Legal Question in Wills and Trusts in California

My Rights as his wife of 27 yrs

My husband passed away in Dec. and it wasn't until after he died that I found out that he had transfered all his savings and investment accounts to his daughter as POD. He had nothing when we married but was father to 3 children all grown now. I have no children at all. We had agreed in a Will to leaving everything to each other because of our situation. Am I screwed? What can I do to get what we agreed upon when we married. We even got the money for the house we lived in from a house I owned and sold when we married. Someone out there please help me...

Asked on 4/15/09, 7:41 pm

4 Answers from Attorneys

Scott Linden Scott H. Linden, Esq.
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Re: My Rights as his wife of 27 yrs

I am sorry to hear of your husband's passing and now the problems you are facing with his daughter.

CA is a community property state, so if your husband was in charge of all your finances and he made this change without your knowledge, then it should be reversible.

A few things for you to consider: Did you file taxes jointly or separately? Did you comingle your money with his? How were household bills paid?

I believe our firm can assist you as we specialize in this area of law.

If you would like to discuss this matter further in a more private forum, please feel free to contact me directly at the email address provided by LawGuru or through our firmís website located at PasadenaEstatePlanning.com

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No attorney-client nor confidential relationship is created through this communication. You may not rely in any way on this communication, and nothing herein constitutes legal advice nor legal opinion. Your issue may be time-sensitive and may result in a loss of rights if you do not obtain an attorney immediately.

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4/16/09, 3:58 pm
Phillip Lemmons, Esq. Phillip Lemmons APC, Attorneys at Law
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Re: My Rights as his wife of 27 yrs

This can be resolved. My firm offers a one hour "meaningful" consultation for $375. If you decide to retain us to represent you in this matter, the $375 is credited back to your account.

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4/15/09, 8:57 pm
Chris Johnson Christopher B. Johnson, Attorney at Law
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Re: My Rights as his wife of 27 yrs

If you can trace the assets to your separate property or as community property, you likely have a right to at least those funds and can sue his daughter for that, and possibly for the other funds as well, depending on the terms of the apparent agreement you had with each other.

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4/20/09, 2:55 pm
Phunphilas Viravan Law Offices of Phunphilas Viravan
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Re: My Rights as his wife of 27 yrs

His income during marriage and investments that he made with them are community property. The proceeds from the sale of the house could be your separate property, depending on how you kept the funds. More facts would be needed for a more thorough analysis.

Generally, you have a claim over your half of community property that he gave away without your consent and the whole of your separate property.

I provide a free initial consultation (up to 1 hour) if you would like to discuss your situation further.

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4/17/09, 11:08 am

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