In August 2018 my father went into the hospital with a fever and a general not feeling well. Things did not improve for him and 3 weeks later he passed away, never leaving the hospital after he initially entered. When he passed, myself along with my step-mother, step-sister, biological sister and my father’s sister were all by his side. With an obvious deep sense of loss, we each left the hospital heading back to hotels and my step-sister heading to her home in Bradenton, FL. My aunt flew back to Michigan the next day, my biological sister following the day after. I stayed one extra day to be with my step-mother, knowing that after 40 years she was going back to her home without my father.
Fast forward to July 2021 when my husband and I stopped to have lunch with my step-mom who now resided in Michigan with the rest of the family members, minus my step-sister who had moved to Japan. Within the first five minutes of conversation, my step-mother told me that she had recently had her Will done and it was an exact duplicate of my father’s Will; a Will that had been done in 1977 and never updated. According to my step-mother in my father’s Will it was stated that my biological sister and I were excluded from the Will and would receive nothing. My step-mother stated she felt really terrible for my sister and myself, so she wanted to give us each $10,000. She wrote me a check that day and then called my sister that evening and told her that she was wiring my sister the money, after which, “she would be done with her” (my step-mom and sister have not had a very good relationship since she married our dad in 1978 when my sister and I were ages 3 & 7).
To say that my sister and I were shocked was an understatement of the century. After multiple conversations with our step-mother we hired an attorney and private investigator only to eventually find out that unless we could find a copy of the Will, there was absolutely nothing we could do regarding our father’s estate. During this time, we also discovered that our step-mother, who had the only copy of our father’s Will, destroyed his original Will. In the end, my step-mom finally confirmed to me that she had in fact changed our father’s decision and excluded my sister and myself, leaving our step-sister as the sole beneficiary.
For my sister and myself, we had always believed that our father would leave everything to our step-mother so that she was taken care of (she had only worked a couple years during their 40 year marriage), with the intent to divide anything that was left between us three girls evenly. Our father had always treated us three girls equally, regardless of the step relationship. During our search for his Will, every individual we spoke with that had known our father from before his marriage to our step-mom, up until the last few years of his life, all agreed that our father never would have denied my sister and I. Everything he worked for in his life was to provide for himself and our step-mother, and to provide us three girls with everything we ever needed.
To have our step-mother change our father’s wishes was heartbreaking; not for the money, but the deceit she had/has portrayed for years. She led my sister and I to question the relationships we had with our father; had we done something wrong? Did he not care for us; why else would he cut a 3 and 7 year old out of his Will? Was he lying to us all these years when he emotionally, physically, verbally and financially supported our dreams and careers and families? My goal with this company is to help others not have to experience the heartbreak and questions that my sister and I did, and to make certain that someone’s wishes are met and realized.