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Steph

What would you do??

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What would you do?  My DH had 2 children with his previous wife.  Their divorce was final in 2008 and shortly thereafter his children stopped all communications between themselves and their father.  I believe it was around the time that the former marital home was sold.  So there was no communication for about 10 years before his death.  The children didn't know he got sick and they do not know that he died.  He died March 11, 2018 so it has been over a year now.  He had a Will that he had done prior to him becoming sick.  In the Will he specifically wrote that he felt he had provided for them enough in life and he left them nothing.  The Will was probated and all that.  I wrestle with the idea of somehow contacting them and telling them.  Part of me believes they should know, although I'm not sure if they would grieve or not...  But the other part of me doesn't want the potential legal hassle if they think they are entitled to something.  I struggle with this conflict...

 

Oh, his kids are in their mid-20s now, so they are not children.

Edited by Steph

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I don't think anything good can come from letting them know, and as you said, plenty of potential problems. If they haven't tried to contact him in ten years, you owe them nothing ethically.

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I can somehow relate to your story @Steph. Ken had 2 sons with his previous partner and whilst they were in touch (Ken was, they only contacted Ken if they needed money), they didn't show up when he was ill/ in hospital/ dying. It was only me there. As soon as he died though, 4 days after he died to be specific, they showed up at our flat (two sons and Ken's family and friends) and started pushing me to give them our car and motorbike. At that point, 4 days after Ken passed away, I was barely able to breath but somehow got all my strength, stood up and and told the lot to LEAVE, pointing at the door. Ken's big sister didn't come to his funeral 2 weeks later because I apparently offended her and now his family and friends hate me because I was disrespectful to them when asked them to leave. It bothered me in the first months but now I couldn't care less. As for his sons, I gave them our bike a month after Ken passed away and helped them get some money from Ken's workplace too but they clearly want nothing to do with me. So it be.

From my experience and as PaulZ said, you owe them nothing. They could be in touch with their dad but chose not to. Death brings worst out of some people. They suddenly start digging and trying to benefit from one's death. Leave it. They will not appreciate whatever you do and will only do your head in

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Steph    Ten years of no communication between him and his children?  Agree with others that you don't owe them a thing.   

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@serpico no their mother does not know.

 

Thank you everybody for your support.  DH told me when he was sick to leave it alone, that he didn't want them involved.  I guess I just feel badly that they have no idea, but I keep telling myself if they didn't want anything to do with him while he was alive, what would they possibly want now, except anything they think they could get off of his death.  I would like to think better of them, but yes, @Bubu27, death does bring out the worst in people.

 

I will stay quiet.  There was no money there anyway.  Thank you all for your non-judgmental advice/support.  I am not sure what I will do if they ever do reach out to him, as I do check his emails...but I will try not to think about it.  They made the decision to end their relationship with him, not the other way around.  They missed out on the last 10 years of the life of the best man I ever met.  Their loss.

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As seems to be my habit, I will take a contrary view. Of course, you should reach out and let his children know he has passed. It has nothing at all to do with the money or lack of money he left them. He died, he's their father. You are, currently, the only way to let them know. 

 

You are correct that they missed out on the last 10 years of his life. It was their loss. 

 

We all here often talk about being the bigger person and to do the right thing. Someone mentioned potential problems up thread. Like what? Getting bitched at? So? The will is settled and done. But you are worried they will feel entitled - again, so. You cannot control what others think about any situation. They are going to to think what they think. 

 

Here's a little thought experiment: Okay, let's say they DO think they are entitled to something. Are they going to feel better or worse years later from now if they find out on their own and not from you? Their thoughts could run along the lines of "Well, that blankety blank women didn't even have the decency to let us know he died." Would they be more or less likely to mount a scorched earth legal action against you now or later? If you let them know or not?

 

Letting them know is the right thing. I think deep down you know this. 

 

Good luck! 

 

Mike

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Although I respect Portside's view on this, think about taking care of yourself right now.   Are you prepared to deal with the potential strife that reaching out to his children might bring?  Not only a possible legal hassle, but the emotions that this might bring?   Just my humble opinion, but you're fresh in this widowhood journey.   There is time to reach out at some point, is this the right time for you? 

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I actually had a very similar situation, with the exception of me helping to raise his kids part time.

When dh got sick and he would call them to come and see him they would not take the time to do it and they were only 20 - 30 minutes away.

Yet my son , whom dh adopted came from several states away many times and had to get permission from the military!

So my 2cents on this is , respect your dh's wishes and leave them out of it!

If after becoming adults they wanted contact they could have sought him out, and they didn't! With today's technology they could have found their dad but chose not to

so leave it alone for your dh now. 

Just my two cents....

Best of luck to you....

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Steph, if the jurisdiction that probated his will did not require notification I don't think you have an obligation. I'm in a state that requires notification to anyone who would have inherited if the decedent was intestate. Seems you've done what was required. I respectfully suggest that you use your best judgement in this matter. If you feel there may be a hassle you don't need you have your reasons. 

 

Wishing you peace.

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