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Helping adult children with money

(58 Posts)
pollyparrot Mon 29-Feb-16 18:57:58

I'm interested to know what others do about this delicate matter. Our adult children are never going to be the same in their achievements, jobs and financial situation.

If one child needs a bit of help and you can afford it, do you help them? I'm guessing most would say yes to that but what if you have another child who doesn't need your help? Is it fair to help one and not give the other the same amount.

I think it's quite a difficult dilemma. What's your take on this?

harrigran Mon 29-Feb-16 19:01:24

It depends on the circumstances, I help by buying GC's shoes and other expenses that go with GC. DD is childless and does not expect me to buy her a pair of Jimmy Choos every time GC get new shoes grin

jinglbellsfrocks Mon 29-Feb-16 19:05:31

We are always fair when it comes to giving lump sums to them, but if real need arises then that one gets it. We helped one of them out in quite a big way. It was necessary to keep a life on track. It will, hopefully, get evened out down the line.

Iam64 Mon 29-Feb-16 20:01:09

I try to be fair with both financial and practical support. I know the 'children' are adults now but I have such clear memories of comments like "she's got more peas than I have" and fear sibling rivalry could rear its ugly head again.

pensionpat Mon 29-Feb-16 20:08:10

Being fair doesn't mean treating them the same. They each need different help at different times. Financial or otherwise. I have helped 1 DS much more than the other, but 1 of them suffered badly in the recession while the other was in a secure job.

chloe1984 Mon 29-Feb-16 20:19:17

One has children and one doesn't have a family. The GC get presents,outings and lots of treats the one without the family gets more money spent on birthday and Christmas presents. It can be so very difficult especially if they are not exactly in the same place i.e. Job security , owning homes etc. Would like to think that I could help each one out as required without the other being jealous or resentful but not sure that would happen.

pollyparrot Mon 29-Feb-16 20:51:55

I've helped each of mine when they needed it and where I was able. I have one son who has more money than the rest of us put together but I've also given him equivalent amounts as I felt treating them equally was very important.

I possibly got this from my parents. When my mother died she left me and my brother exactly the same amounts, half and half of everything. This was even though my brother was much better off than me. I didn't resent it as it was my mother's money to do whatever she wanted with it, plus treating us equally did seem fair. As it turned out my brother died five months later so his children got all his money, and it was a lot. They felt guilty and gave some of it to my children.

Synonymous Mon 29-Feb-16 21:16:36

As you say Polly the children will never be the same in anything and yes, if there is a need, we would help them. Fairness doesn't come into it as regards giving them all the same amount at the same time since a need being met is just not the same as a gift. As jings says hopefully everything gets evened out down the line.
That was so nice that your brother's children shared their inheritance with your children. smile

We have given our DC equal money gifts when we have had a fit of generosity and it has been interesting to see what they have done with it. Not the same either by any means!

As for the concern mentioned down the thread about sibling rivalry if the children know they can come in confidence and the arrangements are made in private and kept private then it won't happen. It is good for DC to know that confidential is confidential.

Stansgran Mon 29-Feb-16 21:29:43

I've stopped giving money as they would have to pay tax if I snuffed it within seven years and I'm saving up for my retirement home.

Deedaa Mon 29-Feb-16 22:11:14

We have helped both our children at different times for different reasons. At the moment we are paying part of DS's rent because his wages won't cover even the cheapest rents round here. His girlfriend has been working but she hardly earns enough to cover her travel expenses and if she worked longer the extra money would just go on child care. DD is OK for money at the moment but I provide the free childcare that enables her to work.

Neversaydie Mon 29-Feb-16 22:44:10

We have just given both DCs large sums of money towards property purchase.One has had twice as much as the other as property is much more expensive where she lives. We have altered our wills to reflect this and our second child knows and is fine with this .
We try very hard to be fair but both children understand that fair doesn't always mean equal

Ana Mon 29-Feb-16 22:53:12

Just a point - if you give one or more of your children a certain sum every month (or at other regular intervals), as long as it's regular and you can afford it out of your income there will be no penalty, tax-wise. (I should jolly well think so, but rules is rules...!)

janeainsworth Mon 29-Feb-16 23:28:30

You can give up to £3K per year to your children without any tax liability.

Neversaydie Mon 29-Feb-16 23:38:31

We are planning on living for at least seven years ...

su3ieQ Tue 01-Mar-16 10:54:16

Could someone clarify the tax issues around giving money to kids? We need to give quite a bit to our daughter....We hope to live for more than 7 years by the way!

Bez1989 Tue 01-Mar-16 11:09:26

I have 2 adult step children. Only 1 has a family of 2 little girls. We make a small payment each month into their own bank accounts to help with extra educational needs as they grow older. We gave a lump sum to one couple and when the time came gave the other step adult the same amount. My husband always treated them the same with money when they were young re Birthdays & Christmas. As long as we can afford it we will continue all this financial path.

PPP Tue 01-Mar-16 11:18:24

I think you should always treat your children equally, whatever their situations.

I was financially more successful than my brother, who was equally well educated and with the same opportunities as I had. If my parents had given him more than me I would have been outraged!!

We are selling our house and dividing the equity between our two children (we also hope we live for the seven years!). Otherwise I think they would feel that it was grossly unfair to favour one above the other.

Alsy Tue 01-Mar-16 11:22:24

I am very interested in this discussion as I recently made large lifetime gifts to my children on selling the family house to downsize, rather than have them wait until I die, when they may (possibly) be well into middle age and not need the money. Also my understanding is this avoids inheritance tax as long as I live another 7 years which I fully intend to do!
( fate willing of course).

Although one sibling needed the gift badly- for a flat- and the other is better off, I personally feel it is essential to treat children equally. The risk if you don't is that resentment can sour the sibling relationships and family relationships generally. I have found my own siblings a wonderful source of support throughout my adult life and i hope that my children are able to have a similarly good relationship .Families can be torn apart by jealousy and disputes about money and inheritances, I dont want that to happen if I can prevent it.
best wishes to all grans struggling with these dilemmas

inishowen Tue 01-Mar-16 11:22:51

We give both our children the same amount. We've just paid for our daughter to get her driveway done, then our son got money to take his family on holiday. We have too much for our own needs, so we like to be generous now, when their families are young.

Nelliemaggs Tue 01-Mar-16 12:20:54

I give according to their needs. One of them needs a lot of help and I know the others approve of what I do. They would let me know if I displeased them so I am sure their concern for the needy one is genuine. All they worry about is that I shouldn't leave myself short.
They don't live in each other's pockets but they care for each other and would help each other should they need to.

tanith Tue 01-Mar-16 12:26:11

Reading many of the posts here I'm feeling quite a failure in that I've never been in a position to help my children in any major way financially, its amazed me that so many are able to help with large amounts to family.
I'm not criticizing of course we all do what we can but I just feel sorry I haven't been able to help them more.

Blinko Tue 01-Mar-16 12:32:46

We have always tried to treat our two DSs fairly and even handedly, according to their needs and what we can afford. In both cases, the in laws are fairly comfortably off and help out too. I believe that DS2s in laws treat him and his wife equally as a unit when it comes to helping out financially and also in terms of bequests. However DS1s in laws tend to exclude him from any financial arrangements, which they have in the past specified as being for his wife, their DD.

All that is their business, of course. Our dilemma is that we want to leave our estate to the GCs to help them on their way as young adults (we're hoping to reach the 'average age' for nowadays). However DS1 has 1 child and DS2 has 2, which would make for an unequal share out between the families.

No doubt it will be sorted one way or another, but it's rather a knotty one for us right now. Hopefully there's plenty of time to resolve it.....

Has anyone else had this issue come up, I wonder?

Ana Tue 01-Mar-16 12:43:43

I can't really see what your problem is, Blinko. If you are going to be leaving your estate to be divided equally between your three grandchildren there can be no question of unfairness. Each child is getting exactly the same.

I can see it might be difficult if one DS did not have children, but that's not the case.

jinglbellsfrocks Tue 01-Mar-16 12:45:58

tanith! Stop saying such crazy things! I have looked at your profile pics. You obviously have a lovely close, happy extended family. You probably don't need to support them financially. They look as though they are making happy, settled lives for themselves. Be happy about that. And proud. hmm

jinglbellsfrocks Tue 01-Mar-16 12:46:50

And stop making me cross. grin wink