Mother in laws accounting system (rant)

How to explain ERE, arranging family matters
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Laura Ingalls
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Mother in laws accounting system (rant)

Post by Laura Ingalls »

My IL’s are their mid 70 and self-employed and can’t seem to figure out how to quit. They have a considerable real property (land, livestock, ag equipment/infrastructure). They have smaller nut of cash and stocks. The bulk of the cash and stocks have mostly inherited from others. Anyway not poor but not exactly financial sophisticates.

My MIL does the books without any accounting software or computer of any kind. She has this crazy complicated homegrown system of codes for various types of income and expenses. She had a code number for cash gifts to each grandkid and DH’s siblings. DH doesn’t have a code. I guess that’s the penalty for being too self sufficient. DH’s one sibling is a hot mess with multiple problems (mental health, substance, legal, physical health problems). Other sibling is generally pretty together but is impulsive and a sub par money manager that is always complaining about being broke. It just kind of annoying and disheartening to see them rewarded or being less than competent adults.

shaz
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Re: Mother in laws accounting system (rant)

Post by shaz »

Is it possible she tracks the cash gifts because she plans to "even things up" in the will?

Laura Ingalls
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Re: Mother in laws accounting system (rant)

Post by Laura Ingalls »

I am sure it is. The flaw with that system is that DH would get to be the enforcer of such a reconstruction. It makes him the bad guy.

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Seppia
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Re: Mother in laws accounting system (rant)

Post by Seppia »

I don’t mean to be rude, but while I think the only “fair” way to split inheritances is equal parts, it’s their money.

If my parents decided to leave 50% to each of my two sisters and 0% to me I would never question it, in the same way I would never allow a family member to question how I allocate my money.

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Ego
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Re: Mother in laws accounting system (rant)

Post by Ego »

Laura Ingalls wrote:
Sun Jan 02, 2022 11:51 pm
It just kind of annoying and disheartening to see them rewarded or being less than competent adults.
Money is only one form of reward. From her perspective, the fact that DH does not need a code might be the more valuable reward.

How did you discover the system exists?

Laura Ingalls
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Re: Mother in laws accounting system (rant)

Post by Laura Ingalls »

@Seppia
Its would be easier take if she didn’t constantly talk about fair being equal. Or that the money given seems to encourage behavior they say they don’t like. :evil:

@Ego
She shared it with DH (I am guessing for her eventual demise). Many of the codes corespondent to types of income and expenses on the schedule F. Other stuff is just household and I would personally just have another account for that and deposit myself a “salary”.

DutchGirl
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Re: Mother in laws accounting system (rant)

Post by DutchGirl »

Your in-laws should definitely get a will and make sure that any gifts already given are taken into account. (The professional drawing up their will would be able to help with that).

Laura Ingalls
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Re: Mother in laws accounting system (rant)

Post by Laura Ingalls »

@dutchgirl
They have a will. How exactly do you structure it when the gifts are ongoing. Not exactly sure a will or an modification of said will changes things.

I wish they would put in a requirement that if any of their kids proceed then his or her money would go in a professionally managed trust. I suspect it could easily happen in one case and is a nice protection for the other two.

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Sclass
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Re: Mother in laws accounting system (rant)

Post by Sclass »

I get it. I’ve been there.It’s not a perfect world where you’re going to be recognized and rewarded for having your act together.

You get the thumbs up from me though.

At the end of the day I am happy to be me. When you get really frustrated with this kind of thing (charity for idiot siblings) just be happy you’re you. You’re not them. You’re not needy. That helps me get through the day.

I spent many years worrying that my father’s money. It meant more to me then. I wish I could go back and tell myself to just let it go. Let everything and everyone go. I spent years playing games with these low lifes trying to get a slice of pie that I no longer want to eat.

I think I wasted my life or some portion of it obsessing about this stuff. Gotta look ahead and be happy to be me.

DutchGirl
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Re: Mother in laws accounting system (rant)

Post by DutchGirl »

Your in-laws are definitely providing economic outpatient care to two of their three kids; it's very unfortunate that they weren't able to raise them to economic self-sufficiency. (EOC is a term from the book The Millionaire Next Door, see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Milli ... tient_Care).

I get that it's very frustrating. In the end it may be best to just let it go. You're not your in-laws, they get to make their own decisions. It is possible to change a will so that the money would go into a trust, but your in-laws would have to do that. You can talk to them about that, but in the end it's their decision.

If that in the end means that you share the inheritance 33/33/33 while ignoring all the previous financial support - well, so be it. You two will still thrive financially. Of course, don't give either of the siblings MORE financial support if they blast through their part of the inheritance. I'd try to appear poorer to them than you are, but given that you're on this forum, that will probably already be the case.

Good luck!

Laura Ingalls
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Re: Mother in laws accounting system (rant)

Post by Laura Ingalls »

It was useful to vent. Thanks for listening. I am feeling more circumspect about it. I will goof it up but the quote, “things that matter don’t count and all things that count don’t matter.”

I do love and mostly enjoy my IL’s. One of the siblings is actually pretty enjoyable to hang out with. The other is on a healthier less self-destructive track than I have witnessed in probably 20 years (said guardedly as we have all thought that before).

I do have angst that when both parent IL’s die and the estate will be the messiest project ever less because of it size or squabbling but more disorganization and logistics (cattle, crops in the field, rando bills everywhere, semi-horded home, dozens of things with titles).

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