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First obligation is to provide for his wife



Published: Tue, October 24, 2006 @ 12:00 a.m.



Dear Annie: My wife and I retired six months ago, and shortly after, we each made a will, leaving everything to each other.

This is a second marriage for us both, and I have three adult children from my first marriage. I had some second thoughts and discussed the will with my sister. At her urging, I changed it, leaving everything equally to my wife, three children and my younger brother. (He is constantly in financial trouble.)

My wife does not know about the change, and I don't know how to tell her. She has a small pension and is not yet old enough for Social Security. Under the terms of the new will, she would have to sell our house and split the proceeds. There is no way she would be able to buy another house, much less live on her pension.

My sister assures me I am doing the right thing, since my children and my brother should come first. I am afraid if my wife finds out, she will divorce me.

Fifteen years ago, right before we got married, she sold her house so we could make the down payment on this one. I know she considers the house to be hers and mine, not my family's. Please help me sort through this. Confused in Mississippi

Dear Confused: Oh, no, no, no. Stop talking to your sister. She is 100 percent wrong. Your brother and adult children do not come before your wife. You have an obligation to provide for her before anyone else. If you want to leave more for your children and your brother, fine, but discuss it with your wife first. At the very least, if you die, the house should belong entirely to her. We strongly urge you to legally void that second will immediately. Then tell your wife you would like to make revisions to the original will, explain why, and see a lawyer. Together.

Dear Annie: We have friends with whom we dine out regularly. One of them, "Jerry," wants to hug and kiss everyone, especially my wife. The problem is, he just holds on until my wife gets uncomfortable. Most of the time he is drinking heavily.

I feel my wife should settle this by holding out her hand and pushing him away. He would get the message. My wife, however, thinks it is my duty to get Jerry to back off. I feel a lady is supposed to give the signal for such things to stop.

What do you say? A Gentleman in Macon, Ga.

Dear Macon: Your wife should let Jerry know, however she wishes, that the hugging and kissing is excessive. However, if he is too drunk to back off and begins to paw her or she cannot extricate herself, it is then your job to step in. We don't think pistols at 40 paces will be necessary, but you have a responsibility to protect your wife from assault, even if the scoundrel is a good friend.

Dear Annie: My parents are in their 90s, and it is frustrating to see people show up to visit empty-handed. Doesn't it occur to them to prepare a meal, offer to shop or relieve the caregiver?

Whenever I cook, I make a little extra and put it in a plastic container. At the grocery store, I pick up fruit. They don't eat much. Is our generation so self-absorbed that they can't do anything for someone else? My brother stopped at a local hamburger joint on his way to visit and didn't offer to bring food for his parents. My sister stops in and eats part of their "Senior Meals on Wheels."

Maybe if you print this it will occur to just one person to help the elderly in some small way today. Shirley

Dear Shirley: We suspect most people think such overtures might be insulting or unwelcome. Your brother and sister, however, should be told in simple terms what they ought to be doing to help. Speak up already.

Dear Readers: Happy Eid to all our Muslim readers.

E-mail your questions to anniesmailbox@com-cast.net, or write to: Annie's Mailbox™, P.O. Box 118190, Chicago, IL 60611.

Creators Syndicate

Copyright 2006 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.




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