Can a husband change a legal will after the wife has passed away? 38 Answers as of April 01, 2013

My mother signed a legal and binding will but now that she has passed away my father wants to change her will because she did not equally divide among her four children her shares of the business. Does my father have legal rights to change it and if so, is there anything I can do to contest it even if all my other siblings agree with the changes?

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Goldsmith & Guymon
Goldsmith & Guymon | Dara Goldsmith
If he was left her so long as he survived her, then the property is his to do with it as he wishes. If he was only given a life estate then my answer may be different. You need an attorney to review a copy of her actual Will to advise you. He cannot change her Will, but the property may not be subject to her Will. Please consult/meet with an attorney who can review the Will and advise you.
Answer Applies to: Nevada
Replied: 4/1/2013
Durham Jones & Pinegar | Erven Nelson
No, your father can't change your mother's will either before or after death. Only she could have done so. You can file an action in probate court to enforce the will.
Answer Applies to: Nevada
Replied: 4/1/2013
LAW OFFICE OF ROBERT I LONG
LAW OFFICE OF ROBERT I LONG | Robert I. Long
In California, a will cannot be "changed" by anyone other than the testator, so after the testator dies it cannot be changed. However, a will can be "contested" after death by any interested person, claiming it or part of it is void as having been created after the testator lacked testamentary capacity, or was procured as a result of fraud or undue influence, or was the product of mistake, etc.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 3/31/2013
The Krone Law Firm, LLC | Norman B. Krone
Your Father does not have a right to change his deceased wife's Will. The Will should have been submitted for probate, in which case the Court will handle this matter.
Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 3/27/2013
Frederick & Frederick PLC | James P Frederick
Your father cannot change your mother's Will. But he is likely the owner of all of the assets, now, since they were likely jointly held, before. So he can certainly change his OWN Will. That will result in the same issues you are concerned about. You cannot contest his Will, unless he lacks the mental capacity or undue influence is exerted against him. These are very difficult to prove.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 3/27/2013
    The Law Office of Kelvin Green | Kelvin Green
    The only person that can change a will is the testator. Your father cannot change it. It was up to her to decide how se wants to leave property. Once distributed, siblings can do with it what they want.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/27/2013
    O'Keefe Legal Services, L.L.C.
    O'Keefe Legal Services, L.L.C. | Sean P. O'Keefe
    In Maryland, one cannot change another person's will. As a surviving spouse, he may have the right to elect against the will to receive his "elective share."
    Answer Applies to: Maryland
    Replied: 3/27/2013
    Irsfeld, Irsfeld & Younger LLP | Norman H. Green
    Nobody has the right to change a decedent's will. Anybody can change his own will.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/27/2013
    Law Offices of Frances Headley | Frances Headley
    Only the maker of the will can change it. Your father can not change the will and if he tries should be removed from any position of authority within the probate estate.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/27/2013
    Law Office of Pamela Braynon | Pamela Y. Braynon
    If it is the last will and testament of your mother, no he cannot.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 3/26/2013
    Charles M. Schiff, Attorney at Law
    Charles M. Schiff, Attorney at Law | Charles M. Schiff
    Your father cannot change your mother's Will after she is deceased. If, however, the property was left to him, he can change his own Will. Assuming that the Will is probated, The Personal Representative of the estate is obligated to follow the dictates of the Will.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 3/26/2013
    Sebby Law Office
    Sebby Law Office | Jayne Sebby
    No, a will cannot be altered after the death of it's signatory. It would be criminal fraud on the part of the person who did it, even if he or she acted with the best of intentions.
    Answer Applies to: Nebraska
    Replied: 3/26/2013
    Huddleston Law Group, LPA | C L Huddleston
    It can be a criminal offense to tamper with a Will. No one can change a Will except the person who makes it. And yes, if you are a beneficiary under the Will, you will be served with notice and have a right to challenge your father's appointment as Executor and any action he might try to take under a forged Will. I hope you have a copy of the original, or know the lawyer who prepared it.
    Answer Applies to: Ohio
    Replied: 3/26/2013
    Lampton Law Firm LLC | Norman Lampton
    This site is not a substitute for actual competent legal counsel!
    Answer Applies to: Missouri
    Replied: 3/26/2013
    Law Office Of Victor Waid
    Law Office Of Victor Waid | Victor Waid
    Advise you obtain the services of a probate litigation attorney to represent you away to file a petition into probate court. No your father cannot change the terms of your mother's will.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/26/2013
    Asset Protection and Elder Law Center
    Asset Protection and Elder Law Center | Shadi Alai-Shaffer
    You really should consult an estate/trust attorney to see what your legal rights are. Generally speaking, your dad does not have the right to make changes to your mom's wishes set forth in her Will assuming her Will is valid which is why you need to talk to an attorney. He does have a legal right to 50% of the community property assets he just may not be able to make the changes you are mentioning to mom's Will as it relates to her 50% of their assets/estate. Again, I highly suggest you hire an attorney soon to seek the proper legal advice and guidance on what to do.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/26/2013
    Kokish & Goldmanis, P.C.
    Kokish & Goldmanis, P.C. | Bernard H. Greenberg
    No. All he can change is his own Will.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 3/26/2013
    Gates' Law, PLLC | Thomas E. Gates
    Your father can not change her will. If he insists, schedule a hearing before the court to resolve the matter. Probate will not start until the will has been admitted by the court. Changing beneficiary distribution could void the will.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 3/26/2013
    James Law Group
    James Law Group | Christine James
    Your father cannot change your mother's will. Whatever he was left in the will however, he can reapportion in his will or trust. Anything left to a 3rd person in your mother's will goes to that person as long as it was hers to give. Speak with an attorney if you feel your mother's will is not being followed.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/26/2013
    Danville Law Group | Scott Jordan
    No, the will cannot be changed by your father.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/26/2013
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC | John F Brennan
    Need details and all of the documents. Generally once a party is deceased you cannot change the provisions of the will without the agreement of all of the heirs. Call for an appointment.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 3/26/2013
    Richard J. Keyes Attorney at Law | Richard J. Keyes
    You cannot change someone else's will after they died. Please see an attorney as soon as possible because if your father does not get the will admitted to probate, then your mother's assets go by intestacy and will be divided equally among the four children plus your father getting his statutory share.
    Answer Applies to: Missouri
    Replied: 3/26/2013
    Ben T. Liu Law Office
    Ben T. Liu Law Office | Ben T. Liu
    A will cannot be changed once the person dies.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 3/26/2013
    Martin Barnes - Attorney at Law
    Martin Barnes - Attorney at Law | Martin Barnes
    Your father can not change your mother's will after she has passed. He may have a claim against her estate. Or, he may have inherited the business you referenced upon your mother's death if she made him the beneficiary of that asset. If so, he may change the provisions that govern the distribution of that particular asset in his own will. My advice is to visit with an Indiana attorney and discuss your questions in greater depth.
    Answer Applies to: Indiana
    Replied: 3/26/2013
    Minor, Bandonis and Haggerty, P.C.
    Minor, Bandonis and Haggerty, P.C. | Brian Haggerty
    No one can change her Will once she has passed away. All of the devisees can agree to modify the distribution, but if all do not agree then the Will says what it says.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 3/26/2013
    The Schreiber Law Firm
    The Schreiber Law Firm | Jeffrey D. Schreiber
    Only the person who makes a will can makes changes. After death a will cannot be changed. What they are proposing is first illegal and second, flies in the face of what a will is all about to comply with the written wishes of the deceased. If anyone could just disagree and change it, then making a will is a meaningless act.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/26/2013
    Stephens Gourley & Bywater | David A. Stephens
    A will cannot be changed once the person signing the will has passed away.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 3/26/2013
    Bullivant Houser Bailey PC
    Bullivant Houser Bailey PC | Darin Christensen
    He cannot change her will after her death. He could change his will to reflect and try to counteract what she did. He also can take an elective share if she did not give him as much of her estate and the elective share allows him to claim.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 3/26/2013
    Vandervoort, Christ & Fisher, P.C. | James E. Reed
    No, the Will cannot be changed after her death.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 3/26/2013
    Reger Rizzo & Darnall LLP | Kathleen DeLacy
    No one can change someone else's will.
    Answer Applies to: Delaware
    Replied: 3/26/2013
    Law Offices of Charles R. Perry
    Law Offices of Charles R. Perry | Charles R. Perry
    Your father has no right to change your mother's will after your mother has passed away. The proper procedure would be to probate the original will and let the court decide which will to enforce.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/26/2013
    Law Offices of Phillip Day
    Law Offices of Phillip Day | Phillip Day
    No. Father's only recourse is to petition the court to invalidate the will, thereby contesting it. You can contest his petition. Simple answer.once the person has died, the will is set in stone absent any evidence to the contrary.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 3/26/2013
    James Oberholtzer, Attorney at Law
    James Oberholtzer, Attorney at Law | James Oberholtzer
    No he cannot change her Will after she died. You can petition to probate the unchanged Will.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 3/26/2013
    Benjamin D Gordon, Attorney at Law
    Benjamin D Gordon, Attorney at Law | Benjamin D Gordon
    After a person has died, their will may not be modified. (In any event, one person's will can generally not be modified by a second person) If your father is the Personal Representative (formerly known as the Executor) of your Mother's estate, and he is not making distributions in accordance with the will, then you as a beneficiary do have standing to contest his actions. This is a fairly technical process, so it would be a good idea for you to consult with an attorney who is experienced with probate and will contests.
    Answer Applies to: Utah
    Replied: 3/26/2013
    Randy M. Lish, Attorney at Law | Randy M. Lish
    He can change his own will, but he cannot change her willshe is already dead. When he submits the will to probate, ou can file an objection to what he is doing.
    Answer Applies to: Utah
    Replied: 3/26/2013
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