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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 118175
Experience:  Experienced in Trust and Succession Law, including Louisiana Laws
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Hi Lucy,Its me again! My husband is now in the process

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Hi Lucy,
It's me again! My husband is now in the process of estate planning and his lawyer says she is an expert, but is only 30 years old. I am concerned because as it reads now, my stepchildren get everything, but I get to live in the house rent free for the remainder of my life and they will pay me a 15% of the cattle sales which is $15,000 on a good year, less if not. He is giving me a $100,000 life insurance policy, and a pasture worth about $60,000. If I have worked and carried the health insurance, and contributed to the income and his children haven't, shouldn't I expect more out of this? We have given my stepson free pasture rent since he was 18 years old and paid for his way through college and for a $6500 pickup. Aren't I entitled to half of his cattle herd which is half of the business? I feel as if I am being cheated because I have contributed more than that to the business. The cow herd that he came into the marriage is not the same cow herd that he has now. I paid for 4 community branding meals to the tune of $2,000 and my dad has contributed 4 bulls for seed stock that we used and then sold and gave him the money later. One of the checks, he allowed us to keep.

Another question is, if all the cattle we own now were either purchased or born after we were married, would not half of his herd belong to me? My stepchildren come home once a month to help, and I am here all day, every day to fix meals, etc.

Is this fair, or should I fight? Financially, I am feeling betrayed and cheated.

Thank you for requesting me.

Estate law issues are very different from general family law, and I unfortunately do not work in estate planning. What a person would get in a divorce isn't the same as what a person can inherit. I'll refer you to another expert who can help.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Ok, thanks!



Thank you for your question. Lucy has asked me to work with you to provide you the information you are seeking in this matter.

Lucy was right in that community/marital property shares are quite different from what a spouse would inherit on the death of her spouse.

If your husband is planning his estate and all he is seeking to leave you is as you stated above, while it is not fair at all, it is his right to write a will to leave his share of the property to anyone he chooses and to make bequests as he chooses.

There are some rules which would allow you to challenge a will if he does not leave you sufficient amounts of his estate and these rules vary by state and they are called the "spousal elective share" which is the amount a spouse can demand no matter what a will states. If you tell me the state you are in I can look up those rules for your state.

Aside from the elective share, which you would have to incur legal expenses for an attorney to go to probate court and fight over, you need to work with your husband now to get him to write his will to better provide for you upon his death.

If you would tell me your state, I can be more specific about the inheritance rules for you.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

We reside in Wyoming. Thanks!

Lynette Hunter

Thank you for your response.

Here is the Wyoming law on elective share, which would provide you 1/4 of the estate, since there are step children involved. Thus, you need to look at what he is leaving you and if he is leaving you at least that 1/4, I am afraid this will be a personal issue the two of you will have to discuss as to why he feels you are not entitled to be left more by his will.

2-5-101. Elective share of property.

(a) If a married person domiciled in this state shall by will deprive the surviving spouse of more than the elective share, as hereafter set forth, of the property which is subject to disposition under the will, reduced by funeral and administration expenses, homestead allowance, family allowances and exemption, and enforceable claims, the surviving spouse has a right of election to take an elective share of that property as follows:

(i) One-half (1/2) if there are no surviving issue of the decedent, or if the surviving spouse is also a parent of any of the surviving issue of the decedent; or

(ii) One-fourth (1/4), if the surviving spouse is not the parent of any surviving issue of the decedent.

(b) If a married person not domiciled in this state dies, the right, if any, of the surviving spouse to take an elective share in property in this state is governed by the law of the decedent's domicile at death.

(c) If the surviving spouse of a married person domiciled in this state dies or becomes incompetent within three (3) months after the will is admitted to probate or before being advised of the right of election as in W.S. 2-5-104 provided, a personal representative or guardian of the estate of the deceased or incompetent surviving spouse has the same right of election as the surviving spouse would have had if living or competent.

(d) If the surviving spouse or his personal representative or guardian fails to exercise the right of election within the time provided in W.S. 2-5-105, the will shall govern and control the distribution of the estate.

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Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 118175
Experience: Experienced in Trust and Succession Law, including Louisiana Laws
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