Dear Abby: I want to leave my money to woman from my past

Divorced, childless man plans to put the soul mate of his youth into his will but worries the surprise windfall might disrupt her marriage.

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DEAR ABBY: Many years ago, I had a romance with a young girl in a faraway town. After a year, thinking I could do better, I moved on. With the benefit of hindsight, I now realize she stood head and shoulders above all the others, and I had tragically discarded my soul mate.

By chance, I ended up settling in the same city as she. She eventually married and raised a family. Now and then we would run into each other, exchange a few friendly words and a quick hug, then move on. On one of those occasions, she was accompanied by her husband and introduced me as a “friend” from back in our younger days. Although he was cordial, I could see in his expression that he wondered if perhaps there wasn’t more to the story than that.

In the course of getting my papers and estate arranged, it has become clear I have done fairly well in terms of money. I divorced years ago and have no children. I am leaving money to a relative or two, some assorted charities and, for two reasons, I have decided to leave a reasonably large sum to my soul mate. For one, she was, and is, perhaps the finest person I have ever known. Second, it is obvious to me that they can use the money.

But what happens when this windfall drops out of the sky into their laps? I have no wish to cause problems in their apparently happy marriage in any way, but I cannot help but think that despite my good intentions it might cause a disturbance in their relationship. Am I doing the right thing, and is there a better way to do it? — THE RICH SAMARITAN

DEAR SAMARITAN: Your letter brings to mind a television series from years ago called “The Millionaire.” Each week the representative of an eccentric multimillionaire, John Beresford Tipton Jr., would hand some deserving person a check for $1 million in the hope that it would improve the person’s life.

Ask your financial adviser or the person who will administer your estate how to discreetly pull off an anonymous bequest, and I’m sure the person can make it happen.

DEAR ABBY: For a year and a half, my wife and I have been looking forward to attending our granddaughter’s college graduation. (She will be graduating on June 1.) When I called my son to discuss hotel and other arrangements, he told me my granddaughter initially was allowed only three tickets, but managed to get two more tickets from students whose relatives could not attend. He then informed me that he, his ex-wife, his son, his ex-wife’s sister and the sister’s live-in boyfriend will be using the tickets.

I feel very hurt that the ex’s sister and boyfriend got tickets instead of me and my wife. We had planned to give my granddaughter $500 for graduation. After this slap in the face, should we give her the $500, which we have given to all our other grandchildren upon their graduation? — LEFT OUT IN FLORIDA

DEAR LEFT OUT: Yes, you should. Although you are right to feel hurt and offended, the blame should rest with your son and not your granddaughter, and she should not be penalized for it.

Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.

Good advice for everyone — teens to seniors — is in “The Anger in All of Us and How to Deal With It.” To order, send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $8 (U.S. funds), to: Dear Abby, Anger Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.)

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