Accepting money from my in-laws?

posted 3 months ago in Finances
Post # 16
2078 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2018

“Parents spend so much time and money raising their children, and it’s odd to me to see so many grown adults still taking from their parents.”

Children don’t ask to be born. Parents have kids based on their own desires and are, of course, obligated to spend time and money caring for them. I see nothing odd about family members gifting each other money. Seems perfectly natural to me.

Post # 17
690 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2019

jellybellynelly :  This is a great idea! I second that idea. If you accept their money, keep it aside for 6 months at least to see if they try to hold their gift over your head. The second they do, return the money. 

I think in order to accept the money as a gift you two need to make the deals clear. It needs to be written somewhere in writing that it is a gift free and clear for legal reasons. Then you need to make it clear to his parents that does not mean they get ANY say in which house you buy. They are not allowed to go with you to see houses or be a part of that process whatsoever. It also does not mean that you two are their retirement plan if it came down to that. Nor does it mean that they automatically get a bedroom in your home that is considered theirs etc. It also doesn’t mean that they get to stay with you anytime they want or when they visit. 

Post # 18
9495 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2012

This is really going to depend on your family dynamics.

We have accepted money from my parents that we used for a home. My mom did come with when we were house hunting, but it’s sort of a hobby for her and didn’t bother us any. No regrets there.

I would not take money from my mother in law, because I’m sure she would see that as an in to try and move into our spare room or something some day.

If I can afford it some day I would love to help my child purchase her own home. However I’d be pretty offended if she was all “thanks for the money but you can’t have any opinions, and by the way here’s this legal form to sign because I don’t trust you”. It’s a gift ffs, take it or don’t.

Post # 19
6448 posts
Bee Keeper

Any gift that is given with expectations is not a gift.  If you have a good relationship wtih them and the yare willing to give it to you free and clear no expectations I would take it.  But if they expect to be a part of the decision making, be on the title, or something else with the house I would not accept it

Post # 20
428 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2019 - York, ME

mimivac :  I’m not saying parents aren’t obligated to spend their time and money raising the children they have.  I just feel that as an adult, I’d rather my parents and grandparents enjoy the money they’ve earned. 

Personally, I don’t think my family is as well off as a lot of the Bee’s families on here. My family couldn’t afford to give us a gift for a down payment AND also take a nice vacation. It’d be one or the other.  I’d rather they take the vacation. I’m an adult, I can take care of my own affairs, and I’ve seen my family struggle financially for a long time.  Now that they’re better off financially it makes me happy that they finally get to do more of the things they enjoy because they weren’t able to for so long. 

But like I said to OP – she knows the dynamic of her family though and will make the best choice for them and their unique situation.

Post # 21
6626 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: June 2015

parrotthead :  if it were your parents would you feel the same? Mine have given us as much as they can every year. Thanks to them we can add onto our house, which is too small for our family (husband and I just moved into our dining room!). I know my husband felt weird about it initially, but there were no strings attached and my parents would rather be able to see us making good use of their inheritance than die first and never know what we do or watch us struggle in the meantime. He has since reconciled himself  my parents also did the same for my sister, which saved her from foreclosure in the last big recession. 

If you know they aren’t going to hold it over your head in some way, I just don’t see a good reason not to accept. You are using the funds for a good purpose, not to buy yourself manicures and alcohol while the light lid are shut off from nonpayment or something. And it’ll make your mortgage significantly smaller. To not accept may just make life harder in the long run. 

If they are the sort who abuse their own generosity, however, then thanks but no thanks. 

Post # 22
1289 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2016

co_katherine :  I would completely agree for situations where gifting to kids comes at a compromise/sacrifice to the parents enjoying what the money could bring (e.g. vacations, early retirement).

However in situations where there isn’t that trade-off, I see nothing wrong with generous gifts. My parents came into money late in my childhood (just before college). We were happy and comfortable beforehand and they were frugal and smart with their financial management, but my dad’s business became stronger and stronger in my later teens. It now generates more then they have a desire to spend on themselves. They have what they need for when they retire (could retire now but neither wants to), houses are paid off, they travel multiple times a year — they don’t feel that more material things will improve their quality of life or happiness. So they are generous, both with their children and with various non-profits and charities. 

I like to think that if I ever got to a similar financial position that I would be similar. I wouldn’t want to continue spending on myself past a certain threshold! 

So I think it really depends on the personalities and financial position of the gifters – for many people it brings them more joy to gift to others then to spend on themselves!

ETA: My SO and I do not need these gifts and we are very much financially independent. 

Post # 23
8068 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

co_katherine :  my dad isn’t rich and still likes to give us money. I wish he’d spend it on himself but in the past when I’ve told him a gift was too much it made him upset. He knows I don’t need it, but he wants to do it. He’s a grown ass man that can make his own choices about his money and I don’t want to hurt his feelings. Now that I have a kid he’s directing it mostly toward her college fund – his mother paid for half of my college and I think he feels like he needs to help pay for some of his grandchild’s as well. He’s still semi retired and gets to take vacations but he’d rather gift money now then leave an inheritance. 

Post # 24
428 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2019 - York, ME

TravelingBride31 :   LilliV :  Both of these are very good points! Especially when you consider they can see the impact their gifts have on their family while living, instead of just leaving an inheritance.  

Post # 25
1514 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: November 2019 - City, State

parrotthead :  From my own experience, it’s definitely not worth it.  My fiance and I are looking to move a few hours from where we live right now, and his parents are very upset about it.  This creates an issue because FH’s parents gifted him the down payment for the house we live in now.  They’ve hinted that it’s possible they may ask for the money back since we’re doing something that goes against their wishes, which means we would not be able to roll that into a down payment for our future home and would have to come up with an extra $40k ourselves.  So whatever you do, just make sure that a GIFT remains a GIFT and there are no strings attached.  It’s been a mess and honestly I’m pretty upset about it.

So on the whole, I always recommend keeping your finances entirely free from parents’ influence or meddling.

Post # 26
893 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2014

parrotthead :  Darling Husband and I were recently gifted a substantial amount of money by his parents after his aunt died and they wished to pass along the inhertience to us because they are so financially comfortable. It certainly feels kind of overwhelming, but I also feel comfortable trusting that it was offered without strings and because they have not passed judgements on major purchases/investments we have made in the past with our own money. I think if you are really comfortable with them and believe it can be without strings, it is safe to accept. 

Post # 27
504 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: April 2018

Seconding PPs.  You know your in-laws, you should have an idea what this money means.

For example, Darling Husband and I would accept a monetary gift from my family.  We have in the past (modest amounts) because it either didn’t have strings, or it had strings that were made clear from the start (eg.  My grandma gave me money for my wedding dress but her stipulation was the dress couldn’t be too revealing, which I was fine with)

We would never accept money from my Mother-In-Law because we have seen first hand with his siblings, that strings appear sometimes years afterwards.  My Father-In-Law however would be fine. 

Post # 28
2454 posts
Buzzing bee

I think only you know how they will be giving you money. My in-laws are great and whenever they give us money it’s is no strings attached usually. They gave us money for the wedding and they told us we can do whatever we wanted with it, we didn’t even have to use it towards the wedding if we didn’t want to. When we moved they gifted us money for a sprinkler system and we have borrowed money from them to pay off my student loans. 


I think it completely depends on your relationship and how they are. I wouldn’t be comfortable taking money from my mother because there would be strings attached but his family doesn’t at all. 

Post # 29
2 posts
  • Wedding: August 2019

Sometimes we have to accept it. Whenever I visit my in-laws, they greet me very well. I love their way to serve me variety of food, sweets. 

Yes! I have to accept gifts from them as well. I also regard their feelings towards me. Its called love.

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