Life Advice



Ask Amy: Spouses disagree on sharing inheritance

Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

Dear Amy: My mother recently died, and I’m expecting a relatively substantial inheritance from her (my dad died several years ago).

My younger brother, also not living, has two adult children.

My mother (who was a difficult person) originally told me she intended to halve the inheritance between my brother and me when he was still alive, but after he died, she then decided to pass her entire inheritance to me, giving nothing to her grandchildren (who are my brother’s children).

These granddaughters were good to her.

My beloved brother always believed in fairness, and to me my mother’s favoritism is unacceptable.

I would like to take half of my inheritance and gradually gift it to my two nieces (my brother’s children), on an annual basis so the gifts will stay under the legal limit where taxes would be incurred.


The problem is that my control freak, anxiety-ridden husband of 40 years, who feels we need more money (most people could use more money), has told me what he intends to do with the inheritance.

He wants to keep and invest it all, and to give a tiny amount to my sweet nieces, who were written out of the will.

He sees this as a financial issue of our “need,” and feels it is generous to give anything to my nieces, but I view it as a marital issue and an issue of my wanting to do right by my dear brother, who would be brokenhearted to know about the situation.

Your thoughts?


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