• Do you have any victories you'd like to share for the month of May? Help us celebrate others by posting here.

Get your personal affairs in order - life lessons


100+ Post Club
Here's a life lesson - my father died in '01, he had remarried his current wife about 25 yrs ago. In his will, he stated that everything he owns goes to his wife unless she precedes him in death. In the event that she died first, he divided his estate equally among me and my two brothers as well as her 1 son from a previous marriage (he is 63).

His estate at time of death was valued near 4 million. 3 houses and a store front (all owned, no debt) as well as 400K+ cash in the bank and stocks and bonds etc. He did not have any life ins.

She now has Alzheimer's (85 yr old) - does not even know who I am. Her son had her sign papers (power of attorney and a new will) leaving every last penny to him and his sons. After he had her sign, he officially had her diagnosed and certified as mentally incapacitated.

Even if he had not done that, he would have received everything anyway if she did not write a new will which included my brothers and I. She was a fair lady and loved us as her own. She would have included us in her will equally.

The only call I ever received from her son was very unpleasant - he said "to bad your dad died first", "you are not part of my family - go away". I checked with a few attorneys and they have all stated that there is nothing we can do. He is her blood relative and we are not. They all say that this kind of @#$% happens all the time in mixed marriages (2nd marriages with kids from previous).

Don't get me wrong - My brothers and I have never been given anything and don't expect it... can't miss what you never had. It sure would have helped though.....there was more than enough to go around. He on the other hand is already well off and both of his sons are executives at major companies. The point I am making is - if you have remarried, get your affairs in order to protect the interests of all your loved ones. NEVER depend on the goodwill and fairness of people when money is involved. I hope that SOB drowns in his money!
What a horrible story. I'm sure your father would have wanted you to have part of that money.

What people need to know if even when their parents die when no re-marriage has taken place it can get extremely ugly unless things are discussed.

I know of two families both very close to me where the siblings no longer talk since the death of their last parent. Most of the cases have involved the selling of possessions or stuff like who gets the antique grandfather clock. In one case it was the mother's jewelery that tore apart three sisters.

Because of stuff like the my parents had a family meeting and it was discussed and put into writing what happens when they pass away. Who would get my mother's wedding ring? My oldest sister. But if stuff like that isn't discussed then the other 3 kids want to sell it and split the money. It can get quite ugly.
Last edited:
I doubt your father ever intended to cut you & your brothers (and stepbrother) out of his estate. I have no idea how long the will after the will was drafted that he died but this is certainly a mess.

He could have easily created a life estate for his wife which could have allowed her to live comfortably until her end. After that point the estate could have been distributed among the 4 children.

Sounds like there was very poor advice given by the attorney who did the estate plan for your dad.

That does not help you or your brothers, but is a lesson we can all learn from.

My brother in law used to be a trust officer for a large bank. He settled quite a few estates over the years and said nothing can rip apart a family more than having a few bucks thrown their way as part of an inheritance.