Sisters are doing it for themselves


Dear Violet,

My older sister has been the best sibling anyone could ask for. She helped raise me when our parents died, and took care of me through college, until I was started in my new career.

The reason I am writing you is because now that I have a career, and my own form of income from employment as a registered nurse, my sister refuses to assist me financially.

Before I sound like a terrible human being, please understand that my parents, who both died in the same car accident, left a large sum of money in trust for each of us, they passed away when I was 15 and my sister was 30. Each of us were left $1.2 million in trust to receive when we turn 30, and a sum of $500k to be used in the case I was underage to assist my older sister with monies to help with funds until I reached adulthood.

I am 23, now, my sister is, obviously, 38. She received her trust fund immediately, as well as the funds to assist in raising me. We lived in my parents home (mortgage already paid), and I am much of the funding was used, appropriately, over the three years to pay for the household and my high school needs. I received a full scholarship for college, and worked to cover my own expenses after I turned 18.

However, my sister is now in control of my trust fund, until I reach the age of majority, which is 30.

Violet, I wish to move out of our shared home and pursue my own life, and I wish to purchase another home for myself. My sister refuses to sell our childhood home, and currently lives there, still, with me. She receives rental income from her own home that she owned at the time of our parents death and I recently discovered that she had $200k remaining of the money intended to help me up to adulthood.

Am I in the wrong for wanting to use that money to put towards my own home, to be independent, or is it fair that she keep the money for her own usage? I am 7 years away from my inheritance, and my sister claims she might not let me have it then, if I decide to move out of our family home. My sister is single, and does not allow me much of a social life, citing fear of losing me after our parents passed. I feel held back and depressed, often.

All advice is welcome, should I be grateful for my loving sister, or am I justified in wanting my freedom?

Twisted in confusion Sister

Dear Twisted Sister,

This is a tough one, because there are so many layers of things going on in this relationship, in my opinion.

I believe your sister is acting from a place of love, and fear, and also perhaps holding on to your childhood home to remain close to your deceased parents. However, you are an adult, who clearly is responsible and have not taken advantage of the monies left for you, and honestly deserve your own life.

Your options are to get an attorney and contest the will and request a change to the age of majority for receiving your funds, as well as requesting, alternatively, another executor for the estate, to take the family dynamics out of the financial decisions.

You are also able to just move out and get an apartment or housing that you can afford on your current salary and just strike out on your own, until your inheritance is realized.

I do not believe your sister can legally withhold your inheritance unless you are unable to care for yourself or your financial safety and as an educated, independent woman that does not seem to be the case here.

I truly wish you both the best as you move forward, and do believe you need to live apart, so you can both grow in a healthy, normal, sibling relationship.

All the best,


Dear Violet is a relationship advice column, covering both domestic relationships and familial relationships, as well as friendships. If you have something you want to get advice about, write in and get a third party, no ax to grind perspective. Welcome to Violet’s world. Send questions, comments or concerns attention: Ask Violet c/o Gonzales Inquirer at