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Not coping well, adult skids

LilyRose's picture

Hi All, Been reading posts & everyone is so supportive with good advice. My DH & I have been together for 12 years, married for 2. He is currently in treatment for cancer & post stroke. Doing fairly well but needs help & is a fall risk so I don't leave him alone. We are both in our early 70s & so far I am healthy & able to care for him.  I have 2 adult kids & 2 young grands. He has adult kids with late teen grands. My kids live him because he loves me & he is good to them. DH was a widower whose wife died a few years before we met. His kids were unhappy about us from the start. They were upset they weren't informed he was dating and SD was upset DH was not at her back & call to do things around her house (she has a husband) and babysit. They are jealous if any time ir attention he gives my kids. My DH was caregiver for his late wife & although he never says anything bad about his kids, he said SD & SS had problems coping & so could not help much. DH has had a difficult relationship with son who tries to control him & tell him what to do. They were often horrible to me but DH set them straight & I  bent over backwards to be nice to them. We now live in another state in a condo set up so it is easier for DH & because it is warm & DH loves it there. We are back at the lake house DH built for a few months to be with family & friends although it is difficult to be here- stairs to get in & 2 levels. So I  though we had reached a decent relationship with Skids & I  have kept them up to date on DH condition. I  retired after his stroke & have been unable to continue the consulting work I planned on due to his care. SD asked about his will & I told her DH & I  left everything to each other except for the previous plans for 401s to go to respective kids. SD told SS & 2 weeks ago they came to visit & attacked both of us because they don't get the lake house right away when DH dies. If he dies before me they have to wait till I  die. I was devastated that they yelled I would sell it or leave it to my kids, that I  would change my will that leaves it to them . I should have known that they feel it belongs to them as they have always acted that way. I  can't go back to any kind of relationship with them now that I  know how they feel about me. They can have the house but I don't want anything to do with them now but still want them to have relationship with DH as he is not well. I am so stressed as they have been back and were again nasty & yelling at both of us. Thank you all for listening & letting me vent. So stressful to care for DH & all that goes with that & now this. They have not done anything to help with the house. My family got it ready for us to come back. 

CajunMom's picture

I fully understand. While my kids have a great relationship with DH, I do NOT have any relationship with his kids.They've destroyed any possibility of that happening. While they have not directly asked about inheritance, I know it will eventually happen.  We have everything done legally; wills, POAs, medical POAs, etc. We review every 5 years to make sure we have all bases covered, down to what we want done at our funerals, down to details. I'm 60 and Dh is 68.

As for not being in relation with his kids, nothing says you have to. I have not seen DHs kids in over 4 years (it's been closer to 10 years that I've not seen one who accused me of emotional abuse) and while they want to act like nothing is wrong and be back in relation, I've held strong. DH has seen his kids away from our marital home for all this time but I realize we are aging and I have begun "loosening" that boundary. One of DHs kids visited twice so far; I wasn't home for one visit and I stayed in my studio on the other visit. Just not ready for face-to-face contact yet. I've also told him the others can visit him him with the understanding it changes nothing between them and me. (He was clear with them -  they were not welcome here because of their behaviors, he supported that fully and nothing would change until I was ready). 

As of now, I see nothing more than a civil and superficial interaction with any of DHs adult kids. I have zero desire to do anything "deep" with them and if DH passes before me, I'll never see them again once the memorial service is done. 

As for the lake house, if your DH wants you to have it to enjoy, and YOU want it...keep the will as is. If you see it as something you'd be happy to be "rid" of, then update the will to give it to the money grubbers.

LilyRose's picture

Thank you for the hug CajunMom and yourcwords of wisdom.

CajunMom's picture

That was my first thought. But I try to be kind these days. Still....excellent idea!

SteppedOff's picture

Being kind is what got many of us involved in these crappy step mess situations to begin with! I cannot, will not go back to the feral animal den to be shredded yet again...ever.

Most of these people are disordered and don't understand civility. Predator and prey is their thing. I'm still standing because of hard fought, air tight, rest of my life boundaries.

You can't keep getting angry at people for sucking the life out of you if you keep handing them the straw Smile

Merry's picture

Be sure you have a clause in your wills stating that anyone who constests the will receives nothing.

I hope your DH continues to do well. I'm sure he's embarrassed about his kids' behavior. Grown adults yelling about inheritance is ridiculous but sadly it's not uncommon.

Do you have enough to live comfortably if his 401s are distributed upon his death? Or would you need proceeds from the sale of the lake house to maintain your standard of living? Those of us of a certain age are well aware that retirement income can be a source of worry as we get older.

Do not give in to their rude hissy fits. Your DH is rightly ensuring that you have as comfortable a life as possible. He loves you, and it doesn't matter if his kids do or not. He needs to make that clear to them.

And, I am certain this is how my stepkids would act too, in the name of "fairness" about their father's assets. What they don't know is that he has almost NO assets for anyone to inherit. They'll still find a reason to be mad about it though.

CajunMom's picture

For sharing, Merry. We don't have that clause. Will be discussing with DH about adding on both wills. As usual with most of us here, my bios are screaming, Spend your money on YOU! They aren't worried about inheritances and the only reason they say to spend is because WE talked with them about the issue. SMH

LilyRose's picture


Thank you for the advice. Have been thinking one day at a time due to DH illness but you are right about retirement income. I had expected to pad ourcaccounts with my consulting work but have had to turn down jobs. Also thank you for the will info. Very helpful.


LilyRose's picture


I feel the same way, would never ask but the skids feel entitled not only to ask but to insist that the house be put into a trust. DH was livid which because he still has some speech issues from the stroke makes it so hard for him to tell them off. Also SD informed us that she  has told DH friends & siblings how horrible he is being but we have been with them and all is fine. I am just beyond disgusted that she has spread our affairs all over. 

Thank you all for your responses. 

Seekingpeaceplease's picture

The key to a good Will is to have very little of your assets in it.  Various accounts can have a POD (payable on death) and a house can have a TOD (transfer on death).  Depending on relationships/trust/ect. an adult child, most likely your biological child, can be an added signer on an account.  These monies are now not part of the Will, as designated beneficiaries or co-signers supercede any other documents.  It also makes life much easier for your beneficiary to access the monies after your death.  Also wise to either leave every single child, bio or step, something, as this clearly conveys your intentionality.  If you would choose to exclude a child, always specifically reference in the Will you are doing that particular exclusion.  A no contest clause is smart, too.  And sadly, never underestimate what the confluence of money and death does to a family.  I've had 30 years with 5 adult stepchildren (and fortunately we have one biological child of our own, so very different from the rest).  I think of my marriage as one long marathon & I've worked steadily to do all I can to mitigate the awfulness that is to come, should my husband predecease me.  I'm closer in age to his oldest children, than I am to him, so I may well outlive him.  I try not to think about it, but I'm prepared.  This site has started me on my journey of complete disengagement, as I'm just not the 'runner' I was in the early years.  I would not wish this life of stepmom on anyone.  It's hugely undereported for the level of abuse and dysfunction we navigate.  I think we may be some of the most resilient women on the planet, frankly.  

ESMOD's picture

It might be helpful to look at trusts vs inheriting assets directly.  You could be the beneficiary of each other's trust.. with the ultimate distribution being according to each of your plans to your bios.

As to the lake house.. I can see them thinking it would stay with their side of the family if he owned it prior to your relationship.. but the way they approached it was horrible.  If they had acted more appropriately.. I could see telling them your plans were to obviously allow their use of the property (unless you were planning on being there full time).. shared with yourself and your kids.. but that yes.. they would not inherit it outright until you both had passed... 

It's unfortunate that your DH did not make these plans more clear to his kids when he was more capable of being part of the discussion.. it really shouldn't have had to be your job.. and honestly.. hind sight is 2020.. but I might have told them that the will would be read after death.. period.

this is definitely a concern many adult skids will have.. that a "fortune" that their parents amassed will be funneled to the "new" wife and her kids leaving them in the cold.

I know it happened to my father and his brothers.. his dad's will left it to his wife.. who left it to her kids.. and he was a surgeon with a sizeable estate.. that his kids did not see the benefit of.  

No.. you aren't "owed" inheritance.. but I think it's often generally expected that you would inherit what is left from your parents.. and seeing it potentially go to others.. could be stinging.

tfsimmons's picture

Avoids Probate...And further taxing.  Please take the time to insure what your husband wants for you - re: estate lawyer!!  Skids can be evil - especially where you are concerned!  Protect yourself and your husbands wishes - and vice versa!!

Kaylee's picture

No, it's not "generally expected" that you inherit what's left from your parents. Everyone has the right to distribute their estate as they see fit. And it's their personal choice, which should not be judged by others....

In the OP's case, her SK sound like grasping insensitive vultures. Hell, I wouldn't leave them a thing if I was her hubby!

Have they been supportive, kind or helpful to their Dad and SM? Certainly doesn't sound that way.

hereiam's picture


I'm of the opinion that it's rude and inappropriate to inquire about someone else's will and inheritance.

I am of the same mindset as stepmomnorth, so rude, inappropriate, and disgusting. This is what is on their mind as their father is ailing?

I would never ask my dad about his and his wife's will. First of all, I hope they spend it all in their retirement and have fun doing it. Second, I am not the one who worked for that money or the assets and am not entitled to any of it. The last thing I want, is a big fight over money when my dad dies.

If someone has the balls to ask the question, they need to be adult enough to hear (and accept) the answer, whatever it may be. I would have told your SD it was none of her business.

My DH has 2 daughters (one completely estranged) who have done nothing to deserve ANY of our hard earned money and they will both get nothing. We have the clause about anyone who contests the wills gets nothing, we also have a notoraized afidavit that his daughters have intenionally been left out, that it was not an oversight.

I think the most important thing we have done, is to not leave most things up to a will. Anything that could be done as a straight beneficiary or TOD (transfer on death) has been done that way. It is automatic upon death and avoids wills and probate. Our bank accounts, our cars, even our house - all have TOD.

I am so sorry that you have to put up with this, especially while trying to take care of your DH.

Winterglow's picture

"but still want them to have relationship with DH as he is not well"

Consider whether this is worth it. Do their visits bring him joy or grief and pain? Can he handle their visits? 

As you sacrificed your earning potential to look after your ailing husband, you might consider padding out your finances by renting out the lake house.

I am sorry you are having to deal with such bad-mannered, overbearing, selfish, inconsiderate boors of skids. I don't suppose they have ever contributed the slightest effort to looking after their father, have they?

2Tired4Drama's picture

If the lake house has been in the family for a long time, I can understand the kids may be interested in keeping it in the family. But the way to go about that is to ask their father, respectfully and politely, if he would consider keeping it in the family (via trust) for generations to come. Whatever his response, or even if it's MYOB, the kids should leave it at that.  

But the way they've treated their debilitated father and even worse, tried dragging the rest of the family into it, is appalling.  

No one knows how long they will live or what expenses may occur.  Long term care can be very, very expensive and if the lake house had to be sold to pay DH's medical or care bills then that may be an option which would make this whole subject of the kids getting it - moot.  As Winterglow said, you could also rent it out for income for long term care.

Unless of course the skids plan to take care of their father 24/7 for the rest of his days.  We know the answer to that.

ndc's picture

Your best bet at this point (for this purpose only and without knowing your tax situation) may be to put the lake house into both of your names with right of survivorship so that it passes automatically outside of probate.  Knowing that these skids object to your estate plan,  it would be wise to consult with a T&E attorney and make sure your plans are as ironclad as you can make them. 

CLove's picture

Im so sorry you are going through all that. Vent away as much as you need to. You have a lot on your plate, the skids can see that, and are doing their best to wear you down at your vulnerable points. And your husband is suffering as well, and plus having to see his kids act like a$$holes. After all you have done for them, and they cant be bothered to help and now are memememe. Plus being rude and nasty.

Id say heck with them, leave it all to the charity of your choice. Leave it to the grands equally between yours and his. LOL, that should REALLY get them bothered.

Enjoy your time, block those suckers. Tell them if they cannot be nice, they need to leave, its too much stress on their father.

Stepdrama2020's picture

Welp. Its up to DH to decide what he wants in his will. The Lake House couldve have been in the family for 5 billion years and it would still be his choice who he wills it to if it is in his name. So F that to the entitled skids. They can wait and lady I hope you live a very long happy life at the Lake House  Smile

Heck when your time is coming Id throw a match and never look back. Nothing like roasting marshmellows on a bonfire at the lake   ;)     LOL

Rags's picture

The hair on the back of my neck stands up straight and my hackles are raised.  All that statement represents is an excuse to not be clear that  "his/her kid is a POS" and no one wants to call a Spade a Spade.

I stand on the "facts are neither good nor bad, they are merely facts" platform and am a firm believer that the facts need to be broadcast and addressed regularly and often until the behaviors that result in undesirable facts are changed.

They have made their beds, now is the time to bury then in those beds.   Immediatley have your attorney send a cease and decist order and launch a RO/PO keeping them away from you, your DH, and your homes.  

If I were you, I would make damned sure they get squat for nothing. If your DH pre-deceases you, donate the lake house to a charity, and in your will leave what is left of DH's 401 to his toxic spawn making sure that you draw that down first so that yours can go to your kids.

If they so much as drive by any of your properties, nail their asses to a wall for violating the RO/PO.

Their father is not deceased and yet they are vultures picking at his life.



Miss T's picture

Meaning your DH's health and his horrible crotch fruit. A trust is the way to go if you can swing it.

I brought all--and I do mean ALL--of the assets into my marriage. Being a paranoid and suspicious type I hired a lawyer to prepare a pre-nup. He did some casual checking and before I signed anything he made sure I knew about DH's situation, which included a recent bankruptcy, zero  assets, and a crazy, chronically unemployed ex.

Over the years DH has cleaned up his act considerably, but besides being the one who brought the assets, I have contributed the lion's share of income throughout our marriage. Unfortunately DH is still in thrall to his adult son, out of whose ass the sun apparently shines. I think he's a toxic pr!ck. Sadly, my 3 bios, now adults, have never recovered from the PAS their father abused them with. I love them to bits but they're kind of hopeless in their own way. In less than 5 years they've all blown through inheritances left them by their deceased father's sister, and they never seem to tire of hearing me tell them that no, I won't lend them money, co-sign a car loan, or anything of the sort. They have no kids of their own and I suspect it'll stay that way. So I really have no one I care to leave anything of value.

My assets, protected by the pre-nup, are producing income and held in a trust. Cost me a bomb to have it set up and sadly I've had to conceal its existence from DH. He's a little fuzzy on the exact source of our money and I suspect he'll always be vulnerable to his son's greed. My kids know they're not getting anything of value, but SS is likely in for an unpleasant surprise. Wish I could be around to see it. DH and I live off the trust and when we're  both gone it will be liquidated and the proceeds will go to a charity that I've vetted and consider honest and well-run. And boy do I sleep better knowing that those assets are protected from the outstretched hands of spendthrift kids and a nasty skid.

I highly recommend a trust like this if you're ornery enough to set one up and can afford it.

Flustered's picture

LilyRose, you could be writing my life, except only my BD has grandkids. SS  had no kids and didn't want Dad to remarry ( that was close to 24 years ago) . It makes me ready to cry. Please get and estate elder lawyer. The point is to not need the will, to make all avoid probate.

My DH and I redid wills last fall. We set up a trust for grandkids and protection trusts in the event one of us wound up in a nursing home/ we put life estate on houses- my BD has the house she's buying from me and will just inherit it. This one I live in has the SD but she has to sell and share profits with her SS. Anything financial in our marriage that was merged, they split. Anything after he died is mine. ( I was 100% POD on his except for one " oops" where we had papers but benfiary wasn't filed on an account of his. ) DH died 6 mos after we wrote wills. SD hasn't been decent to me for anything, thinks she should have gotten a lot more when her father died. My BD is now my executor. I - because of my SD behavior-  need to take her off as contingent executor.

please see an estate lawyer. Even if your husband has had a stroke, if he can make his wishes known to lawyer, he can change will. Still, I would not be surprised if his kids challenged it. You can change yours. Just get one of your kids as executor, the one you trust. Perhaps put all in trust -- that spells out everything better than wills sometimes.

if your SKS are horrible now with Dad alive? Expect worse down the road. I am living it for 8 mos. At least get everything POD or TOD or you as beneficiary/ sometimes called ATF. Get health care proxies/ living wills and Power of Attorney. I understand how you feel.... like I said, I'm living in the aftermath of DH dying and SD from hell