How can I address the sexism in my parents' estate planning endeavors?
August 31, 2014 9:35 AM Subscribe
How can I address the sexism in my parents' estate planning endeavors without seeming like I'm a money-hungry vulture? My parents were born in the 40s and recently they have been working to set up a revocable trust. They have two children, me and my sister. My sister is unmarried and I have two preschool/elementary-aged daughters myself.
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (25 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Prior to their planning sessions, my parents had 100+ acres of Iowa farmland that they sold to my male cousin for $3,500/acre, essentially giving him a $300,000+ gift in equity. (The neighboring farm sold for $10,000/acre a few months later, but I'm being conservative.) They did not include my female cousin in this arrangement. Traditionally, in many rural areas the boy does get the land, but I was surprised and taken aback that my parents still believed this outdated notion. My cousin got the land refinanced and re-appraised and bought several hundred more acres using the equity as a down payment. They said that they wanted him to have a good start in life (he's 24). Still, it stung that they gave this equity to him while excluding me, my sister, and my female cousin (sister of the cousin that bought the land).
My parents also approached me and stated that they wanted to make a list of family heirlooms to pass down. I expressed interested in my dad's truck, a 50s classic that he works on for several hours every night. He recently converted it to an automatic transmission and I was assuming that he did this so that my sister and I could eventually drive it. My shook his head and laughed and said that he was going to give the truck to another male cousin, saying that I would have "no practical use for it." He then went on to say that he had the same plans for his tools -- that they would just sit in my garage unused, after all.
For the record, I use the tools more than my husband in my family. I felt that he was belittling my skills and capabilities. I also don't think that what they are doing to fair or reasonable.
I'm not greedy. But I find the dismissal of my strengths and capabilities very hurtful. How can I discuss this them without seeming predatory and still remaining strong? I don't want to seem like I'm a money-hungry vulture after their money, I'm not. But I feel like I revert back to a shy little child often when they talk to me.