Wills Questions

168 Question and Answer Results
  1. What is the specific wording to use when excluding children from will?

    You are legally free to disinherit children if you want to do so. But as you seem to have sensed, it is best to add specific language to your will that removes all doubt about your intentions. That's because there's a legal rule that holds that if you forgot to mention a child in your will, that chi...
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  2. When making a minor change in a will, do I need to have it done by a lawyer?

    The lawyerly answer is: It depends.
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  3. Does my girlfriend need her dad's permission to receive property left to her in her grandfather's will?

    Your girlfriend's grandfather might have been trying to be crafty from the grave by imposing this requirement of cooperation. But how and whether that will work depends on the exact wording of the will.If the will simply left the entire estate to your girlfriend AND her father, the law will imply th...
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  4. Can I add codicil to will without a lawyer present?

    No law requires that you hire a lawyer to prepare or to be present when you make a will or codicil. The laws controlling how to make a valid codicil vary from state-to-state. In most states, however, you must sign and date it. And at least two people, neither of whom are entitled to take property un...
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  5. How do we pay off my late father's debts?

    While your father’s debts live on without him, the banks and lawyers cannot get paid from assets that don’t exist. The standard process is to notify all of the known or potential creditors and then state law sets out an order in which they should get paid.Often official “notice” to these creditors o...
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  6. Does a name on a deed override the name in a will if the deed is dated after the will?

    Sounds as if the deed rules here. If your mother changed the legal owner of the house to your sibling, then the property was not in her estate when she died, so what the will states about it no longer has any effect.
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  7. How long does probate take?

    Unfortunately, there's little you can do, except ask your cousin what's taking so long. She may not know. It's the probate lawyer and court who really determine how long the case takes. Often that's a long time, many month, or even many years.
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  8. Can my stepfather keep us from seeing Mom and getting her will?

    In a weird way, your mother's fall might have offered you an opportunity. Now that she's safely ensconced in a facility while mending, her husband no longer controls who comes to see her and when. So you and your brothers may now be able to reestablish some relationship with her, even if she sometim...
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  9. Do you need a will if you don't have any assets?

    I doubt if your grandmother needs a will. As you grandmother has no assets, aside from funds in her joint account with her daughter (your mother), what purpose would a will serve? The cautious, conventional lawyer's response would be"”of course she needs a will; everyone does. I disagree with this c...
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  10. We lost our will from 25 years ago. What can we do?

    You have lost your will, which you made twenty-five years ago.It is unlikely"”I'd say highly unlikely"”that your will would have been filed in your local (county) courthouse. Normally, wills are not filed with any government agency after they have been prepared. Wills are generally filed only after ...
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  11. How do I get my siglings to waive ownership of our deceased father's cars?

    Sorry, I cannot answer your question. What forms you need"”if any exist"”are matters of Ohio law. Every state has its own laws and rules controlling cars registered in that state. I practice law in California. While I am familiar with general rules and methods of estate planning, which are similar i...
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  12. Can our adult children be excluded from my ex-husband's will?

    Whether your children are entitled to any property from your ex-husband's estate (property) depends on whether he has excluded them from his will or not. A parent can legally disinherit a child or children from inheriting any property from his or her estate. To accomplish this, a parent must, in the...
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  13. How do I get paid from a trust I'm entitled too?

    It's not clear whether your concern is that your payments are late. But that aside, the situation you describe is a bit peculiar, since the specifics of a trust are usually spelled out in a trust document that is separate from a will"”although the two documents may refer to one another in passing.
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  14. One executor didn't fulfill the wishes in the will - am I responsible as the co-executor for that financial consequence?

    I can't determine exactly what happened here from what you wrote. Were two checks written? Did both executors sign one check? Why the check that the good "other" executor signed never get to the father of the children?
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  15. Can I still change my will if my beneficiary died?

    Yours is definitely a sad situation. Yes, you can change you will after a beneficiary dies. Indeed, you can change your will at any time, for any reason. You can change your will to name a new executor,and/or to name new beneficiaries. The best thing to do is prepare a new will that expresses your c...
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  16. Can I put my name on a house that's still in a trust?

    As far as I know, you do not become the legal owner of the house left to you by your dad's will until that will has gone through probate court proceedings and a judge has officially approved the transfer of that house to you. I know of nothing you can do now, before probate has been concluded, to pr...
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  17. Can my mom's boyfriend take away my inheritance?

    I do not have sufficient information to give a definite answer to your inheritance problem, whether you may lose your 1/6th interest in the house when the "boy friend" dies. You state that your mother did not have a will, and that the boy friend was on the deed to the house, which meant he got half ...
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  18. Will my stepmother's children claim my father's estate?

    Your question about estate claims depends entirely on the precise wording of your dad's will - as your use of term "second in line" in your question is a bit ambiguous. If his will stated that everything goes to your stepmother and you were only to inherit something if she pre-deceased him, then be...
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  19. Can the will of my mother with dementia be contested after her death?

    Your mother can make changes to her will as long as she has the legal capacity to do it. In the eyes of the law, this means she must understand the nature, scope and effect of the document"”and be able to remember and understand who the beneficiaries are and what property they will get. Many people ...
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  20. Should my late aunt's inheritance be divided among the rest of the beneficiaries?

    You have not told us the details, but we're assuming that the account was not a joint tenancy account, which by law provides that the surviving account owners receive the entire share of the deceased co-owner. If it had been a joint tenancy account, when your dad died his one-fourth of the account ...
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