'Replaced' Children Furious After Father Includes Stepson in Will

Gillian Sisley

Is biology the only thing that makes a child ‘legitimate’?

About ⅓ of children, who may now be adults, will have experienced the separation of their parents and thus experienced the psychological effects of such a traumatic life event. And unfortunately, in some cases, children may lose contact with a parent in the aftermath of the separation.

This wound can become even more significant when the distant parent chooses to remarry, and bring stepchildren into their lives, the biological children may begin to feel replaced with a new family.

These realities were highlighted in a recent online post in which adult children are furious when their father decides he’s going to include his stepson in his will, and give the child ⅓ of his estate.

Is biology the only thing that makes a child ‘legitimate’?

An online post published on September 30, reported on by Samantha Berlin from Newsweek, has gone viral with 6,500 upvotes and 3,200 comments.

The author begins his post by explaining that he has two children from his previous marriage who are now adults, at ages 34 and 32. With that said, the author also remarried his current wife, who brought along with her 12-year-old son who lives with the couple full-time.

The author also adds that when it comes to his biological children, he doesn’t have the ‘best track record’. He was rather distant when they were growing up because he and his ex-wife were ‘constantly fighting’. He was also growing and running a business, while his ex was a stay-at-home mom.

With that said, as the children grew up, the author became closer to them. He explains that for one, he is wealthier now, which was thanks in-part to the help of his children who were active in growing the business. The success of the company means that the author now has much more money than when his kids were growing up.

Do biological children deserve more than stepchildren when it comes to inheritance?

The father goes on to clarify that his relationship with his 12-year-old stepson is ‘quite good’. Though the child doesn’t view the author as ‘his dad’, he views him instead as a ‘very close uncle’, because the 12-year-old’s biological father is still in the picture somewhat.

But the author has gone on to say that he believes that his stepson will ‘eventually see him as a father figure’ because his biological father is ‘constantly disappointing him’. For that very reason, the author has decided that he will include his stepson in his will, and leave him ⅓ of his inheritance. That would mean leaving 30% of his inheritance to his current wife, and 20% to each of his bio children and stepson.

However, when this was brought up to his two biological children, they came furious. He explained the percentage breakdown to them, and also that the business would go to his two biological children, unless his wife or stepson wanted to get ‘involved in the future’.

The biological children told him it was ‘unfair’ because they had to ‘grow up with a cold, emotionally and physically distant/unavailable father’ who struggled to bring food to the table, while their stepbrother gets to live a ‘luxurious childhood’ with a father who is more ‘kind, emotionally available and supportive’ compared to their childhood. The biological children feel they are being ‘slighted’ for their father’s ‘new family’.

What do you think? Is the author in the wrong for wanting to include his stepson in his will, meaning that his children will get less in inheritance? Or is the author justified to give his money to whomever he wants, even though his current wealth can be attributed in-part to the hard work of his biological children in his business?

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