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Dave Says: Crummy Family's Lack of Boundaries

by | Nov. 15, 2011

Finances

Dear Dave,

My grandfather passed away a couple of months ago. I’m 32 and the only relative still living in town, so I helped take care of him and his place so he wouldn’t have to go into an assisted living facility. In his will, he left his entire estate—the house and property plus about $270,000—to me. I’m debt-free except for my house, and now my family is acting weird and telling me I’m making excuses for them being left out of the will. Do you have any advice?

Jason

Dear Jason,

Let me ask you something. Did you love your grandfather? It sure sounds to me like you did by taking care of him and his stuff. It sounds like he loved you a lot, too. So my advice is to do what he wanted and accept this generous inheritance. And your family needs to just shut up!

When you die, you can leave your belongings to whoever you choose. I mean, it was your grandfather’s stuff, so it was his decision. Period. He could have left it directly to his children, grandchildren, a friend or even his dog if he’d wanted.

Let these family members with the problems contest the will. And you can spend the money grandfather left fighting them. The man left what he left, and there’s no more. It was his money, his house and his property. They’re not entitled to it just because they’re breathing!

In the meantime, you need to learn how to be a wise investor and become debt-free, including the house! Start educating yourself on mutual funds and Roth IRAs. And don’t beat yourself up over this, Jason. You haven’t done anything wrong.

—Dave

For more financial help, please visit daveramsey.com.

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