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Emily’s Post

Her stepchildren want more than their due

/ 02:11 AM January 15, 2017

Dear Emily,

When I married my second husband, he had three children from his first wife, and I had two from my first husband. All the children were under 10, and I tried my best to raise them well.

Now that my husband has passed on, I am having problems with my stepchildren. They accused me of favoritism when I told them that the properties I inherited from my parents should go to my own children. They asked why, when they all grew up under the same roof and ate the same food. I compromised, saying that what I had with their dad will be given to them alone. They are not happy with that.

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LESLIE

Reminds me of some people queued up at a buffet. The plates they’re holding are already groaning with vast quantities of food, yet they’re still looking hungrily at what’s available on the table that they can take away with them.  Insatiable? Greedy? All of the above?

Unless, of course, these stepchildren of yours think they are getting shortchanged?  If you want to be magnanimous and extremely generous, you can give in to what you feel is their unfair demands. But if that would be a disadvantage to your own kids, then do what you think is just.

What did their father think about all this?  Was there ever a reckoning of the individual assets you each have brought into the marriage? Did he think he would leave it up to you to combine all your assets and divide them fairly among the children?  Or did he not want to meddle in your decision after he had gone—to exercise your good judgment and do what’s right?

By law, you have no financial obligation to your stepchildren. Your paraphernal properties are solely your own, neither part of the dowry nor part of the marriage. As were your husband’s.

Shouldn’t these stepchildren appreciate what you’re giving them unreservedly, with you not even demanding anything as the wife? Why the interest in what is indisputably and absolutely yours? Will it impoverish them if they don’t partake of your wealth, as well?

Aren’t they just being greedy now?

E-mail the columnist: emarcelo@inquirer.com.ph or emarcelo629@gmail.com

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TAGS: Family, Greed, inheritance, Relationships, Stepchildren
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