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Dwayne B.
Dwayne B., Attorney
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 33253
Experience:  Estate Law Expert
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In SC, my husband died in 2013 and left his son as executor.

Customer Question

In SC, my husband died in 2013 and left his son as executor. We had been married 10 years; he was previously married to the mother of his children for 49 years. My husband changed his will at some point and left all his personal and household goods to me instead of his children. I did not know. After the funeral, his son asked if he could come down and get some things. He came and loaded a large truck and his van and took them away.
I found out about the change in the will in Feb 2015 when I had to get a copy of it for another reason.
Now he wants me to sign a form saying that I received everything that was left to me in the will so he can close the estate. I don't know how I can sign a false statement and why I should let them get away with doing something so outrageous. He ignores me when I ask him why they felt they had to deceive me and tries to turn it around to say that I "gave" the things to them. Well, of course I did --- I thought they were supposed to have them.
I would always have given them the things my husband brought into the marriage no matter what, but they took a lot of expensive gifts I had bought for my husband, etc.
If I refuse to sign the form or sign it without listing what was bequeathed to me, what would be the ramifications to the executor and would he be in violation of the oath he took to carry out the terms of the will?
Can I get an attorney to ask for return of the items I gifted my husband with (about $6000) or either compensation for same? I imagine some of them have been sold by now - especially the expensive watches and custom made tie pin that was my wedding gift to him, which I have asked for and been told he never saw it before - not true!
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Estate Law
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 2 years ago.
Hello and thank you for contacting us. This is Dwayne B. and I’m an expert here and looking forward to assisting you today. If at any point any of my answers aren’t clear please don’t hesitate to ask for clarification. Also, I can only answer the questions you specifically ask and based on the facts that you give so please be sure that you ask the questions you want to ask and provide all necessary facts.
If I refuse to sign the form or sign it without listing what was bequeathed to me, what would be the ramifications to the executor
None. The executor would just have to go to court and have a hearing to get the court to complete the probate process and close the estate.
and would he be in violation of the oath he took to carry out the terms of the will?
Not under your facts since the things were removed prior to him qualifying as the executor. In addition, even if they were taken afterwards it wouldn't be an automatic disqualification so long as the items weren't needed to pay the creditors, etc. It COULD be a disqualification since the items were left to you and it is his job as executor to see that the terms of the will are followed but if it is his position that you gave the items to him it becomes a question of fact for the court to decide.
Can I get an attorney to ask for return of the items I gifted my husband with (about $6000) or either compensation for same?
Yes, although you would want to do it quickly since the longer you wait the more likely the judge is to say that you waived the right to make the claim. You have an argument against that since the last thing that is to occur in a probate is the distribution of the assets but you still don't want to wait any longer than is necessary.