Deal­ing with money later in life

The Commercial Appeal - - Sports -

My hus­band and I are in our mid-80s. Dur­ing our life to­gether, we’ve rarely dis­cussed money. But it seems that my hus­band has taken on a dif­fer­ent view since we moved to a se­nior res­i­dence. He does not ever con­sider that see­ing as we both share the ex­penses of liv­ing here, some money that comes to him should be shared with me. It is im­pos­si­ble to talk to him about it, as he gets very up­set and de­fen­sive. I only want what I am en­ti­tled to. I am not a money grab­ber, but this is the mood that has taken over our daily lives. Some­thing has to be done about his at­ti­tude and pos­ses­sive­ness in or­der for us to live peace­fully and lov­ingly in our late years. Please help.

The fact that this was never an is­sue un­til now makes me think it has to do with your move to the se­nior res­i­dence. Per­haps after leav­ing your for­mer home, your hus­band feels as if he gave up some con­trol and con­trol­ling money is his way of cop­ing — but that’s just spec­u­la­tion. The only way to know for sure why he’s act­ing this way is to ask. Us­ing a gen­tle tone, ask why this is im­por­tant to him. Ex­plain where you’re com­ing from and why this has been hurt­ful to you. Dis­cuss any con­cerns that have been on both your minds about ad­just­ing to the new liv­ing sit­u­a­tion. Em­pha­size that you want to spend these years en­joy­ing each other’s com­pany. This is in re­gard to “Fu­ture Bene­fac­tor in North Carolina,” who wanted to di­vide her es­tate un­evenly in ac­cor­dance with each child’s fi­nan­cial state. I would like to share how that can ac­tu­ally work well.

My hus­band has three sib­lings. One of the sib­lings had not man­aged to achieve fi­nan­cial sta­bil­ity. All of the money left over after funeral ex­penses went to the sib­ling with less, although it was not a large es­tate. De­pend­ing on how the two wealthy chil­dren of “Fu­ture Bene­fac­tor” feel, this could work.

On my side, one of my broth­ers was cut out be­cause Mom was un­happy with him and he had cost my par­ents some money in a fi­nan­cial deal. My brother never fought it. As the years have gone by since Mom’s death, he has strug­gled fi­nan­cially. I would have felt better if ev­ery­thing had been di­vided equally, even if he didn’t man­age his in­her­i­tance well. It would have felt fairer.

When my mother-in-law’s es­tate was split un­evenly to pro­vide for the one with less, it worked for us. On my side, when it was di­vided un­evenly to “get even,” it was sad. It all de­pends on mo­tives and how the other par­ties feel about it. Our own chil­dren do not get along well. For this rea­son, our es­tate will be split evenly to pre­vent con­flict.

It’s en­cour­ag­ing to hear about fam­ily mem­bers work­ing to­gether and help­ing one an­other out rather than tear­ing one an­other apart over an in­her­i­tance. Though I main­tain that a good rule is to split the es­tate evenly among all your chil­dren, every fam­ily is dif­fer­ent. Do what’s right for you and your chil­dren.

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