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Dwayne B.
Dwayne B., Attorney
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 33398
Experience:  Estate Law Expert
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I need help to understand my fathers will

Customer Question

I need help to understand my fathers will
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Estate Law
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 1 year ago.
Hello and thank you for contacting us. This is Dwayne B. and I’m an expert here and looking forward to assisting you today. If at any point any of my answers aren’t clear please don’t hesitate to ask for clarification. Also, I can only answer the questions you specifically ask and based on the facts that you give so please be sure that you ask the questions you want to ask and provide all necessary facts. Please note: This is general information for educational purposes only and is not legal advice. No specific course of action is proposed herein, and no attorney-client relationship or privilege is formed by speaking to an expert on this site. By continuing, you confirm that you understand and agree to these terms. Is there a specific question with which I could assist?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Can I send you a copy of my fathers will so that you can read it. I need to understand it and figure out if it is being abused or distributed correctly and if I am entitled to anything at all.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I have added my fathers will
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 1 year ago.
I read through the will. Some of it is a little dark to read but I think the important parts are legible.I'm not sure what you mean by "is it being abused". A will can say whatever the person making the will wants for it to say. In this case it looks like your father's primary concern was for the well being of his wife. If she didn't survive him then the estate goes to the people named in the will (Kari, Brandi, and Whitney) It also appears to specifically leave out Gerald. What other questions about it did you have?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
So she did survive him. So, basically what you are saying is that the children are not awarded anything at all in this case. It appeared to me that the business and its assets were to be divided between the children is that not the case?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Was she awarded everything that he owned personal and or business related?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Does the will specify that there is a trust?
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 1 year ago.
That may be in the first paragraph of Item III which isn't coming through very well. Can you redo that page and send it?
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 1 year ago.
Also, was there a trust already set up before he passed away?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
We do not know if there was a trust set up. I was only able to obtain the copy of the will without my step mothers knowledge.
I will resend the document.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
This is the only other copy that I have
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 1 year ago.
The will that you sent the scans of mention a trust but doesn't actually "set one up". That may mean there was already a trust formed and the documents prepared and it either had minimal or no funding but was designed to be funded at death. If it was done there would be a good chance it was done by the same lawyer that did the will, which appears to be "Curtis E. Shirley" and so you may want to speak with him and see if he has any trust documents. The other issue I see is that Item III leaves most of the property to his wife but it specifically exempts "business asset(s) or financial investments" but the will doesn't list what those are. It looks like at the bottom of that same page that he left the business and investment properties to the "then living children". However, that section appears to clash with the section on p. 6 under Item V in which he gives the residuary estate to Tammy Waldrup. A "residuary estate" means the part of the estate that is left over after the distribution of the other things. So, based solely on this document, it appears his wife got everything except the business and investment assets which went to the then living children. Also, the will was trying to set up or fund a trust with some portion of the property but the will doesn't really state what property is to be used for the funding. Has a probate been opened through the court? Did you have other questions?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
This is the problem we are the living children who have received nothing. There is no probate and that is what we are trying to find out is if there is something to even fight for? He has a business asset net worth of approximately 2 million.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Do you believe that we should contact an attorney. The wife is our step mother and 1 of the 3 sister is her child. The 2 other children my sister and I have received nothing, heard nothing and not contacted to even give us an opportunity to even have a picture.
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 1 year ago.
It looks to me like the children should receive the business and if it is worth $2 million then it is certainly worth pursuing. Your best solution at this point is to contact a local attorney that does probate work (you can find one at www.lawyers.com). They can look in the county records to see if there has been any trust documents filed with the court. It's not required but many people file them in the clerk's office anyway.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Perfect and Thank you for your time.
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 1 year ago.
You're very welcome. If your question has been answered then I'd offer my best wishes to you and ask that you please not forget to leave a Positive Rating so I receive credit for my work. Of course, please feel free to ask any follow up questions in this thread.

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