A parent’s remarriage can bring about many changes in the family. Priorities change, and so do specific ideas that you may have about your future.
A son asked the forum, “Am I wrong for expecting my father to keep his promise about my inheritance despite his remarriage?”
Here’s what happened.
The original poster (OP) is a 29-year-old man, and his father is 58. OP’s mother passed away due to cancer. They had two properties: one condo in the city and a house in the suburban area. The home is worth 2x the apartment.
OP’S MOTHER WANTED HIM TO INHERIT THESE PROPERTIES
One of OP’s mother’s final wishes was for OP to inherit these two properties, regardless of whether my father remarried because I was their only child.
“She asked my father if he agreed, and my father said absolutely and acted as if there was no other way,” says OP.
OP’S MOTHER EARNED MUCH MORE THAN HIS FATHER
“A little bit of context. My father was very poor when they married, while my mother was relatively comfortable,” says OP.
OP’s father is now an executive at a large company’s regional office but only earns a little due to his industry. On the other hand, his mother was a teacher and a successful businesswoman who opened a top-rated local tutor school.
“She earned about 5x my father’s salary until her cancer diagnosis. They both worked hard together to better their lives,” says OP.
OP’S FATHER TRANSFERRED THE CONDO TO OP
After OP’s mother passed away, his father quickly remarried. Before the wedding, OP’s father transferred the condo to OP.
“He didn’t explain why, but I assumed it was to avoid potential financial issues in case of a divorce. I expressed my gratitude to him,” says OP.
OP’S FATHER PLANS TO BEQUEATH THE TOWNHOUSE TO HIS NEW WIFE
However, right after OP’s father remarried, he informed OP that he would bequeath the townhouse to his new wife after his passing and expected OP not to fight her.
HOW DID OP REACT?
“I was very shocked and upset. I asked him if he had forgotten his promise, and he replied – There was nothing more to say,” says OP.
“I understand that legally speaking, my parents each owned half of their assets, so it’s my father’s right to gift the house to anyone,” adds OP.
However, OP finds it hard to accept that his father would break his promise.
“Am I wrong for being upset about this,” he asks the forum.
Here’s how people responded.
YOU DON’T HAVE TO RESPECT HIS WISHES IF HE CAN’T RESPECT YOUR MOM’S
“You are not wrong. Your dad’s “expectation” that you don’t contest his wishes directly contradicts your deceased mom’s expectation that both properties would be passed to you.
Your dad agreed to that expectation while your mom was alive and promptly changed his tune after she passed. So, his lack of integrity is accountable to the memory of your mom, and his first duty is to the child he raised with her.
If he thinks otherwise- you have no duty to respect his wish regarding the new wife’s possession of the house after he passes. He’s the one setting that example.”
THERE MUST BE A REASON HE ASKED YOU NOT TO FIGHT IT
“There must be a reason he asked you not to fight it. Get a lawyer and fight it. Maybe your mom made it airtight legally, and he’s counting on you not knowing that.”
HE IS BETRAYING HIS LATE WIFE’S WISHES
“I would tell him he’s betraying his late wife’s wishes. I wonder if the new wife is pushing all this – which is scary because then she’s planned all this out before. Tell him you will contest his will at the time of his death.”
THEY KNOW OP WILL WIN IF HE FIGHTS
“When OP’s dad dies, they request the pre-marital property because their mother bought it. The father said they expected OP not to fight it because they knew OP would win.
OP, say nothing while he’s alive, and go get your house when he dies.”
DO NOT INFORM HIM THAT YOU WILL CONTEST
“Your father will not change. DO NOT inform him that you will contest and get a lawyer to explain how things stand. Where are you from? Lawsplace. Maybe the reason why he asked you not to contest is because he knows you may win.”
SUGGEST HIS NEW WIFE CAN RETAIN THE RIGHT TO RESIDENCY
“You are not wrong. Maybe suggest it is still passed to you, but his new wife can retain a right to residency as long as she pays all bills/repairs until she moves or passes. This still gets you the property but allows him to “take care” of her.”
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