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Are You Disgusted With This Gold-Digging Great-Nephew?

A husband and father of two wrote to CNN Money's Do the Right Thing column, ultimately asking if he was nuts or if his wife was the crazy one. The guy's wife is disgusted with him for pushing their daughters to build a closer relationship with his elderly, childless great-aunt in hopes she will leave her fortune to them. He thinks it's a win-win situation: His great-aunt gets company and attention, and the girls will (hopefully) get a sizable inheritance.

The column's authors tell the guy he's wrong for faking affection and that his daughters deserve better moral guidance from their father, and they remind him that things aren't always as they seem. After all, his great-aunt could very well have plans to leave her money to charity.

Are you disgusted with this gold-digging great-nephew, or do you think he's correct in calling it a win-win situation?


Join The Conversation
RockAndRepublic RockAndRepublic 9 years
Money isn't the root of all evil, people are.
looseseal looseseal 9 years
"How is this different from a mother encouraging her daughters to only date doctors, lawyers, and business executives?" You're right, it's about the same level of gross as that. And both have a pretty good chance of backfiring in your face. (A man might get a new wife once he's rich, and the relative might not leave money to you) At least the guy's wife has backbone, so the girls have at least one parent who might instill good, non-leech values in them. How does this guy even know the Great Aunt "will appreciate the attention"? He's likely assuming this from his own narrow point of view, based on nothing but the fact that she has no children. Maybe she has a lot of things of her own to do and she's just letting the girls "keep her company" out of politeness. Maybe she enjoys her peace and quiet. How does he even know she's "well-off"? I don't know the exact details of my aunts' finances, nor do I think it's any of my business. What, did he sneak a peek at her bank statements and tax returns? For all he knows, she could have mortgaged everything she has so that she can live it up in her golden years. Someone in the comments section of the linked-page suggests it's the same as sucking up to a boss or client at work. Um, presumably you're also WORKING at work. And everyone knows what the deal is when it comes to work, unless they're idiots. Also, you're unlikely to get a windfall from someone's death at work (unless it's in the form of a promotion, which is something a person has to work to keep, anyway). I may not believe in unconditional love, but the only condition I'd ever expect in giving love to someone is to be loved in return.
jessy777 jessy777 9 years
I think it is wrong. Why couldn't he encourage his children to have a real relationship with their great-aunt and if she leaves them money then maybe it would be a "bonus". I hate saying that. I have family members try to befriend other relatives at the last minute in hopes of obtaining a large sum of money. It is gross and morally reprehensible in my opinion. A person is worth more than their bank account.
AmberHoney AmberHoney 9 years
Just get a job - this has played out with many people I have personally know over the years - make your own damn money!
sweetpeabrina sweetpeabrina 9 years
I'm not quite sure. How is this different from a mother encouraging her daughters to only date doctors, lawyers, and business executives? People will be more lenient because the mother is just looking out for the future well being of her daughter but not so lenient on a man who is doing the same thing for his daughters?
GlowingMoon GlowingMoon 9 years
The nephew is immoral and superficial.
MandeeLei MandeeLei 9 years
I completely agree with bluebell. He should be teaching his children how to EARN money through hard work and determination, not by swindling old relatives. I understand that the dad probably wants to make a better life for his kids but he should be doing so by teaching and leading by example.
cubadog cubadog 9 years
Golf claps bluebell I totally agree. It sounds like the children are forced to keep Great Auntie in the loop. She maybe 80 but I doubt she is stupid. Lets be honest how many of us are in regular contact with a Great Aunt? I know I'm not and I to be honest I think I only know one of them by sight.
bluebellknoll bluebellknoll 9 years
I think the idea of entitlement to other's peoples money is disgusting overall.
skigurl skigurl 9 years
yah i think it really depends on the situation i mean, if she's a lonely old lady and they all get along, then fine i mean, they should be spending time with her out of the goodness of their hearts, since she's family, but wanting her cash when she dies doesn't hurt it makes me so angry when my grandparents (who i've always been close with) suggest they're giving their money to their church. makes me crazy because i have student loans and they pushed education on all their grandkids, and we could use the money! but i dont spend time with them FOR the cash. it's just the idea that an inheritance could really help you further in life
mondaymoos mondaymoos 9 years
I don't know... I think it's more complicated than that... I'm pretty sure his daughters aren't "faking affection" unless they're complaining to their dad about not wanting to go over. If they enjoy spending time with her, is it really an issue? And if his interest is in her leaving it to his kids', and not really him... who can blame the guy for wanting a better life for his children?
RosaDilia RosaDilia 9 years
RosaDilia RosaDilia 9 years
I wonder if his daughter's have said anything to the aunt about what daddy is doing? Anyway, If the the aunt does decide to leave an inheritance to the girls she would probably set up a custodial account. The parents will not have the authority to withdraw and the girls will only have access to it until they're 18 or 21 years old.
iHeartU83 iHeartU83 9 years
Um of Course this is wrong. What will happen when the child finds out that they were being manipulated for money...or worse if they think that is the right thing for people to do. I dont know maybe its just me but i see all kinds of wrong in this.
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