Wedding Woes

Don't use 'private scholarship' as a lie.

Dear Prudence,
Recently I unexpectedly inherited a rather large sum of money, and I want to pay some of it forward. I have a niece who is smart, hard-working, and driven—unlike her brothers. I would like to help her out with her tuition when she graduates high school. My problem that if I offer directly I know it will cause a ruckus. My sister is a grasping, greedy woman—she has begged money from me for years to pay bills, only to turn around and spend it on herself. My nephews are either in jail or mooching off the rest of the family. I have tried to help them in the past. I got one nephew a job at the company I work for, but he never bothered to show up. I have bought groceries for them, only for my sister to return them for cash. If I tell my niece or anyone about the money it will get back to my sister and she will manipulate my niece right out of her tuition. I don’t want to put my niece in that position. Should I lie and tell it is a private scholarship or contact the university directly? I would like to help her the way my teacher helped me but I have learned the hard way you mention money to my sister before she is thinking of a way to scam it out of your hand. Please advise.

—Greedy Sister

Re: Don't use 'private scholarship' as a lie.

  • mrsconn23mrsconn23 member
    Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    edited October 2016
    Is there a way to put it into an account so the only one who can touch it is the niece for school? That might be safest.
    That is the way I'd do it, if possible.  

    If not, maybe hold on to the money until she graduates and then pay off her student loans (or as much of them as she has set aside for the gift)?  

     I think lying about a scholarship is not a good plan, no matter what. 

    I think it's going to get back to the sister, regardless,  if she does this.  I am afraid that the LW is going to be in a 'no good deed goes unpunished' situation if the relationship with her sister and nephews is as volatile as laid out here. 
    MissKittyDanger
  • mrsconn23 said:
    Is there a way to put it into an account so the only one who can touch it is the niece for school? That might be safest.
    That is the way I'd do it, if possible.  

    If not, maybe hold on to the money until she graduates and then pay off her student loans (or as much of them as she has set aside for the gift)?  

     I think lying about a scholarship is not a good plan, no matter what. 

    I think it's going to get back to the sister no matter what if she does this.  I am afraid that the LW is going to be in a 'no good deed goes unpunished' situation if the relationship with her sister and nephews is as volatile as laid out here. 
    That's what I'm wondering.

    I'm not sure about technicalities about trust funds or RESP accounts where LW is from, but both of those can be put in niece's name with a specific thing.
    In Canada, RESPs are ONLY for school and ONLY for the person it's set for.
  • OliveOilsMomOliveOilsMom South Jersey member
    Ninth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers

    Can you set up an anonymous trust?  Make sure it can only be used for schooling.  If one can be set up anonymously then perhaps LW can support the niece's college costs without it being known its her.  And with tight rules, like payments can only be made directly to the school, the sister may not be able to get her hands on it.

    Initially, I was going to suggest that LW offer something similar to what the parents from a few months ago were offering.  All of their kids would get their college paid for if they maintained a certain GPA.  That way, the offer would be open to nephews if they could maintain the GPA.  It could seem fair to all of them and not singling out the one who seems like they are on a good path in life.  If nephews did poorly or didn't take LW up on the offer, that would be on them.  And if sister tried to ask for money, LW should just simply say that this is all she can offer to the family.

    short+sassycharlotte989875
  • KatWAGKatWAG Chicago member
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    Is there a way to put it into an account so the only one who can touch it is the niece for school? That might be safest.
    Yes its possible. It can be put into a trust. And LW can set guidelines around what the money can be spent on. She could make herself, a lawyer or a bank the executor of the trust. If the sister's name isn't list on the trust, then she cant access the money. She could also put language in the trust that says something like the money must be paid directly to the school. 

    Or LW could just pay the school directly. Universities dont care who pays, as long as someone payss
    BabyFruit Ticker
    charlotte989875MissKittyDangerDrillSergeantCat
  • monkeysipmonkeysip member
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
    edited October 2016
    Just trying to think of all possible outcomes... if LW pays the tuition directly or something, is there ANY way the mom could manipulate her daughter into getting a refund?  Like dropping classes or something?  Would refund go to daughter or LW?

    I mean, if the mom is this manipulative about money, then maybe more attention needs to be focused on helping daughter resist her mom's manipulation.


    SaveSave
  • monkeysip said:
    Just trying to think of all possible outcomes... if LW pays the tuition directly or something, is there ANY way the mom could manipulate her daughter into getting a refund?  Like dropping classes or something?  Would refund go to daughter or LW?

    I mean, if the mom is this manipulative about money, then maybe more attention needs to be focused on helping daughter resist her mom's manipulation.

    It's possible to have a refund if the tuition is paid in another way; say if the niece took out loans, or another payment was made, or if she dropped all her classes (and thus no longer be enrolled) prior to whatever drop-add deadline the school sets, after that students typically forfeit any payments (if you withdraw instead of drop, except in some medical or other emergency but those typically have to be approved by a registrar or Dean). 
    MissKittyDanger
  • monkeysip said:
    Just trying to think of all possible outcomes... if LW pays the tuition directly or something, is there ANY way the mom could manipulate her daughter into getting a refund?  Like dropping classes or something?  Would refund go to daughter or LW?

    I mean, if the mom is this manipulative about money, then maybe more attention needs to be focused on helping daughter resist her mom's manipulation.

    Many schools only allow dropping class within certain time period in order to get refund and if person didn't pay for it, money goes back to the person/company who did.

    If daughter knows mother is manipulative, she could put off if mother wants her to drop and just go past that time line to turn around and say "oops, can't get refund"
  • Pay the university directly, but tell your niece. That way the niece doesn't have access to the money (and can't be manipulated by the mother), or set up a trust that can only be distributed by you and the niece together? 
    You can set up a trust. This is the best way to ensure that the funds are spent the way you want them to be. 
    short+sassy
  • Can you set up an anonymous trust?  Make sure it can only be used for schooling.  If one can be set up anonymously then perhaps LW can support the niece's college costs without it being known its her.  And with tight rules, like payments can only be made directly to the school, the sister may not be able to get her hands on it.

    Initially, I was going to suggest that LW offer something similar to what the parents from a few months ago were offering.  All of their kids would get their college paid for if they maintained a certain GPA.  That way, the offer would be open to nephews if they could maintain the GPA.  It could seem fair to all of them and not singling out the one who seems like they are on a good path in life.  If nephews did poorly or didn't take LW up on the offer, that would be on them.  And if sister tried to ask for money, LW should just simply say that this is all she can offer to the family.

    Sneaky!  I like it.

    The LW sounds like an awesome person.  She might possibly be the only positive influence in those children's lives.  I suspect that has been more valuable for the niece than any money eventually given toward her education. 

    Wedding Countdown Ticker
  • LW first needs to talk with her accountant in terms of per year dollar amounts so that the niece doesn't get dinged for gift tax (gift money needs to be below a certain amount)...  Then she needs to call up niece a couple weeks in to the semester "Hey - I'm coming to visit!" and go pay the tuition directly to the school and get a receipt..  
    Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker
This discussion has been closed.
Choose Another Board
Search Boards