Life Advice


Health & Spirit

Concerned about son's relationship with needy woman

Carolyn Hax on

So when you demonstrate you aren't judging him or siding against her, you offer him a safe place for him to explore his own thinking. Just keep posing ideas as questions -- "Do you think ... ?" In so many dark places, it's having the courage to follow the scary or unthinkable train of thought that finally leads to the light.

Hi, Carolyn:

This is a question about family and money in which everyone gets along, no one is upset, no one is likely to get upset regardless of the outcome, and yet still no one knows what to do.

I have two young children. My brother has one young child. Neither will have more children. If our parents give equal amounts to each grandchild, then my family will get twice what my brother's family gets. If our parents give equal amounts to each of their children, then my children will each get half of what my brother's child gets. Neither feels right.

We all independently realized the problem. We've talked about it. There doesn't seem to be a right answer.

-- Fortunate No Matter What

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Consult an estate attorney, please.

Families don't spend and save and bequeath money -- individuals do. So I'd vote: some for you and brother, plus equal trusts for each grandchild. Arguably your nephew inherits more this way, but who knows what will be left by then? Such vagaries are facts of life.


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