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My father died with no will — can I stop my mother from inheriting his home?

Discussion in 'Real Estate & Other Investments' started by Scorpio, Mar 26, 2017.



  1. Scorpio

    Scorpio Скорпион Founding Member Board Elder Site Mgr Site Supporter ++

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    My father died with no will — can I stop my mother from inheriting his home?

    By Quentin Fottrell
    Published: Feb 28, 2017 9:15 a.m. ET



    This woman’s father died in a motorcycle accident and her mother remarried six months later


    [​IMG]
    Dear Moneyologist,

    My father died last April in a motorcycle accident. It was very unexpected and overwhelming. He had no will, but was still married to my mom. The house was only in his name. I know that my mom was seeing a probate lawyer and there was supposed to be a court date where me and my siblings could either give up our rights so she can have all of the profit after selling the home or object and say we wanted our share since we live in California and it’s a community property state.

    I never received paperwork in the mail like I was told was supposed to happen informing me of everything going on. If the date has passed is there anything i can do? My mom has already remarried when it’s only been six months since his passing and I am not happy to say the least. So I would really like to stick it to her a little since she already got his $500,000 insurance policy. It just really gets to me that she’s being so selfish and I don’t want it to be that easy for her to have everything.

    Maybe there’s nothing I can do. But I’m hoping since I never received any formal paperwork I can still object and be entitled to my share of the house.

    Melinda from California

    Dear Melinda,

    I’m sorry your father died so unexpectedly. And I’m sorry that you have such anger toward your mother. Presumably, they were living separate lives long before your father died.

    Do you stand to inherit a share of the house? The answer hinges on whether it was community or separate property. If it was the latter, then you may stand to inherit half of that (assuming you hire a good probate lawyer). If it is community property, it should pass to your mother. If the house was purchased during their marriage, it is deemed community property and you’re out of luck. If it was purchased before they were married but your mother contributed to the mortgage or there were major renovations during their marriage, it may now be considered community property rather than separate property. (This is not the first time the Moneyologist has come across the conundrum. The last case involved a man who wanted to divorce his wife.)

    It’s not unusual for second wives, husbands or children to get upset over beneficiaries on a life insurance policy, but there is likely little you can (or should) do here. Your father may have intended to change that policy, but he was preempted by his tragic accident. He is not alone. In 2013, for instance, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of a 66-year-old man’s ex-wife (rather than his widow) as the beneficiary of a life insurance policy worth over $124,000. In this case, he may not have wanted his ex-wife, who he divorced 10 years before his death, to claim his life insurance policy. But with or without a divorce decree, the document given to the insurance company had his ex-wife’s name on it.

    Seeing your mother inherit this $500,000 may be a bitter pill for you to swallow. For her sake and that of her newfound inheritance, let’s hope her second marriage is a happy one.

    Do you have questions about inheritance, tipping, weddings, family feuds, friends or any tricky issues relating to manners and money? Send them to MarketWatch’s Moneyologist and please include the state where you live (no full names will be used).

    Would you like to sign up to an email alert when a new Moneyologist column has been published? If so, click on this link.

    Hello there, MarketWatchers. Check out the Moneyologist private Facebook group, where we look for answers to life’s thorniest money issues. Readers write in to me with all sorts of dilemmas: inheritance, wills, divorce, tipping, gifting. I often talk to lawyers, accountants, financial advisers and other experts, in addition to offering my own thoughts. I receive more letters than I could ever answer, so I’ll be bringing all of that guidance — including some you might not see in these columns — to this group. Post your questions, tell me what you want to know more about, or weigh in on the latest Moneyologist columns.

    http://www.marketwatch.com/story/my...-stop-her-from-inheriting-his-home-2017-01-12
     
  2. nickndfl

    nickndfl Midas Member Midas Member Site Supporter ++

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    Daughter has no claim. That's the way it goes. Six months is long enough to wait to remarry if that's what she wants to do.
     
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  3. gringott

    gringott Killed then Resurrected Midas Member Site Supporter

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    You can't get there from here.
    2nd husband just married into a bank account with substance.

    Daughter has some issues. They were married. It goes to her.
     
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  4. ErrosionOfAccord

    ErrosionOfAccord #1 Global Warmer Gold Chaser Site Supporter ++

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    Mom sounds like a real dimwit or a philanderer. I agree it is the mothers tho.
     
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  5. Hystckndle

    Hystckndle Daguerreotype Fanatic Site Mgr Site Supporter ++

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    Life insurance policies are casino contracts.
    Good stuff if you buy early, buy wisely.
    Is what it is.
    Bad planning on the no will part.
    Make it easier on your family...get a will and write it all down.
    Its always the money that makes people angry.
    When in the end...
    Its the most worthless to you at many levels.
    Mom may blow through that 500 in record time.
    Again, don t know all the facts.
    Other brothers and sisters have a % interest too.
    Not being in middle of probate stuff as a team was a bad plan.
    Anyways....just rambling...this guy sure gets some letters...lol
    Regards to all,
     
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  6. Merlin

    Merlin Gold Member Gold Chaser Site Supporter ++

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    Sam has been giving me $400 a month to help pay down my mortgage balance. So far, he's done this 41 months in a row. I intend for him to inherit the house, so I signed a transfer on death deed so there's no probate on the house if I die. I know how strange people can get (it happened to me) when there's a death in the family. So, don't leave things to chance.
     
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  7. hammerhead

    hammerhead Not just a screen name Gold Chaser

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    At the rate I'm going, first off, I would be happy to not leave my kids or wife any of my debt.
    My son had said he owed me for all that I had done in raising him. I told him it wasn't a contract. He didn't sign on so he owes me nothing.
     
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  8. GOLDBRIX

    GOLDBRIX God,Donald Trump,most in GIM2 I Trust. OTHERS-meh Site Supporter Platinum Bling

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    Been down this road myself except Step-daddy lived and married their pastor's mother 6 mos. after my mom died. (Will left property to surviving spouse).
    New wife had already transferred her property to her children before the marriage. (HINT)
    Ol "Step Daddy"'s new Will dis-inherited me and middle brother leaving the youngest on the will. I NEVER knew of the dis-inheritance. Middle Bro. the same. Youngest bro. was given a copy and he honor step-daddy's wishes not to open it until his death.
    Step daddy dies a year and a half later. Us boys were not told he was even sick. Youngest brother opens and finds his two brothers are "OUT" .
    He contacts "Pastor's MOM" and she tells him there is another newer Will and all three of us are out: dis-inherited.

    The only real value was the house that was paid off BEFORE step-daddy even entered the picture.
    All of us boys live out of state.
    I told my side to a lawyer buddy of mine. He said Us boys could challenge the Will in court BUT legal fees would eat up any value we might receive. I past this information on to my siblings and it was decided not to fight it especially since none of us were close by.
    I heard within the year 'Pastor's Mom" went to her dirt nap.

    While I do believe in The Supreme Creator / GOD / whatever you want to call him.
    I detest organized religion where one man tries to tell another man what GOD means and how we should act. Man is Weak and far too many use their religious status as a weapon, wolves against GOD's Sheep.
     
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  9. gringott

    gringott Killed then Resurrected Midas Member Site Supporter

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    In the words of my long ago bricklayer foreman, a nasty piece of work;

    NEVER BE WORTH MORE DEAD THAN ALIVE.
     
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  10. Agavegirl1

    Agavegirl1 Silver Miner Site Supporter ++ Platinum Bling

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    I should get on this. I am married in a Community Property state and my house is in my name only. Hubby's condo in his name onlyBetween the two of us, we have five kids who already know we do not plan to leave an estate with the exception of the lake home I own up north and its contents. We need to get to work. We ride motorcycles.
     

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