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Parents Wonder If They're Wrong For Not Sharing Their Son's Life Insurance With His Live-In Girlfriend Of 2 Years

Photo: kurhan, Rawpixel.com / Shutterstock via Canva
senior couple smiling; life insurance policy

In a recently deleted Reddit post on the “r/AITA” subreddit, a father in his late fifties revealed that his 33-year-old son, Eric, had tragically passed away from an accident in October of last year. With his passing, his son left money behind.

But rather than take the money for themselves, the man and his wife debated sharing the life insurance pay-out with someone very close to their son: his girlfriend.

The parents refuse to share their deceased son’s life insurance with his live-in girlfriend of two years.

In his post, which was later uploaded to TikTok, the user stated that while his son wasn’t married, he lived with his girlfriend of two years named Emily who he had purchased a home with last June. “The house was $525k and they put down $225k,” said the user.



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He added, “They each paid half of the down payment and had been splitting the mortgage equally (as well as all of the rest of their bills). She makes about $80k per year after taxes. The house mortgage is $1,775 per month.”

parents wont share deceased son's life insurance with girlfriendPhoto: Serhii Krot / Shutterstock

“My son has a life insurance policy that paid out $750k,” he continued, further revealing that about six months prior to the accident, his son expressed that he had intentions of proposing to his girlfriend but it would take a few years before they could officially tie the knot.

"In a later conversation, [Eric] mentioned plans to update his life insurance because he wouldn’t want to leave a wife with nothing. That’s all that was ever said about it; obviously he passed before he ever decided to propose. This means the entire life insurance went to me and my wife,” he wrote.

Given this information, the user explained that he and his wife have been taking time off work to grieve and process the loss of their son. Though, what they plan to do with the money has raised many questioning brows.

Instead of fairly distributing the money to Emily, their once intended daughter-in-law, the user felt it best to use the money to help pay off their own home and medical expenses. 

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He wrote, “This money will allow us to pay off the rest of our mortgage, take stress off of our lives while we grieve, and hopefully retire a couple years earlier than we intended (we both have medical struggles so this is a big deal).”

Of course, not everyone was on board with the idea.

One night when their other other son, Mike, joined them for dinner, they brought up the situation concerning his brother’s life insurance payout. After explaining what they had intended to do with the money, Mike was far from supportive, and understandably so. 

The user wrote that later on, “Mike said he understands that we're grieving but we're selfish and narcissistic for not considering how tough this is for Emily and not even helping her by giving her enough to pay off his share of the house, if not the whole mortgage,” adding, “We're kidding ourselves if we think Eric would have wanted this.”

The story resurfaced in a podcast called “Two Hot Takes,” hosted by Morgan Absher joined by guest co-host Fannita Leggett. 

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In response to the Reddit post, Leggett says, “F--- Emily. They [were] only dating for two years.” She added, “If [Eric] was already 33 and hadn’t proposed to her, and he said they weren’t getting married for another few years… he was never going to marry that girl.”

However, Leggett said she does understand that it’s only fair for the family to share some of the payout with Emily in addition to paying off Eric’s share of the house. Still, Leggett feels that two years isn’t enough time to establish any real involvement in a relationship.

Many concluded that the parents were in the wrong for not honoring their son’s wishes.

One user felt that, more than anything, the post indicated undertones entitlement as opposed to grief by minimizing Emily’s current financial situation along with her role in their son’s life.

They wrote, “He quickly glossed over how Emily is screwed and writes a list of all the great things he can do with his dead son's money. It doesn't read as grief-stricken at all. Emily isn't family, she's an alien that doesn't matter despite being the most quantifiably impacted by the death.”

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Another person commented on the post’s intentional phrasing of the situation, saying, “She’s his girlfriend of ‘only 2 years’ so obviously she doesn't count. What a gross and dismissive way of referring to the woman that your son loved, lived with, and expressed his intentions of marrying.”

Earning over 22,000 upvotes, one person provided a solution that would leave everyone involved in a better place financially, saying, "Eric's half of the house would be $150k... So doing right by Emily would cost you $200k. You received $750k. It SHOULD be a no brainer to do the right thing by Emily. You know it's what your son would have wanted, you still walk with $550k, and now you know Emily is not in a difficult situation financially."

As this cautionary tale suggests, marriage is more than just signing a flimsy sheet of paper. For many, it legally acknowledges the role one's spouse plays in their life. Unfortunately, this couple was tragically stripped from a marriage-minded future, and for people like Eric's parents, if they don't see a ring on it, they're not considered a part of the family.

As a lesson to be learned, it's probably a good idea to update your life insurance policy so that people (even your own family members) don't try to take advantage of it.

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Xiomara Demarchi is a writer based in New York and a frequent contributor to YourTango's news and entertainment team. Keep up to date with them on Instagram.