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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 115465
Experience:  Experienced attorney: Family law, Estate Law, SS Law etc.
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My dad died one month ago. He had married a woman one year

Customer Question

My dad died one month ago. He had married a woman one year ago. He got very sick and she wouldn't care for him and he went to live in his RV. She got a legal separation so she wouldn't be responsible for his bills. (They weren't actually legally married. They had a ceremony and he did the marriage certificate, signing it two different ways- he was a minister. The county gave her a copy of that with his two different signatures but told me it wasn't legal)
In the last month of his life she convinced him to make her executor and had power of attorney.
My dad told me about a savings account he had that would be mine. When I asked her about it she denied knowing only to find out later that she knew, and had closed the account so Medicare wouldn't get it.
Even his will is suspicious, giving her 60% and me and my daughter each 20%. Left my other daughter out for no reason!
I never saw the power of attorney, and didn't see the will until after he died.
She is now in control of his rentals, and everything else.
None of this seems right but she told my family if anyone contests the will she would pay for all her legal costs out of the account she already closed.
She said everything is under $150,000 so it doesn't go to probate, but I don't know if that is even true.
If she should died her share goes to her children and that doesn't seem fair or right either.
Should this go to probate?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.
She is talking about small estates in CA which can be used where the total value of an estate is under $150,000. It is not a court probate process. However, if you believe she has taken his estate through fraud or undue influence, you can file a petition in probate court to force probate and challenge the will and also to seek to reclaim property to the estate for the lawful heirs. I would suggest that if you choose to fight this and she is using small estate probate, under $150,000, that you need to immediately get a local probate attorney and file suit against her to stop her and recover the assets to the estate and seek to get the will as well as the alleged marriage declared invalid and get her completely cut out of this estate.