Legal Question in Wills and Trusts in California

I am not sure i have any legal legs to stand on but here goes i found out that my father has recently changed his will and in it he gives 2/3 of his esate to a woman who is very manipultive and 1/3 of his estate is to go to myself now he is still married to my mother legally but they have not lived together for about 10yrs my concern is if my father happens to pass away before my mom will that mean that other woman will have the abillaty to take what is in both my mother and fathers name because she has 2/3 OF HIS ESTATE

Asked on 5/31/13, 8:27 pm

2 Answers from Attorneys

Kelvin Green The Law Office of Kelvin Green

If there is property in their titled in their names, the title governs. Being separated for ten years? Does not sound like there is much of a chance for reconciliation. Maybe the better thing to do would be to get a divorce and get what she can now. If the will has written her out, I think the probate fight over separation and statutory spouse amounts if any would be a whole lot uglier than the divorce would be....and yes outside of titled property the other woman would get the rest because it is his mom should visit with a probate attorney, it would be worth it so she knows what her rights are and what to expect and then see a divorce attorney as well.

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Answered on 6/01/13, 6:22 am

William Christian Rodi Pollock

This certainly sounds like a very good bar exam question. Lots of issues and a likely fight when a death occurs (whether it is your mother, your father or the girlfriend). Unless the goal is to have attorneys as beneficiaries (a laudable goal , of course), each of the parties should consult estate planning counsel. I also agree that a formal dissolution at this time while each party is alive and can determine who owns what is appropriate. In essence your father can dispose of his 1/2 of all community property and his separate property. The fight will be to determine what is what. With a 10 year separaton, this may be quite difficult. The form of title may also complicate things. If property is in joint tenancy, it may defeat the will your father prepared. Presumably he addressed these issues with an estate planning attorney when he prepared the will, but you have no way of knowing.

Good luck.

This gratuitous response does not create an attorney client relationship. The advice provided herein is generic, may not apply to your circumstances and is not to be relied upon in your actions. An attorney client relationship is created only upon execution of an engagement letter hiring me or my firm.

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Answered on 6/03/13, 10:30 am

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