A young woman who was born out of an affair discovered she inherited a few thousand dollars.
She is thinking about accepting it, despite opposition from her family.
Redditor "sg-throw" is a 22-year-old whose mother had an affair with a man whose "real" family lives in Asia and is married to a woman named "Sarah." Sarah does not resent the Original Poster (OP) and even allowed her sons to have a relationship with their half sister.
When Sarah passed away, she allocated a small portion of her inheritance to the OP.
The unexpected gesture moved her to tears. However, the OP's family advised her not to accept the money because she was "not family."
"I won't mince words: I'm (22F) the product of an affair." said the OP in Reddit's AITA (Am I the A**hole) subReddit.
"My father comes from a wealthy family and is a businessman in Asia, and my mother used to be a flight attendant in the 90s."
"My dad has always been there when I was growing up, even if my mom and I live in the US, and has provided for us financially."
His 'real' family knows about me: he and his wife 'Sarah' got married out of business convenience and she's never resented me or made me feel bad in any way."
Sarah sounds like a lovely woman who genuinely cared about the OP.
"I've always respected her for letting me have a relationship with my older brothers, and letting me come with their family on summer vacations. She even sent our family flowers when my mom got married a few years ago."
"Sadly Sarah passed away from cancer a few months ago. It's been rough on my dad and brothers, she was a wonderful, kind woman and I miss her a lot."
The OP never predicted what happened next.
"Sarah was very, very wealthy and left my brothers a significant inheritance. Apparently she also left me something in her will: a few thousand dollars."
"I burst into tears when my brothers called me with the news, I didn't expect her to even acknowledge me in any way as her husband's bastard child even if we had a good relationship."
The news was not met with approval on the home front.
"The problem is my family: my uncles and grandma think that I shouldn't accept the money because I'm 'not family.'"
"My brothers have been saying that over in their country, Sarah's family is also contesting the will to remove me because I'm not her daughter or related to her in any way."
"I've been feeling pressured to not accept the money even if my dad and brothers say I have every right to accept it."
The OP asked AITA (Am I the A**hole) for thinking about taking the inheritance.
"NTA. She wanted you to have it."
"Why should other people, even family, have a greater say in what she does with her money than her?"
"If she were alive, is this what she would have wanted? Clearly not. She put it in writing!"
"Again, respect her wishes." – writesgud
"NTA I'm glad you had so many wonderful people that loved you. She wanted you to have it and it made her happy yo give it yo you." – Today304
Season 6 Money GIF by PowerGiphy
"Sorry for your loss but in spite of everything she must of cared a great dealing adding you to her will."
"Doesn't matter what they want it's what She wanted. Don't feel bad & take it, do something good with it you obviously deserved it and made a great impression on her. NTA" – 20MLSE20
One Redditor didn't understand the logic in the family telling the OP not to accept the money.
"In what planet are you only allowed to inherit things if you're family?"
"I thought your will could give anyone anything." – TretLebelMidnait
But international inheritance laws vary between cultures and these Redditors weighed in on the differences.
"In Muslim majority countries, even ones where Sharia is not the state law, inheritance laws are affected by Sharia."
"Islam has strict guidelines as to how your inheritance will be divided. You can make a will, but it can be contested on sharia grounds."
"So for example a man who only has daughters and does not want any of his wealth to go to his nephews and nieces (under sharia nephews and nieces would inherit something)."
"That man would be wiser to transfer the inheritance while he is still alive entirely to his daughters, than write a will, which could get contested." – pcreboot25
"Even the brothers and sisters maybe entitled to receive something."
"I am from Bangladesh, while sharia is not state law, marriage, inheritance and in general family law is handled according to the person's religion.Hindus, Christians, muslims and buddhists all fall under the laws of their own religion." – pcreboot25
"Here in France, you can't disinherit your children."
"So, if you have children, legally they are collectively entitled to at least half of your estate. You also couldn't favor one over the other with this portion of the estate (but I guess you could with the other portion)."
"Not exactly the same thing, but it's a similar idea."
"If you do inherit from someone who is not your family, you also have to pay a lot more in taxes." – mkaters
"In Slovenia, any relative can demand a portion of the will. Even a fourth cousin."
"And we have a lot of problems with inheriting houses (if someone demands a 5% of the house)That's why you give everything away before you die." – Akemichan5
A law student from Slovenia corrected the misinformed comment mentioned above.
"That's entirely untrue. There are requirements that must be met for the relatives to demand something, and only a small portion of the estate is deemed as 'nujni delež,' a part of the inheritance that can go to those who claim their portion of the will."
"Only a spouse, parents or children are automatically justified to that portion, and aunts/grandparents/siblings etc can demand it only under certain very restricted conditions, such as if they are unable to work and provide for themselves because of a mental/physical handicap." – alya_lex
This Redditor suggested the OP take the money before further complications arise.
"NTA. Relatives have no say in someone's legal will."
"Take your inheritance before the family ties it up in legal battles if you can. People get ugly over money." – Rhewin
Many people believe money is the root of evil.
But in this case, the kind gesture came from the richness of a good heart, and the OP has every right to take the money, guilt-free.
This Peace of Mind Planner: Important Information about My Belongings, Business Affairs, and Wishes, available here, can help people settle their affairs in advance.