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Inheritance, will

Chicago, IL |

I have a question about will and people right to probate it, my husband has written a will next to an attorney and has said in his will that I will inherit the house, but retirement and life insurance will be inherited by me and his adopted son. If one day my husband dies, can his adopted son , claim for the house also?

Attorney Answers 3


  1. No; he can only obtain a portion of the house (possibly) if he has the Will thrown out and instead everything passes by intestate succession. In that case, you would get upwards of 2/3 of all the property, he may get the rest (depending on the intestate succession laws in your state).

    Just make sure all the formalities are in place. Make sure that your husband did not actually write the will. Holographic wills are problematic. And KEEP THE ORIGINAL SAFE. Know where it is at ALL times. Preferably not in a safety deposit box - however. A fireproof safe would be best.

    Lastly, don't write on the Will after its created. If your husband changes his mind, pay to have a new will created. Any mark or tear in the original document could be grounds for a challenge later on.

    With all that, as long as you probate the will after his passing, there should be little argument as to whom gets what.

    Matthew Johnson phone# 206.747.0313 is licensed in the State of Washington and performs bankruptcy, short sale negotiations, and estate planning in Whatcom, Skagit, Snohomish, King and Pierce counties. The response does not constitute specific legal advice, which would require a full inquiry by the attorney into the complete background of the facts and circumstances surrounding this matter; rather, it is intended to be general legal information based on the limited information provided by the inquirer; it This response also does not constitute the establishment of an attorney-client relationship, which can only be established after a conflict of interest evaluation is completed, your case is accepted, and a fee agreement is signed. Johnson Legal Group, PLLC


  2. If the house is in your husband's sole name, his Will is properly executed and the Will leaves you the house, then you will receive it after he passes away. Your husband's adopted son could contest the Will in probate. However, to set the Will aside, he will have to prove that your husband lacked testamentary capacity or was under undue influence. Good luck to you.

    This information is presented as a public service. It should not be construed to be formal legal advice nor considered to be the formation of a lawyer/client relationship.


  3. In one of your comments you noted (but not previously) that you "both" own the house. I take this to mean that you own as "joint tenants with right of survivorship" or "tenants by the entireties." If this is the case (and you need to check) then the will does not control the house at his death, the deed does, and the deed gives the house entirely to you. You may want to take whatever documentation you do have to your own attorney for review.

    This is not legal advice nor intended to create an attorney-client relationship. The information provided here is informational in nature only. This attorney may not be licensed in the jurisdiction which you have a question about so the answer could be only general in nature. Visit Steve Zelinger's website: http://www.stevenzelinger.com/

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