Money Manners

If you know what’s detailed in trust, you’ll know what you’re due

DEAR JEANNE AND LEONARD: My grandparents put their home and farm into a living trust. After they died, the property was managed by my uncle, and my three siblings and I were supposed to inherit it when he died. Well, he passed three years ago, and my brother became the trustee, but not much else has happened. My siblings and I get a small check after each crop is sold, but my mother thinks we’re getting very little money compared with what the crops are worth. Meanwhile, my brother has never said anything about our inheritance.

Money Manners

Be honest with in-laws about finances

DEAR JEANNE AND LEONARD: I own a piece of investment real estate, a house, that I recently rented to my mother-in-law. She’s living on a fixed income, so I’m charging her only half of what the place normally rents for. I made her promise, though, not to tell anyone about the sweetheart deal I’ve given her. That’s because my wife is one of eight children, and I don’t want the others thinking I’m made of money and coming to me with their hands out any more than they already do.

Money Manners

It’s time for well-off sister to start paying for CPA services

DEAR JEANNE AND LEONARD: I’m a CPA, and every year I prepare my siblings’ and their spouses’ tax returns. I don’t charge them for the work I do, even though some of their returns are complicated and the paperwork they provide me with often is a mess. While I’m OK with preparing returns for my two siblings who don’t earn much, I don’t see why I should be preparing them for the one who in recent years has been making tons of money. Shouldn’t she and her husband at least be offering to pay me?

Money Manners

Being a good friend means not condoning humiliation by ex

DEAR JEANNE AND LEONARD: My good friend “Amy” recently went through a very ugly divorce. As it happens, the man she divorced and I are both members of a local young professionals organization, a group that’s important to my career. Because he cheated on her, then behaved very badly when she filed for divorce, Amy expects me to give her ex the cold shoulder whenever I see him.

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