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'AITA for no longer making toys for my nephew after his dad called them “embarrassing"?' UPDATED

'AITA for no longer making toys for my nephew after his dad called them “embarrassing"?' UPDATED

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"AITA for no longer making toys and furniture for my former SIL after her new husband called them an 'embarrassment' and me cheap for not paying for stuff?"

My brother died before his firstborn child was born, because of this I've had an above average involvement in my nephews life. One thing I’ve always done is build him toys and furniture. It was a way of providing without the awkwardness of handing over cash. Also, between my late brothers cash and life insurance via work a trust was setup for my nephew for ~£500,000.

He wasn’t actually married to my SIL. Now via the lab at work I’ve made him a lot of wooden or 3d printed toys, but also some simple handmade electronic toys. My sister in law was always grateful for these and my nephew (by all accounts) loves his custom toys.

Fast forward 3 years and my former sister in law has gotten married. I was attending my nephews third birthday and I turned up the night before to assemble his present. It was a small climbing frame/Swing set I had watched better carpenters than me in the lab make.

The new husband was a little standoffish but come the day of the party he was telling anyone who listened that I didn’t pay or make the present I had lackies at work do it for free. This culminated in him calling all my “presents” an embarrassment and given my fancy job I could afford to splash some cash.

I confronted him and my former SIL and she basically confirmed that whilst the presents were appreciated she honestly expected more direct support from me after my brother's death. My mother stepped in and reminded her my brother paid for this house and they regularly take cash out of the trust (approx £10,000 a year).

We walked out without hearing any worthwhile response but I continued to see my nephew without incident. 6-7 months go by and I’m visiting only to be told my former SIL was pregnant with twins and she was wondering if I could make some duplicates of items I made for my nephew as they needed two sets.

I scoffed, said she had balls asking me to make stuff after she was so ungrateful and I owe her unborn children very little. She got upset and explained her prior statements about my handmade gifts and said she felt they were the kinda little things someone did as a favour. Not what a family provides. That’s why she’s asking me now as a friend to do her a “favour” and manufacture duplicates.

I said no, again, and her husband shouted through that it didn’t matter they would just use the trust to provide for kids like it’s supposed to. I retorted that it was for my nephew and good luck accessing it for that because the trust requires my signature to pay out. I wasn’t even home before he was calling me to apologise, clearly unaware I held the reigns to my late brothers money.

The apology was insincere and I asked to speak to my former SIL where I confirmed again I wouldn’t be manufacturing her anything. I’ll still be an uncle to my nephew and be impartial when it comes to her accessing my nephews trust but her husband has burned a lot my goodwill with this. AITA for not doing her a favour after all that?

said:

NTA. First, my condolences on the loss of your brother. Your SIL is beyond entitled! She lives in a house for by your late brother and benefits from a trust and then has the gall to criticize your gifts to your nephew, OUTRAGEOUS!

said:

NTA. Sorry for your loss. Your brother was so smart to give you control over the trust for your nephew. That ensures your nephew's position is protected both financially and in this new family. SIL new husband is bad news and she doesn't seem to have goid jugement. If you didn’t have oversight on things, I bet your nephew would have been robbed and neglected by these greedy people.

said:

I'm absolutly speechless. 10.000 a year is a lot to feed and clothe a child living in a house wich seems to be paid off? To expecting you "provide" for your brothers kid who is set up like this is just baffeling to me. Your gifts sound extremly generous. Does your sil not work at all? NTA

said:

NTA. But if you need a couple of nieces, my daughters would absolutely love handmade toys! In all serious though, I think handmade puts more thought and effort into your gift than just spending $50 for a piece of crap at the store. Being told repeatedly your gifts aren't welcome, and then being angry at you for not providing more of the supposed unwanted gifts is ridiculous.

And your sil's husband absolutely is being insincere. I just hope he doesn't take out his anger on your nephew, especially when the new babies are born.

And [deleted] said:

NTA at all and the two of them have a lot of nerve for treating you that way and then asking for favours. They're also AHs if they use your nephew's trust for anything other than what your nephew needs. If they're spending it on themselves or the other kids in any way they're out of line.

OP later shared this update on the situation:

So, I've had a few requests for an update. So here goes. As highlighted in the comments of my last post the main issue wasn't whether I manufactured anything for my former SIL it was the money my brother left his son. So whilst I felt it was an overreaction to their behaviour to withhold gifts, I came to the conclusion I was underreacting to her husbands comments regarding my nephews money.

So I contacted the solicitor involved and pushed more responsibility onto them for signing off on money being withdrawn from the trust. She is required to enforce the trusts documentation fully and this has meant no more withdrawing money without explicit proof it was for my nephews benefit.

To my former SIL's credit she understood why I did this, she was sensible enough to see these boundaries were not my doing but the insurance company's and nothing has changed in regards to our relationship and the time I spend with my nephew.

Unfortunately her husband took things badly and hasn't spoken to me since. On top of this for the following months he became incredibly petty regarding money. He would track to the last penny everything my nephew ate, drank or played with.

He was doing things like putting restaurant orders through with my nephews food on a separate receipt or keeping track of prescription charges just so he could be in a position to claim the maximum value from the trust. The stress of raising their twins seems to have stifled this. Despite all the tracking I've not been asked to sign off on anything thus far but those receipts could still be claimed for.

It's unfortunate but I can't protect this money from legitimate, if petty, claims. I also fully expect the house bought with my brothers money would go to the husband were my SIL to die given their children together.

She owns it outright with no strings attached. I've kept a close eye on how my nephew is being treated and by all accounts this hasn't trickled down to how my SIL/her husband treat him at all. This seems to have been kept as a disagreement between adults regarding money and my mother (who regularly babysits) claims her husband appears to be continuing to treat my nephew like his own.

Despite that, our faith in my nephews money being the safety net it was always intended to be has been shaken so my recently departed grandmother got the ball rolling on starting a second, much more ironclad, pool of money for my nephew. It's nothing overly elaborate just money my late brother would have been entitled to skipping straight to my nephew.

Ideally this wont have to be relied upon but between what my grandmother set aside and our mother's intended will my nephew will have enough for a head start in life regardless of what happens to his existing money. It isn't a perfect solution but when it comes to inheritance and family money there rarely is. Oh, and in what's kinda become a side issue... I made the furniture in the end.

Sources: Reddit
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