“Should I Leave Everything to My Friend Instead of My Kids?”

I am a 60-year-old widow with three grown children and two young grandsons. All three kids have taken a distinct dislike to me. It all seems to revolve around money. When their dad died of a cirrhosis-related disease in 2019, somehow they expected a continuing share of his pension. In the beginning, I sent each of them a few hundred dollars which did not leave much for me. I advised them that it was a one-time gift. Then a year later my dad died, leaving the bulk of his estate to my brother and me. Sadly, my brother died of lung cancer just three weeks later. So, I inherited a house, two cars, and everything in the house.

Apparently, my kids thought they would inherit a good sum too, which did not happen. Now, none of them will talk to me unless they’re spewing epithets at me. I have decided to make a will, with my closest friend as my heir. I don’t feel like the kids deserve anything.

What are your thoughts? — Heir Not So Apparent

Well, absolutely, making a will is important and if you don’t have one already, you should definitely get one written up sooner rather than later. But I would advise that you really think about who to appoint as your heir and to make the decision out of love and not resentment. You may not think your kids deserve anything and you could be right about that – and, certainly, they are not entitled to it no matter how hard they might argue to the contrary. But what about your two young grandsons? They’re just kids; they’re not to blame for their parents’ behavior and treatment of you.

I’m not sure what your relationship with your grandsons has been like up to now or whether you imagine having any relationship with them going forward, but investing in grandchildren can be a great way to create lasting legacies. Does creating a trust for them to pay for formal education appeal to you at all? Of course, that’s just one suggestion among many ways that you might consider leaving something for your grandchildren, but you are under no obligation in any way to leave anyone in your family anything.

Your closest friend could also be a great choice as an heir, as long as you feel in your heart of hearts that this is a choice you’re making out of love for your friend and not as a way to get back at your ungrateful kids. When you envision how your friend might spend an inheritance from you, do you feel a sense of joy and satisfaction? Do you have any hopes for what your friend might do with the money? Thinking of these ideas might help you crystallize your intention and determine whether it’s coming from a place of love or something else.

If the ill feelings you have for your kids are the predominant emotion you have, especially as you think about writing your will, I would hold off until you better process those feelings. You’ve been through so much in just five years and a great investment of your inheritance could be in a fantastic therapist who would help you unpack some of these big feelings. I wouldn’t be surprised if, after a few sessions, you have a much stronger confidence in the decisions you need to make regarding a will, as well as whether and how you might want to continue or fully discontinue a relationship with any of your kids or grandkids.

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If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at wendy(AT)dearwendy.com.


  1. Anonymousse says:

    I mean, I don’t want to tell anyone how to use their money but I guess, I would question why you have decided being wealthy and wielding your money as a weapon against them will somehow bring your children closer to you? Do you care about them? Want to have a relationship with them? If I was rich, I’d give my kids the world. I’m not and I still do.

    My father probably tells his friends I don’t talk to him because of money, but in reality he has never wanted to listen to anything coming out of my mouth unless it’s is praise for him being absent the majority of my life. So we don’t talk. It’s not the money, it’s the lack of empathy or any feeling or concern at all for my personal, real life.

    I don’t know your story. I doubt you want to die, leave your money to your friend and assume your children would wish they’d done differently? Like HOW are you trying to tell them after you are dead, that they should have been nicer to you? How nice have they been to you? How have you been to them? Their only mother.

    If it’s about money, don’t you think they’d pretend to love you? I would look inside and think about the actual truth anbout the individual relationships with your own children.

    I would suggest helping your children and grandchildren just because you brought them into this world. “That’ll teach them?” It’s odd to me and clear you want something else. So go see a therapist and make your relationships better. This might involve some hard truths you will have to face and apologize for. I wish you well in your healing journey.

    Of course you aren’t obligated to give your children anything, but it sounds like you inherited a lot of money and they may well have wondered why you aren’t sharing, especially if they have had hardships, which hello? The world? Do you even know how hard it is in today’s economy? I don’t know why you’d hoard it now to teach them a lesson that you’ll never be able to see. And that not what’s happening, as an outsider. I pretended to be nice to my dad for years as I was crumbling inside from the pain he’s caused me by repeated abandonments until I finally realized he didn’t give a shit about me. He’s retiring in his multiple homes with his terribly boring wife and I know every day he probably does remember what a shit he is at least for a few seconds.

    But sure- LW carry on, because surely, “teaching the grandkids a lesson from hell” is something everyone wants etched on their gravestone.

    1. Anonymous says:

      well said. thank you.

      1. Anonymous says:

        Thank you

    2. Paula Frye says:

      This is a great response and just about exactly what I would have said! I would rather share with my children and grandchildren while I’m alive than after I’m dead. Struggles are real for so many why wouldn’t you want to help them now?
      Thanks for responding with such insight!

      1. Anonymousse says:

        Thank you

    3. Why do you think she is wealthy? “I sent each of them a few hundred dollars which did not leave much for me.” suggests that if she gives the kids the share of their father’s pension residual, which they bizarrely demand, that she will have difficulty scraping by. I say bizarrely, because what adult child, not living at home, expects a share of their deceased father’s residual pension and gets angry at their mother when she doesn’t provide this on-going allowance? It sounds like the kids are beyond selfish and don’t care if their mother loses the family home or starves to keep it. Remember, this bickering began before she received her inheritance, while she was a struggling widow. The inheritance sounds like about $200K — no assets, other than the cars, are in the inheritance, so father and uncle were far from wealthy.

      Seriously, what sort of persons jump their grieving mother with demands that she share her deceased husband’s pension with them?

      1. Anonymousse says:

        Ron, three close family members died and she has said she has inherited their estates and money. I’m just going to assume moneybags actually did inherit significant money and this isn’t about drama made up in her head, but maybe it is. I really don’t know the facts.

        Her husband had been supporting the children before he died- and she is saying it’s all about money. I think it sounds like she has a lot but thinks the kids want it all. Which makes zero sense since they don’t talk to her.

      2. She didn’t inherit the estates of 3 dead family members. Her husband died. That isn’t inheriting an estate, it is losing half of her family’s pension income and immediately needing to pay for her deceased husband’s funeral and burial expenses. The loss of her husband did not reduce the cost of running her household by half, but the family income goes down by that much. This is the situation in which the kids tried to shake her down for money. That is an extremely cruel and selfish way to treat your just-widowed mother. She sent them as much money as she felt she could afford in hopes of appeasing them, but it didn’t work. They demanded more and resorted to epithets when she failed to cough it up. This is when the breach happened.

        Later she inherited her father’s estate and then her brother’s share of that estate. So, really just one inherited estate, since it seems she got only a used car from her brother. Again, the kids just assume they will inherit from their mother’s father’s estate. Why? My grandparents have all died. Didn’t inherit a dime and never expected to. That’s the normal state of inheritances.

        LW didn’t just decide it was all about the money. This is very different from your personal situation. You didn’t call up your dad and shake him down for $ following the death of his loved ones. You are forging a life without an allowance from your dad. These kids’ first thought on the death of their father was to shake-down their widowed mother for their allowance. That’s entitled, selfish, and just plain nasty. Anyone who has their kids act like this while they are grieving the loss of their spouse is going to react strongly.

      3. Anonymousse says:

        Ron, reread the letter. You’re reading into it too much and selectively deciding what I’m saying.

      4. Anonymousse —
        I have re-read it. Looking closely at the language, there is zero indication this woman is wealthy. She says her late-husband died and the kids expected ‘a continuing share of his pension’. Not a share of wealth from family savings, not a share of LW’s or husband’s wage or investment income, but a share of his pension. She says specifically that continue to send them a few hundred $ “which did not leave much for me”. How do you possibly equate that to saying she is wealthy?

      5. Anonymousse says:

        Ron, are you reading? She is discussing inheritances and an estate? Are you okay, buddy?

        Okay, she’s broke- my advice and opinion are still exactly the same.

      6. I agree with Ron’s assessment. And inheriting the house means property taxes etc. This is not a matter of a wealthy woman refusing to share. Her kids sound … mean!

    4. I disagree. The adult children should be thrilled their widowed parent has enough money to survive without help from them. Their first and only concern about either inheritance should be her, not for themselves. If they were teenagers or younger, that’s another thing. But grown adults should not be expecting handouts from their mother, especially when they treat her poorly. (And they must be a little bit stupid, because if they want money from her, it would be wise to be nice to her.) My suggestion would be to craft an iron-clad will that leaves the money to friends, charities, maybe a 529 plan for the grandchildren’s education and to anyone other than those self-centered children.

  2. Anonymousse says:

    Okay, sorry I missed the epithets part, but what are they saying? I don’t think this is about the money.

    1. Anonymousse says:

      If you told your kids that they are ,only grubbing monsters, I’m not very surprised that they don’t want to talk to you, but it s
      Doesn’t sounds like they are trying to take your dear, precious money either.
      I assume she has an estate to leave, otherwise, what’s the drama about, even? Just her hurt feelings that somehow, the children she raised to have her values don’t value her?

      1. golfer.gal says:

        In general, I am not a fan of using inheritance to punish or control people. You will be gone, and your legacy to your children will be a lifetime of them believing you are vindictive and punishing. At the very least, if you decide to leave everything to your friend, you need to tell all of your children that immediately. They may well be planning their own savings, retirement, college costs for your grandchildren, etc. around that money, and they absolutely need to know as early as possible that they cannot count on it.

        If you’d like to have a better relationship with your children, I do think you should talk to a counselor and unpack what you might be able to do differently to have that. I know not all cirrhosis is caused by alcoholism, but if that was the case for your husband then there are at least some parts of your family life that likely damaged your kids. I think to Anonymousse’s point there are probably a lot more parents who think/claim their kids only want money than there are adult children whose grievances lie in material things. There is almost always underlying hurt.

    2. Anonymousse says:

      Also, if you are close to sixty- you have decades left. Unless you are one foot in the grave I don’t know why you’re thinking like this. Your kids lost the same people, you inherited three people’s estates and sent them “a few hundred bucks” back in 2019, instead of whatever your husband had been helping them with monthly? I can see them really a little let down about that. If you then accused any of your kids, or all of them of being money grubbing monsters etc, I can see why they’ve taken space. It doesn’t seem like they care about your money- otherwise they placate you and make nice. That’s what my dad thinks- that I don’t talk to him because he won’t send me money – the truth is I told him how hurt I was and he chose to cut me and his grandchildren completely off and call me greedy and blame it on money than look at himself in the mirror as a father. Your choices are your choices but when things like this happen, and it’s a whole family of kids…you know what they say. If you run into assholes everyday, you’re the asshole.

    3. You don’t know this person, but you have decided to judge her.
      I used to beg my parents not to spend money on me and to enjoy their life as they did everything they could to make sure I was prepared to take care of myself. Parents do not owe anything to their children except during their formative years. The kids seem like ungrateful, mean brats to me…. But I won’t judge them because I don’t know them.

      1. Anonymousse says:

        I didn’t say that at all. Did you miss my paragraph of “of course no one is entitled.” I think we must be reading different letters. You honestly think three different kids banded together and told off mom because they wanted her money? Don’t you think the kids would try to be nice and fake with mom, befriend her if they wanted her money? Closing her off is a dumb way to somehow manipulate money out of her. And since we don’t hear from her kids at all, you’re imagining what they’re like based on this unreliable narrator.

      2. Anonymousse says:

        Where is the incredibly judgemental comment you’re responding to? Is it where you call her children names? I have not name called, but you sure like to put words and “judgement” in my comments. Unlike you, I’m trying to show her there is more importance in family than her dwindling- according to Ron, accounts. You’re just calling her kid’s names. That’s some real great advice you are sharing, oh wait, where is the advice you gave again? Do you actually have anything of value to add here or just trying to argue with someone?

        Parents have a lot more responsibility than the formative years. I never said she owed them money, in my many comments I have repeatedly said it’s not about the money.
        Clearly. Since Ron knows she’s broke, it’s clearly not the money.

  3. CanadaGoose says:

    How was your relationship with your children before you inherited your wealth? If it was poor, their reaction may be driven by something other than entitlement and greed. If it was good, then I’d talk with them about it. Invite them over for lunch to discuss things. If they don’t come, at least you tried. If you tell them you want to talk about repairing your strained relationship, greedy kids will show because they will hope to get your money. Kids who just love you will also show. People with longstanding resentments won’t and leaving them your money won’t change how they feel, so if you don’t want to, don’t. It is weird that all three are reacting the same way, though. Are you leaving something out?

    I don’t agree with waiting on a new will at all. You can always change it but if you die intestate, then your wealth goes to the kids. I’d seek legal advice on how to ensure your kids cannot successfully challenge your will after you die. This may include specifying why you are leaving them out and/or leaving a token sum. If you have no relationship with your grandkids, then leaving them money won’t change it and your kids may pressure them to share. If you do want to leave it to the grandkids, you may want to have it held in trust until they hit a well-into-adulthood age like 25 or 30, when that money could help them pay off student loans or afford a home.

    Advice is always viewed through our own lens, and mine is that no one should count on an inheritance. I’d rather my mother live well and spend every last dime than worry about leaving me her money. Your kids sound toxically entitled, though I suspect you are considering cutting them out more because you feel unsupported in your losses and having the pain of losing your family members reduced to money grab attempts and temper tantrums when you won’t hand over cash.

    Rather than leave everything to your friend, which will likely put her on the end of attacks and a legal challenge by your kids, perhaps a large portion of your estate would be better left to charities that support causes important to you. Planned giving is a great way to leave a positive mark on the world.

    But first, I’d try and repair your relationship with your kids. If it really is just about money, that’s a pretty sad thing to lose contact with your family over, though it happens all the time. Best of luck.

  4. There is a lot which is not said in your post, which is always the case because of limited space. It sounds to me that you are receiving a 50% spousal survivor’s benefit from your husband’s pension. When you say that giving the kids “a few hundred $ didn’t leave much for me.” I interpret this as saying you were very pinched for cash at this point. I don’t understand why adult children would expect a share of their father’s pension. Was your husband sharing his pension with him in a serious way? Why? Are they unable to support themselves? Do they even realize that the pension benefit was halved (perhaps it wasn’t) upon your husband’s death, leaving less to support your household of one? Have you explained to them that you can’t continue to give them a few hundred $ and have enough left to live on reasonably?

    Unless the house you inherited, along with two cars, is a very pricey house, that really isn’t a large inheritance in terms of what you will need to supplement your survivor’s pension residual over the roughly 30 years of life you have ahead of you. Not to be macabre, but the odds of you leaving a large estate seem small. Do you have a lot of wealth in addition to your inheritance?

    I think whether or not you leave your estate to your friend, or your family is far less significant than it seems to you today. So many people our age, and I am over a decade older than you, spend down their wealth to next to nothing. Nursing homes or in-home help in our later years is horrendously expensive.

    Here’s what I think you should do now:
    — therapy is a good idea
    — you need to settle the estates of your father and uncle. You need to sell the house and car and invest the $ you receive.
    — this likely means you need a lawyer and possibly a financial advisor (although I’d tread likely here, as a lot of financial advisors will push you to invest in poor, high commission, often not sufficiently liquid assets. Perhaps start with a senior. citizen’s free advisor from your local govt senior center or someone at your bank).

    1. Ok, I’m on the fence here because we don’t know about the LW’s relationship with her kids outside this financial situation. I would definitely include my grandkids in the will. Some commenters think she should share everything she has with her adult kids. I’m 67 and can tell you that worrying about medical bills and long term care is very, very frightening. Her kids cut her out. Could it be that if she gave them every last cent, they would not care for her in her old age? We don’t know but she probably has an idea.

  5. Anonymousse says:

    No one said she should give them everything. I’m saying I doubt this is about money at all.

  6. Anonymousse says:

    If her inheritance has been $1,000 or $1,000,000 (we do not know) it doesn’t change the fact that she’s decided this is why her kids don’t speak to her, without anything bolstering that.

    She stopped their allowance that her husband had been giving them when their father died. And then their grandfather and uncle in close succession during a global pandemic that left most of us broke and reeling from trauma. These are her grandchildren?

    She asked if she should leave it to her friend. I think if she expects any friendlier feelings when she announces this to them- which given her age is why she wrote in, to spite them and see if that gets a different reaction out of them. It won’t. Being told the only reason you are fighting with mom is about money and so she’s leaving it all to her friend- that’s not going to get her family back, which it sounds like she wants if you read between the lines.

    Why would you write to a relationship advice site if you’d lost all your kids by being an asshole after inheriting a bunch of money? To actually get a wake up call. Do you want your kids, or to have the last word from the grave? Your choice.

  7. Anonymousse says:

    Ron, why would someone write in about their estate that they want to leave to their friend instead of their ungrateful children if they had nothing? Why would someone do that? Should we suppose the three close family members who died, left her penniless with nothing, if she’s asking whether she should leave her estate- its entirety-to her friend? I don’t think people with nothing generally worry about this, or write in to advice columnists about it.

    This isn’t about the money. It’s about her turning away from her children. She is the matriarch. She is literally asking DW to give her permission to drop this bomb on her kids to get a reaction because she’s angry. If you can’t see that, that’s okay. We don’t have to agree, but I can tell you that you are wasting your time trying to change my opinion of her situation.

  8. I think she has possibly as much as $200 K, likely less, to see her through the final decades of her life. She specifically lists her inheritance: a house, two cars, and the contents of the house. Since she specifically lists ‘the contents of the house’, surely she would say so if the inheritance also included a pile of money. Since it didn’t, probably not an expensive house. Out of that inheritance, she would also have to cover two more funerals and burial/cremation costs. And, as I reminded above, she didn’t even receive this inheritance until a year after her husband has died and her kids had tried to shake her down for a share of his residual pension. You asked earlier if they wouldn’t have buttered her up, rather than taking the approach they did, if they were really after her money. I think they took that approach because they thought their best shot was to intimidate their widowed mom at her time of grief. She doesn’t mention any help they offered to their grieving mother, simply that they expected her to share the residual pension with them. That’s cold. The rift began then and was reinforced when, for some strange reason, they expected an inheritance from their grandfather’s estate.

    Yes, she threatens to leave ‘her estate’ to her best friend. That’s clearly said out of anger to the way her children have treated her and the hope she will have an estate when she dies. That latter part seems iffy. I know widows, older than LW was, who survived not terribly well, based upon reverse mortgages on the family home. They may have planned to leave a meaningful estate. They didn’t. Surviving old age, apart from being destitute and dying younger than could be achieved with more $, isn’t cheap.

    Losing a spouse typically leads to a crippling period of grief. For the non-working spouse (she doesn’t say she has a pension or her own social security benefits) it is a time of fearful uncertainty. It is absolute cruelty for adult children to treat the surviving parent as these children did right after their mother lost her spouse. That is almost unbelievably callous and greedy. It is easy for me to understand the source of LW’s anger.

  9. Anonymousse says:

    It’s hilarious to me that you think you can gauge how much of an inheritance she has by this post. It’s very well rounded and imaginative comment Ron, but built on your imagination.

    What house is worth less than $200k in today’s market? Where did you get that number? It’s so funny you think you know ALL about her finances from this comment that she gave them a few hundred dollars. I’m saying it doesn’t matter- she is not going to get her family back by doing this.

    Do you have kids, Ron?

  10. Anonymousse says:

    You have no idea what kind of person you’re defending. She could have been a horribly abusive mother but you’re making up things that happened as if you were there. It’s quite something. You don’t know this woman, her children’s side, or the story. It would be great if you could keep that in mind.

  11. And you have imagined that this woman is awful. You have also, based upon absolutely nothing and contrary to what she actually wrote, that she is wealthy.

    Actually, quite a few homes are worth less than $200K. Lots of homes occupied by seniors are also in poor repair. I’m not talking today’s prices. She inherited the home in 2020 from her deceased father. I have had many older relatives, friends, and neighbors whose homes were decaying in the decade prior to their deaths. My across the street neighbor’s home required extensive rebuilding. A very large, seriously fading modern-design of 4000 SF a block-and-a-half west of me sold for $75K. That’s what happens when elderly owners don’t want people in the house to do repairs or lack the $ to pay for them and don’t want a bank loan (or know they won’t qualify). Also, although LW inherited the home, she had double death expenses.

    No, we don’t have children. We had fertility issues at a time when fertility treatments weren’t as good as today. We plan to leave whatever is in our estate to nieces and nephews, with a bit to siblings.

    1. Anonymousse says:

      She wrote in because she is sad and angry she doesn’t have her kids in her life now and can’t understand why- she assumes it’s her children’s want of her money. I’m trying to say- doubtful.

      She wants to make a point by announcing this- hoping to get a reaction. It’s so obvious, and by the way- I am not saying that makes her awful. I never said that at all. I called her moneybags once- and hello? She wrote in about her inheritance and her state, Ron. Let’s just go on and assume she has one.

      Like, you’re trying to change everything about the story. No, she doesn’t have money! Her house is worth less than $200k… okay buddy, sure. Somehow you know what she has! It’s hilarious. Keep going.

      I’m saying it doesn’t matter. Making a stupid and cruel point to announce that she is excluding her kids from her will ant the ripe old age of SIXTY isn’t going to bring them back to her. Sixty is not old.

  12. Anonymousse says:

    Ron, impoverished people don’t write in to advice columns about who they should leave their estates to.

    You are really stretching with this one.

  13. Anonymousse says:

    Do you truly think sixty is elderly? Her husband died when she was 55.
    Home values have skyrocketed in the last 5 years, Ron. It’s interesting this letter is bringing out the defense.

    You don’t have to agree with me. You are not going to change my opinion.

  14. Anonymous says:

    It seems to me that the LW didn’t communicate in a clear and orderly manner that she couldn’t give her children a continuing part of her late husband’s pension, or she would be impoverished herself. This makes sense. We don’t know the children’s situation and the LW doesn’t show any empathy regarding their need for help but as a young widow, she has to think of her own old age. Now that she has an inheritance, she indeed could give them some part of it without threatening her own needs- a few thousands would be nice, it doesn’t need to be a lot but the gesture would be good, especially if they are in a difficult place. Then write your will for your grand-children, and some part for your friends. But to make friends your sole beneficiary against your children and grand-children is in my opinion mean and stupid. You are still young. Your friends may pass before you, your relationships may evolve with age. And as a friend, I wouldn’t inherit money from a mother who disinherited her family. Do seek the support of a therapist and a lawyer for your will. A mediator would be good to help you reconnect with your children and explain your choices. You need help here as they seem to bullish you to give them money. Think of a fair and orderly manner to explain your decisions, which are yours to make, and to have them to respect your needs.

  15. LisforLeslie says:

    Oof – you miss a day…

    @Anonymousse – I interpreted the letter much like Ron in terms of finance. An “estate” is just legalese for “everything”. The father and brother left their “estates” to her. Believe me, that doesn’t mean it’s a lot if the house is small or in disrepair. Even if the house was worth a whopping $1mil in today’s market, that doesn’t mean it’s a mansion, it may mean it’s in a desirable location. And if the house is large, then upkeep is high, more than she may be able to pay out of savings or pension.

    That said – she clearly has a terrible relationship with her children and for whatever reason they only allow her into their lives if they are getting paid for it. For me, this is the epitome of “missing stairs” letter. The LW sounds really sympathetic from this angle, but I’m suspicious because this kind of hands-out behavior doesn’t start at the death of a parent. This kind of transactional relationship starts much earlier.

    So first off, sell the house. Downsize to a small apartment or small house. Save as much of the money as possible as geriatric care is outrageously expensive and you don’t want to be in a state run facility at end of life. Because for whatever reason your children hate you – they are not going to step up and take care of you. Not if they know there isn’t any money left. Write your will however you want. If you want to be petty and slap your kids from beyond the grave, do it if it will make you feel better. If that’s the legacy you want to leave, do it. You won’t care. You’ll be dead. Just make sure your kids don’t have any say in your burial or cremation or whatever, otherwise they will flush your ashes down a toilet.

  16. Anonymousse says:

    So, if she has nothing, what is she writing in about?

    Is it really about the estate? – you know the one she doesn’t have?

    Or is she trying to make a point because she’s hurt?

    Ooof is right. LW- nearly everyone telling you that your children suck don’t actually have children themselves, just want to point that out. Relationships don’t get better when you behave like this.

  17. LisforLeslie says:

    I’m saying two things – 1. Based on the language, it seemed the amount the husband, father and brother left was not financially significant enough to alleviate financial concerns for the next 25 years and 2. the writer’s narrative is suspect. The children’s behavior is not something that starts in adulthood. There’s history there that was swept over – a missing stair story as far as I’m concerned.

    Personally, I find the whole thing petty and manipulative. If your children hate you so much that they will only deal with you if they get paid, that’s on you. Shit, the LW should tell them as soon as that will is made so that they don’t get ideas and kill LW for their presumed inheritance. Part of me thinks it’s just a manipulation tactic to let them know they are “out of the will” so they come crawling back.

    Like I said… missing stair.

    1. Anonymouse says:

      Thanks for explaining realty to me? If you don’t want an annoyed response from me, please don’t explain things like I’m an idiot.

      1. LisforLeslie says:

        I have no idea where this vitriol is coming from. I explained my position. I did not imply that your position is wrong. I am not sure why you’re feeling I’m trying to define a new reality. I’m saying my perspective is different and I made different assumptions. We don’t have the whole truth so we all make assumptions.

      2. Anonymousse says:

        There is no vitriol. Don’t tag me and explain elementary concepts and expect me to thank you.

    2. HeartsMum says:

      I quite liked the advice from CanadaGoose! But I kept thinking exactly this, LisforLeslie, don’t tell anyone they’re a beneficiary of your will! I don’t understand people going on about what they’re going to leave in their will, but, yeah, I’ve noticed it plenty with people who don’t seem like they’ll have a lot to leave. I’m finishing off a will now; the simple fact is you should focus on planning how to best use your money whilst you’re alive. One of (at least one of) my kids would not be in touch unless he wanted something, that’s just who he is. My sister has been so terribly hurt by a stupid will (badly made trust, thieving executor), she was crying and asking, is this how little Mom thought of me? Don’t leave that legacy, LW. It sucks.

  18. She has a little, not a lot. When an enumeration of an estate has no free $ or investments and lists house, contents of house, and car… that’s a huge clue. No $/investments means the house is it, probably smallish, and in poor repair, because the owner lacks the ready cash for repair.

    She wrote in, because she is hurt by the $ for relationship that the kids insist upon. If she were determined to leave what little she has left to a friend, she’d have done so. She’s largely blowing off steam on that. Presumably the friend is about the same age as her and will die around the same time she does, 50-50 who goes first. This isn’t a real plan.

    How did she get in this position? Her deceased husband put her in it. He gave the kids a significant allowance to try to buy their forgiveness/sort-of-love. He was the alcoholic. He likely was the cause of family dysfunction. We have no knowledge that LW was part of the dysfunction. I suspect the kids came to depend upon their dad’s payments to improve their lifestyle and saw them as some sort of payment to remain ‘sort-of-friendly and in touch’ and were unwilling to forego those payments when their dad died and the remainder pension was halved. They are continuing to demand payment from the mom for renewed pseudo-affection.

    1. Anonymousse says:

      Ron, you should write romance novels.a lot of imagination and fiction.

  19. I don’t like romance novels. I do write, just for self and family, in other genres.

    I think what I wrote is the most plausible explication of OP’s comments.

    My perspective is as one who, along with almost all of our close friends, are from and part of highly functional families, both when growing up and today. From that perspective, the children’s behavior seems beyond the pale and the source of family dysfunction down to the deceased father. Certainly, many kids from dysfunctional families with an alcoholic father blame the mother, as well, for not somehow fixing their dad

    1. Anonymousse says:

      Ron, where do children learn and model behavior from?
      Stick to fiction would be my advice to you since you don’t stick to facts.

      1. Anonymousse says:

        Yo uh literally just blamed the kids for their father’s death.

        Ron forthcoming novel, “Shit I just made up” will be releasing next year.

    2. How would you know what dysfunctional families do? They oh only know and know of functional ones. Maybe stop speculating about things you aren’t versed in.

  20. I don’t really think there’s anything wrong with this woman leaving her worldly belongings (however much they end up being) to her friend. It’s her money to do with what she likes and – regardless of the reason – it’s pretty obvious her kids are not there for her and will not be there for her in her old age. I’m sure they believe they have their reasons and maybe they’re right and maybe they’re wrong, but thar’s not the point of the letter. Honestly, the dynamics of how these people got here could probably be the subject of several letters. Nonetheless, the LW’s reality is that she doesn’t have the family she wishes she had, but does have friends she is grateful to have and she would like to show her gratitude to her friend (and displeasure with her kids) by leaving her friend whatever she had left when she died. Honestly, there is nothing wrong with that. Her money. Her choice.

  21. Hey, I love the engagement here, but I’m going to respectfully ask that we dial back any comments that could be perceived as personal attacks. If comments are pushing buttons and you feel yourself getting angry, I’d suggest taking a brief break and nourish yourself with fresh hair, some sunshine, a nutritious snack, what have you. This is just an advice column.

    1. CanadaGoose says:

      Thanks for that, Wendy. I checked back to see what others said and the flood of sniping comments was really taking away from the experience, even just as a reader not on the receiving end.

  22. Anonymousse says:

    If you don’t want me commenting on your site, I won’t. I thought more comments was good for the site?

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