Sister left out of Father's will
July 13, 2010 4:53 PM Subscribe
My father left one of my siblings out of his will. How good/bad would it be to split things with this sibling anyway? Details inside.
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (74 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
I am one of three children, and the executor of my father's will. I have one older brother and one younger sister. Brother is very financially stable, laid back, had close bond with parents and very responsible. My sister is less stable financially, quite sensitive, can be difficult to get along with, attention seeking, tends to choose bad relationships and doesn't have good follow through on her life decisions. That said, she is a kind soul whom I love dearly. She tends to enjoy the material side of life a bit more than my brother and I, as evidenced by her spending and debt. She was adopted into our family when she was 4. We are all in our 30s.
My dad passed away and left an estate worth somewhere around 700k. The will is very simple, it leaves everything to be split equally between my brother and I. I have no idea why, I would never have expected that to be the case. The three of us always just assumed that we would split things between the three of us, to the point that they left town before the will was actually read.
Money means more to my sister than to either my brother or me, so will especially painful to her to be left out of the will. My brother and I have better lifetime earning capacity (if things stay as they are in terms of career). We were all put through undergrad and med/law/grad school. My sister did owe my father a small sum of money, which everyone was aware of, so I don't think that he omitted her because she had already received the money.
My brother and I are considering just splitting the estate three ways despite the will. The only people that know the contents of the will are the lawyer, my spouse, by brother and me. My spouse points out that while we may have good intentions, it is not my money to give away. He supports whatever decision we make. My spouse and I are the only ones with children.
If we do this, are we betraying my father? If we do this without telling her, are we doing and unkindness to my sister? Does she have a right to know? Is this the sort of thing that even with the best of intentions will never be kept secret? Is this even possible, or will taxes or a distribution in the form of a money order with my name on it raise a red flag?
I hate the idea of lying, I'm not even sure if I could. But my question to you is, should I?