Familial expectations can be really complicated, especially when it comes to money.
For one woman who doesn’t have children, when her family expected her to leave her money to her nieces and nephews in her will, she was left a little speechless.
The original post has been removed by the subRedditor’s moderators but is still available here:
The Redditor asked the thread:
“[Am I the a**hole] for refusing to make my siblings’ children my heirs?”
The Redditor explained first that she is financially secure compared to her siblings.
“I’m 39, successful and am quite well off. My siblings, sadly are not. My brother, 42 has 3 children. My sister 35 also has 3, with one on the way. My youngest sister, 28 is married and pregnant, but she had nothing to do with the events of this post.”
The Redditor and her siblings were raised to believe in big families over big savings.
“We were all raised to believe that money doesn’t matter and all you need is a happy marriage and lots of kids to live a happy life. Being poor and having lots of kids was somehow glorified. Maybe because that’s the way our parents lived and wanted to convince themselves that they didn’t f**k up.”
But she didn’t agree with this way of thinking.
“Fortunately for me, I didn’t buy into that nonsense. I always knew I never wanted children. I focused on my career and on achieving success.”
“Today I have my own house, wonderful pets and a loving boyfriend.”
Her family doesn’t view this as such a successful lifestyle, however.
“My family however, seems to think that there’s something wrong with my lifestyle. My parents have often commented that my 5 bedroom house is empty without any kids running around. My siblings often tell me I’m selfish for not having kids and actually enjoying my life.”
They make these comments despite the fact that they’re willing to ask for money.
“However, their disdain for my ‘selfish’ lifestyle doesn’t stop them from begging for money.”
“My brother and sister have called me and asked me to help pay their bills.”
“Now, if it’s something serious like clothes or school supplies for their kids, I’m willing to pitch in. But I always refuse when I’m asked to pay for trips to amusement parks etc.”
“I also pay for my parents to stay in a high end assisted living facility. They’re my parents, I owe them this much.”
“However, I can’t help but feel insulted when they sing praises for my siblings for breeding and following in their footsteps and how my parents wish I had done the same. As if, among all their kids I’m the biggest disappointment. For this reason, I’ve distanced myself from them.”
Recently they made their biggest request yet.
“The other day, I got a call from my sister asking if she, her husband, my brother and his wife could come over. I said OK.”
“They asked me to leave my fortune to their kids, in equal portions. And if I did, they would stop asking me for financial help.”
“‘You don’t have kids, so who’re you gonna leave it to?’ asked my brother.”
The situation quickly blew up.
“I told them I was going to leave my money to charity and that I don’t owe them s**t. When they went on the ‘you’re selfish’ tirade, I told them to get lost.”
“The next morning, I got a call from my dad telling me they were disappointed in me. I simply hung up.”
The Redditor turned to the thread for their opinion.
“Tell me Reddit, am I the a**hole?”
Fellow Redditors wrote in anonymously on the OP’s (Original Poster’s) decision, using the following scale:
- NTA: “Not the A**hole”
- YTA: “You’re the A**hole”
- ESH: “Everybody Sucks Here”
- NAH: “No A**holes Here”
Some pointed out the OP is definitely NTA, based on the family’s entitlement.
“ugh they reek of entitlement.”
“OP owes them nothing and she can do whatever she wants with her money. NTA through and through.” – ambiguous_donutzzzz
“NTA you’re family sounds super dependent and like leeches. You lived your life how you wanted and put in the work to achieve financial stability and even a bit more by what you said.”
“You don’t owe siblings anything and even with that said you still help them. It sounds to me like you’re a good person but you also understand the line between helping someone in need and just giving money.”
“Also if your family has money for amusement parks but not bills it sounds like they’re also irresponsible with money and shouldn’t be given any more.” – japanesekn**ker
“I don’t know if this is petty or something, but I would leave my money to the sister that didn’t get involved in that s**t (or, at least, part of it). She didn’t sound entitled from your post (maybe I’m wrong, but that’s what I would say from the information you provided).”
“It would be something like a reward for not being an entitled pr*ck that seems to think that your money is their money. Having her (or her children) as heirs would be such a slap for your other siblings. Call me vengeful, but that’s what they deserve now.” – SmilingIsNotEnough
Some recommended creating an education-only trust fund for the kids, if the OP wants to leave them any money.
“If I were in your shoes, I’d set up a trust for college, if the kids go then present them with the trust and tell them it’ll pay for any school related expenses (only school related expenses). Leave it at that. Maybe the kids will grow up better than the parents.”
“My sister [does] infinitely better than me and I’ve never asked her for money or a job (she’s gotten sh*t from extended family for not hiring a jobless cousin). The audacity to think her hard work should benefit me is astounding.”
“We were [talking] about the cousin situation and I told her hiring any family as the main partner in the business she stated would be the dumbest thing she could do.”
“100% NTA” – ImNotG*yUrG*y
“If you do decide to help with the kids education, make sure your siblings cannot access those funds. I don’t know how it works where you are, if you could pay directly to the establishment they’re attending or whatever, but from how they’ve acted I wouldn’t put it past them to try and access that money themselves.”
“You’re NTA, and anything you choose to contribute is incredibly generous. Stand your ground though, leaving your money to charity is a wonderful thing” – Octiiiiiiiii
“Paying for the kids education would be incredibly generous of you, especially if you had a niece or nephew who was the kind to really benefit from a good education.” – auntynell
A few also suggested cutting the parents off if the dad is going to keep calling.
“Hard NTA but a question – why are you paying for a high end assisted living for parents who call you a disappointment? How can they think that’s a great idea?” – CuZZa
“Give it a beat, and then call your parents and tell them you are considering expanding your family, but that means they’ll need to move in with their son so you can afford the best life for your new family. I’m sure they’ll be willing to give up all their creature comforts, right? /s [end sarcasm]”
“Then send them a picture of a new puppy”
“But on a serious note all of your family seems really selfish and entitled. Your siblings are hypocrites and your parents should stop biting the hand that feeds them.” – Nomegusta111
“NTA. And if dad calls again, I would remind him who is paying for his assisted living and tell him the funds can be cut off and good luck.”
“You are grown, you are not responsible to support your parents or your siblings.”
“Same to all the family who feel it is their business how you live your life and spend your money. If it were me, I wouldn’t buy anybody anything anymore. I know your heart is in the right place but if they have money to spend on fun stuff, they can buy their children clothes and school supplies, NOT you.”
“Tell them you have already donated every cent to charity already, you have only monthly expense money now and they can deal with it.”
“No matter how much you give, obviously it is never [enough] or they would be grateful for what they have gotten, instead of asking for MORE. Be rid of them. Life your life.” – NCKALA
The situation is clearly complicated, but the OP is well within their right to do what they wish with their own money.