Two sisters are being bashed for assuming that a man who has twice survived cancer will leave them everything when he dies—explaining both why they treated his wife so poorly and why they hadn’t bothered to save for their children’s education.
Sharing his story with the r/AmITheA**hole Reddit forum, u/aitapartnerwill earned over 4,700 upvotes and 700 comments for their post, “AITA for no longer leaving everything I own to my siblings/nephews and nieces?”
The original poster (OP) gives a bit of background: When he was 24, he was engaged—but his fiancée cheated on him and broke his heart. At the time, he said he’d never have another romantic relationship and changed his will to leave everything to his sisters and their children. Though he didn’t tell them this immediately, he spilled the beans 15 years ago while drunk at a New Year’s Eve party.
A couple years after that, he developed cancer, which then went into remission when he was 29. But when he was 32—six years ago—it came back. He had surgery and radiation therapy, and it’s back in remission. It was at that time when he met his now-wife, “Anna,” while they were both being treated for cancer.
However, he says, his family has always been unwelcoming to Anna, and he’s never been able to figure out why—until recently. One of his sisters came to him and asked if he wanted to weigh in on where his eldest child was going to go to college. He wasn’t sure why she’d ask him, and she said, that he was because he was going to be the one paying for it.
Confused, he asked why she expected him to pay for her child’s education, and she brought up his drunken promise from 15 years ago.
“I laughed and pointed out that at the time I was 24 and heart broken and my sister and her husband were well off and should be supporting their own child not asking me to,” u/aitapartnerwill wrote. “My sister went off about how Anna was stealing me (and my money/assets) away from the family and how we have no children so I should support my sisters children.”
He made sure to clarify that Anna was, of course, going to inherit his belongings should he pass. He also points out that neither he nor Anna are even 40 yet, and there’s still plenty of time for them to have kids. But now his sister won’t talk to him, and his other sister accuses him of “leading them on for 15 years.”
He also assumes that the likelihood of his cancer coming back is why his sisters didn’t bother to plan for college.
“I feel like I might be at fault here because I can see how they could assume that but also, why did they take my drunken word for it and never bring it up since. Especially as I now know that neither has saved for their kids to go to college because they were relying on not to pay,” he said. “I now understand why they don’t like Anna also, anna is very upset about the whole situation and is blaming herself for driving a wedge between my sisters and i.”
When someone writes a will, it can be contested, but generally only if it can be proven that the will-writer was not acting in their own interests. If the will-writer was either not in sound mind, had been coerced or outright defrauded, then a will can be overturned—though it’s still difficult and costly, according to Investopedia.
However, OP’s sisters neglecting to plan for their children’s education, merely assuming their brother will die and pay for it, is not only ghoulish, but foolish. Even in the unfortunate event that his cancer comes back, it’s impossible to know whether or not his death would fit their timetable to pay for college.
When parents haven’t saved anything for college, however, it’s not necessarily the end of the world, according to AARP. The organization urges parents to start saving as soon as possible, even if it’s not long before their child enrolls—and start looking into financial aid, student loans and tax credits to lower the bill as much as possible.
It also helps to find a cheaper college. Many state schools offer in-state students a reduced tuition, and many state schools are highly rated, so it’s not necessarily a discount education for a discount price.
Reddit was appalled at the cruelty of the OP’s sisters.
“[Not the A**hole]. They would have inherited if you would have died. You never stipulated that you’d cover college etc for your nieces and nephews,” u/MsLollister wrote in the top-rated comment with over 9,200 upvotes. “So they’ve walked around for 15 years hoping you’ll drop dead so they get money to pay for things they haven’t accounted for themselves? Wow, your family is a bunch of gold diggers. This is not Anna’s fault at all.”
“Obviously the plan was for OP to die before the kids reached adulthood. Not only did he have the poor manners to live longer than they hoped, he changed his will. [Not the A**hole],” u/Intelligent_Stop5564 wrote.
“Hell, if my sibling had cancer and survived, I would be so happy they had money to fall back on given the state of US healthcare,” u/hallipeno wrote. “I’d also rather have them than their money, though, so clearly OP’s family and I have different values. [Not the A**hole]”
“Live long to spite them, and leave everything to Anna or charity when you finally pass at 103. [Not the A**hole],” u/cmlobue suggests.
“I am actually so disgusted with OP’s family. It’s like they were counting on him to die so that they could financially benefit. This is one step further than being grateful for a gift that would be made under horrible circumstances,” u/ocean_sky_wild wrote . “I would immediately change my will and go no contact over that. I mean way to find out about how your family REALLY feel about you.”
“[Not the A**hole] – You aren’t their personal piggy bank. If someone said that to me while drunk with a freshly broken heart, I’d completely dismiss it. Then to be so greedy that they automatically dislike Anna because it means they won’t get an inheritance shows more about them than about you,” u/ThereBeTheWhiteWhale added. “You have a right to be happy. They are not entitled to your money. I suggest you talk to a lawyer because if you leave them nothing they will probably try to contest your will.”
Newsweek reached out to u/aitapartnerwill for comment.