Jump to content

Menu

Would this be helpful or enable?


Recommended Posts

I have posted before about a family member in another state than mine, who has become homeless.   She is currently with another family member (I helped set that up for her), but she can't stay after the holidays.

She just found out she has a rather large (to her) medical bill that must be prepaid before she can get a procedure done.   She is considering selling some family heirlooms because she says she has no other money resources.   They are items made by grandparents, etc....

I would like to help her out, but I haven't felt direct handouts were the best.   I have given a couple of gift cards and worked to help her find places to stay, that sort of thing.

I was thinking that maybe I could offer to buy a couple of the treasured pieces and offer to let her buy them back down the road when she gets on her feet (or keep them if she doesn't.)   That way, at least they stay within the family and she doesn't lose them forever.   And then she could also get some $$ towards what she needs.

Thoughts?

  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites

As long as you don't become inadvertently the target of family resentment for buying family heirlooms, then it sounds like a good plan. I could imagine that there is potential for some heated emotions, depending on the people involved. 

L.M. Montgomery wrote an entire book (A Tangled Web) devoted largely to one special family heirloom, and it was the source of LOTS of high emotion. 😉 

Edited by wintermom
  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites

It's kind of you to consider buying the heirlooms to help her out financially.  However, I would NOT tell her up front that you will sell them back to her when she's able to buy them back.  If you see that she's stable and able to purchase them back sometime down the road, you could offer then.  Offering that at purchase opens up a big can of worms, IMHO.   

  • Like 16
Link to post
Share on other sites

Sounds ideal  — she gets the money she needs, and the heirlooms stay in the family.

(As for the potential for family resentment, at least if the items stay within the family there is the possibility of other members sharing them eventually.  if she pawns them or sells them on Craigslist or something, no one in the family will ever see them again.)

  • Like 4
Link to post
Share on other sites

Questions that don't have to answered here but you might consider:

Does she have addiction issues?  (Where you might actually be feeding the addiction with an inflow of cash?)

Does she truly have a medical bill?  (Obviously I don't know the character of your relative - just asking because it comes up in other families where the reality doesn't always match what is being said). 

  • Like 5
Link to post
Share on other sites

On the surface, it might be a workable solution, but I’d tread carefully.

I’d absolutely want to see the invoice and pay it directly.  We’ve been asked for money for bills only to be turned down when offering to pay them direct to <insert company>.

  • Like 5
Link to post
Share on other sites
16 minutes ago, Jean in Newcastle said:

Questions that don't have to answered here but you might consider:

Does she have addiction issues?  (Where you might actually be feeding the addiction with an inflow of cash?)

Does she truly have a medical bill?  (Obviously I don't know the character of your relative - just asking because it comes up in other families where the reality doesn't always match what is being said). 

This exactly. We have a relative who is an addict. Any money over the years or requests to help with “bills” went straight to his addiction. 

  • Like 4
Link to post
Share on other sites

It sounds helpful, assuming you have the funds without compromising anything else important.

That said - don't be too surprised if this ends up being a temporary band-aid.  It's really impossible to know.  But at worst, I think the result would be neutral.

Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, DawnM said:

 

I was thinking that maybe I could offer to buy a couple of the treasured pieces and offer to let her buy them back down the road when she gets on her feet (or keep them if she doesn't.)   That way, at least they stay within the family and she doesn't lose them forever.   And then she could also get some $$ towards what she needs.

Thoughts?

I think that sounds like a good balance.  

Just keep in mind - she may never be in a position to be able to afford to "buy them back".

 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

I caution you to NOT purchase family heirlooms unless you get a qualified appraisal and pay the full appraisal price.  The appraisal can protect you when there are potential problems down the road with heirs which are highly likely. 

I have actually been in a deposition where heirs, all of whom were worth at least $5 million prior to receiving their share of decedent's assets, argued over which one should receive a certain item in decedent's vacation home and how much value should be assigned to item.

I assume she does not qualify for Medicaid.  If you have sufficient funds to help her, I think it is best to pay directly to medical provider instead of giving money to the family member.  Make it a gift, not a loan; this will minimize any future misunderstandings.

I am sorry you are going through this; it is terribly difficult to see someone who cannot afford needed medical treatment.

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, vonfirmath said:

I'd be tempted to buy any heirlooms I wanted just to keep them from being sold out from underneath

I guess one question I'd have is whether these are also Dawn's heirlooms.  I can see it causing more resentment if the heirlooms come from the relative's other side, and that Dawn buying them would be taking them outside the family. 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...