How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Thomas McJD Your Own Question
Thomas McJD
Thomas McJD, Attorney
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 6516
Experience:  Wills, Trusts, Probate & other Estate Matters
19305272
Type Your Estate Law Question Here...
Thomas McJD is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

friend passes away I am personal representative, will done

This answer was rated:

friend passes away I am personal representative, will done in 2008 names all children as beneficiaries, got married in 2010. does the husband have statutory spousal right to claim the house. the house was owned years before marriage

TMcJD :

Hi, I will be happy to assist you, and it is my goal to make you a very satisfied customer! This may take a few minutes, so thanks for your patience.

TMcJD :

Yes, the surviving spouse has a statutory right to elect to take against the will. The spouse receives 1/2 of what the spouse would have received had there not been a will. In this case, since there are children that are the step-children of the surviving spouse, the surviving spouse is entitled to 1/2 of the first $136,000 of the estate and then the rest is divided into equal shares for the children and the spouse, with the spouse being able to take 1/2 of whatever share the spouse would have received. The children will take the remainder according to the terms of the will. Alternative, the spouse could elect a 1/3 life estate to all of the estate.

TMcJD :

Please let me know if I can provide additional assistance. If not, I would be grateful if you could please leave me a positive rating. I cannot receive credit for my work without your positive rating and that is the sole means of compensation for JustAnswer experts. Thanks.

Customer:

should I use a different lawyer

TMcJD :

There's really no way for me to say. I don't know what he has or hasn't done. Has he done anything that makes you wonder about his ability to properly or ethically handle the matter?

Customer:

it seems to me he is more for the husband than the kids

TMcJD :

What makes you feel that he is not adequately representing the interests of the children?

Customer:

in the estate agreement it looks like more is going toward the husband

TMcJD :

It might be depending on the value of the property. As noted, the spouse can elect to take 1/2 of the first $136,000. If the estate is smaller or not much larger than $136,000, then the surviving spouse would get a larger share by law than any one of the children would receive. The spouse also gets a portion of the remaining estate after 1/3 of the first $136,000. Before you go to another attorney, which would cause added expense and delay, it would probably be a good idea to closely review the valuation of property and how the attorney has determined what goes to the spouse based on the forced election statutes. Have a sit down with the attorney to see if you feel comfortable after closely examining the matter. If you do not, it's best to find another attorney since your comfort level with the attorney is of prime importance.

Customer:

ok thank you for your time

TMcJD :

You're very welcome. Have a great day!

Thomas McJD and other Estate Law Specialists are ready to help you

Related Estate Law Questions