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How much is my step mother entitled to after my father's death?

Detroit, MI |

My father died in November and left a will. The will was made in 2001 but he remarried in 2005. In his will he left all his assets to myself and my sisters. How much does my step mom get? His pension and life insurance was made to his estate. Also, if my dad financed a truck in his name while he was married and it wasn't paid off at the time of his death, does my step mom get it? Lastly, my dad's pension, is it only what was increased between the time he was married and the time of his death that my step mom is entitleed to? Im in Ontario Canada so any information would be great

Attorney Answers 1


You have a very complicated situation, and you really should see an attorney to address this in more detail. From what it sounds like in your summary, your step-mother would be considered a "pre-termitted spouse". Michigan law changed the way that it dealt with such heirs, about 10 years ago. If there is not evidence that your father *intended* to exclude his wife, she would be entitled to "elect against the Will." She would be entitled to about half of her intestate share of the estate, (the amount that she would have received, if your father did not have a Will).

This would be approximately $65k, plus 1/4 of the rest of the estate. She would also be entitled to exemptions and allowances worth up to an additional $60k. The former amount would be reduced by 1/2 of the value of any assets received by the spouse as a result of the death, by other means, such as joint property, beneficiary designations, and the like, if any.

The answer is also subject to change, based on the title to the assets. If the assets were titled jointly with the spouse or she was designated as the beneficiary, then there would be no estate, and it would not matter WHAT the Will says.

Best of luck to you!

James Frederick

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