I know I won’t be able to do much in this situation since I’m not blood related, but I figure it’s worth venting here in case there are things I can communicate to my in-laws. BTW I’m a bit disappointed we no longer have the original FWF, as our community seems pretty sparse nowadays
The below may or may not be a real situation, posting for entertainment purposes only.
My wife’s parents are thinking about divorce. Husband is 65 and wife is late 50s. They have worked most of their lives and have a bunch of cash laying around in several different bank accounts disbursed with their kids. They basically get paychecks and deposit it in these accounts when they decide they don’t need the money. Their names aren’t on the accounts due to [reasons – why, I honestly don’t know, but whatever]. My wife has a bank account jointly owned with one of her siblings and all the money in the account belongs to their parents. There are a few other accounts setup this way amongst the other siblings that my wife doesn’t even know about.
They purchased a condo once the husband turned 65 and transferred their property tax rate (we’re in California) over to the condo, so property taxes are quite low (~4k/year). Pretty much all the cash they have (let’s say 500k) is sitting in these random bank accounts owned by the kids.
Things have been pretty rocky the past few years but now the mom wants to split up, and in the process take advantage of the situation (I find the timing odd given their age and given they just bought the condo to transfer the property tax rate…) She wants him out of the condo and he would move out into another place for 2k a month. It’s an a HCOL area and there simply isn’t anything else lower in terms of rent. More likely than not his only other option is to move out of the country given he only has a few years left to be able to work.
She also wants to take “ownership” of 70% of the cash the kids have in the accounts. Mind you, all this money was basically 50/50 in terms of deposits, but she feels entitled to 70% of it. It was previously 50/50 until one of the siblings decided to whisper in her ear and take a bigger cut…more on that later.
He is getting the short end of the stick as the mom will be able to pay 4k/year to live in a huge place and have seemingly endless cash from the kids’ accounts to cover any expenses until she retires. She is basically stealing their retirement.
To make matters worse, two of the siblings are into investing for passive income (one of them owns a service business, the other owns a hotel and gas station). Apparently they borrowed six figure amounts from the parents and are siding with the mom as she will basically forgive their loans. My wife and her other sibling borrowed much smaller amounts for a down payment, with full intention on paying it back.
So two siblings are whispering in mom’s ear to split ASAP and take money off the table while the other two (including my wife) are trying to figure out how to see their dad for Christmas. From my limited research so far, the two investor siblings are in the red and need some cash, hence their wanting to accelerate the process.
This whole thing is going to end pretty badly; my thoughts are the parents will definitely split, and the dad is going to be left on a string while one of the “good” siblings will be on the hook to take care of him through retirement, while the “bad” siblings siphon money away and no longer need to take care of mom or dad.
I’m realizing now after typing all of that, that I’m basically just a spectator at this point and unless my wife can do anything about it, it’s out of our hands. She has tried reasoning with the two others, but they won’t budge. They actually called their dad, yelled at him, and told him to move out ASAP. From my understanding of the situation there’s really no reason for them to treat him this badly…
What say you FWFers? Anything I should/should not do in this situation? I already mentioned to my wife that there’s no way we could take her dad in, unless there were extenuating circumstances; in those circumstances we’d never talk to her siblings again (they have huge houses and can easily accommodate him if they wanted to…). We’re in a 900 sqft place with 2 bedrooms and 2 kids so it’ll be pretty rough.