My husband's brother allocates us less than 10% of my parents-in-law's $1.2M estate

By Phuong Thuy   April 7, 2024 | 03:50 pm PT
My husband's brother has decided to take almost the entirety of their parents' estate valued at VND30 billion (US$1.2 million) for himself, leaving us with less than 10%.

My husband has an older brother who is two years his senior. Since my husband and I reside far from his parents’ hometown and our stable employment provides us with modest incomes, his parents granted us VND1 billion (US$40,000) to assist in purchasing a home. We financed the remainder through a mortgage and intend to move back to my husband’s hometown once we grow older.

The brothers had previously concurred that they would accept any decision their parents made regarding the distribution of assets, even if it meant receiving nothing, without objection.

My husband is generous by nature and never demands anything from his parents. On the other hand, his brother has benefited significantly from their parents’ financial support in both his professional and personal life. He has even withdrawn money directly from their safe, a move we have previously not criticized.

My husband’s brother recently announced that he had allocated their parents’ assets between himself and my husband in the following manner: the lands in the district, valued between VND5-6 billion, were his. He also declared ownership of the residential property where their parents reside, valued at VND20 billion. Furthermore, he claimed ownership of the family’s forested land worth VND1 billion, agricultural land valued at VND500 million, and a piece of land in a designated resettlement area currently worth VND2 billion.

Consequently, all that remained for my husband and me was a parcel of land valued at roughly VND1 billion.

Had the asset division been undertaken by my parents-in-law, we would have abided by their decision. However, the division was orchestrated by my husband’s brother, which greatly disturbs me. My husband is also deeply disheartened but chooses to remain quiet to preserve family peace, planning to discuss the matter with his parents at an appropriate time.

It’s important to highlight that my parents-in-law are still vigorous, operate a thriving business, and are not reliant on their offspring. The assets mentioned by my brother-in-law are still under his parents’ ownership, and he hasn’t managed to secure any additional property on his own.

Should I approach my parents-in-law about this markedly unfair division made by my husband’s brother, even though I am merely their daughter-in-law?

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