to benefit from my ILs estate regardless of how many Christmas dinners I cooked them! I would therefore be hopeful that they have clear wills that sets out and protects what is due to my dc.

You can't guarantee they won't die whilst your dc are young and therefore money needs to be in trust so they don't blow it on sweets and power rangers to be used against worthwhile purchases as an adult.

Perhaps they shouldn't have phrased it the way they did but the sentiment is reasonable.

BlueGreenHazelGreen Sat 13-Dec-14 11:46:57

As other's have said, it's a reasonable legal precaution however your Pils were very rude to mention it.

This is why it is a good idea to cultivate a raised eyebrow and a firm look.

My in laws are ordinarily very lovely but backed off pretty sharply from a conversation about 'Grandparent's Rights' following production of the aforementioned look.

badRoly Sat 13-Dec-14 11:47:15

I think they were incredibly tactless but agree with their point of view.

You don't know what they have seen happen to their friends - my godmother (and her other 2 children) has been screwed over by one of her sons and his wife. It has caused a lot of heartache. As a close friend, MY mum has heard the lot and is now very wary of how to ensure that any inheritance passes to her children and grandchildren fairly.

OfficerKaren Sat 13-Dec-14 11:47:45

Then again I'm from a poor background where the way to thrive was to pool resources and work together - the relationships overrode everything else.

Now I have money I will be "safeguarding" it but I hope not in such a brazenly unfeeling way. I will always have the legacy from my parents of knowing money is a necessary tool and not an end in itself. And a good daughter in law would be a lovely gift in life.

Going against the grain on this thread and MN no doubt but I think these people, while correct in seeking a solicitor's advice are awful to share this technicality of their arrangements in such a way.

perplexedpirate Sat 13-Dec-14 11:48:33

I'm sure a solicitor would only have their best interests at heart, but to say it in front of you?!
I would've been hugely insulted OP, and I'd have hard time giving them a Christmas with that in the back of my mind.
Horribly rude.

OfficerKaren Sat 13-Dec-14 11:51:08

I would have said "a daughter in law, that would be me then!" You are probably very much more polite than me. But why be polite to rude people?

GarlicGiftsAndGlitter Sat 13-Dec-14 11:53:04

Assuming your relationship with them's relaxed, I think she just came out with it as a reflection on legacy planning, which was the topic of discussion.

It doesn't imply anything about their thoughts of you personally. You say you're not materialistic, but perhaps it's worth interrogating that slightly. You're not actually entitled to anything they leave behind.

If, when your DH and children inherit from them, you're still together as a family, then you will benefit from it, won't you smile

SweetsForMySweet Sat 13-Dec-14 11:53:49

I can see why this upset you but I don't think they meant it as a personal attack on you, it's just a clause in the policy. Separation/Divorce is a lot more common nowadays so the clause may be to allow for that rather than how they view you or your marriage. Don't let this ruin your relationship with your dh's family. Sadly in some families, it doesn't matter how long you are together or married you will never be seen as a permanent member of the family but as long as you and your dh are happy, try not to let it bother you.

catsharingmychair Sat 13-Dec-14 11:54:56

They have a daughter who is not married and has no kids (despite us all hoping for her that it will happen, fingers crossed)...

I do feel a bit better since've all helped me break this down...I do now get that I'm not supposed to take it personally. I now also realise that I'm sitting here feeling upset mostly as my MIL didn't seem to care that what she was saying would be insensitive.

I think I can man up now!

The bit about the Christmas lunch is that I suppose I'm only human and knowing I am having to go to all this effort for my in laws when they are quite happy to say such things is just not great.... but I think we all have to suck it up over Christmas with relatives so I'm in the majority here!


OfficerKaren Sat 13-Dec-14 11:54:59

I don't want anything from my PiL Garlic but I'd be livid if they came out with this talk of protection from DiL and divorce across the dinner table.

Better a dinner of herbs where love is ..

Swingball Sat 13-Dec-14 11:58:41

Foot in mouth MIL! I would have said something as well. You could look at it like maybe she only said this because she wasn't thinking personally of you. If she had been, she maybe would have been more circumspect?

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