Estranged Adult Daughter - Over Legal Will

lynnfrances

I hope you can offer some advice to my husband and I. We are in incredible pain.

I have one adult daughter from a previous marriage. The man I have been married to for 15 years is her stepfather. Through the years we have supplied much love and finances to keep her family going. We even placed a 2nd mortgage on our home so she and her husband would have a downpayment for theirs.

Recently I became critically ill, I had cancer. I was in a hospital for over 1 month and came home still ill and needing follow-up care. At that time, my daughter inquired about the will I had made up....she was upset because it left my share of the house to my husband if I passed.

My husband also had a will, if he passed on first, all he had would go to me, if I weren't alive -- it would all go to my daughter.

This did not sit well with my daughter. She felt that should my husband remarry, he might change the will. The situation became so pressing and ugly that my doctor gave orders that it not be talked about for 4 months.

The last thing my daughter did was send a copy of 'instructions' on how the title of the house should be drawn up allowing her to inherit half our estate if I died.

My saint of a husband wanted to keep peace in the family. He took me to an attorney and had the deed changed to 'tenants in common' and new wills drawn up so that my daughter could inherit half the estate.

I can only say that the attorney questioned us several times if we truly thought this was the wise thing to do. That should have been a warning to us that it was not.

Having done this, my daughter still wasn't satisfied...she wanted the wills and the deed to the house to be kept in her possession. We drew the line, I began feeling I was worth more dead than alive. Shortly thereafter, we began receiving emails that she was the 'blood-relative' of me and deserved to be 'protected'.

Because I am so ill, this scenario did not seem odd to my DH and I at first. As it became uglier and uglier, I no longer felt she was capable of being the Executor of the Will or (at this time God Forbid) my Health-Care proxy - who would have the power to disconnect me from life support should the time come.

We went back to the Attorney, had the wills and deed changed back to the way they were at first - my husband inheriting my half of the house. His having a will leaving what he has to me, and then to my daughter if I'm not around.

We were probably wrong in letting the daughter know about the latest change, but we did. She now states she never will see us again, and has kept that promise for 6 months. We are heartbroken, can not believe this happened due to an inheritance.

Were we wrong in any way? Is she correct in feeling she should inherit half of what we own if I die? I would like to add that over the 15 years we're married the bulk of what we own, was earned together.

Sorry this was so long.

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northtx_mom

Lynn, you did the right thing without a doubt. I don't understand how your daughter is more concerned about her potential inheritance than your health? I couldn't imagine putting myself before the well being of my Mom.
Maybe she will come around and reconcile and apologize??? Any hope of that?
Best of luck to you and your husband.

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lynnfrances

Thank you for answering northtx_mom. I doubt if this will happen, though the future is not mine to see.

I email cards to her and have offered to pay for counseling to bring some resolution to the situation, but neither effort is followed up on.

Presently, we are considering moving - though I am ill. She lives only minutes away from our home. My DH feels I would do better living in a warmer climate where there is peace.

Though this will be difficult for me, I feel it may be the best thing to do.

Thank you

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mom2emall

You and your husband have been married for 15 years. He should get your home if you die, not your daughter!

If her husband died would she want someone else to get half of his money and part in the home?? I bet not! I bet she would expect, as his wife, to get what was his.

She seems very money hungry to me. You did nothing wrong. She is in the wrong. Your husband should be the one getting your estate.

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kkny

I dont think there is any right or wrong, but I do agree to leave everything to a stepparent can be effectively disinheriting a child. When you disinherit a child, you deal with the consequences.

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serenity_now_2007

Obviously, your will is your decision, your property & share of the house, etc. yours to do whatever you want to with. If your daughter (or anyone) was indeed pushing you to change something that you had decided on long ago in terms of giving her MORE of something, then sure, I can see where you'd eb upset. When it comes down to it, it isn't her right to ask you to give her more.

But her other concerns are valid. Unfortunately, it is all too common for a step-parent to change their will upon the spouse's death (a will which, when drawn up, the spouse fully trusted they would NEVER change) to cut a step-child out. This is rarely, if ever, the intention of the deceased spouse, because in these situations, most parents do wish to protect (yes, I used that word) their children from this worst case scenario.

Look, we all want very much to believe that someone WE choose to marry would be the sort of person that would never even THINK to screw over someone we love. But it happens all the time. And I think most often it is justified in the name of the surviving step-parent going on with their life and forming a new family. And why wouldn't they "protect" the interests of that new family? Or maybe it is a shady lawyer or a relative who pushes the issue. Maybe there is a grief-induced addiction that sucks the otherwise kind survivivng step-parent into a vortex of selfishness that consumes finances to the point where they get desperate. This happens too. Note that in most of these scenarios, it doesn't have to mean the step-parent is Evil Incarnate (just perhaps misguided, desperate, or torn between wanting to do right by as many people as possible). The end result, though, is that your child pays for your need to have unquestioning trust in not only your spouse but in a bunch of people ***you've*** never even met. It's a totally unfair position to put the child in. YOU may love and trust completely this person YOU have chosen. That person may love and be trustworthy by YOU. But this is completely independent from the relationship (financial and otherwise) that your spouse and child may have after you pass away, and it is a huge gamble.

So your daughter bringing up *simply the concern* about making sure your estate plan *stayed the way YOU wanted it* and protected her from a host of people and influences that may change that and which she (or you) may as yet not even know or anticipate was NOT WRONG. In fact, it was probably incredibly difficult for her to bring up, especially at this time. But it's an issue that absolutely needs to be addressed. You should not have been offended by this, and you certainly shouldn't be punishing her for it. You should have thought about it sooner.

I suspect that part of the reason it has caused you such headache and pain is ---in addition to the apparent offense taken that your daughter would EVEN WONDER if your husband or anyone in his life might one day be less than perfectly trustworthy--- is that perhaps you or your husband have been perhaps too dramatically intractible about your daughter's intentions, or have allowed emotions to take over what should have just been a brief and frank discussion of legal particulars, no judgements, accusations or offense meant or taken. She could have stated her concerns and you could have said "I understand, and I will make sure you I don't gamble with what I have set aside for you." As for her additional requests, you could have said: "Honey, I have already decided the amounts and proportions and I'm not going to change that, and I have my reasons. But I will promise you this: I'll do whatever is in my power to make sure that what I have allotted you will go to you and not get snatched away by anyone. But I've already divvied things up how I want them."

The disposition of your property is ENTIRELY your decision, and she or anyone should not be influencing you to change *amounts* in their favor. But to make sure yor wishes are ironclad and won't be changed after you die is another matter and YOU of all people shoud be most concerned. Your daughter, frankly, should not have had to come to you to be assured that this will be the case. Make sure both she AND your husband don't get any unpleasant surprises, settle it, seal it, lock it up and put it away. Be done with it and don't think about it anymore. Your stress will go down, your health may even improve, and your relationship with both your daughter (or as you refer to her: "THE daughter") and your husband will be more honest and healthy.

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sieryn

I believe your daughter was completely out of line.

I recently lost my Mom to cancer. When she died my Father dropped off everything that was 'hers' with me, remarried, and told me on the event of his death everything will go to his new wife and her children. Am I angry? Of course. But never in a million years would I act that way because there is one underlining factor:

YOU EARNED IT - ITS YOUR MONEY AND POSSESSIONS YOU DECIDE WHERE THEY GO.

and everyone else has to RESPECT your wishes.

Even Warren Buffet isn't leaving his fortune to his children.

Its ridiculous that your husband of fifteen years should loose half of your joint home, its his too.

If I were you I'd retire somewhere warm and sunny and do your best not to stress it.

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serenity_now_2007

That said, your daughter also has a choice: she can let it go, knowing that she has said what she wanted to say, and hope that you've at least heard the part of it that was not inappropriate (her concerns about the possibility of SF changing will after you die) and either explain, apologize for or drop the matter of asking you for anything additional. If she persists on dredging it up, obviously that will compound the stress. But if she knows how to drop it, then it will have been a difficult & painful discussion she felt she had to broach but which need not continue to dominate the relationship between you two. Especially at this time in your life.

And you have a choice: you can wilfully refuse to even consider where your own child was coming from in some of her legitimate concerns and persist on feeling mortified, continuing to cause yourself stress and pain long after she's ceased bringing it up... and you can go off and remove yourself from her life for the rest of your days as some kind of punishment (but this will also cause you pain). Or you can try to understand where she might have been coming from, and continue to be her mother and have an open heart. In either case, you should at the very least settle the matter of your estate as you see fit, close it for discussion and put it behind you. Whether you or she decide to hold a grudge or push issues is really up to you and she. Hopefully neither of you will.

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gajopa

sieryn said "YOU EARNED IT - ITS YOUR MONEY AND POSSESSIONS YOU DECIDE WHERE THEY GO.

and everyone else has to RESPECT your wishes."

This is my thoughts exactly. My DH & I each have 3 adult children. Our will leaves everything to each other with the stipulation that should we be killed together everything is to be split 6 ways, with the exception that 2 houses bought with money from my inheritance go to my children. He did not have an inheritance. This is how we chose to do it since day one and not one of the 6 children have said a word about it. Not that it would do them any good. Do I want to have to give up half of what we own should he die ~ not a chance. Same with him. We want to maintain our lifestyle as it is and have plenty to live on. We are older so it is not likely either will re-marry but we both feel confident the other would make sure the children got what the deceased partner wanted. All of our children are married. Do you think they have us in their wills. Not a chance. Theirs (if they have one) will leave everything to their spouse.

I know it's hard to comprehend but honestly your daughter seems more concerned with your money than with you. Nothing says that you will die before your DH. I'm seen it happen several times where it looked almost certain one spouse was going to die and it turned out the other spouse died first. Would your daughter want your DH to will his half to someone of his choosing and you have to give up half of what you have if he dies? I doubt it. I think you've done it right and I wouldn't give in to her. It's a shame but that's how some children are. Good luck to you. Enjoy what you have worked for and let her deal with her greediness.

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eandhl

I want to say how sorry I am that you are ill and that your DD added stress to you during this time. It sounds like you have a loving and supportive DH. If you had made your original wills the way you both wanted them no one should put pressure on you to change that and I am sorry you felt forced to do so.
Sending my best wishes to you and hoping your DD reaction was an emotional reaction to the news of your illness and she will quickly realize and make amends. Perhaps there is a way to iron clad your wishes that eventually your DD would inherit the house but not disinherit your DH of his during his life.

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dotz_gw

Lynn, Think you were 100 per cent correct in doing this how you did...What is interesting is no one has commented on your DD SFs very generous leaving her HIS estate...Also impressed with WE are heartbroken, not just you , as her mom...Sounds to me you married a gem of a man...Your daughter estragement from you is emotional blackmail, for cash...That cant be a good feeling from the little girl you raised The best Dotz

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sweeby

I'm so sorry thinags have turned ugly. No doubt about it, your daughter behaved very badly, and you reactions were completely reasonable and IMO, appropriate.

That said, I do understand her concern that she would end up with nothing in the event you predecease your husband. The way the original will was written, that was entirely possible, even though it was your (plural you and Hubby's) intention to do otherwise. So IMO, to some extent, her concerns are valid - though her sense of entitlement is not. But how she handled those concerns was harsh and mercenary, and sadly, you've had a heartbreakingly unpleasant look into a part of her character that you probably wish you'd never seen.

I'd try to take a deep breath and then take a dispassionate look at the situation once more. What do you really want to happen to your estate? It seems that you want your husband to be able to continue to live in the house as long as he wants. That's cerainly possible under several different legal structures. If your husband decides to sell the house and move, do you want him to have to hand over half the proceeds? If he remarries, do you want his new wife to automatically 'own his half'? The more clearly you can articulate your wishes, the better a good lawyer can help draft your will to ensure that your wishes are carried out.

The medical power of attorney stuff is a different matter entirely. I'd certainly have your husband have POA rather than your daughter. Also, the medical POA agreements I've seen can be very explicit about what treatments you do and don't want, so by giving copies to your doctors, it's possible to remove most of the decision-making from the equation. You may also be able to name an independent third party as an alternate (in case Hubby can't do it) - perhaps a hospital ombudsman? Trust attorney? I don't know what options are available, but surely there are some.

As far as your executor, again, there are lots of options. It might make sense to have a neutral third party execute the will just to avoid the potential for nasty accusations between Hubby and the Daughter.

Overall, I am just so sorry you are going through these difficult times, and I hope your daughter realizes what she is missingin time to offer you her sincere appologies and begin to make ammends.

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imamommy

"When you disinherit a child, you deal with the consequences."

This is true. If a child is selfish and values an inheritance more than what time they have left with their parent, then the consequence is built in and must be dealt with. It's unfortunate when money becomes more important than life, love or relationships. In the end, these people tend to be the ones that end up alone, lonely and miserable. You can't buy love or happiness.

It's sad and I used to think it was how the child was raised but have since realized that it may just be the child's inborn personality to be self centered or materialistic. (I still think it can be learned too). My parents had four kids and only one (my older sister) is very materialistic and she has taught her daughter to be that way too.

It's very sad that in your time of need, she is doing this to you. I've also thought that maybe it is her way of dealing with the idea of losing you. That's just a thought but anger is an easier emotion to deal with than the pain of losing someone. She may end up spending the rest of her life feeling guilty for treating you this way if it isn't resolved. I don't know what your relationship is like, so it's hard to give advice or an opinion on that.

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kkny

With all due respect, if OP is ill and SF isnt, his current will isn't that meaningful. It can be changed after OPs death. For a number of reasons, some reasonable, some not. That is why many many divorced people have trusts and similiar instruements giving a life estate to surviving spouse and then property to child. If OP thinks that her DHs will is the final answer, she is sticking her head in the sand, and her DD knows it.

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sieryn

Not every husband is out there to be vindictive and malicious to their step children KKNY...

Frankly after the way she treated her sick mother I would say she's entitled to squat. But that is just me.

"If OP thinks that her DHs will is the final answer, she is sticking her head in the sand, and her DD knows it."

Its about what OP wants..if she wants it that way then DD needs to accept her mothers wishes. Its not about what DD wants.

"Having done this, my daughter still wasn't satisfied...she wanted the wills and the deed to the house to be kept in her possession"

I can't believe you can justify that kind of behavior...

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kkny

Well to be frank, keeping his will means nothing as he can just write a new one. I dont think every DH is vindicative or malicous, I just think their priorities can change, for whatever reason.

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sieryn

So if it changes it changes, that's their choice as it is their money. From the original post it looks like her husband doesn't have children of his own; if she passes first and he gets everything and chooses to leave it to her daughter he can. If she treats him poorly or something were to come up and he leaves it to a different individual or gives it to charity at that point it is HIS choice as he inherited from his wife. If OP wants everything going to hubby than that is HER choice.

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finedreams

so what if she will end up with nothing? why does she have to end up with anything? where does it say that anyone should get anything? is she disabled, ill, unable to work? go work, make money and build your own life. hoping your parents give you something when they die is nasty. i think you should sell your house and spend whatever you have on enjoyable retirement in a warm place. i also do not believe that parents should discuss inheritance with their kids. you have rights to keep your will private. I don't know how much money my parents have and I don't want to know. not my business.

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finedreams

it also amazes me when grown kids think they have right for parents house. I don't understand. why? it is not their house, right? unless kids contribited to that financially why would they think they can get a house? maybe some heirloom items like grandmas ring, or moms piano or maybe even money if there are any, but why the hosue? it is not the kids house. If kids still live in the house, then I can see they want to stay there but if they don't live in the house why would they even want it? i don't want my parents hosue. I would want them to actually sell it get small cheap place and spend their profit on their peaceful retirement, medical bills, maybe travel etc That's not my house! It is theirs.

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organic_maria

lynn you have not disinherited your daughter in any way!!
I will give you advice as a daughter, as a stepdaughter and also went through the exact thing you are going.
My mother died of cancer when i was only 11-12 years old. My father remarried. Sold the house and yes is leaving it to his new wife and all the kids.. Because the new house they bought was earned by both for the last 23 years. She would take 50 % and three of my siblings would take the rest. But in the end we all do not care because of she takes it , it sits fine by us and in fact we told our father we didnt' want to know these details. We would like to know after his death. His personal will is his and its for his eyes and his wife.!
I'm so disgusted! with kids feeling entitled.
You did nothign wrong! You earned this home with your husband of 15 years.
You helped your daughter with a second mortgage so she can have her home and now she has the audacity to demand things from you!!!
I'm really sorry for your situation lynn but your daughter is money hungry. She should not think of inheritance right now. I work with cancer everyday and if they all thought they were going to die then there was no sense in trying to find a cure for this disease. Your daughter should not think you have a death sentance and be greedy. As a human being she is very shallow the way she is behaving. And as much as you are in pain emotionally right now please take a breath. THink positive for your health and your daughters selfishness has no room in your life at this point. You strive to live with cancer you do not give up!
Yes you have prepared yourself with a Will but giving info to her should not have been made her privy. Its sad that your daughter would value your death and inheritance instead of spending every precious moment because you never know.
My father is dying from heart congestive failure. I take every oppurtunity to see him and speak to him. And we have fought in the past but those wars as placed to the side and forgiven because of life is precious!
I've got my uncle and aunt in the hospital last week from colon cancer and my sister in law just lost her baby at 5 1/2 months. People are important in life. After death its gone. There is no room in this world for this behaviour. Do not reward her in any way.
Your daughter has chosen a low path in life. Leave her be and please enjoy your husband and your life. Dont dwell on people who are selfish. Your daughter is an adult and should know better. Its obvious she does not appreciate your husband of 15 years either.
Please take care of yourself and be at ease in your soul and let go of her and think of the good memories with her. When people change for the worse there is nothing you can do but let them go.

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dotz_gw

Ditto Ditto Ditto Fine...This couple obviously made the will before OP was sick, DH put his estate out there for her DD... HOW would HE know who would go first...Now, we have the usual suspect, Rotten stepfather running away with Pam Anderson, and leaving poor little matchgirl stepdaughter in the dust....Sickening.....And another poster running away from a slur on an obviously good man.....Never to be heard from again....

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lynnfrances

Thank you, I'm the OP. Each post had excellent points, some I hadn't considered before.

This gives us (husband and I) much to consider and talk about in the not too distant future.

A poster above used the term "gem of a man" referring to my husband. Yes, he is. With this fiasco going on, and under the worst possible circumstances, I never heard him voice any unfair complaints against my daughter.

He is hurt, so am I, but I see there might be some basis for her concern. The timing was off though, as were the circumstances -- I had just come home from the hospital, very weak and frightened.

That is something I must work out on my own -- what I see as insensitivity. It might not be that at all, but then again, it may.

I deeply appreciate every answer, each of you took the time to share your wisdom -- something we're having difficulty getting in touch with at this time.

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imamommy

Sieryn said to KKNY
"I can't believe you can justify that kind of behavior..."

Unfortunately the picture that has been painted by KKNY is that she is teaching her own daughter to think this way. I'm not at all surprised by her comments. I find it quite sad.

As everyone may know, my stepmom is terminally ill. My father had planned to include her adult children (his stepchildren that he did not raise) in his will because there are still some decent people left out there. (He's already given them all her worldly possessions) Sorry that in your circles KKNY, people are not like that. However, her children have chosen to abandon their mother in her illness and choose to be estranged. Their biggest priority is how much (of my dad's) money they are entitled to when she dies, which apparently isn't happening quickly enough for them. They are also worried that he's wasting their inheritance on her care. She's being cared for by her devoted husband and HIS children. (yes, her stepchildren take care of her.. not the precious bio children that don't even visit or ask how she's doing) When she passes, her kids will get what they deserve, NOTHING.

Adult children don't deserve a thing. Minor children only deserve to be provided for until they are adults. When the spouses are the ones working together in attaining the house and other assets, what makes a child think they deserve any part of that? In a 15 year marriage, it's not the same as a step parent coming in a year before the parent dies and ending up with everything.

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finedreams

I think that if parents are the ones who either bought the house or built it TOGETHER, they are entitled to do what they want wiht that house. no one else. of course if children are minor or still live in the house (and contributed to it) then it can be viewed differently. i could maybe even understand if it is a hosue that was in the family 5 generation, like the house belonged to that family always and grown kids want the house to stay in their family. i might understand that. but not if house originally belonged to a couple and they are the ones who pay for it, how and why do kids think that should have it? on what grounds?

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finedreams

just to add if, G_d forbid, my mother got cancer the last thing on my mind would be anything related to money or anything what could upset her, my thoughts would be what to do to help my mom to recover. i cannot imagine opennning my mouth to even consider talking about what happens with her money if she dies. this thread upset me terribly and it is sad that there were posters who made it sound like it is OK to bother your ill parents with any kind of financial crap, pardon my language. person comes home from a month in the hopsital battling cancer and children ask what is going to happen whe she dies. sounds like a nightmare to me. The world is gone crazy.

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sieryn

I know when my mother was on her death bed she tried to bring up her end affairs several times and I wouldn't even discuss it. I told her I would rather have her in my life than anything in the world. How someone can put material before life perplexes me. I really hope your daughter comes around..

".Now, we have the usual suspect, Rotten stepfather running away with Pam Anderson, and leaving poor little matchgirl stepdaughter in the dust....Sickening.....And another poster running away from a slur on an obviously good man.....Never to be heard from again...."

LOL dotz!!

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kkny

Ima, I dont expect nor demand any money from my mom now or on her death. All you have to do is look at any financial blogs or advice re second marriages, and you will see issues with stepparents. If you are saying in my circles, people would use trusts to assure that biological children are taken care of that is true. I resent your implying there are no decent people in my circle. When a step parent is someone who didnt help build business, hasnt built a relationship with a child, and/or has shown issues re not to be trusted, a trust makes sense.

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sylviatexas1

I'd make sure that girl wasn't the one who could decide to pull the plug on me!

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sieryn

"When a step parent is someone who didnt help build business, hasnt built a relationship with a child, and/or has shown issues re not to be trusted, a trust makes sense."

But none of those things apply to THIS situation. I'd say the daughter was the one not to be trusted!

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kkny

Really, Sieryn -- maybe I read the posts too quickly, but I dont know where mom's money came from. Maybe her former husband. I dont think we know all the dynamics of the situation. Maybe her first husband died, but had told the daughter everything would be hers upon death of the mother.

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athlete2010

It's terrible for your daughter to treat you this way when you have been so ill. I can appreciate the emotional pain you and your husband are feeling.

I believe that your daughter was clearly wrong to insist that she receive half of your estate while your husband is still living. She obviously doesn't seem to care for his well-being either.

By not communicating with you, she is indeed using emotional blackmail. Please don't give in to this. Based on her history, I think there is a chance that she will come around again to ask you for financial help. If she doesn't, count yourself lucky.

You did everything you could to raise her properly. Unfortunately, some people give in to very selfish and inconsiderate impulses. She should be ashamed for how she has treated you.

By not giving in to her demands, you are teaching her a very valuable lesson in life. Personally, I wouldn't leave her anything based on how she has treated you both.

If she has children of her own, you might consider setting up a bypass trust for them, and skip her altogether.
That way, when your husband passes, your grandchildren can receive whatever is left when they are adults.

If she ever brings up the subject of the will again, simply say, "We are not discussing this anymore."

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sylviatexas1

& don't feel like you're the only one to whom this has happened;
it happens *all the time*.

When my brother's son was killed in a car wreck, his 2 other children told him that, unless he gave them the insurance money, their relationship with him was over.

Although he was devastated, he said, sorry you feel that way but I won't submit to emotional blackmail, not from you, not from anybody.

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ashley1979

Lynn - Things can get ugly when a family member dies. Please don't let anyone fool you into thinking that everything will be great afterwards. I have seen people who trust eachother implicitly all-of-the-sudden do an about-face and decide that other person is not trustworthy and out to get them.

If I was in a position like yours where I had a child that did not belong to my current marriage, I would make separate provisions for her in my will. The reason I'm saying this is because you don't know what the relationship will be after you pass. They may get in a huge arguement and then she gets nothing from you (this happened to a very dear friend of mine).

Quick story: my very close friend's mother passed away when she was 15. Her father re-married a woman who had no children even in her 40s. They lived in the home that belonged to my friend's father and mother when she was still alive. When the mother died, she had no will so everything went to the father. Well, as long as her father was still alive, this was no big deal. A few years ago, the father got a sudden blood infection and died rather quickly. My friend was like 27 and her youongest sibling was barely 18. He was a senior in high school. So, since he didn't have a will, everything went into probate. It was a total mess! The SM didn't want the 18 y/o to live in "her" home anymore. He hadn't even finished school, yet! Then she wanted to keep the house and every asset that belonged to the father. What was wrong with that was that the kids got NOTHING of their father's OR their mother's estate. So, what ended up happening was the 18 y/o went to live with my friend 30 minutes away from his school; the house went to the children (since the father owned it before getting married) BUT the SM had the right to stay there as long as she paid the house payment (even if it's for the rest of her life); and the business the father owned got sold and all the proceeds were given to the wife.

Moral of the story.....make sure the kids are taken care of because the SPs may make things hard for them.

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sweeby

While I can understand the strong emotions that go into the process of slowly losing a parent, (I'm losing my own mother now) I think refusing to even discuss the financial ramifications is short-sighted and foolhardy. It's putting your head into the sand!

Parents need to arrange their final affairs like responsible adults, and adult children need to behave like rational adults and listen to what those arrangements are. A 'sit down' with an estate attorney is a very important thing for the dying person and his or her executor to do, just to make sure the individual's wishes are clearly articulated and all contingencies are explored, explained and addressed. Not knowing is simply too expensive, and can result in the opposite of what you want to happen. And refusing to listen deprives the dying person of being able to put his or her affairs in order, which is, in itself, a precious gift for those you leave behind.

My mother was very grateful to my father for the orderly way he arranged his affairs, leaving a simple list of clear instructions. And at the other extreme, I'm still angry at the way my husband's father completely ignored his own final affairs, evidencing the same lack of concern for his children after death that he showed in life.

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finedreams

kkny OP said that majority of what they own was earned TOGETHER during those 15 years of marriage.

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finedreams

ashley when there is a minor child not even out of the house yet then it should be looked at differently. he needs a place to live, so provisions have to be made that minor child or even college age child, who is still in school, will have a place to live if parents die. but OP's daughter is an adult, 27, she needs no place to live, she hopefully lives on her own and even has her own family. she hopefully does not need to be put through school at age 27. what are her demands based on? all of us want more money and free house, but let's face it, it is not hers.

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ashley1979

My post was not something that needs to be picked apart.

I was simply giving OP an example of how things can turn terribly wrong after a death or disability. All I am cautioning her on is that if she wants to give anything to her daughter, she should provide for it separately in the will and not leave it up to SF to see to her wishes. That's including things that may be left over from the previous marriage or any possessions she may want to strictly designate to her daughter. I'm not saying that I agree with how the daughter is going about it.

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kkny

FD, where did OP say most of what they have was earned over the 15 years they were married??

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sieryn

"I would like to add that over the 15 years we're married the bulk of what we own, was earned together. "

She said.

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serenity_now_2007

I think there are several factors here that ---each one of them--- bear separate consideration, but I'll just pick out a few:

-Issue of who brought up subject of estate/inheritance first. Parent/benefactor brings up subject first: obviously, okay to discuss. Beneficiary (which may be spouse, child or some other beneficiary) brings up subject first: less considerate, and infinitely more awkward and difficult for everyone (including daughter), but if the situation seems dire and request is not too pushy it may unfortunately be necessary to broach it. Depending on, of course, several other factors...

-How "taboo" the whole subject is or isn't in the family to begin with. Obviously, the more emotionally charged and taboo the subject is, the less discussion there will have been prior and thus the more "shocking" it will be when discussed. My own thinking would tend to be that if you care enough to provide for someone in your will, that you should welcome the opportunity to discuss it with them and make sure they actually get what you want to give them. ***Especially*** at a time where the actual risk of death (for example due to serious illness) may be more imminent, and ***especially*** if the subject has not been discussed previously. In other words, why should the subject be taboo, at this or any time? (In my own situation, my Dad has been the one to bring up the subject numerous times, openly, directly, and to-the-point. ***Especially*** since he has been diagnosed with terminal cancer. And throughout the years he has made his intentions very clear. In my case it has been my SM who is not happy with his intentions and who has unrelentingly forced issues and demand he give her more things. Do you all see her as being as wretched as OP's daughter for the same behavior?)

-Nature of the request. Request for more of something, in addition to what has already been decided by benefactor-parent/spouse to bequeath: not okay. Request for some assurance that what has already been decided by benefactor is what everyone will actually get and will not be prey to being screwed with by anyone post-mortem: smart estate planning. Request for share in house benefactor-parent shares with step-parent (if NOT previously bequeathed, in whole or in part, to child by parent): inappropriate. Request for clarification and further consideration if house WAS previously bequeathed, in whole or in part, to beneficiary-child: acceptable to at least deserve some kind of explanation for. (In my situation, my dad in his estate plan had wanted to divide ownership 60/40% of the house he and my SM share, which I did not grow up in, between she and I. But I, for several reasons ---not least being that SM, along with her mother, was already and immediately upon HIS cancer diagnosis, pushing for 100% of it--- told them it would make more sense and be easier on everyone if she just inherited it 100%.)

-Nature of the relationship between beneficiary-child and beneficiary-step-parent. Did beneficiary-child grow up in custodial home with benefactor-parent and beneficiary step-parent? Did step-parent have any part of actually raising the child and/or spending a significant amount of assets on child? In OP's case, it sounds as though the SF may have been a big part of this 2nd mortgage expenditure that provided money to his SD. That is significant for something, even if SF didn't actually co-raise her. Otherwise, without some previous indication that the step-parent has ever been willing to provide for child or in any way look after child's interests, it's not smart to count on their willingness to do so in the future. Especially in light of the near universal feeling almost all step-parents seem to have about what should be done for "adults" (hint: it's not much).

-Interference from SF. Do we really think that the OP's husband has said NOTHING about his own wishes in re OP's estate? Neither before nor after OP's cancer, nor before nor after this most recent shocking, mortifying and unpardonable series of questions from OP's daughter? If so, why would whatever his questions/comments were not be considered just as badgering and inappropriate as daughter asking a few questions?

There's a lot of separate factors here. The OP's daughter should not be villified just for sharing her concerns about what her SF may (or may not) do with assets OP HAS ostensibly ear-marked FOR HER DAUGHTER after her death. At least not any more than Op's husband should be villified if he made similar questions or requests. Ideally, of course, daughter would have waited for her mother to bring up the whole subject. It would have been far easier on everyone if the situation afforded the luxury of that timing. But perhaps ---for reasons none of us can know from one post---daughter has reason to fear that OP would never bring it up and that her mother has not considered all the potential ramifications with enough rationality and without rose-colored glasses on. Depending on your view, it may be that her bringing up *anything* would be seen as horrendous... or, she might have some very good reasons.

-And there are other factors we can't know. Perhaps OP supports SF, whom daughter may view as kind of a sponge. Perhaps daughter has been hurt or disappointed by other men in OP's life in the past and has trust issues. Perhaps SF made a pass at OP's daughter or she has other reason to know (let alone think) that he is no-good scum. (I'm just being xtra dramatic with that one.) Perhaps OP has no clue what is going through daughter's mind, and perhaps it's nothing but evil and craziness, but perhaps it's something relevant and valid.

In any of these cases, sure, the daughter could have taken the attitude of "well, I guess I have no choice but to trust SF with what my mother intends for me to inherit just because my mother married him. And I guess I just have to hope he doesn't d**k me over because I dare not even risk asking any questions or saying anything about anything". Or maybe she decided "dammit, this is my mother, and I am her daughter. And my mother has allocated certain things to me in her will. I want for both she and I that those wishes get carried out. Why should I have to blindly trust this man to carry out my mother's wishes any more than he would trust me? I will share my concerns because if my mother gives a crap about making sure her wishes are met for *either of us*, both of us being people she loves and cares about, then she will be glad to reassure us both. What should be the problem with that?"

In any event, if OP had been proactive about her estate BEFORE she got cancer, made her intentions clear to all and ironclad, it may not have come to this. Daughter may indeed be money-grubbing, but even if that's true: if OP had made things clear enough and ironclad enough before, daughter would not have asked what she asked. Because there would have been no room for ---nor any motivation for--- anyone pushing any issues. Hate to sound harsh, but this is a big part of the problem. Not that it would always solve everythign, as I unfortunately have witnessed in my own situation. There are some people who will push & push no matter what they're told and just think they can override someone else's will (pun intended). If OP's daughter is indeed doing that, then that is most definitely wrong. But if it was just the one conversation and she's dropped it, she shouldn't continue to be the family pariah for having voiced a concern, or even for having made a perhaps unreasonable or tactless request (share of the house) one time, unless she absolutely will not drop it.

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dogdogcrazy

If I were you, I would re-do my will again, and leave everything to a charity. If my kids, were to show more interest in my assests, than my *ss, they would be out of my will! She has shown no respect or concern for you, or your husband, and as an adult, she can "protect herself" (refers to her comment about your will). I would also send my child a copy of my will, after I made the changes, so she was sure to know!!!

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serenity_now_2007

Why the leap in assuming that there was MORE concern over the will than over OP's health/life/everything else, on daughter's part? The mere asking of a question doesn't preclude loving and caring in the deepest way about OP. For all we know, daughter has been there for OP in every conceivable way at this time in her life.

Clearly, OP (and several other posters) has a really big issue with the idea of such matters being somehow wicked or evil to discuss. And arguably, perhaps, daughter shuld have known that. I won't debate that perhaps THIS daughter, with THIS mother, behaved in way that was tactless given OP's apparent aversion to the entire subject. Perhaps this is the real dividing line on this issue: some people find the very mention of the subject off-limits and obscene, and others view it as a necessary thing to discuss. If that is the crux of this whole argument, I guess "never the twain shall meet"...

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dotz_gw

Dont get...... why should you blindly trust your SO to fulfill your wishes...Itsnt a will clear enough, a legal document...DD I want you to have XXX upon my death....DD my SO gets all the rest..A court order ought to help SO fulfill Mothers or Fathers request...Why discuss concerns? Only, I would presume, if you think you re not getting your fair share in your minds eye, or if you are trying to influence parent to change what they want to give, into what you think you deserve...

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jerseystepmom

I find it repulsive that kids even have that entitlement attitude about whatever the parents have. The parents (step or otherwise) worked together to earn what they have. If they choose to share it by inheritance, fine, but if not, that is also fine. If my husband decided that upon his death, his children were entitled to "OUR" house, I would realize that he never truly cared about me. If his kids got half and decided they wanted to sell it (to me or otherwise), I could find myself out of my home. How in the world is that fair? lynnfrances and her husband built their life together and should decide what happens to what they have built. While that is the first thing that should be a given, the fact that this daughter would even go near this level of selfishness while her mother is battling cancer is, to me, rather evil. There is no concern for her mother, only for the money. And, no way in hell I'd want to be around someone who has made it clear that money is more important than me AND that I am worth more dead than alive to her. The issue for lynnfrances isn't is she doing the right thing with her home (clearly, yes), the issue is: why has her daughter chosen to abandon her in the time of her life when she needs the most support from those "close" to her. I'm sorry that you are facing that issue on top of the cancer, and I wish you all the best.

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imamommy

Serenity, If you take the following from the OP.. this is why:

"I was in a hospital for over 1 month and came home still ill and needing follow-up care. At that time, my daughter inquired about the will I had made up....she was upset because it left my share of the house to my husband if I passed."

This tells the readers that the daughter brought it up because her mom is ill. Not a terrible thing to talk about but as you said, it would be more acceptable for the ill parent to bring up. (not to mention, she is talking about the house. The house is where mom and stepdad live. Why would an adult child feel they should get half of the marital home? It reminds me of a terrible situation that my own grandparents were in. My grandparents thought that they could not get social security if they owned their home, so they put it in my Aunts name. When my grandma died, my grandpa lived there alone. A few years later, he remarried and my Aunt decided that she didn't want another woman living in my grandma's house so she evicted my grandpa and his wife. The house should go to the surviving spouse and if he pays on it another 10-15 years, it's going to be more his house than hers anyways. He should get to do with it what he wants.

"This did not sit well with my daughter. She felt that should my husband remarry, he might change the will."

Who cares if it sits well with her, she is an adult and OP has been married to her husband for 15 years. If he does remarry and changes the will, so what. Children are not 'entitled' to anything. If the assets belonged to her dad and anything was meant 'for her', then it should already be set up in a trust. Since it's not, it's mom's to do with as SHE pleases.

"The last thing my daughter did was send a copy of 'instructions' on how the title of the house should be drawn up allowing her to inherit half our estate if I died."

Who the hell is she to do such a thing? Yes, OP's husband is a saint because I would have shredded her request and sent it back to her. Not only did they change the will to appease her, it still wasn't enough.

".she wanted the wills and the deed to the house to be kept in her possession."

Kiss my ass is what I would have said. It sounds like no matter what happens, this kid is going to be the step child from hell when her mom is no longer there. She should be spending her time taking mom to lunch, talking and sharing life, not worrying about what she will or won't get when mom is gone. OP is not complaining about a step child. This is her OWN child and how can a child make demands from an ill parent. Serenity, you of all people should understand that.

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athlete2010

You have already made the effort to keep the relationship going by e-mailing her and offering counseling.

Since she has not responded, you might consider stopping the e-mailing of cards or other communication. The only exception would be to mail her your new address (not phone). This would still give her a chance at some point to apologize to you.

I think that the best thing that a parent can do is let go for a while, and hopefully the adult child will learn a lesson. It may take a year, five years or more. However, it is a lesson she needs to learn.

If you continue to send her cards and she doesn't respond, you will feel worse. She will also see this as a potential sign of weakness.

If you move, I would just send her the new address by mail without any notes in it. Then stop communication again and let her make the next move.

You need to take care of yourself now.

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lynnfrances

Serenity.....

I apologize for not filling in all the blanks. The answers here have been excellent and caused me to look at the situation from every conceivable way.

However, I think your post assumed too much. I would rather have had you ask a question......

[quote]: "Clearly, OP (and several other posters) has a really big issue with the idea of such matters being somehow wicked or evil to discuss."

Answer: If that's the impression I gave, I am truly sorry. That was not true, the request from my daughter came less than 2 or 3 weeks after I came home. I was still being visited regularly by the Nurse from Catholic Charities and could barely walk, shower, climb stairs, heat water, etc. The wills were made out years earlier and my daughter was remembered. As you see in the OP, my physician prohibited me from talking about it any longer because the issue was hindering my recovery, I was going down-hill emotionally and mentally.

[quote] "And arguably, perhaps, daughter shuld have known that. I won't debate that perhaps THIS daughter, with THIS mother, behaved in way that was tactless given OP's apparent aversion to the entire subject."

Answer: Had I had an aversion to the subject, I would not have gone to the attorney with my husband when I needed a cane and/or walker to do it.

[quote] ". . . some people find the very mention of the subject off-limits and obscene, and others view it as a necessary thing to discuss."

Answer: It was a primary issue to discuss between husband and wife way before I was diagnosed with a cancerous brain tumor, an ependymoma--to fill in the exact cause of illness. It was not what I should have been discussing so soon after brain surgery.

Sometimes assumptions are wrong, and I believe your's were.

I will share part of a letter I emailed to my daughter immediately after her inquiry about the will was made:

"Yes, the subject of the Will is a sensitive thing--I can't help it, it reminds me of death. ["Husband's name] and I did everything to make things as secure as they could be, and talking about right now is difficult for both"....

but it didn't end there. It was as if the letter, of which that was only a short part, were never sent. The issue wouldn't be dropped. Then the emails arrived, the angry phone calls and finally after many months.....the news that we were out of her life since she didn't get what she wanted.

I hope this explains better. Thank you for your interest and time spent writing.

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kkny

Jersey, the other side is why should the second to die spouse get to be the one who decides who gets the house? Generally that will be the SM. I think both parents should get to decide -- by having one spouse give, the survivor gets to make the decision. Which is why there are trusts, etc.

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theotherside

My children are most definitely entitled to whatever assets I have when I die. I believe that my children would be entitled to a great deal of my disposable income right now, if I actually had any. If I were rich, I would gladly give each one of my children money for a down payment on a home; I would pay off all their college loans; I would give them enough money so one parent could stay home to raise any children they may have. If I were ever to remarry, I would make sure that all of my assets went to my children. I think a life estate for the surviving spouse is fine, but I would never risk having him remarry and change his will.

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imamommy

The two of you (kkny and TOS) are unable to grasp the concept of marriage, perhaps since neither of you are married.

Pretend for a moment that you were still married to your former spouse. Your spouse is the first to die and the house you lived in together for fifteen or twenty years is snatched out from under you. Let's just say for the purpose of THIS post that your former spouse had a child before he married you. (even if you didn't know about the child... maybe a lovechild from his high school sweetheart) and well, since that child existed before you married him, does that child now deserve to have the home you live in now that his/her father has died? Or better yet, say there is no prior child. What if your husband died and leaves the house to your adult daughter (assuming she's over 18 and the two of you were still married.. I know, it's assuming a lot) and your adult daughter decides she wants to sell it and boot you out... is that okay by you? Or does it only apply to second marriages that the surviving spouse should lose their home to the children? Or is it only the surviving spouse that is the SM? IF the SM dies, then dad gets to keep the house, even if it was SM's (such as in TOS's exH's case)?

I think it's wonderful that you will leave all of your assets to your children TOS, you don't have a husband. Of course you would leave it to your children. But, if you did remarry and sold your house and your 'husband' sold his house and the two of you purchased a home together... oh forget it. I just read the last line of your post again and well, if that's how you think, you will probably never remarry. If you haven't even met the guy and you are worried about him remarrying and changing his will... maybe you should just stay single the rest of your life and leave everything to your perfect children.

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theotherside

That's humorous - especially since both kkny and I were married for longer than you've been an adult.

Of course my exH shouldn't get to keep his current wife's house - and I doubt if he will. It is in her name alone. Her kids should get it.

As I said before, I think it is fine for the surviving spouse to get a life estate, and be able to stay in the house for the rest of his or her life, if it has been a very long term marriage. After death, though, it should go to the children - not to some person he or she married later.

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kkny

Ima, you keep saying you have great familiarity with the legal system, so I assume you understand what life estate means, which TOS referred to. It would mean that a surviving spouse, given a life estate, could stay in house for the remainder of his/her life, and then upon death of second spouse, house would be disposed of per the original agreement. I said trust, encompassing the same. When you put this in an either or of surviving spouse getting house outright or not at all you are leaving out the life estate possibility? Why? Is it becasue you want to frame the argeument such that surviving spouse can justify getting all assets from marriage?

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kkny

Ima,

I think I understand marriage. I was married for over 25 years. I was never unfaithful. I never had a child out of wedlock. My X and I dated for over 2 years before marriage, met parents, friends, were married by a man of the cloth, whom we met with and talked about marriage befoe wedding.

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finedreams

I trully have tremendous difficulty understanding why parents' house has to belong to children after parents die. I do not get it honestly. unless children live in that house how on earth can they ask for that house? I DO NOT GET IT. i have nothing to do with my parents house. never lived there, never paid for it. it is theirs!!!

and this is plain terrible that someone battling brain cancer has to worry if their ADULT daughter gets her house if she DIES.

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finedreams

parents battling cancer or other serious disease should not be worrying that adults kids get enough money and the house when they DIE. sick people should focus on RECOVERY not greedy children. I know somebody who survuved brain cancer TWICE and it was a tough tough road. Please focus on your recovery not on where your house goes to. Please take care of your health.

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kkny

FD, I agree that the OP should focus on her health. But in general, I think that trusts and life estates are intelligent paths for second marriages. I don't understand why none of the SMs here see it that way. I would like to hear more on that.

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dotz_gw

I understand life estate, have one in fact...Even that sensible plan is qualified by TOS as in if its a long standing marriage, life estate is OK...HOW MANY years do you have to be married to give your DH life estate TOS? Is there a magic number?I dont know if you know this, But I have had a longer standing marriage than either you or KKNY, that ended in divorce, and am most likely older than both of you(dont even go there tho LOL)I have an only child whom I love more than anything in the world, but yes I gave DH life estate.DS will have to WAIT for what I choose to give him.... With my long standing marriage and advanced age, and experience ,my understanding of what you two want to do is punish your EXs for the legacy they have left their children, lies, cheating, dishonesty , trashed family...You want monetary compensation for that...Money for your mental anguish....Correct me if I m wrong

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finedreams

life estate is important and it has to be considered. but i still don't get it why in either intact family or second marriage grown kids are entitled to a parents' house. i can see maybe something else what was always there in the family or even money but why the house is beyond me. it does not belong to grown children if the house was acquired during parents' marriage (1st, 2nd, 3rd no matter) and is paid by parents. kids have no say IMHO.

I also have to say that in may family children are provuided for while parents are alive. provided when they are minor, in college and if they are grown and need help we help each other. my parents helped me. i can see that if parents did nothing for their children while they were alive, then kids might feel entitled for somehting when parents die. but in most decent families parents provide for the children.

I am not married, but if I would and my DH died it would be devastating ot learn that the house I live in does not belong to me anymore and for whatever reason belongs to his children who don't even live there and don't pay for it.

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dotz_gw

Fine, I agree with what you say, but where does your estate(money, house whatever)go when you die? It has to go somewhere, my child would be most logical, I love him.....Before I remarried, was single, I tried to talk to him about where things were, who would execute my stuff, he would not listen..Said he didnt want to hear about it...He never said what am I getting...And if I left it to a monkey farm, I doubt he d care, he s that kind of kid....

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serenity_now_2007

I don't think it has anything to do with wanting monetary compensation for mental anguish post-divorce. It's a matter of ensuring that biological children don't get (intentionally or unintentionally) screwed big time out of what the dying or deceased bio-parent has made clear they wanted them to inherit. (Right now I'm talking about that, NOT anything *extra* that any party may request *in addition* to what has been bequeathed. Do we all have that straight?) It's simple, really:

-In intact families, the normal chain of events with regard to estates (as has been stated/presumed normal even by SP's on these boards numerous times) is that when bio-parents die, they leave their assets to their children...

-But since parents don't usually die together, generally their wills each leave the majority of assets to each other, but also most likely something directly to children...

-But even if everything goes to spouse, the norm is that the surviving spouse (now being the only one left) leaves most everything to children. The children being entirely their own flesh-and-blood, since it was the first and only marriage. No loyalty issues, no competing interests, natural inclination to protect one's blood, pretty straightforward.

-In a second (or third or fourth...) marriage, the above trajectory generally doesn't work. Maybe there is the occasional surviving step-parent who not only acknowledges that children (even "adults") have a right to inherit from their parents (and usually do in intact families), but also makes sure it happens, even if it means that their own family (which could include a new spouse and possibly even new kids, or just their own brothers, sisters, nieces, etc.) inherits less of what ---per legal authorization--- is technically now fully the property of step-parent. It just doesn't usually happen. And again, it isn't even necessarily b/c the surviving step-parent is evil. It's just that one way or another it gets justified that the children of the deceased spouse's 1st marriage don't have to get anything... even if this was originally contrary to what the deceased spouse intended. Things happen, and of course when we're talikng about the future, there is no way to predict. It is, essentially, a giant gamble.

This is why estate planning for second marriages is fundamentally different than for first-and-only marriages. It just is. Reality may not be comfortable for anyone to face, but it does not cease being reality.

As for children inheriting houses, I've already made my position clear. I do not think children should automatically expect that they will get any part of their bio-parent's house while the other parent (or step-parent) is alive. Likewise, I don't think the surviving step-parent should automatically expect that the child will NEVER, even after step-parent's death, have any share in it or that it should be passed, instead, to step-parent's family... ESPECIALLY when the house happened to be where the child grew up, and/or it was built by both the child's bio-parents, and/or it was in the child's family long before step-parent came along. Even so, these issues are debatable, but generally speaking the bio-parent is going to want the house to go their own children after step-parent's death, and not to persons affiliated with the step-parent who may not even exist when the bio-parent dies. Life estate: a perfect solution that should please everybody. What should be the problem with that?

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kkny

Serenity -- Life estate obviously doesnt please stepparents who want all assets for their own children, or who want control. Dotz -- when you talk about child waiting, that is what life estate to surviving spouse is all about, I dont know why you are attacking me and TOS when that is all we are suggesting. I dont know why others dont want to consider it, but I would still like to hear from them.

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kkny

I think TOS qualifies life estate to handle the following situation -- Dad remarries younger woman, maybe even same age as his children. In that event, Dad has to decide if he gives life estate to stepmom, children will not likely see anything.

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dotz_gw

Was not meant to be an ATTACK KKNY, the attack (or snipe to me)was a long standing marriage life estate is OK....I am actually in agreement with you, somewhat...My opinion, is that you feel money will some how assuage your hurt feelings, a payback somehow...Serenity, I dont care how many gigobites you type, the song remains the same...If it is the parents money, and they so state Serenity, this is yours, SM, this is yours, parents wishes are being followed...The will, will be followed according to your fathers wishes..They may not be what you feel entitled to, but thats what HE wants...My DH left a house with his Ex for his children to inherit, he paid for it, thats the house they grew up in, not our house....We made what we thought was a fair plan for all children involved..If they dont like it, these are our wishes....Please dont take offense, but I feel we make the decisions, not our children

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gajopa

I will explain why life estate does not appeal to ME. We have been married 23 years and have 3 adult children each. We both feel they are not entitled to anything until both of us die. Suppose my DH died and for whatever reason I decided/needed to live elsewhere. Maybe I would need assisted living. Maybe the neighborhood would go bad and I don't want to live here anymore and would choose to sell and buy elsewhere. Where would that leave me? We each inherite everything when the other dies. Immediately after either death the other will make a new will leaving 6 children equal proceeds. Could I leave his children out? Sure I COULD, but won't. The reason ~ because I'm not a greedy person and because I love my skids. Suppose I re-marry. I hope he has his own money because he won't be getting what belongs to the kids. And because my DH is a decent person and not greedy either I feel confident he will do things the exact way we've agreed on. I realize my way would not work for everyone but for us it works.

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pseudo_mom

In TOS's situation SM owns the house ... her children get it when she passes ... 3 days after funeral they (her children) tell TOS's EX to get the F___ OUT this is not your house any longer. At this point he has lived there for 10+ years but he is not entitled to anything in that house he has to pack his stuff and move back in with TOS until he can find/afford a place of his own.

Isn't life grand!!!

In KKNY's situation... its dad's house ... house is left to daughter upon daddy's death KKNY and DD will be at the doorstop telling the "GF" to get the F_____ OUT this is not your house any longer.

Isn't life grand!!!

OP Do what you want to do with your will too bad if your daughter doesn't like it .... its your's and hubby's to do what you want to do with you both earned it ...

If she can't see how selfish she is being well thats on her and You could always dangle it in her face ... look kid I had every intention of leaving you ________ but the way you are treating me and or reacting over this I might be better off leaving my ________ to someone who will appreciate it.

Evil thought!! do you have any grandchildren?

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dotz_gw

Gajoba, You have it right..I lot of people dont understand trust..Or integrity...Even after 23 years, some people would believe you shouldnt get anything, because they were here first...You can love your child and your new wife and want to do right by both..I dont see X wives wanting SM to get nothing, all to her children, when they have lived and worked side by side and built something new..

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imamommy

Back to the OP. She is the mother. She purchased the house with her husband. She wants to leave it to her husband. END OF STORY.

Her daughter doesn't like it. TOUGH!!! Her husband said he would leave it to her daughter. Maybe he will, maybe he will change his mind. OP didn't say she would leave it to her daughter when her husband goes... That was the husband's offer. He can change his mind.

As to life estates KKNY, I am not against it. I'm not against people planning and doing what they WANT. In this case, OP doesn't WANT to leave her share of the house to her daughter when her husband will still be living there. If she WANTED to provide that her daughter gets her share of the house upon his death, then I guess she would do that. But, she is entitled to make her decision as to what to do with the money and assets SHE has earned and if she chooses to leave it to charity, IT'S NONE OF HER DAUGHTER'S FREAKIN BUSINESS!!!!

I have three children and if I were battling an illness that any of them thought might be terminal and instead of being here for me and being the loving children they should be, if any one of them (or all) demanded (don't mistake that with discussing) but demanded that I leave them certain things and refused to see or talk to me if I didn't... That's emotional blackmail and how can a child do that to their parent that is ill? Any child of mine that would do that would get NOTHING.

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sieryn

I really really really hate sharing this story but it gives some perspective of how it can all go wrong. Here's a story of what can happen with if you plan *trusting*:

My Grandfather is incredibly wealthy (multimillionaire), he and my Grandmother wrote a will years and years ago that stated that which ever died first the other would inherit all and upon death everything was split equally for each child (three ways). Grandma got Alzheimers about 8 years ago, she's still living, in a very nice facility. About a year ago Grandpa goes and gets a girlfriend (his wife is still alive!) who is significantly younger than my father and closer to my age. He then changes his will so that everything is now left to the girlfriend. (with an extremely tiny portion left in a trust to continue the payments on his wife of fifty+ years care) His children get nothing. Girlfriend of 1 year gets a tremendous fortune.

This is definitely NOT the wishes of his Wife (who has claim to 50% of his estate at least) but is an example of how Changes can not always be anticipated.

This may be something that your daughter feared. But she definitely did NOT express it in an appropriate way. Its sad that these things happen, especially when it is obviously a unilateral decision and NOT one made by both parties who established the estate.

Its just best to make sure your will is IRONCLAD to your wishes, and that no one can change your wishes after your death.

If someone wants something that is against the way YOU want it then they need to back off - its your life's work. You make the call.

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kkny

I dont look at $$ as a way to make up for hurt feelings, but I do want to protect my DD financially. As to all the people who say that children have no rights to house, well neither do SMs children. As to what Dads current SO would do if he died, she should have the money she received when she sold her condo to move in with him (unless she has spent it all on clothes, plastic surgery, etc.).

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dotz_gw

Now that is a case I d contest..How did you find out of the change? I d ask for a guardian ad litem to protect my grandmas interests...I guess the old fool could do what he wanted with his half, but you should try to see if grandma has any recourse....

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ashley1979

Obviously some people on here only read the posts they want to argue with.

KKNY said - "I don't understand why none of the SMs here see it that way. I would like to hear more on that."

I DO see it that way. And I will be a SM when FDH and I get married. And I DO expect him to make separate provisions for me and his daughter and even his son in his will. Obviously some people on here only read the posts they want to argue with.

FD said - "I trully have tremendous difficulty understanding why parents' house has to belong to children after parents die. I do not get it honestly. unless children live in that house how on earth can they ask for that house? I DO NOT GET IT. "

Has anyone ever thought that maybe the only thing of any value IS the house? No one has mentioned it on this thread. Everyone quit being so short-sided! Look, since OP has cancer, I would not be incorrect to think there are medical bills needing to be paid. It is possible that SF could run off in the event the OP passes and leave the medical bills for the daughter to pay. That would not be uncommon. So a logical way to pay the bills off would be to sell the house, which she would not be able to do if she is not willed atleast a portion of the house.

My parents have nothing of value, but have a lot of debt. They will leave me very little. I'm okay with that. BUT if the debt is too much to handle, I would like to have the option of selling the house to pay it off. The difference is that my parents are still together and all of us children are by the both of them. So they both have a vested emotional interest in our well-being after they pass. But in a step family situation, that is not always the case.

I am in no way saying the way the daughter went about it is right. She was very tactless and is being hateful and selfish now. But I think that her original concerns were not out of line. She got mad because she wasn't getting her way and that's when she started acting like a spoiled brat.

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sieryn

dotz --

We found out cause he blatantly told the oldest (my father) that he was no longer executor that his lawyer would be and all provisions were for the GF (who is 'friends' with this lawyer hmmmm..)

The kids gave him the option of divorcing GM, allowing her to have her half of the estate to distribute according to her wishes and he can do what he wants with his half. He would have nothing of it. So....currently have motions before the court to have him declared incompetent and his new will voided..always fun!

Of course there is always the other side of the coin should GM outlive him. I guess only time will tell how it all plays out.

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imamommy

Ashley, I have to disagree when you say....

"It is possible that SF could run off in the event the OP passes and leave the medical bills for the daughter to pay."

If they are married, they would be 'their' medical bills. He can't just run off... well, I guess he can but her daughter is not legally obligated to pay the medical bills, the husband is. If the daughter were given the home (or her mother's portion of it), she could walk away and leave the husband with ALL of her mother's medical bills. (that could also be why their attorney kept asking "are you sure?") The daughter could force the husband to buy her half of the home or sell the house to get hers and then husband would still be stuck with medical bills that are 'community debt'. If they were not married, then the estate would owe the bills, but the daughter is NEVER going to be responsible for her mother's medical bills, unless she is conservator. (even then, the bills would be paid from the mother's money, not the daughters)

If your parents are still together, when one passes, the other will keep the house. When the second one passes, the house is part of the estate. The estate pays off all debts before distribution so if there are bills that need to be paid, the house would be sold and the bills paid. I don't see why you think it would be any different in a step family situation. When one spouse dies, the other spouse is legally obligated to the joint debt. It doesn't say that only first spouses are obligated and second spouses can walk away, leaving debt to the children of the decedent.

Sieryn:

Does grandma have a conservator or public guardian? If her representative were to file for divorce on her behalf (in her interests), then he would have to equitably divide their assets and her share would not go to the GF. I'm sure you have an attorney but that was just a thought. My dad is conservator for my stepmom and my stepmom became ill without a will. My dad, as her conservator, wrote a will for her (of course, leaving NOTHING to her children). I think it's worth mentioning that if my stepmom had made a will. leaving her children her half of everything (that she and my father have accumulated in the last 20 years), I don't think she anticipated that they would all abandon her during her illness and leave her so others could care for her. Had she died when she had her aneurysm, my dad would have given them a fair inheritance. I'm pretty sure he would not have given them any part of the house that he and my stepmom built together. That was "their" home and it is still HIS home. And the way things have played out, my stepmom's children have shown their true colors. They have shown what is important to them. It isn't their mother. It's all about money.

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dotz_gw

Sieryn, Great, sounds like you re doing all you can for grandma..Good luck with that...

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finedreams

DD never asks for anything. I doubt she will ever ask for anything. Her dad is able to pay her college tuition. She is grateful, if he would not be able to, she would look for other options. neither one of us can fully support her cost of living, she works very hard to afford what she needs. We help when we can. If i ask what would you like me to bring you when I visit she would name somehting for $15. If i send modest package she jumps up and down. She won't ask for inheritance neither from me nor from her dad. We don't ask and don't demand from our parents.

we all make decent salaries and hold professional jobs but we are not wealthy and don't have much to leave to anyone. I can leave my graduate loan lol. maybe all of you here are very wealthy so your kids should demand inheritance. i don't know. We are not rich. can't relate. lol

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sieryn

dotz - yeah we're trying our best :) My grandma was awesome, it just seems like all the men in my family are @ssholes lol.

Ima - I didn't know this could happen but she actually has three guardians, my grandfather, my father and his brother. They're trying to get my grandfather kicked off the list using his new will as a demonstration of conflict of interest in her care. I care how it plays out for principal only, I don't need or want a dime of his money. If my Dad were to win he would just give it all to his new wife and her horrible 30-something-but-still-dependent children anyway :-).

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serenity_now_2007

I still want to know what everyone's opinion is on when it is the *step-parent-spouse* who makes demands (moreover at time of parent-spouse's terminal illness), instead of the child. I guess I'm wondering if that's seen as any better (or worse), since the majority here seem pretty mortified at OP's daughter's manipulations. Haven't heard too much commentary on that scenario... The mortification at child doing that seems to dovetail with the whole "respect your eldeers no matter what" philosophy... Is there a "respect your spouse" or "respect your stepchild" imperative taht goes along with that?

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theotherside

Why would my exH deserve to inherit his wife's house, or even have a life estate, no matter how long they were together? The house is in his wife's name, she pays the entire mortgage - I think it is pretty obvious that her children should inherit it.

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imamommy

theotherside
"I think it is pretty obvious that her children should inherit it."

That would be for his wife to decide. If she doesn't want to leave them anything for whatever reason, she doesn't have to. If she decides that she wants her husband to live in the house they have shared for however many years they have been there, not because he paid for it, but because she loves him and wants to make sure he isn't booted out and homeless, then it's up to her. If she doesn't care what happens to him and leaves it to her kids to boot him out, that's also up to her. and if she wants her kids to have it after he dies, then she can make those provisions. I think it's a little presumptuous to say that her children should inherit it. What if they are the kind of children that bring nothing but misery to their parents? She may feel they deserve nothing. (even if she does pay the ENTIRE mortgage. It's HER choice)

and serenity, anybody that puts added pressure on an ill person, especially terminally ill, is disgusting. It doesn't really matter if it's a spouse (first or otherwise) or child (step or bio). People that love each other don't show it by being insensitive or materialistic when they are faced with losing a person they love. It's particularly disgusting when family members that supposedly love someone, bring misery to the person they supposedly love. Whether it's a parent that bad mouths someone their child loves, such as the other parent, step parent or anyone else. Or when a child bad mouths the step parent to the parent that is married to him/her. It's exacerbated when the person that is put in the middle is sick and battling for their life or dealing with health problems.

If you love someone, then the right thing to do is to respect their choices, even if it hurts. Love is complicated because in a perfect world, people would not do things that hurt the ones they love. The world is not perfect and life is short. Should parents remain single because they might make their children, whom they love, unhappy by getting remarried? Should [grown] children, who love their parents, want to see their parents happy, even if it means they don't really care for their parent's choice in partner? How selfish or selfless should we all be as parents and as children? Young children are understanably selfish in terms of their parents, they are 'dependent' and nobody can blame a [minor] child for resenting an outsider (stepparent) for swooping in and taking their parent away, but at what point does that child become an adult and realize that the parent is also a person that deserves love and happiness of their own choosing? (even if we don't like it)

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imamommy

Perhaps it's only in HER name so they can't go after it to satisfy his support obligation to your children.

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eandhl

serenity_now_2007, My opinion wouldn't change no matter who the person was. I do not think anyone should try to make someone to change a will. Most certainly at time when someone has a life threatening illness. That said, it would be good in the OP's case to find a way to iron clad her wishes that her daughter eventually receive the house.

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theotherside

"What if they are the kind of children that bring nothing but misery to their parents?"

I believe they should still inherit their mother's house. They are still her children. Even if someone had given birth to several children all of whom became serial killers (a rather unlikely scenario), their mother should still love them unconditionally. If a child were a gambling addict or something, then there are trust arrangements that could be made to ensure that the money from the house wouldn't disappear overnight.

I think that there is some fundamental difference between how you and I view our children. I do not believe that my responsibility toward my children ends just because they turn 18, or 21, or graduate from college. I don't demand thanks, or adherence to rules, in exchange for doing something for or giving something to my children, yet, I often receive thanks, even for minor things like cooking spaghetti.

Why on earth would my exH's current wife put her house in both their names? She owned the house before she met my eH; he had nothing to do with it.

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imamommy

theotherside,
I'm glad you point out that the possibility of all the children becoming serial killers is an unlikely scenario. If you believe that, then why use that as your example? I agree, if a child is a criminal, there are many criminals that would call mom first when they are in a bind. There are many criminals that love and respect their mom, even if they victimize others. People with addictions can also be deserving and sure, trusts can be set up.

I agree that there is a fundamental difference between the way you and I view a parents responsibility for our children. It's clear that you don't think your responsibility toward your children ends at any given point and they are not expected to thank you, follow rules, respect or even love you back. That's your choice as a parent to ignore those things. Since your children thank you for such simple things as cooking spaghetti, then I would assume that you don't know what it's like to have a child that abandons you. You must not know what it's like to be terminally ill and have your children choose to bicker in court over what they deserve rather than visit you, take care of you or even inquire about you... instead they leave your care in the hands of others but wait impatiently in the shadows with their hand out and upset that YOUR money is being wasted on your care... you know, making you comfortable and such.

I'm sure that you'll say that if you were ever in the position that my stepmother is in, you would rather not be alive. You don't get that choice. She has been on a DNR and no treatment order for several years now. It pains me daily to see her like this and my prayers are for her suffering to end. Her biological children.. you know, the ones that ARE STILL HER CHILDREN, don't give a crap to know how she is doing, they are too busy strategizing the court battle that is sure to happen when she does pass.

That is the 'fundamental' difference between the way you or I view children. Just the mere fact that you give birth to someone does not make you a parent. and just the mere fact that the parent gave birth to you does not entitle you to everything they have worked for all their lives.

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kkny

My concern is that a parent may have the illusion that his partner may have the same concern for his children that he/she does. As even Ima said, many people have even a subconscious favortism of their own child. In short, what the OP may want is to trust her partner. Circumstances change, etc., OP and other parents have to ask themselves, if I give all my assets to my spouse, NOT IN A LIFE ESTATE, am I prepared to disinerhit my children. I suspect many people in second marriages are not willing to ask themselves that question. They would rather go on trusting their partner - of course.

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imamommy

kkny

I might have mentioned before that my grandparents, that were married for over 50 years and raised the 9 suriving (of 13) children together. My mom and my aunt(S) worked for a summer, pooling their money to buy their parents a home when they were about 14-16. Over the next 20-25 years, my grandparents renovated, added on, and lived in it together until my grandma died in 1987. Because they thought they could not have property to qualify for social security, they agreed to put the house in my Aunt(M)'s name. Two years after grandma died, Aunt(M) who was the youngest of the children and was married, living with her husband in another town, decided that if my grandfather wanted to get married again, he could not live in the house. So, when my grandfather was in his 80's, his youngest daughter evicted him. A few years later, he had a stroke and is now living with my Aunt(R).

His marriage to his new wife did not last. I'm not surprised because she had nine [technically]step children that, although they were all grown (many were already grandparents themselves), took it upon themselves to interfere in his marriage, treated his wife poorly and she left. He is now 96 years old and he had the opportunity to have love and companionship but has been alone for the last 15 years. I doubt that my grandmother would have wanted him evicted from the home that was HIS. I can't say whether she would have wanted his new wife to live there, but I can say that if anything ever happened to me, I would want my husband to find happiness and love. I love him enough to want him to be loved again if I'm not around. and after 50 years of marriage and keeping his vows 'til death', he was entitled to do whatever he wanted with HIS house. Personally, I don't know how my aunt can sleep at night or look at herself in the mirror. Her parents trusted her and she abused the trust.

The point is that anyone can abuse trust, not just in second marriages. Anyone that wants to make sure certain people get certain things, regardless of relationship, should take the steps to make sure.

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jerseystepmom

To TOS: if you don't think that your ex is entitled to the continue to live in the house he shares with his current wife, then you do not get the concept of marriage/partnership. So you just think that if she dies, he gets tossed out like another of her possessions? That wouldn't be very caring of her. I hope that they have a provision that states that he gets to live in the house until he dies, after which time, it could be sold, with the money given to the children. ON the other hand, if he got sick after she died, and decided to sell the house to pay for medical bills......in a healthy marriage, that would be perfectly understandable. The health and well-being of the people who built that life should come first. Children aren't owed an inheritance, it is a benefit that they may be lucky enough to get. I guarantee you that while my husband and I think about the possibility of helping his children down the road, we are not living our lives to set up their financial future -- we expect THEM to do that. An inheritance is a bonus. Nothing more. You've seen the bumper sticker: "we are spending our child's inheritance"? I say go for it! And, this post isn't even about reaping the benefits of their hard work -- it is about a daughter who should be disowned because her mother's value to her is only in the money she will get. It is unfathomable to me to even think about having a relationship with that girl, or even try to work this out. She made her priority clear.....and she is not helping in the recovery, so she needs to be crossed off. As painful as that is for her mother, her mother's priority needs to be her health.

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kkny

Jersey, you dont know what arrangement TOSs X made with his wife. When my X's SO moved in with him, she sold her condo. Presumably she has the money for a new home. Oh but wait, that wouldnt be as luxourious as his presnt home. My point -- every one makes their own life. And as people get older, they are more likely to seperate funds. To all those people who say children arent entitled to inheritance, I would say that most financial advisors advise people entering second marriages to establish this ahead of time -- and decide which funds go to children, etc.

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theotherside

I think if she wanted my exH to inherit the house if she dies first, she would have put his name on the deed. It is a simple thing to do. So what if he is "homeless?" - he has a job, and a 401K into which he has been stashing a lot of his income. He has no expenses to speak of - no one to put through college, a pittance in child support (and it is quite possible all of our children will be grown before either of them die). Why wouldn't he be perfectly capable of finding something to rent?

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imamommy

Not that it matters what your exH's wife does, she doesn't have to put his name on the deed for him to get the house if she precedes him. Unless she has a will that states otherwise, her husband will get it, even if it's in her name only. It makes perfect sense for her to keep his name off so that a lien cannot be placed against it for past due child support or anything else. It doesn't really matter because what your exH and his wife do is none of your concern.

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kkny

Ima, I thought we were having discussions of inheritance situations -- Tos was just talking about one of them. Which actually makes sense to me. And I would assume TOS's X wife has a will with appropriate provsisons.

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theotherside

I am certain she has a will. She may be a lot of things, but financially oblivious isn't one of them.

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monoral75

Hello Lyn,
It seems as though your daughter has taken up a Career as a Self Entitled Spoilt Brat. My Grandmother tried to do what she thought was the right thing by her daughter and 2 Sons. Paid for their Education, put down payments on their houses ect ect. One Son thanked her. What she got from the other two were a pair of: you guessed it! Spoilt entitled Brats! These days they are Brats in their 60's.
Grandmother also left a Trust. She has been gone for 3 years now. She was Suffering Dementia for 7 years before she died and the Way they acted was disgusting. Epecially My *'Mother* and her husband.

They fought, they argued, they threatened each other and basically carried on like small children. After she died, I was appointed a trustee along with 2 other family members. The biggest headaches we have are from mother usually revved up by stepfather and his clan and from her whining brother. It boils down to this. It was my Grandmothers money to do with as She wished and whether they think its fair or not doesn't come into it.

This statement you made said it all for me: * I would like to add that over the 15 years we're married the bulk of what we own, was earned together *

How you and your husband divide, distribute and will Your money and assets is YOUR business, NOT hers! And your daughter needs to get that through her head. I can fully understand why you are so upset. To do this @ a time when you are so ill is spiteful, selfish, nasty, immature, rude, distasteful and disgusting. I couldn't imagine your pain @ at her behaviour after raising her with her best interests @ heart.
I would let her approach you and I would also be cutting of the Mom and Dad Gravy Train if you haven't already. Your story Lyn is food for thought and there are @ least 2 members in this thread who would do well to think over your story.
best wishes

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dotz_gw

I sure dont understand someone that would not make provisions for a husband or wife that they supposedly love by saying its my property, you can go out and rent if I die...That would be ice cold...I m thinking Lynn , like I did, went into my 2nd marriage expecting for better or worse, for richer or poorer...She obviously loves her husband and her daughter..She wants her husband provided for first, her DD is OK ...My DS is OK too..I own my home, but DH is entitled to stay here for the rest of his life...I cant imagine him getting thrown out TO RENT...Geez, I love him, and I m sure he wouldnt throw me out, or let his kids do that to me....He wants to provide for me..And what is wrong with that????? He has a son that would no doubt do that to me....When we were just dating, not even serious, he said IN FRONT of me, Mom says she s going to take all OUR money!!! Showed me where his head was at from the get go......

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kkny

Just so I understand you Dotz, my Xs SO sold her condo and moved in with him. She contributes nothing to the household other than pay for the food she eats (per him). If he were to predecease her, what is wrong with expecting her to move back to a condo?

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dotz_gw

I would expect her to.... do not pass go , do not collect 200 hundred dollars, on her way back to the condo...She s an SO, not a wife......

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dotz_gw

LOL!! He makes her pay for food????That is crazy!!! If my DH ever starts makin me pay for food, I m outta here!!! My snack bill is quite extensive!!!! LOLOLOL

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kkny

OK, lets continue, what if they get married? And during their entire time togethor they have never shared expenses?

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kkny

OK, lets continue, what if they get married? And during their entire time togethor they have never shared expenses?

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dotz_gw

I know what you re thinking...He worked a lifetime..Janey Come Lately shows up and takes whats rightfully DDs legacy....My ex has a home also, like me, which I hope will go to DS..But if he met a hoochie princess and gave it all to her, as his mom , I wouldnt like it, but it is, after all Exs money, not my DSs in reality, regardless of what she contributed, he s free to do as he pleases..My X may be worried that DS will be cheated out of my home, he knows of my remarriage, he does not know about my life estate plan....

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colleen777

You crack me up kkny. Sorry, I can't think of anything more important to say.

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kkny

Actually I covered this in my divorce agreement, but I was curious what you thought was right.

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kkny

Dotz, so she shouldnt pay for anything???? And you still think OK for SM to inherint all?? I love the perspective I see here.

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dotz_gw

KKNY......I think I ve already stated, if my DS didnt inherit from his dad, if he got a new stepmom this late in the game,its his dads money, not my DS s...YET again, I would not like it...I would prefer my son gets it, but I do not control my x husbands finances..DO I think new stepmom should get it??? Sigh, I have SO many more important things to worry about...My DS will be fine, if I m the only one he inherits from....Or if he gets nothing, even from me..I have prepared him for the world....I have a dying elderly father, estrangements in my family, a vicious X wife from hell.... hideous relatives on DHs side of family..... and am still grieving numerous deaths in my family from brother, sister and a very young niece and nephew whom I raised, who took their own lives....Todays news, a nephew who will be in a full body cast for 3 months from a terrible auto accident..KKNY, this forum to me is a stress reducer, and at the same time a stress inducer....Maybe your life has been golden, except for your divorce..I cant believe I m blurting all this out tonight, but I have to make this point..Money is just money......I cant shake the feeling that its the end all , be all, retribution for all your past hurts,OF COURSE I want my kid to be OK financially but money.....It is meaningless.....

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kkny

I am so sorry to hear about your nephew, yes that is tragic.

But back to money, if money is just money, then the SMs can give it up.

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mom2emall

I have to say I do not think that ones children are "entitled" to an inheritance. I know many people who have never received an inheritance and they do just fine! If someone has enough money to leave an inheritance behind then they can give away that money as they see fit.

It is so sad to see people losing sight of what is really important. Family is what is really important, whether that be blood or step. I love my family dearly and would never dream of asking them what I am being left in a will. I would much rather cherish their life than fight over what would happen when they die.

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mom2emall

And when my parents do pass I would not try to take their money and home out from under my stepparents!

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dotz_gw

and the last post before I drop into bed....My Dhs money,(before marriage) is HIS to do what he chooses...I cant give UP something that belongs to him, as a stepmom..HE will do as HE pleases with it, not MY CALL....

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imamommy

"But back to money, if money is just money, then the SMs can give it up."

Yes, so can the ex wife/husband, kids and all other relatives.

As a child, if my dad passes before my stepmom, she will have to be taken care of until she dies. That may very well use up whatever my dad leaves because nobody knows how long she will continue to live. Her children are upset that she lasted long enough for her medical care to use up whatever she came into the marriage with. Her care costs more than her disability income she gets so... no inheritance for her kids. They aren't willing to accept that, they had to take it to court to hear a Judge tell them that there isn't anything left. Personally, the Judge should have told them that they can take over their mom's care and have her income. Oh wait, they were given that option and refused. They actually wanted to see if they were entitled to half of everything my dad has since it's 'community property'. Well, they aren't entitled to jack because my dad is alive and so is their mom. Impatient little buggers.

My dad has worked hard for everything he has and if it ends up going to provide care for his wife because that's what is important to him, then he has my blessing. He's taught me what it means to do the right thing and he's taught me to be strong and make my own way in the world. All of his children have fairly successful lives and none of us 'expect' a thing. It's HIS money to do with as HE pleases and if he leaves it to his dog, that's also his business.

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sweeby

My personal views on inheritance issues in second marriages are pretty clear cut. If there are no grievous actions or special circumstances that argue something else:

- Whatever each spouse brings into the marriage (the "MINE" pile) should go to whomever they wish on their deaths - presumably their own children.

- Whatever is accumulated during the marriage (the "OURS" pile) should go to the surviving spouse, either free and clear, or in a life-estate.

- Whatever is left at the death of the second spouse should be divided with the "MINE" pile going first to that spouse's heirs, and the remaining "OURS" pile being divided among all of the children of both spouses.

- IMO, the length of the marriage is also a factor, and a formula akin to 'vesting' would be appropriate -- though the "MINE" and "OURS" distinctions serve the same purpose.

If my husband predeceases me and I remarry, I will insist upon a pre-nup that reflects the views above.

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terrig_2007

I have not read all the posts--not enough time! But I've seen firsthand what money squabbles can do to families. Thirty-five years ago, my grandmother cut her bio daughter and stepdaughter from her will after my grandfather died. Stepdaughter was afraid she's be cut from grandma's will since she wasn't grandma's bio child. Bio daughter sided with her and they challenged grandpa's will and lost--big time. Grandma went to her grave without ever speaking to her own daughter ever again. In fact, no one in the family spoke to this woman after this happened. (Bio is still alive; step died several years ago.) My uncle will tell you he has just one living sibling--my dad--and same with my dad. They do not count their living sister as their sibling. HOW SAD.

I can't tell you (OP) what to do but I do believe that NO parent owes a child an inheritance. I'd much prefer my own parents spend all their money while they are alive and leave me nothing. They worked HARD for what they have; they should enjoy it, not me.

Personally, I think your daughter is out of line. But that's easy for me to say. You are the one who has to live with her estrangement.

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artemiss

Using my own past as a guide, I wonder if your daughter's husband is putting her up to this. Yes, it's wrong of her to go along with it, but she may be completely dominated and influenced by him. I was, by my first husband, and became estranged from my family for many years.

Your finances are your own business and you owe nothing to your grown daughter, her husband, their children, or any other relatives. In future, keep your own counsel and don't share financial information with family members.

BTW, eventually my domineering husband found someone else to dominate. We divorced, and I married a wonderful man who helped me heal my family relationships. There is hope for your daughter and you, too, I'm sure.

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