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Roger, Attorney
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 31590
Experience:  BV Rated by Martindale-Hubbell; SuperLawyer rating by Thompson-Reuters
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My father in law has been married 40 years and separated

Customer Question

My father in law has been married for about 40 years and separated (not legally) for almost 27 years. His wife moved out of state at that time and he has yet to hear from or see. My question is if he passes away will his wife have any legally say as to
his funerals arrangements? My wife is his youngest child and his set as his only beneficiary for both life and bank accounts. He has told her that he wants to be cremated and that she is in charge of the items in his house (rental) as well. My wife is concerned
that she will have issues because he is still married. My father in has requested that his wife and other two adult children have no say in what happens and that they are not allowed to see him during any ceremonies. What do you recommend? A legal will? A
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Roger replied 1 year ago.

Hi - my name is ***** ***** I'll be glad to assist.

SO LONG AS they are married, the wife is going to be given priority and authority to act on his behalf and to handle affairs of the estate. So, the father should seriously consider taking action - - at a minimum, having an appointed power of attorney and a sold will that appoints someone else to be the executor/trix and to handle the affairs of the estate would be great. BUT, a spouse generally cannot be legally excluded from a will. So, if he tries to exclude her, she could challenge (likely successfully) and have the will voided.

Thus, he is much better off to file for divorce and sever that bond/contract. That would prevent her from having the ability or right to inherit or to have any say over his affairs.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
my being his beneficiary of both life insurance and bank account the wife would have access to?
Expert:  Roger replied 1 year ago.

No, anything that passes outside of his estate would not be accessible to her. BUT, anything he owns at the time of his death that isn't payable upon death, transferrable upon death, joint tenancy with you, etc. would go into his estate.....and she'd have access to those things.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
How much would it cost to file for divorce?
Expert:  Roger replied 1 year ago.

That really just depends on how much the parties want to fight. Some divorces can be done for less than $2000 and some can cost more than $10000.