Is anyone entitled to the inheritance of another person?
Reports show that over 7,000 people die in the US every single day. When someone passes away, the next of kin are often the ones who inherit the possessions or estate of the person who has died.
Gallup reports in their survey that 46% of respondents have prepared a will in case they pass away. Wills clarify any details when it comes to specifics of an estate, such as which particular item goes to whom, and also how an entire estate is meant to be split if there are multiple people involved.
This sort of contentious issue was highlighted in a recent online post in which a woman decides she won’t share any inheritance with her husband’s children, who are her stepchildren.
Who has the right to someone else’s inheritance?
A Reddit post published on February 20th, reported on by Rebecca Flood from Newsweek, has gone viral with 16,200 upvotes and 2,100 comments. The author begins her post by clarifying that she and her current husband Jack got married in their late 50s, and it was the second marriage for both of them. Jack has three children, while the author has a stepson who she helped raise, and views as her own son.
When the author and Jack got married, they agreed to sign a prenup, keeping their finances separate. It was actually Jack’s request to have their assets be separated, following bad experiences he had with his previous marriage. The two kept their assets separate, but would contribute to a joint bank account for the household expenses, which were split 50/50.
At the time of signing the prenup, they also updated their wills. Jack left his assets to his own children, while the author left hers to her stepson, Thomas. They were both fully aware of this situation, and were in agreement with it. However, things took a turn several years before when Jack lost the family business that was handed down by his grandfather, which he was planning to ultimately pass down to his children. Not much changed for the standard of living for the couple, although the author was paying for 100% of the household expenses as Jack had lost everything.
Due to this change in circumstances, the author reviewed her will, because if something were to happen to her her husband would have absolutely nothing and no means of supporting himself. She ultimately decided that she would leave ⅓ of her assets in a trust for Thomas’ children, ⅓ for Thomas, and ⅓ for her husband, Jack. He would receive a generous monthly check to support him, however, when he died the rest of his trust would then be left to Thomas.
Jack became furious that the trust his wife set up for him in her will would not be passed down to his own children, and instead eventually go to her stepson. He was so mad, in fact, that he threatened to leave his wife if she did not leave an inheritance to his children, who were all grown up by the time Jack and the author got married.
No one is entitled to the assets of another person’s hard-earned wealth.
Statistica conducted a survey in 2017, and the data showed that most respondents would pay off their existing loans or debt if they inherited $100,000.
Others said that they would potentially buy a house, save for unexpected expenses, or even put it towards retirement.
The author concludes her post by saying that Jack accused her of not caring about him at all if she wasn’t willing to leave anything to his children. She reminded him that they had agreed to keep assets separate, and that he only decided that didn’t work for him when he lost all of his own fortunes.
What do you think? Is Jack justified in being furious that his second wife won’t leave any of her fortune to his adult children? Or should he just be grateful that she is willing to leave him a trust at all to keep him comfortable until his own passing, when the original agreement of their prenup would mean he gets absolutely nothing?