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Wedding Woes

Another one where the issue isn't the real issue.

Dear Prudence,

My older sibling accepted a job offer abroad and stopped paying a student loan our father co-signed. As a result, our dad has been using his retirement funds to pay it off. Our dad worked with his lawyer to rewrite his will. It divides his estate in half, but every loan payment my dad makes is then subtracted from my sibling’s half of the estate and added to my half. Depending on when our father dies, it could leave me with the majority of the estate. Our dad has decided not to inform my sibling of the new will to keep the peace while he is alive. In the event of his death, I get to inform my sibling of the will, which will totally kill our relationship. How can I encourage my dad to tell my sibling about the will while he’s still alive?

—Sliding-Scale Will

Re: Another one where the issue isn't the real issue.

  • levioosalevioosa Southern California member
    5000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    Making the other sibling the executor of the will is kind of cruel if he’s going to do this without talking to the other sibling. Way to avoid direct communication. 

  • 6fsn6fsn member
    Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its Name Dropper
    This is kinda happening in our family. Dh is now sole executor for fil. Fil has deducted every loan that has gone unpaid from that persons’ inheritance. He hasn’t told that person and refuses to do so. He also hasn’t told the one stepbrother that he’s been removed as co-executor 

    It will cause drama. 
  • mrsconn23mrsconn23 member
    Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    edited August 8
    All of the above.  Also just because dad leaves the majority of the assets/money to LW, it doesn't mean LW has to keep it all.  They can make it more 'even' after the fact.  

    But there's a deeper issue if sibling fucked off to wherever and stopped paying their bills.  And dad's response to that is to get shady about his will and division of assets and ask LW to stay mum to 'keep peace'.  It's super hard to really know who's 'right' here...but I have a feeling that it's likely a 'team no one' situation (at least between dad and sibling). 
  • Perhaps Dad's approach is one of least resistance because he doesn't want the confrontation.

    Ask dad who the executor is and how this is outlined and if it's true.   After watching this not come to fruition in my IL's family I would say NOTHING unless it's made completely legal and out in the open.  

    And in the meantime know that you aren't owed anything so let it go. 
  • My grandmother gave a loan to one of my dad's siblings. It was clear to everyone that whatever he hadn't paid back at her death was coming out of his otherwise-equal share.

    But everyone knew that. And there wasn't any nonsense of "your other siblings' shares are explicitly bigger" - just "You don't get that money because you already got it."

    And maybe all this takes is a conversation about "Hey, please start paying back your own loans." Why is this what the dad jumps to?
    FWIW, some people just think that they are owed everything and are not responsible.

    My MIL's sister would have dug into her father's suit pockets while he was in the casket if she thought he had a luck quarter on him.   She is unaccountable and has never been one to think of anyone but herself.   Their father bought MIL's sister a HOUSE and then years later bought SIL's daughter a house as well.   SIL constantly showed up looking for cash and MIL never did.   MIL asked her father if things would be equitable and he said, "Oh your sister won't get the same amount when I pass."  But the dad didn't put it in writing and ultimately nothing came of it.   Neither MIL, nor DH or BIL were ever on the receiving end of generosity from him that compared.   And yet all are financially better for it.   

    Maybe the dad's answer is, "I'm helping him out and plan to not do it again," and he's not telling him because to do so would also be an argument he doesn't feel like having.   I can kind of see both sides of the dad's approach here.
  • Dad’s money is Dad’s money and he can do what he wants with it. Even if you disagree. 

    When it comes time have the lawyer describe the estate and then make your own decision about what you do with your share. 
  • I'm also curious if there have already been conversations between the dad and the sibling about paying their debt.  I also think dad should be open about how he is handling getting stuck with their debt, in terms of the will.

    But the sad thing is, people can be so ungrateful and unreasonable, when it comes to money.  Here is a situation where the dad majorly helped his child out and is a cosigner on this loan.  Who then left him holding the bag.

    Although a different situation, the dad's presumption of the sibling's attitude reminds me of a conversation I had with a previous coworker.  She was selling her house, after only owning it for 5-6 years, and I was impressed with how much it had appreciated in the relatively short time she owned it.  But she was glum about it.  She told me, it would have been great.  But, after paying back the $60K HELOC balance on the house, they were only going to be leaving closing with less than $20K in profit.

    I said, "Well, yeeahh...but that $60K is still profit.  It's just profit you've already taken and used."  Her still glum response, "Yeah, I know.  I just wish I didn't have to pay it back."  Uh, sure.  You and me both, LMAO.

    Even though logically she knew better.  Emotionally, because that money was already taken and spent, it shouldn't "count" anymore.
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  • Whoa.  I am going to need a backhoe to dig through this much dysfunction.  This entire passive aggressive family deserves each other. 

  • ei34ei34 member
    Seventh Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
     I think instead of using his retirement savings to pay the loan, dad should just be using the irresponsible sibling's inheritance.  I get the LWs concern, it's a bit odd to me that he's deducting from sibling's estate and adding it to LW's.  I know its his money and he can do what he wants but he's literally creating extra drama and bringing an additional person (LW) into the mix.  I also can't imagine being passive aggressive AND noncronfrontational all in one.
  • ILoveBeachMusicILoveBeachMusic Indiana member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 5 Answers
    Something similar happened with my family. My mother had a will that divided the estate between my brother and myself. My H was executor. When going through my mom's papers, H discovered that my brother had borrowed a decent sum of money from mom and hadn't paid it back. On a lawyer's advice, he deducted the debt from my brother's part of the estate. Brother wasn't too happy about it but when it was explained the ramifications (not going into all of that) of not agreeing to it, he complied. If the debt had been owed from someone other than my brother, it would have been H's responsibility (as executor) to pursue the repayment of that debt. My brother for most of his life ( I think he has straightened out) has felt entitled to things. I think he learned his lesson in this case. 
  • Yikes, that's a bad situation. Your dad shouldn't let your sibling off about the loan stuff.
  • Heck - I'm "Predeceased" from my Grandfather's Will, my aunt got pissy a few weeks back because I had to stop over at the family house she was staying overnight (my parents/brother now own because my Dad's siblings figured out they couldn't afford it even though willed to them) to grab something I forgot in the fridge and my aunt made a snide comment and I said "It's just the family poltergeist grabbing my ice packs out of the freezer, not here on a social call!"...  What - If I'm going to be considered Dead, I'm rocking it! 

    It's the Dad's money, it's his decision for what to do with it in his Will, PERIOD, full stop!  This in the Dad's mind is making things equal down the middle, the one sibling is just getting it sooner (nothing wrong with this!), I'm guessing this is the type of person that spends the same exact dollar amount on the kids' Birthday and holiday gifts as well.  That said, a little communication is in order to ensure that the daughter consciously isn't paying the loan bill and it's not just something messed up (it happens, an account number is written in one digit off and it doesn't get paid to the right account or the loan was sold someplace else and they aren't getting the payments...this stuff happens!)..  
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