DEAR JEANNE AND LEONARD: I want out of the lakeside vacation cottage that I inherited from my grandfather. He left it to me a couple of years ago, with the request that I let my cousins use it, too. Well, between property taxes, utilities and maintenance costs, the place is very expensive to own.
DEAR JEANNE AND LEONARD: My grandson’s shyness is causing a problem. In May I gave him two checks, one for his birthday and one for his college graduation. When a month went by and the checks weren’t cashed, I emailed him and asked that he please cash them and let me know when he’d done so. He’s never replied, and the checks have never been cashed.
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My husband has been estranged from his mother for two years. She and his brother live together in the family home, and the two of them have quite an expensive lifestyle (for example, they take luxury vacations all over the world). A lot of this is paid for by the reverse mortgage my mother-in-law took out on her house a few years ago. If she winds up going into debt, is there any way it could become my husband’s responsibility?
For our family reunion, we’re renting a big house on a lake for seven nights. Half of us think we should just split the rent six ways since there are six families attending. But the other half think we should divide the rent by the total number of people attending.
DEAR JEANNE AND LEONARD: I’m sick of picking up the tab for my son’s girlfriend. “Bart” is in a serious relationship with a woman who, like him, has a good job (as good as mine), and neither has any debt. When I visited them recently, I paid for all of the meals we ate out together.
DEAR JEANNE AND LEONARD: We’ve been planning to divide our share of the money we’ll receive from Mom’s estate among her seven grandchildren. Now, though, we’re thinking of withholding our gift to our niece until she gives us the stoneware. Is this reasonable? We don’t want to be small, but we don’t know what else to do.
DEAR JEANNE AND LEONARD: My son-in-law has proposed that my wife and I lend him and my daughter the money to buy their first home. They would pay us a higher interest rate than we can get on CDs, and we would have a predictable source of income in our retirement. Plus, the interest they’d be paying us is less than the mortgage rate they’d have to pay a bank.
DEAR JEANNE AND LEONARD: My cousin “Sam” refuses to return something that rightfully belongs to my family. When I visited him recently, I noticed he had a nicely bound collection of baseball cards. Sam said our grandfather had given the cards to Sam’s father, who’d in turn given them to Sam. Since I knew my father (now deceased) collected baseball cards as a kid, I asked if the cards might originally have been Dad’s.