Advanced search

This topic is for discussing childcare options. If you want to advertise, please use your Local site.

Contributing to household after tragedy

(23 Posts)
Rjess Thu 21-Jan-16 17:09:19


I'm not a mum so I don't know I should be writing here. My mum committed suicide 2 months ago. I'm 25 and still living at home, now just with my stepdad. I had been studying for a masters but stopped once it happened. I am in the process of applying for an internship which would start in April but other than that I am pretty aimless. My mum left me some money in her will. My stepdad and I have never really clicked, we argue sometimes but generally there is an understanding that we care about each other. He just asked me to contribute financially to the house. I said I didn't have any money and he said 'yes you do'. I said I didn't want to spend that and it told me I was treating the house like hotel mum and dad. I'm really upset. I don't want to spend the money on rent to him, I feel I need to use it for something special/important. I don't know if I am being unreasonable or spoilt. He's retired and owns the house. Id like to know what people think, am I right to be upset or should I give him money? Thank you.

hellhasnofurylikeahungrywoman Thu 21-Jan-16 17:11:52

Do you contribute towards the costs of living at all? If you don't then yes, you are being unreasonable.

NoTimeLikeSnowTime Thu 21-Jan-16 17:15:16

I'm sorry for your loss.

Did you live there with your mum and step-dad beforehand? Did you contribut then? Was it her home too?

Basically I don't think your mum left you that money to give to him, and I think he's out of order to ask for it. I do think you should probably do what you can to raise an income so you can pay him a rent, or preferably, get out of what sounds like a pretty unsupportinve home environment and go and rent with nice people your own age.

Protect your inheritance fiercely, any sort of nest egg at your age can be life changing if it isn't frittered away.

VimFuego101 Thu 21-Jan-16 17:15:42

I think you should be contributing in proportion to your income. Is the internship paid?

sleepyhead Thu 21-Jan-16 17:20:15

Your money from your mum shouldn't be taken into account for room and board imo and it's unreasonable for him to suggest that.

However, he is saving you a considerable amount of money on rent and bills so it's reasonable for you to contribute a proportion of any other income you have. If you don't have any other income then you should consider whether this is a sustainable situation and maybe look for paid employment.

I'm sorry for your loss - two months is no time and it's understandable if you might not feel up to thinking about this at the moment.

GooseFriend Thu 21-Jan-16 17:25:54

Ooof that sounds really raw! This is not normal circumstances and tbh if you've been living there all along and this has only come up because your mum has died I'm really shocked at him.

Yes there are things to be considered about your age/circumstances/employment/living arrangements but I think having lost your mum in December that should go massively on the back burner.

Do you have support? There are a lot of good groups online for those bereaved by suocide or cruse might be helpful.


iamnotaponceyloudperson Thu 21-Jan-16 17:55:01

I'm so sorry you lost your mum. This situation must be very hard and in the circumstance there wasn't time to talk about a plan for the future so you will both be feeling your way.

I think you need to start to form a long term plan now to support yourself fully. This clearly isn't a place where you are going to be comfortable living. Does he pay for all of the food and bills ? I think at 25 its unreasonable to expect someone to do that for you unless they are obviously happy to do so. Most parents who have adult children living at home do expect some level of contribution and I don't think its fair to resent him for not wanting to support you into your mid-late 20s.

It also not reasonable to expect him to accept another adult living in his house indefinitely. Even many biological parents would have long been making huffing and puffing sounds about you needing to be independent. There are many threads on here from parents frustrated about their adult children living at home without contributing so I wouldn't turn it into a 'step' parent issue or a personal failing of his, although the timing is very very raw.

Letseatgrandma Thu 21-Jan-16 18:02:01

I don't think you should immediately dip in to your inheritance but I think you should get a job and start paying him something. Are you currently paying him anything? I can understand why he is fed up of supporting you indefinitely while you do nothing especially if your relationship isn't that great-many people were married with a couple of kids at 25 so would be long gone-maybe he wants his space. Will the internship pay you? Have you always been a student?

iamnotaponceyloudperson Thu 21-Jan-16 18:03:23

If you were able to find a reasonable job, would the money cover a flat or a room in a shared house deposit and first couple of months rent? If you don't think that would be a reasonable use of the money then I can see how that would be frustrating to him.

There are many people of all ages who would love to be doing masters and internships but for many its just not possible as they need to earn a living.

Could you have a chat about how you feel right now and find out what he considers a reasonable period for you to become self supporting, preserving your inheritance to allow you to get yourself set up?

Letseatgrandma Thu 21-Jan-16 18:05:38

I've just reread your post. You are in the process of applying for an internship, but haven't actually definitely got it and are doing nothing at the moment. It sounds like he's worried you'll be living there forever. Are you paying for food/bills or expecting him to do that?

Jinxxx Thu 21-Jan-16 20:29:47

I am sorry for your loss, but have to agree that you are unreasonable to expect your retired stepfather to house and support you at your age, and for all you know he may have money worries of his own. He may be disappointed that you have dropped your studies, or worried that your current plans do not suggest you will be self-supporting any time soon. You need to have a proper discussion with him about it, and recognise that it is just as unfair for you to preserve your inheritance while he pays for everything out of his own money as it is for him to expect you to dip into it.

rollonthesummer Thu 21-Jan-16 20:49:04

I don't want to spend the money on rent to him, I feel I need to use it for something special/important.

You need to live though. If you had to move out and live on your own, you would have to pay your way, I suspect at a much higher rate than your stepfather would charge and your inheritance would have to go on rent, bills, phone rental, broadband, water rates etc etc

Plenty of people have to spend an inheritance on boring things like living costs if their outgoings are more than their ingoings.

Are you paying your stepfather anything currently? Are you claiming job seekers allowance?

MsMims Thu 21-Jan-16 20:54:11

So sorry to hear about your Mum flowers

I think that, in the kindest way, yes you are being very unreasonable to expect to live in a household without paying any contribution towards the bills and food.

I agree that it would be nice to preserve the inheritance for something special - can you take on work to enable you to pay your way at home and keep the inheritance separate?

NerrSnerr Thu 21-Jan-16 21:05:32

I am really sorry for your loss.

Were you contributing before your mum died? I really don't think it's unreasonable for him to ask you for some rent money, especially if he is paying for all your food, bills etc. I know it's shit using your inheritance on boring stuff but you're 25 and especially as you're no longer in education you should be paying your way.

Letseatgrandma Thu 21-Jan-16 21:51:39

You can't expect a stepdad that you don't see eye to eye with to pay the boring bills so that you can save your own money for more exciting/worthwhile/special things.

Greatsowhatnow Fri 22-Jan-16 17:01:45

I'm sorry for your loss, it must be an incredibly difficult time. I can understand how your initial reaction to someone asking for money that your mum left you would be to protect it at all costs. However, you're an adult and you need to pay your way. Your stepdad may own the house: but he/ he and your mum would have had to have worked their butts off to pay for the mortgage on it in the past, so regardless of whether he is workin or not/ owns the house or not, you should be contributing.

If your mum decided to support you, that's really lovely, but obviously your step dad feels differently, and it's not his responsibility to keep you rent free/ with free food/ electricity etc.

I can understand why you would want to keep hold of the money because she left that for you. However, if your stepdad decides that he wants you to move out, you'll be looking at (at the very least) outgoings of hundreds of pounds each month.

He's lost your mum too: it would be a shame if this money came between you, when you should be closer than ever, to support each other through this upsetting time.

It's understandable that you would want to spend on something which you think is fun, but you will earn money in the future to be able to do fun things. If you can't resolve this and end up moving out, you'll have to give up on your training and go into a part time/full time job to pay your way.

Money to do 'fun' things can be earnt anytime: but what's important is that you can support yourself and not have to rely on others to do it for you. You're your own responsibility and I don't think it's fair on him to expect a free time of it.

QuiteLikely5 Fri 22-Jan-16 17:07:20

I think his timing is very poor. If he was going to expect money he should have asked when your mother was alive, they way he has done it has left a sour taste..........

It's worth bearing in mind that he might have less cash now your mother isn't contributing

ImperialBlether Fri 22-Jan-16 17:12:13

I'm really sorry you lost your mum, particularly given the way she died. It must be terrible for you.


Why don't you use the money your mum left you to set up in a home for yourself? I don't think he's the one to live with at the moment, particularly given your age.

ImperialBlether Fri 22-Jan-16 17:13:29

Could you speak to your MA tutor about switching to part-time studying, so you could work the rest of the time?

SirChenjin Fri 22-Jan-16 17:17:20

His timing is awful - really, really bad form.

However, that being said - and I mean this very gently because you must still be reeling from it all - you do need to think about how you will live. You're an adult so must accept that bills have to be paid and food has to be bought, and it's only right that you pick up your share.

Don't use your inheritance for that though. Can you use it to get yourself settled somewhere?

hibbleddible Sat 23-Jan-16 09:45:06

I'm sorry for your loss. It must be a very difficult time for you.

It sounds like you don't have any income now, are you claiming jobseekers allowance? You should do if you're not, and it wouldnt be unreasonable to expect an amount towards bills. Has he said how much he is expecting from you?

BombadierFritz Sat 23-Jan-16 09:56:01

So sorry for your loss flowers

His timing is v bad. Did you pay during your masters? Are you now claiming benefits? Will the internship be paid? Can you afford it if not?

Speak to your stepdad. Definitely you need to think of how to pay a share of bills and food. This might mean rethinking your plans. So sorry sad sad

AuntieStella Sat 23-Jan-16 10:05:33

He may have assumed that you paid board and lodging to your DM.

It is totally normal and reasonable to except an adult child to pay towards their keep. I am assuming that the amount he is proposing is a fair one for board. In which case, yes of course you do need to continue paying your way (or start, if this is new to you).

If you want to protect the lump sum, then it might be worth seeing if there are any jobs at all you could do, so you can pay for your keep and have some spending money. It is of course a difficult time for you, but being as you out it 'aimless' (with just one not complete application) may not be properly helpful to you. Even a job you find dull will give some structure to your days.

Will. you be able to resume your masters next academic year?

It is hard to plan in the early days. Try to keep your options open.


Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now