Here ya go:
You mentioned the need to be gentle with each other, and I couldn't agree more. You have been my friend for eight years and I would be heartbroken - after all that has transpired - to lose your friendship. Now that all has been laid before me, I understand why no attorney or probate judge has contacted me, my brother, or my sister concerning my father's estate. There was no reason for us to be contracted my any legal authority, since neither my sister, my brother, nor I have inherited anything.
I have a few more questions that I hope you will be good enough to answer. Some may be difficult for you to read and for that, I am truly sorry. However, I must be forthright. Anything less would be guileful on my part and an insult to our friendship and your intelligence. Try to understand that i ask these things so that I can grieve knowing, at the very least, the whole truth about my father's regard for me and my brother and my sister.
1) Why did it take my asking, point blank, what the disposition of my father's estate was for you to reveal that my brother, sister, and I are without any legal rights?
2) When you and my father agreed to arrange your affairs in this way, did you ever consider that a boilerplate will is not typical in situations where there has been more than one marriage on both sides? And if you were aware of the many alternatives more suitable for couples in your financial condition, why did you and my father agree to dismiss those alternatives?
3) At the time you and my father made these wills, did you believe that they dealt justly with my brother, my sister and me - not to say my mother, who was joint owner of all that my father owned until the moment she died?
4) If you thought the wills you and my father signed were just wills at the moment you signed them, do you think so now?
I do not think the wills just. My father, in effect, asks us, his natural children by way of his will to replace our mother - who raised us from babies and who died at 52 - with another woman. Erika, no matter how much we all love you, no matter how grateful we are that you gave my dad a few years of happiness before his untimely death, no child would simply "boilerplate" one mother for another - and would certainly not do so for motives so despicable as money. Could any decent, sane, morally upright person ever do such a thing? Would the people you have come to know in the past four years - my brother, my sister, and me - defile my mother's memory in such a way? I am sure you know we would not.
Yet this is precisely the scenario we are apparently to endure.
It is for these reasons that I say that my father, a man I loved more than my own life, was no longer the man I thought I knew once he remarried. The change began almost from the moment of the ceremony. I could give you hundreds of examples since his marriage in which he behaved in ways that hurt me terribly - ways that I would never have dreamed possible. To give you just one, the visit I made in January was of two days duration. One of those days, he spent an entire 9 hours watching a football game at Dave and Evie's while I sat alone on the couch wondering when my father had developed this unusual interest in football, which he never liked at all the first 62 years of his life - and why the hell I bothered to visit people who clearly didn't spending time with me more important than 9 entire hours of... football. Four days later, my birthday came and went and my father never even called me. Birth cake or no, do you have any idea how hard I cried when midnight came and I realized that my father didn't think calling me on my birthday worth doing?
My belief is that your desire to be the love of my father's life regardless of whether my mother existed or not lead you to ask my father to sign the will you described to me. I believe he signed it because he adored you and would have cut off his own head to please you. But in signing that will, he did wrong - both by his natural children, my mother, and in the long run, you. A just will would have saved you the pain of reading this message from me.
My father's will has gravely wounded, emotionally, and financially, children who would have been his slaves for one kind word a year - who hung on his every word - who spent every vacation day they had each year by his side. During his illness, we spent our savings and incurred unfathomable debts to stand by him when he was in peril. Can you doubt that we loved our father to our own absolute ruin?
Did he love us? Well, if one where to judge by the contents of his will, he regarded us as a mere biological inconvenience. Is this true? And if not? Is this will just?
I am undone. I will never see my father - or our relationship, and sadly, you, the same way again until you make right what is gravely wrong - namely, my father's will.
I say this with the full knowledge that legally, you have no obligation to engage in so much as a phone call with me or anyone connected with the name of ______ ever again. The legal papers you and my father had drawn up gave total power to your to the point that you could disengage from my father's family and his natural children at your pleasure, with no legal consequence.
All this said, my dearest wish is that your conscience and your reflection on thee facts I have laid before you will lead you to act quickly, within the limits of the law and common decency to rectify this error - that our friendship can survive and that further - something like a family can be salvaged from this legal and moral disaster.
If you choose another path, peace be with you. My own conscience - with regard to you, and my father, whom I encouraged in all innocence and good intention to marry you, is clear.