Several years ago, I bought an apartment in Manhattan with an inheritance passed to me from my grandmother, who was the daughter of a former attorney for Standard Oil. She outlived three husbands and managed her money well, and in one moment hoisted me out of one social class and into another.

Meanwhile, barely a mile away, my younger brother was living in a homeless shelter. It was the second or third shelter he’d been in after moving to the city. It’s awkward enough, in most instances, to talk about money, but doubly so when it involves family. Let me just briefly say that my brother had not been left out of his inheritance; he just had no immediate access to it due to the fact that he has a mental illness. He has dealt with this illness bravely and takes precautions to manage his condition. One of the first things he did after moving to New York was check in at a hospital and use his Medicaid card to get his prescriptions.

Read the full story at The Guardian.

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