Her stepkids never accepted and respected her, so her husband stopped supporting them, and they didn’t talk to him for years. When he died, the first thing they asked was about their inheritance!
OP (Original Poster), a 55-year-old woman, had been married to her 60-year-old husband for 20 years before he died of cancer.
Her deceased husband had two children from his previous marriage who were in their early teens when they were wed. At that time, OP also had a seven-year-old daughter from her past relationship, and she and her husband didn’t have any more kids.
Zero Chances of Acceptance
As their stepmom, OP had tried her best to treat her stepkids as her own, but they never accepted her. Her husband’s children were extremely rude and insulted her whenever they could.
OP wrote, “Since I did not work, they called me a gold digger who married their dad only for his money.”
More Than She Could Ever Need
But the truth was that OP’s grandparents were wealthy, and she inherited a lot of money when they passed away. She has lived well below her means and chose to stay home and raise her daughter since she could very well afford this kind of lifestyle.
Keeping It Confidential
As opposed to her stepchildren’s claim, OP didn’t need her husband’s money at all. However, OP never mentioned her financial situation to them, and she told her husband not to, either.
After all, she didn’t want them to like her only because they might gain something from her financially.
On the other hand, OP’s husband hated how his kids acted toward her. Their “blatant disrespect” for OP pushed him not to pay their college tuition fee.
Since their mom couldn’t pay for it, they had to take loans, and this arrangement further damaged their relationship. OP said, “They didn’t even talk to him. Even when he got cancer, they refused to come see him.”
They struggled with treatment for three years, and OP’s daughter came to visit from time to time whenever she could.
During those difficult times, the only person who really helped both OP and her husband was a person who wasn’t related to them at all.
A Helpful Stranger
A waitress at a cafe they frequented was in her late 20s, and she was the one assisting OP and her husband. She is also a single mom taking classes at community college at night, working during the day, and raising her two kids.
OP wrote, “She took a liking to us and when she learned my husband was sick, spent whatever time she could visiting him. She had stayed nights at the hospital when I needed a break and basically been the daughter we wished for.”
Disrespecting the Dead
When OP’s husband died, the woman helped OP arrange the funeral. On the day of the funeral, her stepkids came, and all they wanted to know about was their inheritance, which made OP feel sick.
Afterward, OP learned that she would inherit her husband’s entire estate, which amounted to $25,000 after settling all the bills. After much thought, OP decided to give the money to the woman who helped them a lot.
The woman tried to refuse, but OP insisted. OP knew she needed it, and in her opinion, the waitress deserved it more than their “ungrateful” children.
Not Hers to Begin With
OP’s daughter understood why she didn’t give the money to her stepkids but was upset that OP didn’t give anything to her as well. But OP reasoned that she already had money and a job.
She added, “Not to mention, she will get my inheritance. This was in no way her money.”
Claiming What’s “Theirs”
Conversely, OP’s husband’s ex-wife and kids were not as understanding. They’re causing trouble over what OP did and have expressed their anger at her.
They are calling OP the “a**hole” for giving away the money “they deserve.”
Redditors’ Points of View
A Redditor pointed out that a $25,000 estate wasn’t even a significant amount for them to fight about and that if he wanted his kids to have it, he should’ve said it, but he didn’t.
Someone said, “Not the a**hole. First of all, an estate of $25,000 is very small. It’s not the size of an estate that people even normally ask about or fight over. It’s surprising to me that your child and your stepchildren were expecting some windfall when your husband’s total net worth was $25,000. Were they under the impression that your husband had money?”
The same Redditor wrote, “If your husband wanted his kids or your kid to have his estate, he would have left it to them. But he wanted you to have it, and you were well within your right and the moral high ground to gift it to someone who made an influence in your life and for whom it may be a life-changing gift.”
The Parents’ Fault
Per a few Redditors’ comments, OP and her husband made some mistakes in handling their family. In fact, they think it was wrong for OP’s husband to choose her over his own kids and pointed out that things should have been done differently.
A Redditor said, “I think you and your husband didn’t do a great job of integrating families and then blamed his kids for not accepting you. It sounds like they probably parroted what they heard elsewhere, and he and you did nothing to make that better. His relationship with them sounds very transactional. He refused to pay for college because he was angry, and they pulled back.”
“I’m not saying he should have ignored it, but your description of his kids as money-grubbing while not seeing your own daughter that way, despite her argument that she should have gotten his money, gives a negative picture of your attitude toward them. So, while you’re not the a**hole for giving money to the young woman who supported you both, I do think you and your husband are to blame for this family dynamic in the first place,” the same person wrote.
Honesty Would’ve Helped
According to some, OP should have told her stepkids the truth about her wealth. Then, this whole thing could have been avoided.
A commenter wrote, “You’re the a**hole. They were angry teenagers, and you could have easily proved to them that they were totally incorrect about why you were with their father. Instead, your choice allowed their resentment to fester. I get why you did it, but it wasn’t the right choice.”
Another person added to the previous comment, saying, “Yeah, this reeks of a lot of missing facts. I’m not shocked his own kids wouldn’t talk to him after he refused to pay for their college tuition after he picked their stepmother over them. OP let the resentment continue when it could have easily been avoided back when OP married their father. Even if their mother was the driving force behind it, again, simply telling the truth would have helped.”
What do you think? Was OP wrong for not giving her late husband’s estate to his kids?
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This post first appeared as She Refused to Give the $25,000 Inheritance She Received From Her Late Husband to Her “Ungrateful” Stepchildren. They “Abandoned” Him, so She Gave It to a Stranger Who Deserved It! on Quote Ambition.