Legal Question in Wills and Trusts in New York

Hi, I have a probate question. My wife is the sole owner of the home we currently live in. Her two children are the beneficiaries upon her death. I am not a beneficiary. Since I've been married to my wife for almost twenty years, and have poured money, sweat and tears into the home, do I have any rights to the proceeds upon her death through litigation. Please tell me what my rights are.

Asked on 11/26/10, 4:36 am

1 Answer from Attorneys

Arnold Nager Arnold H. Nager, Esquire

Unless your wife's two children are on the deed, the house becomes part of her estate.

Under NY law, a surviving spouse is entitled to inherit a portion of the estate, together with any children.

If she has a Will leaving nothing to the surviving spouse s/he may file an election to receive property in accordance with the statute.

This post is not legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is a comment on the legal question posed by the poster and should not be relied upon in any way. All readers are advised to consult an attorney to address their specific legal concerns. Additional facts could affect the answer given.

My comments are based on treating your question as a hypothetical. Accordingly, my comments could be substantially and materially different were I advised of all of the relevant facts and circumstances. My comments are by necessity general in nature, and should not be relied upon in taking or forgoing action in your circumstances without retaining an attorney. In order to fully explore your legal matter, you should meet with me or another attorney and bring to any such meeting all relevant documents and correspondence, and any other relevant facts. I am not hired to be your attorney, and no attorney-client relationship exists between us, unless and until you enter into a written retainer agreement with me, tender the agreed amount for a retainer and it is accepted by me. I reserve the right to decline representation should circumstances change. As you are aware, in New York there are various deadlines for filing a complaint, filing an answer to a complaint, or taking other action in order to preserve your legal rights, and avoid a complete loss of those rights. You should retain counsel immediately in order to be fully advised of your rights, and to be fully informed of the applicable time period within which those rights must be asserted. If you were to delay in doing so, it might result in your potential cause of action being forever barred.

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Answered on 12/01/10, 4:53 am

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