If my husband dies and the will he made before we met leaves his estate to his daughter am I entitled to anything we acquired? - Estate Planning Law Questions and Answers- LawQA.com

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If my husband dies and the will he made before we met leaves his estate to his daughter am I entitled to anything we acquired?

I just want to know if I am entitled to anything we acquired after we married like my car or our house and personal belongings like my furniture and kitchen wears.


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Under Missouri law, a widow is entitled to elect to take against the will - this means that in a case such as yours (left out of husband's will because he never updated it after you married) you would be entitled to one-third of the estate (since there was a child).This election must be made rather quickly after the spouse dies (six months).

Answer Applies to: Missouri
Replied: 9/27/2012

Martinson & Beason, PC
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You would be considered an Omitted Spouse and entitled to half the estate unless you had a Prenuptial Agreement. If he later executes a will leaving it to his daughter, you would be entitled to an elective share or 1/3 of his estate. You would have to file for those shares.

Answer Applies to: Alabama
Replied: 9/25/2012

Answer By Janis L. Blough

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You should speak to an experienced estate attorney. There is a widow's portion that comes off the top of his estate, and anything you brought into the marriage (that you owned before) should be your separate property. Also, any gifts you received from him or anyone else is your separate property. Good luck!

Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 9/25/2012


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The assets he had before marriage were and are generally his separate property. Assuming you do not have a prenuptial agreement, your community property share of each assets is 50% and he cannot give it away to his daughter, only his $50%. Anything that was your before the marriage is generally still yours. The title to your house is important, if it is in joint tenancy with right of survivorship, it's yours - same with the car. You are entitled to keep any gifts he gave you, even the car if it was a gift. The particulars of your situation may or may not change my general opinion, the language of the Will is import.

Answer Applies to: Nevada
Replied: 9/24/2012

Answer By Ian A. Taylor
The Taylor Law Office L.L.C.
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After death, anything held jointly will automatically in full go to the joint property holder. Without a will, a spouse is entitled to half of the estate and the other half to the kids. The probate court filings can help to determine the total amount in the estate in addition to defining each heir's share to the property. If there is an issue as to whether you and your sister will have a disagreement, I recommend not only a formal probate, but to contact a local attorney to determine whether there are other options with your specific information that may require special attention by the court with the help of an attorney.

Answer Applies to: South Carolina
Replied: 9/24/2012


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Yes. Your marriage invalidates the will that was in existence when you met. Thus there is no will. Under California law, the surviving spouse, where there is one child, receives one-half the estate.

Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 9/24/2012

Answer By Brian Haggerty
Minor, Bandonis and Haggerty, P.C.
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Yes as his spouse you have rights. The specifics depend on certain facts not included in your post, but you should secure counsel ASAP.

Answer Applies to: Oregon
Replied: 9/24/2012

Answer By Scott Jordan

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I think it is time you and your husband drafted new estate planning documents. It sounds like a trust would be beneficial to the both of you. The benefit to you both is that you will know what will happen should one of you die and you will be able to avoid probate. As to your question, the items purchased together are presumptively community property and you have a 1/2 interest in them.

Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 9/24/2012

Answer By Victor Waid
Law Office Of Victor Waid
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You are entitled to one half of the after marriage acquired community property, one half of the quasi community property, and one half of the separate property of deceased, the total not being received greater than one half of the separate property of the deceased, assuming no pre marriage agreement was entered into, dividing the property differently between the two of you. If you purchased the house after marriage and is in joint tenancy title, then upon his death you will survive to his interest and be the sole owner.

Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 9/24/2012

Law Offices of Charles R. Perry
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Yes, you are entitled to a part of your husband's estate. The legal term is that you are a "pretermitted spouse," which means you were not mentioned in your husband's will. You will need to consult with a probate lawyer to understand your full rights of inheritance. With luck, you will not have much of a fight with your stepdaughter.

Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 9/24/2012

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