Dear Quentin, My family is dealing with a significant shock. My brother, my sister and I have just found out that our elderly father secretly married his caregiver five years ago and never told us. We have a thriving family-owned business, and our father’s wealth is in the hundreds of millions of dollars.
This caregiver is 40 years younger than my father. Her visa was already invalid, as she never went to school and she stayed in the United States well beyond when she was scheduled to leave. She has lived with my father for eight years, five of them while married. My father has now told us he has a serious degenerative disease, and we aren’t sure how long he has to live. Now that we know he’s married, it’s come to our attention that the state we live in has a statute that says if a spouse dies, the partner can choose either to accept the conditions of a will or get 30% of the spouse’s estate. If they divorce, his wife would get about 30% of his estate, which is worth $80 million.
“‘We are all comfortable financially, but we are very upset that this woman should get so much money for only eight years together.’”
We’ve always had a good relationship with our father, and we all live within a few miles of one another. We get together for many family events and always include my father’s wife. We are all comfortable financially, but we are ve …