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Debra, Lawyer
Category: Canada Law
Satisfied Customers: 100971
Experience:  Lawyer
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Our father passed away two years ago...s wife (our step

Customer Question

our father passed away two years ago...his wife (our step mother of 22 years) passed away recently. There was no mention of my father's will we understood they had combined. After our step mother passing her daughter informs us she is sole beneficiary. Once will is opened how long would it be before this is deemed correct and do you think we have any recourse as we received nothing after our father died. They had combined their assests. He used money from he and my mother's house toward buying the house he and my step mother lived in...should we not be entitled to at least half of what the house is worth? We have no interest in any stocks etc that my stepmother received from her deceased husband. At a loss.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Canada Law
Expert:  Debra replied 1 year ago.

Are you saying that your father and his spouse held all their assets jointly? So, for example, the house was in both their names as joint tenants?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The first house they bought was. They moved shortly before my father died and I am not sure, but it would seem that my step mother put the new house in her name, but I do remember my father complaining that she was making him sign papers to sell the old it maybe that the new house was in only her name, but they bought the new house for half of what they sold the old house for
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
would we not be entitled to half of the difference between the old and new house? They both lived in the new house together and were married for 20 years so it's not like it was a two week marriage for money only
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I have a feeling my step mother changed her will shortly before she died and while her daughter was visiting her from Germany, because they used on new lawyer and only my step mother and step sister are his clients....would this not be undue influence?
Expert:  Debra replied 1 year ago.

Your father's will would apply to all assets that were in his name alone when he died. So if there were no assets in his name alone or if he gave his entire estate to his spouse then there would be no assets for you to inherit when your father died. In other words, you only inherit if there were assets in his name alone that he left you specifically in his will.

When your step mother dies only her will applies and not your father's so you would only inherent if she left you something.

There is no law that says you get half of her estate or half of the house because once it had been your father's. It was up to your father to give you what he wanted to give you when he died. Do you see what I mean?

I'm sorry that this is not the answer you were hoping for and I'm sorry for your loss.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
if my father did have a will and it was never enacted or if my step mother changed her will while she was ill and just before she died we have no way of knowing this and because we are not named in our stepmother's will there is no way of knowing if she did change it (aka undue influence) or can see a copy of her previous will etc.
Expert:  Debra replied 1 year ago.

Do you know if your father had any assets in his name alone?

Do you know if the two of them had what is called a mutual wills agreement?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I don't believe he did as they combined everything after they got married - including their will - would that be a mutual will agreement? Is there anyway I can find out what date my step mother's will was written / amended?
Expert:  Debra replied 1 year ago.

If everything was combined then all the assets went to your stepmother.

If you believe that your stepmother had made will leaving you an inheritance and this was changed because of her daughter's pressure then you should retain a lawyer of your own who will make a demand to the lawyer for the estate or to your stepsister demanding production of the new will and the former will.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
ok. thank you very much for you assistance.
Expert:  Debra replied 1 year ago.

You are very welcome.