My mom is getting older and wants to create her will. She’s still capable herself for the most part and also has a lawyer, but she lives with us anyway so I help her with a lot of things including this. I have two teenagers. My brother has a teenage daughter with his wife of 20 years. However, they briefly separated a decade ago and he has a son [9M] from a ONS during that time. They’ve always had a visitation schedule and we (the extended family) have known him since he was a preschooler. But as of a year ago he’s living with my brother and his wife full-time as his mother passed away, and is now more integrated into our family. My mom accepts his son as her grandson as do the rest of us.
My mom wants to leave a small property she owns to be split among the grandkids. The assumption is that when the time comes they’ll sell it and split the proceeds since it’s not sentimental or easy/convenient to share ownership of.
9M is the sole beneficiary of his mother’s death, and is the sole beneficiary of his very elderly but very well-off maternal grandparents. The funds from his mother alone are considerably more than the property my mom owns. So my mother allocated him a token gift but didn’t think it made sense for him to be cut in equally to the other 3. It has nothing to do with him being born outside of marriage or anything like that.
My brother found out and demanded his son be cut equally to the property, not really because the money, he knows as well as we do that 9M doesn’t need it, and more because of what it meant symbolically for 9M to not be cut in. My mom repeated that it didn’t make practical sense but said if I agreed, she was willing to split it four ways instead.
But I said no, I agree with her that it’s illogical. Let’s say the property is worth 200k when my mom passes away, 4 ways that’s 50k each, 3 ways that’s 67k each. If we were talking about $200 I’d understand, but I can’t justify taking 17k from each of my kids’ futures for a symbolic gesture. Obviously the exact amount will depend on the market, 200k is just a reference point/current value.
I told my brother that I didn’t think that was fair to my kids, he said I was being mercenary. Am I A Jerk?
What do you think about this situation? Any advice. Here are a few comments on the story where it was originally posted: