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Legal & money

Wanting to make a secret payment to family?

(49 Posts)
Factfinder Thu 21-May-20 22:27:53

I'd like to give a couple of one-off payments to my beloved niece and nephew in this difficult time. Husband is not convinced, thinks it 'changes the dynamic' between us, is not appropriate, etc. I'm wondering about making the payments independently from my own pension/savings rather than from joint account. Rather in the spirit of an old family friend who used to slip me a fiver in my youth - although the amounts have gone up somewhat! But what do you think. Should I hold off, or just do what I want to do. Is the secrecy aspect a problem do you think.

Lucca Thu 21-May-20 22:30:01

Would it not be better to tell your OH that this is definitely what you want to do and that you are prepared to pay it yourself, rather than keeping it a secret ? Stand up for what you believe to be right ?

Smileless2012 Thu 21-May-20 22:32:49

I agree with Lucca, better to be upfront about it rather than secretive.

gillybob Thu 21-May-20 22:42:24

Yes I agree with Lucca . You should TELL your DH that you are sending the gift/money . You are not asking his permission to do so, but in the sprit of honesty you are being absolutely up front .

You are such a kind and thoughtful auntie x

Nannytrace Thu 21-May-20 22:58:57

If that is what you want to do, You have to tell him that you are doing it, which ever account You use. Otherwise you will have to tell your niece and nephew not to mention it and it becomes a web of lies and gets complicated. It would put everyone in a awful position if it came out subsequently. If you are in a position to do it, then it is a lovely generous gift which will be greatly appreciated I’m sure. If you intend to leave them money in your will anyway, then it makes sense to give it them now when things are difficult as they could benefit more and you will see them enjoy it.

V3ra Fri 22-May-20 03:18:10

Just a thought but do they need the money or are they managing ok?
My husband and I are on reduced incomes currently, and one son has taken a second job.
My Dad meanwhile has more cash in the bank than he knows what to do with and always says it's there if we need it.
I genuinely thank him for the kind thought but assure him we're ok for now.
It can be quite empowering to get through a challenging time by your own efforts.
If your niece and nephew are in any sort of financial trouble though then yes, do help them out.
We've been there as well and been glad of a timely handout.

Missfoodlove Fri 22-May-20 07:29:15

What are your reasons for wanting to help them?
Is there a way to help them without giving them the cash direct?
Do they want or need help?

It will change the dynamic, be careful, you don’t want a kind and generous act to damage relationships.

wildswan16 Fri 22-May-20 08:21:45

You should certainly tell your husband what you plan to do. But if you haven't already done so, you also need to have an informal chat with your niece and nephew - about how people are struggling at this time, and how are they doing? Would a bit of extra cash help them? It could always be part of their eventual inheritance if that makes them feel better.

But maybe they are, like others, just plodding through and would not feel comfortable taking money from you. You really do need to discuss it with them first.

sodapop Fri 22-May-20 08:30:42

A kind thought Factfinder but it could backfire on you. I agree with your husband in that things will change if you give the money. However if your niece and her husband are really in need then you should help them. Don't keep it secret from your husband that will involve others in the deception. If your husband is dead set against this then you need to think about how it will impact on your relationship. Maybe you need to talk more about this.

Taliya Fri 22-May-20 08:58:30

Just tell your husband you are sending the money. It's a kind and caring gesture in these difficult times.

SparklyGrandma Fri 22-May-20 09:05:21

I would send the payment then tell him you’ve done it.

Helping other people and kindness are what’s getting us through this pandemic, isn’t it?

Pussycat2012 Fri 22-May-20 09:08:38

Another vote for Luca. You said it yourself, it’s what YOU want to do! You could always confess afterwards if your conscious will bother you.

Mooney59 Fri 22-May-20 09:10:35

I’m sorry but you do not have your own money. Unless you have a prenuptial you own half of everything each. So you aren’t giving them the money yourself it is both of you. If your other half disagrees it must not happen. Sorry but you can’t just go around spending large amounts as yours. No such thing in a marriage.

JuliaM Fri 22-May-20 09:12:57

I often give my daughters a little extra cash when I know they need it, but im always open and honest with them when I do, and never give one more than the other, using a 'standard rate' which I set annually to make sure that no one gets more than the other when it comes to Christmas and Birthdays ect. The same applies to Grandchildren.

The problem I have is that the eldest two are from my first marriage, and the youngest two are from my second, and both Dads reward rates are very different, my second husband always gives his two daughters far more than the elder two get from theirs, and there is very little that I can do about it, as we are all independently responsible parents for our own incomes and bank accounts.
I would suggest to you Factfinder, that you treat all your Nieces and Nephews the same, and with out any secrets. If you give to one and not to all it can cause such bad feelings and family problems in the future, and no matter how hard you try, someone will let the secret out whether intentional or not at some point in the future. Recently, I gave my girls a sum of money towards house removal costs for the eldest two who both moved house within a couple of months of eachother. I made sure that the youngest two also got the same amount, one in Grocery vouchers to help fill her new freezer, and the youngest had the cash towards paying a large vets bill for her dog, and providing the expensive prescription food the poor dog needed, so they all got the same amount in the end and it was very honest and fair, with no fall.outs due to the pure clarity of the situation.

RoseLily1 Fri 22-May-20 09:15:46

I guess it would partly depend on how much you are thinking of giving them. If it is a fairly small gift (as in the example of your family friend in days past, but the amount upscaled to these present times) I can't really say how it would affect the family dynamics, unless of course there are other family members you are not treating in the same way. If it is a large amount that might be different. I am sort of assuming they are relatives on your side of the family rather than on his? Whatever you choose to do in the end, don't do it behind your husband's back - that would definitely upset family dynamics when he found out about it!

Harris27 Fri 22-May-20 09:20:39

I applaud you for seeing they need this. In my family we try and struggle on but my sister has always said she’s there if I need her. She older than me on her own and much better off than us. So that’s a nice thing for her to say. And for you to do.give them the money they will be so grateful at this awful time. Tell him that your doing it as a kind gesture.

Kate54 Fri 22-May-20 09:29:06

CrikeyMooney59 can’t agree on the ‘it’s not your money’ point. That only applies when you divorce or die! When you’re still alive, you can do what you like with money you have earned. I agree though that husband should be informed. I sometimes do it with my children.

patricia1958 Fri 22-May-20 09:34:24

I agree with lucca as well but you could say that because you your husband doesn't want you to do it from both your account you are going to do it from yours but add because it will make you really happy

Davida1968 Fri 22-May-20 10:06:34

I support fully what RoseLily1 says. Whatever you do, be open about it. (Problems can arise when secrets like this are kept - then come out later.)

newnanny Fri 22-May-20 10:10:22

@factfinder, if you think your niece and nephew are struggling and you can afford to help them out then of course you should do it. I sent my niece a monthly allowance whilst she was at university to pay her electricity and gas every month. I knew most young people who go get help from parents but my youngest sister had three uounger children still at school and could not afford to send her money. I love my niece, and could help her out, so if course I would help her. She is a lovely girl and it has not changed our relationship one bit. We have always been close as we used to take her on holiday with us most years and and other years one or even two of her siblings too.

Don't let your dh put you off helping your niece and nephew out. Put money in their accounts and tell dh you have done so.

NotSpaghetti Fri 22-May-20 10:13:24

I would not have wanted cash gifts from an auntie however close.
I would have wanted to struggle through.

I once wrote a chatty and honest letter about the ordinary hardship of bringing up a family to an "aunt" who I thought "got it" and she responded with a huge (and probably expensive) parcel of treats including clothes for the children and chocolates and beautiful smellies.

It was lovely and so kind of her but I was mortified. I will never forget it. It was very very awkward and made worse by fact that I felt unable to talk to my mum about it as she would have wanted to buy these things for me and would have been hugely embarrassed. 🥺

Please think twice before doing it.

Jane10 Fri 22-May-20 10:22:57

I just quietly give sums to family if they need it. They'd never ask so I preempt the situation. It's my money. I'll give it if I want to.
In the past when we had a difficult time after a series of redundancies a kind relative just gave us a sum of money to tide us over. I've never forgotten the shock and relief of it and was always grateful. Other family members said to just ask if we needed to but we could never bring ourselves to do that. Our fairy godmother's kindness remains with us still. It's family. They need help. Give it.

Chardy Fri 22-May-20 10:26:28

One of the young couples in the family were having a tough time financially through absolutely no fault of their own. I got some cash together and gave it to them as I was leaving their house, having sworn them to secrecy. I didn't want anyone else in the family to know.

Paperbackwriter Fri 22-May-20 10:26:48

Mooney59 Of course you can have your own money inside a marriage! Good grief, this is 2020, not 1820!

popsis71 Fri 22-May-20 10:28:19

I hate to be a party pooper but you need to look into this carefully. There is a limit to how much you can give as money gifts in any one year without falling foul of tax laws. Also they need to give you thanks in writing which must be kept on file. If you should die within seven years of the gift they will have to pay a proportion to the tax man. I have researched this when giving gifts for weddings. It reduces in proportion to relationship e.g. you can give a son more than a grandson so nephew may be less again.