Some parents would do anything for their children, even change their own surnames. Others believe that identity is more important than money, and would refuse to change their surnames even if it meant their child would inherit less money.
Ultimately, the decision of whether or not to change your surname to help your child inherit is a personal one. There is no right or wrong answer, and it is important to weigh the pros and cons carefully before making a decision.
A single mother chose not to and asked the forum, “Would I be wrong If I don’t change my son’s name even though it may cause him to lose an inheritance?”
Here’s the whole story.
The original poster (OP) got pregnant while she was taking a gap year traveling. She met an older guy, nothing gross. OP was 19, and he was 23.
“We had fun. I was working in a bar to make money while I explored his city,” says OP.
WHEN OP GOT PREGNANT, HE LOST INTEREST
When OP got pregnant, he lost interest quickly. “I understood, but I am pro-choice. And I chose not to terminate,” explains OP.
OP GAVE BIRTH TO HER CHILD
OP went home and had her son. She also made sure to get child support. “He could afford it. He did fight it, though. I had to prove paternity and everything,” says OP.
THE GRANDPARENTS HAVE HELPED OP ALL THROUGH
OP’s ex’s parents learned about their grandson when she had to prove paternity.
“They are well off. They have met my son and truly seem to love him. They have provided gifts for his birthday and Christmas,” says OP.
They also helped OP with extra money to complete her university without debt. They have taken OP and his son on vacation with them so they could spend time with him.
“They aren’t my biggest fans, but we are cordial to each other,” says OP.
OP’S EX PASSED THREE MONTHS AGO
OP’s Ex (her son’s father) died three months ago. He got drunk at his bachelor party, tripped on the sidewalk, and hit his head.
OP AND SON ATTENDED THE FUNERAL
OP and her son attended the funeral. They spent a week in that city so her son could see his grandparents.
GRANDPARENTS APPROACHED HER WITH AN OFFER
The grandparents approached OP with an offer. They had no other children or grandchildren.
“Their son was only 28, so he had lots of time to provide them legitimate kids (they did not say this, I’m just assuming), so they never thought about my son’s name,” says OP.
They said that if OP legally changed her son’s surname to theirs, they would make him their primary heir.
HOW DID OP REACT?
“I think this is dumb. He is their only grandchild, and they would deny him an inheritance because of his last name,” says OP.
To be polite, OP said she would consider it and has left it at that.
SHE DOES NOT WANT THE INHERITANCE
“I actually have a pretty good life as it is. My family has been very supportive,” says OP.
Because of the whole court thing, OP’s son’s father had to have life insurance with him as the beneficiary.
“Would it be nice for my kid to get a big sum of money? Yes,” says OP
“Do I want him to have the surname of a man who didn’t want, see, or love him? No,” she adds.
HER FAMILY DISAGREES
“I have been talking to my family about it, and a few of them think I’m being stupid for giving up this kind of money for my son. It is generational wealth, and I’m making the decision based on emotion. I think they are wrong for thinking money is the only thing that matters,” says OP.
OP WANTS HER SON TO DECIDE
OP wants to tell her son’s grandparents they can talk to him about it when he is 16. “He will be old enough to understand the implications but young enough not to be tied professionally to his last name,” she explains.
“Am I wrong,” she asks.
Here’s what people had to say.
DON’T DENY YOUR SON HIS INHERITANCE
“Yes, you are wrong. You’re letting your kid down by not changing the name. That money is your child’s future; he’ll probably want it regardless of your beef. If he finds out, that could also wreck your relationship.”
“Yes, I completely understand not wanting him to have the name of a man who did not want him, but being practical, that’s a lot of money, and if that’s all they want, I will make the sacrifice for my son’s sake. He shouldn’t be punished for his dad being a bad guy.”
DON’T DEPRIVE YOUR SON OF A LIFE-CHANGING AMOUNT OF MONEY
“Names mean nothing. Change it now for the grandparents; he can still change his name to anything he wants when he’s older. Changing it now doesn’t deprive him of that choice, but not changing it certainly will deprive him of a life-changing amount of money.”
WHAT IF THE OPTION IS NOT THERE LATER?
“Make the choice himself when he is old enough.”
“If the option is still there. They will change the will in the meantime, and who knows what will happen between now and then. One of them may pass, and the survivor decides to go in a different direction.”
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