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Dilemma: my daughters keep asking for money

Katharine Whitehorn / 29 February 2016

Agony aunt Katharine Whitehorn hears from a reader fed up with the constant demands for money by her two adult daughters.

Begging for money
A reader finds that her adult daughters are making constant demands for money

Dilemma: greedy daughters

Our problem is our two adult daughters, now 46 and 48, who expect us to be dishing out money to support them and their families. 

We have put a lot of money into a family trust for each of them and hoped to put more in to help them further. Far from being grateful, they both see this as a charge beneficial to us. 

They send us aggressive emails demanding money and insisting they are entitled to their inheritance and that their children are our grandchildren, in an attempt to guilt-trip us into giving them the money. 

Whatever explanation they are given about trusts from us or solicitors, they expect us to continually be their providers and insist we are defrauding them in some way. 

The trusts are there to help our daughters should they divorce. One has done so already, but they still fail to understand its advantages, and are instead being extremely greedy.

Katharine Whitehorn's advice

Your letter made me want to advise extreme and angry solutions: get the solicitor to say all the money’s a fantasy, burst into noisy sobs and say it’s all owed to bookmakers; tell the women that you’ve found peace of mind in some loony sect and are now going to give them all the money. But I realise that’s unrealistic.

It’s a shame they got so dependent on you in the first place, but I know how hard it is not to help if your offspring are having a hard time. 

But I think you need to get someone – family solicitor maybe – to talk to them solemnly and explain that if they use up all your money, they may have to finance a care home for you in the future; to explain, too, how distressed you are by their demands. 

He or she might even hint that, since they are so concerned for the grandchildren, it might be wise to put the trust entirely in their names. Otherwise I fear the only thing you can do is simply to stonewall: say what you’re going to do for them, stick to it, and every time they raise the subject firmly refuse to discuss it.

Visit our family section for more answers to family dilemmas, grandparenting tips and more.

Our readers say...

We also asked our Facebook followers for their advice...

"I think I would cancel the trust fund go on a very long holiday and let them grow up and find their own way in life."

"Be straight-up with them. Tell them they're over-privileged and greedy, and that you're changing the Trust into your grandchildren's names, and that they'll not be getting another penny from you because you're so ashamed of having allowed them to get away with being feckless and demanding all these years. Your money is YOURS - they are entitled to NOTHING. It's your generosity that's given them help in the past, not any rights they had."

"Stop giving them money, let them say what they want, and have nothing to do with them, not good daughters."

"Say 'NO.'Mean it. Get a friend to support you, if necessary, when you waiver. Spend the money on whatever makes you happy. Expect your daughters to be happy because you are."

"Money... amazing how it causes so many problems... the reason you put the money away in the beginning is why it's there now... so leave it there and tell the daughters if they want something go earn it..."

"Tell them no, it's that easy."

"Grange Hill comes to mind... just say NO!!!"

"Tell them your going around the world and you will see them when or if you come back."

"You earned it you spend it in whatever way makes YOU HAPPY!!!"

"No means no and stick to it."

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The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated.

The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.

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