Tuesday, June 20, 2023

Mom’s will gives away our family home. Carolyn Hax readers give advice.

Estate planningWashington Post readers were asked to channel their inner Carolyn Hax to give advice on how to handle a mother changing her will and leaving the family home to her new husband:

My mother is in her mid-70s and is married to a man in his mid-80s (my dad died when I was 19). I went to visit her on Mother’s Day, and she informed me she plans to change her will to allow her husband to inherit the house my sister and I grew up in. It is a small house in a pricey neighborhood. While I have always encouraged my mom to be generous with herself and not worry about leaving my sister and I large amounts of money (she is very thrifty), I am devastated by this news. In the past she wanted my sister and me to inherit this house — provided we allowed him to live there as long as he wanted. When the change is made, presumably his two daughters would inherit his estate, including the house. They never lived in this house, and I am devastated by this proposed change. For one, it is the bulk of the estate. And second, she had previously told my sister and me that she would never do this.

This is the place I last saw my father alive. I know intellectually that she is entitled to do what she wants. And I know he is likely to predecease her. But having been divorced after a long marriage, I now feel like I can trust nobody to honor their commitment and word. I still haven’t told my sister because she has gone no-contact with my mom in the past.

Do I have the right to ask my mom to reconsider? I am the executrix of the estate. I don’t want to get into an unnecessary argument with my mom late in life.

— Will And Resentment

To read their advice see Carlyn Hax and Haben Kelati “Mom’s will gives away our family home. Carolyn Hax readers give advice” The Washington Post, May 31, 2023.

Special thanks to Naomi Cahn (University of Virginia) for bringing this article to my attention.


Estate Planning – Generally, Wills | Permalink


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