Life Advice


Health & Spirit

Eldest sibling wonders how to share the wealth

By Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

Dear Amy: I am the oldest (age 62) of seven children, and I have been financially fortunate.

I would like to share my good fortune with my siblings by giving them each an amount of money, but I don't know how to go about doing it.

It seems kind of crass to just hand each of them a check.

A couple of my siblings really need the money and the rest do not, but I want to give them all an equal amount.

How can I do it in a fun way without looking like I'm giving alms to the poor?

-- Lucky Sibling

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Dear Lucky: It might help you to wrestle with this awesome dilemma if you think of your plan as "sharing" versus "giving."

Check with your financial adviser, and implement the plan with your (and your recipients') tax implications in mind. According to the IRS (, in 2017, the limit for tax-exempt gifts to individuals is $14,000 -- meaning that your siblings can receive a generous cash gift of up to that amount without having to pay taxes on it.

No, I don't think you should hand each of your siblings a check.

You should keep this simple. Send each of them a note and a check on the same day by secure means.


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