The issue of inheritance can be a challenging and sensitive matter for families to handle. Unequal distribution of assets among siblings can result in bitterness and strained relationships. Recently, a man, who we’ll refer to as ‘Mark,’ sought advice on whether it was wrong for him to refuse to share his inheritance with his sister, who was set to inherit a more significant portion from their parents. His family’s response has sparked a discussion on what constitutes fairness in such situations.
Speaking Of Inheritance
Mark began by saying that his parents spoke to him, and his two brothers, aged 31, 32 and 34, respectively, along with their 41 year old sister. The topic at hand was the parents’ will. “My parents informed us that they want to split it five ways, my sister gets 2/5 while the three of us brothers get 1/5 each.
The Sister’s Sacrifice
Mark’s parents decided to give their daughter a larger share of the inheritance because they believe she sacrificed her childhood for the family. “Their reasoning is that my sister “sacrificed” her childhood for our family so its only fair she gets compensated,” Mark said.
Mark continued to argue his point of view: “In our childhood, my father’s business partner double-crossed him so there was a period where we were broke and in debt. My parents had to work multiple jobs to keep us afloat, and my sister babysat us while our parents worked. All she had to do was feed us and keep an eye on us. We were pretty calm kids so all we did was play games and do our homework. It probably wasn’t thrilling, but not exactly a tremendous hardship.”
Mark continued, “I complained to my parents along with my brothers that its insane they want to give my sister 2/5 of the inheritance over that, especially since she’s financially the best off out of all of us. She doesn’t have any kids and a dual income with her partner.”
Parents Are Disappointed
“My parents said they’re disappointed in us, and said we need to reflect on ourselves. My sister didn’t say anything while my parents spoke, but texted us afterwards saying that she had zero intention of taking 2/5 but that we were all acting selfish.”
No Teenage Freedom
Others weighed in, enraged and said that Mark is definitely acting selfishly. One person said, “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. 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.”
His Sister’s Efforts
Another said, “Not many parents are willing to acknowledge that they parentified a child. Your sister sacrificed her teenage years to help your parents take care of you. There may not have been any inheritance at all for you to quibble over, if not for her unpaid labor back then.”
One person pointed out, “First of all, you are not entitled to any of your parents’ money, they could have left it to a cat shelter and that would have been fine. Second, yes, she did in fact make a huge sacrifice by basically becoming a third parent and babysitting you all the time. All the time you’ve spent playing? She could have been out with her friends, enjoying her childhood, and instead she was making sure her siblings were fed and out of trouble. You are terribly entitled.”
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