Dear Annie: Plan for post-passing peace

Dear Annie: When the time comes — hopefully I pass before my loving husband and faithful partner of nearly 25 years, but if not — I could use a few words of advice as to how to deal with my estranged stepdaughter, her bitter mother (both vultures) and her young children who I’ve never met due to an unresolved falling out many years ago.

I just know that if my husband were to pass first that there will be drama beyond words. My stepdaughter has led nothing but a chaotic, drama-filled life and is a very unhappy, soon-to-be divorced mother of four. Between her and her mother (who never found another partner, can’t imagine why), I just won’t have the energy to deal with them as they WILL make it all about them!

They will try to call the shots and overstep me and my wishes in every way possible.

I pray I go first, but in case I do not, how would you suggest I deal with this and them as little as possible so my focus can be on grieving the loss of my precious husband? We are both in our mid-70s and it’s difficult not to think of these things. Thank God my two adult children are normal and supportive. — Distraught Over What Could Be a Disaster

Dear Distraught: It’s understandable to feel apprehensive about what issues could arise in the event of your husband’s passing given the strained relationships at play today.

Discuss these concerns with your husband to ensure you both align on his end-of-life arrangements and potential family disputes.

Update his will to clearly state his wishes about his estate and funeral plans, which can prevent any unwanted interference from his daughter and her mother in the future.

Having a support system, including your children, friends and perhaps a counselor, will give you people to lean on in the event of your husband’s death. Preparing for these scenarios now will allow you to safeguard your right to grieve as needed and honor your husband’s memory in a way that reflects your mutual wishes.


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