My wife and I cannot have children and both have successful careers. We retired just before the COVID-19 crisis hit. I have not spoken to or heard from my two siblings and their children in the past 10 years.
We own a number of rental properties that generate a steady income and we live a fairly frugal lifestyle. Our property has a neighborhood value of $7 million. We have a total of six siblings, and my family trust is currently dividing our assets equally among all of them, regardless of the number of children.
My problem is that both of my siblings are no longer talking to me due to my political beliefs (I am a Trump supporter) and my decision to not be vaxxed. I have not spoken to or heard from my nieces and nephews in the past 10 years. I think it’s pathetic to isolate a family member for those reasons, but it’s their choice.
When I die, I don’t want my siblings and their children to inherit several million dollars from me. I feel closer to some of the nieces and nephews who are with my wife than some of her other nieces and nephews. I am considering leaving half of my estate to her two nieces. This can create some friction in the family and that worries me.
What would you advise?
Husband, Uncle and Brother
To my husband, uncle and brother,
When faced with deeply personal decisions, I ask myself, “How would this make me feel?” With that in mind, ask yourself, “How would I feel if I sever my siblings and their children against my will?” Or: “How would I feel having to leave my estranged sibling’s children less than I would leave my other nieces and nephews?” The answer may – or may not – be: “Great!”
Without a doubt, Thanksgiving dinners across this magnificent and troubled land took place in a number of stormy, roof-rattling, gun-toting debates between Republicans and Democrats. tough owners (and Bernie supporters, don’t forget them). The goal is to be able to sit back and enjoy a plate of turkey breast and cranberry sauce, and talk about our difference. Or even better: Infuse salts and avoid them.
I have lived in this country for 10 years and nothing could prepare me for the deep divisions between its party – and ideological – people. Supporters of different political parties access social media every second of every day and yes, the media and political classes play to the peanut gallery, keeping the flames of conflict burning. every night.
Brothers against brothers
But it is a tragedy that this environment divides families, separates brothers from brothers and generation against generation. Suffer a lot of hurt and momentum to keep those fires burning at home. We all have flexible white lines – on subjects we are different from our loved ones – and “never cross” red lines, and they vary widely from person to person. .
As a rule, I gently warn you against making final decisions based on anger, whether justified or not, even if you believe you are at the end of your stubborn self-will and political confusion. So what about your $7 million? Leave the most generous sums to your closest siblings and their children, and perhaps, a more modest amount to the children of your estranged sibling.
That gift read: “I meet you and acknowledge that you are part of our family, and on the day of my death I want you to know that I truly believed in the time and place where all we can see each other’s eyes, and bring more compassion and understanding to the table on Thanksgiving and every other day of the year, and any problem between me and your parents will end here .”
You can email The Moneyist with any financial and ethical questions regarding the coronavirus at [email protected] and follow Quentin Fottrell on Twitter.
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