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by Abigail Van Buren

Resentful Father Poses Threat to Mistress's Son

DEAR ABBY: I am a divorced mother of three grown children who is in the process of making out my will. I'm not ill, but I would like to ensure that my assets -- which are modest -- will be divided equally among them. My two daughters are upset that I want to include their brother, "Ricky."

As a teen, Ricky stole from his sisters. For most of his adult life he has been in trouble with the law and has served time in prison. My son is also an alcoholic and has been in treatment several times. He has never asked me for money, and I haven't given him any. I know he wants to lead a straight life after he serves his current term.

I can't see any good reason for disinheriting my son. He already has VA and SSI disability income, so it isn't like I'll be giving him something he doesn't have. Leaving him out of the will would be hurtful to him. Can you tell me how to smooth the waters? -- KENTUCKY MOM

DEAR MOM: Yes. Remind your daughters that you love them and their troubled brother equally, and that the assets you have accrued (modest though they may be) are yours to do with as you wish. Be pleasant about it, and under no circumstances allow them to push you into doing anything you don't want to do.