Money and relationships: disparity of wealth between brothers

NEW DELHI: The wealth gap between siblings can often lead to cracks in the relationship, whether sharing expenses or taking vacations. Here's how to deal with the imbalance:

1) Shared expenses for parents

One of the main reasons for the disagreements is the financial agreement for the elderly parents, either to pay their medical expenses or to cover the cost of living after retirement. While the less rich brother expects the richest to choose larger eyelashes, the latter could consider it an unfair distribution. It may be a good idea for the richest brother to contribute money, and for the not-so-rich brother to contribute time and physical help.

2) Family functions or vacations

If a joint vacation is planned, the ideal is that they be carried out so that the less well-off siblings can afford it. Accumulating high expectations about the less rich brother and wanting to accompany him on expensive vacations will eventually create a crack. If two of the three siblings are interested in a premium vacation, they should be willing to partially fund the brother's remaining vacation (if acceptable to him).

3) Helping the children of siblings

Any financial assistance to a niece or nephew will depend on the type of relationship and past history of the finances shared between siblings. If the financial transactions have been reciprocal and there is a mutual understanding, it should be fine to approach the richest brother with the request, for example, to accommodate his son during his graduation in a foreign city. However, expenses incurred must be shared or reimbursed in cash or in kind. Do not expect the richest brother to finance the child's education just because he is rich.

4) Borrow or take a loan

Taking money from the richest brother on a regular basis and not giving it back just because he is rich can cause serious differences. In no case should the richest brother be used as a source of interest-free financing. Take money only in case of emergency, with a written agreement to return it within a specific period. Even if the richest brother wants to help without any expectation of the money being returned, a written agreement will help avoid misunderstandings.

5) Invest in a brother's adventure

Investing in the beginning of an affluent younger brother is a more serious problem than planning a vacation. Treat it strictly as a business transaction and consider the pros and cons. Do you have experience and a business plan? When are returns expected? What are the risks and what role will you play? If you agree to invest, do so only with the money you can cancel. Also, always have a written agreement.