Skip to comments.Legal advice
Posted on 10/08/2020 2:11:51 PM PDT by woofer2425
"Asking For A Friend"....Asking for opinion....preferably from an attorney, but all are welcome to comment. An older gentleman passed away recently from complications of battling cancer. The question has to do with his will. Originally his will was written to leave his estate, which included several pieces of unimproved land an IRA and Annuity to his niece and sister. He was married only once for a very short period, just a few months, then divorced. Never married again. He also befriended a woman with young children and felt some sympathy for here and helped her monetarily buying her a house and paying the mortgage. Since learning of his worsening condition and ultimate death due to cancer, he began to rewrite his will leaving most of the assets to the two women and other "strangers" and very little to the original beneficiaries. His family felt that he was making some poor choices for several reasons. The day he was to sign the new will, he died...was not able to sign. The attorney, who has been working on both old will in the past and new will now, suggested that we follow the wishes of the older gentleman because that is what he wanted and it would have happened if he didn't die before signing. But, to fulfill those wishes, the executor of the will would have to "gift" the various monies and properties to the intended recipients because the "new" will was never signed, recorded or in force. He told the women of what to expect in the will, the others are unaware of the gift he was to bestow upon them. What would you do? Would you follow his wishes and voluntarily gift the monies and properties, or would you follow the old will that is legally in force, or somewhere in between?
Follow the legal, signed will. It’s a legal document, the unsigned one is not.
Oh, and I’m not a lawyer. But I did stay at a motel 6 last night.
You seem to have the answer right there. If the old beneficiaries want to gift part of the will to the new thats their decision.
Probably a couple of good lawyers could burn up the entire estate in legal fees so no one gets anything unless they are a lawyer.
You aren’t asking for legal advice. You are asking for moral advice. Sucks for whoever was waiting too long for a signature - unless you, like, offed the guy.
That was an issue about 20 years ago in our family. There was the old, signed will. Then a “will-in-progress” was found, but not signed.
The older, signed, will was the one that legally was followed. This was in NYS.
Go with the signed will. Otherwise you get chaos, and someday it will all depend on who the judge is and what he had for breakfast.
Once the legal norms and procedures hit the dustbin, and everything is subjective, it’s a short sprint back to the jungle.
My one piece of advice is to stay out of your "friend's" issue. In these situations, no good deed goes unpunished.
If they want to gift something to the other women that is their choice but no pressure should be applied which is what it sounds like the lawyer is doing.
What does he,(she or it) get out of it?
The old Tammy Wynette dilemma. This is not an opinion issue, it is a matter of law. You follow the recorded Will, or there is no such thing.
I always seek my legal advice from strangers on the internet.
> The day he was to sign the new will, he died...was not able to sign. <
Maybe he never would have signed that new will. Maybe he had second thoughts the night before. Who can say? So as others have noted, Id go with signed will.
Im not a lawyer but I think its presumptuous to say he was going to sign the new Will on the day he died. What if he had a change of heart? Theres no way of knowing. Did these other people take care of him while he was sick? If they didnt, perhaps he took notice of that. Did he ever tell his sister and niece of his plans to change his Will? At the end of the day, the people named in the legal Will are the rightful heirs. It will be on their conscience if they make a choice they know is wrong.
“Oh, and Im not a lawyer. “
Then don’t give legal advice.
Stick with the old will when he was clearly in control of his faculties; if the beneficiaries want to give it to others that is up to them.
Don’t rely on the legal advice of non-lawyers here.
Unsigned wills have been accepted but it is the more difficult route.
Even oral wills have been accepted.
There is even the possibility of either will being contested.
If his non-relationship friend got a house and mortgage payments out of their relationship that should be plenty. No need to feel guilt on the part of the relatives.
Go with the signed will.
My opinion only.
“Bite me. He asked for all opinions.”
You didn’t give an opinion. You stated a legal position which is not correct and may lead to additional problems administering the estate.
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