Will, probate

my husband claims that he has written a will and he has put my name and his adopted child as beneficiary in his will . but he never showed me the will , how can I be sure that he didn't update the will that his son inherit everything ? if one day he dies , and in his will everything goes to his son , is it possible I claim against the will ?

Houston, TX -

Attorney Answers (4)

James Brian Thomas

James Brian Thomas

Probate Attorney - Dallas, TX
Answered

Mr. Zelinger makes a great point. It is also crucial that you understand what your husband's Will can and cannot dispose of. A Texan's Will can dispose of 100% of their separate property and their 50% of the community property that they share with their spouse. That is, your husband cannot give your property away through his Will.

You might do well to visit an estate planner for yourself. Although your husband has no obligation to show you his Will, or even include you in it, you could always get a little more educated on spousal rights and community property in Texas. Best of luck.

This answer does not constitute legal advice. I am admitted to practice law in the State of Texas only, and make... more
Steve H. Evans

Steve H. Evans

Probate Attorney - Arlington, TX
Answered

The previous answers are correct. You cannot be certain your husband has actually done a will unless you have seen it. Even then he has every right to change or revoke his will. He could leave all his interest to anyone he wants. Texas law does not require a spouse to leave anything to a surviving spouse. However, even if you are not in his will, you still have legal rights if he were to die. For instance, you would have the right to remain in the homestead for the rest of your life, even if it was owned by your husband as separate property and even if he left the interest to someone other than you in his will. This life estate is provided by law to the surviving spouse and as long as the surviving spouse pays the mortgage and taxes and keeps up the property no one can force them to leave. Because Texas law does provide spousal protections and we are a community property state I too would advise that you visit an attorney who drafts wills and put an estate plan in place for yourself and your child. You mentioned that your husband had adopted your son so providing for him and selecting a guardian for him should be covered in your will.

The above answer does not create an attorney/client relationship. These responses are merely intended to provide... more
Steven M Zelinger

Steven M Zelinger

Probate Attorney - Philadelphia, PA
Answered

You can't be sure. He doesn't have to show you it and he could always change it later. If you are a surviving spouse you do have what are called "elective share" rights (i.e., a surviving spouse cannot be completely disinherited and usually can obtain about 1/3 of the estate). What is part of the TX elective share I will leave to the TX attorneys.

This is not legal advice nor intended to create an attorney-client relationship. The information provided here is... more
Alan Dean Tysinger

Alan Dean Tysinger

Probate Attorney - San Antonio, TX
Answered

If he hasn't shown you the will, then you can't be certain of anything.

To make it worse, even if he HAS shown you the will, you can't be certain of anything. He can change it with a new will or codicil tomorrow.

You need to talk with an attorney to go over your assets and his and see what is subject to his estate and how you want to handle things. Obviously there are some trust issues going on.

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