First I’d like to say this site has been a lifesaver for me over the past 7 years that I’ve been a caretaker. I discovered a lot of people have much bigger problems than I, and this has put my issues in perspective!
5 years ago I took an early retirement because the care of both my parents was too overwhelming along with a full time job. My husband supported this decision.
My wonderful Dad passed away a bit over two years ago and once again with my husbands approval we moved my Mother in with us. It’s working out much better than we both thought. My Dad was so worried about her as she is quite frail but is actually doing quite well.
My MIL started declining about a year to 2 years ago and I stepped up to help with her Doctor Appts, etc. She recently passed and much to our surprise left quite a legacy to my husband. Long story short this is the only marriage for both of us and we share 4 adult children. Married for 43 years. All our children are well educated with great careers.
Here is the kicker I just inadvertently found out my husband put his inheritance in an account with just him and one of our son's name. I do understand an inheritance does not need to be shared with a spouse but what a slap in the face. I had every intention of putting whatever inheritance I get in both our names. Also my salary paid for the kids colleges so no real 401k for me. I am deeply hurt by his lack of concern about me should he go first. Just wonder what your thoughts are on this topic. Thanks

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D2P I'm just pasting your explanation here so people can see what I'm talking about:

"I think my son was just repeating what my husband said. He was my MIL accountant/financial adviser. He was the only one who knew she had money. I knew before my husband she had money because my son shared the info with me in confidence. I don’t think hubby is aware that I know so much. I haven’t said anything as I didn’t want to put my son in the middle."

Your son is an accountant/financial adviser. Your son looked after his grandmother's finances. Your son placed his grandmother's legacy in this account naming his father and himself? Your son shared confidential information with you. Your son seems also to have taken on himself your own future financial security.

Your son, with respect, has already gone and is still going rather far beyond his legitimate remit. I am sure he is doing this with the best of intentions, but before now I have known people who by virtue of their professional accountancy qualifications get up to all sorts of interesting manoeuvres and think it clever - and *mean* it to be clever - when in fact it creates enormous complications, not least mistrust and bad feeling among families. What do accountants understand about hurt feelings and the value of loving care?

TALK TO YOUR HUSBAND. It is for you and your husband to give instructions to your financial adviser. It is not for your son to think he will organise his parents' affairs so that the poor old dears don't have to trouble their pretty grey heads about it.

You don't have to say a single word about your son in starting this conversation. You begin it with "set my mind at rest. I think it's time we talked about our retirement planning, our wills, our powers of attorney and our health and care plans. Can we have a fact-finding conversation, please?"
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Your son said that to you?

My son is six foot tall and thirty five years old but if he had said that to me he would have been over my knee and spanked with a hairbrush.

D2p, enough is enough. WHY are you asking your son questions that ought to have been put to your husband? WHY does your son believe that it is for him to determine what is "enough" for his mother? And why in heaven's name aren't you and your husband sorting out your joint affairs in a tidy and transparent way? Don't be reticent, don't be shy, but do be calm - it is time to be taken seriously about a serious subject which you have a right to be involved in.
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BarbBrooklyn May 2019
Good lord! I'm with you, CM; there is something so very "off" about this situation.

I seem to recall reading on here about a woman who overheard her husband talking to one of her adult children about how the estate was arranged so that it would all go to the children, not his wife of many years. The wife found out about this plan, went to a lawyer and made sure that no matter what the will said, the state laws regards a spouse's rights were followed. On the way home from the funeral, she explained to the children "how it would be", told them that she forgave them for their part in colluding with their dad.

Daughter, I would get myself to a full service law firm very soon. Not so much about this particular bit of money as about the bigger picture. Take all the financial records with you. Sit down with a lawyer. Then make a second appointment and tell your DH that you are both going to make wills so that your future is protected. If he won't, you'll have an answer, won't you?

Check out if you want to learn about investing; I'd start taking some money out of those joint accounts and put them in an account with your name only. Just to be safe.
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Unless there have been some major changes in the law, inheritance is not community property. It is sole and separate property of your husband.

I think that you should talk to him and forget about putting your son in the middle, he has done that himself. 1st he tells you what grandma has, but don't tell dad and then he tells you what dad did, but don't say a word. In my opinion your son is an instigator and should not be trusted. Perhaps he is intentionally trying to create a separation so all grandma's money goes to him, it is set up that way.

Trust your husband and have a talk about the shenanigans your son is up to and how to get that money secured for your guys future.

I have found that when someone tells me something with the preface that I can't repeat it, they are soothing their own conscience by creating a cohort. Don't play the game.
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I think you're going to have to ask your husband of 43 years about this, don't you? Nobody else can explain.

Found out inadvertently, eh? Hmm. Well, as it was inadvertent: tell the truth, shame the devil, and tell him how you came across the information.

Unless your husband has something against his other three children, and as your MIL passed away recently as you say, my first guess would be that this account is not the end of his plans for the money but is merely an interim arrangement.

In any case, of more importance to you is the provision your husband has made in his will; and you too should have made a will. Often the best arrangement for a married couple is to see to this together - have you done so? If not, what are you waiting for?

I can understand that you feel hurt and badly treated, but don't make assumptions that make it worse. His "lack of concern" about you is probably no such thing. Don't let it fester - you've been married for over forty years and the Need To Know basis applies.
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DizzyBritches May 2019
Yes. The impression I got was of a pretty harmonious marriage. But some people hate to talk about death and they hate to talk about money.
I'd be miffed if my husband squirreled away an inheritance for himself and another family member to my own exclusion.

These days, no one knows how much it will cost to see life through to the final curtain call. If your husband really did say "you are on [dad's] 401k that’s enough" I would want a straight answer from the horse's mouth.

I would not involve your son anymore than he has already been involved. Even if he is an accountant, it's weird and inappropriate.

There are men who have secrets. There are sons who keep their father's secrets. I hope that's not what's going on here. Depending on what your husband says about his reasons for putting the inheritance in an account that's not shared with you but rather shared with just one child, you may want to hire a PI.

If you tell your husband you feel hurt and he doesn't care, I would start making preparations to ensure your own financial security. How much would you estimate retiring 5 years early cost you?
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No, CM, I didn't go with her. But not because the 10K retainer gave me any pause.

Interestingly, my ex, someone I always kowtowed to, deferred to, etc., who was LIVID when, as directed by our mediator, I retained a lawyer, suddenly became quite docile when HIS lawyer explained to him exactly what he was going to give me. (Much more than I asked for). Because NY State is a good place to be a woman.

And, contrary to what you might think, he now seems to respect me more. Standing up for myself, finally, seemed to get his attention.
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Davina May 2019
Yes! "Standing up for myself, finally, seemed to get his attention."
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Let me guess, Joe - you’re not married, right?

Last I heard, when Peeps married this man 40 YEARS AGO, his “family name” became hers.

And, by the way - you pompous ass - “Irregardless” isn’t a word.
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You might find this interesting

If your husband has any reason to believe you would mismanage your money he may be trying to protect you by having your son manage for you (I'm not saying he's going about it the right way though)

Ah, I just realized you are asking specifically about the inheritance, not your other assets. It could be that he wants to ensure the money reaches the next generation but I still feel his efforts are clumsy, and what about the other kids? This sounds a lot like the archaic patrilineal attitude that sees the money as passing from his father, to himself, to oldest son.
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Have the husband investigated by a private investigator, see if he is having an affair. He may have an exit plan, and this son knows about it.
Then, after you have enough information, go to your husband.

Keep your money separate, tell no one.

Plan for the worst, hope and pray for the best.
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NeedHelpWithMom May 2019
Good idea! A good PI can dig up a lot. My friend’s sister is a PI and has provided lots of evidence to her clients. Proof! Not hearsay. Photos, paper trail, etc. She has taken a lot of people down in New Orleans, even high profile politicians. They are sitting in jail now due to her great work.

Great advice, Sendhelp.
Joe; I think you are mis-reading here.

The OP paid for college education for 4 children out of her salary, rather than contributing to her own retirement funds. While she is the beneficiary of her DH's IRA, there is no will and no word about the house, pension, etc.

If I were in a marriage in which funds were co-mingled, and in which I was being asked for forgo my own retirement savings in favor of paying for college, I'd like my rights of inheritance spelled out. Like in a will. Or a trust.

And I'd want to know the terms. That's called standing up for yourself.
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