60 year old Valerie Spruill lost her husband in 1998 and mourned him as any spouse would morn their beloved companion. However, 6 years after his death, family members finally revealed a dark secret to Valerie – that her husband was also her biological father. Spruill was shocked and devastated, and soon faced a number of health complications that she contributes to the stress of the discovery.
Spruill’s mother gave birth to her as a teenager, and Spruill’s father was only 15 at the time. Spruill never met her father and was raised by her grandparents. Until she was nine years old, Spruill believed her grandparents were her actual parents and that the woman that came to visit was simply a family friend. She later discovered that this was her actual mother. Her biological father was never discussed.
Spruill met her second husband, Percy Spruill, in Akron and settled in Doylestown, Ohio. She never knew or suspected that they were in any way related, and they enjoyed a good life together. Spruill affirms that her husband was a good man and provider and was always kind to her three children from her prior marriage.
After her husband’s death, Spruill began to hear some strange statements about her husband, statements that seemed impossible. In 2004, 6 years after Percy’s death, her uncle finally approached her and told her the truth. Spruill, hoping it was all a misunderstanding, had a DNA test done which confirmed that her husband was indeed her biological father.
As her story has gone viral, she has received both negative and positive responses – both of loving support and understanding as well as judgment and condemnation. She found other individuals who have suffered from similar situations and is currently in contact with a formerly married couple that discovered they were biological brother and sister. She accredits her faith in God for getting her through such a difficult time. She has come to believe and accept that her husband/father likely had no idea of the relation, a realization which has allowed her to remove the anger and hurt and to forgive.
While most familial situations are, thankfully, not as unusual as that of Mrs. Spruill, an estate plan has to be flexible to accommodate unforeseen situations. It is important that an estate plan be created, especially in complicated family situation where there is no predetermined formula of estate distribution. Combined families should be careful with their estate planning and ensure they have a plan in place which distributes their assets according to their desires. This is also especially true when divorce has occurred within the family.
Because all family situations are different, it is important that your estate planning meets with your specific needs. Do not allow the court to apply a generic distribution on your estate, which likely will be different from how you would want your assets dispersed. Create an MH Estate Plan to assure your assets go to whom you want, when you want, how you want.
What the Attorneys of Morris Hall Can Do For You:
The attorneys at Morris Hall have 100’s of years of combined experience ensuring that families’ assets are protected from probate, unnecessary taxes, creditors, ex-spouses and Medicaid spend-down. The attorneys also help those in Arizona and New Mexico to apply for and receive Medicaid assistance and Veterans Benefits. Our Arizona offices are located in Phoenix, Mesa, Scottsdale, Tucson, Prescott, Flagstaff and Arrowhead. Our New Mexico offices are located in Albuquerque, Las Cruces and Santa Fe. Contact us today at 888.222.1328 to schedule an appointment!
This blog should be used for informational purposes only. It does not create an attorney-client relationship with any reader and should not be construed as legal advice. If you need legal advice, please contact an attorney in your community who can assess the specifics of your situation.