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Do I tell my mum how I’m feeling about inheritance situation?

(522 Posts)
MarcelineMissouri Sat 28-Nov-20 08:32:10

Earlier this year my mum sat me down and explained she’d decided to leave her house to my brother instead of to both of us. That will basically be the bulk of the inheritance. There will not really be anything else. Due to location it’s a relatively expensive house though. Her reason for this is that my brother has no money and dh and I are comfortable financially.

My brother lives abroad and works for the church. The church support him - he makes no money. My mother is a committed Christian and is extremely supportive of this. He is very bright and talented with a Russell Group degree - in other words this lifestyle is completely his choice and not for lack of other opportunities.

Dh and I are comfortable but not rich. In addition his job has become quite precarious because of the pandemic. It will probably remain precarious for sometime so who knows what the future holds. The industry he has worked his whole life in is being decimated so if he did lose his job it’s unlikely he’d manage to get anything similar. I work but on a low salary after a lot of years out as a sahm.

Ultimately I accept that it is my mother’s decision to do as she sees fit. I also realise there may be nothing left anyway as her house could end up being sold to cover care home fees. And I hope it goes without saying that I would rather hang on to my mum for as long as possible and be left with nothing (and I did say that to her at the time)

The thing is it’s playing on my mind and has been for months, for 2 reasons. Firstly the pandemic and our resulting financial situation which takes away from her point that it’s ok to do this because dh and I are comfortable, and secondly, because I’ve always felt she preferred my brother anyway. He’s been a Christian since we were young. I am not. I was a troubled teen who was a pain in the bum, and I obviously live a non Christian life now which she does not like. I know she loves me and we get on fine but deep down this feels like yet another sign that she views my brother differently to me. I feel I need to say something because I’m feeling quite bitter about it but I don’t know if that would be the right thing to do. It isn’t specifically about the money because I wouldn’t care if neither of us got anything, but to leave everything to my brother because of choices he made when he too could have a decent job and comfortable life just feels unfair.

Should I tell her how I feel or just leave it? It feels like a very awkward conversation to have. I genuinely believe I’m not entitled to anything, but also feel that if there is anything it should be split between me and my brother.

OP’s posts: |
MarthaWashingtonsFeralTomcat Sat 28-Nov-20 08:35:02

Unless there's a disability, or one child has given up on a "normal" adult life to care for their parents, then inheritance should always be equal, or as equal as possible. Even in the case of one child being eg a drug addict, then the money can be held in trust or gifted directly to their offspring. YANBU.

Meraas Sat 28-Nov-20 08:35:25

YANBU and definitely speak to her. What is your housing situation, so you have a mortgage?

And maybe I’m being cynical, but who will be expected to visit / take care of your mum when she gets older and DB is living abroad?

DiesalFive Sat 28-Nov-20 08:36:38

That's awful OP, it should be fair between siblings and you shouldn't be penalised because you're financially better off (which could change).

On the other hand, I appreciate it's your Mum's money and it's her choice.

But yes absolutely I would bring it up with her and have a conversation about it, your feelings deserve to be heard. X

MarcelineMissouri Sat 28-Nov-20 08:39:01

@Meraas yes we have a mortgage.

DB lives on the other side of the world and only comes back every few years. He has no plans to return. I know any care my mum needs will fall to me which is fine, I love her and she is lovely, and has done so much for me, but yes that probably won’t help with the feeling of bitterness!

OP’s posts: |
Weenurse Sat 28-Nov-20 08:42:13

Explain that it is hurtful and may drive a wedge between you and your brother.
I was left everything by an uncle but shared with my siblings.
Would your brother share with you?

AntiHop Sat 28-Nov-20 08:43:48

I would be hurt and pretty angry in your situation. My DH has one sibling who is much better off than us. Despite this, I would never expect his parents to do anything but split the estate equally.

lljkk Sat 28-Nov-20 08:44:16

Think it comes down to how you would keep a good relationship if she doesn't change her mind. Can you let it go if she proceeds with the plan regardless of your reasons to ask her not to divide her estate this way?

Parents deciding to give more to the kid(s) who "needs" more is super common. I would say about 50% of families I know actually divide their estate on need not fairness. Your mum might say that he is doing something noble in his life & she wants to support that.

Lotsachocolateplease Sat 28-Nov-20 08:44:46

Tell her you respect her choice but In your opinion you feel it’s not fair. She should love her children equally regardless of their life choices.
It will be a difficult conversation but I think you will grow increasingly cross about it if you let it go unsaid.
And a pp raises a good point - who’s going to look after her as she gets older, who’s going to help her choose her care home if she needs one? Who’s going to be there after she’s had a fall? I think you’ll feel resentful if at the end of the day, you’ve been there through the difficult times and your brother them gets everything. I think it will divide you and your brother and have a negative impact on your relationship.

Cheeseboardandmincepies Sat 28-Nov-20 08:45:29

Personally it’s her house, so it’s her choice who she leaves it too. YANBU to feel hurt but YABU to expect her to change her will.

Meraas Sat 28-Nov-20 08:48:48

DB lives on the other side of the world and only comes back every few years. He has no plans to return. I know any care my mum needs will fall to me which is fine, I love her and she is lovely, and has done so much for me, but yes that probably won’t help with the feeling of bitterness!

She’s not lovely though, OP, if goes ahead with this. You have a mortgage and you’re physically there for her when DB only shows up once every few years. You need to make your feelings very clear to her.

You’re a better person than me because if this was me, I would direct to her a care home when she has needs.

NailsNeedDoing Sat 28-Nov-20 08:48:54

Tell your mum how hurtful it is to be excluded and explain how it makes you feel, but leave out the bit about your brother having had the opportunity to earn more and be comfortable. It will probably be irrelevant to her if she is Christian and believes he’s going a good thing. She needs to know that her irregular choices have consequences on people’s feelings.

Roussette Sat 28-Nov-20 08:49:27

Why on earth do parents do this? It is so unfair. And smacks of favouritism, and even worse because of the religious aspect.

I had a feeling my DPs (long deceased) were going to do something like this towards my DSis because she had gone through a divorce and saying she was worried about finances. As it happens she is now very wealthy, good divorce settlement, two v expensive houses, met someone else etc. At the time things were up in the air and it worried my parents. I'm so glad in the end they did treat us all fairly.

No idea what you should do OP, but it is very unfair and I think I would have to tell her that if I were you.

Grooticle Sat 28-Nov-20 08:51:39

That is hurtful.

We had similar (although less extreme) - one sibling had made choices that they were would go into a job they love but which pays poorly. I went into a hard job that I didn’t enjoy but paid well.

At one point my parents suggested giving my sibling more money, to “even things up”.

We spoke quite honestly about it - I made the point that they couldn’t “even up” the sacrifices I’d made (they can’t give me those hours back that I spent in The office bored off my tits, anymore than they can take away my sibling’s years travelling and having fun). It didn’t seem fair that we’d end up in the same financial position despite making such different choices. Plus honestly it felt like they were endorsing his choices but not mine.

All resolved - they’ve agreed it’s not fair. I know they’d help him out if he really needs it (and he’s likely to at some point), but that doesn’t worry me. An unequal inheritance is usually pretty unfair.

I will say though that a different sibling is now disabled, unable to work, and so will inherit everything, which I think is completely fair - that’s very different.

cactusisblooming Sat 28-Nov-20 08:52:54

YANBU to feel bitter and hurt and I think you should tell her this, however the reality is that it is her money/property and she can do what she wants with it. From her perspective your brother is doing a good Christian thing and she wants to repay him. Not entirely fair, but it is ultimately her choice.

Medievalist Sat 28-Nov-20 08:53:35

I would definitely say how you feel, otherwise it will niggle away at you. Yes it will be awkward, but no more so than the conversation she initiated to tell you that she'd be leaving her house to your db.

As pp said, it's totally unfair for parents not to leave everything fairly -

a) because it creates feelings of being unloved, or the least favourite child - however it's dressed up and

b) because, as you are finding out, circumstances can change. People lose businesses, get divorced, marry into wealth, need expensive care or medical treatment etc etc all the time. You can't know when you write a will what your dcs' circumstances will be at the point you die.

Definitely tell her how you feel.

blisstwins Sat 28-Nov-20 08:53:43

I don't think it needs to be fair and I don't know how much the differences in money should play into it. Your husband chose his industry just as your brother chose his so it works both ways. But I know the feeling of slight you mean when it comes to feeling one is loved more than the other and that is the feelings that should be discussed. I would lay it ALL OUT. You sound mature and like you understand the past. I think clearing the air and making sure death does not confirm old hurts is the important point. I would definitely discuss with your mom.

Risotto4tea Sat 28-Nov-20 08:54:19

This happed recently in my family. My Nan died leaving her estate 75/25 in favour of my Aunt instead of my Mum. The reason is because my Aunt chose to live abroad and rent a flat and had a more 'unconvential' life than my mum who married had 2 kids bought a house and worked as a teacher. My mum lived near to my nan and helped her loads as she was older. My Nan felt like my aunt 'needed' the money more. But my aunt is a clever woman and has made adult choices to live the way she does and is happy (I'm quite jealous of her lifestyle, it was my grandad who always worried about her). My mum says shes fine with it as she doesnt need the money but I'm angry on her behalf. Seems so wrong to favour one child and I told my parents straight that if they did that with my DSis and I. I would be very upset.

ScrapThatThen Sat 28-Nov-20 08:54:38

I don't think she has made the right choice, but it is her choice to make. It's OK to tell her how you feel if you want to but I think best to accept she has decided this based on her own values. (Perhaps seeing it as supporting and rewarding him for doing what she sees as God's work).

ShiteningMcQueen Sat 28-Nov-20 08:54:40

You could point out that you would have a right to challenge the will in court if you had been provided with nothing and that this would inevitably lead to much difficulty, stress, upset and costs which would come out of the estate leaving DB with a far smaller settlement would be a significant inconvenience to represent himself in court from the other side of the world. If she doesn't want that for him (even if not you) then perhaps she should consider a more equal arrangement.

EmeraldShamrock Sat 28-Nov-20 08:55:29

Definitely speak to your DM.

sandgrown Sat 28-Nov-20 08:56:11

I could not countenance not leaving anything I have to be shared equally between my children. I would not want there to be anything to ruin their lovely close relationship. I would have a gentle conversation with your mum but ultimately it’s her decision. My uncle has just died . He was estranged from his son and we had to do a lot of detective work to find him. Uncle had no money except his pension and lived quite frugally. We were unsure if there would be enough to pay for his funeral. It turns out he has quite a tidy sum in the bank which his son will benefit from but he is grateful as he has just lost his job.

Grooticle Sat 28-Nov-20 08:57:00

Oh fuck don’t threaten to take your brother to court! It’s also highly unlikely you’d have any claim at all, unless you’re financially dependant on her now.

AlwaysCheddar Sat 28-Nov-20 08:57:49

You should say something, especially as your db could just gift the proceeds straight to the church and still have nothing. I also think that it’s likely that you’ll do all the errands etc for your small with no inheritance.... unfair and you do deserve inheritance and she’s nasty. I’d be bitter.

cptartapp Sat 28-Nov-20 08:58:09

I agree with pp. She's not lovely. She's creating a situation that is massively unfair and devisive, rewarding life choices she 'approves' of. Quite common and manipulative in older people and certainly not very Christian like IMO. I would think far far less of her as a person if she went ahead with this.

I would express my hurt, and also that you will fully expect her to pay for any care needs as she ages, rather than rely selfishly on you as the runaround. Which is what any decent parent should do anyway.

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