After Husband's Death, Wife Inherits Only a Pendant and Stranger Falls Heir to His Property – Story of the Day
Amidst mourning her husband Tad's death, Emma was surprised to find out that he had left his entire estate to a woman she's never met, while she only received an old pendant from him. It puzzled her for months until Tad's heir came forward to introduce herself.
Emma and Tad lived most of their life in a quiet old town in Austin, Texas, where Tad grew up. They first met while studying in university, and stayed married for 40 years until Tad's death at the age of 60.
Although they initially wanted to have a large family, they struggled to conceive. After failing to get pregnant, they both agreed that they would not adopt a child and instead, focus their time and efforts on one another.
It stayed this way for years, and they enjoyed life with just each other's company. In fact, because Emma had more time to herself, she was able to focus not just on keeping their relationship alive, but on her career as well.
Emma was surprised to find out there was another person written on the will of her husband Tad after his passing. | Photo: Shutterstock
She and Tad lived in a farmhouse, where they tended to many animals. To earn, they would sell dairy products at a local market, and they would always be all sold out at the end of each day.
Meanwhile, Tad, who also doubled as a postman, never showed his sadness about not having any children. His love for kids was evident, however, in the way he would entertain the children who would drop by for candy during Halloween and Christmas.
Emma and Tad loved each other a whole lot, and the mention of having children just slowly faded away until they came to terms with the fact that they would never be parents. As they got older, they started to feel signs of aging, not being able to tend to the farm as much as they used to previously.
They decided to hire a team to run the farm so that it could remain as a stable source of income for them, then moved to a smaller house in the Austin area to enjoy the rest of their lives together.
Emma and Tad were content with their lives together. | Photo: Pexels
Unfortunately, their plan was cut short after Tad suffered from a stroke. He was unable to recover, and he passed away at the age of 60.
While Emma was devastated by the loss, she soon after realized how grateful she was to have been able to live an extraordinary life with her wonderful husband. She was slowly coming to terms with the loss, until suddenly, their family lawyer called to meet up about Tad's will.
"But Mr. Reynolds, we don't have any children or close relatives, even. Why would I have to come over for the will?" Emma asked, suddenly confused.
"Mrs. Peters, I think it's best you come over to the office tomorrow to run through it clearly," Mr. Reynolds reiterated. Emma agreed, curious as to why she had to go all the way to the law office for the will.
Emma was curious as to why she had to go to the lawyer's office for her husband's will. | Photo: Pexels
When she got to the office the next day, there was a middle-aged woman sitting in the office. After Emma got settled, Mr. Reynolds proceeded to read the will.
"All of my assets, including my properties and the remainder of my money are to be given to Heather James. To my wife, I leave my mother's prized ruby necklace," Mr. Reynolds read. Emma blinked twice, dumbfounded.
"Who is this woman?" she blurted out, suddenly feeling the emotions pouring out of her.
"Mrs. Peters, your husband requested you meet with Ms. James upon his passing. I'll leave you two to have a quick chat," he said before leaving his office.
Emma swiftly turned to the woman sitting beside her. "Heather James?" she said, almost bitterly. "And who are you to inherit my husband's money?"
Mr. Reynolds read Tad's will to a surprised Emma. | Photo: Pexels
"Ma'am, I am Jessie Watson's daughter. A few months before Tad died, I discovered him online after my mom admitted that he was my father. We took a DNA test to confirm it," Heather explained.
Emma tried hard to remember who Jessie Watson was, until she realized it was his ex-girlfriend. "He would have never left your mother if he knew you were in the picture, I don't understand..."
"After they broke up, mom never told him that she was pregnant. In fact, she'd tell me growing up that she didn't know my dad well. I believed that story for a while until I discovered some of their old love letters... it turned out they were together for a while before he met you."
Heather introduced herself as the love child of Tad and his ex-girlfriend Jessie | Photo: Pexels
Emma was heartbroken, to say the least. She did not know whether all the years she spent with her husband were all a lie, knowing he had a daughter he didn't know for most of his life.
"So you two were in contact this whole time? Why wouldn't he tell me that?" Emma asked, still trying to grasp the situation. "Alright, well, you get our home, the farm we built for years, and his money, then."
Heather shook her head, assuring Emma that she was never after his riches. "I'm not rich, and I have two daughters, but I would never want to take away something that was yours to begin with. I'd be more than happy to give you 50% of the inheritance he left behind.
"No, that's non-sense. There's a reason Tad left you with everything. I'll be out of the home in a week," Emma said before walking away.
Emma was surprised about the sudden discovery. | Photo: Pexels
That night, Emma cried herself to sleep. She promised herself that would be the last time, especially after feeling betrayed by the person she loved for more than half of her life.
Luckily for her, she inherited a place in California from her parents, and that was where she planned to live out the rest of her life. After she packed everything up in boxes, she sat down to take a look at the necklace Tad left her.
The ruby necklace did not look valuable at all, and she couldn't help but think her husband did not care about her at all. She looked at the photograph on her nightstand of the two of them in a warm embrace, and she sighed.
"I can't believe you did this to me," she said, throwing the necklace at the picture. It was then that the necklace opened, and she realized it was a locket that had a note inside of it. It read, "Emma, check my bedside drawer."
Emma thought Tad had left her with a worthless necklace. | Photo: Pexels
In the drawer was a lone key and a neatly-folded letter. In the letter, Tad apologized to Emma for not being able to tell her about his daughter properly. He admitted he had no idea how to tell her. "There is a safe in my office, hidden behind my bookshelf. Everything inside that safe, I would like to leave to you."
Tad wrote that he felt bad for not being able to provide Heather with any financial support through the years, and after finding out she was having a hard time raising her two daughters, he decided to leave her with their homes. Of course, he did not want to leave his wife with nothing.
"I wanted to make sure you get what is truly ours, so I cashed out the money I had in the bank. That's yours, and I did not put it in the will. We had the most wonderful life together, and I'm so lucky to have been your husband. I am always and forever yours, Tad."
Although she promised she wouldn't cry anymore, she couldn't help but shed a few tears after reading the letter. She realized Mr. Reynolds did not know about her husband's secret safe, and it was a secret that Tad wanted Emma to keep between the two of them.
Emma was grateful for the relationship she shared with Tad as she bid their home goodbye. | Photo: Pexels
Emma took the cash, the gold bars, and all other documents she found inside the safe. She paid the movers to drive her things all the way to California, while she boarded the next flight out of Austin.
True enough, Emma did live out the rest of her life in California. She enjoyed living beside the sea, enjoying the warm sun and sea breeze in the morning, and the cool air at night.
In the end, she and Heather became friends on Facebook, where they would chat about Heather's growing daughters. After seeing how much better their lives are now, living in their home in Austin, Emma felt at peace with Tad's decision. You made the right decision, my love, she thought.
What can we take from this story?
- It's always good to have a plan B. Tad made sure Emma was taken cared of for the rest of her life, although he was secretive about it at first.
- Lying is not good for any relationship. When you marry someone, you vow to be with that person in both good and bad times. It's important to trust and be truthful, even if it means saying something heartbreaking like finding out about a child you did not know you had.
Did you enjoy this story? You might like this one about a woman who inherited more than the other grandchildren, causing a feud in their family.
This account is inspired by our reader’s story and written by a professional writer. Any resemblance to actual names or locations is purely coincidental. All images are for illustration purposes only. Share your story with us; maybe it will change someone’s life. If you would like to share your story, please send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.