Author Topic: Keeping track for inheritance?  (Read 2253 times)

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Ceallach

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Re: Keeping track for inheritance?
« Reply #15 on: December 25, 2012, 07:30:26 PM »
I think this is only necessary if the parents have raised their children to be so petty and materialistic that disputes over "who got what"  and bad blood over perceived unfairness are likely.  OP, it sounds to me as though that certainly wasn't the case in your family!  So I guess it was your dads personal preference, but I wonder if the amount of time he spent recording such mundane details was really worth it.

Obviously if 1 child receives a big loan or significant financial support over the years it makes sense for this to be meticulously recorded and offset. But I've personally never heard it done to the intricate detail described here!   I think one of the main reasons for the fantastic sibling relationships in my family (7 kids) is my parents always had the philosophy "give to each according to their need".  The alternative would have been lose-lose for everybody - if somebody was in desperate need to be flown home from overseas, Dad would've had to go "hmm let me see, can I afford to compensate the other 6 kids to th same $ value....". In other words, nobody would ever have gotten anything!  We were always taught that it was his money and he was entitled to use it as he saw fit. Therefore none of us felt we deserved his financial assistance in any way. But likewise we know we have a father who is willing and able to help us out if we ever really need it - because he loves us and chooses to do what he can afford to help us.  I think that's a much more important life lesson than  putting value on monetary equality and entitlement.
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Elisabunny

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Re: Keeping track for inheritance?
« Reply #16 on: December 25, 2012, 07:43:27 PM »
I think this is only necessary if the parents have raised their children to be so petty and materialistic that disputes over "who got what"  and bad blood over perceived unfairness are likely.  OP, it sounds to me as though that certainly wasn't the case in your family!  So I guess it was your dads personal preference, but I wonder if the amount of time he spent recording such mundane details was really worth it.


I disagree with the bolded.  My FIL does the "take off from the inheritance" (for the big stuff, anyway) and none of his children are "petty or materialistic."  Quite the opposite, in fact.  But FIL has seen what can happen in families, and that sometimes even if the kids themselves don't care, the spouses can get very protective of their family's interests.  So it's just easier on everyone if it's all spelled out.
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Ceallach

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Re: Keeping track for inheritance?
« Reply #17 on: December 25, 2012, 08:06:49 PM »
I think this is only necessary if the parents have raised their children to be so petty and materialistic that disputes over "who got what"  and bad blood over perceived unfairness are likely.  OP, it sounds to me as though that certainly wasn't the case in your family!  So I guess it was your dads personal preference, but I wonder if the amount of time he spent recording such mundane details was really worth it.


I disagree with the bolded.  My FIL does the "take off from the inheritance" (for the big stuff, anyway) and none of his children are "petty or materialistic."  Quite the opposite, in fact.  But FIL has seen what can happen in families, and that sometimes even if the kids themselves don't care, the spouses can get very protective of their family's interests.  So it's just easier on everyone if it's all spelled out.

To be clear, I said that was the only reason I thought it would be necessary, NOT the only circumstances in which people would choose to do it! As I noted, I don't think it was the case in the OPs family either.   Obviously some people want to be extra cautious to avoid any disputes or drama.
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Aquamarine

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Re: Keeping track for inheritance?
« Reply #18 on: December 25, 2012, 08:07:23 PM »
Maybe not everyone would have interest in keeping a list this detailed but it sounds  like your father is bending over backwards to see that everyone gets their "fair" share.  I think he is being smart.  Why should a chronic moocher (theoretical) who never paid anyone back come out ahead when the money is allocated?

I know parents who do this, they also feel that it will eliminate petty bickering at the time of their passing.
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crella

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Re: Keeping track for inheritance?
« Reply #19 on: December 25, 2012, 08:09:28 PM »
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I think this is only necessary if the parents have raised their children to be so petty and materialistic that disputes over "who got what"  and bad blood over perceived unfairness are likely. 


I don't think our family was raised to be 'petty and materialistic' but there is sometimes one in a family that thinks they are entitled to the moon and the stars....it has always been my view that no one is owed an inheritance, I told my mother several times to use her money for her and don't think of saving it for us. One sibling (out of three) thought that she should get the lion's share of the estate, including things belonging to others ('You never took it home, it's fair game'). She wanted enough to put down a deposit on a house. There's one in every family, no matter how well brought up.

Sharnita

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Re: Keeping track for inheritance?
« Reply #20 on: December 25, 2012, 08:13:21 PM »
I think in the situaiton the OP described it seems unclear what might be counted against you.  The ticket for her then BF, for example.  How would one know whether they intended that to come from the inheritence or whether they would see that as their own investment in being good hosts?

SoCalVal

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Re: Keeping track for inheritance?
« Reply #21 on: December 25, 2012, 08:50:26 PM »
Maybe not everyone would have interest in keeping a list this detailed but it sounds  like your father is bending over backwards to see that everyone gets their "fair" share.  I think he is being smart.  Why should a chronic moocher (theoretical) who never paid anyone back come out ahead when the money is allocated?

I know parents who do this, they also feel that it will eliminate petty bickering at the time of their passing.

Pod.  It's his money and his time spent to keep track.  I wouldn't care and, actually, would appreciate the effort made to keep things even between everyone.



MommyPenguin

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Re: Keeping track for inheritance?
« Reply #22 on: December 25, 2012, 08:54:26 PM »
I think it's hard to tell how reasonable or unreasonable the $20 ticket is without knowing more.  For instance, did the OP think it was her FIL's treat, only for it to pop up later in the inheritance?  Or did the OP say she'd pay for her boyfriend, then not have the money available right away, not have it when asked the next few times, and finally just sort of get away with "forgetting?"  Etc.

I have a relative who is working out a will at this point.  He has two children, and one of the children currently has an outstanding debt to the relative.  The relative is meticulous about keeping records for that sort of thing, so he has a contract with a repayment schedule, etc.  And as the relative is not elderly, the debt may be repaid before his will is even read.  Nonetheless, his will states that if any of his heirs owe money to him at the time of his death, that money will be considered to be owed to his estate and thus subtracted from that heir's share.  So he doesn't have to specifically exclude that money in the will or anything, but the documentation for the loan is kept with the will under lock and key and will be taken into account by the executor.

magician5

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Re: Keeping track for inheritance?
« Reply #23 on: December 25, 2012, 10:08:57 PM »
This is definitely a question the executor should ask an attorney (and deduct the fee from the estate as a whole).
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oceanus

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Re: Keeping track for inheritance?
« Reply #24 on: December 25, 2012, 10:23:48 PM »
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Why should a chronic moocher (theoretical) who never paid anyone back

In that same vein, why should a parent allow this to happen?  Continuing to give money to a 'chronic moocher' is just throwing good money after bad.  Instead of making it an estate issue, maybe the parents should learn to say "No" directly and upfront.

Furthermore, if someone owes a debt to the estate, the loan agreement needs to be in writing.

Slartibartfast

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Re: Keeping track for inheritance?
« Reply #25 on: December 25, 2012, 10:30:19 PM »
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Why should a chronic moocher (theoretical) who never paid anyone back

In that same vein, why should a parent allow this to happen?  Continuing to give money to a 'chronic moocher' is just throwing good money after bad.  Instead of making it an estate issue, maybe the parents should learn to say "No" directly and upfront.

Furthermore, if someone owes a debt to the estate, the loan agreement needs to be in writing.

Sometimes it's in an attempt to help the child - in SIL1's case, she would have been homeless (with an abusive boyfriend) years ago if MIL hadn't been letting her "forget" to pay her rent each month.  I do think MIL should have put her foot down about other things, but I can understand the instinct - if she had cut SIL1 off, SIL1 would have disappeared into a dangerous situation and wouldn't have been able to ask for help even if she had needed it.

oceanus

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Re: Keeping track for inheritance?
« Reply #26 on: December 25, 2012, 10:42:30 PM »
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Sometimes it's in an attempt to help the child

We were talking about chronic moochers.  Repeatedly giving money to a chronic moocher or a victim who makes poor choices over and over and isn't doing anything to help their own situation is not helping.

All that aside, loan agreement should still be in writing.  An informal promisssory note is sufficient.
« Last Edit: December 25, 2012, 11:18:47 PM by oceanus »

sevenday

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Re: Keeping track for inheritance?
« Reply #27 on: December 25, 2012, 11:15:32 PM »
In my family I don't think there's a specific dollar amount somewhere that says how much Mom and Dad have loaned/given to each of their three children.  I know I owe them quite a bit - more than a thousand, less than ten thousand - for helping with various things like car repairs, buying a mobile home (the place we were living at before was NOT safe for us to stay in, and our landlords were dragging their feet and court would have made it even longer) and so forth.  I know they also "sold" a car to my sister, helped my sister make a down payment on their house plus several mortgage payments during a particularly tight time, helped brother with a down payment on HIS house, etc.  That said my parents have mentioned offhand that while they want to ensure that all three of us get equal treatment in the will, it is likely that when their plot of land is divided into three, the other two will get the parts that do not have the house on it, and I will get the third (with the house/garage) since I am the only one who does not own a permanent home. (Mobile home doesn't count since I have to pay rent on the land it sits on, etc).  My siblings agree that seems fair for now.   If I manage to buy my own place in the future, maybe that will change. 

I do know, however, that my parents are keeping a sort of a running list of who wants/would appreciate certain things, like the bedroom set that was passed down from my mother (made in 1916 I think), the china hutch, Mom's Precious Moments collection, Dad's genealogy files, etc.  At the moment I think I'm also ahead on furniture, simply because a) if I'm likely to inherit the house anyway, it makes sense to leave things as they are, and b) I like how the older furniture looks and my siblings don't. 

cheyne

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Re: Keeping track for inheritance?
« Reply #28 on: December 25, 2012, 11:39:28 PM »
I wish my parents would keep this running total for the "big stuff" not a $20. bill here and there.  Years ago my sister told me, "You get everything when Mom and Dad pass, I've already used my inheritance."  It's true, my parents put her through 4 years of college, down payment on a house, bought her a vehicle and gave her free daycare for 10 years (and these are the things I know about).  I received none of these things being a service member overseas, nor did I receive money "in kind".  However, knowing my sister she will fight tooth and nail to get her "fair share" and then some.

I've been thinking on this recently as my Dad called me and asked me if I wanted the "sporting equipment" for a sport he taught me when I was young.  The equipment isn't used anymore as Dad doesn't do the sport and I am the only one in my original family that still does.  I think Dad wants to be sure the equipment stays in the family and isn't sold or pawned by my sister or nephew that will not use it (it is valuable and readily sell-able).

I don't think I am petty and materialistic for wanting things to be even and fair when my parents pass.  I would be happy with a 50/50 split of their estate, but I am not holding my breath.


crella

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Re: Keeping track for inheritance?
« Reply #29 on: December 25, 2012, 11:58:23 PM »
Same with the day care here, too, from 9 weeks to 6th grade (dropping off, picking up and homework supervision in the later years). My parents took care of a newborn 10 hours a day sometimes more, in their 60s. All their vacations were dictated by my sister, when, how long, etc. Why she couldn't come up with alternate child care I have no idea. The problem is that she doesn't think she has used her inheritance, at least your sister has some sense.  Sis wanted to inherit the house, and she told my mother take me out of the will because DH has been successful and 'she doesn't need any money'. It's been a trip, I tell you....