There is little that can cause more tension between two betrotheds before their wedding than whether or not to sign a prenuptial agreement.
True, if one of them is a person of sizable means, one can’t blame them for wanting to protect their assets should the marriage prove to be anything but “happily ever after”.
On the other hand, when one-half of a couple is approached about a prenup, it’s hard not to understand why they would feel hurt, as they might feel that their fiancé doesn’t trust them, and/or has doubts that their marriage will last.
The son of Redditor Medical-Club-462 recently announced that he was engaged to be married to his girlfriend.
While the original poster (OP) was happy for his son, he was the tiniest bit wary of his future, owing to the suspicious behavior of his son’s future mother-in-law.
As a result, the OP told his son that if he didn’t sign a prenup, drastic measures would be taken.
A threat his son did not appreciate one bit.
Wondering if he was out of line, the OP took to the subReddit “Am I The A**hole” (AITA), where he asked fellow Redditors:
“AITA for writing my son out of my will?”
The OP explained why he felt it was necessary to change his will if his son didn’t sign a prenuptial agreement:
“My wife and I (48 M[ale]) have a son, John (26 M) who recently told us that he is asking his girlfriend, Cece to marry him.”
“We’ve met Cece a few times before and she seems like a nice girl, but we have concerns about Cece’s family.”
“My wife and I own a few rental properties and John stays in one of the properties rent free as he is still in grad school, and free housing is something my wife and I’ve always agreed to provided for all our kids, especially while they are in school so that they don’t have to worry about rent in a high cost of living area.”
“The concern with Cece’s family comes from having met the family a couple times before.”
“They seems inappropriately interested in my wife and I’s finances, and Cece’s mother (from what I’ve heard from my other kids and a little from John), is close to retirement, has no savings or plans set up for retirement.”
“Her mother has multiple times attempted to move in and live rent free in one of my properties because according to her, it is ‘her future son in law’s house’.”
“My take is that Cece’s mother sees John, who is about to graduate from med school, as their retirement security.”
“John’s my oldest and I’ve signed a will where he gets a large amount of cash plus the property that Cece’s mother was trying to move into.”
“I’m not sure if the mother knows that and that’s why she was trying to move in, but John does know about what he is inheriting.”
“My biggest fear is that somehow that family will end up with a piece of the house for whatever reason once I pass.”
“John has a pure heart and always sees the good in people, and I think his future mother-in-law will take advantage of that.”
“When John told me he is getting married to Cece, I requested he signs a prenup to protect his inheritance (and also prenups are advisable in general), but he was vehemently against it.”
“I told him that he will be written out of the will and the house will go to our other kids if he marries her without a prenup, but seems like he is not budging, so i’ve gone ahead and started plans to leave the house to my other kid.”
“I think I have good reasons to not trust Cece’s family and their intentions with my son.”
“I’m not going to tell a grown man who he can and can’t marry but I want to protect what I am leaving for my children.”
“My son has stopped talking to me and I’m not sure if I was that unreasonable.”
“We are mostly concerned about the house.”
“My son will still be receiving the huge chunk of cash on the will, he will be getting something, just not the house.”
“When my wife and I met Cece’s mother, she’s made multiple comments about how her future son in law has her retirement taken care of, and she has asked us multiple time if she could move into the house to the point where it was getting inappropriate.”
Fellow Redditors weighed in on where they believed the OP fell in this particular situation, by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
While the Reddit community was somewhat divided, they for the most part agreed that the OP was not the a**hole for making John sign a prenup or lose the house in the will.
Most agreed that John was merely looking out for his son, and if some understood John’s reaction, they also agreed that the behavior of John’s future mother-in-law was, indeed, suspect and a prenup was a good idea.
“You could do a trust and have a trustee continue to exercise control after your death or even in your will have a prenup clause (my father did that) where anyone who wants to inherit must have a prenup.”- Huggle-Puggle
“Some of our family friends had a daughter-in-law who was greedier than you can imagine.”
“They immediately locked all of their assets up in an iron-clad trust.”
“Their daughter and son-in-law didn’t care at all, nor did their son, but their daughter-in-law hit the roof.”
“The trust specifically kept all assets and money out of the hands of both people their children married.”
“The grandchildren were cared for, and their children received small annual payouts.”
“This is the way.”
“Whether it’s property or money, there are amazing trusts that keep the inheritance intact and prevent grasping in-laws from ever getting their hands on it.”
“Find a good estate lawyer, and you’ll be protecting everything against all current and future greedy people.”- Cursd818
“Trust your gut – why should you have outsiders come in and take what you worked for.”
“Maybe you want to leave your son a bit of cash but nothing major that the in-laws could benefit from.”
“It would be interesting to see how things would turn out if the GF’s family knew that your son was getting nothing and would not be funding their retirement etc.”- Initial728
“Leave your son in your will but place all of his inheritance in a trust.”- Outrageous_Shoe_1450
“Your son is young and cannot see the red flags.”
“It is your property and you can do what you want with it.”
“Better get an estate attorney to help you with options.”- guppy738
“You are NTA for being concerned about this.”
“But you are going about it all wrong.”
“You need to do some proper estate planning with a good lawyer to ensure your son isn’t taken advantage of by what seems to be a very opportunistic set of in-laws, but without punishing him in the process.”
“As it is, you are hurting him by the way you are going about this.”
“You can place the property in trust and let him live in it rent free on the condition that the only inhabitants are him, his wife and kids.”
“Or something similar.”- GloryIV
Others, however, sympathized with John a little more, agreeing that telling your child to get a prenup was a risky, borderline inappropriate thing to do, even if they understood where the OP was coming from.
Some suggested he instead make further arrangements and conditions regarding the house rather than take it away from John entirely.
“Ok, so I think you should trust your gut and, based on the example of the future MIL already pushing to live rent-free in your property, I think you’re onto something.”
“That being said, what you’re considering will cause your son considerable pain, angst, and embarrassment.”
“I realize 20-something year old me did and nearly did quite a few very stupid things with the best of intentions, so I recognize the need to protect him.”
“Is there an option to place these properties in a trust so as to protect him, but also to not actually write him out of the will?”
“Consult an attorney on the options for maximum protection and flexibility, of course, but it feels like it shouldn’t have to be all or nothing.”
“It’s your property.”- SunshineShoulders87
“But doing this will likely affect your relationship with your son for the rest of your life.”
“Isn’t there a compromise?”
“You should speak to an attorney about a trust and stipulations with that trust around MIL.”-bokatan778
It’s hard not to agree that the behavior of John’s mother-in-law was cause for concern.
However, if the OP was truly only thinking of John, as it seems he was, perhaps threatening to take the house away from him wasn’t the best plan of action.
One can only hope they will come to a resolution that pleases everyone and keeps the OP and John’s money and property safe and secure.