I come from a middle-class family, am 20 years old and am the only daughter among four older brothers. One would think that I am loved and pampered by them, but nothing could be farther from the truth. The truth is that because my father died 10 years ago when we were growing up and my mother is not capable of controlling my brothers, they grew up wild and none of them paid me any attention. Money has been a problem in our family ever since my father died and all of us children have been left more or less to our own devices since then.Since I am younger than my brothers I was less able to fend for myself and as I am a girl, I was also forced to do household chores. All in all, I have had and still have a miserable life.

But something totally unexpected has suddenly happened, something that has totally changed my life. This was that a few days ago I received an official communication from a lawyer telling me that I have inherited `three crore from a distant relative of my father’s and that he would come and see me and explain to me how the money would be paid to me.Of course this led to unbelievable excitement in the family – but in the excitement, I was totally forgotten and my brothers all acted as if it was them who had inherited the money!

The lawyer came with half a dozen others and my brothers sat down with them and began to ask them how and when the money would be given to us. But the lawyers refused to discuss the matter with them and said that I was the only one they would talk to as only I was involved in the matter! They said that this was what the person who had left me the money had told them to do.

Now I am to go and meet the lawyers. My brothers have ordered me to complete the formalities and bring the money home. But I do not feel like doing this. This will be my only chance to have a good life and why should I give all my money to brothers who have done nothing for me?  Please advise.

What you have decided to do is the correct thing. When you go and see the lawyer, tell him that you need help in managing your newly got money and keeping safe from your brothers. Then ask him if he will do it for a charge. He will either agree to do it of will suggest someone else to take care of things for you.

When the lawyer and the men with him explain things to you, ask questions till you understand what they are saying.When you get your money, do not keep much money at home. Ask the lawyer to help you invest it. Ask him to explain whatever he does to you. If you are not satisfied with anyone, get another manager. I would be best if you moved out of your family home and got yourself another place. Get yourself help and do not stay alone. You could ask your mother to stay with you.

Give your brothers some money but do not be overgenerous. Tell them to work for their living. Help them if they start a business. Learn how to manage your money and be careful with it. You cannot expect to get such a windfall again.

I am the 14-year-old only daughter of my parents. Since I could understand things, I have known that my father and mother do not get along and by the time I was 12, I knew that they both were waiting for me to grow up so that they could be divorced and could remarry partners they loved.

Actually I was almost, but not completely right in thinking all this. Yes, both of them were waiting for me to become 16, but it was not out of concern for me. According to a letter written by my grandfather to both of them which had been submitted in court, they would be eligible to inherit one third each of his money only if they remained married and brought me up together, while I would inherit the remaining third. However if they failed to bring me up together till I was 16, all the money would come to me!

I understood all this when I happened to read a copy of the letter my grandfather had written. Now that I have understood why my parents are so reluctantly caring for me, I am shattered but also furious.According to another point made in the letter, they would lose their chance to inherit any money if I was unhappy and applied to court saying that I did not want to stay with them. Should I do this?

You have been treated in an atrocious manner and your anger is very understandable. In fact, it is incomprehensible that any parent could be so self-involved that they are oblivious to how unhappy and neglected their only child is.

Your unhappiness is also likely to affect your attitude to people in general and to life itself. So it is important that you get over your unhappiness and anger and develop a positive and happy attitude to life.To get this positive attitude, you should first confront your parents and tell them how you have suffered from their indifference and neglect.

Scare them by telling them that you are seriously thinking of telling the authorities that you do not want to stay with them. Make them rattled and their attitude is likely to improve. But the truth is that you cannot really depend on your parents and have to depend on yourself. Try and prepare yourself for this. Start by getting yourself help, according to your grandfather’s wishes. You should also get yourself a psychologist.