Surely no family is perfect, but some are incredibly problematic.
But one guy found himself being favored by his grandparents because of difficulties back home, according to the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
Redditor keepme_hidden, in fact, was placed in charge of all family funds, which might be a blessing or a curse.
But when the Original Poster (OP) was criticized for how he was handling it, he wondered if he was making a mistake.
He asked the sub:
“AITA for refusing to pay for my half-sister’s plastic surgery from our family’s health fund?”
The OP came from a difficult family arrangement.
“I (32 [Male]) born from my mother “Clara”‘s (57) infidelity, she is married to Greg.”
“I have 4 siblings: A (36 [Female]), B (34 [Female]), C (26 [Female]), and D (24[Female]).”
“My Grandparents have raised me, because Greg refused to raise another man’s child. There was no paternity test needed, because I was a mixed child, so my father has to be Black (I never met him and don’t even know his name).”
“My Grandma was an American-Italian housewife. She was clearly my Caretaker and for me my only Mama. Grandpa was a very strict but also caring man and is/was always an idol to me.”
“Both My Grandparents were furious with my Mother, not only because of her cheating but because she abandoned me.”
“This situation led to my grandparents’ decision to make me the only one who would inherit almost everything.”
The OP was in charge of large sums of money.
“My Grandma died at the age of 64 from a heart attack and Grandpa died at 71 from lung cancer.”
“Grandpa had life insurance. I was the only beneficiary of almost 300-thousand dollars, I got the house I was raised in with a marked value of about 280-thousand dollars, and finally, Grandpa created a family fund with 400-thousand dollars that I had to manage.”
“The rules for this fund are simple. I can use it only for emergencies (health, crises like now) and only for me and my half-siblings. Clara and Greg are not included in this fund.”
The arrangement worked well for the family for a while.
“Until now, I have paid for A’s IVF for her fertility issues (nearly 40-thousand dollars, as her health insurance hasn’t covered it) and C’s appendix removal (15-thousand dollars, for which health insurance has covered a great part ).”
“So far, no problems.”
But then another family member came forward with requests for the fund.
“But D plans to have plastic surgery, a whole package of it, including breast, nose, hips, and more (it would erase nearly half of what is left in the fund).”
“I refused because it is not an emergency. I would be ok with paying for plastic surgery if IT IS NEEDED, like if an accident happened, but she just wants her makeover for her boyfriend.”
“Of course, we had an argument, which was not so pretty, and they threatened to sue me.”
“They had sued me before, but Grandpa had made sure everything is totally fine.”
“So AITA, if I stand on my feet?”
The OP also included an update after the argument continued.
“I had a talk with every one of my sisters. They had no clue about D’s plans.”
“My mother tried to enable D and her lifestyle, and now my other siblings are very upset.”
“I have invited everyone to my house and made sure again that the fund is only used for health issues.”
“It turned into a screaming match between them. I just stayed out of the conflict.”
“Many of you asked why I paid for A’s IVF, and that is simply because it affected her mental health.”
“Many of you asked if D has ‘deformations’, and the answer is no, she is just an average-looking woman for her age, but she wanted to look ‘special’ (her words).”
Fellow Redditors weighed in:
- NTA: Not the A**hole
- YTA: You’re the A**hole
- ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
- NAH: No A**holes Here
Some pointed out the plastic surgeries were optional, making the OP NTA.
“NTA!! Stand your ground, that’s not an emergency in the slightest, let them TRY to sue you (As long as you have some form of proof you don’t need to give her anything for non-emergencies).” – MisterSaucy
“And what if someone gets cancer or something serious and there is no money because of her frivolous surgery? No. She wants it that bad she can save up for it just like everyone else does.” – CJSinTX
“Excellent. You are NTA, and this is not a health necessity. And if she tried to sue you and then lost… Which I’m sure she would… Then you make sure that the trust asks for her to pay the attorney fees.”
“I’m sorry about your parental situation, but I’m so happy that you had such awesome grandparents!” – mtngrl60
Others pointed out how this incident could compromise the OP’s position at the head of the fund.
“You could be removed as the manager of the Family fund if they could prove that you misused it, or spent it recklessly with disregard for the fund’s purpose…. Like if you did something crazy like blowing $150k+ on a luxury plastic surgery makeover.”
“Can you imagine? A good lawyer could have you removed pronto.”
“NTA, don’t give her a dime unless something goes wrong and she ends up in the ER or something. Even then, pay for the minimum – no extras.” – Affirmativerobot
“It almost sounds like they’re trying to bully him into agreeing, and then using that as proof of ‘misuse’ in order to take over the whole thing.”
“Perhaps not. NTA anyhow.” – Aether-Wind
“If this is the USA, and you do get sued, make sure that your lawyer looks into relevant FMLA law. Under federal FMLA laws, plastic surgery is only covered if it necessary reconstructive surgery (think a face transplant due to having acid thrown on you, or breast implants after a double mastectomy due to breast cancer).”
“The law does not consider elective plastic surgery to be necessary, which is why insurance usually won’t cover it.” – deep_shaking
This is a complicated situation, but the subReddit had the OP’s back, pointing out that plastic surgery alone is not a necessity, and that he needed to be careful to protect his position over the funds while the family was still fuming about this incident.