Inspired by a related question: How should I handle disagreeing with my sisters cash cow milking?
First, my situation.
I have a good education (tertiary education) and a decent and very demanding job. I'm almost 30 and I make enough money to live with my girlfriend in a quite comfortable way. I'm definitely not rich though, I drive an old car, I could afford to eat out at a restaurant maybe once a month and unfortunately, I have to pay a good amount of money each month for health related issues.
Second, the situation of my brother.
He's over 30, has a not-too-bad education (HS) and a different lifestyle, where he prefers to work part-time and spend most of his time doing "fun" activities.
Some years ago he moved with his wife to a family property in a very remote place that was basically unused. My parents offered him to let him stay there and also pay for his bills and help him financially for some small maintenance works since he takes care of the property.
About one year ago their first child was born. This was a very happy moment, well received by all the family, me included of course. The problem then was that my brother and his wife basically didn't have enough money to pay for a child. My sister in law decided to become a stay-at-home-mom and my brother refused to work more hours.
My parents and relatives decided to start helping him financially in a much more consistent way. Basically, they gift him some money every month and pay for every necessity related to the child. When I tried to voice my concern about this whole situation with them, their answer was that of course he should try to make more money but that in the end the important thing is that he should be happy and that somebody takes care of the child in the best way possible. I think it's important to add that now his wife is pregnant again.
Personally, I always thought that this situation was somehow acceptable and that it was not my problem since I was not directly involved in any way. Basically, my opinion was that my relatives have a right to do whatever they want with their money.
My girlfriend in the last period is getting a little bit concerned of two things:
That my brother will grow so dependent on these handouts that one day, when my relatives will be gone or unable to help him, we will need to take their place.
That anyway I should be concerned about been treated differently by my relatives. She thinks it'a situation too much unfair. Also, as I wrote I'm not super well-off and I have often high medical expenses so it happens quite frequently that I am short of money. She's also worried that one day I may basically get no inheritance (not that there is much go get anyway..) because of the behavior of my relatives, especially parents.
I've never asked and rarely accepted money from my parents and relatives, but I'm starting to question if I did a smart thing at this point.
Should I be concerned about the money of my parents and relatives as if they were somehow "my" money?
Should I be concerned about been treated unfairly by my parents and relatives?
Should I be concerned about the risk of getting the responsibility of helping them out in the long-term?