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My father passed away recently. His will clearly states that

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My father passed away recently. His will clearly states that everything he owns is to be equally divided between his four children. There is also a trust. Our problem is that there are savings bonds (E bonds) that are outside of the trust. These bonds are made out in his name and each of our names. ie... Dad Doe or Jane doe...Dad Doe or Jim Doe.. etc. The bonds were purchased on different dates. One sister's bonds are worth $103,000, while the other siblings bonds are worth about $60'000 dollors less. Needless to say this is causing some tension. My question is; which would hold presidence, his will stating that everything is to be divided equally or do the bonds legally belong to the surving person named on the bond? Help! I am the executor of the will and the trustee of the trust.

Hello and thanks so much for choosing this forum to pose your important legal question. I will do my best to give you some honest and accurate guidance as I answer your question.


  1. I am a licensed attorney, and I will be glad to try and answer your question. I hope that the following information will be helpful to you, but please just write back if you have any follow-up questions or need clarification on anything after reviewing the following information. I would be glad to interact with you further if needed after you click "Accept" to process my answer. On a personal note, please allow me to just say that I am genuinely sorry for your loss. Please accept my sincere condolences.
  2. This is an easy call from a legal standpoint. Instruments such as the bonds are governed by the beneficiaries named on the instruments. This controls over the provisions of the will and/or trust. In other words, despite the "equal distribution" language in the will and/or trust, the unequal designation on the bonds will take precedence. I am not sure if this is the answer you were hoping to hear, but it is the legally correct one.


I hope that this information has been helpful to you. If we can be of any further assistance please free to use our service again. Best wishes for a successful outcome.


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The information provided is general in nature only and should not be construed as legal advice. By using this forum, you acknowledge that no attorney-client relationship has been created between you and Benjamin M. Burt, Jr., Esq. You should always consult with a lawyer in your state.

LawHelpNow and 3 other Legal Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Thank you for your condolences. I miss my dad a great deal and having to deal with the stress of my siblings bickering over money sucks. Morally, I think my sister is wrong to keep the extra money. I told her I thought she should make it right with my brother and sister. I opted out, because I wanted my advise to be as nuetral as posivle.
Thanks again.

Hello again,


Thanks for writing back -- good to hear from you. I appreciate your payment and especially your very kind words.


Personally, I agree with your approach. I have found that nothing brings out the uglier side of folks than death and divorce. I would rather forgo monetary gain when it comes at a personal price. But, I realize that everyone is different. The main thing is that you handle things so you can look at yourself in the mirror and sleep at night.


Thanks again -- my thoughts are with you during this difficult time.


Take care and thanks again for choosing JustAnswer®!