My wife and I were unable to have children and we both had successful careers. We retired just before the COVID-19 crisis hit. I have neither spoken nor heard from my two siblings and their children in the last 10 years.
We have several rental properties that generate a solid income, and we live a very frugal lifestyle. The value of our property is in the neighborhood of $7 million. We have a total of six siblings, and my family trust currently divides our assets equally among all of them, regardless of the number of children.
,‘I feel closer to some of my wife’s nieces and nephews than some of her nieces and nephews.’,
My point is that both of my siblings are no longer talking to me because of my political beliefs (I’m a Trump supporter) and my decision. I have neither spoken nor heard from my nieces and nephews in the last 10 years. I think it is pathetic to isolate a family member for those reasons, but it is a choice they have made.
I don’t want my siblings and their children to inherit millions of dollars from me when I die. I feel closer to some of my wife’s nieces and nephews than some of her nieces and nephews. I am considering leaving half of my property to her only two nieces. This can cause some family friction, and it worries me.
What advice would you give?
husband, uncle and brother
Dear Husband, Uncle and Brother,
When faced with deeply personal decisions, I ask myself, “How will this make me feel?” With this in mind, ask yourself: “How would I feel if I wanted to cut off my siblings and their children?” Or: “How would I feel leaving the children of my estranged siblings far less than my other nieces and nephews?” The answer may – or may not – be: “Great!”
There was no doubt some barnstorming, roof-raising, pitchfork-wielding debate between diehard Republicans and Democrats (and Bernie supporters, let’s not forget them) at Thanksgiving dinner in this glorious and turbulent land. The goal is being able to sit down over a plate of turkey breast and cranberry sauce and talk about our differences. Or even better: Pass the salts, and avoid them.
I have lived in this country for 10 years and nothing could have prepared me for the deep division between its people along party and ideological lines. Supporters of different political parties follow each other on social media every second of every day and yes, the media and the political class play in the peanut gallery at night, igniting the embers of conflict.
,‘Thanksgiving dinner in America has, no doubt, been some barnstorming, roof-raising, pitchfork-running debates between diehard Republicans and Democrats.’,
But it is a tragedy when this atmosphere tears families apart, pitting brother against brother and generation against generation. it hurts a lot And Speed to kindle those fires in the house. We all have white lines – what our loved ones do or say or believe – and “never cross” red lines, and they vary wildly from person to person.
As a rule, I gently caution you against making final decisions based on anger, righteous or not, even if you think you’re on the receiving end of that same brand of stubborn self-will and political rudeness. So what about your $7 million? Leave the most generous amount for your closest siblings and their children and, perhaps, a more modest amount for your sibling’s children.
That symbolic gift says: “I see you and accept that you are part of our family, and on the day of my death I want you to know that I truly believe in a time and place where we May all eyes see, and bring more compassion and understanding to the table on Thanksgiving and every other day of the year, and may any issues between me and your parents end here.”
check out The Maniast Private Facebook Group, where we seek answers to life’s most thorny money issues. Readers write to me with all kinds of dilemmas. Post your questions, tell me what you’d like to learn more about, or peruse the latest Manifest column.
Dhani is sorry that he cannot answer the questions personally.
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