I love this anecdote but would take it a step up from “what a funny old lady” to reflecting upon the evolution of women’s liberation. Grandma couldn’t own her own banking account or line of credit without her husband’s permission. Divorce was both difficult to obtain and often too painful because the children almost always were given to their fathers. Secret stashes of cash were lifelines to married women in bad marriages, and the advise of wise older women to blissful young wives who couldn’t imagine the darker days that may come likely kept many women alive. Keep passing that torch and keep it lit, ladies. This is what we do and this is why I am here.

I'm single and childless but deeply concerned for the future of my nieces. I don't think it's too far off to think we may see a future where we return to what you're talking about here. I plan on leaving what little bit of wealth I've amassed to them and can only hope they put it to wise use after I'm gone.

[–] spaghettiforhair autogynophobe 17 points

That's a very wise decision, I think. The women in my family think it's a crime that generational wealth has only belonged to men historically, my so grandmother is leaving a good sum of money to my mother and aunts (less to my uncle, but he makes well over 100K per year and has said that he would rather the money go to his sisters), and my mother plans on leaving all of her money to me, not even to my dad in the event that she passes before him, and he's perfectly okay with this.

Oh, absolutely right. My mom left hers to me and me alone (only child) because she said she knew if too many women whose estate wound up in the pockets of a much-younger second wife. Turns out my dad passed first, and in her later years suffering from dementia my mom would get so angry at me sometimes she would tear up that will and put my cousin's name in there instead.

I never worried, as my cousin is a person of high principle; when my mom passed the will said it was all for me anyway.

Unfortunately, I engaged the services of an estate planner who was unethical to say the least, and I wound up losing about $60,000.

Long story - what she did was sleazy but not technically illegal, so I never got my money back. Later she and her partner were caught in an illegal scheme and tossed out of the business. I have no idea whether either of them wound up doing any time.

If you can, you might consider talking to an attorney about a trust. I had legal insurance as a company benefit once (highly recommend it if you have an option) and it covered wills and trusts. I had legal documents drawn up outlining how money would be distributed to my minor children/their caregivers/etc. There are a lot of ways to set up funds so that their spouses can’t touch them, so if you can get in touch with a legal advisor or go down a good old fashioned internet rathole. Good luck and what a wonderful aunt you are!