Money Moral Dilemma: Is it fair for my parents to penalise me for not having children?



  • Chris_Jay
    Chris_Jay Forumite Posts: 62
    Fourth Anniversary 10 Posts Name Dropper
    OP - Picture your whole family sitting round the table after Christmas dinner. Your mother or father says: 'I have four after-eights. One for each of my wonderful children and one for each of my lovely grand children.' Would you ask that you and your brother receive two each instead?
    Ah, now you're talking about chocolate - you'd have to fight me for it 😄
  • MightyPen
    MightyPen Forumite Posts: 1
    First Post
    Ultimately it is up to your parents; it’s their money and it might all get spent on care fees anyway. My parents are planning to split their inheritance between their three children equally. I have two children, one brother has 4 children and the other has none by birth but two step children. The wife of my brother with 4 children has been trying to persuade my parents to leave the money directly to their grandchildren, meaning her children would get 2/3s of the estate, mine 1/3 and my other brother’s family would get nothing. My mother was outraged by this suggestion, for a number of reasons, and I also felt it was unfair on my childless brother. Like the OP I don’t think he should be penalised for not having (directly) fathered children. Inheritance is rarely fair though, and I’d rather my parents spent it enjoying wonderful holidays (they won’t). Just don’t let it lead to resentment. 
  • Chris_Jay
    Chris_Jay Forumite Posts: 62
    Fourth Anniversary 10 Posts Name Dropper
    @SadieO. Thank you for your kind words.

    I'm sorry for your loss, you had a lovely MIL, and your FIL is, I imagine, feeling very bereft now. It's a very hard time for all of you.

    I told my gang of three that they were getting a gift-wrapped kiss each, and that was all, which news they accepted with laughter and hugs. I am very lucky with my tribe.
    Take care of you and your family...xx
  • Doc_N
    Doc_N Forumite Posts: 8,258
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Name Dropper Photogenic

    Doc_N said:
    We also gifted as much as we possibly could to our children to avoid future IHT - very little point in accumulating savings if they're going to lose 40% on death!  Try that one on them!

    ....or just respect their wishes, rather than suggesting they do something a random stranger on the internet 'recommended'. There's also the little matter of your parents potentially needing care in later life, and if they have deliberately deprived themselves of their assets, don't expect any help from the local authority.
    No recommendations from me, and do please note the exclamation mark above!

    The deprivation of assets rules are relevant to care fees etc, and not to IHT of course. And they depend very much on when the gifts were made, and whether at that point there was a likelihood of needing a care package. If you’ve got a house, you’re probably not going to get any help from the local authority anyway.
  • Matilda542
    Matilda542 Forumite Posts: 10
    Ninth Anniversary 10 Posts Combo Breaker
    Although it's the parents right to do what they want with it, I think when it comes to their children, they should treat them equally. I do think it is unfair to give one more than the other just because one of them has children. I would definitely mention it, doesn't need to end up in an argument. In my will, I have left my estate equally between my son & daughter and haven't included my grandchildren. I take the view that it's up to my children if they want to pass some onto their children
  • NoahVale
    NoahVale Forumite Posts: 1
    First Post First Anniversary
    No one has a "right" to an inheritance.  Whatever the parents' reasoning behind their choice it is for them to choose. Do feel bitter, move on.
  • Pennylane
    Pennylane Forumite Posts: 2,705
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Name Dropper Combo Breaker
    Thing is a lot of people think they are always entitled to more.  A very, very wealthy man near us died and in his will he left the bulk of his estate to his second wife.  He said in the Will that he had always helped his 2 children out financially over many years having bought them houses, cars, paid for holidays, paid for their business ventures and educated their kids privately and felt he had more than given them their share.  His kids contested the Will but to no avail. 
  • Brigantia4444
    Brigantia4444 Forumite Posts: 26
    Seventh Anniversary 10 Posts Name Dropper Combo Breaker
    If you haven't got your life together enough to settle down and give them the grandchildren they always hoped for whilst they were working their butts off to raise YOU, then stop complaining! You, in a purely dispassionate view, were their 'ticket to immortality'. If you can't fulfil that 'investment' for them due to being feckless, why do you expect to be rewarded with their hard earned money for that?? It's their cash, not yours.

    However, to set one of their kids off against the other/s due to money inheritance is also very wrong, and may imply some favouritism - which can be extremely toxic, and leach down the generations.
    Suggest that the parents have a lovely time having a big spending-spree blowout of the cash before they die, so no one of their kids can complain they were prioritised over anyone else.

    SPEND the 'kids inheritance', ma and pa - after all, you are only here once, and you, definitely, earned it!
  • Snowman1950
    Snowman1950 Forumite Posts: 9
    Fourth Anniversary First Post
    I take the view that no-one is entitled to receive anything on their parents' death ('entitled' being the important word there).   I've seen situations where some people's morals become quite twisted when the prospect of getting their hands on a dead person's money/property appears, and in my opinion it's rather unsavoury.    I neither received nor expected anything from my parents and had to make my own way through life's ups and downs, so if you get anything you haven't earned, simply call it a bonus.
  • Mojisola
    Mojisola Forumite Posts: 35,494
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper
    Although it's the parents right to do what they want with it, I think when it comes to their children, they should treat them equally.
    I do think it is unfair to give one more than the other just because one of them has children.
    I thought the parents were dividing the estate four ways, not giving one child three-quarters because they have children?

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