My father died 9months ago. he was married to our step mother. My father was a very wealthy man. Three months before his death, he and his wife had a talk with Myself and my one sister about our inheritance. We were to be paid out so we could enjoy the money. Our step mother has no intention of honoring my fathers wishes and says we get nothing. The step mother became very abusive towards my dad at the end of his life. She has been dating since a month after his death if not soon and has proved in many ways she did not care about him. They have identical wills where everything goes to us when she dies, however she is spending money and tells us there will be nothing left for us. There is a clause in the will that says if we contest the will we get nothing and she said that includes our children's college money.Can we contest it and are there any lawyers who do this type of case pro Bono? we do have evidence of abuse on her part towards my dad from hospice. We have witnesses to our conversation about the inheritance and what our father wanted for us. thank you
State/Country relating to question: Pennsylvania
Showed the will to a lawyer who was not an estate lawyer and he wasn't sure what we should do
Hello,Thank you for using JA. .Did father leave everything to his wife in his will?.And then she is supposed to leave it to his children in her will?.
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Yes he left everything to her in his will with the exception of paying for all of the six grandchildrens college education. She now says she will not pay for grad school or medical school, just 4 years. They have mirrored wills. she is supposed to leave the money to his children (she has no children of her own)and to her brother and her niece. We we told by both of them however that we would start getting paid out . When this was brought to her attention she told me she would give each of us a hundred thousAnd to start , next day she changed it to thirteen thousand. My fathers estate is estimated to be 25 to 35 million
Ok, please don't shoot the messenger, but there is nothing that would legally prevent stepmother from changing her will to leave the money to someone else if she chose to, or burning through it during her lifetime. Once she inherited it from your father, it is hers to do with what she wants to. .She has apparently talked to an attorney who has informed her that once she inherited the money, she doesn't have to leave it to her step children if she doesn't want to..Father should have placed money in a trust for his children and that would have prevented stepmother from doing exactly what she is doing..So as it stands, father essentially only left his six grandchildren tuition for college and everything else went to his wife. Father's intent that stepmother should leave her estate to his children would not have any legally binding effect on stepmother as the bulk of the estate is now hers..I really hate telling you this as it truly seems to be a wicked stepmother cliche'..
.What I would like to know is can we contest the will,as I said earlier we do have witnesses to her abuse and mishandling his medical treatment.She did go against drs orders and under medicated him . There is also a video with him saying how much he loved his kids. Also if we did want to contest the will how long do we have to do it under the statue of limitations. We are in Pennsylvania Thank you
No contest clauses are enforceable in the majority of states. Only two states, Florida and Indiana, have laws that state that they are unenforceable. So if there is an anti-contest clause in the will, this could result in any bequest for the person or people who contest it being extinguished. .However, Pennsylvania has a law that states that anti contest clauses are enforceable unless the petitioner has probable cause to contest the will. Probable cause is essentially a belief based on all the facts and circumstances that something improper has occurred in the drafting of the will..So if a challenger could prove probable cause, then they may be able to successfully challenge a will and not lose their bequest even if they lose. .In PA there is a one year statute of limitations to contest a will after it has been formally filed at the Register of Wills. .
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12 yrs estate law, real estate. Wills/Trusts/Probate
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