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Thomas McJD
Thomas McJD, Attorney
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 6516
Experience:  Wills, Trusts, Probate & other Estate Matters
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My father passed away in 2010 after his father, and my grandmother

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My father passed away in 2010 after his father, and my grandmother just passed away. It turns out that before she died she altered the will that my grandfather had set up once my father passed away. She basically cut my fathers portion out of the will and is dividing it between all of the grandchildren. Do me and my siblings have any rights to his portion of the estate?

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.

Customer:

ok

TMcJD :

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but if your grandfather left all of his estate to your grandmother, then your grandmother was free to determine how the estate gets distributed after her death. If her will indicates that any portion that would have gone to your father now be distributed equally amongst all grandchildren (rather than just you and your siblings), then that language of the will controls. You, of course, will receive your share of that distribution and so do have some rights to what your father would have received. However, you will not receive as large a portion as you would have received had his share been divided only among his children (you and your siblings).

Customer:

So if my grandfather left something specifically for my father then we would have rights to that?

TMcJD :

Yes, if it was property that only your grandfather owned (so that it passed through his estate), and his will specifically left that to your father, then that property was your father's and is part of your father's estate. But most wills between husband and wife leave all property to the surviving spouse on the first death and then stipulate where property would go on the second death. Even so, the survivor can always change the will after the first death so that property is distributed differently than originally planned (unless there is specific language in the will (or in an external document) indicating that husband and wife were making a contract for a specific distribution - which is unusual).

Customer:

ok, thanks for your assistance

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