Family Insists That Bereaved Dad Give College Fund To Nephew, Not Late Son's BFF

Most of us love our family and are happy to help out if we are able and they are in need.

I'm lucky enough to have a family like that, but as the internet allows more windows into people's lives around the world, I'm swiftly realizing how rare that kind of luck can be.

"This has been causing a conflict with my entire family. And they think that I'm being selfish and unreasonable. Let me explain first."

That's how an anonymous user opened their post to the r/AmItheAsshole subreddit recently.

It's an opening that many people can probably easily relate to, even if this dad's situation is unique.

Unsplash | Micheile Henderson

Ultimately, like many family conflicts, this one is about money. Specifically, about who should get to use savings that were originally meant for something that's no longer possible.

The 39-year-old Redditor explains that last year, he lost his 15-year-old son to a chronic heart condition.

To keep both their hopes up during his son's health struggles, the dad made a point of planning for the future and starting a college fund.

"He was depressed but always believed that he was going to get better and continue his education and attend college."

Sadly, his son lost his battle and the dad was left devasated.

Unsplash | Tim Mossholder

He makes no reference of a mom or partner in his life, but makes it clear that he was pretty much on his own through the years of treatment and hospital stays.

He says that his family did pretty much nothing to support him or his son over the years.

They rarely visited and were mostly hands-off about the whole thing.

"They didn't let me go home and rest even for a few hours. They didn't take care of other things while I had a lot to deal with. I wasn't offered any help just words. They'd just talk but do nothing."

There was, however, one person who did stick by them: his son's best friend.

They were about the same age and friends for five years leading up to the son's passing.

Throughout that time, the friend visited constantly, spending the night and generally doing his best to help out and be the best friend ever.

"To be frank his friend was closer to him than his own family."

Unsplash | Ricardo Moura

After the son's death, the friend kept visiting the dad. He made memorial projects to his friend and they supported each other through their grief.

"We'd sometimes just sit and talk together or cry together."

So when thoughts circled back to the college fund, the dad knew who he wanted to have it.

This wasn't something he planned to advertise, either, but the issue was forced.

"Last week. While I was with my family my sister asked me what I was going to do with my son's college money."

Since she asked, he was honest: the money was going to the best friend.

His sister was shocked and said she didn't even know who that person was, that the money should instead go to her son, his nephew, because he's "family."

He said, "My mom agreed that I wasn't thinking straight and that I should help the people close to me-family and that my nephew has a right to go to college and I was wrong for giving this 'opportunity' away to someone else."

When they pointed out that the nephew would resent him for this, he didn't agree.

His son and nephew had never been close in any way. Then his sister tried to argue that she and her husband weren't financially able to pay for their son's college, so the money should help them. She accused him of being bitter and doing this to spite them.

"She started lashing out, constantly texting me constantly wanting to talk to me and ending up arguing. When I snapped she had my mom calling me basically guilt-tripping me and telling me I'm wrong and that I needed to think about this."

Confused, angry, and still grieving, the dad asked Reddit to weigh in on who was the asshole here.

It was pretty unanimous: the sister and the rest of his family are the assholes, not him.

"NTA," said WhoFearsDeath, "Ask her what her plan was for her son’s college if yours hadn’t died, and then tell her to do that. You aren’t obligated to do anything whatsoever with that money that you don’t want to do."

Many expressed their annoyance with the sheer entitlement the family is assuming.

"This boy is far more family to you than anyone of those people you share blood with," said Dana07620.

Minnie-Mint added, "The fact that your sister doesn't know which friend was your son's best friend when he visited constantly, including overnight, truly shows how little she was involved. You have nothing to feel guilty about."

As for how to handle the situation from here, CandylandCanada had the best advice.

Unsplash | Kristina Flour

"Your most powerful weapon is silence," they said, "Refuse to engage with them on this."

Amen to that.

As of right now, the dad hasn't even told the friend about his plans yet, but maybe he should.

By making it official, possibly even in writing, it would help to curb any further arguments.

"I have already signed the money over to the recipient," the dad could say, "So this discussion is over."

What do you think of this situation?

Seriously, though, what is it about money that brings out the worst in people?

Like this similar story where a man's wife is forcing him to decide between a possibly lifesaving medical device for his nine-year-old son from a previous marriage or an expensive nursery for their unborn baby.

His son is currently on the waiting list for a heart transplant, and their doctor explained how a Ventricular Assist Device (VAD) could greatly increase the boy's quality of life while they waited.

So the dad began to save up the money to pay for the VAD so that his son could play with his friends and be a kid.

Unsplash | Corinne Kutz

However, while he was saving this money, his current wife is now four months pregnant. She began to ask him when he would start paying for nursery items, even picking out a $3,500 crib.

When he argued that the money being saved was for his son's medical device, she accused him of neglecting their new baby and even went ahead and pre-ordered all the nursery furniture, telling him that she expected him to pay for it.

When he got angry, she called him an awful dad for "failing" once and now neglecting his second child.

She said this in front of his son. Now she's staying with her parents, who are joining her in pressuring him to "be fair to her and her son and stop disrespecting her."

This was another clear case of Not The Asshole from the Reddit community.

Many of the comments centered around the very idea that a baby *needs* a fancy nursery.

User movingon1200 put it best:

"NTA. How in good conscious could she expect this from you?? Your unborn son doesn’t need a nursery to F---ING LIVE. Unreal. I would be questioning my marriage at this point."

Amen to that.

And don't get me started on the sheer number of entitled parents who get called out in the subreddit.

Like this other story from SnooChickens4747, whose mother clearly needs to be put in her place.

SnooChickens4747 starts by explaining that her parents were the source of a lot of verbal and mental abuse growing up.

Despite those roadblocks, she still successfully became a nurse and as soon as she had a job lined up, she moved out of their home and in with her fiance.

Since they are family, she still likes to spend time with them, visiting weekly and treating them to dinner. However, since she began making good money, her mom has been asking for some every time they're together.

SnooChickens4747 explains that she actually doesn't have a ton of disposable income, between rent, student loans, and other necessities, but the occasional meal or paying for their groceries felt like a nice thing to do for her parents.

Still, for months now her mother has demanded money and called her a liar for saying she doesn't have that much.

Unsplash | Viacheslav Bublyk

"Sunday she was at it again while we were grocery shopping calling me a liar over and over again like a child," she says, "and I snapped and told her what makes her think she's entitled to my money?"

Her mother is now going around making SnooChickens4747 out to be the villain.

Thankfully, her father and fiance are on SnooChickens4747's side, but she still can't help but wonder if she was in the wrong.

Stand your ground, girl. Your mom is just continuing the old cycle of abuse.

Most of the commenters said the same and recommended that she stop treating her parents to anything, period.


"NTA. Quit taking them out for nice meals, quit buying them snacks, quit buying groceries. The more you are doing for them, they are only seeing 'She has Lots of Money.' Stop. Take care of your own bills and your own life. Start a nest egg. Pay more on your car. Do anything else, but stop what you are doing. If she asks again, just tell her all of your money went on bills and refuse to engage in a long conversation. Just. Stop."

So what do you think about these situations or about the pitfalls of family and finances in general?

I'm lucky enough to not have nearly this level of monetary drama going on now, but I do know what it's like to be a family that has struggled financially and how it can cause strong emotions.

Hopefully, all of these folks come out of their situations stronger.

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