Reddit was divided on whether or not this father should split up his assets equally between his two adult biological children and younger stepson.
Being part of a blended family is no easy feat, even after the kids are all grown up. A father with two adult biological children and a 12-year-old stepson took to Reddit to see if he was in the wrong for deciding that he wanted to grant equal inheritances to all three children once he has passed.
The dad gave a little backstory in his AITA thread, explaining that he “didn’t have the greatest track record as a father” while his bio kids were growing up. “We were kind of distant, as their mother and I were constantly fighting (she was a [stay at home mom], while I was running a business to varying degrees of success).” Luckily, as his kids became adults, they became “much closer,” and the dad is in a much better financial situation than he was before. His kids have even helped him build his business back up.
He also has a solid relationship with his stepson: “My relationship with my stepson is quite good. He doesn't call me dad, but seems to view me as a very close uncle. I do my best to be a good father figure to him. If I'm being completely honest, I hope that eventually he will see me as a father figure, especially given that his father is never really around, and constantly disappoints him.”
Here’s where it gets tricky. A few weeks back, he and his bio kids were sorting through some things in his basement when the topic of inheritance came up. “ I mentioned how I planned to include my stepson in my will, and he would get a third of the inheritance,” he said, noting that he doesn’t remember exactly how they got on the topic.
“Well, my kids are furious with me now, telling me this was unfair, as they had to grow up with a cold, emotionally and physically distant/unavailable father who struggled to bring food to the table. They mention how my stepson gets to live a luxurious childhood with a much kinder and more present/emotionally available and supportive parent than they had ever had while not even being my real son,” he said, noting that they didn’t explicitly say that, but it was the vibe. “Then on top of that, they would lose out on the inheritance they feel they had earned for working so hard to repair our relationship after all the damage I had done to them.”
Most Redditors seemed to understand why his two adult children were so upset: “YTA, without a. doubt. Why are you treating some random kid that you’ve known for 2 minutes the same as your actual real kids who you have apparently failed over and over again?’ reads a comment with nearly 14,000 upvotes. “Agreed. He has this kid in his life for a hot minute and he's already in the will? He isn't on the same level as the bio kids just yet.”
One noted that the 12-year-old “doesn’t even see him as a father figure either, just a ‘close uncle,’” which led to more confusion as to why the father would elect to divvy up his assets equally between the three of them. Many also pointed out that his bio kids helped put him in a better financial situation by helping out with his business, so they should be the ones to reap the rewards.
Others offered ways to set up the 12-year-old financially without dipping into his bio-kids’ inheritance with something like a college fund. “If he really wants to do something for his stepson in monetary aspects, he should probably setup a college fund plus few extra cash for headstart in adult life. That would more than generous and will not be unfair to his real children.”
Before posting, the dad was planning on divvying up 60% of his assets equally between the three kids, and thought that his “wife will get about 30%.” After receiving an onslaught of feedback siding with his bio kids, he edited his post to say he was thinking that “ each of my bio kids will receive 30%, wife will receive 25%, and stepson receive 10% ish.”
Still, as one popular comment argues, it is the dad’s money, and at the end of the day, he can do whatever he wishes to do with it. “The comments on here amuse me. If this was written from the perspective of the stepchild... asking if she is TA for keeping a third of an inheritance her stepdad left her people would be saying he made his wishes clear, you don't owe anyone anything, cut them off, stepdad had his reasons, etc.”
Money is always such a touchy topic, especially with family. Hopefully this dad and his kids figure out an inheritance plan that makes everyone feel valued.