Inheritance nonsense(67 Posts)
NC'd for this.
Parents have recently died and have three daughters (incl me). They fell out massively with sister A a few years ago. Sister B is feckless drug addict and problem drinker. Five years ago they gave B a large sum of money to put a deposit down on a flat. This was pissed up a wall and she ended up in rehab. I haven't had much to do with her since then but I gather it is business as usual. Sister A I am in fairly regular contact with. We live far apart, but get along.
So it turns out parents have left everything to me. I feel a bit uncomfortable about this. I am the most well off out of the three of us and own our home outright, whereas both sisters rent. I feel it would be right and fair to split the money between the three of us, but am concerned about giving a large (6 fig) sum to sister B. Despite her behaviour, she is technically an adult and I think I would have to give her the money or not, rather than give it with caveats. I don't have enough of a relationship with her to steer her towards buying somewhere and she lives in London so I'm not sure she would be able to afford to buy outright or be able to get any sort of mortgage. Sister B says money given would complicate A's benefits and that we should set the money aside for future "bailing out" or split it in half between us. I'm not comfortable with setting myself up for a lifetime of stewardship of A's difficult life. I did 20 years of that crap and don't see the point unless she actually wants to sort herself out. I don't live near her, I have children now (stopped running after her when eldest started school as completely ran out of time and energy for a pointless cause). That sounds callous, but there you go. Neither sister attended the funeral, which pisses me off. Not because of lack of respect for our parents (who could be unpleasant to say the least) but because it was all dumped on me to sort out and make nice with the mourners. But if I write a massive cheque to charity, sister B will be very upset (her only chance to buy a home) and probably sister A too.
I feel I'd rather not have any of the money than the accompanying drama. DH says to do what I think is best. What to do?
I'd be worried that sister B would kill herself with that amount of money to spend on drugs, that would be my main concern.
What would I honestly do? Keep their 'share' of the money aside and wait and see. Your parents have given sister B money she squandered so I completely understand why she's been left nothing.
Why did your parents fall out with sister A?
Exactly. It would effectively be me murdering her.
I would split the money evenly between the three of you and then be done with it. Not sure that's the right thing to do, and can see how it's in many ways unsatisfactory, but it's what I would do for peace of mind
Is B aware of the money left to you? As you are inclined to split it, how about you keep a third, give a third to sister A , and put the remaining third into a high interest account to be available should B get into dire straits. Should anything unfortunate happen to B, then you can split that money between you and A, or save it for your kids.
peppa By holding on to the money, am I not taking on a responsibility for her? And what if she works it out and demands her money? Can I continue to hold it for her? Not sure if the will has occurred to her yet. Would she be able to challenge it?
Sister B had wrong colour boyfriend (parents were "charming" like that).
I don't think so OP, no, I wouldn't see it like that.
Your parents were totally in the wrong over that falling out even so, neither sister went to their funerals and you must respect their wishes to a degree.
I'm not saying it's yours to spend but equally I wouldn't be comfortable handing it over in these circumstances.
Split in 3.
Stash hers away.
If there's some future point at which handing it over seems like a good idea, produce it. In 5 or 10 years time, her life just might be very different.
If that never happens, give it/ leave it to a charity for addicts.
Couldn't you set up a trust or something like that that pays a direct debit every month to B so she's got financial security but not enough lump sum to go crazy with, and then you don't have to be directly involved in her life as it just keeps paying to her, you just keep an eye on the admin?
God, that is a nightmare situation. My instinct would be like yours - split it three ways. Splitting it between you and sister A would be a dreadful idea, even though I can see that sharing it with sister B is ultimately futile (and possibly enabling her to drink/drug herself to death). There's no right answer, is there?
I would not make any decision right now. It's all too raw and I think sister A is pushing you for her own reasons, i.e. to get a share of the dosh.
Maybe there's some kind of trust that could be set up for sister B, although I'm not sure how that could work - you wouldn't want to be a trustee, for example.
Given the sums involved, I think some legal advice would be a good idea. There are also tax implications to large gifts as well so it would be worth understanding more about the most tax efficient way to give the money, before you make any decisions.
Take as long as you need to make a decision - you don't owe anyone a swift resolution to the problem. Decide when you're good and ready and have all the necessary facts.
Your parents left the money to you , they obviously didn't want the druggie sister to have it so I wouldn't give a big sum to her , the other sister I would share with ( give her her third) because it sounds like it was your parents narrow mindedness that caused the problems and not your sister doing anything that terrible . I wouldn't have an issue sharing with one and not the other and I don't think 'fair' comes into it - assuming your parents weren't mad I assume they had thought about what they wanted to happen .
Quite frankly, I wouldn't give a large amount of money to your sister who is dependent. As you parents found all those years ago, it didn't help her and it could end up giving her more issues.
Am a bit confused about the other sister, and why you feel it might not help her to have some of the money? although I have to say the fact that neither of them could even bring themselves to attend the funeral would perhaps confirm to me that your parents did what they did for a reason.
I think I would keep it, but, as you say you are already comfortable, then you will know you can help out in future should you be able to.
Do either of them have dc? As helping their dc would be another way to help redistribute the wealth without handing it to someone not in control of their life at the moment.
Can you put some of the money into a trust for your sisters rather than giving it to them outright?
Split 3 ways, keep b's money safe and secret so if she needs it in the future (rehab/therapy?) it's there.
Or keep it all / give it to a cat's home. Don't split 2 ways.
Will b now have to pay inheritance tax on what she was given 5 years ago? I know there is a time limit for that but think it's 7 years? Don't know though, i might be talking rubbish!
Wonder if you could chat to AA ( alcohol people rather than the car people ) or similar.
If you do keep it in trust for her it may help you knowing you have taken professional advice.
And what does solicitor say; can they give any advice?
Your parents died not wanting the money to go to the drug addict sister for good reason, so I'd say you're obliged to not give her the money as it may well lead to her death.
You'd be very kind and generous to keep it in trust until such time that she's sober.
Do you mean that your parents fell out with A over her having the wrong colour boyfriend? You said B. In this case I'd absolutely give her the money.
Fragglez has made a good point - sister B will be liable for IHT on the gift if the combined estate of your parents is over the threshold (it used to be £325k each) so £650k. So I would definitely make sure this is set aside to pay from her share.
I would split 3 ways but account for the sum sister B already received. I would then use sister Bs share to buy a flat if she doesn't have one, keep it in my name but let her live there for free forever. I'd just give sister A her share.
Splitting it 2 ways is not appealing to me at all.
A cousin suggested putting it all in trust for existing or future grandchildren. This appeals to me (pass the buck down a generation, and they will probably need it more). But neither sister has children and are both in their 40's and not in ltr so looking unlikely. So this would effectively (in their eyes) be keeping the money for myself.
It had not occurred to me about tax implication of A's gift. There is no way she would be able to pay anything. Solicitor hasn't mentioned it, and I'm not sure of exact sum.
Solicitor is not interested in the moral dilemma. He says he will write me a cheque once probate done and property sold and won't get involved. I probably need some better advice. Don't think he is equipped to deal with this - he was chosen as only one in their small town.
Does either sister have children? If so, you could bypass the sisters and give it to nieces/nephews. The most important thing to do is do nothing while you are unsure. Park it for a while and revisit in a few months. The money will always be there. But I agree it doesn't seem fair for it to be yours alone and yet you don't want to make it easy for sister B to drink herself to death.
I would do a deed of variation for the will and split it three ways. Because of the issue about the addict I would put any money for her in Trust so she cannot control how it is spent. Depending how much it is, the trust could be used for an income or to buy a property to secure her future. She would have no control and I would be a trustee probably along with either a neutral third party or your other sister (unless the latter would cause too many problems).
Sorry I got confused about which sister was A and B as it seemed to swap half way through.
Doing a deed of variation would avoid any tax implications beyond those that would have existed any way for any beneficiary.
I'd be wary of benefits complications but that's not my area of expertise.
Give B some money and rent A a property?
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