Sister inherited life changing amount of money but angry my parents want to give me more of their inheritance

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Dazedandconfused
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Sister inherited life changing amount of money but angry my parents want to give me more of their inheritance

Postby Dazedandconfused » Fri May 06, 2022 12:25 pm

Hello,
I’m a regular poster but using a throwaway ID for obvious reasons.

Would love some advice.

My sister and I are both in our mid-thirties with children.

My sister, a nurse, recently inherited a life changing amount of money from her godmother.

My parents were quite shocked about this as they weren’t aware that she was so wealthy or that she was going to leave almost all of it to my sister.

They recently told us that they feel this is unfair, as that godmother could easily have been mine, and so they want to make the situation fair by leaving much more of their estate to me.

To put this in perspective, my sister has bought a house and has enough money never to work again, and although I might get seven figures from the sale of my parents house it would be nowhere near as much as my sister has.

Perhaps unsurprisingly my sister is outraged and feels that she is being punished for something that isn’t her fault and it’s causing real ructions.

I think there are probably two solutions. One is to persuade my sister to accept my parents wishes and the other is for me to persuade my parents not to go ahead with this.

Which I don’t feel is fair.

Are there any family counselling or mediation services that might help? Every time we try and discuss it in a grown up fashion it descends into a shouting match so I think we need some outside help.

And if anyone has experience of how they resolved this type of situation I’d love to hear.

Thank you.
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locallocallocal
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Re: Sister inherited life changing amount of money but angry my parents want to give me more of their inheritance

Postby locallocallocal » Sat May 07, 2022 9:48 pm

In a similar situation but not with that amount of money.
Where my parents have given more to my siblings as they are not as well off.
And yes I'm pissed off.
I always tell my siblings that I'm pissed off.
It doesn't descend into a screaming match.
But its well known that i feel it's unfair,
Why am I being punished for being better off.
BUT at the end of the day it's your parents choice.
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Suggestion
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Re: Sister inherited life changing amount of money but angry my parents want to give me more of their inheritance

Postby Suggestion » Sun May 08, 2022 12:40 pm

I have lost my login for about the 1000th time but am a regular poster. I can’t help with comparable circumstances, but I know Wandsworth Mediation Service used to offer family/community mediation, and are local, so may be worth phoning to see if they can help/point you to someone who can?
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tooposhtopush
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Re: Sister inherited life changing amount of money but angry my parents want to give me more of their inheritance

Postby tooposhtopush » Sun May 08, 2022 2:51 pm

Always sad to read posts like these. 

You've said that your parents want to leave more not all of their estate to you. Seems fair to me if your 
sister has inherited such a huge sum.

It really is up to your parents.

TPT
 
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HDM
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Re: Sister inherited life changing amount of money but angry my parents want to give me more of their inheritance

Postby HDM » Mon May 09, 2022 6:30 am

Inheritance is a privilege not a right
Parents can do what they want
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Tilly10
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Re: Sister inherited life changing amount of money but angry my parents want to give me more of their inheritance

Postby Tilly10 » Mon May 09, 2022 7:19 am

If I put myself in your parents' shoes I would feel the same. I think they are right to leave you more. Your sister should have really split the inheritance from her godmother with you - she could have easily been your godmother and not hers... 
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faybian
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Re: Sister inherited life changing amount of money but angry my parents want to give me more of their inheritance

Postby faybian » Mon May 09, 2022 7:55 am

I think your sister needs to get a grip. Why does she feel she is being 'punished'? This is about your parents providing for their children, it's not about loving one more than the other. She is your sister and she should care about your welfare. Ideally she should have immediately gifted you some of the money, but if not then she should accept that your parents will want to make it fairer. Either way it is their choice. They should tell her firmly that they love her but that they will provide for their children after their deaths as they see fit and end the discussion. You could tell her that you love her but that you think their decision is fair and that it is in no way a 'punishment' She'll get over it, especially if she grows up a bit.
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Scientist
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Re: Sister inherited life changing amount of money but angry my parents want to give me more of their inheritance

Postby Scientist » Mon May 09, 2022 8:38 am

The only person who looks blameless in this story is the godmother. 

Your sister doesn't really have any right to be outraged by your parents decision, especially after inheriting so much money unexpectedly. Moreover, it is your parents' legitimate right to decide, as what they do with their bequest is their business. Unless.....there were already some pre-existing promise in place that their estate would be divided equally between their children. 

I don't feel that you have any right to feel shortchanged if your parents decide to leave their estate equally to you and your sister - after all, what your sister's godparent did has nothing to do with anyone other than the godparent and the godchild. Moreover, you have said you would still get "a seven figure sum". That is a serious amount of money - and it makes you sound rather self-entitled, in the context of your feeling that something unfair has happened. 

Your parents are possibly at fault, because if there has always been either a formal or implicit understanding that their estate would be divided equally between you two sisters, then to suddenly change that because of an ex-familia accident of fortune in favour of your sister would seem unfair to a degree. 

But as someone has already pointed out, it is currently still your parents' money - so they can do whatever they want with it. Whilst you explain that your sister is a nurse (overworked, underpaid national treasure), you don't tell us what you do. You could be independently wealthy already - or happily married to someone who is. Maybe just accept that your sister may/will always be better off than you, but that you have both done pretty well, in part thanks to the efforts and wealth of other people.
Let that sink in for a while. 
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dudette
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Re: Sister inherited life changing amount of money but angry my parents want to give me more of their inheritance

Postby dudette » Mon May 09, 2022 8:41 am

I think you are entitled to feel outraged that your sister inherited so much money through a stroke of luck (which as you say could easily have gone your way if your parents had picked that godmother for you) and didn’t offer to share it with you. I don’t see why your parents levelling up the difference by leaving you more should make her angry. It’s not as if she earned the money herself which is a totally different thing (in which case I think she’d have a right to be cross.) I can’t offer advice on a mediator but if you find one I hope they tell her she’s being unreasonable!
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TheGreatDivider
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Re: Sister inherited life changing amount of money but angry my parents want to give me more of their inheritance

Postby TheGreatDivider » Mon May 09, 2022 9:21 am

Unlike her relationship with her own friends and her husband, your sister's relationship with her godmother was not of her making, but something engineered by your parents when she was a baby. It is your parents' responsibility to manage any issues and make it equitable. Your sister's godmother should have consulted with them, too. She was naive in the extreme not to realise the imbalance she was creating.

Many lotter winners distribute some of their winnings among their family and close social group in order to continue former relationships without resentment. The fact that your sister hasn't automatically done so suggests that you may not be that close, or that there is an undercurrent of sibling rivalry or perceived favouritism. But, regardless of sibling rivalries and your respective financial situations, it feels like this would be the right thing to do.

I strongly recommend mediation to help you resolve this as a family.

It's a bl**dy good lesson, though: my children will be getting christened soon, and I don't want that to lead to something that could have a destructive influence on our family further down the line. I will make it clear to the godparents that any substantial gifts of money will be divided across all the children. And when the children are older I will ensure that they expect to share any such gifts. It is hard enough to keep a family together as it is.
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Happymummy2014
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Re: Sister inherited life changing amount of money but angry my parents want to give me more of their inheritance

Postby Happymummy2014 » Mon May 09, 2022 9:52 am

Dear Dazedandconfused
What an awful position to be in - for all of you. Have you talked to your family about the idea of using mediation? It could give all of you a chance to express how you feel, and (with the mediator’s help) to find a solution that you can all live with.
I am a mediator (details here: https://propitiouslondon.com/mediation/). Not touting for business - there are plenty of good mediators - but if you and your family would find it helpful to talk about how mediation works, and whether it might be right for you, then I am happy to have a chat.
 
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Scottov
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Re: Sister inherited life changing amount of money but angry my parents want to give me more of their inheritance

Postby Scottov » Mon May 09, 2022 10:07 am

Scientist wrote:
Mon May 09, 2022 8:38 am
The only person who looks blameless in this story is the godmother. 

Your sister doesn't really have any right to be outraged by your parents decision, especially after inheriting so much money unexpectedly. Moreover, it is your parents' legitimate right to decide, as what they do with their bequest is their business. Unless.....there were already some pre-existing promise in place that their estate would be divided equally between their children. 

I don't feel that you have any right to feel shortchanged if your parents decide to leave their estate equally to you and your sister - after all, what your sister's godparent did has nothing to do with anyone other than the godparent and the godchild. Moreover, you have said you would still get "a seven figure sum". That is a serious amount of money - and it makes you sound rather self-entitled, in the context of your feeling that something unfair has happened. 

Your parents are possibly at fault, because if there has always been either a formal or implicit understanding that their estate would be divided equally between you two sisters, then to suddenly change that because of an ex-familia accident of fortune in favour of your sister would seem unfair to a degree. 

But as someone has already pointed out, it is currently still your parents' money - so they can do whatever they want with it. Whilst you explain that your sister is a nurse (overworked, underpaid national treasure), you don't tell us what you do. You could be independently wealthy already - or happily married to someone who is. Maybe just accept that your sister may/will always be better off than you, but that you have both done pretty well, in part thanks to the efforts and wealth of other people.
Let that sink in for a while. 

Very well said. Completely agree
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TheGreatDivider
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Re: Sister inherited life changing amount of money but angry my parents want to give me more of their inheritance

Postby TheGreatDivider » Mon May 09, 2022 10:50 am

Yes, indeed, re-reading the seven-figure part. 'I may well get seven figures' - presumably this is half of what you expect your parents' estate to be worth by the time it reaches you.

Life seems to have already dealt you a very strong hand, even if your sister has the ace of spades.
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Voho
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Re: Sister inherited life changing amount of money but angry my parents want to give me more of their inheritance

Postby Voho » Mon May 09, 2022 2:36 pm

Replace the word Money with Love and see how that feels.

Have witnessed this in my own family.

What the godmother did is an irrelevance, annoying as it may be.

This is about parents and their children, and inheritance is not just a gift but a message that is left behind when loved ones pass.

Is that message 'We loved you both equally'?

Or is it 'We Love YOU 75% and Love your sister just 25% because she got quite a lot of Love from someone else'?

Just split things equally, always.
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Xyz
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Re: Sister inherited life changing amount of money but angry my parents want to give me more of their inheritance

Postby Xyz » Mon May 09, 2022 6:52 pm

I can honestly see why your parents are proposing to even things up. All families are different but in my situation i think my sister would have shared a windfall with me and vice versa, thereby avoiding the perceived need to rebalance.
Ultimately your parents can of course do whatever they want but it’s so sad to think that decision may blow the family up. I don’t have any referrals but some professional mediation may be required as there may be many more nuances to work through by all sides. Good luck!
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