Here's the original post:
I won't mince words: I'm (22F) the product of an affair. My father comes from a wealthy family and is a businessman in Asia, and my mother used to be a flight attendant in the 90s. My dad has always been there when I was growing up, even if my mom and I live in the US, and has provided for us financially.
His “real” family knows about me: he and his wife “Sarah” got married out of business convenience and she’s never resented me or made me feel bad in any way. I’ve always respected her for letting me have a relationship with my older brothers, and letting me come with their family on summer vacations.
She even sent our family flowers when my mom got married a few years ago. Sadly Sarah passed away from cancer a few months ago. It’s been rough on my dad and brothers, she was a wonderful, kind woman and I miss her a lot.
Sarah was very, very wealthy and left my brothers a significant inheritance. Apparently she also left me something in her will: a few thousand dollars. I burst into tears when my brothers called me with the news, I didn’t expect her to even acknowledge me in any way as her husband’s bastard child even if we had a good relationship.
The problem is my family: my uncles and grandma think that I shouldn’t accept the money because I’m “not family.” My brothers have been saying that over in their country, Sarah’s family is also contesting the will to remove me because I’m not her daughter or related to her in any way.
I’ve been feeling pressured to not accept the money even if my dad and brothers say I have every right to accept it. AITA for thinking about taking my inheritance?
NTA. She wanted you to have it. Why should other people, even family, have a greater say in what she does with her money than her? If she were alive, is this what she would have wanted? Clearly not. She put it in writing! Again, respect her wishes.
NTA I'm glad you had so many wonderful people that loved you. She wanted you to have it and it made her happy yo give it yo you.
NTA. Relatives have no say in someone's legal will. Take your inheritance before the family ties it up in legal battles if you can. People get ugly over money.
NTA there's no law that says you have to be family to inherit. People leave money to butlers, friends, churches and cats all the time
Sarah clearly loved you and it was her dying wish that you have that gift. I think accepting it at the very least to respect a dying woman’s wishes who was dear to you is the best course of action. If the legal dispute results in you being removed from the will, it’s up to you if you want to fight it.
But I think she obviously wanted to include you in her will because she wanted you to have this. To remember her by, and to use for yourself. I can also understand the position of both families, though they may be misguided. They’re also grieving. Whatever you decide, I’m sure you will handle it with respect and grace. NTA.
NTA, but I also wanted to add, if it all goes bottoms up and they somehow don’t let you have the money, you can still hold onto to the memory that Sarah clearly cared for you and planned for your future after her life was over. They can never take that from you.
Verdict: Commenters all seem to agree NTA, and she should take the inheritance.
EDIT: I am honestly floored with this response. I just posted on here to kinda vent about my situation since a friend brought it up yesterday and asked how I was doing. Thought I'd post an update to share context and how things are going.
My mom, dad, and Sarah are all from the same home country. When she got pregnant my mom was already in the process of moving to the US. That's the only reason I grew up away from my dad. They're from a country where having a "second" family is pretty common for men of a certain social class (even prominent politicians have several families on the side),
but our situation was frowned upon because it's expected that you treat it super discreetly and in secret, and we were pretty open about it which is practically unheard of, and apparently embarrassing for some members of the extended family.
With regards to how things are going now: my oldest brother is a lawyer and has assured me several times over the past few months that the family doesn't really have a legal claim with contesting the will, and with the courts closed because of [redacted] he's confident that this will all blow over soon.
The entire situation really isn't about the money, a lot of the comments were right in saying that it's mostly about appearances and keeping money within the family. He actually saw this post and called me, and he agrees that I should honor his mom's wishes in keeping the money, and that if I feel a bit uncomfortable taking it to think about it as a last gift from his mom to show that she thinks of me as family, too.
I admit I had a good cry over that. My brother says I should go and buy something nice for myself, but I'm thinking of using some of it to donate to animal charities since Sarah really loved her dogs (they were in her will, too!). All in all, I feel so much better about the situation knowing my family has my back.