My daughter no longer speaks to me or my husband, and has laughed at our family values. Are we taking her away from her $ 2 million inheritance?


My husband and I have three grown children who we love very much and want them to lead healthy, productive, ethical and loving lives.

Like many siblings, even though they were raised in the same household, they have their own individual lives with disparate beliefs and viewpoints. We don’t always agree with them, but we respect them as adults nonetheless.

Despite this, we let them know how we feel as parents and remind them of how they were raised. And yes, there has been some heated discussion over the years, but at the end of the day we know our relationships are more important than politics or religious beliefs.

However, sometimes the fruit rolls very far from the tree. We have a daughter who lives in a different state and has refused to contact us for over two years, and just doesn’t want us to know anything about her life.

“Are we vengeful or malicious in considering letting it down, or just realistic and practical?” ”

She criticized and mocked our family’s values, and even accused us of things that never happened. She did it both on social media and in person.

She told us that we are toxic parents and that she doesn’t need the stress that we put on her with our beliefs. OKAY. This is what she feels. We are very hurt by her words and accusations, and her siblings are also puzzled and think she will get over it.

We tried to contact her, but we are ignored. She was clear. She is married and has a good profession – and, I guess, a happy life without our “stress”.

Sometimes I feel like she’s not my daughter anymore. At least she doesn’t want to be. My husband and I have even considered removing her from our will, but we go back and forth, especially when we think of her as a young child.

But then we decide that she will still be our child anyway, and that she should inherit her share, which will be around $ 2 million or more in value today. Honestly, I don’t think she would care even if we disinherited her.

Are we vengeful or malicious to consider letting it down, or just realistic and practical? Should we give her the benefit of the doubt and show her our love unconditionally, and leave her in our will?

My children have no idea of ​​the value of their inheritance because we have always been frugal. They also don’t have a clue that we are considering removing their brother from our will.

We’re in our early 60s and hopefully will last a few more decades, but you never know – and we have to update our wills anyway, whether or not we decide to root out our daughter.

The tree that gives

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Dear Don,

Treat your children equally, in life and in death. Breaking up a relationship is rarely, if ever, a party’s responsibility. Whether the conflict is political, ideological or personal, someone always believes they are right.

If you exclude it from your will, you will leave behind acrimony and grief. It suggests – or worse, confirms – that your love is conditional. If your daughter is in charge, $ 2 million would make a huge difference for her.

Some apples should roll away from the tree. Children need to make up their own minds about how they want to live their life. If you want your daughter to be happy and live her life on her terms, resist the urge to punish her.

This research published in the European Journal of Aging examined 55 cases involving heirs, donors and professionals, trying to understand the motives and mistakes of people when dividing their estate between their heirs.

Researchers have identified four reasons for leaving a legacy for people: altruism motivated by family solidarity (it feels good to be kind), fairness to maintain family unity, selfishness and reciprocity (” I give you if you give me ”).

“If you want your daughter to be happy and live her life on her terms, resist the urge to punish her.”

“Altruistic motivation is based on family values ​​(shared by heirs and donors), which aim to maintain family identity, so the inheritance of moral principles is valued in the absence of material inheritance,” wrote the authors.

“The motivation for equality lies in maintaining family ties – avoiding conflict – and recognizing individual needs,” they added. In other words, equity and family cohesion are not mutually exclusive.

In summary: “Material inheritance is a family affair and a normative stake in the cycle of family life, a crucial point where relationships and family functioning are brought up to date.

If you wanted to control your daughter in life and she rebelled, you’ll probably use money to amplify this message in your will. You have another choice: let go of ill will and misunderstandings. Do it for her and for yourself.

You write: “There have been heated discussions over the years, but at the end of the day we know that our relationships are more important than politics or religious beliefs. Sometimes the answer is in the question.

It’s easy to say that when it’s not my money. However, including it in your will is a statement – regardless of your personal disagreements and differences in world views – that you love it unconditionally.

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