Abandoned by her dad at three, a 21-year-old woman inherits a whopping $500K estate from him after his death. Unable to muster herself to believe this, she investigates what made him take this big step.
An orphaned woman had a hair-raising experience when her estranged father left her a massive inheritance. He was the same person who’d abandoned her when she was 3, and as she recalled her disturbing past, she became suspicious.
Redditor Emotional_Payment_66 didn’t have a rosy childhood. Her dad had an addiction and had abandoned her mom and her. Growing up, the girl felt lonely as her mom was always busy at work, and her half-sister was not that friendly with her. The Redditor lived this way for most of her life until tragedy struck in 2011.
Estranged father leaves massive wealth to the daughter he once abandoned | Photo: Shutterstock
The Original Poster (OP) ’s mom passed away that year, and she was taken into her grandmother’s custody. Though she missed her mom, OP liked the newness in her life. Her grandmother provided a gratifying life for her, and she almost forgot about her bitter past, including her dad.
In 2018, OP’s dad called her grandma claiming he wanted to talk to his daughter. But OP dismissed this and preferred to stay away from him.
She later found out he had married and had a whole new family waiting on him. However, he wished to reconcile with OP as his days were numbered due to prostate cancer. But OP remained firm and never contacted him again. Her hostility towards her dad increased with time.
OP's estranged dad reached out to her grandmother | Photo: Pexels
One day, OP’s stepmother reached out to her. Until then, OP had no idea her dad had already died. She was startled and couldn’t do anything else than express her condolences. Then her stepmom informed her about the “inheritance.”
She then reached out to her paternal grandmother to determine why her dad disinherited his “other” family from his will.
OP was shocked when the woman told her that her dad had left her nearly $535K worth of estate and how it would be unfair of her to walk away with all the money.
OP was startled when her stepmom revealed her dad left her a sizeable inheritance | Photo: Pexels
The stepmother had quit her job and hadn’t worked in six years. She told OP she shouldn’t keep all the money to herself, considering she never made up with her dad. Gradually, the woman fed OP’s ears with advice to split her inheritance in four so that she and her “step-siblings” got an equal share.
OP was furious, and in the heat of the moment, she told the woman to get lost, citing all she got was mere inheritance while the stepmom got to live with her dad.
When OP reached out to the lawyer who handled the estate, she learned her dad had left just $100 each to his wife and stepkids while leaving everything else to her.
Though she felt terrible for her stepmom, she doubted whether she could split the money. She felt justified considering her dad’s absence from her life and believed his grand gesture would partly make up for their bitter past. OP then turned to Reddit for advice if she owed her stepmom a part of her inheritance.
OP consulted the lawyer who handled the inheritance | Photo: Pexels
“You don’t know his wife. You don’t owe her anything. If your father left them each $100, he knew what he was doing. That inheritance is yours,” Redditor Even_Speech570 stated.
Meanwhile, some users advised OP on the possible angle of how her stepmom could sue to claim the inheritance if married to her dad. For instance, Redditor DeciusAemilius explained:
“In some states, there’s a statutory minimum your surviving spouse is entitled to...If they were legally married at the time, if the law provides for a minimum, the legal spouse cannot be fully disinherited.”
People advised OP on how the legal spouse of a deceased cannot be disinherited | Photo: Unsplash
Some Redditors practicing law agreed, and among them was user basilobs, who advised: “OK actual lawyer stepping in here. In some states, you cannot legally disinherit your spouse. No matter what you put in your will, your spouse is entitled to a certain amount/percentage.”
Eventually, OP decided not to make her stepfamily homeless but hired a property management company to document an official lease and not lose the house while her stepfamily rented it.
She then reached out to her paternal grandmother to determine why her dad disinherited his “other” family from his will. Eventually, she discovered that her stepmom kept her dad from reaching out to her. As she pressed her grandmother for more details, some unsettling truth came to light.
OP's grandmother reveals some shocking details about the stepmom | Photo: Pexels
OP found out that her stepmother and dad never married as they had assumed her mom was alive and that her dad was still married to her. Moreover, OP’s stepmother had obstructed her dad from reaching out to her mom for divorce, convincing him that staying in contact with his family would cause him to slip back to his “addictive” days.
OP also earned that her father doubted her stepmom of cheating but let it go as he couldn’t confirm it. She concluded that theirs was a “dysfunctional marriage.”
That said, the stepmother and her children got nothing more than $100 from the inheritance while OP got to keep the entire wealth.
OP's dad and stepmom's marriage was dysfunctional & they weren't legally married | Photo: Pexels
Questions to Ponder:
Do you think OP needs to reconsider letting her stepfamily rent her inherited house?
OP said she didn’t want her stepfamily to be homeless and allowed them to stay on lease. However, many people argued that her decision could backfire, and she’d regret it big time in the future. If you were OP, would you allow your estranged stepfamily to stay in a house you inherited, or would you show them the door?
Had OP’s dad and stepmom officially married, would she have made it to his will?
OP’s dad decided to leave everything to his daughter, and it was his sole decision. Many people claimed that he must have felt OP deserved to inherit his estate, considering his lack of being her much-needed father figure her entire life. Others believe the stepmom didn’t inherit anything because they weren’t officially married. Still, it’s anybody’s guess if OP’s dad would’ve considered the stepfamily for the inheritance if he’d married his new partner.
If you liked this story, then you might enjoy reading this one about how inheritance sparks a family war after a terminally-ill woman leaves her entire property to one dear person.
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