Wedding Woes

Get thee to counseling.

Dear Prudence,
My parents died more than a decade ago, when I was 25. I moved home and helped raised my younger siblings (ages 11 to 17). I stayed until my youngest brother got accepted into college and made sure that the life insurance money went toward their schooling. None of my siblings had to worry about loans the way I did. I gave up a lot: my fiancée, getting my Ph.D., going to live overseas, etc. I didn’t even get to grieve for my parents because I was busy trying to be them. I wasn’t perfect, and I made mistakes, but I did my best.

“Stella” and “Leanne” are older than I was when our parents died, but they still act like teenagers. We argue all the time, and they whip out “If Mom and Dad were alive ... ” and “You aren’t Mom,” and it kills me. Stella hasn’t finished school but still feels I should get no say in her education (although she thinks I owe her the money, despite her wasting what our parents left), and Leanne continues to date a man who stole and wrecked her car (but I am the bad guy because I won’t sign a loan so she can get a new one). I don’t have any problems with my younger brothers, who were in middle school when our parents died. How do I stop being the mom and start being the sister? I cycle through guilt and grief and anger, and I am so exhausted.

–When Do I Get to Stop Being the Parent?

Re: Get thee to counseling.

  • Doing the math.  The LW is in her mid-30s.  Which make her two older sisters 35+.

    Loans can sometimes be dicey to get for younger people who haven't established any credit yet.  Not the case for these ladies.  I'm going to fill in the blanks on the whole co-signing the car loan.

    Car loans are one of the easiest loans to get because they are collateralized.  You might pay up the a** in interest if you have poor credit, but you can get a loan.  These are the two reasons you can't.  1) Trying to get a loan that exceeds your debt-to-income ratio by too much, ie you can't remotely afford what you want to buy.  2)  Your credit isn't just poor.  It's BAD.  It's really bad.  It's collections, judgements, and/or paying bills months late bad. 

    OF COURSE the LW shouldn't touch this woman's loan with a 10-foot pole.  Just because people ask for outlandish things and get mad, doesn't make her the bad guy.  She shouldn't wear that mantle or allow people to put it on her for a second.

    With that said, is anyone else getting a vibe that there is some part of the story missing here?  The parent's estate should have been settled years ago.  Yet the one sister thinks she owes her money for her education?  I'm wondering if there is still a trust of some kind floating around or if there was unhappiness in how the estate was divvied out and the LW had responsibility in how it was divvied out.

    A lot of conjecture on my part, lol.  But I have a strong feeling there are other issues going on.  I also found it bizarre that the LW seemed to think she SHOULD get to have any say in her sister's education.  But if there is an educational trust that she controls, it would explain most of my "head scratchers".

    Wedding Countdown Ticker
  • levioosalevioosa Southern California
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary 5 Answers
    member

    Doing the math.  The LW is in her mid-30s.  Which make her two older sisters 35+.

    Loans can sometimes be dicey to get for younger people who haven't established any credit yet.  Not the case for these ladies.  I'm going to fill in the blanks on the whole co-signing the car loan.

    Car loans are one of the easiest loans to get because they are collateralized.  You might pay up the a** in interest if you have poor credit, but you can get a loan.  These are the two reasons you can't.  1) Trying to get a loan that exceeds your debt-to-income ratio by too much, ie you can't remotely afford what you want to buy.  2)  Your credit isn't just poor.  It's BAD.  It's really bad.  It's collections, judgements, and/or paying bills months late bad. 

    OF COURSE the LW shouldn't touch this woman's loan with a 10-foot pole.  Just because people ask for outlandish things and get mad, doesn't make her the bad guy.  She shouldn't wear that mantle or allow people to put it on her for a second.

    With that said, is anyone else getting a vibe that there is some part of the story missing here?  The parent's estate should have been settled years ago.  Yet the one sister thinks she owes her money for her education?  I'm wondering if there is still a trust of some kind floating around or if there was unhappiness in how the estate was divvied out and the LW had responsibility in how it was divvied out.

    A lot of conjecture on my part, lol.  But I have a strong feeling there are other issues going on.  I also found it bizarre that the LW seemed to think she SHOULD get to have any say in her sister's education.  But if there is an educational trust that she controls, it would explain most of my "head scratchers".

    Her sisters aren't older. They're her younger sisters. She's saying that NOW they are the same age/older than she was (25) when her parent's passed away. The way it's worded is like one of those riddles. She was the eldest and all of her siblings were in middle school and high school at the time and she took over care. I'm guessing maybe the parents named her as executor and had strings attached to any money left (mortgage so they could continue living in the house, education, etc.). This is one of the reasons I always tell people not to make a family member the executor of a trust. Build a third party into the cost of the plan. Otherwise you encounter messy situations like this where family members are at each other's throats for money and where they keep throwing guilt trips at each other. 

    LW needs counseling for sure. Honestly, if there's not an actual trust involved, I'd almost be inclined just to give the money left to the siblings and say "have at it." They're adults now. If they squander the money, that's their problem. 


    image
    short+sassycharlotte989875OurWildKingdomOliveOilsMom
  • flantasticflantastic The Midwest
    1000 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary 5 Answers
    member
    levioosa said:

    Doing the math.  The LW is in her mid-30s.  Which make her two older sisters 35+.

    Loans can sometimes be dicey to get for younger people who haven't established any credit yet.  Not the case for these ladies.  I'm going to fill in the blanks on the whole co-signing the car loan.

    Car loans are one of the easiest loans to get because they are collateralized.  You might pay up the a** in interest if you have poor credit, but you can get a loan.  These are the two reasons you can't.  1) Trying to get a loan that exceeds your debt-to-income ratio by too much, ie you can't remotely afford what you want to buy.  2)  Your credit isn't just poor.  It's BAD.  It's really bad.  It's collections, judgements, and/or paying bills months late bad. 

    OF COURSE the LW shouldn't touch this woman's loan with a 10-foot pole.  Just because people ask for outlandish things and get mad, doesn't make her the bad guy.  She shouldn't wear that mantle or allow people to put it on her for a second.

    With that said, is anyone else getting a vibe that there is some part of the story missing here?  The parent's estate should have been settled years ago.  Yet the one sister thinks she owes her money for her education?  I'm wondering if there is still a trust of some kind floating around or if there was unhappiness in how the estate was divvied out and the LW had responsibility in how it was divvied out.

    A lot of conjecture on my part, lol.  But I have a strong feeling there are other issues going on.  I also found it bizarre that the LW seemed to think she SHOULD get to have any say in her sister's education.  But if there is an educational trust that she controls, it would explain most of my "head scratchers".

    Her sisters aren't older. They're her younger sisters. She's saying that NOW they are the same age/older than she was (25) when her parent's passed away. The way it's worded is like one of those riddles. She was the eldest and all of her siblings were in middle school and high school at the time and she took over care. I'm guessing maybe the parents named her as executor and had strings attached to any money left (mortgage so they could continue living in the house, education, etc.). This is one of the reasons I always tell people not to make a family member the executor of a trust. Build a third party into the cost of the plan. Otherwise you encounter messy situations like this where family members are at each other's throats for money and where they keep throwing guilt trips at each other. 

    LW needs counseling for sure. Honestly, if there's not an actual trust involved, I'd almost be inclined just to give the money left to the siblings and say "have at it." They're adults now. If they squander the money, that's their problem. 
    Yes, they're still young-ish. Mere lack of credit history might be an issue. But regardless, parents or parent-figures aren't required by the rules of parenting or good-personship to cosign on loans for adults. They're also not required to pay for college.

    But even if they're merely acting entitled in the way that many children do expect those things from their parents, I definitely don't think the sisters get to be able to say "You're not our parent!" and also expect LW to still do "parent" things. Nope.

    Anniversary

    short+sassycharlotte989875OliveOilsMom
  • levioosalevioosa Southern California
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary 5 Answers
    member
    levioosa said:

    Doing the math.  The LW is in her mid-30s.  Which make her two older sisters 35+.

    Loans can sometimes be dicey to get for younger people who haven't established any credit yet.  Not the case for these ladies.  I'm going to fill in the blanks on the whole co-signing the car loan.

    Car loans are one of the easiest loans to get because they are collateralized.  You might pay up the a** in interest if you have poor credit, but you can get a loan.  These are the two reasons you can't.  1) Trying to get a loan that exceeds your debt-to-income ratio by too much, ie you can't remotely afford what you want to buy.  2)  Your credit isn't just poor.  It's BAD.  It's really bad.  It's collections, judgements, and/or paying bills months late bad. 

    OF COURSE the LW shouldn't touch this woman's loan with a 10-foot pole.  Just because people ask for outlandish things and get mad, doesn't make her the bad guy.  She shouldn't wear that mantle or allow people to put it on her for a second.

    With that said, is anyone else getting a vibe that there is some part of the story missing here?  The parent's estate should have been settled years ago.  Yet the one sister thinks she owes her money for her education?  I'm wondering if there is still a trust of some kind floating around or if there was unhappiness in how the estate was divvied out and the LW had responsibility in how it was divvied out.

    A lot of conjecture on my part, lol.  But I have a strong feeling there are other issues going on.  I also found it bizarre that the LW seemed to think she SHOULD get to have any say in her sister's education.  But if there is an educational trust that she controls, it would explain most of my "head scratchers".

    Her sisters aren't older. They're her younger sisters. She's saying that NOW they are the same age/older than she was (25) when her parent's passed away. The way it's worded is like one of those riddles. She was the eldest and all of her siblings were in middle school and high school at the time and she took over care. I'm guessing maybe the parents named her as executor and had strings attached to any money left (mortgage so they could continue living in the house, education, etc.). This is one of the reasons I always tell people not to make a family member the executor of a trust. Build a third party into the cost of the plan. Otherwise you encounter messy situations like this where family members are at each other's throats for money and where they keep throwing guilt trips at each other. 

    LW needs counseling for sure. Honestly, if there's not an actual trust involved, I'd almost be inclined just to give the money left to the siblings and say "have at it." They're adults now. If they squander the money, that's their problem. 
    Yes, they're still young-ish. Mere lack of credit history might be an issue. But regardless, parents or parent-figures aren't required by the rules of parenting or good-personship to cosign on loans for adults. They're also not required to pay for college.

    But even if they're merely acting entitled in the way that many children do expect those things from their parents, I definitely don't think the sisters get to be able to say "You're not our parent!" and also expect LW to still do "parent" things. Nope.
    Oh, of course not. The sisters are acting like entitled brats. And they're not even what I would call young any more. They're in their mid to late 20's. They need to get their crap together. I feel for LW. It sounds like she gave up a lot to help our her siblings, and they (well, two of them) are acting terrible. I do wonder if education was a stipulation of the trust. I totally get that LW might have wanted to pay for their education to prevent the hardships of loans. But as we see all the time, no good deed goes unpunished. 


    image
    short+sassycharlotte989875
  • @levioosa, thanks for the correction about their ages!  It did strike me as weird that she was (what I thought) was the middle child and took on all this responsibility.  I even read the letter a few times to see if I was misreading it.

    And still misread it, lol.

    Wedding Countdown Ticker
    levioosacharlotte989875
  • @levioosa, thanks for the correction about their ages!  It did strike me as weird that she was (what I thought) was the middle child and took on all this responsibility.  I even read the letter a few times to see if I was misreading it.

    And still misread it, lol.

    Meh, sometimes the middle child is more responsible.  My parents didn't choose their oldest child as executor in the instance that this happened.  Heck, when they went on vacation when my one brother and I were still living at home, I was in charge of my older brother instead of vice versa.  

    I made H read this, and he made an interesting point - LW says she "helped raise" her siblings.  Who was helping her?  She didn't actually say she became their legal guardian.  And she says she stayed until her younger brother got into college, as if it was her choice to stay that long ... as in they were all living with someone else?  Or did she help them raise themselves?
    imageimage
    charlotte989875levioosasparklepants41
  • lovesclimbinglovesclimbing Alaska
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
    member
    kerbohl said:

    @levioosa, thanks for the correction about their ages!  It did strike me as weird that she was (what I thought) was the middle child and took on all this responsibility.  I even read the letter a few times to see if I was misreading it.

    And still misread it, lol.

    Meh, sometimes the middle child is more responsible.  My parents didn't choose their oldest child as executor in the instance that this happened.  Heck, when they went on vacation when my one brother and I were still living at home, I was in charge of my older brother instead of vice versa.  

    I made H read this, and he made an interesting point - LW says she "helped raise" her siblings.  Who was helping her?  She didn't actually say she became their legal guardian.  And she says she stayed until her younger brother got into college, as if it was her choice to stay that long ... as in they were all living with someone else?  Or did she help them raise themselves?
    same here, except it had nothing to do with who was more responsible. It had to do with who had worked with dad and knew more about the business and such and would better be able to handle all that. 

    short+sassyknottie7d6ed94b6e81148b
  • You're an adult. set your boundaries. Don't waste 200 an hour in counseling. Find your backbone.

  • You're an adult. set your boundaries. Don't waste 200 an hour in counseling. Find your backbone.

    You're not really saying counseling is a waste of money, right?
    mrsconn23OliveOilsMomOurWildKingdom
  • You're an adult. set your boundaries. Don't waste 200 an hour in counseling. Find your backbone.

    You're not really saying counseling is a waste of money, right?
    Right?! *smh* 

    This all can be swept away with four short sentences. Just wave your hand, like magic.  
    OurWildKingdomcharlotte989875
  • OurWildKingdomOurWildKingdom in the 216
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers First Anniversary
    member
    You're an adult. set your boundaries. Don't waste 200 an hour in counseling. Find your backbone.

    Don’t quit your day job.
    MissKittyDanger
Sign In or Register to comment.
Choose Another Board
Search Boards