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  1. #21
    Missouri Star

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    Default Re: I think I have to change my will

    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.
    Toni ... If I keep sewing long enough, will they make their own dinner?

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  3. #22
    Missouri Star

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    Default Re: I think I have to change my will

    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.



    Lorie

  4. #23
    Rotary Pro

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    Default Re: I think I have to change my will

    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.

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  6. #24
    Missouri Star

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    Default Re: I think I have to change my will

    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
    Dolores

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  8. #25
    Missouri Star

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    Default Re: I think I have to change my will

    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.
    Lisa

    M*QC forum is full of the best people!

    I'm not just buying fabric, I am supporting the economy...

    A bad day in the sewing room is better than a good day at the office.

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  10. #26
    Missouri Star

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    Default Re: I think I have to change my will

    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
    Click image for larger version. 

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



    Lorie

  11. #27
    The Guild President

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    Default Re: I think I have to change my will

    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?

  12. #28
    The Guild President

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    Default Re: I think I have to change my will

    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!
    Last edited by kaydee; May 5th, 2018 at 06:19 PM.

  13. #29
    The Guild President

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    Default Re: I think I have to change my will

    Medical bills: this is true. In many states, being still married, you may be left liable for any unpaid bills.

  14. #30
    Missouri Star

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    Default Re: I think I have to change my will

    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



    Lorie

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