Monday, August 29, 2016

Being sued by your mom...

No, not me.  I am not being sued by my mother, thank God.  I don't think my mom would ever bother with such a notion.  I am referring to a piece I read on Yahoo! last night about a woman whose father suddenly got the flu and died in 2011.  There she was in her early 20s, suddenly left without a father.  She went to Michigan to help her brother, who had been living with their dad as he recovered from a nasty divorce.  Their mother, who was divorced from their dad but receiving alimony payments, immediately freaked out about how she was going to survive without "daddy's money".

Eventually, the woman's mother sued her daughter over her inheritance.  And she didn't just sue her one time; she sued multiple times.  Every time her case was thrown out, Mom would escalate it to the next court.  Eventually, it got to the state Supreme court and Mom lost again.  Meanwhile, mother, daughter, and son were on very tense terms.  Things were so strained that the daughter didn't invite her mother to her wedding.

To her credit, the author of that piece writes that she tried to mend fences with her mother.  It didn't work, though, and her mother is now apparently out of her life for good.

I shared this post with my friends and one mentioned that she had a similar battle with her stepmother, who didn't want to provide for her late husband's children from another relationship.  Another friend said that her deceased biological father's wife died and left a will, including her late husband's living children.  My friend, who never had a relationship with her father, is one of his living children, so she is embroiled in a similar situation with her half siblings.

And, of course, it's not lost on me that there may come a day when my husband's ex daughters and even his former stepson will be expecting something from Bill's estate should he predecease me.  Bill's daughters formally disowned him by letter back in 2006.  They were still minors at the time.  It's been ten years and he hasn't seen or heard from them.  And yes, they have been disinherited.  They use their stepfather's surname now and may have even been legally adopted by him.  We don't know because they don't communicate with us.

Our situation is a lot different than the one in the article I linked to.  The author of that piece apparently did have a relationship with both of her parents, even though they were divorced.  The woman's father had provided for his children in his will, but not his ex wife, who apparently felt she was entitled to something.  I must say, reading that article brought out some feelings in me.  There's always the chance that I'll wind up being sued by Bill's kids.  But... maybe I won't.  Their mother doesn't seem at all interested in using the court system to get what she wants.

There have been many times I've thought about this scenario.  Part of me thinks I wouldn't really care about money in the wake of Bill's death.  Sure, I'd be worried about supporting myself, especially if I'm old and can't take care of my needs.  But I think I would be very devastated.  My heart would be broken.

There's another part of me that is still good and pissed at Bill's daughters for treating him the way they did.  Granted, their actions were brought on by their mother, who has a long history of fucking over her ex husbands.  Still, they are adults now and their behavior has been utterly deplorable.  I would not want them to get any of Bill's money because they don't deserve any.  By their own choice, they have no relationship with Bill and they call another man "Dad", even though that man was not around when they were very young.  He didn't change their diapers, feed them, take care of them when they were sick, or work to support them.  Bill did all of those things and he continued to support them until they were adults.  He even supported their older brother, who was not his child and had a biological dad who remained his legal father and never paid child support.  For all of Bill's love and support, he got repeatedly shat upon.

And so, if they do decide they are owed something from Bill's estate and I am still around, you better believe I will vigorously defend myself.  They will probably try to make me look selfish and mean and I will simply pull out the proof I have that their father was a good man who tried his best to do right by them.  I do not think children who disown their parents are owed anything.

If I'm honest, though, this is a fight I simply don't want to have.  I think it's awful that death brings out greed in so many people.  But, much like the woman who wrote about being sued by her mom, I think that people who are destructive and care more about money than family relations deserve to be left out in the cold.

Anyway... I probably shouldn't read these kinds of articles because they depress me.

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