Life Advice



Aunt's financial gift is siphoned

By Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

Dear Amy: I have a 30-year-old niece. She has an 8-year-old son. I love them both.

She has done a wonderful job raising her son alone, (her fiancé died when she was pregnant).

I decided I would like to start a savings account for my niece's son so that he can have a start in life after he graduates and (if and when) he continues on to college.

I asked my niece for his Social Security number to start the account but she did not want to give it me, so she opened the account in her name.

I've been putting in money every month for this child for the last year and have been getting the receipt from the bank, noting my deposit and the account balance.

When I recently made a deposit, I was very disappointed to find out that the mother took out everything except for $50.


That night she and her son came over. I mentioned that I noticed most of the money was gone. I asked her what she and her son were using it for. She asked me how I knew, and I told her that whenever I make a deposit, I'm notified of the balance.

How should I proceed from here? I want to continue to support my great-nephew, but I personally need to know the money is in the account.

-- Aunt in Nebraska

Dear Aunt: Your niece knowingly took money designated for her son. Let that sink in.


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