I have a big dilemma: I am my mother’s favourite child. I think it’s because I’m both her only son and youngest child. I know she always wanted boys rather than girls and has become very jealous of her three beautiful daughters - two of whom have now left home – but who have been loving, kind sisters to me.
From childhood I always got the biggest slice of cake, despite being the smallest. When I was a teen she bought me, but only me, the latest iphone and she paid for me to have masses of driving lessons that my sisters had to save up for. Our father died some years ago and ever since she’s tried to make me man of the house, which I have dodged as much as I can. It is all very embarrassing but it shows how good natured my sisters have been in that they never blamed me for her behaviour. I do know however that it upsets them that our mother doesn’t even bother to hide the fact that I am her favourite.
But now I am really worried. Just a few weeks ago she called me aside, made me promise I would keep an important secret and told me she was going to leave me most of her money and the family home in her will. I’ve tried to dissuade her, but she then rubbished my sisters, alleging all sorts of things they had done wrong adding they ‘don’t deserve a penny.’
It seems like dirty money to me and I really don’t want anything to do with her plan or even her. Should I break my promise and tell my sisters or wait until she dies and then split what she has left into four?
What an uncomfortable and unfair position you have had to live with and now she has burdened you with an incredibly difficult secret. Something no doubt is not a surprise.
Think the issue through carefully. It’s obvious your manipulative mother wants to divide you from your sisters. You can, however, decide not to have any part of her plan. You may also feel that her secret is not worth keeping. Not least because it is patently unfair to your siblings and something they don’t deserve. Once again It might also be something they have already anticipated.
As, despite your mother’s best efforts, they have been so loving towards you, our view is that it would be better for you to be open with them and discuss how you can share the money fairly on her death. There is a helpful government website that explains how to do this.
Your mother is unlikely to change her mind so unless you want to have her cut all of you out of her estate, keep your distance and refuse to get drawn into any discussion about her will.