How Do I Tell My Relatives I Won't Give Them Money?

R. really would have preferred it if his lawyer had kept his trap shut. See, R. has a five-figure settlement coming from a lawsuit, and the lawyer somehow just happened to mention this to one of R.’s relatives. (That’s kind of, um, wrong, and could get the lawyer in trouble if he reported it.) His question for the Consumerist Hive Mind is this: now that they know he’s getting some money, how can he stop his relatives from approaching him with their hands out?

I’m currently about to finish up a lawsuit for an accident that happened about three years ago. My lawyer let slip to a family member (that he knows socially) that I’ll soon be receiving minimally $40,000. Now all my family who didn’t help me in any way when I was in severe need are all coming to me with their hands out. This one “needs” a $6500 second car. One says he badly needs a new plasma screen. Another expects compensation for all the times she “helped me out” by letting me babysit her kids when she couldn’t really afford it. (I might add she never actually paid me). I don’t want to create bad blood, but with a baby on the way I would like to invest my money in his/her future, and having a safe and stable home. How do I say no without causing problems?

This doesn’t just apply to cash-infusion situations like R.’s. It also applies when you earn a lot more than your family members and they know it. How can he say no without driving them all away?

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