'My husband inherited over $350,000. He wanted to spend it all on himself.'

Inheriting a large sum of money has the potential to change your life forever. You could buy a home, pay off an existing mortgage or invest in a property for your kids' future.

But what if your partner or husband inherited a large sum of money and then chose not to share it with you and your children? 

This was the situation facing a woman in the UK, whose husband was on track to do exactly that. 

Fiona and Pete Wilde had been together for over 12 years when Pete inherited £200,00 GBP (over $381,000AU) after his aunty passed away. But rather than sharing the money with wife Fiona and their 10-year-old daughter, Pete wanted to spend it all on himself.

"I certainly didn't expect him to give me a slice of the money, but I did feel strongly that it should be used for something that would benefit us as a family," 42-year-old Fiona told The Daily Mail.

"Pete made it clear that, despite sharing our finances in every other part of our lives, this was different. It was his money, and he wanted to do what he wanted with it. To me, it felt like he was blowing it."

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Unsurprisingly, the inheritance – and what to do with it – became a huge point of contention between the couple, causing Fiona to leave the family home for a few weeks while they took a break from arguing on the subject. 


In the end, Fiona says that they reached a compromise; Pete got a new BMW and a holiday to Mauritius and Fiona organised some home and kitchen renovations. 

"Because it was such a large sum, I didn't anticipate that Pete wouldn't include me in decisions about it. After all, we own a property together, we're a couple, we have a 10-year-old child.

"If ever I inherit anything in the future, I'd feel selfish if I didn't discuss what to do with the money with him." 

In Australia, recent research has shown that wealthy Baby Boomers will collectively pass on an enormous $3.5 trillion to their kids in the next 15 years, meaning that some Australians will receive a similar life-changing sum of $320,000 in inheritance.

“The reality is people are going to die and it’s not something we want to talk about as it doesn’t feel good to talk about family dying,” money expert Vanessa Stoykov, who commissioned the research, told

“That generation is getting older and then they have properties that are worth $4 million or $5 million or $6 million in some places where they wouldn’t have paid that much for them and suddenly it’s handed on to the next generation.

“It’s a massive opportunity to grow that wealth, but there is a threat if that money is squandered that there is no chance for that inheritance line to grow.”


Back in the UK, 52-year-old Sarah Greeff received £200,000 GBP ($381,000AU) in an inheritance after her beloved father died. While in a state of grief combined with symptoms of menopause, Sarah handed over the spending power to her husband Nick, who used it to purchase a remote and rundown 'croft' in Scotland.

"When the solicitor handed me the cheque, I was engulfed by sadness for my dad and cried sitting on the floor of her office," Sarah told the Daily Mail.

"Unbeknown to me, after Dad died, Nick started looking online for property with land and persuaded me to go and view the 100-acre croft and the four-bedroom house on it. When I saw how rundown it was, I told him we would not be buying it. It hadn't been decorated since 1980, there was water pouring in through the roof and the heating didn't work.

"But I didn't have the capacity to think straight at the time and, having realised that it would mean Nick fulfilling a long-held dream to own a property with lots of land, eventually I agreed to it.

"Had I been single, I'd never have done such a thing. I'd probably have invested in a rental property instead."

Because of the strict Scottish Crofting Commission laws, and as they purchased the croft in Nick's name, he is the only person who can benefit financially in the future. 

Despite this initial one-sided decision, Sarah says she is not unhappy with their new life as 'crofters' in Scotland, with their six cows and three pigs. They sold their previous home on the Isle of Wight and are gradually doing most of the renovations themselves.


Sarah admits that after coming out of the fog of her grief and starting Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) treatment, she had some concerns about what happened to her inheritance.

"At the time, I wasn't great at making decisions. I'd lost all my oomph. Just getting out of bed and feeding us both was an achievement.

"I realised I was deeply unhappy, and when Nick sat down and asked me why, I told him I felt I'd lost control of everything. With the croft house solely in his name, it means that if we ever divorced, I'd have no right to the property or the proceeds of its sale, even though it was paid for with my inheritance."

Sarah decided to use the rest of the inheritance to claw back some control and secure some financial security for her future by purchasing an investment property in her name.

"It's resolved a lot of the disquiet I felt. Although Nick and I didn't row about it, I was concerned about what I'd done with Dad's inheritance,' she says.

"I'm happier and feel that the financial imbalance has been restored now that we each own a property."

What would you do if you inherited a large lump sum from a family member? Do you feel it is a family decision or a personal one on where it gets to be used?

Feature image: Getty.

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