Gransnet forums



(124 Posts)
Jandixie Fri 09-Sep-22 01:09:02

I am estranged from my son, his wife and my 4 year old grandson for a year and a half. I go from complete blame on myself, to anger on myself, to wondering what the future will bring. I send a card to my grandson every week with 3.00 dollars one to save, one spend and one to give away. I also contribute to his 529 college fund every month sense he was born $250.00 a month. No response. I do not know if I should continue this. I want to let my grandson know I think of him all the time. I also think of my son everyday. I am torn between love and anger. He wants no contact but still does not tell me to stop. I also give the same amount to my daughters 2 kids. I love them all so much. But I am so angry. How do I deal with this

Hithere Fri 09-Sep-22 01:25:33

What are the reasons for the estrangement?

Money cannot be used to patch anything up w/o addressing the culprit

You shouldn't expect a thank you for your 529 contributions either

Therapy can help you a lot and the anger you feel

Hithere Fri 09-Sep-22 01:27:45

Note for non US posters -529 is a college fund used to build up the amount needed to go to college

Parents usually open it when a child is born and put money in it monthly

nanna8 Fri 09-Sep-22 01:41:01

Can you not ring them and ask to discuss things calmly? Or write to your son and explain that you are very sad and would like to put things right? Take the initiative because otherwise things will probably drift on and on.

imaround Fri 09-Sep-22 02:35:21

I think it is commendable that you put away money for your GC college. A 529 account is extremely helpful when paying for higher education, I know because I just took my first debit from my daughters last month.

I would not treat his children different then your other GC in terms of saving money for them. Maybe a 529 is not the best route for that though. Please talk to a financial advisor and ask them for advice.

You may look into a simple savings account instead, or put the money into a Roth IRA which you can leave to your grandson upon your death. There are also other investments such as trusts to look at.

Smileless2012 Fri 09-Sep-22 09:01:52

I responded to your post on the support thread Jandixie, hope you've seen it flowers.

Whiff Fri 09-Sep-22 09:09:54

Jandixie I also responded to your post on the support thread.

Mandrake Fri 09-Sep-22 09:38:01

It's a lovely thought to send gifts to your GC but chances are your son and his family see it as an intrusion into their lives. This may be why you are hearing nothing.

Smileless2012 Fri 09-Sep-22 10:20:54

That's a good point Mandrake and if that is the case, maybe they should ask her to stop sending cards and to stop paying into her GS's college fund.

Jandixie could set up another account for her GS.

Grandmadinosaur Fri 09-Sep-22 10:24:47

I disagree Hithere that the OP shouldn’t expect a thank you for the college fund. It’s good manners and shouldn’t be taken for granted. That’s just rude.

Smileless2012 Fri 09-Sep-22 10:43:36

I agree Grandmadinosaur. I've never understood why those who choose to estrange and don't allow a GP to see their GC are prepared to take their money.

Hithere Fri 09-Sep-22 11:02:31

It is not rude not to acknowledge anything that would force contact when estranged.

Smileless2012 Fri 09-Sep-22 11:13:32

It is rude to accept gifts if you're not prepared to acknowledge them.

Mandrake Fri 09-Sep-22 11:20:21

I used to be the only one in my family to acknowledge gifts MIL sent. I'd reply with a newsy letter and photos. I never got a reply. When I had enough it was hard to stop as it goes against my nature to not say thank you but I made it clear to DH it was now his responsibility. He didn't do it and MIL then sent a package registered (to make sure we were getting them, I guess) and then they stopped. Obviously she was using these to flush out news and when that stopped working, she stopped herself. We hadn't asked for them and always saw them as MIL's way of making sure we were reminded of her presence. Returning them just seemed so mean, so I never did.

Glorianny Fri 09-Sep-22 11:24:10

Why not just write to your son, apologise, ask for a reconciliation and ask about your contact. Do they object to your card and your contribution? Offer them the option of not replying and say you will regard this as an indication that they don't want money or contact.
If they don't reply or refuse contact you can still pay money into an account you hold for your GS and keep any cards or letters you would have sent. When he is older he might want to know you and when he is 18 you can write to him as he will be choosing who he sees.
I hope though you can sort things out before then.

Norah Fri 09-Sep-22 11:27:00

Really, it depends who owns the plan. Jandixie, Do you own it, or are you contributing to a 529 someone else owns?

"All 529 plan accounts have an account owner and a beneficiary, with the account owner controlling the account. An individual 529 account is a regular 529 account, with an adult individual as the account owner and a student as the beneficiary."

If you are contributing to a plan you own presumably nobody else knows.

If you are contributing to a plan someone else owns you might consider quitting and opening your own plan for GC.

Norah Fri 09-Sep-22 11:33:50

To the $3 a week, GC is 4, hardly knows what money is, can't thank you as he doesn't see you.

It's nothing in the scheme of life, but I think I'd just send cards because the idea they were unopened and cash binned would make me unhappy, even at only $3 a week.

Norah Fri 09-Sep-22 12:41:52

The 529 plans sounds a brilliant way to save, tax free for schooling.

The value of tax-free compounding is immense.

"A 529 plan is a tax-advantaged savings plan designed to help pay for education. Originally limited to post-secondary education costs, it was expanded to cover K-12 education in 2017 and apprenticeship programs in 2019."

imaround Fri 09-Sep-22 14:53:52

The problem with a 529 starts when/if the child does not get secondary education. The money can only be used for education purposes or it will be heavily taxed and penalized.

There are other, more tax friendly, ways to save money. The best person to talk to is a financial specialist.

AmberSpyglass Fri 09-Sep-22 15:07:10

It depends what you want from this. Your child has made it clear they won’t be in touch - your sending money (and a card every week!) isn’t going to change that. You’re deliberately intruding on their lives and think it’s acceptable because you’re financially contributing when they didn’t ask you to. Either do it because you want to and you love your GC or accept that you’re trying to bribe your way past boundaries that they’ve set.

Norah Fri 09-Sep-22 15:10:20

The key is who owns the account. The 529 money can be transferred to any other persons education.

Jandixie Fri 09-Sep-22 15:36:50

All good comments. The 529 is for my grandson under my sons name. If I had opened one it would be taxed when the grandson used it. With a parent it is not. Crazy rule. I will not expect anything anymore. It’s hard for me to stop texting. I’m sure they don’t want that. I’ve written I would just like to listen and hear their pain without talking about my hurt just listen. But no response I just will have to live with the hurt and try not to be angry. Thanks so much for all your comments. I shall consider each one

Smileless2012 Fri 09-Sep-22 15:43:45

The OP started paying into her GC's college fund as soon as he was born AmberSpyglass. This is not something she started to try and bribe (her) way past boundaries that they've set.

I can understand how any loving GP having done so before being estranged, and continuing to do so having been estranged, would be conflicted when trying to decide whether or not they should continue with the financial contribution toward their GC's future.

She contributes to this fund so presumably it is not one that she set up and was set up by the child's parents. As I posted earlier, I can never understand why anyone would continue to receive gifts whatever they maybe, from someone they have estranged and don't want in their lives.

If these parents do not want her to be a part of theirs and their son's life then they shouldn't be accepting $3000 a year being paid into his college fund account.

If the parents consider her to be intruding in their lives they should refuse any further financial contributions, or is it OK if the 'intrusion' brings with it financial gain?

Jandixie Fri 09-Sep-22 15:46:33

I suppose they would see it as a bribe though I started the contribution way before the estrangement with thank you now if I stop it will seem like a punishment. I will continue for my gs

Hithere Fri 09-Sep-22 15:52:37

Please do stop texting them.

If you give them space and respect their rules, there may be a chance in the future