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A young woman faced a dilemma with her partner about spending her family’s inheritance. Her partner believes she should use her inheritance to help his parents. Now, she’s forced to have a difficult conversation.
A Decade-Long Relationship
The original poster (OP), Ella, has been with her partner, Theo, for over a decade. They plan on getting married, but their wedding has been postponed.
Contrasting Financial Backgrounds
Unlike Ella’s parents, Theo’s parents have no retirement savings or money management. In the past, when Theo’s parents ran out of money, they received an unexpected windfall totaling $500,000, which they quickly spent.
Theo’s Parents’ Financial Situation
Theo’s parents also rent; their last windfall will be their pension. Despite loving Theo’s parents, Ella always feared they’d eventually go broke and turn to Theo for help.
Concerns About Parents’ Financial Future
Theo is the eldest of his three siblings, and despite being hardworking, his income isn’t high. Fortunately for Ella, one of her aunts gives all her nieces and nephews $100,000 as a wedding gift.
Conditions and Restrictions on Ella’s Inheritance
Since Ella hasn’t received any money from her aunt thus far, her aunt plans to gift her $200,000. Ella’s parents plan on matching this, bringing Ella’s inheritance to $400,000.
Discovery of Ella’s Inheritance
The only condition Ella’s parents demanded was that she use this money for her family home, her children’s education, or investment purposes. By design, only Ella will have access to these funds in case of a divorce.
Proposal and Ella’s Concerns
Normally, partners only know about these funds after marriage, but Theo learned through Ella’s brother. After discovering Ella would receive an inheritance, Theo suggested buying a retirement property for his parents.
Balancing Family and Financial Decisions
Ella doesn’t feel right about buying a property for Theo’s parents since they would struggle to keep up with their mortgage payments.
Additionally, Ella’s parents have strict rules for how to spend this money. Ella feels it wouldn’t be fair to use the money her family worked hard to earn to buy a property for her in-laws.
Feeling guilty, Ella offered up to $30,000 for Theo’s parents to use as a down payment as long as they continued making the monthly mortgage payments; Theo refused.
A Different Vision
Ella isn’t interested in purchasing property as she has prior plans to use her savings to build her mom’s dream kitchen; however, if she were to purchase property, she would prefer to invest in something for herself and Theo since they are currently living with her parents.
Perspectives From Others on the Situation
“You have expressed several good reasons why you don’t want to spend the money on his parents. But I also think that you’re marrying into a family where your husband is going to expect you to contribute to the upkeep of his parents.”
Struggling to Find a Middle Ground
“He’s probably used to the model of his parents getting bailed out by windfalls and just sees OP’s inheritance as the newest windfall to save his parents.”
It’s Your Money
“It’s your money, not your spouses [sic]. This isn’t something you made or worked on together.”
Navigating Complex Family Dynamics
Ella struggles to find a middle ground where she and Theo will both be happy. She cares about Theo and his family but doesn’t want to use her parents’ money to maintain their lifestyle.
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