Friday, March 24, 2023
HomeRelationship AdviceMy sister (25F) and I (22M) inherited money and it's causing a...

My sister (25F) and I (22M) inherited money and it’s causing a rift

I’ll try to keep the situation short. My grandma died last month. She willed nearly all her savings to my sister and me to pay for our education, which was stipulated in the will. To my knowledge, the money *must* go to pay off our student loan debt. Though I’m not a legal expert by any means.

The problem comes here: The amount that we inherited was about $150,000 each. Not a life-changing amount of money, but far more than our respective debts. I don’t know about my sister, but I’m left over with a little under $100,000 cash.

Many of my cousins, aunts, and uncles are ***irate***, as most of them were left with only small possessions rather than cash. My grandma was a librarian and very big on education. My sister and I were the first and only in our family to go to college, aside from my dad who has no loans. The family is fine with my grandma’s wishes to pay off our loan debt, but they want a cut of the leftover money. They contend that my grandma didn’t know that our student loan debt was so much less than the money she left us. And I do think they have a point. Had she had known this, she may have left us only the amount needed to pay our loans and the remainder would’ve gone elsewhere. But I’m not sure and, if so, to whom she would’ve left the money.

Should I split the money up to keep the peace? If not, how should I approach them? We’re a relatively close family and we’ve never had a rift like this. I really want to preserve our relationships, especially my dad’s relationship with his brothers and sisters. This isn’t his fault and I feel bad he’s caught in the middle.

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  1. Body’s not even in the ground yet and offspring is already at each others throat about the inheritance. Had to witness that sordid show myself more than once.
    It is called last will because that was her last will. Sure, she isn’t around anymore to check up on the fulfillment of said last will, but you are.
    So, keep it .

  2. I think your grandma actually *did* know, and set her will up this way in order to protect you and your sister. Think about it: they all didn’t get money, but you and your sister did? From my perspective, that indicates she does not trust them with money and feels it’d be of much better use to you and your sister: you both got your education (which you said she holds in high value) so she wants you both to have a successful start post graduation as well, aka: no debt and then some. No one is entitled to that money except you and your sister, you do not have to do anything.

  3. If grandma wanted to pay the exact amount of your student debt, she would have asked the exact amount. She didn’t. She I think it is safe to assume she wanted you to have the money. If you want to do the PhD you were thinking about, take this as the means to do so! But if you don’t want to and are finished with being a student, that’s fine too. It is your money. Don’t let jealous people in your head.

  4. You need to stop talking about your financials with your family full stop. This also includes your sister. If you weren’t so open with them, none would know that you have all that money left over and you wouldn’t find yourself in this predicament. I find, when it comes to money, people become entitled to it regardless. Even if you actually have a need for it, their needs are always more important than yours. It’s really for the best for everyone if you either lied about your situation or simply just kept quiet. The only person who should know about your real situation is your future wife/husband.

  5. They will never be happy with what thry got vs what you got. Keep your money and use it to support thr life that would make your grandmother happy.

    You cannot please people when it comes to inheritance.

  6. Nope, keep it. They are just angry they didn’t get any money, thus being selfish. It’s one of my biggest peeves with family inheritances/deaths. That’s when people get ugly. Keep it and put it away for future needs.

  7. Your grandmother, a smart lady, a librarian, who was big on education, clearly knows how much college costs and knew she was leaving more than what was needed. If she wanted to adjust the amount of money she left to you and your sister, she could have done that at any time. I understand you want to keep the peace, but your family is being extremely unfair. Not to mention they are insulting your grandmother by insinuating that she was not smart enough to make a decision on who she wanted to leave her own money to. Your dad’s siblings are being greedy. They are assumed to be older and established where you and your sister are just starting out. I hope your dad sticks up for you.

  8. Well, the first thing I would say to you is that you need to go to the school of “Stop Telling Everyone Your Private Financial Info”. They are your family, but they do not have the right to know ANYTHING about your finances and have absolutely no right to any of your inheritance. And, just because your Grandma specified in her will that she hopes you would spend the money on education, you are not bound by that request.

    I am constantly amazed that people don’t learn the value of just **not talking about their private stuff**. Please just stop it. Privacy is an actual thing and it is extremely valuable.

    My advice is to get a good fiduciary (a fiduciary has a legal responsibility to do what is best for you, not just make money off trades) investment person and *carefully* invest this money until you decide what you want to do. At your age, with a $100K investment, you could have a very comfortable retirement at a young age.

    Honor your Grandma by not giving away what she intentionally left to you.

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  10. I believe you should keep it, relationship bought with money is never lasting. “Family relationship” included, they are still just people outside of your life.

    This is why your grandma wrote a will, because I’m sure she was well aware of how these relatives actually are when it comes to money,

  11. >They contend that my grandma didn’t know that our student loan debt was so much less than the money she left us. And I do think they have a point.

    They do not have a point. If your Grandma wanted to only cover your student loans, she could have stipulated exactly that. Get your hands on the will and look at the exact language. A will should be specific for exact reasons like this.

    Your Grandma willed you and your sister monet, it is your money. If you do ANYTHING with your money, like gift it to anyone else, that is a gift from you to them.

    If you decide to split the money simply to keep the peace, know that your family isn’t as close as you think that they are. Your cousins, aunts, and uncles are the ones choosing to make it a rift, not you or your sister.

    I’ll add that it is none of anyone’s business except yours how much you have left after paying off your student loans.

  12. One of my biggest clients is an attorney. We talk about wills and estate planning all the time. You have to assume that her will was structured the way she wanted it. Keep the money. Find a good financial advisor (a fiduciary) and put the money to work for you. Then if you ever go back to school you have the money. And if not… You just set your retirement fund in place.

    The rest of the family will get over it. It’s only been a month. Friction after a death is common. Normal actually, as every processes loss differently.

  13. Grams didn’t ask about your student loan balance so she was fine with the dollar amount she gave you.

    Feel to establish a boundary with your greedy family that this topic is no longer up for discussion and go live your life with an amazing leg up.

    Also- $150k IS absolutely life changing money if you’re smart with it.

  14. Also, if your grandma wanted them to have money she would’ve given it to the others.

    It’s hard to believe your grandma would put you in a situation of having to choose who gets money and who doesn’t..

    I vote you honor your grandmas wishes. Keep the money and further your education. Or that’s an early graduation present and get a car for a new job or new wardrobe or maybe if you move cross country for a job opportunity….


  15. I would suggest 3 options:

    1. Put money into savings for your future kids’ college fund.
    2. If other family members have kids with education loans – you might want to help them.
    3. Otherwise, you might want to donate the funds to people in need of education but can’t afford it.

    If your grandma was big on education – that would be the way to honor her.

  16. Talk to a lawyer, you might not be able to just give it away.

    You can use the remaining money in the way your grandmother intended, as an education/scholarship fund available to the rest of your family. Or for whatever further education you and your sister want to accomplish.

  17. Hey OP do you have any family who is approaching college age? Maybe a gift towards their education would be nice.

    Otherwise, no, don’t split up the money. Your family doesn’t get to guess what your grandma’s intentions were, that’s why she left a will

  18. You should both split the money evenly and pay off your debts. If you want to continue to honor your grandma’s wishes, you can put the extra into a trust for your children or future children to also use towards education costs.

  19. Keep it. Your grandmother knew exactly what she was doing. The money is yours. The family has no right to ask you got any of it. Invest it, live your life. Hire an attorney to clarify the situation and protect your interests.

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