MY FATHER DIED RECENTLY. HE HAD A WILL THAT LEFT THREE THOUSAND TO MY COUSIN AND THE REST TO MY SISTER AND ME. HE WROTE THIS WILL YEARS AGO AND SINCE THEN HE WAS MARRIED BUT NEVER CHANGED THE WILL. HE HAS LIMITED SOLE ASSETS ABOUT TWO THOUSAND, NO REAL ESTATE OF HIS OWN, AND ABOUT ONE AND A HALF THOUSAND IN PERSONAL PROPERTY. HOW SHOULD THE WILL BE DISTRIBUTED?
Family Law Attorney
First, the debts, expenses (last medical bills, funeral home, etc), and costs of administration of the estate need to be satisfied. Next, specific bequests are satisfied (i.e., the 3k to the cousin). Then anything that is left (ie, the " remainder") goes to the remaindermen (ie, you and your sibling). HOWEVER, the situation is complicated by an omitted spouse, who has the right to elect against the will and take 1/3 of the augmented estate.
The best resolution would be for ALL of the beneficiaries (and the wife) to reach an agreement on the distribution and settle it that way since it is such a small estate. I would really encourage you to make an appointment with a probate attorney in your area as soon as possible.
This response does not create an attorney-client relationship and is intended for general information purposes only.
Estate Planning Attorney
The dollaramount comes off the top after expenses,fees, and taxes(if any).
The answer given does not imply that an attorney-client relationship has been established and your best course of action is to have legal representation in this matter.
If the surviving spouse makes her statutory claims, that may make the specific bequests of no effect. Seek counsel.
Criminal Defense Attorney
I agree with the previous attorneys. If you need legal counsel, please call our office.