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by Abigail Van Buren

Husband's Request to Dress Up Seems Silly to Informal Wife

DEAR ABBY: My mom gives my older brother an allowance because he's a fugitive from the law (outstanding warrants) and lives in another country. I have told her repeatedly that she's enabling him, and he will expect it for the rest of his life, but she insists that "one day" he'll survive on his own, even though he has always squandered money.

She expects me to continue supporting him after she dies since I am the only legal child left. She says if she doesn't pay him, he'll be homeless, and I will be responsible for him since I will inherit her estate.

I have helped my brother a lot in the past, but inevitably he gets upset with the helper (including Mom) because he feels entitled. I don't want my brother to be homeless, but he has already received his share of her estate because she has been paying for him for years and I haven't received any aid. What seems fair? -- THE OTHER SIBLING

DEAR OTHER SIBLING: What's fair is that you realize your mother's money is hers to do with as she wishes. Perhaps it's time you and your mother discuss setting up a trust for your brother. An attorney who specializes in wills and trusts can help her do this and determine what is fair.

If you do, it may accomplish two goals: First, it will put your mother's mind at ease, and second, it will remove any responsibility for your brother from your shoulders, which should save you a world of aggravation. Please consider it.

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