View Full Version : I think I have to change my will

May 4th, 2018, 04:33 AM
I don't usually come talk about stuff. but since I told you guys about the War of the Roses situation, Dh has liver cancer and it looks like about a few months. I'm very sad about that. But my kids are already talking to me about the house. He's not even gone yet.

He wan'ts to leave his half to the four kids (two step). I told the two that came (sd and first dd) I want to sell the house and move on. I think they want to fight it. Seeing a lawyer to fight my kids seems surreal right now. I might give my half to the WWF---World Wildlife Fund. Would it be bad to laugh right now? lol

May 4th, 2018, 04:52 AM
Give it to the local rose society! Since you are still married I don't think he can leave it to the kids. If it's in both your names, wouldn't it go to you? Time to talk to that lawyer again. If he doesn't have a will maybe he would quit claim his half to you in return for you letting him live in the house.

May 4th, 2018, 04:58 AM
Oh my, Lorie. You have my sympathy. It seems like you just can't get a break. I'm sure there are some joint ownerships of homes that turn out well, but so many that don't. I pray that you can find peace when this is all over.

May 4th, 2018, 06:19 AM
So sorry to hear Lorie. Does he have that in writing? I have no advice except to maybe speak with a lawyer soon.

May 4th, 2018, 06:30 AM
Lorie...Sorry to hear about your DH's health. You really need to talk to your attorney about this asap. Are there community property laws in Hawaii? You need to find out right away what your options are. How disrespectful of your kids to be stressing you with this at this time. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

Georgie Girl
May 4th, 2018, 06:56 AM
You owing half and the other 2 owing 1/4 will be a total nightmare. Think of the expenses of the house, taxes, electric, etc. collecting 1/4 from each. If the house is in both your names, I don't want to sound crude but I would ride it out. There is so many different variables in your situation that we do not know that you should seek legal advise. My dad gave my brother and I his house in a Life Estate. It was a nightmare. My dad then wanted it back and I deeded my half back to him. My brother refused. When my dad died his estate got divided between 6 grandchildren including my half of the house. Now that's a whole another story dividing 1/6 up on a house worth nothing. Seek out counsel and do what is best for you. My prayers are with you as you move forward.

6 grandchildren and had

MHG Winnower
May 4th, 2018, 07:11 AM
Isn't it amazing that when these sad situations happens, the only thing (it appears here) is that people are concerned about "what will I get out of it". Sorry to be so direct. They should be providing support and love, not greed and insensitivity.

I've seen this before in many families and it boils down to very sad. Why is it that these folks "feel they are due something"?

I will echo what folks have said here. Get a lawyer now and know what you are obligated to do and what you aren't. In most states, as a spouse you are entitled to 50% of the estate even if you are not on the deed of any property. Estate means everything....bank accounts, investments, etc.

My heart breaks for you and this challenge. First, you are losing your partner, and then there are challenges with family members who may be very important to you. Stay strong and know where you stand legally.

Star lover
May 4th, 2018, 07:17 AM
I swear death brings out the worst in families. I seen the nicest people (or so I thought) become lunitics. Money seems to change lots of folks. Protect yourself.....see a lawyer......asap!

May 4th, 2018, 08:59 AM
Definitely see a lawyer. I was reading on another forum about this. In some states the step children were entitled to half of the estate. Best of luck in this battle

May 4th, 2018, 09:18 AM
I think sharing the house just would not work long term. There would be way too much arguing about who owes for what expenses, etc. I would try to find out if your husband actually signed a will then get a copy and take it to your lawyer. It might be that he says he wants to leave his house jointly to all of you but he might not have that down on paper. I think it has to be in writing. Good luck. I was just thinking of your situation the other day and wondering how things are going.

May 4th, 2018, 09:41 AM
Lorie, I don't have anything to add that hasn't already been said. It does seem like death brings out the worst. I know in my situation, I'm really proud of how my kids have come to my support.

Lifting your family in my prayers for wisdom and compassion.

May 4th, 2018, 02:11 PM
just do the Quit Claim correctly. my husband refused to have a Will. he did take me to the City and filed a quit claim. After he passed they called me and said he hadn't specified that I was to be a joint owner so they considered me a joint tenant only. I had to get a lawyer and have the step kids sign papers and file all those. Finally got it done. sold the next year and moved back to Texas. What a mess. good luck. do what ever you want!! :icon_bump:

May 4th, 2018, 03:19 PM
Ditto on the lawyer. I think just for your own protection getting legal advise will help you decide what you want to do versus what you CAN do. Lorie, I am so sorry you're having to deal with all this on top of everything else. You know we're here for you to vent when you need.

Take care.

May 4th, 2018, 05:24 PM
Good luck Lorie. I'm sorry, it sounds like a really tough road ahead.

May 4th, 2018, 05:40 PM
Thanks everyone. There are four kids, two step that I knew from 4 and five (boy and girl) and my two girls. My stepson is actually not his. He got together with his girlfriend while she was pregnant with him and got married when she was pregnant with my step dd. We get along together great which is funny. People look at us in disbelief sitting together drinking a beer. I'd rather live with her than any of these kids right now.

May 4th, 2018, 06:57 PM
Big forum hug to you, Lorie. I agree with the others...a lawyer would know what can and can’t be done. Maybe it would give you some peace of mind.

May 4th, 2018, 07:51 PM
I could shut this all down by not paying any bills. They are all in his name. That would leave me with out electricity, water, gas, internet, tv and phone. Humm.

May 4th, 2018, 07:53 PM
Lorie, does he have a will? Since you are both joint owners I think you get the house as survivor. If you aren't ready to go to a lawyer just yet and you have a friend that is in residential real estate you might get some good info there.

May 4th, 2018, 08:30 PM
Here's a question; do you have a legal separation filed with the courts?

May 4th, 2018, 10:52 PM
Lorie, does he have a will? Since you are both joint owners I think you get the house as survivor. If you aren't ready to go to a lawyer just yet and you have a friend that is in residential real estate you might get some good info there.

He might now, because my dd works as a clerk one day a week in a lawyers office and they went to see her as I found out when they sprung this on me.

Here's a question; do you have a legal separation filed with the courts?

No, he just moved out to a tent one day in 2011. I just have a time stamped picture, which just proves I have a picture of a tent/shelter.

May 5th, 2018, 01:18 AM
First, Lorie, I'm so sorry. There's got to be sorrow on top of this stress, and my heart goes out to you.

Every state is different. I'll tell you my story in California, and it may or may not apply to your situation in Hawaii. My father wanted everything he owned to go to my brother and me. My dad married my step-mother and put $30K of his money down on a house that cost $50K. When he died just three years later, the house was worth $150,000, so that was the bulk of the estate. My dad "knew" that my brother and I would get 1/3 each of the house and that his wife would get 1/3. On his deathbed, he talked about how good he felt that we'd all be living there together.

One problem: the realtor had put the house into joint tenancy between my dad and his wife. That meant that the house went to my step-mother directly; she automatically owned the house once my dad died. Nothing in my father's will stopped that. So my brother and I got a mere $5,000 each and our step-mother got the house.

So if Hawaii has similar laws and your house is in joint tenancy, your DH can't give away "his half." Joint tenancy means that he gave you his half when you bought the house.

As everyone else is saying, please go see a good attorney. It doesn't have to be to fight your kids, it's just to know where you stand.

And ... if they do inherit half and you want to sell your half ... they can buy your half! Let them fight over the bills and taxes.

May 5th, 2018, 02:12 AM
Thanks Toni. I'm in a similar situation with my dad's house in Calif. He left the house half to me and half to his wife's kids (4 I think) She is allowed to live there until she dies.My aunt talked to their lawyer that they have to call me when that happens and it was written down I believe. I loved that house, Woodland hills. He owned the duplex next door where is mom lived.She and I would walk to the bus stop down the street to go to the Los Angeles to the museums.

This whole thing is getting painful and I'm getting to old for this.

May 5th, 2018, 08:26 AM
I'm so sorry about your DH's diagnosis and for all you're going through. We don't know your financial situation, I'm not an attorney, and don't I know the laws of your state, but given that homes are often times the bulk of one's estate, I would be taking to an attorney. You can leave your money to your kids if you like in your will, but you should have the assets that you and your husband worked for now. You may need them all for your own future and retirement. Prayers and hugs for you.

May 5th, 2018, 11:12 AM
Still married, no legal separation,. I see no reason why his assets will not become yours. His will, leaving everything to the kids should come into play only if you die before him. Check with a lawyer to see how the laws read in Hawaii

May 5th, 2018, 11:16 AM
Hugs to you as this all unfolds. Grief brings out the worst in some people. To take some of the unknown out of the situation - which creates fear, it would be good to know what he can and can't do. It does depend on how you took title to the property at the time of purchase and the real estate laws in Hawaii. Getting a legal opinion, so that you can plan based on the reality of the situation, would be helpful for you and all involved. If he can do what he claims, knowing what rights you have, will help take some of the fear of the unknown out of the decision making that needs to happen.

Even though you have been estranged, you will be going through the grieving process and that is hard under any circumstances. I hope for peace and comfort for all of you.

May 5th, 2018, 11:53 AM
I know I need to get legal advice, I just can't believe I have to maybe fight my first born about this. She could hardly look at me while her older stepsister was doing all the talking that day.

The two kids next to me are my step kids Jade and Milo. 1980's

Would never have thought I would have to go to court with her and my own.

May 5th, 2018, 04:04 PM
Taking your kids to court has to be a terrible thing to even think about. And even worse, how can they think about taking you to court?

May 5th, 2018, 06:15 PM
Lorie, have you spoken to an attorney (of your own) about all of this? You REALLY need to. In most states, a husband CAN NOT totally disinherit a wife. In most states, a wife is entitled to HALF of the husband's estate, NO MATTER what he puts in his will. Thus in most states, if his only assets are one-half interest in your home, he is allowed to give away only one-half of that. Or one quarter interest in the house. This is further complicated by whether the house is owned jointly, I'm not sure he can even do that. Sorry I don't remember much from back in the day when I knew more, but each state can differ. However, I do know to tell you this: You really need to talk to someone who is on YOUR side about your rights in all of this. Right. Now. !!

(Also, don't forget, the medical bills complicate things even more!) Seriously, Lori, get to an attorney, and plan things out with one. A good lawyer that practices solely in wills/probate issues, not some other attorney who dabbles in wills/probate. You need to protect yourself for YOUR future. Also, if you get things lined up now, you will likely be avoiding a great many expensive hassles (i.e. attorney costs) in the future, not to mention avoiding family interpersonal disharmony.

Lori, seriously get yourself to a good wills/probate attorney right now!

May 5th, 2018, 06:28 PM
Medical bills: this is true. In many states, being still married, you may be left liable for any unpaid bills.

May 5th, 2018, 06:34 PM
Kaydee what would be the title of lawyer I should go to? The only one I ever hired was for my stepson for some drug charges . Since I answered the phone somehow it was my job to take care of it, his dad didn't get involved. All these letters for five years saying how much he loves me and how much he would help me out when he came home. It got me five years of grief and my a** hole husband on top of it. And then no help.

I feel like I'm in the crapper right now. lol

May 5th, 2018, 06:41 PM
Lorie, I only read through these posts quickly, but I think the kids misunderstand what their rights would be. I think their only interest would be a one-half interest in the VALUE of the house. They certainly can't stop you from selling it. (They could buy you out, but they can't stop you from selling.) Usually, when someone gets a partial interest in a home, the award is a monetary award, not a possession award (I've litereally never heard of an award of possession). Thus, you would either have to pay his estate that money, which would allow you to keep the house outright, and the kids would walk away with the divied up share of that value. OR if you can't afford to buy-out their interest, the court MIGHT make you sell the house. However, in some states, they can't even do that because it is your homestead -- instead they would give the kids a lien interest in the house for their share.

But remember, like I said, I don't know of any state where a husband can disinherit a wife. Typically the wife is entitled to 1/2 share of HIS estate. Which makes the kids value even less. I also don't know of any jurisidiction where the kids interest in the house would allow them to move in! I don't know what it is these kids think they're going to do, but it sounds like it is cueing up to be quite a mess. And we haven't even factored in medical and burial expenses (which may or may not be YOUR responsibility).

Seriously, Lori, you need to talk to a lawyer, NOW. You are going to be VERY sorry (both emotionally and fiscally) if you do not.

May 5th, 2018, 06:53 PM
And Lori, you can see now why he partitioned the house off -- thinking it effectively divides the house in half and allows him to give that 1/2 away. Sorry buddy, it doesn't work that way. The house isn't now and hasn't been a duplex. His plywood doesn't transform it into one. But this all shows this is gearing up to be one hell of a mess. You need to do whatever you can to nip in the bud.

Remember, a good wills/probate attorney. NOT a general practicioner who does like family law and draws up wills here and there. You need an EXPERT in the area. Not a dabbler. I know you are confident that all that other property you own is yours alone, but that won't stop the kids from arguing it was joint property.

Have I mentioned? YOU need to see and ATTORNEY (expert in the area) immediately. NOW, Lori!

May 5th, 2018, 09:56 PM
I completely agree with the advice to meet with an attorney who specializes in wills and estates. This doesn't mean you will be fighting your kids in court, it just means that you are getting information about how this whole process works. I'll bet your kids don't fully understand the process, either.

Do a Google search for attorneys in your area who specialize in wills, trusts, estates, and real estate. Call one first thing Monday morning.

201 Treadler
May 7th, 2018, 07:45 PM
sending hugs for support,the future sounds to be full of emotional turmoil, heres hoping everything works out not to be.

did we see lava flowing on news, across roads somewhere in your geographical area? did not catch the exact location,

May 7th, 2018, 09:17 PM
Lorie, please see an estate lawyer a.s.a.p. You said the stepson is not really related to your husband. If your husband did not adopt the stepson, then he does not have inheritance rights of a biological or adopted child. If your husband wants to leave something to him, he must specifically include him in a will. You also said you'd like to sell the house, in Kentucky one heir can force a sale. If your husband has a will and it does not bequeath property to you, then you may have to fight to get a wife's share. Another reason to see a lawyer now.