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Mom Called ‘Selfish’ For Refusing To Split Late Husband’s College Fund For Daughter With Stepkids

Couple arguing

College is a big deal, and the finances required are often just as challenging as the coursework itself.

One young woman was left a trust by her late father due to tragic circumstances, and now her step-family wants her to spread the wealth.

Her mother, Redditor AITACollegeFundMom joined subReddit “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) to get insight into the situation.

She asked the sub:

“AITA for not splitting my daughter’s college fund?”

The original poster (OP) went on to tell the story.

“When my [42-year-old Female] daughter [17-year-old Female] was 7, we lost her father to an avoidable accident.”

“Due to that and the subsequent settlement, my daughter was able to have a trust fund of sorts that provided for college, grad school if she wanted, and even some left over for whatever life might bring.”

“It is money that – managed wisely – would enable her to have a head start in life.”

“She knows about this and has never taken for granted, given where the money came from. After all, we’d both rather have her father around than the money.”

She got right to the issue at hand.

“That said, life moves on, and I remarried 6 years after my former husband’s passing to a lovely man who has two children of his own [17-year-old Female, 13-year-old Male].”

“All of the children live with us primarily with his children seeing their mother on vacations as she lives across the country.”

“This year, both our girls are graduating and should be headed to college. My daughter was admitted [Early Decision] to her dream school last year and is ecstatic about it.”

“Her father is an alumnus, and she has this old sweatshirt of his that she kept to remind her of him.”

“She cried so much when she got in, and both her stepfather and I were proud of her because she worked hard to get in.”

“My stepdaughter will also be attending a wonderful school that is one the top-ranked schools for her interests.”

“The problem now arises with the money to pay for SD’s [stepdaughter’s] school.”

“Because her parents cannot afford to pay the tuition in its entirety, SD will have to take some loans.”

“All told, she will graduate with about $40K in loans which I think is still quite modest for the school she’s attending and her earning prospects post-graduation.”

“But my daughter will graduate debt free, and for my husband, this is suddenly a problem.”

“He wants us to split up my daughter’s fund between all three kids because then they could all (probably) have college fully paid for.”

“My daughter won’t have much left over and will definitely need to borrow for grad school – which she has expressed interest in attending – but, according to my husband, that’s ok because everyone will start off on an equal footing post-college.”

“I think this is unfair to my daughter because 1) her father had to die for this money and 2) this is like her inheritance from him.”

“My husband thinks that they are all siblings, and she should be happy to share the money with them if it means giving her siblings a head start in life.”

“I absolutely do not want to put her in the position of being guilted into saying yes if she doesn’t want to.”

“I have expressed all of this to my husband, and he thinks that I’m being selfish, that I’m teaching my daughter to be selfish, and I obviously don’t consider my [Step Kids] the same as my daughter.”

“AITA for wanting to protect my daughter’s trust for her as it was intended?”

The OP added some clarification.

“[edited to add]: Since I’ve seen this a few times already, both kids do have college funds but somewhat smaller because my husband and his ex got their finances together later in life.”

“So there is some money, but with the caliber/[cost of attendance] of the school that SD will be attending, she will still need some loans to cover costs.”

“I haven’t brought up going to a cheaper school because that will be a fresh set of problems given where my daughter will be matriculating.”

Redditors weighed in by declaring:

  • NTA – Not The A**hole
  • YTA – You’re The A**hole
  • NAH – No A**holes Here
  • ESH – Everyone Sucks Here

Redditors concluded she was not the a**hole.


“That settlement was for your deceased husband’s children, not your future children, and certainly not someone else’s.” – StAlvis

“I agree NTA. The money is for your deceased husband’s children, not your current husband’s children.”

“Keep your stance. This is your daughter’s money from HER father. The other children have money from THEIR father.”

“To me, your current husband is the AH for even suggesting it.” – Ok-Dirt-6166

“The gall of him. OP’s daughter lost her father.”

“There can never be anything fair between her and her step-siblings. They have their dad.”

“Husband needs to back the hell off. That money is compensation for a terrible loss that only OP and her daughter suffered. How dare Husband now make it about him and his kids?!?”

“[In my opinion], you need to talk to your daughter directly about this and tell her that it is her money and she should not feel guilty for having it, and she should not give it away.”

“NTA (unless you let him bully you or your daughter into this)” – Aylauria

“It’s not rocket science. Your daughter’s father is dead.”

“That’s her inheritance. Only hers.”

“Is your husband’s ex giving money to your daughter? I don’t think so.”

“Nta, and if your husband insists, then divorce already.” – Cross_examination


“OP, this is literally blood money. It is money that you came into from your deceased husband’s passing. No one has any claim to this except you and your biological children.”

“I hope your new partner and bonus children understand that this money they are arguing over came at a significant emotional cost that your biological children bore the brunt of.”

“This is your deceased husband’s final act of providing for his children, don’t take this away from him.” – ashkars


“No Way! He needs to provide for his kids.”

“You have (tragically) provided for your kid. This is her money.”

“Why hasn’t he been saving for his kids’ education all along? He can cosign on his kid’s loans and pay them off.”

“These are his kids, and he and his ex-wife need to provide their educational expenses!” – OverRice2524


“This is money from her dead father. This isn’t money you’ve earned since becoming a stepmother.”

“Your husband is being selfish here, the irony! He wants money that isn’t his and is mad you won’t capitulate.”

“You need to set a boundary around them asking your daughter. ’If you go around my back and ask my daughter to split it, we will be getting a divorce.’”

“Boundaries require consequences that can be enforced.” – phenomstar

“‘I think this is unfair to my daughter because 1) her father had to die for this money’”

“^^This was all I was going to say, and all that needs to be said. ^^”

“NTA. It’s 100% your daughter’s money and 100%, not anyone else’s.”

“And shame on your husband for trying to take any of your daughter’s money that came from her father dying.”

“His kids are in no way, shape, or form entitled to any of that money.”

“Sorry that they will have a bit of debt, but at least they have their (entitled) father.”

“I hope you show him all of these NTA replies. No one is on his side.” – StonewallBrigade21

“Tell your current husband that he can die and give that insurance money to his kids. There, now, that would be fair.”

“Stare him in the eye when you tell him that, and talk to a lawyer.”

“What does your will look like, OP? Are you squared away?”

“What happens to your daughter’s inheritance if something happens to you? NTA” – YouthNAsia63

“NTA. Have your husband read the comments, so he can realize how much of an idiot he actually is.” – AscorbicDH


“They didn’t contribute to the fund and have no rights to it.”

“It’s appalling that they would pressure you or your daughter in any way about this. This is greedy and predatory behavior by your husband.” – Used_Mark_7911

“OMG. Your husband is a greedy, selfish monster.”

“You are NTA. Your daughter deserves every cent of that money.”

“Her father DIED! You need to hold your ground here.”

“‘Sharing’ should never even be presented as an option to your daughter. She shouldn’t ever be put in that position.” – AshesB77

“NTA, what your husband is asking you to do is illegal.”

“The money was left in trust for your daughter, not to you to distribute as you see fit. It simply is not your money.”

“Your stepchildren have two parents. They could have saved for college from the day they were born.”

“Your stepchildren went on vacations without your daughter and had life experiences your daughter did not.”

“Their lives are richer from these experiences and the love of two parents.”

“If your husband got a call tonight telling him his ex died, would he think your daughter should get 1/3 of his children’s inheritance? Of course not!” – winesis

Hopefully, this tragedy does not beget another.

Written by B. Miller

B. is a creative multihyphenate who enjoys the power and versatility of the written word. She enjoys hiking, great food and drinks, traveling, and vulnerable conversation. Raised below the Mason Dixon, thriving above it. (she/her)