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Debra, Lawyer
Category: Canada Law
Satisfied Customers: 100946
Experience:  Lawyer
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Our mother died the day before her stepfather. The gentleman

Customer Question

Our mother died the day before her stepfather. The gentleman named her, specifically, as a beneficiary. However, the current executrice, a step-granddaughter, has distributed his asserts among the remaining living beneficiaries. Is there grounds for a legal claim by his step daughter's estate?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Canada Law
Expert:  Debra replied 2 years ago.
What words did the Will use when it talked about who is getting these bequests? For example, did it use the words "issue" or "per stirpes"?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hello Sir or Madame,Thank you for your prompt response!
You are assuming that, after being disinherited, we would have access to the said Will in order to determine exact wording... We do not.
My husband, co-executor of his recently deseased mother's estate, specifically requested a copy of the Will but was, point blank, refused.
I should also mention that her spouse, my father-in-law, is still alive and is encredibly hurt by his dismissal as her equal life-partner in this situation.
Should my husband, his sister and their father contact a lawyer to request a copy of the Will?
Thank you for your time,Sylvia
Expert:  Debra replied 2 years ago.
Did your stepfather have assets in his name alone?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hello,Again, you are assuming that we, as representatives of the disinherited step-daughter, have access to our step-grandfather's Will along with its language. We have been refused when we requested sharing of the document.What I'd like to know is whether we have any grounds to subpoena the Will? Also, am I correct in thinking that there is a 3 year window for contesting said Will??And, can it be proven that leaving the stepdaughter's spouse out of the process is punitive?? Isn't such an action grounds for contesting such Wills?Thanks again for your responses but they haven't been helpful as yet!Sylvia
Expert:  Debra replied 2 years ago.
You do not need to get a court order to see the will if the will is being probated. So, if there are any assets in the testators name alone then, as the Will will have to be probated, you will be able to get a copy of the will from the local court house. That is because the Will will be a matter of public record. Once you have the will you will have a much better idea of where you stand. It is possible that you could inherit your mother's share of the estate depending on the wording of the will. That is why I asked you about the wording. Once you get a copy of the will your best next step would be to have it reviewed by an estate lawyer because it may not be readily apparent to you what happens to the part of the estate that would have gone to your mother.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Under what circumstances would a Will not be probated?
Expert:  Debra replied 2 years ago.
If there are not assets in the testator's name then the Will does not have to be probated.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
He had already signed his vehicle over to the future executrice a year prior to his death and we believe the remainder of his estate would be in the form of cash in bank accounts. All properties had been sold and he had been living in a nursing home for his last 3 years. Does this type of estate require a Will to be probated?
Expert:  Debra replied 2 years ago.
If there are bank accounts in his name alone and there is more than a small amount of money in the accounts than the bank will require probate.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Interesting! How do we find out which courthouse would have filed the Will and what would we have to produce as evidence of legal rights to see the Will?
Expert:  Debra replied 2 years ago.
You would go to the courthouse where she lived. Anyone in the world has a right to see the will because it is a matter of public record.