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Old 02-02-2015, 07:08 AM
 
Location: Los Angeles area
14,018 posts, read 17,744,100 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by germaine2626 View Post
Although I live in a marital property state, as long as the person inheriting the money or property keeps it in their own name and does not mix it with their joint property/money the spouse can not ever get any of the inherited money or property, whether they stay married or get divorced.

Of course, your state may be different.

The problems can start when the spouse says "Let's use your inheritance to use as a down payment for a house (and they put the house in both names)" or the spouse says "It would be good to use your inheritance to pay off our joint bills" or the spouse is a bully and insists that the money be put in both names, or things like that.
In a good marriage the two spouses are in it for each other, and for the long term. It is not necessarily a "problem" if inheritance is used as a down payment for a house and the house is purchased jointly in both names. Going back to the 1950's and 1960's before it was common for women to work outside the home, it's interesting how a husband's earnings were always "our" money but then if the wife did go to work, her earnings became "my" money.
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Old 02-02-2015, 08:20 AM
 
Location: Over yonder a piece
3,910 posts, read 4,651,824 times
Reputation: 6247
My parents are still young (late 60s) and so I don't need to know their finances - and don't care to know.

When I was the main caregiver for my grandmother (late 90s), I handled all her bills and made sure they all got paid. Additionally, my uncle received copies of all her bank statements in the mail as well, so that he could catch anything I missed. It was system that worked well and ensured that she was not taken advantage of during the last few years of her life.

My aunt (my uncle's sister) did her taxes every year and was also the one that took care of her estate after she passed away. Fortunately it was such a small estate that there was not much to do other than some minor paperwork. No big battles over possessions (she didn't have much) or money (she had very little).

My father, as a thank you for providing her with good care during the last year of her life, gave me the inheritance he received (a little over $5K). To be honest, I was shocked there even WAS an inheritance for her three children once all was said and done.

As for my parents, knowing them, in about 20 years they'll sit down with my sister and me (she's the executor but they always tell us both important information) and go over their financial information. As it is, we already know that we'll be selling their house and splitting the proceeds (my mom has said many times that is what she wants for us to do). Other than that, we don't need to know until they are ready for us to know.
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Old 02-02-2015, 09:53 AM
 
3,492 posts, read 4,958,642 times
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I help my parents with financial planning because my career is: "Financial Analyst".

If the children are responsible, it is good to involve them.

I don't expect an inheritance, though it would be nice to have. I do think adults should try to ensure they can provide for themselves rather than putting their grown children into a situation of providing for three generations (the grandparents, themselves, and their own children).
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Old 02-02-2015, 11:12 AM
 
12,825 posts, read 20,148,018 times
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There was a time, prior to about 10 years ago, when I had immense respect for my parents and their ways of managing their lives. After all, they had raised me, helped me go to college, and started me on my way.

They were well educated and worked in tech. Outside of work they were well rounded and engaged in the community. All good.

Things changed when I began to realize that all was not a well as I'd imagined. Also, I belatedly shed a goodly degree of naivete about life in general, that allowed me to see things in a whole new light.

By the early 00s it was already apparent that my folks would not be able to continue on the tech fast track - a combination of burn out, and too many burned bridges.

Another complicating factor was, my sibling was not as successful as me, in fact, he, for a variety of reasons, some of which were due to his own bad decisions but most of which I retrospectively realized were accidents of birth and DNA, would never be able to be fully independent living here in the Bay Area, unless he joined the working poor / underclass.

A child is a project and if the project fails, especially due to the forces of Nature, then there is a certain responsibility to deal with it. In extremis, this is the dilemma of the parent of a disabled adult. My bro is not in that exact category but not someone who can ever hope to compete "in the global economy."

I observed that many of my parents' friends and people their age I know, cashed out of their overpriced homes and relocated to lower cost places, in order to have better assets available for their final years. Combined with the situation of my sib, this seemed like the only logical course for my folks to take. But they did not.

Now, with only one parent left, with a sib who cannot hope to make it here in the Bay (except maybe ending up homeless), and with the tail ends of their careers having sputtered, it is a travesty that the one parent still persists in an overpriced, too large home.

Compounding all this, nothing regarding finances has been shared with me, and I really dread what I am going to find when the remaining parent passes. Not to mention, my bro is now set up for catastrophe, unless he ends up getting 100% of a modest inheritance (by my reckoning, that is the best case, the money may be even less than I am imagining).

In a gnarly situation like this, complete transparency would be preferable.

Last edited by BayAreaHillbilly; 02-02-2015 at 11:26 AM..
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Old 02-02-2015, 11:20 AM
 
15,254 posts, read 16,837,192 times
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I didn't know much about my parents' finances until my father died when he was 78. My mother was fairly helpless in that arena so we went to the bank and I became a signatory on her POD account with the understanding that I would share anything left when she died with my two brothers. We also set up my brothers and I as beneficiaries on her account. These were her wishes, but I don't think she would have ever gone to the bank to do any of it if I had not helped her.

When she became too forgetful to pay her bills, I took that over. It worked out better for her financially because she was paying one of my brothers' utility bills (long story) and I put a stop to that. I think he would also periodically ask her for money but he was too chicken to ask me.

We have one daughter and I imagine we'll give her access to everything when the time comes. The only way I could see that changing is if she had addiction issues, or married someone who did, or otherwise gave us reason to fear her judgment.
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Old 02-02-2015, 11:31 AM
 
13 posts, read 11,610 times
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Default Seems logical

I was lucky enough to be totally involved in my parents finances. My mother was determined that I learn what money was all about. I was on their checking account @ the age of 13 and was paying their bills and learning how to balance a check book. I was the Executor of the estate. I had two older brothers. One was not in the will (my parents did not feel they could trust he and his wife) and everything else was basically split between the two of us. We felt that the least we could do as siblings was buy a house for him and his family. Well lets just say Mother knew best.

Eventually I was taught about the stock market. I still have a ton to learn but when I am looking @ stocks and such I feel educated enough to understand and what I do not understand I will ask a professional.

I have a list of everything that my husband and I have and its in the safe (a bank safe that my father in-law gave us). I told my kids the basics of everything we have, no surprises. I raised my kids that trust is essential in a relationship and if I can not trust my own children then that would be the end of that. I am proud to say my children are doing quite well on their own, so no worries.

So yes, my children know our finances and our after life wishes.
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Old 02-02-2015, 11:35 AM
 
Location: Dover, DE
1,802 posts, read 3,836,669 times
Reputation: 2499
Quote:
Originally Posted by germaine2626 View Post
Although I live in a marital property state, as long as the person inheriting the money or property keeps it in their own name and does not mix it with their joint property/money the spouse can not ever get any of the inherited money or property, whether they stay married or get divorced.

Of course, your state may be different.

The problems can start when the spouse says "Let's use your inheritance to use as a down payment for a house (and they put the house in both names)" or the spouse says "It would be good to use your inheritance to pay off our joint bills" or the spouse is a bully and insists that the money be put in both names, or things like that.
We will be living in Delaware and right now she is in CT, but may move back to NY or to NJ or PA. I don't think the guy she is dating, and they are talking marriage, would be untrustworthy, but when it comes to divorce people show a different side of themselves. His parents are financially better off than we are so there is 2 sides to this. Although he has a sister that could cause problems. Anyway, I have already told her that if they have kids we may end up putting it in trust for them and she has no problems with that. Suffice it to say that in the realistic future she should have no problems with money. Right now, at age 31, she is making twice what either her father or I ever made per year in our lifetimes. And has a career that should keep her well supported well into the future.

Just a side note........her opinion is that we should spend it all and not leave anything for inheritance! Our joke is that we will live how we want and bounce the check to the undertaker.
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Old 02-02-2015, 12:50 PM
mlb
 
Location: North Monterey County
3,182 posts, read 2,857,897 times
Reputation: 4878
Quote:
Originally Posted by BayAreaHillbilly View Post
There was a time, prior to about 10 years ago, when I had immense respect for my parents and their ways of managing their lives. After all, they had raised me, helped me go to college, and started me on my way.

They were well educated and worked in tech. Outside of work they were well rounded and engaged in the community. All good.

Things changed when I began to realize that all was not a well as I'd imagined. Also, I belatedly shed a goodly degree of naivete about life in general, that allowed me to see things in a whole new light.

By the early 00s it was already apparent that my folks would not be able to continue on the tech fast track - a combination of burn out, and too many burned bridges.

Another complicating factor was, my sibling was not as successful as me, in fact, he, for a variety of reasons, some of which were due to his own bad decisions but most of which I retrospectively realized were accidents of birth and DNA, would never be able to be fully independent living here in the Bay Area, unless he joined the working poor / underclass.

A child is a project and if the project fails, especially due to the forces of Nature, then there is a certain responsibility to deal with it. In extremis, this is the dilemma of the parent of a disabled adult. My bro is not in that exact category but not someone who can ever hope to compete "in the global economy."

I observed that many of my parents' friends and people their age I know, cashed out of their overpriced homes and relocated to lower cost places, in order to have better assets available for their final years. Combined with the situation of my sib, this seemed like the only logical course for my folks to take. But they did not.

Now, with only one parent left, with a sib who cannot hope to make it here in the Bay (except maybe ending up homeless), and with the tail ends of their careers having sputtered, it is a travesty that the one parent still persists in an overpriced, too large home.

Compounding all this, nothing regarding finances has been shared with me, and I really dread what I am going to find when the remaining parent passes. Not to mention, my bro is now set up for catastrophe, unless he ends up getting 100% of a modest inheritance (by my reckoning, that is the best case, the money may be even less than I am imagining).

In a gnarly situation like this, complete transparency would be preferable.

My sister and her husband own a Silicon Valley ranch home that's 60 years old and they purchase for $36K. They, too, won't ever move. They love it there - have lived in the home since 1972.

Luckily their kids are up and grown and gone. Yes, they did help them through school and after - but the kids are self-sufficient, married and have started their own families - one in the area, the other in Seattle.

I just don't get the appeal of living there if they could cash out and live anywhere they wanted with more cash. My guesstimate is that they have enough - and don't need more.

We should all be so lucky.
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Old 02-02-2015, 12:50 PM
 
Location: Duncan, Oklahoma
2,601 posts, read 1,231,748 times
Reputation: 2015
Our 33-year-old daughter knows all about our finances. She is on all our accounts POD. She knows where all the important financial papers and trust papers are. She knows what is in the trust and how much money is in the accounts. She has access to our bank box. She knows to sell our house when the time comes (it's paid for) or keep it--her decision. (She will sell it as she has her own home now and never wants to come back to this town to live.) If our health and/or financial situations change, we will make adjustments and let her know about them. She has proven to be trustworthy so we have no qualms about being open with her regarding our finances.

I am fortunate because my parents were completely open about all their finances with my brother and me. All financial and health POAs were in place. Health directives were complete. When Dad died in 2012, it was very easy to take care of things for Mom. The trust was already established, the accounts and financial papers were easy to access, so all Mom and I had to do was make a few calls to get things done. Mom is still alive, and I know when her death happens (hopefully not for a long time and I'm always telling her she will outlive us all) everything will go smoothly regarding her last wishes and taking care of what is left of her estate.

I am also thankful that my brother and I get along so well and are in agreement about taking care of our mother. My brother lives in Florida while I live just two blocks from our mom. My brother has always supported my husband and me in caring for Mother. I read about many sibling relationships that are not this way, and that is sad.
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Old 02-02-2015, 12:56 PM
 
12,825 posts, read 20,148,018 times
Reputation: 10910
Quote:
Originally Posted by mlb View Post
My sister and her husband own a Silicon Valley ranch home that's 60 years old and they purchase for $36K. They, too, won't ever move. They love it there - have lived in the home since 1972.

Luckily their kids are up and grown and gone. Yes, they did help them through school and after - but the kids are self-sufficient, married and have started their own families - one in the area, the other in Seattle.

I just don't get the appeal of living there if they could cash out and live anywhere they wanted with more cash. My guesstimate is that they have enough - and don't need more.

We should all be so lucky.
If my folks (especially my dad - given most of his peers ended up as VPs and C levels) had been more successful, long term, in their careers, and didn't have the situation with my brother, they would be in the same boat as your sister and hubby. But they didn't quite do that well. My dad had several periods of unemployment and my mom had bad luck with start ups (not every start up ends up as an Apple or a Facebook). All the more reason for them to have put mind ahead of heart and done a dispassionate calculation with subsequent action plan. Maybe one of the reasons they never shared is they know I will judge things harshly.
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