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LawGirl
LawGirl, Attorney
Category: Estate Law
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Experience:  I have experience in this practice area.
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I live in California. My husband died 7/30/09. He had no

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I live in California. My husband died 7/30/09. He had no will to my knowledge. His daughter came to me a month or so back & gave me a copy of a Will from my husband dated in 2003. It was giving her $45,000., a BMW car, motorcycle, & $6000.00 worth of gold upon his death. He signed it and his daughter witnessed it. Upon his death none of these items existed. He had gotten a settlement from an auto accident - that was where the $45,000. came from. He used this instead of having to ask me for money (he was disabled and collected SSI for income). He cashed in the gold coins and had sold his BMW and motorcycle a year or two prior to his death. There was nothing left of any of his assets when he died. His daughter is now contesting and thinks that even if none of the prior assets are even around that I owe her the total sum of his prior assets. There was nothing left at the time of his death. He had a different car which was in both of our names. Nothing else. The Will he give her was a simple typewritten one and she witnessed it. Is any of this legal?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Estate Law
Expert:  LawGirl replied 4 years ago.

LawGirl :

Thank you for your question. I am sorry to hear about your loss. Generally, the will should be witnessed by two (2) disinterested persons. Whether this will is going to be admissible for purposes of holding the estate liable is really a question for a courts to determine. However, given that the estate had none of these items and basically no worth at the time of your husband's passing, whether the will is valid is probably a moot point. Absent showing that you squandered the estate or took fund from the estate to which you were not entitled, she would have a difficult time holding you liable for any monies that she claims is owed.

Customer :

We had to sell our home after I was laid off from my job as an RN at a local hospital that was down sizing. We rec'd a sum from the sale which I put into a savings account for future purchase of another home. We then moved in with my dad, who was very elderly and has also since passed away. My husband had some mental issues and was planning to move out. He demanded from me a portion of the funds we got from the sale of our home, which I complied with. He put it into an account and made his dad the beneficiary. When my husband died his dad felt that the money should be returned to me as it came from the sale of our home and I was entitled to it. I did not coherse him into giving it back to me. He did this on his own free will. Since all this he has, as well, passed away so is no longer here to verify this information. My husband's daughter saw the transaction of this money coming back to me and now thinks she is entitled to this as well. All the money my husband and I have had, except for the money he had from his settlement, was rec'd from my dad as a living inheritence. Now she thinks she is entitled to more.

LawGirl :

First she will need to prove that the will she has is valid, which may be difficult to do if the will does not comport with the legal requirements of California. You may be able to sue the bank records to show that his father was the beneficiary of the bank account. To the extent that his father inherited the money as beneficiary of the bank account and gave you that money, that would technically be a gift from his father to you and not party of the estate.

LawGirl :

Can I answer any other question for your or provide any clarification?

Customer :

Thank you for the information. I think this answers my questions. I appreciate your time to respond to these to help ease my mind. I will be consulting with my attorney face-to- face but just needed some reassurance right now. Again, thank you for the information.

LawGirl, Attorney
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 4606
Experience: I have experience in this practice area.
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