Money brings out the worst in people. Endless stories about families who stop speaking to each other over inheritance issues make us lose faith in humanity.
One couple tried to address the issue head-on to prevent any hurt feelings upon their departure. Their youngest son, our story’s Original Poster (OP) came to Reddit after the discussion, angry at his parent’s apparent favoritism.
Discussing the Will with their Kids
OP shared that his parents have four kids, three boys in their early thirties and one girl in her forties. They brought the family together to discuss estate planning and to share their plans for splitting the estate between the four children.
Splitting Five Ways
Much to OP’s chagrin, the parents wanted to split their estate five ways rather than four, gifting the elder sister an additional 20%.
The incredulous OP couldn’t believe it. He demanded to know why they favored the older sister, especially considering she didn’t have any children and was significantly more well-off financially than her younger siblings.
The parents took the opportunity to admit their mistakes. They said they’re paying the sister back for constantly forcing her to babysit her younger siblings.
OP knew precisely what they meant. He shared that when they were little, their parents weren’t well off and had to work all the time, maintaining multiple jobs to pay the bills.
The sister sacrificed her teenage years to care for her three younger siblings.
Big Whoop Says OP
OP claims three young boys were easy for his sister to watch and doesn’t understand why his parents think they have anything to make up for.
“All she had to do was feed us and keep an eye on us,” he claims, refusing to admit that probably wasn’t as easy as it sounds. He also refused to acknowledge how much she may have had to give up to watch them: nights out with friends, dances, her own after-school job, school activities, and more that she may have missed out on because she had to watch her siblings.
Is OP Wrong?
OP and his brothers argued about the split with their parents while their sister remained silent. His parents refused to budge and said they were disappointed in the brothers.
He saw nothing wrong with his complaints and took to Reddit for validation.
Yes, OP, You’re Wrong
OP didn’t get the validation he so desperately desired. Most of Reddit agreed with his parents and thought he was in the wrong for arguing with them.
It’s Their Money
First and foremost, Reddit users pointed out that it’s the parent’s money, and they can do whatever they want with it. He has no say in how they allocate their funds.
However, we could understand his feelings if the will was grossly unfair. In that case, we’d likely say his parents, although legally correct, are still jerks.
However, that’s not the crux of the issue.
Sister Deserves It
Many users applauded the parents for realizing the undue burden they placed upon their daughter and making an effort to compensate her.
“Even if she just stayed at home while you were there, she didn’t have teenage freedom, and she made sacrifices and took on responsibilities,” said one user. “It doesn’t matter how affluent she is now, your parents are trying to pay her back for what they couldn’t pay her then.”
Others pointed out that the sister’s choice to remain child-free may directly result from the parentification.
“Those years COULD be a major factor why she chose not to have kids/doesn’t have kids yet. She already raised her siblings!” exclaimed one user.
OP claims the three brothers were good kids, but that doesn’t mean the sister had it easy. They likely squabbled, refused dinner, talked back, and behaved like children most of the time (because they were children). Three young boys would try the patience of even their parents, so it was likely miserable for the teenager stuck watching them all the time.
We hope the OP takes a minute to think about everything his sister sacrificed for him and realizes that his parents are being more than fair to all of them.
Melanie launched Partners in Fire in 2017 to document her quest for financial independence with a mix of finance, fun, and solving the world’s problems. She’s self educated in personal finance and passionate about fighting systematic problems that prevent others from achieving their own financial goals. She also loves travel, anthropology, gaming and her cats.