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RobertJDFL, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 13872
Experience:  Experienced in multiple areas of the law.
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my husband and his two sisters just became heirs to thier mothers

Customer Question

my husband and his two sisters just became heirs to thier mother's estate. Assets r to b divided equally. I am not mentioned in the will however for the last thirty years, my mother-in-law told me and members of the family of the setdis of hes that would go to me as the two sisters had no interest in that particular dishwear. On her deathbed, a month ago, in the presence of my husband, the two sisters and myself, she announced, that all the Quemper "set name" was to go to me. Offenden by some of her actions against me, I replied, "I don't want it." She replied, "it's yours, take it and sell it." Presently, there is bickering over the items being distributed among the three heirs. My husband has yet to collect most of the items he has chosen. 60 days after death of mother,sisters not only refusing to release items but including dishset as part of HIS
inheritance. Can they legally do that? Set not mentioned in will.
set not mentioned in will

and refusing
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  RobertJDFL replied 7 years ago.
Good evening, and thank you for your question.

Unfortunately, in California an oral statement made on how to distribute an item of an estate made by the decedent is not valid. A will must be in writing to be valid under California law. Therefore, if the dish set was not specifically devised under the will (there was no written language in the will that stated "I give the dish set to "X", for example) then it is considered part of the estate, and must be distributed in accordance with the terms of the original will. In other words, it has to be divided equally between all the beneficiaries, or, if they agree, sold, and the profits split.

Distributions under the will are the LAST thing that typically happens in an estate. If there is a probate, they usually take around 6 months to complete from start to finish (though if it is a complex, high value estate, can take much longer) and distributions would be at the very end before the estate is closed.

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