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Stepmother getting it all...

On Lawyer & Legal » Wills & Trusts

2,876 words with 2 Comments; publish: Tue, 12 Mar 2002 21:32:00 GMT; (80093.75, « »)

My father passed just three months ago. My Stepmother has two daughters that my father legally adopted shortly after they were married. My brother and I are his biological children, and were not legally adopted by my stepmother.

My stepmother has mentioned that my father's will left everything to her. Since my brother and I are not legally her children, I'm concerned that we will be excluded from any inheritance, either at this time or in the future. I fear that if I accept the will and all properties go to my stepmother, that she will in turn leave everything to her daughters, and my borther and I will be left nothing and bitter.

Is this something I should even be concerned about? Can the will be contested? Should I?

Las Vegas, NV

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    • My condolences at your loss. Please separate your anger at his death and your disappointment that he took financial care of his wife, who he also left behind, rather than you and your brother. I do not know the facts and the circumstances, but if it was a long duration second marriage, this is not very unusual, especiaLLY IF HIS ASSETS WERE LIMITED.

      If you and your brother are bitter, I assure you that you WILL receive nothing when she dies, which may be MANY MANY years from now. Step-mothers rarely leave assets to step-children, and I never heard of one who did when the step-kids hated the step-parent. (If it were you, you'd act the same way.)

      Further I can not imagine what basis you would have to possibly contest your father's will. Was he insane at the time he wrote it? Check [url]www.FreeAdvice.com under Wills and Probate for the other bases for a Will Contest.

      #1; Wed, 13 Mar 2002 11:16:00 GMT
    • 3-13-2002

      DEAR THW:

      Yes, you should be concerned. It is a requirement in many states that children must be mentioned in a will, so it would be very odd or somewhat unusual if your father did not leave you all anything.

      If you have not seen a copy of the will, please try to do so. Would the stepmother give you a copy? Check at the county courthouse probate court to see if it has been filed yet (normally that is supposed to be done within 30 days after the person's death).

      You need to get some idea of what your father's estate is worth. Did he have a relatively good paying job with pension benefits, was his house paid for, did he have stocks, bonds, or CD's?

      After you get a copy of the will (or even if you can't get a copy), you need to get your own probate attorney to get the exact details on how much of this estate you would be entitled to and how to file a claim to get it. Even if it says stepmother gets everything, you would still have a basis for a claim to the estate (as a natural born heir), and maybe your attorney could negotiate with the estate to get a share of the money for you without having to go through a formal contest of the will.



      #2; Wed, 13 Mar 2002 15:52:00 GMT