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by Abigail Van Buren

Mom's Efforts at Gift-Giving Are Rejected by Her Son

DEAR ABBY: I'm writing because I'm torn. My mother-in-law recently retired and wants to gift stocks to all of her grandchildren. However, my husband refuses to accept them on behalf of our son. We also didn't deposit her wedding and baby shower gifts to us. (Both were checks.) We just kept them because I felt it was the right thing to do.

However, in this case, I appreciate and would gladly accept the stocks. Her gift would pay for my son's higher education. My husband feels we can't accept everything he's given. I think he's being stubborn, not thinking about his son and letting his ego get in the way. What do you think about this? -- THINKING OF THE FUTURE

DEAR THINKING: Why am I thinking you omitted an important paragraph (or two) from your letter? The one describing your husband's troubled relationship with his mother. That relationship should be separate from hers with her grandchild.

She was generous with her wedding and shower gifts. (The checks should probably be destroyed at this late date because they can no longer be cashed.) As to the gift of stocks she wants to give your son, I see no rational reason why they shouldn't be accepted, acknowledged and saved to be used for the purpose for which they are intended. Your husband's stance on this is irrational and will serve no purpose other than to penalize the boy -- and both of you.

Read more in: Family & Parenting | Aging | Money