Legal Question in Wills and Trusts in Pennsylvania

My wife passed and left a will,one of my Daughters was left as EXC of that will, as a husband still married at the time my wife

passed, was I intiled to any part of her

estate ????

Asked on 10/08/13, 10:23 am

3 Answers from Attorneys

Solomon Weinstein Solomon Weinstein, Esquire

What does the will say. Even if you are not mentioned in the will you as a spouse cannot generally be disinherited. You can elect to take against the Will. I would suggest you consult with an attorney to discuss the matter and the facts involved.

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Answered on 10/08/13, 10:28 am

Patrick Narcisi Narcisi Law Offices, P.C.

You may file an election to take a share of the estate unless you were guilty of desertion or other marital misconduct.

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Answered on 10/08/13, 10:46 am

You leave out a lot of details. Just because a daughter was listed as the executrix does not mean that you do not have a right to inherit.

First, when did your wife die? She made a will, but what does the will say about your right to inherit anything? Was this a first or second or subsequent marriage for either of you? Did you have a pre- or post-nuptial agreement waiving any rights to inherit or administer the estate of the deceased spouse? Were you estranged or separated from your wife prior to her death?

As noted by Attorneys Weinstein and Narcisi, you do have a right to claim an elective share of the estate assuming that you were not estranged/separated/filing for divorce and equitable distribution and had no pre or post-nuptial agreements . However, there are time limits for claiming an elective share and I do not know when your wife passed.

The other issue is what did your wife own and how was it titled? For example, if you owned land jointly with your wife as a tenancy-by-the-entireties. then the land automatically passed to you as of the moment of death. If you had a joint bank account with your wife, the funds in the account passed to you automatically as of death. If you were named on any life insurance, IRAs, pensions, annuities, etc., then these would also pass to you outside of probate. So there may be few if any probate assets for you to inherit.

You need to go and see a probate lawyer who practices in the county/state where the estate is or will be pending for your wife. Pay the attorney to review the will and advise if you need to file for an elective share.

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Answered on 10/08/13, 12:38 pm

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