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To favour one adult child financially?

(147 Posts)
KariOn Thu 22-Feb-18 05:27:55

I have name changed for this because if anyone put it together with my other threads it might be quite identifying. Anyway the jist of what is keeping me awake tonight is trying to decide how to make some fairly major financial decisions which will affect my family. I have three adult children all now in their 20s. I think they were all brought up with equal amounts of love, attention, practical,emotional and financial support. The younger two are doing ok in life. They have had their problems and challenges but are generally happy in their jobs and relationships and are optimistically planning their futures. Sadly, we all now realise that the mental health problems that my oldest daughter has experienced since her early teens are never going to go away despite her and our best efforts. She has had to give up on her career and her relationship and it really seems unlikely she will ever be able to support herself financially. So I am considering selling our family home and with the addition of some savings, buying two small flats locally,one for me and one for my daughter. She could live with me but I think it is important she has her own home and independence with me close by to support her. The flat I buy for her would be in her name and owned outright by her. I would also aim to help her out with day to day expenses. My other two children live in rented accomodation and dont really have much chance of buying in the near future. I dont have any further funds to be able to help them with this. Is it unfair for me to help the one that I think most needs the help or should I be trying to treat them all equally despite the different circumstances? I suppose I dont know what problems they might have in the future.

Justanotherzombie Thu 22-Feb-18 05:29:52

Tough one but I'd treat them equally in this case. Your eldest could live with you as you say.

treaclesoda Thu 22-Feb-18 05:32:21

I think you've answered your own question. What if you did this now and, heaven forbid, but one of your other children found themselves unable to support themselves? It would be too late to help them too.

I'm sympathetic, but as someone who has a sibling with severe mental health (and associated financial) problems, I would be devastated if my parents bought them a house whilst leaving me to fend for myself.

FrancisCrawford Thu 22-Feb-18 05:32:49

I’d go with treating them equally too.

You never know what will happen in the future to the DC you think are doing fine.

pombal Thu 22-Feb-18 05:34:28

I wouldn’t, your daughter may sell the flat and you will have missed the opportunity to help the others.

geekone Thu 22-Feb-18 05:34:36

Yes very unfair buy 2 flats and rent one to your daughter (even for a nominal amount). When you die (sorry) ensure that the value of both are split evenly otherwise you are punishing your other 2 children for not having mental health issues. I am not saying don't help but do not do this at the expense of your other children.

Or keep your house and enjoy your money I am sure your children wouldn't mind this. It would be unfair that your one child owned a house when your other two couldn't unless she was paying for it herself.

KateGrey Thu 22-Feb-18 05:34:45

That’s a hard one. I have two children with Sen. I’m not sure the youngest will ever be able to work. Or even live independently as she has significant difficulties. I think our natural instinct is to help out the child struggling but depending on your other children this could cause resentment. Have you discussed it with them?

Ivebeenaroundtheblock Thu 22-Feb-18 05:35:18

when you pass away the other two could inherit your flat (half each) and consider your daughter as having received her inheritance early.
i have 3 30+ year olds. i found they matured significantly between 25 and 30. you may be making this decision prematurely.

EmmaGrundyForPM Thu 22-Feb-18 05:37:25

I really wouldn't. However much it might make sense to you, it would be a slap in the face for your younger two.

You don't know what the future will bring. I know someine who something similar happenedvto. Her sister never left home, didn't marry whereas my friend was married to someone who had a steady job, they bought their house, had kids etc. When their mum.died she left her house to my friends sister on the grounds that she needs it and friend didn't.

Fast forward 5 years, my friend is divorced and living in a tiny flat. Meanwhile her sister has met and married a very rich man and is living a very comfortable life instead.

You need to find a different solution to support your daughter

treaclesoda Thu 22-Feb-18 05:38:21

And also, at some point, your eldest will have to live independently because you will no longer be here to help her financially. Buying her a house and paying for her day to day living costs is not going to prepare her for eventual independence.

I know that sounds harsh, and I am sympathetic to your, and her, plight but unfortunately this is something that she will face in future.

BoomBoomsCousin Thu 22-Feb-18 05:39:23

I don't think there is anything wrong with giving more to one that is more in need. My brother hasn't done as well in life as I have and I have no problem with my mum providing more financial support to him. But do you have to do it the way you are planning? Could you instead buy the flat for your eldest and put it in trust for all your children with your eldest having a right to live in it as long as she is alive? That way your other children won't get the same sort of benefit as she is, but they will know there is capital there that will come to them or their heirs eventually.

That's just one idea. I'm sure an experienced lawyer could talk to you about other options. I'm just saying it doesn't have to be quite as all or nothing as your current idea.

Arapaima Thu 22-Feb-18 05:42:54

My mum is one of three siblings with markedly different outcomes. One of her brothers is doing very well financially while the other is on benefits, with my mum in the middle. When my grandma died I know she considered leaving her money (not a massive amount, but she did own her small house) in favour of the struggling one, but in the end she decided against and left it equally between the three of them. People get so emotional about this issue and do see it as meaning that one sibling is more loved than the others.

Having said that, if my brother had serious mental health problems I genuinely don’t think I’d mind if my parents supported him financially over and above me. Maybe I would if it actually happened though!

Maybe you could talk to your other two children about this, very seriously and openly, and try to gauge their response?

MysteriesOfTheOrganism Thu 22-Feb-18 05:52:17

Treat them equally - not doing so will certainly cause major issues somewhere down the line.

AstridWhite Thu 22-Feb-18 05:52:28

Treat them equally. Always. Unless you want the other two to resent you and their sister for the rest of their lives.

Mummyoflittledragon Thu 22-Feb-18 05:52:49

If you’re going to do this, can you buy a studio for your dd and a 2 bed or so for you, which is currently worth double? That way no one misses out. The only caveat with this is that she can still be repossessed if she doesn’t manage her finances. The other you may be able to consider is to buy your dd a property in trust. Idk how this would of even could work. However, your other dcs or their descendants would then get their 1/3 shares upon her death.

sixteenapples Thu 22-Feb-18 05:56:21

They are still young. I was doing great at 26. The best out of all of us.

I am not now.

My mum has always favoured my brother. He got a lot of financial help and I didn't. In my twenties I was independent, working travelling, living abroad. He stayed at home. He did well at work though and with loads of financial help got a house.

He is seriously well off. I am seriously struggling. Too late now. No help for me.

Oldbrook Thu 22-Feb-18 05:57:22

Please don't do this.

One of my siblings receives so much more then the rest of us for various reasons and has her entire adult life and it's a very hard pill to swallow. I've made my peace with it now but it's taken a while. I can be sensible and think that she needs it more, but I think you can never totally believe that they are the favourite.

I think you shouldn't buy for your daughter - this could damage your relationship with your other children, not to mention their relationships with each other.

I think if you buy two flats she can live in one for free and the other DCs don't need to know she isn't paying market rent. This alone will help her so much, there's nothing additionally to be gained by making the house hers.

NoKnownFather Thu 22-Feb-18 06:02:47

I think all three DCs should be treated equally. I also agree with Mummyoflittledragon suggestion as I was going to suggest something similar.

Not easy is it? ;-)

Sofabitch Thu 22-Feb-18 06:10:07

I don't think some people on this thread understand the severity of some mental health problems. For aome people its not just feeling a bit low...its like being complealty wheelchair bound with little conprehension of the world for some in terms of need.

If the flat would still be in your name then your daughter won't be entitled to housing benefit as you can't ren't from family.

You'd be better to help her access benefits and put her name on the council waiting list in the mean time. If you think she may never live alone then it might be that she needs supported accommodation.

I think helping her out financially is fine. But buying 2 flats won't necessarily be in her best interest. Keeping a house is a large mental drain.

MsWinters Thu 22-Feb-18 06:12:12

As a mother I understand your reasoning. As a sibling I would struggle if my mother did this. But I am not close to my sibling and we were rivals when growing up.
I think it depends on how your other two would react. Are they close to their eldest sister and do they have sympathy for her difficulties? What you are planning could actually relieve them of caring responsibilities and worry in the future when you aren't around anymore.

Clandestino Thu 22-Feb-18 06:13:01

What happens to her independence when you get sick or pass away? Would the siblings want to move close to her to support her?
If you treat them equally and within that make provisions for her future, nobody will feel slighted. You could move her to your house too.

Sofabitch Thu 22-Feb-18 06:13:22

And I'm saying this as someone with a sibling with severe mental health problems. Although sometimes I feel the extra money just fuels the addiction that come with the mental health problems. I know without it he would have had his utilises cut off and moat likely evicted and on the streets right now.

treaclesoda Thu 22-Feb-18 06:14:36

It's because I do understand the severity of mental health problems that I think it's a bad idea.

If my parents bought my sibling a flat, it would be trashed inside months because the illness is so severe. It would be a fire hazard, and a danger to both my sibling and their neighbours. They wouldn't pay their rates bill and would end up in court. They wouldn't pay the electricity and it would be cut off. They just could not cope with the responsibility of home ownership.

FrancisCrawford Thu 22-Feb-18 06:14:37

Please do not ever assume that posters do not know exactly what living with severe depression is like, Sofa

Sofabitch Thu 22-Feb-18 06:22:38


I think its reasonable to expect that some people don't understand the severity of some mental health issues. If you do then my reply clearly wasn't aimed at you.

Treclesoda. I agreed with you that buying a flat would be a bad idea. But not some extra financial support to hit the bills.

My mum buys my brothers grocery and pays his council tax and tv licence and water bills..and every now and then she pays for a skip to clear out his place. She can't afford to help me. But I don't mind. If rather he didn't end up on the streets.

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