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'AITA for not splitting my inheritance with my late dad's wife and her kids?' UPDATED

'AITA for not splitting my inheritance with my late dad's wife and her kids?' UPDATED


"AITA for not splitting my inheritance with my 'step family'?"

Here's the original post:

(F21) I’ve had a pretty $h!tty childhood. My dad was a junkie when I was born, and when I was three just picked up and left my mom and me. My older half sister (different dads) was not a pleasant person to be around and my mom was so busy working I felt like I was really alone.

When my mom died my grandma took me in and things got a lot better. Don’t get me wrong, I miss my mom every day, but my grandma provided a much healthier environment for me. My dad contacted my grandma a few years ago because he wanted to get in touch with me but I shut that down, I wouldn’t even see him, wouldn’t talk to him or anything.

Well it turns out that he had turned his life around, gotten married and had a whole new family, but never had any other kids. He wanted to get to know me because he found out he had stage five pancreatic cancer, but I didn’t want anything to do with him. I never contacted him back.

Long story short, he died six months ago, I only found out recently because my “step mother” contacted me about inheritance. My dad had left everything to me. It’s not a life changing amount, —oh my god I already did an edit about this, but by “not a life changing amount” I mean that I’m still on the same track I was about, I’m still going to college for the same degree, just debt free,

I’m still planning on buying the same house, and investment properties, just with smaller loans. It will improve my life so much, but I’m still going to work and do the same thing I was gonna do before—but he made me beneficiary of his life insurance $100,000, left me his savings, $35,000, and his house, which in this market I could sell for around $400,000.

I mean, with this money I could have college paid for, buy a house and some investment properties, and still have a nice nest egg to fall back on in case of hard times. She gave me the contact information for the lawyer handling his estate. The problem is that his wife hadn’t ever planned on working again, she had quit her job when she moved in with my dad and hasn’t worked in six years.

She was telling me that it would be wrong to keep all of the money, especially since I never made up with him, and that I needed to split it four ways so that she and my “siblings” could have an equal share. I told her she could pound sand because he abandoned me for years and she got all the best parts of my dad, and all I got was the inheritance and I hung up.

I contacted the lawyer and everything is cut and dry, he left his wife and step kids $100 each and left everything else to me, but I’m starting to feel bad for his wife. Would I be the a-hole if I didn’t split the money? I mean my dad never did anything for me, so this last grand gesture is really all I’ll have.

Edit: they’re living in the house and she’s not on the title, I’m planning on hiring a property management company and writing up an official lease. I don’t want to make them homeless and I’m not planning on selling the house right away but I don’t want to make any mistakes and lose the house by having her live in it, thus the property management company.

Also “not a life changing amount” is not the right wording, I’m typing this up before work so thoughts are getting a little scrambled, I mean, I’m still going to work and stuff, it’s not like I never have to work again in my life, which is what I mean. I’m going to talk to my grandma on my dads side and see if I can figure out why my dad left his other family out of the will.

What do you think? Is she the a-hole for not wanting to split the inheritance? This is what top commenters had to say:

Even_Speech570 said:

NTA. You don’t know his wife. You don’t owe her anything. If your father left them each $100 he knew what he was doing. That inheritance is yours. Good luck on your future

dbradx said:

100% NTA. Your Dad made the decision to leave absolutely everything to you, so he clearly felt you deserved it/needed it and they didn't. Feels to me like he was thinking along the same lines as you, realizing he'd shortchanged you on a relationship, so all he could do was leave you an inheritance. Keep the money, it's what your Dad wanted.

coiled_cable said:

NTA. I’m telling you right now, those people will most likely destroy that house. Protect yourself from that in the lease you are writing up.

Alyssa_Hargreaves said:

NTA. She didnt have to quit. She is a grown woman. Don't split it with people who wouldn't give you the time of day otherwise. I think your dad knew what he was doing so respect his wishes And you aren't being a cruel person you are letting them stay in the house and aren't making them homeless. Just make sure you do everything by the book and use the money to better your life.

[deleted] said:

NTA. If he left them each 100, he intentionally did that. Your dad left you his estate and effectively told them to pound sand. You don’t owe them anything.

[deleted] said:

NTA. Take the $ and run.

Consensus: Absolutely NTA.

The woman later shared this update:

Okay wow, I just got off the phone with my grandma, I messaged her on facebook and she gave me her number, I called her during my break. Apparently my grandma HATES my "step mom". I mean, I don't even know where to start.

So I guess my dad wanted to reach out to me a lot sooner than he did, but his wife kept on convincing him not to because she was saying if he got in touch with anyone from his junkie days he would relapse.

On top of that, they never actually got married, they had a ceremony six years ago, but they didn't sign any marriage licenses because they thought my mom was still alive and that he was married to my mom. She didn't want him to reach out for a divorce because again, he might have relapsed. and the nail in the coffin. She was almost certainly cheating on him.

I don't want to get into all the drama about that whole thing but the only reason he didn't throw her out is because she got rid of the proof and he didn't have any way to confirm it was more than sexting...for years. Basically, it was a dysfunctional "marriage" and by the end of everything he didn't have the energy to deal with her, so he just let her be.

Personally what I think is that she never wanted me to be part of their perfect family. If he had reached out to my mom for a divorce then he'd probably want to reach out to me too. I’m sorry, I meant prostrate cancer not pancreatic. Like I said, i wasn’t super privy to information about his life until recently.

Sources: Reddit
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