Hard to know what to do

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by SomewhereOutThere, May 21, 2016.

  1. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    This is a touchy subject. I would appreciate honest input from anyone with any view.

    My husband and I are going to update our will. Although we have little now, we will inherit from my father one day...how much I don't know or really care about. Whatever it us, I would like to divide it equally between Bart, princess, sonic (addressing his special needs...lawyer will help us here) and Jumper. Gone boy is the issue. I am not including him as we have per his choice been out of touch for ten or more years (I lost track) and have never even been allowed to meet his kids and we loathe his wife, who probably played a role in this.

    It was torturous for about two years, but I am the type to reach out for help. I am fine now and blessed to have four loving kids whom I get along with and who do not think I am a terrible person (there are ALL disgusted with and out of touch with Gone Boy).

    Believe it or not a heart can mend, especially so much love from other children and husband and now a blessed reconciliation with siblings too. I no longer want him in my life. He probably will never want to come back. He is already nearing 40, if he does, it is too late. I won't risk my heart to him again and it would tear the rest of my family apart as he has snubbed them too.

    In his mind I am not his mother. In my mind, I am not his mother either. I raised him from age 6 until he married...he has been totally absent for so long that I don't know him now. It seems like he was a foster child. They are temporary. He made it temporary.

    FOr those who don't know the story, he is a prosperous business owner so he doesn't need any money. It's the personal side that worries me.

    I am sort of reading up on things and advice is to let a child know if he is going to be left out of a will. But my mom disinherited me and I didn't know in advance. Should my lawyer send him a notice?

    The hurt side of me wants to let lose with the mother of all letters, telling him what he did to all of us when we loved him so much. But he doesn't care and I wrote enough letters that first two years. He put them in his computer and kept them. I'm not sure why. I found out when I tried contacting him through a mediator affiliated with his church. He is quite, in his mind, the perfect Christian. The mediator relayed mean messages from him. That was a blessing as it was the beginning of my letting go of this man I no longer knew, if I ever had.

    I don't think anyone should disinherit a child who loves you. It's too hurtful. But this one doesn't love me, miss me or even think about me unless I, say, write him a letter. Then I guess my loving letters asking for another chance and apologising for things I'm not sure about (not sure what he thinks I did to deserve this)...I guess this proves I'm "crazy." Got this from mediator too. So do I still love him?

    I love the memory of my child, but I don't know this man so I don't love him. I no longer think about him much either. When I do, like now, I am nowhere close to crying. I am mildly angry and hurt, but my life moves on.

    I might add that when I had that car accident that nearly and should have killed me, he never so much as got me a card. Never heard from him. Nothing says "we are done" like that, does it?

    My real kids, the ones who love me,were all there. Even my ex husband was concerned. Not Gone Boy. He is in touch with my ex. For unknown enough reasons, probably that ex has serious money, he does see and talk to ex and ex truthfully told me that Gone Boy was not concerned or never asked ex about me. Ex said he told him anyway. Ex is very upset that Gone Boy has dumped the rest of us. I digress...

    How would any of you in this situation handle informing him about the will. He lives money, although he doesn't need it. But if there is a loophole, he will use it.
    Last edited: May 21, 2016
  2. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    I don't know that I would inform him about it. He has made it more than clear that he wants nothing to do with you or his sisters/brothers. I think I would specify in the will that he is being left nothing - no reasons, no excuses - and let it go.

    You have kids that love you and will appreciate anything you choose to leave them. I would focus on that and not worry about GoneBoy.
  3. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Just my opinion, but I wouldn't out-right disinherit. I would leave him something personal, for example, if he got a ring that belonged to your father. Something that he can choose to hang on to, or not, but at least he was specifically remembered. You don't know how things will be once you are gone.
  4. nlj

    nlj Well-Known Member

    Personally I wouldn't do it. I would leave everything to all of them split equally.

    This issue has caused so much heartache, distress and family rifts in our family. It's not just your relationship with your son, there's also the relationships between siblings who are left to deal with the fallout after your death and continued relationships between siblings and their children.

    You don't know what might happen after your death and, personally, I think it's wrong to do this.
  5. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Thanks for your thoughts, everyone.

    I've already decided he is not being included. It's bout how you interact with somebody when they are alive in my opinion. I just need to decide if it is legally necessary to inform him. Also he has no relationship with his siblings. He made no effort and they have also moved on. Sonic and Jumper were young when he left and they don't remember him. On the soft chance he tries to reconnect after I'm gone, then it's up to him to deal.

    Part of the estrangement, although far from all of it, is that he is a very strong Christian. So is ex. The rest of us, except my ex, have different types of beliefs. To Gone Boy, even being Catholic or Methodist does not count as a REAL Christian.

    My ex has problems getting him to interact with him too and it got so bad that ex sent him an R3 letter informing him that he will be left out of his will due to lack of communication. He told one of my kids that he had been legally told to inform GoneBoy of his new status if he didn't shape up.

    Gone Boy knows how much he stands to lose there so he got in touch immediately.

    My informing him will not do that as he knows I will never have ex's kind of money. You know how many d c adult kids would dump us forever if we had nothing to offer them. Well, Gone Boy loves money, always did, but he is already beyond a millionaire. Anything my dad leaves will not line his pockets that much. I want my loving kids to get it.

    But why did ex inform him? He was told that it was legally the right thing to do.

    I don't want to contact him if I don't have to. But I am firm that my other kids get the money, not him.

    Gone boy was adopted at six and has attachment issues. I would give him something precious to me, but he wouldn't want it. I already gave him his many photo albums.

    Gone boy has found his birth family on FB and has gone to that country to see them. I'm sure that is his family to him.

    Anyhow...Anything on informing him? Again, all opinions welcome on informing him. I'd rather not. On the .001 per cent chance that I can hurt him, I'd rather not do it
    I personally think he'll just laugh at this, as he admitted he did to all my heartfelt, loving letters. In his mind, hubby and me have no money to leave him anyway. He forgot about my father. by the way, ex told him my dad had lung cancer too, when we thought he did, and he did not chose to even ask about him. I am not giving him anything my father loved either.fAther was very hurt at sudden no contact from Gone Boy.

    All in all, I am down to if it is legally best to send a letter.
    Last edited: May 22, 2016
  6. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    I think about this sometimes, too.

    I think I believe that money is only the symbol, the placeholder, for what is really being bequeathed. That intangible something that money symbolizes, and that we pass on, has to do with something like authentic legitimacy, and it travels down the generations.

    Once the money is spent, the feelings attending the message passed down are the only things left, and they will bless or curse our families for generations to come.

    To me, the question is one not of money, but of belonging. Gone Boy was as beloved as your other children. It was his choice to turn from you, and so far, he has stayed turned away all of his life.

    Not your choice and not your doing and you would have had it different if you could have.

    So I think the right thing is to include him, because those are your true feelings. You love him. You cherish your memories of him. Make that more important than what he has done to you.

    Figuring this out has been helpful to me too, SWOT.


    SWOT, are you certain Gone Boy did not make contact while you were recovering?

    Though my daughter seemed cognizant at the time, we realized just lately that she remembers nothing about who she spoke with or even, what was said, during the weeks immediately after her traumatic brain injury.
  7. ksm

    ksm Well-Known Member

    I hunk I would leave a token gift, like a photo album of his photos from when he was growing up, (who else would want them?) or a momento from his adoption, if you have any thing, or an object that you know he was fond of as a child, like a favorite book, or a quilt. I would attach a note with words wishing him well. If you do leave mo ey, I would do it in the form of a donation to a charitable organization in his name. Your attorney can tell you if you have to notify him in advance, I don't know that you have to. Does he live far from you?

    Maybe your ex could hold the item for you and give it to him at the appropriate time...ksm
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  8. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Cedar, thank you. I always appreciate your feedback. My true feelings are that I can't think of him as my son anymore and the love is far away, after no contact ten plus years, not strong and upfront in my heart like the others. I do think I can leave him a few keepsakes, nothing worth a lot. Nothing anyone else would want.

    ksm, I already gave him about ten picture albums. I took a lot of pictures lol. I can gift him a few family pictures. He will likely burn them. But that's better than nothing. I am also not happy that he refuses to talk to his 92 year old grandfather who was always kind to him. Allegedly it was ME who did these horrible things. My father is never mentioned. He did not need to cut him off too. My father loved him a lot. He hurt way more than just me. If I had been the only one, maybe I could swallow it better.

    He is not getting a dime.

    Yes, I am positive he never tried to contact me in the hospital. Or afterwards as I recovered. He has my number. It has not changed.

    My decision to leave him no money is firm. He is almost 40. The time for excuses is over. I have never seen his kids. I am nobody to him by his word and deed. It was not my decision. I can't offer him what I do the kids who have been there through thick and thin. They care. He does not. My integrity tells me to treat him as he wishes, to not be in the family. He asked, in the church mediation center, to be absolved of all family responsibility. His words.

    Right now all I am pondering really is the letter...or no lawyer letter. Since my car accident, I think about my passing and after. I do not want him to be able to rummage through my belongings or be at the reading of the will and disturb the other people he has hurt. He still has time to do right. But after ten years he won't. Part of him still talking to ex is the middle finger to the rest of us. Trust me...that us why. As long as he is married, and he thinks divorce is a sin, nothing will change. He very much pleases his wife. Nothing wrong with that, but then I don't feel I should include him in the Will and I also don't think he'll care. But I want it to be clear.
    Last edited: May 22, 2016
  9. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    This is a very personal decision. Each case is very different.
    My husband and I prepared our wills a few years ago. We struggled over what to do with our son. He is our only child. After much thought and prayer we chose to leave our estate to our grand children, the children my son abandoned. Our son has made the choice to not provide for his children or be in their lives.
    We put everything in a trust for them but they cannot access it until they are 35.
    Our son is a homeless drifter going from state to state. At this point in his life leaving him our estate would not benefit him as he would burn through it literally by smoking pot and any other drugs he is using.
    IF, he manages to get his life together we will consider making a provision for him. Wills can always be changed.

    We do not feel it's necessary to tell our son our wishes.
    My personal belief is to not "count" on an inheritance from anyone.

    There is never a guarantee that splitting things equally between children will go smoothly.

    When my father passed (many years after my mom), his will split everything between me and my sisters. One sister felt that she should be given his house. Her reasoning was that I and my other sisters had homes and she did not. This caused a rift between us. We did not give her the house, that was not our fathers wish. We sold the house and equally divided the proceeds.

    The reason we chose to put everything in a trust is this helps to avoid things having to go through probate.

    To keep the will from being protested our is worded like this:
    Son's Name has intentionally be left out of this will for reasons known to My and husbands name. Per our lawyer, this is all the notification that needs to be made.
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  10. A dad

    A dad Active Member

    I have 5 siblings from my father side when he died everything went to my mother. My mother will split everything equally even with my step siblings that never knew her because they deserve some compensation for them being abandoned by my father. For what I have I will split everything in half if I survive my wife. Even if my youngest gives at most token attention he is still my son and he was there for me at my worst even if he is not at my best and that mattered.
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  11. TheWalrus

    TheWalrus I Am The Walrus

    This is my two cents from my slightly different personal perspective. I have a step-child whom I have NOTHING to do with. This child's mother began the alienation process from my husband from day one, while they were still married. Once divorced, the alienation took center stage, as his ex used their child as a pawn and wanted total control. After we were married, it really, really got ugly. Although we had some wonderful times with this child when younger, as the teenage years came, that never happened. Step child literally walked out of our home without a backward glance and spoke to no one in my husband's family for two years. I have not spoken to this person in at least 6 years (yes, grown with own family now) and child does nothing but bring my husband heartache - sucking him back in and then brushing him off for absolutely no reason. Now there is a grandchild and his own child is alienating said grandchild from him. It is sickening and sad, and I get so angry even thinking about it. My husband is an AMAZING dad and has tried time and time and time again, only to be shoved aside every time. His love for this child will not let him stop trying. I understand that, but it makes me resent this now adult with my entire being for pain caused to my husband and our family. Like you, SWOT, I digress.

    I have no intention of leaving this child anything in the will. Nothing. And no, I have no intention of informing this child of that. As you said, relationships are for the living and that choice has been made many years ago. I feel no obligation nor need to inform this person of any decisions we make or anything about our lives.

    On the flip side, I had many personal things that belonged to this person from childhood. Scrapbooks I had made, mementos from vacations and hobbies, etc. Quite a few, actually. In the beginning, I toyed with the idea of destroying it all. I didn't bc I knew that would only be done out of anger and betrayal, and I am not a spiteful or vindictive person. I didn't want this child to turn me into one. So I boxed it all up and put it away. When grown and married, my husband gave this child all these things. I don't care whether they were kept or not. They were not mine to begin with. However, this child knows there were happy times (regardless of how it is re-invented to others and distorted by Mother Dear) and there is the proof. Do with it as wished. Doing that was cathartic and I feel no reason to give this child anything else. I gave totally of myself and it was not wanted.

    So in my opinion, I would not inform him of anything. It sounds like (and please don't take this wrong) he might not even come to a funeral or service anyway, and if so, it would be for the will only. Your obligation to let him be aware of anything ended a long time ago. You tried and tried; it was unwanted and ignored. Once you are gone, it is too late for him to "try" so anything else would be purely selfish (again, please don't take offense). However, like others have said, I would leave something as a token. I would do it for myself, not him. Something that says you were loved, you were wanted, and even if you don't remember that, I do. Not anything that would devastate you if it wasn't kept, but something he could choose to keep to remember better times if he chose. Me? I am a picture and memento person - so nothing of value except sentimental (which are most valuable to me anyway).
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  12. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Big thanks to Tanya and walrus.

    I thought of leaving something to his children. I never knew them and it is not their faults.

    On the other hand, I do not anticipate getting so much that I can give to people never in my life. I am splitting the assets four ways. Period. I have a few pictures with him in them that I did not give him yet. I will mail them while I am still alive.

    I don't want him at my funeral. Nobody will even tell him about it so he may not even know about it. I need to talk to our lawyer. Maybe he can send a few sentences to him. That way he won't come to funeral. Ugh. Not that I plan to die soon. My dad is 92. But my mom was 74 and had brain cancer. You never know. I'd like to just have this done. And I don't want him intruding on the true grief of the rest of my family. He dumped all but ex and with ex it's been on and off...Nobody but ex and me (as Mom) has any soft feelings at all toward him, and mine are the memories of whom I thought he was.
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    Last edited: May 22, 2016
  13. Albatross

    Albatross Well-Known Member

    SWOT, it sounds like you have made up your mind, and I understand and (for what it's worth) would probably do the same thing if it has been that many years since contact.

    You asked if legally you have to write him a letter advising him he has been left out of the will. I would ask your attorney because there are differences from state to state, but I think you just have to state in the will itself your wishes, that Gone Boy is your child and that it is your wish that he receive nothing from your estate.

    I like the idea of leaving him a keepsake, for your peace of mind.
  14. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Yes, talk to an attorney who specializes in wills. Here, you must explicitly deal with every "normal heir" in the will itself. That doesn't mean they have to GET anything, just that they cannot be left out of mention in the will - to not mention can invalidate the entire will, which you do NOT want.
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  15. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I think we have that too. Thanks.

    Albatross, yes, it could be twelve years. I'm not sure. I tell people I have four kids. I feel like it too. I am not conflicted in not giving him money. He may get some odds and ends, but it will be while I'm alive. They will have no monetary value.
    Last edited: May 22, 2016
  16. Ironbutterfly

    Ironbutterfly Active Member

    SWOT- I think legally, since he was adopted, you have to include him in the will. He could just to be nasty to his siblings, contest the will and he has the money to take it to court.

    It could be like someone suggested above "Name, is left nothing per our desire and the fact that he has chosen to be in no contact for x number of years". By mentioning him, you have stated your intentions and it can't be misinterpreted in court that you accidentally left him out. This is why its so important to name him and also because he was adopted. Rules are different for step-children.

    I am with you- children are not automatically entitled to any inheritance just because they are your children. Many parents leave entire inheritance to charities, foundations and totally nothing to their children. I think Microsoft guy is doing this.

    Inheritance from your parents, family members is a gift, a choice.

    I am on your side- that he has chosen to not have a relationship with you - he chose not to care about your well being when you were in an accident. It speaks volumes. As some have said, he could of course change. But, for me, I guess the damage has been done, on his terms, his wife's terms. Should he desire contact again and he makes amends and honestly attempts to heal the relationship with you- then you have the option of amending your will. But at this point, I don't feel he deserves any monetary inheritance.
  17. ksm

    ksm Well-Known Member

    I do remember my brother updating his will, and on the advice of his attorney, the child was mentioned in the will that his inheritance was the gifts and money they had they had given him earlier in his life. I guess by not mentioning the child in the will, maybe it was a legality that could be contested. But my saying that his inheritance was already given, it would be harder to contest it. I don't know if it necessary,mouth thought that was an interesting way to handle the situation. Ksm
  18. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Thanks all. I will mention shortly that he is deliberately not included. Nothing else. Nothing like Joan Crawford's famous kiss off, which made no sense to me since her daughter tried do hard to be loving to her. I just want to make sure.

    Judging by the stiff necked and limited way Gone boy treats my ex, I don't think I'd accept a relationships ship with him again. He broke my heart more than I thought it could break then blamed me for things I never did and allowed his then fiance to be horrible. I would never trust him again. Nor would anyone else in my family ever want him around because he has treats them like dirt too. I hate to admit this, but Gone Boy did not respect anyone who didn't have a very high level profession plus a lot of money. He should have been placed in a highly educated, wealthy family.

    But I have learned that social workers don't care about who they match with which child. We could not live up to his expectations (ex was not wealthy at the time) and ex has a college degree in political science, me none at all. Gone boy is brilliant. Not just smart. Brilliant. He was working on computers for others and stashing money away at 12. He hung out with his friends parents...those who were wealthy.

    I digress...he will not try to make amends. This handsome, bright eyed, brilliant child was so pleasurable and witty and obedient...almost to good to be true. I loved him so. Then one day, after he met his wife, he said, "you think I'm this really nice person, but I'm not. I'm not nice." I tried to argue with him and he kept saying he wasn't nice.

    There were other signs. At his wedding, he made a speech about "all my families." He started with his friends from school, then his work family...our family, the ones who raised him, were slapped in the middle. Notmally a son would name his mom and dad family first. We didn't bring it up to him but Bart mentioned it to me. I don't know if anyone besides Bart and me saw significance there. Then he took an emergency house key away from Princess...lock to his house. That seemed to make sense, except in retrospect. He was distancing himself for a distance he had always felt. We tried. We tried hard. My ex did not hide that Gone boy was his favorite child. The other two complained to me about the favoritism.

    Getting off track.

    If both of us change our hearts, I can change the will. But the way I feel now, and after this thread reviewing it all, I am very hardened toward him. I don't consider him my son anymore. Except for in legal terms, he isn't because he chose not to be. He can call me by my first name for all I care. I have grieved and it is done. I think he is the scary one now to do this when he knew how much all of us loved him.

    If anyone finished this entire vent, I hope it made sense and thanks for sharing my darkest horror with me. This almost broke me.
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    Last edited: May 22, 2016
  19. TheWalrus

    TheWalrus I Am The Walrus

    I totally understand. Step child won't change and I know that. My poor husband holds out hope she will, but it lessens with each long period of contact, followed by the reeling back in at whim that is never fully open armed, ended with another closed door for no reason and no explanation. I hate it for him. Sometimes they become estranged from their parents and never come back. In our case, it was parental alienation on his ex's part, but sometimes it is just a conflict of personalities and the cause is never known. I think sometimes estranged children don't really know.

    I would consult an attorney on exactly what you need to do in order that he cannot contest the will - whether that is a letter from attorney or just a line in the will. If you don't want him at the funeral, I would make arrangements for that as well. Anything else, if you choose to give mementos to him or his children, I would do on my own terms at my own time.

    I know how hard it is to just be dismissed and disowned by a child you loved, cared for, watched grow up, was part of your family. I watch my husband's struggle with it daily. He does it with more grace than I do: he does it with a hopeful longing; I do it with resentment, anger and frustration.
  20. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Thanks, Walrus. I'm doing great now, but I had to do an entire grieving process to come out the other end. It would be harder if he teased me with contact, like your step daughter does. For my own sake, if that went on, eventually I would have terminated contact myself. At least no contact means you can grieve and move on. Not that it's easy, but it can be done. Thank God I have other kids. Yes, it helps tons. I hope your husband has other kids who love him right. Poor guy. I so feel for him.

    I really am not concerned about giving him anything at all. He is not sentimentality attached to us. But I probably will tell the kids to send him some pictures.

    Anyhow, thanks. I will have lawyer word it right.

    Thanks for understanding.