Episode 21

Is Fair Always Equal?

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Should you always give equally to your children? As my husband and I get older, this is often a topic of discussion among our friends. What do you do when one child needs it more than another? If you have limited funds, how do you approach this issue? As the child, should you have a say in the matter? This is a really delicate subject. Do you have a story that can guide? Anything to share?

Your stories

  1. is fair always equal

    by Andrew
  2. equal distribution

    by Joan
See All
  1. is fair always equal

    by Andrew Often times the "reading of the will" in the lawyer's office is a Hollywood fantasy. Seeing heirs wiggle when they find out they are getting nothing is a delight. I have had more joy from animals than my children, yet people are willing to put animals to sleep and let their children live. I am all for euthanizing bad children and intend to leave all my wealth to institutions that will help animals in need and distress and abandonment. My kids can go fly a kite on yesterday's wind.
  2. equal distribution

    by Joan What children care about is the love and embrace they have felt through their lives. If they have felt loved, they will not be particularly interested in the equality of their inheritance. I have truly loved my three children throughout their lives. I have helped and supported them as their individual needs arose. I believe they have all been happy for each other on those occasions. I am sure that my children will put their siblings needs first, because they are kind and generous people. If you put other people's needs before your own, you suffer a lot less.
  3. Unfair distribution

    by J My mother in law, on her deathbed announced to her two sons that they wouldn't be inheriting anything. All her money and assets were going to her unmarried daughter. Granted she could have used most of the money, but to eliminate the two sons and the four grandchildren caused a family rift that has gone on now for almost 10 years. One brother will never speak to his sister, and the other, my husband, will talk to her if she calls but that has been rare. I believe had my mother-in-law made a token gesture of leaving something to the two sons and family that this would have been avoided. They were always generous to their sister and were there to help her in times of need. Now they don't speak. I don't think this was my mother-in-law's intent, however it was hurtful and the fact that it was mentioned at a time when nothing could be changed was even more hurtful. I have three kids, and our money is going to go to them evenly. I trust that if one is more needy they will be there for each other.
  4. Whats Fair

    by Karen This was just a discussion the other day...When your parents are alive it is up to them how they feel they should share their money they earned with each individual child (many forget it's not their money its their parents) ... When they write their will it's up to them who they choose to leave their money to. However in the past two instances, I have seen not disbursing the funds equally caused a lot of family animosity and disharmony. I hope my parents live long enough to spend it all on themselves and have a wonderful life. They have already given me enough (my parents are 81 and 74). I think I am lucky. I was raised well and have good siblings (they are married with children and I am single) that I dont feel are greedy like others I have seen. Unfortunately to keep the peace in most families, the money should be disbursed equally.
  5. Do you have the option?

    by Wanda I believe that you should definately take the needs of all your children into consideration in your will. However, in a second marriage it is difficult to work that out with your spouse. Thus having to treat them all equally. Treating "his" different than "mine" could cause problems now and later. If I had my way I would distribute according to need and expect that they would understand but if they didn't, I wouldn't be around to hear them complain!!
  6. Equal is fair

    by Bobbie We love our children equally, so we should leave them our assets equally, regardless of whether one is more financially successful than the other. Doing otherwise would likely cause resentment and family dysfunctionality when we're gone, and every parent wishes their kids all got along together. If one child is successful and the other needy, perhaps the successful one will voluntarily share with the needy one. Essentially rewarding the needy one with a larger portion of one's will, is not really fair. After all, it is not our faults that one child is needy and the other not.
  7. Is Fair always Equal

    by Sheri My Mother divided her estate equally between 4 children. We were fortunate that we all get along. Of course some children will always be better off than another, but because her estate was equally divided it made it easier to deal with her death.
  8. Avoid jealousy

    by Laura To show that all children were equally loved by you and avoid any feelings of jealousy that you cannot stop after you are gone ("No, no Johnnie. I loved you just as much as Billie. He just needed it more." etc), it is best to split the money equally.
  9. What is Fair?

    by Rita My in-laws always try to be fair but my brother and sister-in-law (hubby's brother) spend money like crazy, and we are savers. My in-laws gave my brother-in-law a down payment on a house and funds to pay of credit cards. We have not needed or asked for money from them. Income is about the same. My father-in-law changed his will, and we will recieve more than my brother-in-law and family. My father-in-law is very clear as to why it is divided the way it is. My husband is executor of the estate, and he will see that everyone gets what my father in law wanted. and I KNOW there will be hard feelings because the brother-in-law and wife are not saying what have you done for me but what are you going to do for me now. It is the parent's money, not the kids. The kids have NO rights to anything. The parents can do what they want with their own money before and after death.
  10. LIfe is not fair!

    by Leah ...and your parents can do whatever they want with their money. I am the sibling that has always struggled, but I certainly don't think that entitles me to a larger share of my mother's estate when she passes. It's her money, it's her business. She can give it all to my sister, she can give it all to the local animal shelter, I don't care and it's none of my business anyway.
  11. equality for children

    by Debbie As an admirer of your views, I would like to share my thoughts on equality for our children. I have only one so it's easy for me. If I had to choose between sharing my assets with my children, I would do so according to their needs and future. One child might be in need more than the other. Maybe there is psychological or learning deficits that hindered one child from succeeding as well as the other. Or perhaps one was just more fortunate by circumstances. I would always go with the underdog. However, I would equally distribute items of sentimental value because of the equal love each kid might have for their parents. That can be irreparable pain if they didn't have something they valued of their parents. Hope I was able to help. Be well and thank you for being a fair Judge in our Legal System.
  12. Fair is not always equal.

    by Tiffany If one child has no money and the other child or children do, you have to wonder why? If it's just because they've fallen on bad times, then I say help that child out a little more then the others. If it's because they don't know how to manage money and they tend to blow it then I think they should receive equal if not less, they are just going to blow through it anyway. Either way if you don't give equal amounts to each child then it could cause a discord in the siblings, but you have to do what is best for yourself and your children and  children should not have a say in how you write your will, they shouldn't even know what's in it until it's unfortunately read to them. But maybe write a letter to each child letting them know how you came to this decision so they can better understand and know that they are still loved equally and unconditionally.

    by Patience This is one of the hardest things to deal with when, as adults, one child has, and the other has not. When my children were little, I was scrupulous about making sure that I spent the same amount of money on each of them and that when it came to presents, they always had the same number of gifts. Now that they are adults, one daughter doesn't ask for anything and has a husband to support her, my other daughter lives her life on a wing and a prayer and is always flat broke. I have bailed her out so many times (to my detriment) - I've paid her rent, put food in her refrigerator, paid her cell phone bill and two vets bills. I've even given her a car. Now she is being evicted and I have refused to pay so she is coming to stay with me complete with three animals. I've willed that when I die, she is to get $25,000 less than my eldest daughter. She can't have it both ends. Their father walked out when they were little and I've done too much to try and make amends. Mea Culpa!
  14. Don't Count On It!

    by Rose Just like being employed in a workplace that gives a commission or a bonus, never count on it to get you through life. Adult children to older parents should not expect anything in regards to funds, but should expect wise advice early on in life, and that advice should be given in abundance. If funds are available to distribute, all should be distributed in equal shares. The ones that need the funds the most are the ones that did not listen to the wise advice in the first place.
  15. Children should inherit equally

    by Marie It's very hard on surviving children if they are not treated equally. It may foster resentment. Treating them equally is the way you can say that you love them equally, even if you can't always show it due to circumstances or relationships going bad. Sometimes it's fair to let one child have some of their inheritance before you go if they need it. But it should be accounted for in the will. And sometimes it's okay to give a child who becomes a primary caretaker credit for that dedication and service in a will, as well. If any of your children cannot be trusted to use their money wisely, it can be left to another to manage on their behalf. But ultimately, it's a parent's decision and children should never have a say in it, unless there is any elder abuse going on and a child is taking advantage in any way of a parent who can't stand up to them. And in that case it's best to let authorities intervene.
  16. If it isn't equal

    by Michael If it isn't equal, of course it's not fair. Then again neither is life, but we can never try and fully understand just exactly what life is all about. Toward the close of summer 2012, a neighbor approached me because she wanted her computer fixed. When I saw the condition it was in, I did my best to fix it without prior payment. I did this as an act of kindness, even while being strung along for months after I ordered two essential parts only to be taken for a ride. I learned a lesson even if you're in a business for it being something you like to do, never expect compensation. This being said it's never a nice thing to take advantage of someone who is kind, and understanding. 'Cause you won't only need the person once, especially in my business. In conclusion, I have no regrets, 'cause when you show love and compassion to others, the same will be done in return.
  17. Not equal, it never is

    by Catherine This subject hits very close to home. We were all raised to depend on ourselves and when we asked for financial support our parents would ask, “what would you do if we were dead?” This is why we all had part time jobs by 16. They wanted us to be self-reliant, plus six kids and one income did not leave room for extras! However, with my older sister it's different. She is as capable as all her siblings if not more so, yet from college books, to her divorce to her current problematic relationship the checkbook is out. None of us get it, but in the end, it is none of our business. First of all, it is our parent’s resources to do with as they choose. Second, siblings, no matter how close we are, really don’t know each other as well as the parent knows the child and their capabilities. Third we all have to grow up and realize that financial support doesn’t mean that the rest are loved less. That sounds trite, but my mother and I talk a lot and I have never doubted her love for me.
  18. Black sheep syndrome

    by Stephanie I am the oldest of two girls. My parents divorced when I was in the second grade. I ended up spending my childhood living with my mother. My sister stayed with my father. The relationships were not tarnished, it just seemed to fit best that way. Throughout my high school, college and young adult life I could have really used financial help but that was never an option given to me. I was driven and making my way through life. My sister on the other hand was challenged to find her way and was the recipient of financial help and support even to the present day. I felt like a black sheep. When I was struggling to stay above water years ago, I was envious. However, I thank my parents now for letting me struggle. At 28, I can say I put myself through college and run a successful business. I think they knew I could make it even in the bleakest of times. Even though it took years for me to forgive them, they did what it took to make two competent and successful daughters.
  19. It is hard to measure!

    by Zoe I have 3 kids: 2 boys and a girl in the middle.I always try to be fair with them but I don't think I do it equally. Say for toys, I buy dolls for my daughter but Lego for my boys. Between the boys, I buy Lego Creator for my older son but Lego Star Wars for my younger one. I would say it's fair but not equal. However, when giving them money on their birthday, I would give them the same amount. It's equal but it might not seem fair as arguably the youngest one doesn't need as much money as the older ones. When it comes to love and care, it can never be fair and/or equal. The youngest one is always the baby in my eyes; whereas the eldest is the model for the young siblings hence higher expectation is put on him. The middle one needs to look up to the eldest and protect the younger sibling. They are treated differently in my view but they are happy that way. in my case, they are all unique: the eldest is our first child, the middle is the only girl and the youngest is our last baby. <3
  20. A horrible legacy

    by Susan Unequal allocation of money towards his children during my father’s lifetime has completely destroyed the family after his death, which is now his legacy. While my brother and I lived within our means and addressed our financial situations independently, our sister, unwilling to adjust her lifestyle or, “get a job”, harassed and brainwashed our father into regularly funneling her money to address her bills, to the tune of some $150,000, or upwards of one third of the Estate at time of death. These funds were used for the absolution of mortgage and car debt and the purchase of new furniture, in other words, discretionary spending. This asset depletion was done in a climate of deceit, with both parties denying that it took place, until it was discovered post mortem. Unequal treatment towards children in this climate is not only grossly unfair, but has left a horrible legacy of a destroyed family. Family assets belong to the family unit and division of assets should be done equally.
  21. No difference

    by Cheryl My father died young and my so-called mother raised us. She was not a "Mom" just a 'mother'...hard to explain. She taught me NOTHING. Everything I know I learned myself or paid to learn myself. When she got cancer and was dying, my sister took her in. I visited weekly and was always hollered at by my sister for not coming more often. She lived almost 100 miles away and I worked more then 40 hours a week. I also am a heart patient. When my mother died, I was NOT invited to the funeral. I heard my sister had her cremated. All I got was what I took long before my mother got sick, some kitchen items and a carnival glass piece that has been in my life since the beginning. That was from my father's side of the family. Money certainly would not have given me anything I needed from my mother. I am 53 years old and always befriend older women. One of my best friends is 81. I am still looking for a "Mom."
  22. Unequal = Dissention

    by Been there, seen that! It doesn't matter how old you are or how succesful you become - when parents treat children unequally, it hurts, causes dissention and many times irreperable damage to both the relationship between siblings and between parent and child. Lets face it, unless you are born with a silver spoon in your mouth, life is hard. Everyone could use a financial lift - if not at the moment, then certainly when old age starts knocking. No one can see the future. A previously financially stable adult can have a medical emergency that leaves them poorer than another child who may not be as well off. It's not a parent's place to judge but instead to just be fair. Two siblings, one responsible their whole life and one who makes bad decisions and is always broke. Why should the broke child get more and the responsible child be punished for being responsible? Not fair! And skipping generations to leave to grandchildren? Completely wrong! Parents, leave to your own and let your kids worry about their own children.
  23. Equal is fair

    by Lavonne My mother had five children, one of them was on drugs, one had a house in a different state. He moved away and visited maybe once every five years. One of my brothers was deceased and one would never have paid the mortgage. As a result, my mother put my name on the house with the understanding that if I were to sell it that I would divide the equity with my living siblings. She knew that I would do as she asked. It has caused some animosity with the brother that is on drugs but he had problems anyway. The other brothers are fine with it because they know that I needed a place to live and that I would never try to cheat them in the event that the house is ever sold.
  24. Money does not make happiness

    by Josh When my parents do eventually pass away and leave most of their money to my sister I would not mind as she has not had the success in life I have had and I would not love my parents any less for it. The same as if they left her the house as I own my own home but my sister does not. On the other hand, my brother is addicted to alcohol and drugs and I would not be happy if he was the main beneficiary as the money would be squandered. As children we all want equal shares and rightly so but as adult children, I don't think it matters as we make our own way in life and should not expect to be given anything. Money does not bring happiness and causes so many problems today as we all seem to be obsessed with it. If parents leave more to one child then they must have good reason for doing so.
  25. Spend it all and leave the kids to earn their own.

    by Lee M. Other than subsidizing the ridiculous rising costs of obtaining a college education, I think parents should not feel obligated to leave their kids anything. I have witnessed so many children and grandchildren feel entitled to other people's money. When I was in law school, I read case after case, where inheritances and estates were used to encourage awful behavior and brought out the worst in people. Other than causing mayhem, calamity, and damaging relationships, it seems that ensuring one's estate goes to their children and how it should be divided is a waste of time. If you wish, set aside some money in a trust to support education and spend the rest on yourself. You earned it and it doesn't belong to anyone but you. Any entitlement your heirs feel to that money is misplaced. They should be encouraged to earn their own money and support themselves. It will help them find their passion and appreciate their own accomplishments. Enjoy your golden years in style and comfort!
  26. Absolutely fair.

    by Lily I have had this discussion with my parents, and I feel that with four of us children, anything left should be shared equally, regardless of lifestyle, grandchildren or who needs it more. Firstly, grandchildren are not my parents responsibility. My sister and I have one child each but my brothers don't and they should not be left with less for this fact. Children are parent's responsibilities, not grandparents. Also, in the now, maybe one or more children may need financial help more then others. Again, this should not come into it; things could change and and in years to come it may be different for those in need of more financial help. It should also have nothing to do with who lives closer and sees them more; geographical logistics are also no reason to favour. There are no doubt reasons I would understand someone being left out of a will but that would be a personal tragic family breakdown, not for any of the reasons above. You bring them into the world equally and you should leave them that way.
  27. My Father's Mistake

    by Bonita My father, because he'd grown up poor, wanted to ensure that that would never happen again. He'd managed to save a nice nest egg by the time he retired, and began to wield the promise of money over his children (3 of us). My eldest brother and I really didn't care about the money and wouldn't be intimidated by the threat of being disinherited. We worked and took care of our own lives. Our middle brother managed to "borrow" a good amount by stroking my father's ego. When asked to return the money, he refused. My father then cut him out of his will. Earlier, he had cut my eldest brother out as well, but changed his mind later. After he died, I had to deal with the mess my father left. For the sake of the family, I persuaded my eldest brother to join me in dividing the inheritance equally for us all, minus the amount our errant brother had taken. He agreed. I vowed that I would never do what my father had done, which was to put money over family love.
  28. It turns ugly when money's involved

    by Jennifer I am the conservator for my ill father. He is quickly spending all his retirement savings on hospital bills. Our family used to get along well, but since inheritance has become a possibity, it has gotten ugly. My brothers argue that dad shouldn't get medical care because it cuts into their inheritance. My uncle, his brother, a Boy Scout den leader, cleaned out some of dad's bank accounts. I can't believe these are the same church-going people I grew up with. Their personalities are the opposite of what they were before. I feel like I am guarding my dad from wolves. I learned the hard way that nice people can be greedy and cruel, even if their excuse is grief. People don't appreciate what they don't earn for themselves. To minimize sibling animosity, I recommend dividing inheritance equally, even if one will drink it away, and another will earn a degree with it. Beyond that, I recommend endowing scholarship funds, or other opportunities for people to earn for themselves.
  29. Free ride to college for only 1 out of 6 kids!

    by La My father was widowed and remarried a divorcee. She had three sons, one was in the Navy and the other two were high school age when they married. I am one of three children, my sister was in college and my brother and I were also in high school when my father remarried. When my stepmother divorced, she and her ex-husband agreed that he would pay for the younger boys' college. The first son got a full paid scholarship to college. But when my stepmother's youngest son graduated, his father was not able to pay for his college, so my father and stepmother paid for his because they felt he was, "promised" college and it was not his fault that his father did not keep his promise. My sister, brother and myself all had to pay for our own college, because my father could not afford to pay for five children. At the time it ruffled feathers and feelings were hurt, but now years later all is forgotten.
  30. Should be based on need and/or merit

    by Violet I'm a 21 year old daughter with two brothers. Each one of us needs different things than the other. I needed braces, they may need money to cover a fee for a certification test. As long as it is established that it is a necessity and not frivolous, each should be given their due. However, money to pay for things like clothing or to cover entertainment costs should be given equally. Agreements can also be made to receive more based on merit. Children can have some input on how the money can be spent but the parent should have the final say given they are competent in that decision making process.
  31. The Middle Child Seems to Come Last

    by Joanne I was the middle child growing up; between one older and one younger brother. My constant gripe was that my brothers always seemed to get more; more attention, more money, etc. This held true especially for my older brother, the first born. My mother's eyes would just light up when he walked into the room. She always seemed to be harder on me. I was held more accountable, more seemed to be expected of me. It seemed that so little was expected of him while she was harder on me. Mom's gone now; my brothers and I are nearly senior. Through the years, more and more my older brother became physically and emotionally more needy. Looking back, I suppose he was always more needy that way, never totally self-sufficient. I can see now why he was given the extra attention, more 'passes' and I was given the harder jobs and more responsibility. Perhaps she was a wise parent to look at her brood as future adults and prepare us for the roles we would assume and feed that part of us.
  32. Continued: Step family problems

    by Colleen I just sent a message, but obviously can't count characters (never was good in math). Anyway, I don't believe children should be beaten yet I believe they should have chores. Too many kids these days get away with EVERYTHING! You take away the PRIVILEGE of playing a computer game, to which they were both addicted, was CHAOS!! Cry, cry, cry, stick your finger in your eye, tell your mother it wasn't I. For pete's (I don't know who he is but feel sorry for him LOL!) sake kids these days know nothing re: respect, kindness, love, respect for your elders. Do you ever hear a kid say: Sir? I haven't, yet I was taught to respect my elders or ANY person, i.e. when someone holds a door open for me I always say: thank you sir/madam. Sometimes I say when it is a man: Wonderful, chivalry still exists! And I thank them. By the way, I LOVE YOUR SHOW! I know men whom do not, as my mother says: tough bananas! (she's never been one to swear. Which makes me respect her all the more!)
  33. Handling the challenges of a 'step family'

    by Colleen Upon meeting my 'boyfriend' (playing house as you would say and to which I do agree) it also came with his two small children. They had no rules to follow nor jobs to do. When I got there I said: homework is to be done Friday after school, then you have all weekend to 'play'. (As they would otherwise wait until Sunday night before bed to say: I have homework).That is when I ENFORCED the homework rule. It worked awhile until my (now husband) stopped enforcing it and I (in embarassment, lost my reality in enforcing this, thinking they would do it on their own, ya right) Anyway, living in a stepfamiy situation is not easy. My oldest stepson despised me while the younger treated me with the respect any child should. Plus he was the one, as time went on to do anything his father requested, trying so hard to please him, while his brother fought like crazy to be, in my words: a little jerk. I.E. when told to wash the dishes, he left pots clean on the inside but food covered the outside.
  34. Widow with 3 teen girls

    by Michelle Six years ago today, my husband of 15 years passed away from pancreatic cancer leaving me to raise my grammar school and middle school aged girls. Well of course, I spoiled my girls to make up for the loss. I did without to give them the things needed. My oldest tested all my buttons. Well now I have my younger girls stating "we want and expect you to do the same on all financial aspects for us as you did for our older sister". Easier said than done. I always tried to do things evenly over the years but with time my situation has become bad financially. My now teens are not understanding and just argue me to make or get money. I promised my dying husband that they would go to college since I did not have the means when I was young. All is not equal whether you want it to be or not. Life changes, finances change and waking up to reality made me say if you don't like it leave at 18!
  35. Money doesn't mean love....

    by Cindi I have three sisters whom I love dearly. One of them has always had financial issues and when my parents were living, they gave her help when needed. It never bothered my sisters or I that they did this. We felt it was their money, and they could do whatever they wanted with it. Now that my parents are gone, we each help her out once in awhile, but not to the extent my parents did. I don't feel like money equates to love from a parent. I think those that struggle with "who gets what" may confuse the extra attention or funds from parents as love. Each of us were secure in who we were as far as are parents were concerned. Now that I am grown, I treat my own children like my parents did. If they need something and ask for help, we gladly help them out, and there aren't any jealous feelings between them. People that struggle with their siblings getting money from parents may be having other issues with their siblings, insecurities or hard feelings from the past.
  36. Is Equal always Fair?

    by Robyn It is my opinion that equal is not always fair, but then again, life is not always fair. I think the best solution to this problem is to give equally (in a will) or not at all. This avoids conflicts, hurt feelings, and resentments. Even if one child is more needy than the other, even if the other does not need the financial help, at least the children will realize they were loved equally. If the child/children who are "better off" financially want to help out their needier sibling, then that's their choice after the fact.
  37. Split Between All Three

    by Monica I do believe that it would be appropriate to distribute to all children, fairly and equally in a will. It doesn't matter if one has more than the other. For me, that shows that one handled his responsibilities better than the other. It may be perceived that that child is favored over the other, which isn't a final message I'd want to send any of my sons.
  38. Selfish children

    by LuAnn After taking care of my spry, healthy, mother-in-law for 18 years, and still continued to do so AFTER my husband, her son, passed away, Mom had gone to visit her daughter for the summer in 2012, who decided that she would be better off in a nursing home. Since I had no power of attorney over her affairs, she was sadly placed, against my wishes as well as mom's wishes, in a horrid nursing home where she ultimately died at the age of 91. Over this period that she was in the facility, I had been refused calls and visits (I live in another state) - There was a policy on her of $25,000.00 - I was the person to recieve the benefit. Of course, there was drama and that who should recieve the benefit. Ultimately I did receive it - but the backlash was awful. I have wonderful memories of her. It's amazing to me how one mother can take care of six children -but six children couldn't take care of one mother - I love your show"
  39. Per stirpes

    by Ken Hi Judge Judy. I love you and enjoy your show daily as I have for years. I am a financial advisor with New York Life in Cleveland and this is my 16th year in this business. I advise people to make sure each child is equal at the parents' death. That means, that if a son/daughter were financially bailed out recently, that should be deducted from the child's inheritance. However, I preach more about per stirpes. If a child dies before the parent, often times it would benefit the family if money followed the bloodline. That means that deceased children, if they exist, could benefit from the inheritance that their parent would've received. I also strongly recommend a trust which could provide a stream of payments to the children rather than a lump sum. Often times, lump sum payments makes a beneficiary rich for a short time and also makes the inheritance joint property if deposited into a joint account with the daughter/son-in-law. A stream of payments keeps the money in the family.
  40. One needy, two not

    by Ron I have three children. Current ages are 20, 21 and 23. Their Mom passed away two years ago. I find myself giving more to the oldest and rewarding his laziness. He works a part-time job and drinks away his check. The others are so much more mature and able to take care of themselves. I own an apartment house where they all live free of rent. I cant help but give the oldest money or groceries. Even if he is spending his check on alcohol, he needs food. I am enabling him and don't know how to stop. Plus it is very unfair to the other children who are responsible with their money. I wish there was an easy way to provide tough love.
  41. Degrees of Fairness

    by Kristal There were three girls in the home when I was growing up and budgeting was a big part of our lives. I remember feeling on several occasions that my older sister got more than my twin and myself. It seemed that most of the time my twin and I had to share (even our bedroom) while my other sister received things for herself. Yes, I was a little jealous, but I had some understanding that this was the way things had to be. Now that my sisters and I are in our 40s, we have discussed the potential care and support that our parents may need. We have agreed to split responsibilities equally as much as we can. And as far as what I may or may not receive upon their demise...I am not looking to recoup the difference in the amount of the class ring my older sister received versus the one I received or the value of the car she was able to purchase with my mother's help while I had to wait longer to purchase on my own. I understand that my parents did the best they could with what they had at the time.
  42. Is Fair Always Equal

    by Susan There are five children in our family. 3 girls and 2 boys. My dad says that since his girls gave him no trouble at all growing up, they we will get the biggest part of his estate. My Dad spent thousands of dollars on the boys when they were growing up, getting them out of trouble with the law, buying new cars when they wrecked the ones they had, paying one's child support. My parents even raised one of thier daughters for him. Those are some examples. The oldest brother thinks my Dad has a mass fortune to divide between us all, but he doesn't. He also thinks we will all be gettig equal shares. We have decided to wait until the reading of the will so peace will be kept until then at least.
  43. No Problem

    by Sheila Since we have no real money - we don't have to deal with this other than to say our two children are to divy up the place upon our demise and take what ever they wish. The bank will take the house ie. reverse mortgage and the stair lift compaany will take back their lift, the water heater compay will take back their water heater and Comcast will get their cable boxes back. I can rest assured that our kids now in their mid forties will handle everything in a timely manner. They have their own families now and Thank God are ok. We gave during their years what we could just like our parents did for us and we do the same for our gandchildren. We also had no real inheritance and it is ok. What we had was a normal and loving homelife.
  44. Why should an absent sibling get half?

    by Lesley I'm a 49 year old agoraphobe who lived with her abusive Mum for 45 years. Despite whet she did to me, I love Mum dearly and now care for her. I feel as though I gave up my life for my Mum because she robbed me of my self esteem and told me she didn't want me to leave home - she wouldn't even let me go out for a meal with friends without abusing me when I got home for treating her house like a hotel and taking a loan of her (I was 23!). My older brother left home at 15, rarely phones his Mum and hasn't seen her for years yet she wants me to give him half of her money when she dies. I will do it, because I respect her wishes but I don't think he should get anything! All the men in the family left home and had lives and I've been staring at 4 walls for the last 49 years dying to get out and have MY life yet am left looking after the elders! I am educated to PhD level and have had no life to speak of and it annoys me no end that he is being given this consideration although I do get why.
  45. MY sister doesn't want to pay rent

    by Louise After splitting with her husband, my sister and my nephew moved into a house owned by my brother, sister-in-law and other nephew. (My brother was fixing the home up for sale.) My sister was paying half the mortgage and utilities. My sister was advised by my brother that once she was back on her feet, she would have to pay the full mortgage. My sister freaked. She went to my parents crying poverty. My sister looked for other accommodations but discovered she would end up paying what my brother was utlimately asking her to pay. Again she went back to my parents crying poverty. My parents decided to buy her a house. My parents emptied their savings account to the tune of $140,000. Monies that would have been split three ways among us are now gone. My parents are willing the home to my sister and my brother and I will split what's left. My parents don't think my sister should have to struggle or go without, but it was ok for my brother and I to struggle..
  46. Let the kids decide!

    by Jane I am the youngest of three girls, and hopefully wont have to deal with this for a while, but when we do inherit, I'd like to think that my siblings and I will be able to work out what is fair. My parents will probably split everything equally, but I know that I, as a doctor, will be earning more than my sister who as a social worker has an equally (or more) demanding job but without the earning potential. Our other sister is also working very hard to get her career off the ground. Should we inherit when I am in a position to pass some of my inheritance to them to enjoy their lives or further their careers I'd like to think I will! If my parents chose to leave them more to makeup for this then I'd be fine with that too, although I'd like them to trust me to make the fair, responsible decision. I'm also in a position where my spouse is likely to inherit quite a bit, and as an only child, won't split it. Individual circumstances should come into consideration when choosing how to leave money.
  47. Estate depletion

    by Susan A parent 'enables' an otherwise competent adult into accepting less from themselves by providing funds to maintain their standard of living. It is unfair to have different expectations on children who can each fend for themselves. When done in a climate of deceit, and not uncovered until after death, the results can rip a family apart. While my brother and I lived within our means and worked our entire lives, our sister took the approach of wining, cajoling, and downright brainwashing in order to deplete the Estate while our parents were alive. As Judy says "Get a job!"

    by Jan I was the 5th of 6 children, born and raised in New England, in the Beautiful Berkshires. I had wonderful parents who worked hard all their lives. We have also suffered much tragedy in losing our Mom, Brother, Sister and recently our Dad. He discussed his will with each of the children, and we understood that all the money would be divided evenly between the surviving children. Anyone's financial needs prior to his death was his gifts and continued support to his children. At the time of his death, I was stunned to learn the amount he had put aside for us along with a retirement fund for each of us. Our parents always showed us how to live, through example. One child's misfortune and need would never had trumped doing the right thing in the end. Thanks Judge Judy for giving me this gift today of "memories". It was a great moment.
  49. On Topic Helping Your Children

    by Robert As Judy says, it can be a sticky situation when it comes to helping one child in need and not the other who really doesn't need it. However the situation which arises, there is and always will be that question asked by the other "why are you helping him or her." They need to learn from life's experiences what hard times are and how to manage through themselves, and sense a bit of jealousy from the other child regardless of their needs. So, we have found that it creates more problems announcing the situation to other family members and if one or the other is in need of help, we try to keep that private between us the parents and the child in need. Of course we help any of them if possible as long as they are making the right decisions and being responsible in helping themselves.
  50. Give what you want to whom you want!

    by ALI There's a basic premise here that kids are getting what their parents have when the parents die. I'm not in agreement with this. Parents have an absolute right to give their assets to any person or entity they choose. If a parent does not approve of an adult child's lifestyle, but is concerned about, say, a drought in Africa, shouldn't those parents bequeath money to an entity that helps people affected by that drought? Money shouldn't be used as a tool to get your adult kids to live as you think they should, but you don't have to give your hard-earned money to them just because they're your kids. Warren Buffet has decided to leave each of his kids a relatively modest amount of money, and the rest will finance causes he believes in. He is a wise man.
  51. A learned lesson the hard way

    by Margaux My mother's intent was to divide her estate equally among three of her five kids, two of them precious sons (she'd told us girls when we were 16 that she only wanted sons but was blessed with just two). The two omitted daughters were omitted because they married a doctor and lawyer, and my mother felt they didn't need the money. One brother was named executor of her will. This guy hadn't worked in 10 years and was supported by Mom all that time. The other brother, after she died, wanted to buy her house and asked me to loan him my portioned inheritance of the house for two years until he could refinance at a lower interest rate. Like a fool, I said yes. Nine years later, I'm still waiting for him to pay me. It's gotten ugly between us (one of the omitted sisters is now spoon-feeding him financially since he cannot afford the house, as I predicted to him out loud before the transaction took place), and I suspect will get uglier since I plan to take him to court when I can afford to.
  52. Is Fair Always Equal

    by Virg I have a different perspective. Whatever you wish to do and leave to each offspring, PLEASE do not try to use it throughout their lives as a carrot and stick threat to control them, as was done in our family. NOTHING can be worse than that, rest assured.
  53. What is mine, is mine to decide

    by Sylvia I have a Living Trust. I have 3 children and 2 step children all grown. They have been good, all of them. I was lucky. I have been a widow for 11 years. My home will go to as follows, one half to my youngest daughter from my second marriage. The rest of the home's worth will be divided in equal portions to the remaining 4 children. My investments however, will be divided equally between my 3 children. This will all be determined by my future needs, as I become much older. I might have to change the living trust in the future. It is my Estate to do with whatever I wish. They must be grateful for what they inherit or not. I managed my successful life without an inheritance. In my twilight years, I look back, and think being without funds is a gift. It's ones choices that they make, that counts.
  54. Why should they get more?

    by Lee Just because my brothers and sisters did not use good judgment and have no money, I should get less when my parents pass away?! I have always saved and only bought what I could afford! Where my brothers spent their money on booze, drugs, wild women, and my sisters picked losers that refused to work! So I am expected to get less because I had a good job, saved and was a responsible adult? Any money that would go to my brothers and sisters would be gone within weeks of them receiving it! My parents always told us that they loved us all the same, so we should each get an equal share of what they have to leave.
  55. I like always feeling I was fair.

    by Karen My brother, sister and I were raised in a home where if one got something so did the other. My parents did their best to make sure things were always equal. I have carried this over to my own children and grandchildren. If one needed and the other didn't, I still compensated both. After being the sole caregiver for my parents, the last couple years of their lives my brother felt I should receive more because of my time spent helping them that neither he or my sister could do. I didn't feel the same. I did it out of love. As executor to their estate, I did what I felt my parents would have wanted and split everything 3 ways. Including an Insurance Policy that listed me a 100% beneficiary. The whole experience made me feel like a better person and what my parents taught me I felt they would of been proud of how I handled their affairs. I just wanted to make sure I followed as I was taught. Personal property was already set in a will so in our family it was peaceful.
  56. It's The Parents' Money.....

    by Margaret My parents passed away after scraping and saving their entire lives. All my dad wanted was to leave his kids a little bit to feel comfortable. He left us equal amounts-what he thought was fair-considering how much he had loaned each of us (at a very cheap interest rate) over the years. How can a child argue? It is not our money. We did not earn it. We have no right to it. That is one major problem with the young generation of today-many think they are entitled to that money. I wish my parents had spent it all on themselves. The one thing I wish my parents had done is go through the house with us, or label the things important to them. Telling us who they wanted to get precious items would have saved a lot of "discussions!"
  57. The One to receive the majority

    by Michelle My story is from another perspective, the One whom will receive the majority. I was told recently by my mother, that I will be awarded my mother and step-father's house and "will be taken care of" when they pass. I am disabled and a single parent of three children. Currently they are helping me with my monthly expenses. We are a blended family of six. I believe my siblings are aware that they help me, but they don't know how much. When I heard my mother's plan, my stomach dropped. Is this going to cause friction between us? Besides my youngest brother, who is right out of college, all of them are living "comfortable" for a lack of a better word. It doesn't mean that they could not use help during our countries current financial woes. I've used up most of my allotted words, so I'll wrap it up. I believe that wills should be discussed with the family, so there is no misunderstanding. Also, done individually, because there may be financial problems that parents may not be aware of.
  58. What is Fair?

    by SG My father passed away five years ago in an accident and so my mother received his life policies, settlement, properties, etc. There are six brothers/sisters but I have been the one to manage everything for her because I felt the grief of his death was too much for her to handle. So I have handled all her medical/insurance/dialysis/ transplant paperwork/issues, paying her bills, travel, etc... whatever my mother asks, I do because the other children don't have time. Yet my siblings feel they are entitled to 1/6th in the end. Some siblings are financially strapped but they created that situation on their own. I would like to honor my parents wishes in the end (distributing) but when one kid does more than the others, it's a bitter taste because they chose not to help a parent or parents during their golden years. So it's really a grey area in the end.
  59. Should you leave money to child?

    by Ann No! My mom was dying. She had a house. My sister had a home as well as my brother and myself. The only one without a home was my alcoholic sister. We as a family decided mom should leave her home to "Tina" the alcoholic and her daughter. When mom passed, Tina got the house, we all had to come up with the money to bury her. While we were in Jersey burying mom, Tina was in Florida selling moms house for 1/3 its value. After she got the cash for the house, she left the state, paid all her boyfriends bills then called me telling me she had no money and I needed to help her, so NO! Parents have no obligation to give anything to their kids in their will.
  60. Life Is About Choices

    by Laurie I believe it should be equal. I have two siblings who both have children, I chose not to have them. I chose, and worked hard for a good career, got promoted - and now have more money than the other two. I can only hope when my remaining parent passes (and us 3 are still here) that the will is equally distributed. I know the other two could use it more than myself, but that's really not the point - it's about being fair. We all had the same opportunity in life. We all chose our own path.
  61. Spend it all before you go!

    by Bonnie Sibling rivalry is as old as the first set of brothers, Cain and Abel. Any time there is something of value, it causes problems. My father died years ago and promised us he intended to leave nothing to fight over and was going to spend it all before he left. Sadly, he died very early. My second oldest sibling has always been the one in the family that was a 'taker' and has taught her children to do the same. No responsibility, gimme gimme and always looking to get something for nothing. My mother has Alzheimer's now, but years ago begged me to make sure all her kids would get equal shares of anything she had left. I understand the desire to want to give equally. I have four kids of my own and I can't imagine not giving them the same, I love them all dearly. Give equally, for the ones that need it, I'm sure they will use it. For the ones that don't need it, I'm sure they will put it to good use. Who knows, if you raised them right, they may give it to each other. OR spend it all now!
  62. Inferiority Complex

    by Patricia My sister and I are the youngest, three years between us. Our next closest sibling in age is six years older. Not sure if this is relevant but my feelings stem from only my relationship with my parents versus her relationship with my parents. The first time I felt slighted was when my sister got to go to a private high school and I had to go to a public high school. When confronted, my Mom said she hadn't wanted to take me away from what I knew because I was more emotionally unstable. My parents bought her first car at 16. I bought my own first car at 20. When confronted,I was told so she could drive herself to school as it was quite a distance away. My sister got financial assistance to obtain her Masters. I put myself through community college at 30. I am not so much resentful now as I am clueless as to why we were treated so differently. Neither of us ever gave our parents serious grief (drugs, police, etc) got good grades. I was left feeling unworthy to this day. My sis is lovely btw; Mom and Dad too.
  63. Is fair equal?

    by Mary A wise man once said you must teach how to fish rather than give the fish. If one child has a greater need, is it because circumstances were unkind, like disability, or disease such as cancer. In those circumstances, those children should be looked after first, then divide equally what's left. If the child is more in need because of poor choices.... A wise woman once said..." You picked him!", well then it gets split evenly. Other siblings should not be punished because a sibling made a poor choice. That's my take. Mary from Australia
  64. No, we weren't treated equally, but it's OK

    by Jan I was one of four born over a span of 23 years. We weren't treated equally mainly because we were so spread out and finances changed over the years. My brother, the oldest, got a lot of financial help with college, cars and paid living expenses. I, a girl, three years younger, got none of those things as money was tight and back then, "boys needed the education more than girls." Another girl seven years later, who got financial help with college, etc. and a lot more as she never learned how to handle money even to this day, 62 years later. Thirteen years later, another girl, who got so much more than any of us three older kids, as by that time, our parents were financially stable and able to do things they never did when they had three older kids at home. Am I bitter? A little, but in retrospect, I know that it all depended on extenuating circumstances, not because they didn't want to treat us equally.
  65. Be honest and not deceive.

    by Gail Mom died in 2004 and Dad in 2009. Be honest, open and have a conversation with all involved so everyone is on the same page. If it's not in writing it means nothing. My husband and I have what we have because we both worked on the books for what we have and we didn't have to deceive and steal. We hold our heads up high and know that we did the right thing. My loving father lived like a pauper, had moldy food, not paying his bills on time and his utilities being at risk of being shut off. My loving father deserved better and was top priority. The others are greedy vultures. Cleaning dad's bank account out before he died, buying a new vehicle, an insurance policy for $50,000 so they are the benificiary, improovements to their home etc. Selling dad's house and keeping the money for themselves. I am in the middle. My two older brothers are both on welfare. Two younger sisters: one works on the books and the other works off the books. What goes around comes around. Love your show Judge Judy.
  66. Eldest Perks

    by Fiona My parents always used this rule when there was only one of something going: eldest perks. It meant that my sister, 2 years older, would automatically get the thing, even if I needed it more than her. I would always respond with anger: why should I be punished for being born second? And the three of them would just laugh at me and mock me. Nothing changed as we grew up, my sister was always favoured and my anger grew and grew. The injustice grew so great that it drove me to achieve incredible things - I became the first woman to walk around the word because I was trying to walk off the anger! But, of course, it never left me. Finally, as my mother lay dying, she asked me, with her last words, to look after her as she died. She said that my sister couldn't do it, that she wasn't capable of it. In that moment, I realised that my determination to live had made me capable, and my parent's mollycoddling of my sister had made her incapable.
  67. Parents can only do the best they can

    by William Growing up my mother and father always did their best to keep things fair and equal with my brother and me. However, there were times when this did not happen yet neither I nor my brother saw fit to complain. What our parents did for one was not the business of the other sibling. What was done for one this time was usually done for the other at a different time. The overriding factor was necessity, and each child would have different needs at different times. Lastly, with regard to a will or inheritance neither my brother nor I believe it is something to which we are entitled. It is our parents money and all we ask is that they leave clear instructions on what to do with any bills and their final wishes.
  68. Get a will and explain...

    by Katherine The kids need to know the basics--where the will is, who the executor is, your final wishes, and burial arrangements. It's also a good idea to explain, while you're able to answer questions of course, why one child was gifted over another (i.e., "We paid your college and helped you buy a home, we're making up for it in our final will.") to avoid hurt feelings and estrangement between siblings and other relatives. Beyond that, do whatever you want to, including spending the money you worked so hard to make. That's what we constantly tell our parents to do. The only bad thing is, I've consistently seen where forcing siblings/relatives to own property jointly, instead of leaving it to just one or the other, results in a lot of work, heart-ache, and resentment between the kids. Don't force kids to co-own anything after your death. Remember when they didn't want to share their toys? It doesn't change much as we age either.
  69. Inheritance

    by Jo-Ann I wish there was an easy answer for this conundrum. I think that whatever your estate is worth, it should be shared equally. If not, it can cause alot of bad feelings and trouble between siblings. If they have been brought up properly, they will take care of each other when you are gone. My friend's father just passed away-leaving a substantial amount of money. He left more to her than to her brother and now he no longer communicates with her, so was it worth the extra money to lose that relationship. To me, the answer is no.
  70. Youngest of four siblings

    by John I watched my family grow up and move away. I miss my family and we have grown apart. I have told my parents that it's not important what they are going to will to me when they pass on when the only thing I really want is them.
  71. Fairness

    by Kate My mother was always concerned that each of her three children feel equally valued and cherished. At times during her life she helped each of us in quite extraordinary and profound ways, according to our needs. Equality in this sense meant "doing what is needed, as you can". She would point out that you can't control what situations life brings and that one's only choice is to handle each as deftly as you can. She also believed that when you did have any control, you should divide resources as equally as possible. At Christmas, she spent the same amount on each of us but she would also make sure that each person had the same number of gifts under the tree to open. My brother might have one very pricy gift and four cheap ones, and I might have five medium-priced gifts, but she worked it out so that we could take turns opening and no one was reduced to just viewing. When we were teenagers we began asking her for the gift count in advance, so we could also make sure she had the same.
  72. Fair is NOT Always Equal

    by Jean Hi Judge Judy. My Mom is 87 and my Dad is deceased. I am 1of 8 children and my Mom has put me in charge of her will because I am the only responsible person in the family. Before she had dementia she signed for me to inherit her house. Then I am to sell the house and distribute the money equally among all of the children. My Mom is in need of 24/7 care now and I cannot get anyone in the family to volunteer just one day out of the week to help me care for her. There are many grandchildren and great grandchildren who are old enough to help and no one will help. I can't do it all alone, as I have a disabled son to care for also. My family barely visits her and will not contribute in any way. I was the one who paid for my father's funeral. I don't care if I get any money after my mother's death, as she is my mother and one should not be paid for doing the right thing. I am facing putting my mom in a nursing home. This thought is breaking my heart. I am going to give the money to St. Judes.
  73. Two Siblings and No Will

    by Nikki My brother and I are in our 50s, and our parents died 30 years ago, with no will. That was the worst thing they could ever do. We were awarded the house jointly as inheritance. Since my brother has his own family, and I don't, I asked him - some 15 years ago - to pay me off, even "symbolically", not a full value, from the property so that I could sign it over to him... Now, we are in Court, and my brother cut all contact with me, even preventing me from contacting his child/children (not sure!). We didn't need it "even" in terms of money: he needed a home for his family, and that's what he shoud have. I needed some money to support my academic carrier, and - as it turned out in recent years - my disability. As for consulting children: yes, I think once your children are over 21 and have some plan for their own life (no matter if you think it wise or stupid!), you should consult them all, and end the process by family conference. Then, PUT IT IN THE WILL!
  74. Future Unknown

    by Jo My mother emigrated to live on my property in Canada for 12 years, during which time I took her to stores and to the city for doctor appointments. Before returning to England, she offered me her manufactured home as my part of her future estate. Even though I was hard-up, I thanked her, explaining, "You might need that money later, so I'll sell it for you and send you the money." A year later, she died, leaving equal amounts of her savings to each one of us four daughters, ($700.00.) Puzzled, I asked one of the sisters in UK what had happened to the $34,000.00 I'd sent to my mother for the "as new" home. It turned out that my mother had given it all to my youngest sister, a teacher, to help pay for her house. What irks me is that this helpless sister's marriage failed and her two-timing, ex-husband who had total control of the couple's finances, walked off with his share. Moral: Unless any of your offspring have behaved egregiously towards you, leave an equal amount to each one.
  75. When help is required, give it.

    by Sue I have two sons. Over time they have both needed help in one way or another. Presently, because of the economic climate, and only one parent is earning, my son and his family are having a hard time with household bills and supporting three children. My husband and I help where we can both financially and with groceries. I didn't feel the need to consult with my other son about the help we offer; that's unnecessary. When the time comes for my husband and I to pass on, both our sons will be treated equally and enjoy an equal share in our estate regardless of whether one was helped more than the other. You can discuss a situation like this with other family members until the cows come home; the fact is, if your child has hit hard times, and you are able to, help should be given as soon as possible to off-set any possibility of getting into deeper trouble. Personally I would hate to be told that no help was available to me because I'd used my quota of help or its unfair to family members who dont need help.
  76. Horrendous experience!

    by Terry Having just gone through a horrendous experience because of my Mother's will I will share my thoughts based on my research. This article http://tinyurl.com/b959kf2 was VERY enlightening. If you split equally, no problem. But if you wish to give different amounts to different offspring discuss it at a family meeting. Siblings will most likely agree with a different distribution if they are made aware of the facts. But to find out after the death of a parent that a change was made which disinherited the rest of the children in favor of one is DEVASTATING. I was amazed at my feelings of hurt and lack of worth and value. It turns out my sister took my mom, who had COPD dementia and was on morphine and xanax to have her will changed 2 weeks prior to her death. We are doing a family agreement but the hurt feelings will take a long, long time to get over. Make sure each of your children get a copy of your will BEFORE you pass away.
  77. Do what YOU want...

    by Kim I'm one of six kids and believe my parents money is their money and they should distribute how THEY please. We've grown too accustomed to expecting things to be done a certain way and justify it with the use of the word "fair". Kids on baseball teams can't lose so the game ends in a tie because of fairness or fear of hurting someone's feelings. What my parents earned belongs to them and if they want for me to have something then by all means I welcome that, I don't expect it.
  78. Equal Unless...

    by Lynne I think thast it should be equal unless one of the children has as illness or a disability. In that case I think it should be discussed with the other children so they will understand why this child is getting more.
  79. split three ways

    by Jill I am one of 3. one brother mismanages money and always has, the other is doing ok, all his kids are through college and my family are doing the best. A few years ago my dad asked me if I would mind if he split the considerable inheritance 40 40 20. I said it was up to him but over the next year on reflection started to think maybe as we don't know what the future holds this might be regretted. My husband only just held his job in the 2008 recession and we have 3 sets of college funds to find, so I explained my worries in a letter and they both said that was absolutely my right to discuss with them and reversed the decision to an equal split (my brothers completely agreed as they hadn't known about this).
  80. I got nothing.

    by BLH My father gets an F in the parenting dept. Seven children with 5 different wives. I was a good kid but when he died he left me nothing. Others were given generous amounts. I guess I wasn't good enough for his love or his money.
  81. Equal is fair.

    by Laurie I believe as a parent you should give, if you are going to give, equally. Don't give to one and then not to another. It cases tension between siblings and if you only have a little, keep it for yourself. My father-in-law has two children. One has an animal rescue, so he constantly gives to her because she does not work and always needs things for the rescue, like a new stove, windows, tractor, it never ends. Now he complains that his children do not get along but my man will not engage his sister about taking all this money, so in a sense, he has caused this tension . He has put his daughter's name on all his accounts and then complains to his son when he thinks a bill has not been paid. Unless your child can’t be trusted, you should give children equal say in finances. Unless of course you never want them to speak again after you're gone. I for one have learned from this and don’t even give a ring to one without a equal gift to the other. If you can’t give equally, don’t give.
  82. No Regrets

    by L K My children are an extension of myself, my pride as a mother, the dignity of my family's good name, and thus, I share my standard of lifestyle with my adult children monetarily because they are not separate from me. For life is hard enough, and life is short. One of my son's friends who was a medical student fell to his death by accident during a university party. He was 23 years of age. The mother is hollow and the wind just blows through her forevermore. I hold on to my sons and I give them anything and everything and I TREASURE them, for I love them and cherish being able to do anything in my power without any conditions around money. Very often I just surprise them with money in their bank accounts. For money is ONLY a tool of an expression, which does represent love, freedom, enjoyment and comfort. Money from a mother has a knowingness of feeling loved attached to it. I hold my two sons up to the stars, always have and always will!
  83. Fair=Equal

    by Jane I have a daughter who is always struggling. She makes decent money but has never made enough to really be able to afford herself until recently. I have been tapped to "loan" her $100 now and then. I have and I know it isn't a "loan". My son has a decent job and has had the same job for nearly 25 years but is 3 years younger than my daughter. He has managed to keep within his finances and save money and find a mate who was willing to live like he does by spending only what they can afford. He has not asked for a boost but sometimes I feel like he knows his sister is getting a little help and would like a free donation too. I don't tell him of my spending habits. I don't tell her of my money situations but they both seem to know I can help out if necessary. She needs it, he doesn't. It's not fair but it's the way it is. I do other things rather than loaning money to him and his family. More equal that way but somehow not the same. It may not be equal but it's fair.
  84. Correctly applied you can give unequally

    by Mike T Correctly applied, you can give unequally. In my opinion, the best solution is both honesty and common sense. If you do give more to one child over the other and you feel that it may cause a problem with one feeling deprived, then you must have communication. It is more about achieving an understanding with your children and in doing so you must never lie or deceive them. In my family, including my grandchildren, I have given in an unbalanced scenario. By being tactful and sincere, I have no family members that feel deprived.
  85. Equal sharing.

    by Debra I have always tried to be equal with my 2 sons. At least whenever possible. However there have been times when one needed something more than the other. If one has a strong need and it's important to them ,then I would give more to them if they needed it. It has happened on occasions and my sons always understood.
  86. No guilt here...

    by Gale My own personal opinion is that since both of my children are adult and on their own, my only grandchild will receive the larger portion of my estate. I don't feel I'm obligated to my children since both their late father and grandfather provided for them financially. Nor do I feel any guilt about my decision.
  87. No, a learning experience

    by Mm Four children and our whole lives were unequal. 3 of the 4 were given college opportunity. 3 of the 4 allowed their driver's license at 16 one at 18. 3 of the 4 were given music lessons. 3 of the 4 went out on their own. 1 of the 4 stayed home and didnt work. 1 of the 4 took care of both parents until their death. 3 of the 4 slept well at night and became responsible adults. Were all 3 the same? No, but it was what it was. Not my call to make but I know 3 did the right thing and have no guilty conscience. 1 of those has died and 2 of the 4 are happy and guilt-free. None of those decisions were ours until adults. You deal with the cards you are given and somehow 3 of the 4 were successful.

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