I’m 70 and want to change my name, but my kids ob­ject

Chicago Sun-Times - - ENTERTAINM­ENT -

Dear Abby: At age 17, my preg­nant and un­wed mother mar­ried a school­mate of my bi­o­log­i­cal fa­ther. I was given the school­mate’s last name. Sev­eral years later, my mother di­vorced her first hus­band and mar­ried my bi­o­log­i­cal fa­ther. They dis­cussed chang­ing my last name to that of my bio fa­ther, but never did. I re­cently had DNA test­ing that proved this in­for­ma­tion to be ac­cu­rate.

My last name is still not the name of my bi­o­log­i­cal fa­ther, and I re­cently learned that the man named on my birth cer­tifi­cate was a rapist, an al­co­holic and a bully. This is very up­set­ting, and I would like to legally change my name to match my ac­tual fa­ther’s. The prob­lem is I’m now 70, mar­ried with won­der­ful kids and grand­kids who are proud of our name. I don’t want the fake daddy’s name on my tomb­stone. Any ad­vice for this dis­tressed guy? Dis­tressed Se­nior Man

Dear Dis­tressed: Talk to your fam­ily about why you want the name change. Per­haps when they hear that the per­son whose name was thrust upon you was a rapist and sub­stance-abus­ing bully, they will be more un­der­stand­ing and less will­ing to cling to the name they are so “proud” of. If not, then suit your­self. I wish you luck.

Dear Abby: My fam­ily has suf­fered a great loss. My older sis­ter died by sui­cide. My younger sis­ter’s best friend “Car­rie” drove four hours from Michi­gan to be with our fam­ily. From the day af­ter we found out and for al­most a week, Car­rie was by our side, com­fort­ing us, help­ing with ar­range­ments and any­thing else that needed to be done. She even worked all night with our old fam­ily videos to dig­i­tize, edit and set them to mu­sic so it would be done in time for the wake.

Now, as we are be­gin­ning to write thankyou notes to all of those who were there for us, my fam­ily is won­der­ing how we can ex­press our grat­i­tude to her for her sup­port dur­ing this aw­ful time. We would like to do or give her some­thing spe­cial be­cause we truly con­sider her to be a part of our fam­ily, but we don’t know what. Ap­pre­cia­tive in the East

Dear Ap­pre­cia­tive: The head of the fam­ily or your younger sis­ter should write Car­rie a let­ter telling her how much her kind­ness is ap­pre­ci­ated and telling her she is now truly a mem­ber of the fam­ily. I’m sure it would mean the world to her. In ad­di­tion, con­sider giv­ing her some­thing that be­longed to your older sis­ter, such as a piece of jew­elry. Your younger sis­ter should be the per­son to se­lect it. A keep­sake would, I am sure, be deeply ap­pre­ci­ated and trea­sured.

Dear Abby: My boyfriend and I have been liv­ing to­gether for 10 years, al­though he is still legally mar­ried. When we met, he and his wife had been sep­a­rated for five years. Nei­ther one had the money to get di­vorced. My question is, if any­thing should hap­pen to my boyfriend, would she have claim to any of his as­sets? (He doesn’t have much be­yond his ve­hi­cle.) Just Won­der­ing in Penn­syl­va­nia

Dear Just Won­der­ing: Yes, as his sur­viv­ing spouse, she will be en­ti­tled to what­ever as­sets he leaves be­hind, which in­cludes the ve­hi­cle.

THEY DIS­CUSSED CHANG­ING MY LAST NAME TO THAT OF MY BIO FA­THER, BUT NEVER DID.

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 www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los An­ge­les, CA 90069.

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