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Man refuses to share brother's life insurance and 401K with SIL and kids. AITA?

Man refuses to share brother's life insurance and 401K with SIL and kids. AITA?


Dealing with money after the loss of a loved one almost always brings out the worst in people.

One man lost his brother and was bequeathed the money from his life insurance plan and 401K; money that would significantly him and his wife.

But, his brother's wife feels that she and their many children should be entitled to some of the money now that she will have to provide for their children alone. She is begging him to please help them but he is resistant and feels entitled to the money his brother left him.

'AITA for keeping my brothers life insurance?'


I, 40M, lost my brother, 42M “Jay” in a car accident a few months ago. Growing up, he was the golden child. He got a full ride to a prestigious college while I had to pay my own way and eventually drop out.

He went on to grad school, but I got married and settled down with my wife, 42F, “Brittany” early on. We have had financial struggles which caused us to not be able to start a family. We live paycheck to paycheck in a one bedroom apartment.

Jay always made good money, but wasn’t lucky in love. He was very picky and while he had some longer 1-2 year relationships, he was looking for perfection before getting married.

He finally married his wife, 40F, Mary, in 2019. She also made good money, like Jay. She also had 2 children from a previous relationship, now 18 and 19. One is in college and the other will be starting next year.

She and Jay also had twin girls about a year ago. Mary and Jay both worked, and have a nanny they share with a neighbor for their girls. When they got pregnant, she sold her house where they were living and he sold his condo that he had been renting out and they bought a larger family home together. All this to say money is not a problem for them.

Like I said, Jay passed away recently in a car accident and Mary found out that I was the beneficiary of his 401(k) and life insurance policy through his employer. The life insurance is 150k but the 401k is much more substantial. He set it up that way years ago before Mary was in the picture and never changed it.

Mary begged me to give her a portion of the money but I said no. She inherited his part of their house, and their joint savings account which is about 50k. She said that she paid for his funeral, and to make it work on her income alone, she will have to sell the house, give up the nanny, put the girls in daycare, and won’t be able to help her older kids with college the way they planned.

I told her it’s not my fault. If he wanted to change the beneficiary, he should have done that. But he didn’t so now the money is mine. My wife and I plan to use the money to buy a home and finally start a family.

She says her husbands money should go to his children, but she doesn’t see that me using the money to have my own children is more important.

Our parents think I’m an a hole because the money should go to his kids. I offered to take 50k and put it in trust for the girls education. But they said Mary needs the money now.

They said the life insurance would pay off their mortgage and the boys college and put money away for the girls future, and her income would cover the rest so they wouldn’t have to move. But what about my family?

Here were the top comments from readers that felt compelled to weigh in:


YTA. Yeah. Your life sucks but there is no world in which your brother would not have wanted to take care of his wife and their children.You’re exploiting a lapse of attention on his part to profit from his death. That’s just gross as hell.


Have to agree here. It's hard to imagine a scenario in which he would not want his own children to have the money and be cared for. He should have updated his affairs, but didn't. OP is greedy and morally wrong here, even if he is legally entitled to the money.


YTA. You know damn well that if your brother had realized that you were still listed as beneficiary he would have changed it. Your make-believe unborn children are NOT more important than the children who just tragically lost their dad, one of the worst traumas that can happen to children.

You describe your brother with vindictiveness as the golden child, as though he did not earn his full ride to college while you couldn’t make it.


YTA your hypothetical and nonexistant children and house do not take precedent over his very real widow, children, and post mortem finances.


YTA! You’re taking money away from his children! Seriously dude! You didn’t earn or work for that money! Your entitlement is pathetic! You don’t actually want to know if you’re an asshole or not, you just want someone to justify your actions! You already know your the A**hole.

Oh incase you misunderstood, Your A Massive A**hole! Have a good day.

What would you tell this brother? What, if it's possible, is the best way to make this situation right?

Sources: Reddit
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