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Dimitry Esquire
Dimitry Esquire, Attorney
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 41221
Experience:  JA Mentor. I run my own practice that specializes in Estate Preparation and Administration
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My husband died 9 months ago leaving two wills. The first one

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My husband died 9 months ago leaving two wills. The first one left everything to me, when we went to court his daughter produced a 2nd will dated 5 days later that left everything to her. I didn't protest the will because I was going to give her all the furniture anyway (it was estate furniture) she came to my house went through all my personal files, took all the furniture, tools, even the drapes, bedspread and ash trays! I paid for $4,000.00 of the funeral and all his mastercard bills. I have not been paid one dime. My lawyer said I could ask for 20% of the estate, the funeral and mastercard bills but so far I received nothing. Since the house was in both of our names does that mean the house is included in that 20% or is it exempt? What am I entitled to and what course do I have if she dosent pay? We were married 3 1/2 years.
Thank you for your question. Please permit me to assist you with your concerns.

If I may ask, in what state are you located in? I ask to figure out if you may have options to challenge the latter will, thank you!
Customer: replied 3 years ago.


Thank you for your follow-up.


Tennessee has a graduated 'elective share' option for spouses to ensure that a spouse cannot be completely left out of a will. If a spouse is married for less than 3 years, she is entitled to 10% of the net estate, between 3-6 years, she is entitled to 20% of the net estate, 6=9 years she is entitled to 30%, and over 9 years she is entitled to 40%. As you have been married for over 3 years, the 20% number the attorney provided is correct. That number includes only assets that are not otherwise listed--in terms of the home, if you had title based on tenant in entirety, then you obtain full title to the property and it is exempt from probate. You are indeed entitled to funeral expenses since that is something the estate covers, and you are likewise entitled to the 20% net amount. If she fails to provide you with an accounting and fails to pay you what is yours, you can either take her to probate court and sue for fiduciary duty violations on basis of her role as executor, or sue her directly for return of your personal property. Taking her via probate court is likely wiser and easier as it can permit you to also sue for attorney fees should this process get extra nasty down the line.


Good luck!

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