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Money transparency within families

  • 08-08-2020 9:10am
    Registered Users Posts: 166,026 ✭✭✭✭LegacyUser

    Hi all,

    I'd like to hear a few open honest opinions on a predicament I'm in.

    To cut to the chase, my sister has received many payouts over the years, mainly for college and otherwise, from my Dad and Uncle, and not afraid to ask for it. She is very studious, and is the darling of the family I suppose. She's the youngest and only sibling so I suppose that's to be expected. My Dad helped me out with my final year of college, which probably accumulates to about 1/5th of what she received. This has never been an open discussion but I know it's the case. I'd like to stress that I bear no grudges for this, and don't expect anything back in return, or it to be evened out as I think it's his money and it's his right to divide it how he likes. I'm not a jealous guy and get along with my sister very well but it's more the principle of the matter that has me in bits.

    My Uncle has recently told me that it was actually him that put my sister through her final year of college, and on the understanding that I would get my share, however, I never did. My Dad is quite controlling and is the beneficiary of my Uncles will, and not short of money but for some reason seems to begrudge me of anything. My Uncle has told me he wants to give me my share now, however, I'm afraid to accept it in case my Dad found out, even if it really is none of his business. I wouldn't dream of accepting anything from him in the past, but since he's explained to me that my sister has received her share of his money, he really wants to give me mine. My Uncle is quite upset that my Dad has never mentioned it to me. I have a feeling my Mam is in on this secret also, as she seems to still be disappointed that I only got a diploma in college, and not a degree, 20 years later! I've been in employment all the time since I left college, and emigrated to ride out the recession, saved a good bit and travelled the world for a year, another thing that seems to be an issue with my parents. Everything I've spent is my own money and I worked hard for it. I put myself through all of college, and only accepted help in my final year. I'm very reluctant to ask for anything, and very independent, even when I am struggling. I didn't entertain the idea of going to college for another 2 years but I was already struggling with paying back the Credit Union for my loan to put myself through college. I don't think it's something that should be held against me.

    Everything seems to be shrouded in secrecy in the family and I have no idea why, or is it even normal. I'm a good person and mean well, and don't want any fighting as I'm just not that sort, but don't want to be taken for granted and brushed aside either. My Dad was recently sick and never discussed with me what happens in the worst eventuality, and I wouldn't know where to start with the maintenance of the house if it came to it, nevermind wills. They don't like discussing these matters, or even thinking about it which is fair enough, but I still think discussions like this should happen at some point. I know they both love me but I suppose what I'm after is a bit of transparency and to see if this is any way normal in Irish families, and if or what way I should approach it.

    Any advice would be very welcome!!


  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 6,479 Mod ✭✭✭✭Hannibal_Smith

    If your Uncle is still alive and in the full of his senses, he can do what he likes with his money without any need for your dad to be involved. A will only becomes active after a person dies so the gift your uncle has granted him under his will is irrelevant now.

    The choice is your uncle's to make. If he (very generously) wants to give you a gift that's between you two. It's nothing to do with your dad.

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 190 ✭✭Febreeze

    Hi OP

    It doesn't sound like your dad wants to control your uncles money. He WANTS it and will do all he can to keep you from getting it. That's not controlling. Your Uncle is alive, and of sound mind I would assume, he can do all he wants with his OWN money regardless of who gets it.

  • Registered Users Posts: 67 ✭✭Clare Kat

    Sounds like you are more upset about the lack of transparency and do t want to involve yourself in it by taking money from your Uncle behind your Dad’s back. I totally get this as this is quite common in Irish families, particularly those with a farming background.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,497 ✭✭✭jarvis

    You mentioned a diploma 20 years ago. So are you in the 40yo range?

    I assume not living at home?

    Just Take the money.

    The answer to those questions wouldn’t change my opinion on what to do but maybe how to do it.

  • Posts: 3,637 [Deleted User]

    The problem is there’s TOO MUCH transparency.

    Your sister and father’s arrangements are between them and none of your business.

    Your uncle and father’s arrangements are between them and none of your business.

    Your arrangement with your uncle SHOULD be between the two of you and nobody elses business.

    The problem is that none of you seem to realise any of this. There would be no problem at all if you all just minded your own business and kept your own private arrangements to yourselves.

    That starts with you.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 15,346 ✭✭✭✭rainbowtrout

    Your uncle is free to give you money without the need for anyone’s approval. You are free to accept the money without anyone’s approval. Take the money, say nothing.

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 22,652 ✭✭✭✭beauf

    jimjoe2 wrote: »
    ...I suppose what I'm after is a bit of transparency and to see if this is any way normal in Irish families, and if or what way I should approach it....

    It's not really a family thing. You are all adults and your own affairs are your own.

  • Registered Users Posts: 166,026 ✭✭✭✭LegacyUser

    Thank you for all the feedback here guys! Yes, I am around the 40 mark and moved out of home when I was 20, pretty much.

    Now my Uncle has given my Dad fairly substantial amounts from his lump sum over the years and thought he would have given me my share out of it by now, but he hasn't. I don't understand why this was held back from me from my Dad, as my Uncle appears to have made the situation clear to him years ago. My Uncle has explained that x amount was given to my sister for college a number of years ago, x amount should be given to me & my Dad was given x amount.

    I know its probably down to my Uncle to take more control of the situation but he's very trusting of my Dad and in truth, he's the only person that he has in this world outside of myself and my sister. It's only coming to light now, as my Uncle has voiced his concerns to me as to where all the money is going.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,419 ✭✭✭antix80

    Your uncle wants to give you money? Take the money!

    Don't discuss it with your parents. You're a big boy, you don't have to tell them everything.

    The only way it might go against you is you may be written out of your parent's will. If that's all they have to hold over you, it sounds like it might give you some freedom to know you don't want or need their money. Your uncle's money comes with no strings attached.

  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 6,479 Mod ✭✭✭✭Hannibal_Smith

    Why don't you get your dad your uncle and yourself in a room and ask your dad where the lump sum due to you went.

    Also, ask your uncle to talk to his solicitor because if your dad has already received part of the amount he was supposed to get on your uncle's death, your uncle needs to change his will.

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  • take the money

    tell yr dad you took it

    let him decide to say anything further

    be ready to hit him between the eyes with some hard questions if he does

    hes behaved very poorly towards you imo

  • Registered Users Posts: 439 ✭✭Pistachio19

    Take the money and advise your uncle to spend every bloody cent he has left before he dies or to leave his money to charity. Your father sounds like a greedy controlling person, trying to ensure that he gets your uncles money. What makes him think he will even outlive your uncle in order to get all his money?

    As for discussing your father's wishes, it will be up to your mother to maintain the house etc if he dies first. Why are you even thinking about it? Deal with it if and when it happens. If he has a will made then there's nothing to discuss. He's already made his decisions as to who gets what and I would imagine your mother will be the main beneficiary, and she in turn can leave her estate to you and your sister if she chooses.

    Next time your uncle offers the money, accept it with thanks and whether your father finds out or not is neither here nor there as it has nothing to do with him. If your uncle doesn't tell him then he'll be none the wiser.

  • Registered Users Posts: 166,026 ✭✭✭✭LegacyUser

    What business is it of your Dads if your uncle gives you money? You are an adult so its an arrangement between two adults. Better he give it to you know then risk leaving it in his will and having your dad take it somehow. the first part regarding your sister is neither here nor there, that's her business. How large a sum of money are we talking OP? Just be aware you may have to pay Capital Acquisitions Tax if its over 32500