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Here’s the story of a devoted son who put his life on hold to care for his parents. Unfortunately, the son’s father got sick, and he started planning how to distribute his wealth between his children. Now siblings battle for their share of the inheritance.
Facing Terminal Illness
The original poster (OP), who we’ll refer to as Carter in this story, is a 64-year-old man who was recently diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer.
After the diagnosis, Carter was given less than a year to live.
Father’s Diagnosis Shifts Family Dynamics
Carter’s daughter, Stella, is in her early thirties. His son, Jayden, is only a few years younger.
Both grew up in the same household but chose different paths.
On the Path to Financial Freedom
Stella, like many women in her family, chose to become a dermatologist. It wasn’t easy, but she worked multiple jobs and used her scholarship to pay for college.
In the end, it was worth it. Stella now has a job she loves and earns $250,000 annually with zero debt.
Son’s Life Put On Hold to Care for Parents
Jayden, on the other hand, held off going to college to help his sick mom. Eventually, he helped Carter as well after he was diagnosed with cancer.
Carter told his son not to worry, but Jayden still decided to care for his mom and dad.
Stella didn’t realize at the time that Jayden taking on the responsibility to care for his mom meant he had to delay pursuing his own dreams.
Accusations of Favoritism Surrounding Father’s Last Wishes
Here’s where things took a turn.
Feeling grateful for his son’s care, Carter decided to leave him with the house and 80% of his wealth, which Jayden could use to go to college if he wanted to.
What Carter Thinks
“Because I feel so grateful and responsible for him sacrificing so much for us, I decided to let both my children know that -when I die- my son is to keep the house, all the possessions that we have in the house including our car, and 80% of whatever money that I have left in hopes that he could eventually use it to go to college if he wanted to.”
Stella would still be entitled to 20% of her dad’s wealth, but the divide left her feeling upset.
She believed Carter was favoring her brother. However, this was far from the truth.
The Weight of Sacrifice
In the end, Carter wanted the best for both of his children. Stella was financially well off, and he didn’t believe she needed more money.
On the other hand, Jayden had paused his life to take care of his parents. As his father, Carter just wanted to even the scale.
Accusations of Favoritism Surrounding Father’s Last Wishes
Carter didn’t imagine his dilemma escalating across the family. He was doing only what he felt to be fair.
“I didn’t expect is the rest of my family (especially the women) to call me as well and berating [sic] me for ‘acting misogynistic’ and that I was ‘punishing my daughter for her successes’ when I only simply wanted to give back to my son for helping me and my late wife.”
What People Really Think About Passing Down Wealth
“…I think your reasoning is sound, but I wouldn’t phrase it as paying him back for helping. Phrase it as because he put his life on hold to help and that he needs an extra leg up now. This isn’t about punishing her, but helping make sure they both have a chance at a good life…”
A Closer Look At Last Wishes
“This happened to my mother’s side of the family. My grandma has 12 kids and my mom was the one who consistently sent her money every month. Visit [sic] her as much as possible and also made sure a sibling was looking after her when her health was declining…”
Debating the Intentions and Implications
“Your son has put his life on hold for twelve years. He’s definitely going to need a bit of help getting back on track. He’s significantly behind his sister when it comes to making a decent wage.
“4 years of school, 3 years of college at least before he’ll be where she was seven years ago. At $250k a year he’s well behind financially. Your [sic] not punishing your daughter for her success, your [sic] rewarding your son for his time and effort.”
Healing the Divide
Death is something no one can escape. It seems that Carter is somewhat at peace with what soon awaits and only wants to see both of his kids happy.
Many believe it isn’t favoritism, only good karma that awaits Jayden.
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