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Old 03-02-2017, 09:28 AM
 
4,776 posts, read 6,603,664 times
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I wasn't sure where else to post this. If there is a better forum for it, please let me know.

The scenario: Community property state. Hubby is the only child left alive, his dad is gone and he had one brother who died after his dad died.

When hubby's mom is gone, will the house belong only to him or will half of it belong to his brother's children? I know that when his dad died his mom wanted to sell the car and hubby and his brother had to sign for her to be able to do it.

The house isn't worth much, it's just the legal wranglings that would be a pain....plus, the brother's kids are ne'er-do-wells who have not kept in touch with grandma/grandpa for years (despite living a stone's throw from them) except to ask for money.

So I'm wondering if there is anything we could do now to prevent them (if need be) from having any legal say-so over grandma's house when she is gone.
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Old 03-02-2017, 09:45 AM
 
Location: The Triad (NC)
28,487 posts, read 62,101,894 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Luvvarkansas View Post
When hubby's mom is gone, will the house belong only to...
What is in Mom's will?

Absent specific instruction...
Community property shouldn't apply.
Per stirpes s/chould...
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Old 03-02-2017, 09:50 AM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon
9,988 posts, read 16,655,709 times
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Give your Mom the gift of a visit with an attorney so that she can prepare a will that reflects her desires.
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Old 03-02-2017, 10:06 AM
 
Location: Loudon, TN
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When your hubby's dad died, he probably did not leave a will. It sounds like he died intestate (without a will) and the state laws regarding intestate inheritance left 50% ownership to the wife (hubby's mom) and 50% to his children (your hubby and your B-I-L). This is typical in many states for those dying without a will. If hubby's mom dies now without a will, state's intestacy laws will apply. If she has a will, then the terms of the will would be followed. It might be a good idea for her to state some small amount to your hubby's nieces and nephews, or some personal items that hubby's mom may wish for them to have, to eliminate the possibility of them saying they were "forgotten" in the will.

Here's a site that might help....

https://www.livingtrustnetwork.com/e...uccession.html

Last edited by TheShadow; 03-02-2017 at 10:21 AM..
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Old 03-02-2017, 10:43 AM
 
Location: Scottsdale, AZ
7,608 posts, read 4,680,291 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheShadow View Post
When your hubby's dad died, he probably did not leave a will. It sounds like he died intestate (without a will) and the state laws regarding intestate inheritance left 50% ownership to the wife (hubby's mom) and 50% to his children (your hubby and your B-I-L). This is typical in many states for those dying without a will. If hubby's mom dies now without a will, state's intestacy laws will apply. If she has a will, then the terms of the will would be followed. It might be a good idea for her to state some small amount to your hubby's nieces and nephews, or some personal items that hubby's mom may wish for them to have, to eliminate the possibility of them saying they were "forgotten" in the will.

Here's a site that might help....

https://www.livingtrustnetwork.com/e...uccession.html
Thanks for that. I'm groaning inside. Turns out the state of my birth is one of those 50/50 bars.

It appears that 50% of my father's estate should have gone to the children he didn't have with his spouse. In other words, to my sister and I.

It also appears that 50% of my stepfather's estate should have rightfully gone to the children he didn't have with his spouse. My mother, that spouse, has been telling people for years the law meant everything went to her. In fact, she told off my stepfather's daughter who came to claim a vehicle that her father had verbally promised to her. A $100 consultation with a lawyer and a letter probably would have gotten my mother to relinquish the vehicle.

Yikes. Why is it no one ever bothers to verify the relevant law in intestate cases? Nobody. Not even me, though I don't care about my father's estate. I'm just slapping myself upside the head for believing the "it all goes to the wife" fairy tale my mother was telling.
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Old 03-06-2017, 10:58 AM
 
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Ok, so I've determined that dead brother-in-law's 3 ne'er-do-well kids would own 1/4 of the house between them when MIL dies.

She is willing to write out her own will and leave everything to hubby (wanted to do it as soon as we discussed it with her, in fact), which is legally accepted in our state. We may go that route.

Alternately, we are going to see how much it would cost to have a lawyer do it and if it's not much I'm going to suggest to hubby that we do it that way. (there is not much "estate" to leave, just a small house not worth much money, and hubby is willing to give them their share if he sold it, but he just doesn't want them to have any say-so about what is done with it or try to prevent him from selling it because one of them wants to live in it, etc., and neither does MIL)
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Old 03-09-2017, 11:25 AM
 
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Have a lawyer do it anyway. Even if your state accepts handwritten wills there could be small details to trip you up.

The other thing an attorney will likely suggest is that she have living will documents, powers of attorney, etc whatever fits her situation. Before you make the appointment get as organized as you can to save time and money!

And make sure hubby knows of any existing life insurance, bank accounts, etc. Much easier to ask now while she is still there than comb through the house looking for documents after she is gone.
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Old 03-09-2017, 11:37 AM
 
3,758 posts, read 10,631,420 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Luvvarkansas View Post
Ok, so I've determined that dead brother-in-law's 3 ne'er-do-well kids would own 1/4 of the house between them when MIL dies.

She is willing to write out her own will and leave everything to hubby (wanted to do it as soon as we discussed it with her, in fact), which is legally accepted in our state. We may go that route.

Alternately, we are going to see how much it would cost to have a lawyer do it and if it's not much I'm going to suggest to hubby that we do it that way. (there is not much "estate" to leave, just a small house not worth much money, and hubby is willing to give them their share if he sold it, but he just doesn't want them to have any say-so about what is done with it or try to prevent him from selling it because one of them wants to live in it, etc., and neither does MIL)
Sorry - confused.

When The owner of the house died (your FIL from the way you're describing things) - if he died intestate; then AT THAT TIME ownership of the house would have transferred according to the state laws (otherwise according to his will).

Which means (if I'm following this correctly) that your BIL 3 children are already the owners of 1/4 of the house. (Your MIL owns 50%, your husband owns the other 25%).

Which, means your MIL cannot write a will saying that she leaves the house in it's entirety to your husband, because she doesn't own 100% of the house to give to him..

Please correct me (someone) if I've got this wrong.

But unless there was a will leaving your MIL 100% of the house (and it sounds like there wasn't) your at the mercy of state laws of inheritance..

Unless of course the house was titled in such a way as to automatically make your MIL the owner of the house upon her spouse's death? ("with rights of survivorship", etc..) In that case, the fact that FIL died intestate wouldn't matter (in regards to the house) as that would automatically transfer 100% of the house to your MIL and allow her to do what she wants with the property (including leaving it in her will to your husband).

Good luck... sounds like talking to a lawyer to make sure everythign is correct at this point would be worth it -- then get her will drafted if she doesn't already have one and is willing to have one created.
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Old 03-10-2017, 07:58 AM
 
Location: Baltimore, MD
3,745 posts, read 4,214,395 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Briolat21 View Post
Sorry - confused.
You and me both. The comment regarding 1/4 to be shared among the deceased brother's children does seem to suggest that the FIL died intestate, doesn't it?
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Old 03-10-2017, 09:34 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lenora View Post
You and me both. The comment regarding 1/4 to be shared among the deceased brother's children does seem to suggest that the FIL died intestate, doesn't it?
agreed..

which is why I don't think the MIL can now write a will giving ownership of something SHE DOESN'T FULLY OWN away...

???

Lawyer time...
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