A man who recently lost his brother asked Redditors if he was wrong for keeping the insurance money even though he is the beneficiary. Here is his full story.
Gone in an Instant
The Original Poster (OP) is a 40-year-old man who lost his 42-year-old brother in a car accident a few months ago. His brother left behind a wife and twin daughters.
He Was Successful
While OP has been financially successful, with a great job, he has faced ongoing financial struggles. As money has always been tight, OP and his wife have not been able to start a family.
There Was Plenty of Money
OP’s brother, on the other hand, did not have any issues with money.
A Good Life
He had a joint savings account with his wife, they owned a home together, which they purchased after selling their previous individual properties, and they even had a nanny for their girls.
She Was Fine on Her Own
His brother’s wife also has a solid career and makes good money of her own. She also has two college-age children from a previous relationship.
It All Went to His Brother
After his brother’s death, his wife learned through his employer that OP was named as the beneficiary of both his 401(k) and life insurance policy.
OP’s brother had set up both those payouts before he ever met his wife.
He Never Changed His Policies
And, even after he got married, OP’s brother never updated his policies to make his wife the beneficiary.
It Was a Lot of Dough
The life insurance benefit alone paid OP 150k, and the 401(k) was worth a whole lot more. Suddenly, OP was awash in cash thanks to his dead brother.
She Begged Him for Money
Once she found out about the financial situation, OP’s sister-in-law approached him and begged for a portion of the life insurance and 401(k).
She had inherited her husband’s share of the house and the joint savings account, but that wasn’t going to be enough.
She Would Have to Give up the Nanny!
She explained that without her husband’s income, she would have to sell the house, give up the nanny, and would still struggle to provide for their children.
She also wouldn’t be able to help her older children pay for college as she had intended.
Her Life Would Be Ruined
Without the money from her husband’s life insurance and 401(k), her life would be turned upside down even more than it already had been.
He Was Keeping It All
But OP firmly refused to share the money, believing that it had been his brother’s responsibility to update the beneficiary designation.
OP and his wife plan to use the money to buy a home and start their own family, prioritizing their own needs for once.
His Parents Thought He Was Wrong
OP’s parents sided with his sister-in-law, arguing that the money should go to his children.
They suggested using the life insurance payout to pay off the mortgage, support the older children’s education, and secure the future of the entire family.
She Needed Money Now
Instead, OP offered to create a trust fund with $50,000 for the girls’ education.
However, his parents emphasized the immediate financial strain his brother’s widow was facing and her desperate need to support the family now, not just in the future.
He Doesn’t Want to Ruin the Family
OP is torn between his parents’ expectations and his own desire to prioritize his family’s needs.
He is also worried about the long-term strain that keeping the money could put on his relationship with his parents and others in the family.
He Needs Help Making a Decision
OP feels conflicted about the decision and sought guidance on Reddit about whether he was being unfair or selfish by keeping the money.
Still, others advise OP to have open and honest discussions with his sister-in-law and his parents to find a compromise that considers the needs of both families involved.
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