Originally Posted by Chuckanut
I know a person whose elderly father married a gold digger. By accident they found out she had talked him into changing his will leaving everything to her. And if she died first, everything went to HER children. They convinced him to divorce her, but the entire marriage cost him 1/2 his assets.
(apologies for a long post... I had to vent a little)
After my mother passed away, my elderly father was left extremely vulnerable. Since my siblings and I were all grown and spread across the country, it was difficult to help. Of course, immediately following mom's death, we each begged dad to move close to one of us... but he wasn't willing to do so. So when a widow (close to his age) stormed into his life, he was sucked in. They were engaged within 6 months of my mother's funeral and married a few months after that.
Everyone was shocked and worried... but what could we do? My dad, for his part, established a prenup and laid out all of his estate and financial wishes before the wedding. He even called a meeting with his estate attorney and we were all informed of his plans. All was good, fairly allocated and communicated.
Within two years... the prenup was thrown out... the will was changed... a new estate attorney was found... and my father's wife (along with her son, an estate lawyer himself) systematically ingratiated and enriched their family's position.
Whenever my siblings and I asked for an "estate planning update"... my father's wife, understandably and vehemently, blocked our attempts. Finally, we convinced my father to do so and discovered the extent of her manipulations. Still... these were his "wishes" (albeit coerced). What could we do other than ask for transparency? My thought was... "turn on the light and the rats may stop nibbling."
In his final days, frail and weak, my father (knowing his wife was out of the room) apologized for the changes to his estate. He hinted that he was bullied by her family, but asked that we not fight over his final plans. So we didn't... even when we found out that she withdrew a huge amount from his portfolio during the last year of his life.
I'll never understand people like my dad's wife (she really was a horrible woman)... and find that my own ability to trust people is diminished greatly.
Like the woman in the news article, though, I feel both sorrow and disappointment for my father. He should have seen through the woman crashing into his life, ultimately I think he did. His penance for not doing so earlier, however, was to be nagged and bullied to his grave by a miserable troll of a woman.