My father's wife had given gifts to my son's without my permission before probate. She is now trying to use those gifts to my sons to offset the distribution of assets to me, the only heir, with a result of absolutely nothing to me - can she do that? Also, my father and his wife owned a vehicle without Right of Survivorship, can she get title on her own whether I agree or not? I do not agree with her distribution of assets because it is manipulative and uses gifts to my son's to settle my inheritance. This is only between me and her - not my family, do I have to accept their proposed distribution of assets based on previous gifts that she made on her own to my son's?
First, you need to be talking to the probate attorney. If matters are not settled with that phone call, take all the documents to a probate attorney of your choosing for review. No, she cannot gift assets to one person, then subtract that amount from another person's intestate share. Good luck.
Be sure to designate "best answer." If you live in Oregon, you may call me for more detailed advice, 503-650-9662. Please be aware that each answer on this website is based upon the facts, or lack thereof, provided in the question. To be sure you get complete and comprehensive answers, based upon the totality of your situation, contact a local attorney who specializes in the area of law that involves your legal problem. Diane L. Gruber has been practicing law in Oregon for 26 years, specializing in family law, bankruptcy, estate planning and probate. Note: Diane L. Gruber does not represent you until a written fee agreement has been signed by you and Diane L. Gruber, and the fee listed in the agreement has been paid.
I am sorry to hear of the loss of your father. Grief is made worse with the tensions of settling the estate. I certainly recommend that you find an experienced probate attorney to advise you on these matters. If your father did not have a Will, than all your father's "probate" assets are split 50% to his wife and 50% to his children. Any gifts made to grandchildren before death generally can not be considered advancements to you on your inheritance. From your description of the vehicle issue, your father's wife would have to make misrepresentations to the Department of Motor Vehicles in order to accomplish her goal of transferring the vehicle to her name. You would then have claims directly against her.
Unless there has been a probate or small estate affidavit filed with the court, no one, including the wife, has any right to distribute any of the deceased's property - to themselves or to anyone else. Talk to a probate lawyer before there is nothing left.
Nothing contained herein should be considered as legal advice for any specific situation and nothing herein is intended to create a lawyer-client relationship. Every case is very "fact-specific" and persons wishing legal advice on a specific matter should contact me or another attorney for an appointment to review their particular circumstances and to create a lawyer-client relationship. Gregory L. Abbott, Attorney at Law, 6635 North Baltimore, Suite 254, Portland, Oregon 97203. Tel: 503-283-4568; Fax: 503-283-4586; Email: [email protected] Specializing in Consumer and Small Business Law.
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