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

edited 25 October 2022 at 6:11PM in Deaths, funerals & probate
176 replies 93.4K views


  • edited 26 October 2022 at 12:59AM
    gloriouslyhappygloriouslyhappy Forumite
    568 Posts
    Part of the Furniture 500 Posts Name Dropper
    edited 26 October 2022 at 12:59AM
    Neil Morgan: “ It often seems simpler not to leave a will if there are no complications like divorce or multiple marriages.”

    No, bad idea! Simpler for you maybe, but much more complicated for whomever has to deal with your estate after your death. Just do a basic will, eg if you’re married, just say everything to my spouse, or if no spouse and you’ve got children just say an equal share to each child and let them decide how much if anything to pass on to their children, if any. If no children, nominate a favourite charity. Makes it easier, saves time, and might save some inheritance tax too.
  • JodiebombodieJodiebombodie Forumite
    1 Post
    First Post
    It always amazes me how money can get people so riled up, especially when it concerns the death of loved ones. I know lots of people whos families have been divided over arguments about wills and money...is it really worth it? I am one of 3 children and our parents have helped us all out financially over the years,none of us queries how much the other has been given,it certainly won't be an issue once they go and ultimately it's their money and as adults our parents do not have a duty to provide for us financially. If you're lucky enough to be given 25%, it's in bad taste to want your nephews/nieces to go without...they didn't ask to be born and your choice not to have children isn't be viewed as a punishment. They love their children and they love their grandchildren...it just makes sense. I'm not even sure if my parents have a will and wouldn't dream of asking. Love your parents while they are here and don't let money disagreements get in the way of that.✌️
  • JoLamJoLam Forumite
    11 Posts
    First Anniversary First Post
    Yes of course parents can do what they like with their money,  but the way it played out in my family was unfair, and all driven along by a sibling with questionable motives. 

    My sister (with 2 kids) persuaded my dad when he was very elderly and vulnerable, to change his will from leaving what he had to his 5 adult children equally,  to leaving more to the 2 sisters, with 2 grandchildren apiece. Of the remaining 3 children, I had one child, but my 2 brothers had none, and stood to be given less because of this.

    ironically the sister that was driving this is by far the most wealthiest of us all, and both my brothers, living without partner support, really needed a financial boost. 

    I was one of the power of attorneys to the will (she was a later addition as the other) and I only discovered this when I popped in to see my dad one Saturday and there she was with a will writer, and my dad looking sheepish about the whole thing.

    Sadly one of my brothers died, and this prompted a rethink and that offending clause was taken out and replaced with 4 equal shares.

    Yes parents love their grandchildren and they and we are all family, but personalities and family dynamics also come into It. I think my sister was driven for feelings of dislike for my brothers.

     With just two children it might be manageable but with a bigger sibling group beware of the legacy of splitting your adult children into those that have produced, and those that haven’t . It’s divisive.  
  • CapeTownCapeTown Forumite
    71 Posts
    Third Anniversary 10 Posts Name Dropper
    Ah wills eh. Endless source of angst. Both my MIL and FIL ( 2 different side.... second marriage) have reduced the inheritance given to one of their children because of past misdemeanours. I don't think either of them have told affected child but there is trouble ahead. At least OP already knows
  • SheilaESheilaE Forumite
    5 Posts
    Seventh Anniversary First Post Combo Breaker
    Anything you inherit is a bonus, not a right. The point raised in another comment was "What if other grand children were born" or maybe one family member became your parents their main carer? My husband and I are over 70, we haven't discussed our will with our children. 
  • Jools84Jools84 Forumite
    2 Posts
    First Post
    I have just benefitted from a Will with the same division. It's fair. You and your sibling will be getting the same amount. Your niece/nephew will benefit sooner rather than when their own parents are dead. Look at it this way - your sibling might have to top up their children's amount to help them buy a house. You won't. You can do what you want with your money. It's all for yourself. So really, you'll have more money to spend on yourself then your sibling.
  • msb1234msb1234 Forumite
    370 Posts
    Part of the Furniture 100 Posts Name Dropper Combo Breaker
    kdevans said:
    this happened to me - my mother left everything to my sister and her kids.  both me and my brother would receive nothing even if we had had kids after the will was written.  things like this  really splits families.  no good came to her though - she died soon after my mother so what goes around comes around.  I used to look after my mother (cleaning etc) my sister did nothing.  shows how much i was appreciated in the end.  hope they are both nice and warm where they are now!!
    What an awful thing to say!
  • 400ixl400ixl Forumite
    1.6K Posts
    1,000 Posts First Anniversary Name Dropper
    I don't understand how some people on here think it's ok to treat inheritance for grandchildren the same as for their own children?
    It is certainly not normal and I think very unfair.
    Some money should be left to grandchildren of course, but anything more than 10% seems unfair and excessive to me.
    Of course I hope this will not happen but what if shortly after your parents die, your brother and one of the grandchildren dies, the surviving grandchild would end up with 75% of the inheritance while you as their the only living child get 25%... that can't be right.
    The world is moving on, people are living longer and may not inherit until they are well set up and the grandchildren just starting out in their adult lives.

    Families will be in different circumstances so it is only right that some will be thinking differently. Nothing unfair about it.
  • DentonedDentoned Forumite
    51 Posts
    Third Anniversary 10 Posts
    I feel it's completely unfair. They should split it evenely between their immediate children and then do a nominal gift to the grandchildren. Even though inheritance is a bonus not a given what they are doing does in effect penalise you for not having children by splitting the wealth as if your siblings children were their own.
  • PaulTeePaulTee Forumite
    12 Posts
    10 Posts Second Anniversary
    If I was your parents and you broached this with me I would cut you out of the Will. Perhaps, they see it that your brothers children are that much younger and need more help than you and your brother. It is their decision and theirs alone to decide the provisions in their Will.
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