"My father died a few months ago, and his estate is now being divided between me and my two siblings. I have enough money and don't really need the inheritance. My siblings and I were talking about the money that's supposed to be divided three ways."
Now, it's worth nothing that OP doesn't have any children, but his brother has three, and his sister has been trying to have a baby "for over a decade now."
Ultimately, OP decided that his brother should probably receive his share of the money, but his sister had another idea: "I told them since I don't need the money, I'm thinking of giving it to my brother, because he has been struggling financially and can use the money. My sister asked if I could instead give it to her, for her last round of IVF (which would cost her share and my share of the inheritance), as it's her last chance to have a baby."
OP didn't budge. "I told her, 'I'm sorry, but our brother doesn't have much money and has three kids depending on him, so I feel that it's better if he gets my money.' She asked me if my brother's kids are more important than hers, and I said, 'Well, yes, the living children take priority over the imaginary.'"
OP's sister was super hurt and called him out for belittling her struggles and not helping her. Now OP wants to know if he's in the wrong. He also mentioned in an update on the thread that the reason he doesn't have children is he also struggled with infertility with his ex, so he understands where his sister's coming from.
There was a lot of discussion about the situation in the comments. Many said that although OP could've been a little more sensitive, he was right to prioritize his brother's kids.
"Your wording to your sister was too harsh, but it’s your money. She had no right to demand it, especially when she received an equal inheritance from your father. You choosing to help your struggling brother and his three actual kids is not cruel to your sister."
"One word kinda screwed you over. You should have said 'potential' instead of 'imaginary.' Other than that, I agree with you."
Meanwhile, people who have also dealt with infertility and IVF lent their perspectives on the matter.
"I struggled with infertility, and I went through many rounds of treatment, including two IVFs. I know how hard it is for your sister, and sure hope she finds what she's looking for, but sadly her IVF might not work. You can’t gamble away that money if it can help actual living children. If your sister’s IVF doesn’t work, it won’t be wasted, but it wouldn’t be the best use for the money. You made the right choice."
"Infertility is really, really hard. Finding out you’re not pregnant again is devastating. Even worse if you get pregnant and miscarry. I feel for your sister and what she’s going through. But there are three young children who need food, clothes, a roof over their head, warmth, and enrichment. Three birthdays a year and lots of presents at Christmas. Three pairs of feet that outgrow their shoes in the blink of an eye. Three actual real human beings who are already here and need to be taken care of."
And finally, some chimed in with suggestions on how OP could divide up the money in ways that might cause the least amount of drama.
"If you wanted to be 'fair,' you could divide it between them, and then there’s no hard feelings, or you can go as far as setting up savings accounts for each of the children already here for college, or a car fund, when they’re older. That way you aren’t giving it to either sibling, and the kids still benefit."
"If I were in your position, I would put your share of the money into a trust to be divided equally amongst any nieces and nephews. That allows you to generously provide some future stability for the existing kids, and the ones that are hoped for. It will ease the burden for your brother in the sense that it'll help provide money for the kids' future education or training for careers. And if your sister is eventually able to become a mother, her child will have the same as the others."
What do you think of all this? Was OP right to give his share of his inheritance to his brother? Is there a better way for him to split up the money? Tell us in the comments. And for more drama-filled stories — like the woman who let a man buy her drinks all night, even though she makes more money than him — click here.
Note: Responses have been edited for length and/or clarity.