You Don't Owe Your Siblings

Carolyn's father was diagnosed with lung cancer. She helped him do a will, and he passed away last month. Carolyn has three siblings. He left $65,000 in a 401(k) only to Carolyn. Carolyn feels guilty now.

QUESTION: Carolyn in Dallas is calling because her father was diagnosed with lung cancer in March. She helped him do a will, and he passed away last month. Carolyn has three siblings, and the will left his possessions to all four children. He left $65,000 in a 401(k) only to Carolyn. She used the money to pay off her student loans. Carolyn feels guilty now.

ANSWER: It was fully his intent for you to get a different amount than your brothers’ and sisters’ total instead of putting you and your brothers and sisters equally, which he could have just as easily done. It’s not your right to feel bad. It’s not your money. If you won the lottery, would you feel like you owed them part of it? If your boss gave you a bonus, would you feel like you owed them part of it? This is your mother’s problem, and that’s a problem with her. What you need to do is get in her face, and she needs to grow some boundaries. I don’t think you owe any of this money to anyone. I’m not being mean about it. I just don’t. You need to go by your dad’s wishes. This was his money. He left it to you. He didn’t leave it to them. You’re violating his memory by falling into your mother’s guilt trips. Tell her to quit being a travel agent for guilt trips. The book is Boundaries, kiddo. Get the book by Dr. Henry Cloud.

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