Someecards Logo
'AITA for wanting to keep the inheritance I received from my mom's college friend?' UPDATED 2X

'AITA for wanting to keep the inheritance I received from my mom's college friend?' UPDATED 2X


A lot of secrets see the light of day when someone passes away, and their final wishes are revealed: both emotionally and financially.

In a popular post on the AITA subreddit, a man asked if he's wrong for wanting to keep the inheritance he surprisingly received from his mom's old friend. He wrote:

"AITA for wanting to keep the inheritance I may receive from my mom's college friend?"

I (30M) have had the weirdest couple of months of my life. My mom's (61F) friend Gary (60ish M) recently passed away, and to my surprise, he left all his property in my name in his will. For context, I am married to Hannah (28F) and we have a 2-year-old toddler. We are not wealthy, but both Hannah and I have good jobs and working towards building a good life for us and our kid.

About two months ago, an estate attorney sent a letter to our house stating that Gary had passed away and I was named in his will. This came as a shock as we had not seen Gary and his family for years. The only memory I have of Gary was from when I was a kid. His son Jason (Late 20s M) and I were friends and our families were pretty close.

Gary and my mom were college friends and they would come to our house for dinners or parties. Jason and I were of similar age, and I remember Jason following me around the house and us playing video games in my room while the grownups had fun downstairs. When I was around 10, they moved out of our town, and I never saw them again. This is the first time in years, I have thought about Gary or Jason.

I initially thought the letter was a scam letter, but after reading Gary's name on the letter, I called my mom to ask if he was the same Gary who was her friend. She confirmed that the name was the same. I decided to schedule a Zoom call from the estate attorney.

The estate attorney, who is also the executor of the will told us that Gary named me in his will and left me his house (close to $1.5M in value) and around $800K in other assets. This was a shock as I have no relation to him and there is no reason why he would even remember me.

The executor mentioned that Jason wants to get in touch with me, and if I can provide my contact information to him. I of course agreed as I wanted to understand what was going on. I talked to Jason via. zoom call. Jason and his wife joined the call. I asked him about Gary and what was going on. Jason told me that Gary and his mom divorced right around the time they moved out of our town.

His mother got the primary custody, and he used to spend weekends at Gary's place. However, after a year or so, Gary started slowly pulling out of his life and met him maybe a few times every year. Gary then moved to a different town and they had very limited contact except for holiday greetings and a few phone calls every year. Jason mentioned that Gary lived alone and did not marry again.

Jason is his only living next of kin. Jason's mom has already passed away. Jason also came to know about Gary's death via the estate attorney's letter. The estate attorney told Jason that Gary had left 100K for Jason in his inheritance. Jason asked him what he did with the rest of his estate and the attorney told him that I was named as the beneficiary.

Jason asked me if I had been in touch with Gary over the last few years, and I told him no. Jason asked me if there was any reason why I would be listed as the beneficiary, and I told him that I was not aware of any. My head was spinning, and I thought that maybe I was related to Gary in some way (like he secretly is my bio-dad or a sperm donor).

I talked to my mom about it, and she told me that I am in no way related to Gary. I asked her why he would leave me his inheritance and my mom said she could not think of a reason why. She said that she never dated Gary and they were just good friends from college. She insisted that my dad was my real dad. My dad passed away 3 years ago, hence I cannot do a paternity test.

The money is life-changing for me. It will give my family a head-start on so many things we want to do. I know Jason plans to challenge the will, as it makes no sense why it should go to me and not his biological son.

My mom also feels that I shouldn't accept it as we had nothing to do with Gary for the last 20 years, and it has to be a mistake why he left me the money. Me and my wife, however, want to claim it as we are the real beneficiaries. We got in touch with the estate attorney and he said that the will has not changed for several years and he was one of the witnesses when he added my name.

It was not a mistake, but he also does not know why Gary chose to name me. Am I the AH to claim close to $2M in estate from Gary, when I hardly knew him? More importantly, is there a way to check if he was my real dad, as he has passed away and my dad is also not around anymore? I am not able to understand why he would give me all the money.

The internet had a lot to say about the situation.

CrystalQueen3000 wrote:

NTA but I can understand why his son would try and challenge it Maybe Gary didn’t like his son for some reason and wanted to screw him over in some way, or maybe you meant more to him than you thought you did. Unless he also left you a letter explaining why it’s unlikely that you’ll ever know. You could ask Jason if he’d be willing to do a sibling DNA test with you to see if there’s a match

Kind-Dust7441 wrote:

NTA. From what you’ve written, you only have Jason’s version of the story of why he and Gary were no longer close. Maybe it was Jason who distanced himself from his father. Maybe Gary tried to reconcile with his son, but Jason ignored every overture Gary made. Maybe Jason isn’t Gary’s son at all. In which case, a sibling DNA test won’t clear up any questions of your paternity.

You’ll like never know the reason, but clearly Gary wanted you to inherit his house and fortune. Honor his wishes and enjoy your life.

Firespryte01 wrote:

I have two older bros, a younger sister and a younger brother. My 2 oldest brothers wanted nothing to do with Mom and rebuffed her every attempt at a reconciliation. So when she died they got nothing, explicitly. When they asked about it, her sister (and executrix(spelling bad) of her will) told them point blank why they got nothing. Sometimes, even with family, you reap what you sow.

notsam57 wrote:

NTA. Like everyone else said, Gary wanted you to have it. Jason hasn’t spoke to Gary in over 10 years, something big happened between them and it was big enough for Gary to purposely leave you most of it and $100K to Jason to make it difficult to contest. He might’ve left it to you to mainly to spite his son, but he also gets to help out his best friend’s son.

A month later, OP shared an update.

I was debating on posting the update for the last week, but you guys helped me a lot to think through the issue and hence wanted to write about why Gary did what he did. I just want to warn everyone that the actual reason is horrible, and I don't mean to trigger anyone.

Most of the comments focused on getting a paternity test, and my mind also raced in the same direction when I heard the news. I talked to my mom about it, and she told me that I should not do any such things and that it was insulting to her that I could accuse her of something so horrible.

I asked her again and again if she could think of a reason why Gary, who has not talked to me for almost 20 years would leave me millions of dollars, and she just refused to say anything. I was not going to ask Jason for a sibling DNA test, since he does not owe me anything. He had told me that he plans to challenge the will and cut contact with me.

Since my dad passed away 3 years ago, I was not sure how to get a paternity test. Some of the commenters suggested that I should test someone from my dad's side and see if I share DNA with them. Since my dad's older brother also passed away, I decided to ask my cousin (his son) to help me with a DNA test.

Over the weekend, when my mom was visiting our house, I told her about my plan. She was extremely angry at me and asked me why I would think of telling our family that I have doubts about my father being my real father. I told her that I had to know what was going on, and it was killing me from inside to know why Gary would leave me so much money. We got into a big argument.

My wife tried to calm us down, but in the end, my mom just broke down. She just started sobbing uncontrollably, and my wife signaled me to shut up and leave the house. I went for a walk to calm down, and when I came back, my mom was sitting on the couch looking just broken. My wife told me to come and sit next to them. My mom told me the truth of what had happened.

Gary and my mom grew up together in the same town and went to the same high school and college. They were best friends, but my mom was never interested in Gary romantically. After my mom married my dad, Gary and his wife also moved to the same town as them. They again reconnected and Gary and my dad also became good friends.

Since Jason and I were also of similar age, both the families bonded due to that. That is why I remember Jason would always be at all my birthday and other parties since I was a kid. However, when I was around 9 years old, Gary came to our house to pick something up. My dad was not there at the house. He tried to make a pass at my mom, and they got into an argument.

Gary started becoming more physical and tried to SA my mom. My mom kicked him and was able to run away and lock herself in the room. When she told my dad, my dad went and beat Gary up. Gary never filed ass*ult charges, because he knew my mom would file SA charges against him. My mom also did not file SA charges, but never seen Gary's face again since that day.

After a few months, they got the news that Gary and his family moved to a different town. I believe that is when Gary and his wife also got divorced. Over the years, my mom never heard from Gary and he was just a faint childhood memory for me. My mom was horrified when she learned that Gary left all his estate to me.

She wanted to tell me to not take the money from him, but my parents had decided to never tell me about the incident. I was the biggest AH and the worst son. The stupid money made me doubt my mom, and question her integrity. I can't believe what she must have felt when I kept on talking about paternity tests and trying to get my dad's side of the family involved.

Gary giving me all his estate was just his way of forgiving himself for the horrible thing that he did. However, I was not going to give him that satisfaction. I decided to disclaim the inheritance. I do not want a single penny from that f**ker and I hope he rots in hell.

OP added another small update shortly after posting:

Edit: I know a lot of you feel $2.5M is a lot of money. For context, my parents (mom) are also wealthy and I am their only son. Also, I value my relationship with my mom and do not owe anything to Gary. If he was my father, he should have written that in his will, and not put my mom through the horror of explaining the situation to me.

My wife and I also live comfortably, and it was our joint decision. I have already decided to disclaim the inheritance, and will not be taking the paternity test or looking into this issue further.

People had a lot to say in response to the major update.

Lazy_Arrival8960 wrote:

Stop! No offense, but your mom's story doesn't make any sense to me. Get the test done because I think she is lying to you. The only other people who could verify the story are dead. A bit too convenient if you ask me. Why would your mother lie to you? Because she is ashamed of what she did and would rather you lose out of $2.5M than face the truth.

LLJKSiLk wrote:

Get the test. Pretty sure your mom's story doesn't add up.

Returnedfavor wrote: can't really stick it to a dead person...just take the money...

Effervescent11 wrote:

Your mom's story doesn't add up. I think she's just trying to get you to stop digging. I'd still go ahead with the DNA testing. I don't see the harm at this point. Just don't tell anyone. Even if your mom's story were true, why would she want you to give up $2.5 million? That's a huge amount of money that would change your life.

It is not uncommon for victims to get compensation from people who wrong them, so why not take the money? Your reason for rejecting the money also makes no sense. You say you don't want to give him the "satisfaction." Well, newsflash, dead people can't feel anything.

The best revenge is living well. I'd take that money and go live my best life. You can also use it to send your mom to therapy so she can heal from this incident.

forgetregret1day wrote:

Your mom’s explanation makes zero sense. If Gary was trying to make amends of some kind with his money, he’d have given it to her, not you. The 2 people who could verify her story are deceased, so you can’t know if she’s telling the truth. I’m sorry but the facts just don’t add up. Please do more research before you make a decision.

There is some reason he put you in his will but I frankly don’t believe your mom. If she had nothing to lose from it, she’d support you getting a paternity test, even for your own peace of mind. There’s something there she doesn’t want you to know.

This is a saga for the ages.

Sources: Reddit
© Copyright 2024 Someecards, Inc

Featured Content