Commentators slammed a father after he revealed to his adult children that they would share their inheritance equally with their 12-year-old stepbrother.
The original poster (OP), known as u/Particular-Song-5748, reported the situation on Reddit’s “Am I The A**hole” forum, where it received more than 6,000 upvotes and 3,000 comments. You can find the post here.
Discussions about who will receive inheritances and other assets can often create tension between family members, especially when one person feels disadvantaged by what they have been left behind.
According to a 2021 University of Pennsylvania study, inheritances vary based on family income distribution.
Households in the top 5 percent receive up to 12 times larger inheritances than households in the bottom 80 percent.
Regardless of income, the average inheritance for those under the age of 46 was under $10,000, compared to almost $20,000 for someone between the ages of 56 and 65.
In the post entitled “AITA because you left my stepson an equal legacy as my organic children?” The 62-year-old man said he married his 39-year-old wife two years ago.
His wife has a 12-year-old son from their previous marriage who lives full-time with the OR as his birth father lives in another country.
The OP said that while he has two children, a 34-year-old son and a 32-year-old daughter, he doesn’t have the “greatest track record.”
“While my organic kids were growing up, we were kind of distant as their mom and I were always fighting,” the post reads. “She was a SAHM while I ran a business with varying degrees of success.”
However, as his children got older, their relationship became closer, the OP said. He said his business has also grown – partly due to the help of his children – and he is quite wealthy now compared to when the children were growing up.
“My relationship with my stepson is pretty good,” the post reads. “He doesn’t call me Dad but seems to consider me a very close uncle. I do my best to be a good father figure to him.”
The OP said he hopes his stepson will eventually see him as a father figure as his biological father “constantly disappoints him”.
A few weeks ago, as the OP walked his kids through the basement, the conversation turned to their inheritance.
“I mentioned that I plan to put my stepson in my will and he would get a third of the inheritance,” the post reads.
The OP explained that he plans to leave each child 20 percent of his wealth and his wife 30 percent. He also said the business will pass to his biological children unless his wife or stepson decide to get involved in the future.
“Well, my kids are angry with me now and tell me it’s unfair as they had to grow up with a cold, emotionally and physically distant/unreachable father who struggled to bring food to the table.”
The OP’s children mentioned that their stepbrother lives a “luxurious childhood” and that OP is much kinder, emotionally available, and supportive compared to her childhood.
They also said they were losing an inheritance they felt they “deserved” after working hard to mend their damaged relationship.
“To be clear, they didn’t say that. I’m trying to be aware of that because they absolutely could have left but chose to try and fix our relationship,” the post reads.
Although the OP said he understands his children’s point of view, he wants to “do the right thing” with his stepson.
“They feel like I’m insulting them about my ‘new family’ with a much younger woman and what they claim to be a child,” the post reads. “I want to please my stepson, but also my organic children, who had to endure a lot more than my stepson in their childhood. AITA for planning to leave him an equal legacy?”
In an update, the OP said he’s been mulling over the conversation for the past few weeks and plans to give each of his biological children 30 percent, his wife 25 percent, and his stepson 10 percent of his fortune.
More than 3,000 users commented on the post, many criticizing the OP for giving his stepson an equal share of his fortune.
“YTA, without a doubt,” commented one user. “Why do you treat any kid you’ve known for 2 minutes the same as your actual real kids you seem to have failed you over and over again? I think you can leave him a bit, but 1/3 is ridiculous.”
“While theoretically it’s nice to leave a stepchild, you’re leaving an equal share to your trophy wife’s child, who is genuinely unmusical,” commented one user. “Your organic kids aren’t greedy that you’re not happy that you’re showing once again that you’re not treating them fairly.”
“Soft YTA. You are elevating a boy you have known for 4 years to the same status as your adult children whom you admit you fathered poorly and have not abandoned,” commented another. “You also contributed to your success. That must hurt.”
“People see wills as the true feelings of the deceased. If you don’t leave your kids much, they will always think you really didn’t want them,” commented another user. “If you give your wife and son a big share, but your children a smaller share, your children will absolutely believe that you did not love them.”
“YTA. I think you can leave some amount to your stepson but it shouldn’t be equal to your biological children,” commented another user. “And for what it’s worth, if your wife is pushing for the same inheritance, she sucks.”
news week asked u/Particular-Song-5748 for a comment.
Other viral posts
In a viral post online, a man was backed for refusing to spend his large inheritance on his girlfriend. Another person was supported because they thought an inheritance had been unfairly divided between two siblings.
In a viral post on Mumsnet, a UK discussion site, a couple was criticized for leaving an inheritance to only one of their two children.
If you have a similar family dilemma, let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org. We can ask experts for advice, and your story could be featured on Newsweek.
https://www.newsweek.com/man-slammed-leaving-equal-inheritance-stepson-reddit-1747614 Man beat up for leaving stepson an equal inheritance