How To Handle Messy Family Money Situations

Messy Family Money Situations

Most people don’t like talking about money. However, maybe you have family members who keep getting involved in your monetary transactions. Perhaps you even get involved in theirs sometimes.  

If you’re handling your finances, it’s usually relatively straightforward. You might use a tool like a monthly loan repayment calculator to get your budget on track. If several individuals are involved, though, it can complicate matters.

In this article, we’ll talk about how you can handle messy family money situations. Hopefully, you can employ some of these techniques to avoid any long-term rifts.

Financial Questions

Often, avoiding talking about money with your family members can keep you from squabbling with them. Maybe you have an aunt, a brother, or some other extended family member who wants to know how much your house cost or how much you’re making at your job.

You’re under no obligation to answer those questions, though. If you do, it indicates where you are financially, and there’s no reason an extended family member needs to know that. If you answer an extended family member’s questions about how much money you have in the bank or how much you’re making, the next thing they might do is ask for a loan.

It’s fine to say you don’t want to talk about it if an extended family member asks intrusive financial questions. You should avoid asking them about this aspect of their life as well.

You should, however, talk about your finances with family members who live with you since they probably need to know about your budget, savings, investments, etc. 

Money Requests

It’s also usually best to avoid asking your relatives to borrow money or let them borrow from you. Borrowing or lending money that can’t immediately be paid back can cause friction in families. 

If you have the money to lend when a family member asks for it, and you’re certain it won’t bother you if it takes them a long time to pay you back, you might agree to it. However, if you feel uncomfortable or don’t feel like you have the cash to make this move, tell them so. 

It’s the same with borrowing money from a relative. It’s usually better to get a personal loan from a bank or credit union.

Estates and Wills

If a relative dies and leaves an executor in charge of their estate, you should allow that individual to disperse the money and assets as the deceased individual wanted. This is a moment that can lead to arguments, so it’s important to respect your relative’s wishes. 

If there’s no will, you might bring in a professional arbiter who can help you and your relatives disburse any money or property the deceased left behind. If you don’t, you might have to fight it out in the courts, and that can get contentious very quickly. 

Follow These Suggestions

Avoiding messy monetary situations with family is not always possible, but we’ve outlined some ways to avoid common financial issues. If a relative dies, follow their wishes concerning how they want their money and other assets divided. If they didn’t leave a will, consider bringing in an arbiter rather than facing off with your other relatives in court. 

If a relative asks to borrow money from you, only let them if you feel comfortable doing so. You should also be wary about asking them for money and only do it if you feel like you can pay it back promptly.  

It’s best not to ask your relatives how much money they make or how much they paid for their home. You also should not feel obligated to answer these questions.

If you follow these suggestions, you can probably avoid a lot of the more common monetary squabbles in which families engage.