Money owed to daughter

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by SomewhereOverTheRainbow, Jan 2, 2018.

  1. Here is a problem and I would love to hear your thoughts....

    We tried to help our daughter by giving her a down payment on a house. Also, when she quit her job at our business, we gave her a very generous payout that she didn't earn. She was also earning a salary far more than what she deserved. After she quit her job she also sold her house and ended up with a lot of available cash. We watched for 6 months as she spent it. She went on cruise, shopping, friends, etc. Finally I convinced her to give me most of the money remaining after she had already blown through more than half of the money. She came to the realization that she wasn't going to have any left in a short time and that she had kind of ruined everything she had going for her in her life. So, I have the money now (yeah!) and she only kept maybe $1,000 for herself. Now she is asking me about the money. I suspect she's out of cash, which is what we need to happen so that she can learn to support herself. But technically it's her money and I have it in safe keeping. If she demands it, should I say no? I could argue it's our money. We gave it to her for a down payment and she sold the house. So we're saving it for her next house. If she gets the money back she will blow it and she'll be broke in 6 months. By getting the money from her now, we sped the process up.

    Thoughts? She wants to meet with us tonight to discuss, "her" money. I think it's pretty obvious what it will be about. She needs some of the money now, can't pay her bills, etc.
  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I don't think she deserved money for a house. I think maybe you can dole it put as needed to her. Heavens. ! I don't think you should buy her another house.Ever. She will just do this again. Let her earn it or live cheap.
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  3. Littleboylost

    Littleboylost On the road unwanted to travel

    There is no right or wrong answer. I agree that if she takes the money and blows it I would never give her any more money or she will do the same thing.

    If you don’t give her the money your reason is very valid; yet be prepared as she will get angry about that decision.
  4. AppleCori

    AppleCori Well-Known Member

    I don’t see how you can legally keep the money from her, whether in her best interests or not.

    You gave her the money for a down payment, employment payout, and generous salary. Maybe she didn’t earn it or deserve it, but once you gave her the gift, it was hers to do with as she wishes.

    I would treat her as the adult she is.
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  5. RN0441

    RN0441 100% better than I was but not at 100% yet

    I think you have been more than kind and generous to your ADULT daughter.

    She does not deserve it. She sounds spoiled and entitled to me. Please don't take this the wrong way but just reread all that you have done and continue to do. Has it helped her really?

    I hope you have the strength to let her stand on her own two feet. If she continues to use you as a bank, she will never learn how to care for herself.

    I so do not want to end up that way with our son so that is why I'm so firm in my feelings on this.
  6. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    I think you and your husband have been very generous to a fault.

    I'm reading what you wrote, "we tried to help our daughter"

    I have no issue when a parent gives money to a child for a down payment on a house to help them out, however, I do have issue if the child is not responsible. The fact that she sold the house is salt in the wound.

    Again, generous to a fault. You gave her a payout she didn't earn and gave her a salary that she didn't deserve.

    This tells me that you are trying to control what your daughter does.

    We as parents cannot control our adult children no matter how much we want to. I think from what you have shared you have been trying to hold the reigns on your daughters life from paying her a salary she didn't deserve, to giving her a nice severance for quitting a job you provided, to giving her money for a down payment on a house.
    You are a parent that wants so much for her daughter to have a good life that you were willing to literally pay for it. Here's the thing, no amount of money that we give our adult children will ever be enough for them to get their life together. The problem isn't the money, it's their relationship to the money. You have been sending a message to your daughter that she does not have to worry about money because you will be there to oversee it and give her more.

    If it were me, I would not help her get another house.

    There is no right or wrong answer here.
    For me, because you gave the money to begin with then I would give it back to her with a very strict boundary that there will be no more money given to her for any reason. I would remind her of what you have shared with us concerning the job and salary, reminding her that most people when they quit a job do not receive a severance.

    I know how hard it is to want to help your child. I've been there. My husband and I bought a rental house for our son to live in after he got out of prison quite a few years ago. We let him live there rent free. Our plan for his life was that he would get a job and eventually start paying us rent and at some point, 10 years down the road we would give him the house. It was a foreclosed property and needed a lot of work which we did, it's now a lovely house, but our son didn't want to live there through the renovations so he moved out. Needless to say, we will never give him that house.
    Fast forward a few years down the road. Our son needed a vehicle so we purchased one for him. The deal was that he would pay us back $100.00 a month and we carried the insurance. You got it, he never paid us for the car. He got behind in his rent and gave the car to his landlord to cover his back rent.
    That was the end for me in giving him any money.

    Again, no amount of money we give our difficult adult children will ever solve the issues they have with getting their lives together.

    Good luck!! Let us know how it goes.
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  7. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    We put a down payment on our awesome daughter's house.She will definitely pay the mortgage and be responsible. She is marrying a great guy. She has a real job plus college. He has a good job. They don't work for us. My daughter got no extra money growing up. Because she had to work for it, she has a strong work ethic.

    If you buy a child everything she wants she grows spoiled, entitled and often obnoxious and doesn't feel she needs to earn anything. I is even worse with adults.

    Let her work for someone else and get an apartment and learn to appreciate hard work that she actually earns by how good her performance is.. For heaven sakes, WHY would you even consider buying her another house???? in my opinion this is not good for her. It is just another free, big toy she didn't deserve.
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2018
  8. I know in hindsight that helping her financial did not help her. That was wrong of me to do that and I see the error in my ways now. Our son, however, had similar help and he used it productively to pay for his wedding and his new home and he is earning his own way now and not expecting special treatment. He plans to take over our company. Some kids do have the ability to accept the gift and not become entitled. Our daughter unfortunately became entitled and spoiled. So, we are NOT planning to help her anymore. That is the whole point of what we're doing now making her live on her own and run out of money so she will have to learn to survive the hard way.

    But I do agree with what AppleCorey said,
    "I don’t see how you can legally keep the money from her, whether in her best interests or not. You gave her the money for a down payment, employment payout, and generous salary. Maybe she didn’t earn it or deserve it, but once you gave her the gift, it was hers to do with as she wishes. I would treat her as the adult she is."

    The fact of the matter is, we gave her the money several years ago. It is still technically her money since we gifted it to her. If I tell her I'm not giving it back to her ever, it isn't right since I only told her I would hold on to it for safe keeping. So then I am a liar and tricked her out of it.

    My husband and I plan to talk to her tonight. Ultimately it would be best if she makes the right decision. Thanks so much for all your replies!! It is truly helping me to see the light about how much I've enabled in the past and I agree that has to stop.
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  9. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Some adults can handle being handed money. Many can't. All people benefit from doing things on their own rather than having it handed to them. Even if they may not abuse the freebies.

    in my opinion it's better to let them earn their own stuff as far as character goes.

    Either way, I am glad you decided to cut off the Bank of Mom. If it we're me, I would be loathe to hand her a ton of money at one time even if she threw a toddler tantrum. You know she will waste it then come back crying for more money, which she is used to getting. But we all need to do it our own way. Our ways are different and not better or worse.

    Good luck!
  10. StillStanding

    StillStanding Active Member

    I think you're being hard on yourself. You helped your daughter get a start on home ownership. Parents have been doing this for generations without the use of the word "entitled".

    It's unfortunate that your daughter didn't take advantage of the head start but I agree that it's her money.

    It sounds positive that she wants to talk to you about the money. This is a chance to give advice but in the end if she blows it all, that will be her consequence.

    Good luck.
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  11. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    None of us start out thinking, "I'm going to enable my son/daughter" We start out thinking I love them and want to help them. As you said, you did the same for your son and the result was different.

    I'm hoping you and your husband will have a good, loving and productive talk with your daughter. I hope she will see how much she is loved.

    Good luck.
  12. ksm

    ksm Well-Known Member

    How did the meeting go? Were you able to explain how fast the mo e would disappear if she kept taking chunks back for her weekly spending? Could you get her to deposit a portion of it for a long term investment? Maybe hook her up with an investment counselor?

    Good luck. It's a tough situation to be in... Ksm
  13. GoingNorth

    GoingNorth Crazy Cat Lady

    Ugh. Well, irresponsible though she may be, it IS her money, ethically and legally.

    You were more than generous with your daughter as others have said. That said, gifting children with the down payment on a house, or in the old days, on agricultural land, has been going on as long as mortgages have existed.

    I found out my parents had been buying bonds for me from the time of my birth, and that husband's parent's had been doing the same, when it came time for us to buy our house. Made a nice down payment and $$$ for needed repairs.

    Note to others ***if you are cashing in a couple of shoeboxes full of savings bonds, call the bank and make an appointment. The banker we dealt with nearly had a heart attack when she saw us and our collection of bonds, some mature and some not. There's a lot of paperwork and calculations involved.

    I wouldn't recommend gov't savings bonds these days, but I do agree with those who recommend getting your daughter to sit down with a financial counselor to map out a plan for the remaining money, especially if it's enough to pay a noticeable dividend. Say...enough to cover utilities or a car payment.
  14. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I hope your conversation with your daughter wasn't too traumatic for you. She probably didn't agree to see things your way, but maybe I am wrong.

    Whatever happened, don't beat yourself up over what you did. At no time have you EVER done anything to purposely try to harm your daughter. You never once woke up and thought to yourself, "What can I do today to mess my daughter's life up in the worst way possible?". You did the best you could with what you had and what you knew, and when you knew better, you did better. That is ALL you can ask of yourself and your husband.

    I would definitely say that you need to NOT give to your daughter again. If she comes forward before she has herself on a stable life path and needs help, please don't give her money or a home or car. Nothing substantial. Nothing in her name. If you provide a home or car, make her pay rent and take the item away if she cannot pay or does not pay.

    If she has health related bills she needs help with, make payments to the provider, NOT to your daughter. I say this because I have seen quite a few difficult children take advantage of parents using the "I'm sick" routine.

    Please don't fall into the trap I cannot get my parents out of. They feel that if they do something for my brother, they must do something of equal value for me. This extends to our kids to some degree. I find it bizarre and rather sick. If they give one of us something, like an old car, they feel they have to find something to give the other one. My brother and I really don't feel that way. As long as our parents are able to live the way they want, and they are healthy, we are fine.

    Do not let your daughter's irresponsible behavior keep you from giving your son whatever you want to give him. He has shown that he appreciates you and whatever you give him. He works hard and earns his way. If you want to give him something, go ahead and do it. Don't feel bad because you cannot give his sister something of similar value. If your daughter ever brings this up, let her know that you gave her gifts at one time, but she showed you that they held no value for her. This told you that she didn't want them.

    You have to remember that your relationship with your son is actually very separate from your relationship with your daughter. It is a hard thing to realize, accept and remember, but it is true. It is also none of your daughter's business if you give your son a gift.

    You may want to start to rethink your insurance and your will. Not to leave her out, but maybe to put some assets into a trust? Just a thought, but if you have the assets and ability, this may be something you want to do. It can be hard to even think about this topic, but you may need to. She might not ever be able to handle money. If and when something happens to you and your husband, you do have some options that could protect her from herself and/or from other people.
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