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Mum – inheritance – spouse – advice

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This topic contains 8 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by bittergaymark Bittergaymark 2 months, 2 weeks ago.

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  • #814502 Reply

    We are an Indian family from India. My recently widowed mother is keen on transferring the wealth as soon as she can so that she can be done with it. Initially, after the decisions were taken about who will get which property, the rest of the family said I should tell my husband of 25 years what we discussed. I refused.
    More recently, my mum insisted so reluctantly I told my husband that two properties were being transferred to my name. The next day my mum said she would not transfer one property now (the house she lives in) but would will it to me later. I was upset because I felt awkward having to tell my husband about this – I told him that I asked her to keep the house as I don’t want her not to have any property of her own. And for good measure I told him we have to give her some time and be prepared for her to change her mind a few times.
    I am not so worried about the inheritance as much as I worry about cutting a sorry figure with my husband/ his family. In India, inheritance discussions are not restricted to the heirs, and my folks feel honour-bound to include my husband. My husband sounded cool about the whole thing. He’s not a greedy guy at all but he might wonder what’s going on if my mother keeps changing her mind. I know my parents have every right to do what they want with their wealth, but bringing my husband into the scene and then having to explain that things have changed feels uncomfortable.
    I know my mother is feeling anxious and insecure and she may well say she won’t transfer the other property either. It will be tiresome to explain all this to my husband. What can I say now that will not set any expectations for my husband and help me protect my mother’s standing in his eyes? I don’t want him to use this in some argument or fight we may have later on. I need to know how to counter stuff like “Your mom didn’t stand on her word”. Moreover, I don’t want my in-laws saying anything about this, they’re quite keen and curious about these issues. Please help.

    #814516 Reply

    I think there may be some real cultural differences that may make it difficult for many of us to give you usable advice. From my perspective it would be pretty awful for your husband to throw this in your face and crappy of him to share any of this information with his parents. But I recognize that families work differently. Would it really be so bad to say that your mother is working things through and having a difficult time since your father passed away? That she’s talking things out with all of you but that you know it’s part of her process and that you don’t want to consider anything certain until it’s done?

    #814520 Reply

    Why would you refuse to tell him to begin with? I’m also thinking there have to be some real cultural differences at play here that would impact our ability to provide good advice. We would never not tell our spouse such a thing. Also not understanding why your mother took one back once you told your husband but also believes your husband should be involved. That’s pretty confusing.

    #814528 Reply

    Maybe she doesn’t like the idea of transferring the property right away, because that would mean she doesn’t have it to her name. Maybe she doesn’t like the idea of living in a house that’s not hers, technically.
    I didn’t want to tell him because it’s a commitment, and I didn’t want to tell him till we were absolutely sure. Plus, my husband and his family didn’t discuss their inheritance plans with me so I didn’t see why we had to do it.
    There’s a certain formality about keeping the in-laws informed, especially the daughter’s in-laws, in my culture. And my mother is fond of my husband. She doesn’t see this step back as a big deal as she still will give it to me, just not now.

    #814530 Reply

    I did tell him exactly that and he was supportive, but my mom’s restless and that’s making me restless.

    #814541 Reply

    If you believe she’s going to change her mind multiple times, maybe you shouldn’t tell him (and his parents) until things are actually legally settled? Although I don’t understand why him thinking and knowing your mom changes her mind is a bad thing. At the end of the day, it’s going to you eventually.

    #814548 Reply

    “What can I say now that will not set any expectations for my husband and help me protect my mother’s standing in his eyes?”

    You have already told him your thoughts and feelings on the matter. Continuing to talk about it, will just increase the likelihood of it becoming a big deal to him.

    “I don’t want him to use this in some argument or fight we may have later on. I need to know how to counter stuff like “Your mom didn’t stand on her word”

    You do not have to make pre-emitive plans on how to respond at a hypothetical argument coming from someone else’s perceptions of your mother’s choices (your husbands or your in-laws).

    Perhaps you find the exercise of working out mental worse-case scenarios as a soothing mechanism for how uncomfortable and unsettled it makes you feel to discuss your inheritance with his side when such discussions might not be completely settled.

    I think you should cut yourself some slack. You recently experienced a loss and that tends to bring with it the need to take care of significant matters such as inheritance and your mom’s comfort. You don’t need to add to your worries by thinking about things that are beyond your control, such as the way others in your family think about your mother’s decisions.

    If your husband is harboring secret resentment and brings up your mother not standing on her word you tell him; “My mother’s choices were her own. I did the best that I could at the time and I believe she did, too.”

    Try not to take on your mother’s restlessness. Doing that is far more likely to impact your life than not anticipating hypothetical that are far past your own control.

    In-laws will in-law. It’s universal. Just be a kind daughter-in-law and accept that is the most anyone can do about it.

    #814555 Reply

    I’m having trouble understanding, which I think has to do with cultural differences. It sounds like you don’t want to tell your husband because you’re afraid your mom will change her mind, give you less, and then your husband will be mad and people (including him) will judge your mom?

    I think that at a certain point, you have to just let people make their own decisions and, if people judge them, people judge them. People are going to think what they are going to think, and spending so much time and energy to stop that just seems kind of unnecessary and way too stressful. If you are clear with your husband that your mom might change her mind, and he gets mad when she does, then that’s not really your fault. That’s his fault for not listening to you. I know you say he’s not greedy, but if he KNOWS that she might change her mind and then gets THAT angry when she does, then maybe he is a little greedy.

    In the end, you can’t control your mom, or your husband, or your in-laws or whoever. They are going to make their own decisions and have their own thoughts. Just do your best and worry about your own stuff.

    #814561 Reply

    Apparently, India’s treatment of women is advancing about as fast as their air quality is improving. .
    Tell your husband to piss off. It is your mother’s wealth to distribute. She can do it on her schedule. If he whines like a little brat about disrespect — tell him to go wander the nearby slums and whine some more about how you both just inherited one house but will have to wait a few years for the second. Wah. Wah. Cry me a Ganges…

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