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My sister wants to distribute 50K to each grandchild from our mother’s savings – but some of our siblings don’t have kids


Dear Quentin,

I trust my sister, but I think she is sometimes driven by emotion rather than practicality. I am one of four, and the sister who is closest to my mother is managing the money for her. The mother is 93 years old, in good health and currently living a supportive life.

This is the big picture. Funds have been credited to my mother’s checking account, which has not been spent due to regularly replenished income. His savings also include other funds, about $ 1 million.

My sister wants to distribute the extra check-account money – not equally to me and my siblings, but to my mother’s grandchildren, giving each grandchild equally. That’s $ 50,000 for each grandchild.

My mother is not involved in this decision because she has given this sister and my brother the power to sign the account. We don’t want her involved, although my sister tried to persuade her to do something for her grandchildren.

‘Mothers and fathers have always wanted their property to treat all their children equally, and the distribution of grandchildren will not accomplish that.’

Mothers and fathers have always wanted their property to treat all their children equally, and the distribution of grandchildren will not accomplish that. I have no children, only honest children, and they will not be part of this distribution.

My brother, who also signs the check, claims that the money should go to the four siblings, who can gift the money to their children if they wish. This is also my position. The rest of the siblings refrained from discussing.

My sister disagrees, and believes that our mother loves her grandchildren and wants the money to go to them. My mother is still considered legally competent, although it is controversial as a practical matter.

My money-managing sister is doing pretty well except for this episode and I want to be on good terms with all my siblings. How do we communicate and define it for future money distribution?

Unhappy siblings

You can email The Manist with any financial and ethical questions about the coronavirus at qfottrell@marketwatch.com and follow Quentin Fottrell Twitter.

Dear unhappy,

For a co-signer, a skillful hand strategy is to allow them and their other siblings’ children to raise $ 50,000 instead of taking care of your mother’s day-to-day management. I understand that estate planning is paramount in the minds of your four siblings, but pressuring your mother to agree to it is not within the scope of responsibility for this role.

Fortunately, your brother is also a co-signer, and assuming that both of them have to approve the withdrawal, there is a protection. If your mother wants to distribute her wealth equally among her beneficiaries – grandchildren will not be considered beneficiaries if their parents survive – her wishes should be respected. Above all, it is a sharp practice. Worst of all, it’s opportunistic.

What now? Some co-signatories need permission from the account holder to withdraw money, others may not. See the rules of this arrangement with your mother and brother. Have a family meeting to discuss the parameters of this arrangement, and talk to your mom – and if necessary, the bank – about these limits and how no one should be pressured.

There are other potential holes under the road. If your siblings also co-own this bank account, the money in that account will automatically become their property if your mother dies. What’s more, the money in that account can be used to pay off debts owed by your siblings if they are involved in a lawsuit and / or if they are divorced.

Your sister’s role as co-signer is to help manage your mother’s finances; Ensure that bills are paid on time, including rent or mortgage payments and other insurance policies of the account owner; And, above all, look after the welfare of the account owner – don’t figure out how to self-deal and pay his own children.

See Manist Private Facebook Group, where we find answers to problems related to the meaning of life’s forks. Readers are writing to me with all kinds of hesitations. Post your question, tell me what you want to know more about, or check out the latest Manist columns.

The semantist regrets that he cannot answer the question individually.

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