Is She Ungrateful For Not Paying Her Parents’ Mortgage With Her Dead Husband’s Insurance Money?

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When it comes to money, family relationships can often be complex and challenging, especially between parents and adult children. It’s not uncommon for both sides to struggle with feelings of disappointment, anger, or guilt when navigating the dynamics of these relationships.

Redditor u/Loud-Definition-4454 walks us through her tumultuous relationship with her parents and wonders if she is selfish for not giving in to their demands.

Tragic Circumstances

OP (original poster) is going through a tough time in her life. Her husband, just 26 years old, passed away in December after years of struggling with illness. During the last year of her husband’s life, OP needed help with his care, so her parents offered to let them move into their home.

Upon her husband’s tragic death, she was anticipating a small payout from his life insurance policy, but to her surprise, the amount was substantial. Once she received the money, her parents demanded that she use all the funds to pay off their mortgage.

Tough Choice

When she brought up her concerns with her parents, her mother’s words, “You can pay off the house. $300,000 is the price of your freedom,” left her feeling unsure and uneasy.

She feels gratitude for her parents’ help but also feels that their demands are disproportionate. She and her husband had only been living with her parents for less than a year. During that time, she paid rent, helped with utilities, and even paid off her father’s car, which she used to drive to work.

She has aspirations of purchasing her own home and saving for retirement. She was willing to give her parents some money as a gesture of gratitude, but the thought of giving up the full amount gave her anxiety.

Ask For Help

Now, she found herself torn between her loyalty to her parents and her own financial security. She struggled to find the right approach and convey her discomfort. She was also left questioning herself and wondering if she was being greedy.

Hundreds of comments poured in from Redditors, offering their thoughts on this situation.

Redditor shy_ally started out siding with the OP’s parents but quickly changed their stance once they read the whole story, saying:

“Yeah, no, there is way less kindness here than I thought there was. OP, maybe you could look up the market rate of rent and the market rate of a car lease and figure out how much that would have cost you. Subtract every dollar you already spent and give your parents the difference. I have a feeling it isn’t going to be much. And only do this if you are feeling generous and want to be the bigger person. Your mom probably won’t even appreciate it, but do whatever is right in your heart.

If your mom wanted the “family is more important than money” treatment, then she needed to let you stay for free with no strings attached except maybe utilities and food. You don’t owe her more kindness than she has shown you.”

Another poster, TheZZ9, agreed with shy_ally, saying:

“Mom can’t expect rent and help with utilities as if OP was just a random tenant and then turn around and play the family card the instant OP gets some money. If mom cared about family she wouldn’t have accepted rent from her own daughter who was going through such an experience.”

User LetsGetThisPartyOn had some urgent advice for the OP:

“The price of freedom”. Are they your jailers?I would honestly move out while they are at work.Move out. Run. Don’t allow them anywhere near that money. That money is from your husband for your future! You paid rent and utilities. You owe them nothing.

Move out now. Tomorrow. Move. Run. Get away from them.”

Among all this, several Redditors also urged OP to seek financial guidance.

Squirrel-mama was one of them:

“See a financial advisor tomorrow!!!! Don’t pay off their house, that’s just silly! You don’t owe them a damn thing! As four adults you came to an agreement about what would be paid for rent, utilities etc and you have held up your side of the bargain. They’re just being greedy!

That money needs to last you a long time while you figure out your next steps. I’m very sorry for your loss.”

Zorkanian also agreed and urged OP to invest the money to secure her future:

“Your husband arranged this policy to help you manage should he be gone. It has nothing to do with your parents. Your loss is too raw— do nothing with the money for a while except what little will be needed to Rent your own place. You need to be away from your parents to process your grief and make decisions. And tell your parents that it is too soon to discuss these decisions. Some months down the road you can let them know that you will be doing with it what your husband intended it for—providing for your future. That is one way you’ll honor his memory. That money will Go Surprisingly fast if you don’t focus on investing and your future. A home of your own and your retirement are good ideas. Your parents didn’t win the lottery—you lost your husband..”

The Verdict

Overall, Redditors side with the OP. The popular opinion was that her parents were selfish for thinking of themselves at a troubling time in her life. What are your thoughts about this?

You can find the full story here on Reddit.

Featured Image Credit: stetsik /

This article originally appeared on Ash & Pri.

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Pri Kingston

Ash & Pri are the Founders of and have spent the last decade building their way towards financial freedom and a lifetime of memories. Having successfully achieved their early retirement goal in under 10 years, they look forward to sharing their financial sense with like-minded people. Read more about Ash & Pri in the 'About Us' section.