Life Advice



Ask Amy: Siblings face dilemma over mother’s will

Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

Dear Guilty: I understand your belief that if you give money to your step-siblings from the estate, this could open the door to their dissatisfaction and perhaps interference.

Your mother mentioned wanting to change the will to include your step-siblings, but she doesn’t seem to have disclosed specifics for how she wanted to do this.

I also assume that you and your siblings might not agree with the idea of sharing the estate. It is their right to hold onto their legal inheritance, just as you have the right to share yours.

It is imperative that you three siblings speak with a lawyer about this idea.

You don’t disclose any information about your stepfather’s will. If all of his money and property was inherited by your mother, in my opinion you should do your best to make sure that your stepfather’s children are given any of their father’s personal possessions and property, or any possessions or property that might have come down through his family.

If the house your mother lived in was originally owned by her husband before their marriage, for instance, then you and your siblings might consider giving it to his children.


My point is that you and your siblings should make an effort to recognize your step-sibling’s desire to inherit property that belonged to their father before the marriage. But your effort to do the right thing might not change any negative dynamic between you.

This truly might be a case of being damned if you do and damned if you don’t, but you should do your best to walk the most ethical path, while being realistic about the emotional fallout.

Dear Amy: My youngest son is planning his wedding. He wants his brother “Randall” to be his best man. My three grandchildren will also be part of the wedding party in some way.

My son's fiance is wondering if she should invite Randall's wife to be a part of the wedding party as well, even though she doesn't want to (no one likes Randall’s wife for various reasons).


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