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



  • gingerbee
    gingerbee Forumite Posts: 1
    First Post
    Your parents could live another twenty years who’s to know how many more kids will be born maybe even some of your own 
    surely the will could be amended as such.
    at the end of the day it’s your parents money - their choice who or what they leave it to
    they could have said nothing about it and let you squabble about it after the fact 
  • Julie0511
    Julie0511 Forumite Posts: 122
    Tenth Anniversary Combo Breaker
    This is an interesting one. I have a brother and he has two daughters, I don’t have any children (by choice). My parents have it in their will that any grandchildren of theirs will receive a set sum of money and everything else is to be split between my brother and I. I’m fine with this as I’m close to my nieces and I want them to have every advantage possible.
    Everyone’s circumstance are different and perhaps there’s more to the story than the OP has shared. 
  • Chris_Jay
    Chris_Jay Forumite Posts: 60
    Third Anniversary 10 Posts Name Dropper
    Hello. Firstly, thank you to all of you who explained OP to me. Totally logical and I don't know what my brain was thinking!

    I have a few comments, if nobody minds.
    I'm quite astonished by the idea that, to some posters, grandchildren don't factor in to the Will process. Again, I can only mention my own situation. Two grandchildren are adults, just starting out. Two are at senior school. They're the siblings. Why is it okay for them to be left half the percentage that their cousins' have been left? Each child has been named in my Will, so anything I have left will go to that named person. My children are settled, with their own homes. None of them want more children; my eldest is single again and nearly fifty. The other two have ensured that there won't be any more. 
    Everybody's situation is different. The OP (again, my thanks) didn't mention the likely size of the parents' estate. It may be huge, in which case, what's the problem? Or more like mine. A council tenant, on state pension, topped up with pension credit. No car. All I have is what has been bought for my home, which they're welcome to share our, if there's anything they would like, as keepsakes. Anything in the bank will be in terms of hundreds rather than thousands. I'm giving away my personal information for context, which seems lacking in the original posted query.
    There's a prevailing view that all pensioners have private pensions, big houses, holidays abroad and the life of Riley. That's not the case! To quote my lovely Grandad, I started with nothing and still have most of it left - something he said to me over sixty years ago. I didn't know what he meant then but I do now! You can bring up a family, work yourself into the grave and still have sweet FA at the end of your life.
    Sorry, this is turning into a lecture; my apologies to all.

    I'd just like to ask, given the rise in forums like this, why do people put their lives on display, while asking complete strangers for advice or validation?
    The OP feels that he or she is being punished for not providing grandchildren; if that's the case, please remember that not only can people leave their goods and chattels wherever they wish, there's equally no obligation to have children, and nobody has a right to expect grandchildren. They are a huge and lovely privilege, and I am incredibly grateful for mine, and for having the relationship with my family that allows me to see them as much as I want.
  • LizzieFlorence
    LizzieFlorence Forumite Posts: 14
    Eighth Anniversary 10 Posts Combo Breaker
    I don't think you are being penalised and your brother isn't benefitting. He gets the same amount of money as you do. Yes, his children get their share, but it is their share and not his. It is also your mother's to do with as she wants
  • DAN56
    DAN56 Forumite Posts: 4
    First Anniversary First Post
    Mum's will originally split everything equally between myself and my two siblings. Sadly both siblings died and mum is still alive, so their shares were split equally between their children. They had two each so they will each get the same amount.
    I only have one child, so I asked mum if she would split my share and give half to my daughter as I wasn't relying on the money and it seemed fairer for her to inherit at the same time as her cousins. Mum agreed, so that is what will happen.
    She also gives gifts each year to us all to reduce the amount of her estate potentially subject to death duties (or care home fees if it comes to that). She only gives away what she can comfortably afford though.
  • gumpet
    gumpet Forumite Posts: 1
    First Post
    My parents proposed this very issue a few years ago. I argued that as I have no children I don’t think it was fair to share my inheritance with my sisters children because when I am gone they will inherit from me anyway and my need was greater than theirs at the time. Both my parents passed away in the following few years and I became sole executor. My sister was not happy with the split but accepted it, however over the last few years our relationship has become strained as it appear she took the split of the assets harder than the death of our parents. She blames me for inheriting more than her and is bitter towards her son’s getting as much as they did. 
    I don’t regret the division of the assets but if it had been the other way round I would feel as my sister does. 
    I believe it would’ve been fairer if my parents had split the estate 50/50 and my sister could’ve chosen to provide for her boys as she saw fit, not my parents. 

  • Doc_N
    Doc_N Forumite Posts: 8,257
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Name Dropper Photogenic
    Loving all these comments based on some notion of ‘fairness’. If life worked on the basis of fairness, there’d be no homeless people, nobody going without food or heat, and no Conservative government!
  • SadieO
    SadieO Forumite Posts: 394
    Part of the Furniture 100 Posts Name Dropper
    edited 26 October 2022 at 11:11AM
    Chris_Jay said:
    I have three children and four grandchildren. After a long talk with my solicitor, I've had my Will written so that the children have 20% each, and the grandchildren have 10% each. It makes sense not to specify amounts, as unless you have a crystal ball, nobody can predict the future, and I may need that money long before I die. I have metastatic cancer, and can't assume either a relatively young death or outliving them all. What money I have is the result of years of hard work and hard saving, with good money management, and I won't leave myself short because my children might be depending on an unknown future. I've known too many elderly people who've gone without essentials because "it's for my children, they must have an inheritance". No, they mustn't. There is no obligation to leave anything to anyone.
    My MiL passed away recently and there was a time where it was possible that she would need 24hour care that would have burned through their savings. FiL was upset that they then wouldn't have anything left to leave my OH and his brother. We of course insisted that their money was theirs and we did not expect any of it! As if we would begrudge a single penny of their (hard earned) money being spent on giving MiL the care she needed! But FiL still felt like it was his obligation as a parent to leave something for his kids to inherit, I think it is a common attitude. 

    Wishing you all the best for your future, I hope you are as well as you can be in the circumstances xx

    (abbreviations for anyone not familiar - Mother/Father in Law, OH = "other half" ie my partner!)
  • jenjdl1981
    jenjdl1981 Forumite Posts: 1
    First Post
    Your parents love you both and their grandchildren, why would they not split it equally. Be very thankful they have something to leave behind.
  • Swiftfellah
    Swiftfellah Forumite Posts: 1
    First Post
    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?
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