Legal Question in Wills and Trusts in New York

my fathers third wife which he has no children with is refusing to let him take out a will. She also put the house in her name. they have been married for 35 years. He has four grown children from his previous marriage. Are the children intitled to anything even if he dosent have a will if he dies. She is much younger than him he is 85 and she is 63 and just controls him completly. They also have a joint bank account but I dont know if she is also hiding assets to protect them from his children. Thanks. New York

Asked on 12/02/10, 11:04 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Michael Markowitz Michael A. Markowitz, PC
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Assets that are in your father's name is passed in a will. Assets that are in joint name (like the bank account) pass by operation of law and are not included in the will. Therefore, to answer your question.

1. The house is in your step-mother's name. Therefore, upon you father's death the house would remain with your step-mother.

2. If the joint bank account is in both names, the bank account would go to your step-mother upon production of a death certificate to the bank.

3. Any assets that are solely in your father's name (and assuming he has no will) would go to 50% to the step-mother and 50% to children.

Mike.

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12/08/10, 5:43 am

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