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‘Son, get a lawyer. That girl goes to remove your inheritance!’ The most well-liked Moneyist columns of 2021

We made it via one other tough 12 months. Congratulations. It was not straightforward.

Some Individuals have been caught at residence with companions and household, counting their steps on iPhones
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and questioning no matter occurred to these on-line yoga and health lessons. Whereas others have been alone, worrying about their subsequent paycheck.

This column mirrored these struggles: Inflation, rising house prices, uncertainty surrounding a extremely risky inventory market, politically polarized families, credit-card bills, and a reasonably privileged query a couple of $30,000 bracelet.

The number of topics begs the query: Is the Moneyist a monetary column about relationships — or a relationship column about cash? Judging by the most well-liked letters of 2021, an argument may very well be made that it’s each.

Is the Moneyist a monetary column about relationships — or a relationship column about cash?

In 2020, there have been lots of of questions on stimulus checks. In 2021, throughout the second 12 months of the pandemic, folks expressed “compassion fatigue” and vented their frustration about vaccination requirements.

One man wrote of his dad and mom: “They refuse to get vaccinated towards COVID-19. Even shedding our uncle to COVID has performed nothing to persuade them. They’ve even stated they’d reasonably stop their jobs and lose all the things than get vaccinated!”

However the most well-liked letters of the 12 months have been “conventional” ethical dilemmas involving sharing family payments, the perils of inheritance when a stepparent is concerned, and the way a lot cash you must depart estranged youngsters.

Listed here are the ten hottest letters of 2021:

  1. My wife inherited $800K. She put $300K toward our mortgage and $500K in her own bank account — after 35 years of marriage

  2. My bank accidentally deposited $10K in my account. I reported it, then moved it to my savings account. Have I done enough?

  3. I won over $55 million in the California lottery, but didn’t tell my friends or family. Did I do the right thing?

  4. My wife makes $200K a year, but gives us $700 a month, and $3,000 to her brother and mother ‘to keep them in the good life’

  5. ‘I’m a man of simple pleasures’: I live with my girlfriend, 59, who owns several homes and has saved $3 million. I pay utilities, and do repairs. Is that enough?

  6. My daughter no longer speaks to me or my husband, and mocked our family values. Do we cut her out of her $2 million inheritance?

  7. My husband and I bought our late neighbor’s foreclosed home. My stepdaughter moved in — then the problems began

  8. My ex-wife passed away. I’m the beneficiary on her life insurance. Her family wants me to pay her funeral expenses and won’t leave me alone

  9. My father desperately begged me, ‘Son, get a lawyer. That woman is going to take away your inheritance!’ My stepmother kept $1 million after he died

  10. My girlfriend cosigned my mortgage. I paid the mortgage for 4 years, plus a $125,000 down payment. She paid the utilities. Now she wants half

Thanks for coming alongside for the journey, and for weighing in on readers’ private troubles and monetary dilemmas. And, sure, generally being heard is all folks want. Have a protected and comfortable New 12 months.

Yocan e-mail The Moneyist with any monetary and moral questions associated to coronavirus at qfottrell@marketwatch.com, and comply with Quentin Fottrell on Twitter.

Try the Moneyist private Facebook group, the place we search for solutions to life’s thorniest cash points. Readers write in to me with all kinds of dilemmas. Submit your questions, inform me what you need to know extra about, or weigh in on the newest Moneyist columns.

The Moneyist regrets he can not reply to questions individually.

Extra from Quentin Fottrell:

• ‘Our friends always yearned for a relationship like ours’: My husband of 16 years left me for another man. I don’t want them to live in our properties. What can I do?
• ‘She trusts me completely’: My sister offered to pay off my credit-card bill. I’ll repay her over the next 4 years. Am I taking advantage of our relationship?
• ‘He is the most computer-illiterate person I know’: I was my husband’s research analyst, caregiver, cook and housekeeper. Now he wants a divorce after 38 years.

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